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Sit Francis Drake 
Land on 
Any Part of 



Did Sir Francis Drake land 

on any part of the 

Oregon Coast? 






The old and new settlers in rich and beautiful Oregon may 
like to learn the facts as known about Sir Francis Drake's famous 
voyage off the coasts of California and Oregon in 1579. The 
popular idea has prevailed among many Oregonians that Drake 
was the first to make a landing on the coast of Oregon, and to 
see and note its natural resources, between the parallels of 
North Latitudes 42 deg. and 48 deg. Some of them think he 
made his landing either at the mouth of the Chetco River, in 
Curry County, or at Port Orford, in Coos County. In this little 
tract will be found extracts made from all the oldest and best 
authorities on the subject: these I have collected from the orig- 
inal documents existing in the archives of the British Museum 
in London ; and the three maps given are facsimiles of those 
most ancient ones found therein. I have also given extracts 
from the latest modern writers on the subject. 
J^Brake died in January, 1596 (old style), so that his co-tem- 
porary recorders of his expedition to the Pacific Coast in 1579 
were his cousin John and his nephew Francis Drake ; his chap- 
lain, Francis Fletcher, who accompanied him thioughout the 
voyage ; Richard Hakluyt, the great historian of English travels 
by sea and land ; Francis Pretty ; Admiral Robert Dudley, son 
of Queen Elizabeth's favorite Earl of Leicester, who in his 
Arcano del Mare (1647) sa y s ne na d his data for his map from 
Drake himself; Jodocus Hondius, the great engraver of that 
period ; William Camden, the noted and most reliable historian 
and antiquary ; Theodore de Bry, the famous engraver and 
printer of Frankfort-on-the-Main ; Captain John Davis (1550- 
1605), the great navigator of the North Atlantic in search of a 
northwest passage to India; Admiral Sir William Monson 
(1569-1643), the author of several naval tracts of that period; 
but which were not published till 1702; Peter Heylin (1600- 



1662), in his Cosmography; Johannes de Laet (died 1649), tne 
noted Dutch writer, in his general history of America ; and 
John Ogilby (1600-1676), the celebrated Scotch compiler of 

Among later writers of Drake's voyage in the Pacific Ocean 
were Captain James Burney (1750-1821), who sailed with Cap- 
tain James Cook in the Resolution in 1776; and John Barrow, 
who in 1765 wrote his History of Discoveries, which is con- 
sidered the standard work on Drake's voyages. 

Drake's own vessel of 100 tons, in which he completed his 
famous voyage around the world, which made him the first ad- 
miral of any nation to accomplish in his own ship that notable 
achievement, was called the Pelican when he sailed from Ply- 
mouth, the I3th of December, 1577: this name he changed to 
that of the Golden Hind when he entered the Straits of Magellan 
on the 2oth of August, 1578: this he did in honor of his patron 
and friend, Sir Christopher Hatton, then Lord Chancellor of 
England, whose family crest was a Golden Hind. Queen Eliz- 
abeth nicknamed her Chancellor, "the dancing Chancellor," be- 
cause he was such a graceful performer in that line. 

Some California and Oregon authorities have surmised that 
the name Pelican given to the bay at the mouth of the Chetco 
River was derived from that of Drake's vessel ; but she was 
known as the Golden Hind at that period. 

From a careful study of the extracts herein given I have 
been unable to find any reliable evidence to show that Drake ever 
landed anywhere on the Oregon coast. The only landing place 
mentioned was in latitude 38 deg. or thereabouts, the exact spot 
is still a matter in dispute by various modern writers. In fact, 
the principal narrative of the voyage by Francis Pretty, pub- 
lished in Hakluyt's Voyages, 1589, (upon which most of the 
later accounts are based) says distinctly "we drew back again 
without landing, till we came within 38 degrees towards the 
line." The accompanying Silver Map (1581) shows that Drake 
coasted to a higher latitude, but did not land anywhere. Francis 
Drake, Drake's nephew, makes no mention of any landing on 
the Oregon coast. Camden, one of the most reliable historians, 
does not mention it, nor does De Bry, the best engraver and 
historian in Europe of that period. Monsieur Duflot de Mofras 


varies slightly in the latitudes reached, but agrees in other re- 
spects. Among quite modern students, Greenhow states that no 
information concerning the northwest coast of America has de- 
scended from the great navigator himself. 

