HISTORIC Oregon emerges from myth. Over the region of those “continuous woods” which shrouded the true River of the West, the romancings of ancient mariners had spread the mirage of a great inland waterway called the Strait of Anian. This waterway threaded the continent from sea to sea, among wondrous isles gorgeous with palaces, and linked Europe to Asia. Into the Strait of Anian, so the legend ran and gathered magic as it ran flowed a mighty river, the River of the West. This river had its source in the Mountains of Bright Stones, in the heart of the continent, and its broad equable tide was well adapted to bear fleets of treasure ships into the strait that made so convenient a short cut between Spain and the sublime East.
The first Adventurers of Oregon were therefore certain Latin and Levantine seamen, who, for the glory of some king, said that they had bravely sailed and even meticulously charted these strange waters of their own fancy! Truly, in their tales, as Bancroft says, “maritime lying reaches the climax and borders on the heroic. ” There was no Strait of Anian such as they described.’ Yet where the imagination of these romancers coursed among fabulous isles, one lucky American seaman, after three centuries of naval fantasy, discovered the Columbia River flowing scarf-like over the shoulder blade of the continent. And it was chiefly by virtue of that discovery that the wilderness empire of Oregon found its destiny within the United States of America.
But we may not leave the myth of the direct passage to Asia with merely a passing reference; it has had too potent an influence upon history for such casual treatment. It dates back to Columbus, of course. Columbus discovered America; but he did not discover that pathway to the Orient which he was seeking, nor that the round world was much larger and Asia much smaller than he had calculated them to be. He died believing that some-where not far behind the new lands he had found lay the Asiatic coast, and that somewhere to the south, he thought opened a direct sea passage whereby the galleons of Spain might the swifter reach and bear homeward “the wealth of Ormus and of Ind.”
The mystery of the short route to Asia concerned Spain very particularly. Spain was the leading maritime nation of the world, with Portugal a close second; but now that all Europe was agog for discovery, how long would it be before other nations France, or perhaps even England should challenge her rights? How should Spain guard against the encroachments of other nations with oversea ambitions? In some such manner reasoned, with disquiet minds, their Spanish majesties who had financed Christopher’s voyages. They appealed to the Pope to define the boundaries of Spanish possession. So Alexander VI, generous and of helpful intent, drew a line through the Atlantic from pole to pole, and gave all that lay west of the line to Spain and all that lay east of it to Portugal. Surely not even the lore of Olympus, where high gods made merry with a world of little men, offers a scene so rich and quaint as that which we may conjure up from the story of Pope Alexander dividing the world between his children, as if it were but a rosy apple. Their Spanish majesties feared, indeed, even after such fair apportionment, that it might yet prove to be an apple of discord. They resolved therefore to have the western passage discovered without delay, secretly if possible, and fortified at both entrances.
Thus began the great search which inspired most of the explorers in the New World during three centuries. The Cabots, Balboa, Magellan, Cortés, Cartier, De Soto, Drake, Hudson, La Salle, were adventurers who set out to make a reality of the great discoverer’s dream. Not all of them were Spaniards; and thereby was it proved that Spain had not groundlessly doubted whether the Pope’s award would long satisfy those nations which had received no portion of it!
The first mariner actually to sail north of the southern boundary of the present State of Oregon is supposed to have been the Spanish seaman after whom Cape Ferrelo is named. Ferrelo set out in 1543 from Panama where the Spaniards had planted their first colony on the Pacific. He appears, however, to have left no record of having landed. Perhaps the northern waters, in his estimation, promised little; at any rate his voyage led to no further northward explorations at that time. The Spanish interests of that day lay in the south; and it was indeed a golden south, where Spanish sea-men loaded their ships with wealth wrung from the enslaved and terrorized natives and then sailed homeward to spread the hoard at the King’s feet.
It was the loss of some of these treasure ships, or rather of their contents, in 1579 a loss occasioned by the unwelcome activities of a certain Francis Drake from England that once again turned Spanish sails northward in a search for the hidden passage. Not only had Drake swooped down as a conqueror upon waters and shores be-longing exclusively to Spain, not only had he escaped to England with loot from Spanish vessels, but he had discovered the desired passage and had sailed through it so the Spaniards believed. Drake, of course, had not discovered the passage, though he had gone northward for that purpose, desiring some other homeward route than the one frequented by Spanish ships. He had, however, anchored in Oregon waters and had taken possession, for his Queen, of the long rolling coast to the south, naming it New Albion prophetically naming it so, for although Spain was to be overlord of this coast for centuries, it was to pass finally into the hands of a people speaking their law in the English tongue.
