views updated

Robert Gray

1755-1806

American navigator who explored the northwest coast of North America and in 1792 discovered the Columbia River, which he named after his ship. Gray also circumnavigated the globe twice, becoming in 1790 the first American to lead a ship around the world. He was also influential in opening trade with China, to which he sailed from Oregon in 1789 and exchanged a load of furs for tea on his return voyage to Boston.

Robert Gray

Updated About encyclopedia.com content Print Article Share Article