My agent in London, Mr. T. Chubb, of the Map Depart- 
ment of the British Museum, writes me that he has come across 
in the MSS. Department of the British Museum, a letter from 
De Mendoza, the Spanish Ambassador in London, to King 
Philip of Spain, dated i6th October, 1580, in which it states 
"Drake has given the Queen (Elizabeth) a diary of every thing 
that happened during the three years he waiT~a"way." 

Mr. Chubb informs me he has endeavored to trace the where- \ 
abouts of this diary; he wrote to the Librarian at Windsor 
Castle about it; who in reply states that it is not in the Royal 
Collection, and he does not know where it can be found. He 
has also applied to the Public Record Office, but there is no 
record of it there. He has also written to the editor of "Notes 
and Queries," and if any information comes from that source 
about it he will let me know. 

The maps (3) are facsimiles of the early maps now in the 
British Museum, which I have had reproduced for this tract 
by Hicks-Chatten & Co., of Portland. 

No. i is a portion of Hondius map, showing Drake's route, 
the latitude reached, and the bay in which he refitted his ship. 

No. 2 shows that Drake reached 42 deg., but does not denote 
a landing place. 

No. 3 indicates the bays where Drake tried to find a landing 

In Professor George Davidson's paper on Drake's landing 
point there is a note that Drake gave the Indians an English 
dog, some pigs and seeds of several kinds of grain, which they 
planted. If this is correct, the first English grain was sown in 
North America in 1579; now behold the enormous tonnage Cali- 
fornia and Oregon are yearly sending to the mother country. 

Captain Bartholomew Gosnold's expedition to New England 
in 1602 (23 years later) planted English grain seed on Cutty- 
hunk Island, off the New Bedford Coast, Mass. This fact is 
reported by my kinsman, John Brereton, the historian of this 


expedition, to Sir Walter Raleigh in 1602. I have presented a 
facsimile, in black letter, of this report to the Portland Public 

I trust this brief collection of facts in regard to Drake's 
voyage along the coasts of California and Oregon, and the only 
one landing made by him, may prove interesting and instructive 
to all Oregonians who are, or may become, desirous of such 
reliable information. Though Oregonians may not claim Drake 
as the first discoverer of Oregon, they may appreciate the epitaph 
on his ocean-grave, which was written by a poet of the seven- 
teenth century : 

"The waves became his winding sheet ; the waters were his tomb ; 
But for his fame, the ocean sea was not sufficient room." 


Woodstock, Oregon, June, 1907. 


Cartd particokrc dello stretto di 
lezo fta lAmenca el'Isok lezo 



om DeH'Awflno dif /law ai 
Dudleo Dwca di Norfwmlri'a e Confe A 
Warvicfi Ulri Sti. 1646-1647. 

The Famous Voyage of Sir Francis Drake 
in the South Sea, and There Hence 
About the Whole Globe of the Earth, 
Begun in the Yeere of Our Lord, 1577. 

From "The Principal! Navigations of the English Nation, by 
Richard Hakluyt. (page 643) London,, 

"The 5th day of June, being in 42 degrees towards the pole 
Arctike, we founde the aire so colde, that our men being gree- 
vously pinched with the same, complained of the extremitie 
thereof, and the further we went, the more the colde increased 
upon us. Whereupon we thought it best for that time to seeke 
the land, and did so, finding it not mountainous but lowe plaine 
land, clad and covered over with snowe, so that we drewe back 
againe uithout landing, till we came within 38 degrees towards 
the line. In which height it pleased God to send us into a faire 
and good baye, with a good wind to enter the same." 