The fearsome tales told thereafter of the red-bearded English corsair miraculously steering his treasure-crammed ship, the Golden Hind the very name sounded supernatural into the mysterious passage, inspired Spanish seamen to seek that passage anew; for by what way the terrible Drake, “laughing athwart the decks,” had gone he might even again return.
But if Drake thus, in a legendary rôle, inspired the mariners of Spain to new search for the hidden passage, he presently, in his proper person, put a curb on Spain’s activities and humbled her pride upon the sea. And for two hundred years after those ten days in July, 1588, when Drake scattered the blazoned sails of the Armada upon the rocks and tide-rips of the North Sea, Spain had little heart for maritime exploration in any quarter of the globe. Had it not been for that achievement of Elizabeth’s seamen far from Pacific shores, who knows what might have happened on the west coast of America north of Mexico? Or on the east coast? With Spain mistress of the seas, could Englishmen have obtained a foothold on either coast to drive a continental wedge between the Spanish on the south and the French on the north? The defeat of the Armada, remote as it seems, in fact decided that the laws and language of England should prevail in America.
Two centuries passed. Once again Spanish sea-men of the south turned north to seek the western gate of that hidden passage. It was shortly after the accession of Carlos III to the Spanish throne, in 1759, that Spain’s ambition for world power, which had been somnolent since the disaster of the Armada, awoke once more. Drake’s country-men meanwhile had settled along the Atlantic seaboard, which coast also Spain held to be hers de jure, if not de facto. Thus had the English spread already to the New World their religious heresy and their peculiar ideas of government. In the very year when Carlos ascended the throne, they had broken the blade of France on the heights of Quebec; and in one year more they had practically swept from the northeastern parts of America that autocratic system of government and those social ideals which were the fundaments of Spanish power, no less than of French.
When Carlos of Spain was ready to give his attention to the northern half of the New World, the English colonists either ignorant of or in-different to the Spanish decree that, whatever truce Spain might hold with England in Europe, there should be “no peace beyond the line” were already beginning their thrust westward towards the heart of the continent. Moreover, Spain’s domination of the Pacific coast was seriously threatened by another power from the north. Russian fur hunters had overrun Siberia to the shore of the Pacific, where they had established headquarters at Kamchatka. In 1741 Vitus Bering, a Dane sailing for the Russian Czar, had discovered the Aleutian Isles and the strait that bears his name. And now the Russians were masters of Alaska, reaping enormous wealth from their yearly harvest of sea otter and seal. Now, therefore, more than ever was it vital to Spain that the hidden channel should be discovered, its banks fortified, and its waters closed forever to all but Spanish keels.
So, in 1774, the Spanish Viceroy of Mexico dispatched Juan Perez to make a thorough exploration of the Northwest Coast. The time seemed auspicious for New Spain. True, the English had swept away the French and in this very year were battling with the Indians beyond the Appalachians for the rich territory of the Ohio; and far to the north the traders of the Hudson’s Bay Company were pushing westward. But the storm of revolution was gathering in the American colonies. If the winds but continued to blow advantageously for Spanish statecraft, the passing of that storm should see Spain arbiter of the whole New World. The acquirement of Louisiana from France, in 1763, signified Spanish intent to press in from the south and west upon the English colonies. And, to fore-stall Russia, the interloper in Alaska, the whole of the Northwest Coast must be explored and formally annexed to New Spain.
From Bruno Heceta, who followed Perez’s route and made a landing in 1775 at the present Point Grenville to establish Spanish claims, comes the first mention that is not legendary of the River of the West. Heceta did not discover a river, but he noted in his journal that, when anchored near the forty-sixth parallel, his observations of the cur-rents had convinced him “that a great quantity of water rushed from this bay on the ebb of the tide.” Illness among his crew as well as other mishaps prevented Heceta from entering to explore the bay where the River of the West — still unseen of white men emptied its foaming and roaring waters.
