The original Lady Washington was a 90 ton merchant sloop that participated in the fur and pelt trade with the coastal Native Americans in the Pacific Northwest as well as tea and porcelain across the Pacific in China. She was the first American vessel to sail around Cape Horn as well as the first American vessel to reach Japan. Lady Washington was originally captained by Robert Gray and then later John Kendrick, where she was refitted as a brig. She became the first American vessel to reach the island of Japan in an unsuccessful attempt to move some unsold pelts. The Lady remained in the Pacific trade and eventually foundered in the Philippines in 1798. Today, a replica of Lady Washington was built for the 1989 Washington State Centennial celebrations and sails along the Pacific Coast, providing tours to educate students of the lifestyle and history of merchant trading.