(Page 440) "In this bay wee ankered the seventeenth of 
June, and the people of the countery, having their houses close 
by the waters side, shewed themselves unto us, and sent a present 
to our Generall." 

(Note. At page 737 of the same Vol. 3 is another account 
from which the above seems to have been taken. A similar ac- 
count to the above occurs in "Hakluytus Posthumus, or Purchas 
his Pilgrimes," chap, iii, p. 135.) 



A contemporary medallion commemorative of Drake's Great 
Voyage, 1577-80. 

By Miller Christy, London, 1900. 

(This map is 70 millimetres (about 2 4-5ths of an inch) in diam- 
eter. A dotted line, against which ships in full sail and several 
legends are placed, indicates the route followed by Drake. The 
author of the book assumes the map to have been produced in 1581, 
the year following that of Drake's return. Only three copies are 
known to exist, two of them being in the British Museum.) 

" Drake continued sailing northward until contrary winds 
and severe cold decided him to return home round the world 
by way of the Moluccas and the Cape of Good Hope. The dotted 
line on the map makes it appear that he had reached the latitude 
of about 48 deg. N. before thus turning back coasting next 
southward, in order to find a harbor in which to refit his ship 
for the voyage across the Pacific, Drake, in June, 1579, entered 
what is now the Bay of San Francisco. There he remained sev- 
eral weeks, taking possession, in the Queen's name, of the adja- 
cent country, which he called Nova Albion on July 23 (1579) 
Drake left the Bay of San Francisco." 

Narrative Drawn From Declarations which John 
Drake, Englishman, Being a Prisoner in Lima, 
Gave of the Voyage Which his Cousin, Francis 
Drake, Made to the South Sea, Through the 
Straights of Magellan in the Year 1580 (?), 
Till his Return to England, Etc., Before the 
Inquisitor at Lima, 1581. 

" They then shaped their course by northeast and north 
northeast and proceeded 1000 leagues as far as latitude 44 
deg., always on the bowling. Afterwards they tacked about 
and went to California and discovered land in 48 deg.( ?), where 
they landed in order to take up their quarters, and remained 
there a month and a half repairing their ship and taking in her sea 
provisions which were mareleones (seals?) and wolves." (From 
translated narrative in "The Western Antiquary," Plymouth, 
November, 1888, p. 83.) 


(The celebrated Navigator John Davis, born at Sandridge, Dev- 
onshire, in 1550, in his World's Hydrographical Description, pub- 
lished in 1595, asserts that): 

"And after Syr Fraunces was entred into the South Seas he 
coasted all the westerne shores of America, until he came into 
the septentrionall latitude of forty-eight degrees; being on the 
backe side of Newfoundland, and from thence shaping his course 
towards Asia, etc." 


Carefully collected out of the Notes of Master Francis Fletcher, 
Preacher in his (Drake's) employment, and divers others his follow- 
ers in the same, &c. (By Francis Drake, Junior). London, 1628. 

"From Guatulco we departed the day following, viz., Aprill 
1 6, setting our course directly into the sea, whereon we say led 