By 1776 the Northwest Coast had been thoroughly explored, so Spanish mariners reported, as far north at least as Sitka, although neither the Strait of Anian nor the River of the West had been discovered. Spain, however, made no move to occupy the land, as there seemed no immediate danger from Russia, and the American Revolution, as Spanish and French statesmen saw it, was ultimately to bring the revolting colonists into the fold of their Latin allies. In pursuance of the usual Spanish policy of secretiveness, Spain did not publish any account of the explorations of her seamen. But in 1778 a Yankee named Jonathan Carver published in London a book purporting to be a record of his travels across the American continent, in which he related as fact what Indians had told him of the great River of the West rising among the Mountains of Bright Stones and flowing into the Strait of Anian. The name of this great river, said Carver, was the Oregon; and a map proved the tale. This book contained some truth, for apparently Carver did penetrate beyond the Mississippi, but it contained also not a little myth and a great deal of padding from untrustworthy sources. Today the one important bit in the book is the grand name “Oregon.” Is it an Indian word, or a word of Spanish derivation, or did Carver invent it? No one knows. It seems not to have been used again until 1811 when William Cullen Bryant retrieved it and immortalized it in Thanatopsis: Of morning, pierce the Barcan wilderness, Or lose thyself in the continuous woods Where rolls the Oregon, and hears no sound Save his own dashings.
Two years before the appearance of Carver’s book, that is, in 1776, when England and her American colonies were locked in bitter strife, the British Admiralty had sent Captain Cook to explore the Northwest Coast of America. One of the aims of this expedition, of course, was the discovery of the passage; for the officers and crew of any ship of His Majesty’s discovering that passage would receive twenty thousand pounds sterling, an award offered by Parliament in 1745 and still standing. Cook anchored off Nootka, Vancouver Island, on March 29, 1778, and then sailed north until forced by ice to turn back. He wrote in his journal: “Whatever passage there may be, or at least part of it, must lie to the north of latitude 72°,” which was indeed so. The only actual pas-sage was the impracticable northern strait already discovered by Bering. Cook then crossed to the Asiatic coast and thence to the Sandwich Islands, where he was killed by natives. His voyage to the Northwest Coast had results. It was made the basis of England’s claims in the quarrel with Spain about Nootka ten years later. More important, however, was the introduction of Englishmen to the sea-otter trade. A few sea-otter skins had been presented by the natives at Nootka to Cook and his men; and when Cook’s ship arrived at Canton, after the tragedy at the Sandwich Islands, these furs were bid for by Chinese tradesmen at what seemed to the English seamen fabulous sums.
Trade ! Furs convertible into gold! Here was the potent influence to bring out of the realm of myth the land “where rolls the Oregon.” Since the days when Elizabeth had answered Philip of Spain out of the mouths of Drake’s guns, England had consistently refused to concur in Spain’s doctrine that the Pacific was a closed sea. So when the news of furs on the Pacific coast of America was bruited about English ports, English merchants lost no time in preparing expeditions for trade with the natives of that far country. As for the direct passage, let the explorers look for it; as to the Spanish fiat, let the diplomats wrangle about it. Honest merchants were neither to be lured by an invisible channel nor barred by an intangible principle from new paths of trade. Presently four separate fur trading expeditions one from China, two from India, and one from England ploughed Pacific waters.
One of these, sailing from Bengal, was commanded by John Meares, late of the British navy. Though Meares made Nootka his headquarters, he, too, like Cook, had some influence on Oregon. He was an enterprising soul and a brisk trader, hardly more scrupulous than other men of his class at that time. Since he was obliged to sail along a so-called Spanish coast, he hoisted the Portuguese flag when convenient, and perhaps left it flying at the Felice’s masthead while he went ashore at Nootka and purchased the place with boundaries unspecified from Chief Maquinna for some copper and a pair of pistols, and denoted it not Portuguese but British soil. He erected buildings of a primitive sort and “occupied.” He shipped some Chinese workmen from their native land, gathered up Kanaka wives for them at Hawaii possibly with the idea that the less conversation between married folk the more harmony and proceeded to colonize Nootka. He was well received by the Indians. His description of the welcome given him is worthy of reproduction, for the sake of the picture it gives us of the chiefs Maquinna (or Maquilla) and Callicum and their warriors, a scene the like of which can never recur. Meares wrote in his journal, on May 16, 1788:
They moved with great parade about the ship, singing at the same time a song of a pleasing though sonorous melody: there were twelve of these canoes, each of which contained about eighteen men, the greater part of whom were cloathed in dresses of the most beautiful skins of the sea otter, which covered them from their neck to their ankles. Their hair was powdered with the white down of birds, and their faces bedaubed with red and black ochre, in the form of a shark’s jaw, and a kind of spiral line which rendered their appearance extremely savage. In most of these boats there were eight rowers on a side. . . . The Chief occupied a place in the middle, and was also distinguished by an high cap, pointed at the crown, and ornamented at the top with a small tuft of feathers. We listened to their song with an equal degree of surprise and pleasure. It was, indeed, impossible for any ear susceptible of de-light from musical sounds, or any mind that was not insensible to the power of melody, to remain unmoved by this solemn. unexpected concert. . . . Sometimes they would make a sudden transition from the high to the low tones, with such melancholy turns in their variations, that we could not reconcile to ourselves the manner in which they acquired or contrived this more than untaught melody of nature. . . . Everyone beat time with undeviating regularity, against the gunwale of the boat, with their paddles; and at the end of every verse or stanza, they pointed with ex-tended arms to the North and the South, gradually sinking their voices in such a solemn manner as to produce an effect not often attained by the orchestras in our quarter of the globe.
