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Robert Gray (sea captain) facts for kids

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Captain Robert Gray
Robert Gray.jpg
Captain Gray
(not showing his lack of one eye)
Born (1755-05-10)May 10, 1755
Died July 1806(1806-07-00) (aged 51)
at sea
Occupation merchant sea-captain, explorer
Spouse(s) Martha

Robert Gray (May 10, 1755 – c. July 1806) was an American merchant sea captain who is known for his achievements in connection with two trading voyages to the northern Pacific coast of North America, between 1790 and 1793, which pioneered the American maritime fur trade in that region. In the course of those voyages, Gray explored portions of that coast and, in 1790, completed the first American circumnavigation of the world. He was noted for coming upon and naming the Columbia River in 1792, while on his second voyage.

Gray's earlier and later life are both comparatively obscure. He was born in Tiverton, Rhode Island, and may have served in the Continental Navy during the American Revolutionary War. After his two famous voyages, he carried on his career as a sea captain, mainly of merchantmen in the Atlantic. He intended a third voyage to the Northwest Coast, but his ship was captured by French privateers, during the Franco-American Quasi-War. Later in that conflict, Gray commanded an American privateer. He died at sea in 1806, near Charleston, South Carolina, possibly of yellow fever. In his honor, many geographic features along the Oregon and Washington coasts were named for Gray, as were numerous public schools established later in the region.

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