500 leagues in longitude, to get a winde : and between that and 
June 3 ; 1400 leagues in all, till we came into 42 deg. of north 
latitude, where in the night following we found such alteration 
of heat, into extreame and nipping cold, that our men in gen- 
erall did grievously complaine thereof it came to that extremity 
in sayling but 2 deg. farther to the northward in our course; 
though sea-men lack not good stomaches, yet it seemed a ques- 
tion to many amongst us, whether their hands should feed their 
mouthes, or rather keep themselves within their couverts from 
the pinching cold that did benumme them. The land in that 
part of America, bearing farther out into the West, than we 
before imagined, we were neerer on it than we were aware, and 
yet the neerer still we came unto it, the more extremity of cold 
did seaze upon us. The 5th day of June, we were forced by 
contrary winds to rune in with the shore, which we then first 
described ; and to cast anchor in a bad bay, the best roade we 
could for the present meete with. In this place was no abiding 
for us ; and to go further north, the extremity of the cold (which 
had now utterly discouraged our men) would not permit us; 
and the winds directly bent against us, having once gotten us 
under sayl againe, commanded to the southward whether we 
would or no. From the height of 48 deg., in which now we 
were, to 38, we found the land, by coasting alongst it, to bee but 
low and reasonable plaine; every hill (whereof we saw many, 
but none verie high), though it were in June, and the sunne in 
its neerest approach unto them, being covered with snow. In 
38 deg. 30 min. we fell with a convenient and fit harborough 
(sic) and June 17 came to anchor therein, where we continued 
till the 23d day of July following though we searched the 
coast diligently, even unto the 48 deg. yet found we not the 
land to trend so much as one point in any place towards the 
east, but rather running on continually northwest, as if it went 
directly to meet Asia After that our necessary businesses were 
well dispatched, our Generall, with his gentlemen and many of 
his company, made a journey up into the land, to see the manner 
of their (Indians) dwelling This country our Generall named 
Albion, and that for two causes ; the one in respect of the white 
bancks and cliffs, which lie towards the sea ; the other that it 
might have some affinity, even in name also, with our own 
country, which was sometime so called Before we went from 


thence, our Generall caused to be set up a monument of our 
being there, as also of her maiesties and successors right and title 
to that kingdome ; namely a plate of brasse, fast nailed to a 
great and firme poste ; whereon is engraven her graces name, and 
the day and yeare of our arrivall there together with her high- 
nesse picture and armes, in a piece of six-pence currant English 
monie The 23 of July they (the Indians) tooke a sorrowfull 
farewell of us Not far without this harborough (sic) did lie 
certaine Hands (we called them the Islands of Saint James) 
We departed again the day next following, viz., July 25 and 
our Generall now bent his course directly runne with the Hands 
of the Moluccas." 



ELIZABETHA, 1615. (pp. 424, 425.) 

-"Drake then tooke his way toward the north, at the lati- 
tude of 42 degrees, to discover in that part if there were any 
straight, by which he might find a neerer way to returne ; but 
discerning nothing but darke and thicke cloudes, extremity of 
cold and open cliffes covered thicke with snow, he landed at 
the 38 degree, and having found a commodious Rode, remained 
there a certaine time." 


p. 348 "Dariiber schiffete er von dem 16 Aprilis an, biss auff den 3' 

Junii. Befand aber den 5 Juni, unter dem 42 grad, nach dem Polo Arctico 
ein solche Kalte, dass sein Volck dieselbige nicht mehr vertragen kunt, 
ward derhalben benotiget ein Land zu suchen, und fand ein eben Land, 
aber weil es gantz mit schnee bedeckt, landete er daselbst nicht an, sondern 
schiffte weiter unter den 38. grad der lini, allda er ein schonen Meerbusen 
fand, und warff sein ancker aus. ' ' 

p. 442. "Den 17 Februarii 1579 befunden sie sich vor Acapulco, in New 
Hispanien, von dannen als sie abgesegelt, kamen sie iiber etliche Zeit unter 
den 43. Grad der Hohe, da sie denn eine so grosse Kalte der Lufft be- 
funden, dass sie sich kaum und mit grosser Miihe wiederumb zu erwarmen 
vermocht. Darnach kamen sie in einen schonen Meer Hafen von America, 
New Albion genannt, unter dem 38. Grad." 



"En 1579, apparut sur les bords occidentaux de la Nouvelle Espagne, Sir 
Francis Drake, qui, apres avoir deVaste" la cote de Guatemala, courut droit 
au nord jusqu'au 45 e ou 46 e de"gre". 

Sa rapprochant de terre, il mouilla dans un petite baie qu'il ne de"signe 
pas, et ou il lui fut impossible de se maintenir. II se vit alors contraint de 
redescendre jusqu'au J?8 e degre" ou il jeta 1'ancre dans le port de los Reyes, 
situe" entre ceux de San Francisco et de la^Bodega. 