After the concert, the chiefs brought aboard the Felice a skin bottle of seal oil, in which exhilarating beverage Meares and his guests pledged their eternal friendship.
Having thus established amicable relations with the Indians, Meares set about erecting buildings and a fort, and he also built a little ship, the North-West America, the first vessel to be constructed on the Northwest Coast. He explored southward in search of Bruno Heceta’s river, or the River of the West. He did not find it, though he crossed the bar and stood near enough to its mouth to name the spit of land hiding it Cape Disappointment, and the harbor beyond, Deception Bay.
His colony soon came to grief. The year 1789 saw two other expeditions in these waters. One hailed from the Spanish port of San Blas, Mexico, and the other from Boston. The Viceroy of Mexico had bethought him that it was now three years since he had sent up the coast a sea scout to report what the Russians were doing. Spain had graciously permitted the Russians to occupy Alaska, but with the distinct proviso that their ramshackle trading craft were not to nose south-ward. It was high time to ascertain if this under-standing were perfect on both sides. The Viceroy therefore sent north Don Estevan Martinez, captain of the Princessa, which was no trading vessel but an imposing ship of war bristling with guns. Martinez made some startling discoveries. He learned that the Russians were about to push down to Nootka; he found at Nootka the Meares colony; he found also riding at anchor in Nootka Sound, besides an English vessel, the Iphigenia, two other vessels flying the Stars and Stripes, the Columbia, Captain John Kendrick, and the Lady Washington, Captain Robert Gray, both of Boston. Meares himself was absent on a voyage to China. Martinez seized the colony and the English vessels, the Argonaut, the Princess Royal, and the North-West America, as they sailed into port, quite unaware of the Spanish intruder. He took Captain Colnett of the Argonaut a prisoner to Mexico. He did not molest the American vessels.
England promptly demanded redress for the seizures at Nootka. Spain answered haughtily, rattled the sword, and made a gesture to her cousin of France, who nodded agreeably and took down the family armor and began polishing it publicly. But the earth beneath the Bourbon’s palace at Versailles was already quivering from the subterranean rumblings of the French Revolution, and Spain saw that the aid she had counted upon was uncertain at best. Spain was obliged therefore to sign articles which, besides reimbursing the enterprising Meares for his losses, restored Nootka to the British flag, and acknowledged the right of British subjects to free and uninterrupted navigation, commerce, and fishing in the North Pacific; also to make and possess establishments on the Pacific coast wherever these should not conflict with the prior rights of Spain. Though the articles defined the rights of only the contracting parties, England and Spain, yet in signing them Spain abrogated her ancient claim to sole sovereignty on the Pacific; and, whether either party realized it or not, in this document both concurred in the principles of a free sea and of ownership by occupation and development.
