Just where did the Great Columbia River that borders the states of Washington and Oregon get its name?
The year is 1792, after many years of exploring the Pacific Northwest coastline and trading with the natives American Captain Robert Grey of the ship Columbia Rediviva noticed muddy water flowing from the shore line. He was hoping to find “The Great River of the West”. Could this be it? After much investigating he was able to sail his ship the Columbia up this grand river. The farthest point he was able to sail is known today as Grey’s Bay approximately 15 miles up river. On his return journey down river on May 15, 1792 Captain Grey and his first mate Mr. Hoskins went ashore to view the country. Captain Grey raised the American flag, planted some coins under a large pine tree, and claimed possession for the United States. On May 19th the ship was anchored off the native village Chinoak, led by chief Polack and it was here that Captain Grey officially named the river Columbia.
Did this possibly make a difference in the dispute over the ownership of the Oregon territory?