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
United StatesUnited States of America
Name: Columbia
Owner: Joseph Barrell
Builder: James Briggs
Laid down:
  • 1773
  • 1787
Decommissioned: October 15, 1806
Renamed: Columbia Rediviva
Nickname(s): Columbia
Fate: salvaged
Notes: First US ship to circumnavigate the globe
General characteristics
Class & type: full rigged ship
Tons burthen: 213 bm
Length: 83 ft 6 in (25.45 m) on deck.
Beam: 24 ft 2 in (7.37 m)
Draught: 11 ft (3.4 m)
Propulsion: sail
Sail plan: three-masted ship (foremast, mainmast, mizzenmast)
Complement: 16-18 minimum and 30-31 maximum
Armament: 10 cannons, 2 heavy stern chaser guns, 4 heavy and 4 lighter broadside guns.

Columbia Rediviva (commonly known as the Columbia) was a privately owned ship under the command of John Kendrick, along with 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

Early authorities claim the ship was built in 1773 by James Briggs at Hobart’s Landing on North River, in Norwell, Massachusetts and named Columbia.[1] Later historians say she was built in Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1787. 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 river and its basin, in turn, lent its name to the surrounding region, and subsequently to the British colony and Canadian province located in part of this region.

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

  • Simeon Woodruff, under the command of Kendrick, serving September to November 1787. A former gunner's mate during the final voyage of Captain James Cook, R.N., was the only man in the entire Columbia Expedition leaving Boston on the first voyage to have been to the Pacific.[3]
  • Joseph Ingraham, under the command of Kendrick. 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.[3]



  1. Jacobs, Melvin C. (1938). Winning Oregon: A Study of An Expansionist Movement. The Caxton Printers, Ltd. 77.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Grays Harbor Historical Seaport
  3. 3.0 3.1 Howay, Frederic W. (1941). Voyages of the 'Columbia' to the Northwest Coast 1787-1790 and 1790-1793. Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Hittell, Theodore Henry (1885). History of California. Occidental publishing co: v. 3-4:.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. NASA: Space Shuttle Overview: Columbia

Further reading

External links

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