But those Americans, Kendrick and Gray, trading at Nootka under the Stars and Stripes who were they? Of them history tells not so much as we would like to know. They were in the service of a group of merchant adventurers in Boston, friends of Doctor Thomas Bulfinch of Bowdoin Square. These merchants, we are told, on a winter evening in 1787, forgathered in the Doctor’s library and, fired by a published account of Cook’s voyages, then and there decided to enter the sea-otter trade in the Pacific. Joseph Barrell, a prosperous trader and banker, seems to have taken the lead in the enterprise, in which Bulfinch himself joined. The other partners were Crowell Hatch, Samuel Brown, John Pintard, and John Derby. These were gentlemen traders of the old school, and theirs was the happy lot to live in the hey-day of Boston’s adventuring upon the sea, when four hundred sail might often be counted in the harbor by any worthy merchant, such as Joseph Barrell, as he loitered on his way to the Bunch of Grapes, the famous old tavern on the site of the present Exchange. It was at the Bunch of Grapes that the Boston Marine Association held its meetings.
The partners procured and made ready for sea a ship, the Columbia, and a little sloop, the Lady Washington. The vessels were stocked with trinkets to trade with the natives for furs. The voyage was to be a long one, around the Horn, around the whole world, indeed, for the Columbia would sail from the Pacific coast to China, there exchange a cargo of furs for a cargo of tea and silk, and return home to Boston. It was the 1st of October before all was ready for the voyage. Then, after the usual celebrations on board, the Columbia, under command of John Kendrick, and the Lady Washington, under command of Robert Gray, lifted anchor and put out to sea, and the partners went back to their daily round to await the return of the Columbia with a rich cargo from China.
Nearly three years rolled by. Then, one day in August, 1790, into Boston harbor sailed Robert Gray on the Columbia. He and Kendrick had spent two seasons gathering furs on the coast; there they had found the British trader Meares and had seen his post raided by the Spaniard Don Martinez; they had exchanged ships in the Pacifie, where Kendrick remained to continue the trade.
Gray had taken the furs to Canton and now brought home a cargo of tea. The furs had not sold well in Canton; perhaps Gray was not a good trader; at all events, the results in trade were disappointing. But, for the moment, the partners forgot their losses. Had not their own ship, the Columbia, circumnavigated the globe? All Boston turned out in its best attire to welcome Gray as he marched up the street followed by his Hawaiian attendant in a bright feathered cloak; and Governor John Hancock held a reception in his honor.
The partners met once more in Bulfinch’s library. Two of them decided to withdraw, but the others considered the prospects promising enough to warrant a second venture. So the good ship Columbia was overhauled and made ready for sea again.
On September 28, 1790, Robert Gray sailed out of Boston harbor on his second voyage around the Horn. On June 5, 1791, he arrived at Clayoquot, the American trading post on Vancouver Island. That summer the Yankee adventurers fared not too well. Gray sailed as far north as Portland channel, where some of his men were murdered by hostile Indians. His comrade in adventure, Kendrick of the Lady Washington, also met with tragedy. The natives of Queen Charlotte Island attacked Kendrick’s ship and his men on shore; and his son was among the slain. The two ships returned to Clayoquot in September and Kendrick set out for China with the furs. Gray erected at Clayoquot a fort and constructed a little sloop, named the Adventure, which he put under command of Haswell, his second officer. The Indians about Clayoquot were not friendly, and during the winter Gray and his men were obliged to exercise constant watchfulness to avert a meditated attack. On April 2, 1792, both vessels left Clayoquot, the Adventure turning north for trade and the Columbia dropping southward. Perhaps Gray was only bent on finding new trading fields, for sea otter were still plentiful to the south of Vancouver Island. Yet his movements suggest that he may have been consciously exploring, searching for that passage which was supposed to lie somewhere hidden, or for the River of the West.
It was in October, 1790, the month following the Columbia’s departure from Boston, that England and Spain signed the articles relative to Nootka and to mutual rights on the Pacific. In December George Vancouver, a British naval officer, who had sailed with Cook as a midshipman, received his commission to go to Nootka to take over from Spanish emissaries the land seized by Martinez and to explore. Vancouver’s ships left Falmouth, England, on April 1, 1791. They rounded the Cape of Good Hope, crossed the Indian Ocean, and sailed along the western coast of Australia, made Van Diemen’s Land, New Zealand, the Society Islands, and the Sandwich Islands, whence they set sail for the Northwest Coast of America. They sighted that coast in 39° north latitude on April 17, 179 2. At dawn on the twenty-ninth of the same month, as they headed northward, the English mariners descried a sail, the first they had seen in many months of wandering over the watery wilderness. The stranger ship declared herself by firing a gun and sending the American colors to the masthead. The Discovery, under Vancouver’s personal command, hove to for an exchange of greetings and news. The American vessel was the Columbia, and her commander, Captain Robert Gray, informed Vancouver that he had recently lain for nine days off the mouth of a large river where the reflux was so violent that he dared not attempt to enter. Gray had also sailed for many miles through the narrow waters of the Strait of Juan de Fuca and was now heading south again, to make a second attempt to enter the river which lay behind the forbidding, foam-dashed wall of Cape Disappointment.
