CAPTAIN ROBERT GRAY
Captain Gray was sent out by the Boston merchants to buy furs from the Indians on the Pacific coast. He had no difficulty in getting all he wanted, for the savages were glad to sell them for very little. In one case a chief let the captain have two hundred sea-otter skins such as are used for ladies' sacks, and which were worth about eight thousand dollars, for an old iron chisel. After getting a valuable cargo of furs, Captain Gray sailed in the Columbia for China, where he bought a quantity of tea. He then went to the south, round the Cape of Good Hope, and keeping on toward the west he reached Boston in the summer of 1790. He had been gone about three years, and he was the first man who carried the American flag clear round the globe.
1 Vancouver (Van-koo'ver): part of it is seen north of Portland, Or., paragraph 235.
2 He commanded the Lady Washington at first, and afterward the Columbia.
3 Tiverton, Rhode Island.
Captain Gray returned to Boston and gave an account of his voyage of exploration; this led Congress to claim the country through which the Columbia flows as part of the United States.
After Captain Gray had been dead for forty years we came into possession, in 1846, of the immense territory then called the Oregon Country. It was through what he had done that we got our first claim to that country which now forms the states of Oregon and Washington.
4 The Yukon River in Alaska is larger than the Columbia.
5 The discovery and exploration of a river usually gives the right to a claim to the country watered by that river, on the part of the nation to which the discoverer or explorer belongs.
Tell about Captain Gray's voyage to the Pacific coast. What did he buy there? What did he first carry round the globe? Tell about his second voyage. What did he do in 1792? What happened after Captain Gray returned to Boston? What happened in 1846? What two states were made out of the Oregon Country?