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Full text of "Sir Francis Drake, description of his landing at Drake's Bay, Marin County, California, June 17, 1579. Being an exact copy of parts of the original report of this voyage, in his caravel the "Golden Hind," including a description of the first religious service in English ever held in America, and also the date of his departure for England, July 25, 1579"

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Sir Francis Drake 

Description of his landing at 
Drake's Bay, Marin County, 


June 17, 1579 

Being an exact copy of parts of the 
original report of this VOYAGE, in 
his caravel the "GOLDEN HIND," 
including a description of the first 
religious service in English ever 
held in AMERICA, and also 
the date of his departure for 
ENGLAND, JULY 25th, 1579. 



"In 38 Deg. 30 min. we fell with 
a conuenient and fit harborough 
and June 17 came to anchor 
therein. * 

The next day, after our coming 
to anchor in the aforesaid harbour, 
the people of the countrey shewed 
themselues, sending off a man 
with great expedition to vs in 
a canow. * 

The 3 day following, uiz., the 
21, our ship hauing receiued a 
leake at sea, was brought to 
anchor neerer the shoare, that, 
her goods being landed, she might 
be repaired; but for that we were 
to preuent any danger that might 
chance against our safety, our 
generall first of all landed his 
men, with all necessary prouision. 


to build tents and make a fort for 
the defense of our selues and 
goods; and that wee might vnder 
the shelter of it with more safety 
(what euer should befall) end our 
businesse; which when the people 
of the countrey perceiued vs do 
ing, they came down to vs, and 
yet with no hostile meaning or 
intent to hurt vs. * * * 

Their men for the most part goe 
naked; the women take a kinde of 
bulrushes, and kembing it after 
the manner of hemp, make them- 
selues thereof a loose garment, 
which being knitte about their 
middles, hanges downe a b out 
their hippes, and so affordes 
to them a couering. They are 
very obedient to their husbands. 


and exceeding ready in all 
seruices. * 

Against the end of three daies 
more (the newes hauing the while 
spread itself e farther, and as it 
seemed a great way vp into the 
countrie), were assembled the 
greatest number of people which 
wee could reasonably imagine to 
dwell within any conuenient dis 
tance round about. Amongst the 
rest the king himselfe, a man of 
goodly stature and comely person 
age, attended with his guard of 
about 100 tall and warlike men, 
this day, uiz., June 26, came 
downe to see vs. * * * 

In the meane time the women 
remaining on the hill, tormented 
themselues lamentably, tearing 


their flesh from their cheekes, 
whereby we perceiued that they 
were about a sacrifice. In the 
meane time our generall, with his 
companie, WENT TO PRAYER, 
TIUE, and seemed greatly to be 
affected with it. * * * 

This one thing was obserued to 
bee generall amongst them all, 
that euery one had his face 
painted, some with white, some 
blacke, and some with other col 
ours, euery man also bringing in 
his hand one thing or other for a 
gift or present. * * * 

Few were the dayes, wherein 
they were absent from vs, during 


and kingdome, both by the king 
and people, into her majesties 
hands; together with her high- 
nesse picture and armes, i n a 
piece of sixpense currant English 
monie, showing itself e by a hole 
made of purpose through the 
plate; vnderneath was likewise 
engrauen the name of our gener- 
all, etc. * * * 

And now, as the time of our de 
parture was perceiued by them to 
draw nigh, so did the sorrowes 
and miseries of this people seeme 
to themselues to increase vpon 

The 23 of July they tooke a 
sorrowfull farewell of vs, but be 
ing loath to leaue vs, they pres 
ently ranne to the top of the hils 


to keepe vs in their sight a* long 
as they could, making fires before 
and behind, and on each side of 
them, burning therein (as is to be 
supposed) sacrifices at our depart 
ure. * * * 

Not farre without this har bor 
ough did lye certaine ilands (we 
called them the ilands of Saint 
James), hauing on them plentifull 
and great store of seales and 
birds, with one of which wee fell 
July 24, whereon we found such 
prouision as might competently 
serue our turne for a while. We 
departed againe the day next fol 
lowing, uiz., July 25, 1579. * * 



"The 23 of July they toake a 
sorrowful farewell of us, making 
fires before and behind and on 
each side of them (as is supposed) 
sacrifices at our departure." 