Despite the information given him by the American, Vancouver believed that he could not have passed any “safe navigable opening.” He had in-deed noted in his journal, in passing Cape Disappointment, that he had not considered “this opening worthy of further attention.” Gray’s news impressed him therefore but slightly. He jotted down in regard to it: “If any river should be found, it must be a very intricate one and inaccessible to vessels of our burden.” He pushed on northward. He discovered and explored Puget Sound, naming it after one of his lieutenants. He named Mount Baker in honor of another lieutenant who was the first man on board to descry that white crown of beauty. He explored the mainland of British Columbia and, circumnavigating the is-land that now bears his own name, swung down to Nootka where the Spanish Commissioner, Don Quadra, awaited him.
But of far greater moment was the feat which Robert Gray, the Yankee seaman and fur trader, had in the meantime accomplished. Gray had run his ship past the spur of Cape Disappointment and into the mouth of the great river. This is the entry he made in his log, May 7, 1792:
Being within six miles of the land, saw an entrance in the same, which had a very good appearance of a harbor. . . . We soon saw from our masthead a passage in between the sand-bars. At half past three, bore away, and ran in north-east by east, having from four to eight fathoms, sandy bottom; and, as we drew in nearer between the bars, had from ten to thirteen fathoms, having a very strong tide of ebb to stem. . . . At five P.M. came to in five fathoms water, sandy bottom, in a safe harbor, well sheltered from the sea by long sandbars and spits.
Within the harbor the Columbia was speedily surrounded by Indians in canoes, and trading continued briskly for several days. The canoes having departed, the Columbia “hove up the anchor, and came to sail and a-beating down the harbor.” By the 11th of May, Gray was ready to attempt the entrance of the river itself. This is how he narrates that historic event:
At eight A.M. being a little to windward of the en-trance of the Harbor, bore away, and run in east-north-east between the breakers, having from five to seven fathoms of water. When we were over the bar, we found this to be a large river, of fresh water, un which we steered. At one P.M. came to with the small bower, in ten fathoms, black and white sand. The entrance between the bars bore west-south-west, distant ten miles; the north side of the river a half mile distant from the ship; the south side of the same two and a half miles’ distance; a village on the north side of the river west by north, distant three-quarters of a mile. Vast numbers of natives came alongside; people employed in pumping the salt water out of our water-casks, in order to fill with fresh, while the ship floated in. So ends.
Not an imaginative man, this Robert Gray, and no stylist. He had found the great River of the West. He had made fact of the myth beloved of the ancient mariners. And he sets down his discovery laconically as if it were no more than an incident of a trading voyage just one brief matter-of-fact paragraph and So ends! It is almost, indeed, as if he considered the discovery of this river, which he named the Columbia, unimportant. Other sea wanderers had sought it; some of them had even fancifully charted it, so great had been their faith. Explorers, dreaming of vast inland seas and golden rivers, of jeweled cities to be discovered and of colonies to be founded some of them scientific men, too seeking this river had passed it by.
But, if Robert Gray was no writer, we may nevertheless, from his terse jottings, read the character of a man too literal-minded to suspect other men of the gift for artistic fable a matter-of-fact man who reasoned that, if Bruno Heceta had felt the current made by a river, then the river which made the current was there and, more, a man of plain courage, an experienced sailor with an impartial estimate of his own seamanship and with a mind not to be appealed to by the things that touch imaginative men with fear; one who saw merely winds to beat against and tides to gage and make use of, where other men saw a Cape Disappointment looming over the grave of ships.
Gray sold his furs in China and returned to Boston in 1793. The results must have fallen below expectations, for he was not sent out again. Kendrick of the Lady Washington was killed in Hawaii by a gun explosion. Gray’s discovery apparently impressed the public little more than it had impressed Gray himself, for it was not followed up in any way for some years. Neither recognition nor wealth was bestowed upon the discoverer. Gray died in 1806 at Charleston, and he died in poverty.