Today in 1792, The Columbia River is discovered by Captain Robert Gray.
In May 1792, American merchant sea captain Robert Gray sailed into the Columbia River, becoming the first recorded European to navigate into it. The voyage, conducted on the Columbia Rediviva, a privately owned ship, was eventually used as a basis for the United States’ claim on the Pacific Northwest, although its relevance to the claim was disputed by the British. As a result of the outcome the river was afterwards named after the ship. Gray spent nine days on the river trading fur pelts before sailing out of the river.
Captain Gray was a merchant ship captain born in Rhode Island, who circumnavigated the globe between 1787 and 1790 on the Columbia Rediviva, a trading voyage out of Boston, Massachusetts. He traveled first to the north Pacific coast of North America, to trade for furs, and then to China, to trade the pelts for tea and other Chinese goods. After his return from that expedition, Gray set sail for the northwest coast again on September 28, 1790, reaching his destination in 1792.