So wrote the ancient chronicler 
of the Drake expedition and sank 
to slumber while the Golden Hind 
plowed its way homeward. In a 
second (for in the great calendar) 
three centuries are but as seconds) 
those people who tormented 
themselves lamentably have van 
ished and the goodly country 
which Drake foresaw has come 
into its own. Home estates, farms 
and bungalows crowd its hills and 
valleys, and the spot has become 
a principality, tributary to a me 
tropolis whose spires have risen 


like magic on what was the deso 
late sand spit to the south. The 
ancient chronicler was a worthy 
prophet. "A goodly country." 
No more beautiful spot than Marin 
County can be found in all the 
world lying so close to a metrop 
olis. Neither London, Paris, Ber 
lin, New York nor any other com 
mercial center of which we know, 
has within one hour of the busy 
city streets such a variety of hills, 
mountains, valleys, cascades, 
streams and wooded trails as 
Marin County offers to San Fran 
cisco. In fact, here at one's very 
door is a mountain fastness pos 
sessing all of the beauties that an 
indulgent nature and climate has 
to offer. 


Take boat from San Francisco 
and in half an hour one lands upon 
the selfsame peninsula where 
landed Drake. Explore inland as 
did he; but not as painfully as did 
he. Electric roads add to the 
pleasure and accessibility of this 
garden spot. 

The boat itself lands one at 
Sausalito, a city of beautiful 
homes upon terraced hills and 
looking out across the great bay. 
Before it, in the waters of Tiburon, 
rests Belvedere, a dream island of 

Across the hills a vigorous walk 
lands one on Point Bonita where 
a picturesque lighthouse looks 
across the sea to China and Japan 
and sees close at hand that island 


which the brave voyagers of 
Drake called the "Hand of Saint 
James," "having on them plentiful 
and great store of seals and birds." 
Again an electric train front 
Sausalito and one is at the foot of 
Mt. Tamalpais amidst the pines 
and redwoods. Trails wind 
through the woods up and up until 
one gains the crest of the divide. 
Far away one sees the silver of 
the Pacific; below, at one's very 
feet, the green of the Muir Woods 
where stand the forest monarchs 
which stood when Drake landed, 
and even in that day they were 
hoary veterans: along the crest 
lies West Point; and further still, 
at the summit of Mt. Tamalpais, 
the Tavern from which the whole 


country lies spread out like a map. 
One sees the gleam of San Fran 
cisco Bay, the dark green of the 
forests, the lighter green of the 
valleys and farms, the glitter of 
the nestling towns, the slow crawl 
ing trains, a picturesque panorama 
covering nine counties; and far 
away, above the clouds Mt. 
Diablo peering across the open to 
its neighbor; the Sierra Nevadas 
further to the east stately with its 
crown of perpetual snow; and Mt. 
Hamilton on whose summit the 
Lick Observatory, that outpost of 
Science watching with unerring 
eye the procession of the Heaven 
ly Hosts. 

Again the electric line to 
San Rafael, the ideal city of 
homes and rich of woods. 


passing on the way station after 
station where happy throngs wait 
the returning city traveler and 
happy homes peer out from the 
green of the woods. Here no 
snow falls nor winter chills; nature 
is kindly and like a kindly mother 
gathers to herself the laughing 
children giving them their birth 
right of sunshine and fresh air. 
Who would shut within bricks and 
mortar these tender shoots when 
such a climate and country lies so 
close at hand? 

Or, if one can spare the time, 
press even further. The railroad 
runs through farms and valleys, 
past bungalows and wooded 
slopes beside the ever changing 
streams till it comes to rest at last 


into the heart of the woods. Take 
a motor stage. S wi n g through 
the hills where nature rests silent 
and undisturbed till at last you 
break forth upon a wide sweep of 
majestic ocean. It is the Pacific. 
Hour after hour you may skirt the 
cliffs; the restless ocean tosses far 
below you, its white fangs gleam 
ing upon the dripping rocks while 
the stately forests stand upon the 
hills gazing calmly down upon this 
giant who would eat his way into 
their sanctuary. Along the rock- 
bound shore busy fisheries thrive, 
their industry supplying a ready 
market close at hand. "A goodly 
country and fruitful! soyle, stored 
with many blessings fit for the use 
of man." 


We have been hearing the roar 
of cannon and the call to arms as 
Christian man springs like a wier 
wolf at the throat of Christian 
man; from the city comes the cry 
of travail as the wheels of toil and 
care grind on and ever on. Are 
you weary of all this? Does it 
rest as a burden on your soul? 
Take boat with Drake. Plunge 
into this goodly country. The 
sweet air will bring you solace. 
The hills and forests will look 
upon you with so deep a calm that 
you will wonder at your restless 
ness. The seemingly great things 
of the city will shrink to littleness 
while mother nature rocks you on 
her bosom. The Land of Drake 
will welcome you. And when 


you leave, it will be you that will 
take sorrowful farewell, not those 
blessed inhabitants who stand 
watching on the hills.