Columbia Rediviva

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The Columbia heeling as it approaches a squall. Drawing by George Davidson in 1793, who served as the ship's artist
Career (United States of America) United States
Owner: Joseph Barrell
Builder: James Briggs
Laid down: 1773
Launched: Norwell, Massachusetts
Plymouth, Massachusetts
Decommissioned: October 15, 1806
Nickname: Columbia
Fate: salvaged
Notes: First US ship to circumnavigate the globe
General characteristics
Class and type: full rigged ship
Displacement: 213 tons
Length: 83 ft 6 in (25.45 m)
Beam: 24 ft 2 in (7.37 m)
Draught: 11 ft (3.4 m)
Propulsion: sail - three-masted ship (foremast, mainmast, mizzenmast)
Complement: 16-18 minimum and 30-31 maximum

Columbia Rediviva (commonly known as the Columbia) was a privately owned ship under Captain Robert Gray, best known for going to the Pacific Northwest for the maritime fur trade. The "Rediviva" (Latin "revived") was added to her name upon a rebuilding in 1787. Since Columbia was privately owned, she did not carry the prefix designation "USS".

Artist sketch of ship on the Columbia River

The ship was built in 1773 by James Briggs at Hobart’s Landing on North River, in Norwell, Massachusetts and named Columbia.[1] In 1790 she became the first American ship to circumnavigate the globe. During the first part of this voyage she was accompanied by the Lady Washington which served as tender for the Columbia. In 1792 Captain Gray entered the Columbia River and named it after the ship.

The ship was decommissioned and salvaged in 1806. A replica of Lady Washington is located at Grays Harbor Historical Seaport in Aberdeen, Washington.[2]


First mates

  • Joseph Ingraham, under the command of Gray. In 1790 he was captain of Hope that competed with the Columbia in the fur trade.[4]
  • Robert Haswell, under the command of Gray in 1791–93 during the second voyage to the Pacific Northwest.[5]


  1. Jacobs, Melvin C. (1938). Winning Oregon: A Study of An Expansionist Movement. The Caxton Printers, Ltd.. 77. 
  2. Grays Harbor Historical Seaport
  3. NASA: Space Shuttle Overview: Columbia
  4. Hittell, Theodore Henry (1885). History of California. Occidental publishing co: v. 3-4:. 
  5. Howay, Frederic W. (1941). Voyages of the 'Columbia' to the Northwest Coast 1787-1790 and 1790-1793. Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society. 

External links

The American flag that circumnavigated the globe with Captain Gray on the Columbia.

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