Drake n'eut pas connaissance de ces deux derniers, et bien qu'il soit 
arrive" en California t4ente-sept ans aprs Cabrillo. Les Anglais n'ont pas 
craint de donner a tout le pays le nom de Nouvelle-Albion, cherchant 
ainsi a s'attribuer 1'honneur de la de"couverte." 


" atte"rit a la Cote Nord-Ouest de 1'Ame'rique a la hauteur de 

48 de"gre"s, a laquelle aucun Navigateur spagnol n'e"tait encore par- 
venu; cotoya la terre en redescent, jnsqu'a 37 d Ogre's, a 38 de'gre's % de 
latitude, de"couerit le Port, ou il se*journa, et qui a conserve* son nom, 
imposa celui de New Albion a tout le contre"e dont il pris possession 
solennellement au nom d' Elizabeth, etc." 

By Robert Greenhow. 1845. 

(Pp. 74, etc.) With regard to the harbor on the North Pacific 
side of America, in which Drake repaired his vessel, nothing 
can be learned from the accounts of his expedition which have 
been published, except that it was situated about the 38th degree 
of latitude, and that a cluster of small islets lay in the ocean, at 
a short distance from its mouth, which description will apply 
equally to the Bay of San Francisco, and to the Bay of Bodega, 
a few leagues farther north. 

As to the extent of the portion of the northwest coast of 
America seen by Drake, the accounts differ. Before examining 
them, it should be first observed, that, from the great navigator 
himself nothing whatsoever has descended to us, either as writ- 
ten by him, or as reported by others on his authority, respecting 
his voyage in the North Pacific, on the circumstances of which, 


all the information is derived from two narratives the one pro- 
ceeding entirely from a person who had accompanied Drake in 
his expedition, and published in 1589, during the life of the 
hero, the other compiled from various accounts, and not given 
to the world until the middle of the following century. 

In the first mentioned of those narratives, called the famous 
voyage from which the preceding quotations are made, the 
vessel is represented as being in the forty-third degree of latitude 
on the fifth of June, when it was determined to seek the land; 
but on what day, or in what latitude, the coast was discovered, 
is not stated. 

In the other narrative called the "World Encompassed," it 
is declared that the vessel was in latitude 42 degrees on the 
third of June, and that, on the fifth of the same month, she 
anchored near the land of America, in a "bad bay," in latitude 
of forty-eight degrees, from which being soon driven by the 
violence of the winds, she ran along the coast, southward, to 
the harbor where she was refitted. 

Thus the two accounts differ as to the vessel's position on 
the fifth of June, on which day it is rendered probable, from 
both, that the land was first seen. Hakluyt, whc took great 
interest in all that related to the west coast of North America, as 
well as to Drake, gives the 43d parallel, in many places in his 
works, the northern limit of his countrymen's discoveries ; and 
the same opinion is maintained by Camden, Purchas, De Laet, 
Ogilby, Heylin, Locke, Dr. Johnson, and every other author who 
wrote on the subject before the middle of the last century 
except the two following: The celebrated navigator John Davis, 
in his "World's Hydrographical Discovery," published in 1595, 
asserts that, "after Sir Francis Drake was entered into the 
South Sea, he coasted all the western shores of America, until 
he came to the septentrional latitude of 48 degrees" ; this asser- 
tion, however, carries with it its own refutation, as it is nowhere 
else pretended that Drake saw any part of the west coast of 
Amrica between the I7th degree of latitude and the 38th. Sir 
William Monson, another great naval authority of that age, de- 
clares in his Tracts, first printed in 1702, that, "from the i6th 
of April to the I5th of June, Drake sailed without seeing land, 


and arrived in 48 degree, thinking to find a passage into our 
seas" ; but, unfortunately for Sir William's consistency he main- 
tained, in many other parts of his Tracts, that "Cape Mendocino 
(near the 4Oth parallel) is the farthest land discovered," and 
"the farthermost known land." 

In the Life of Sir Francis Drake, published in 1750, in 
the Biographia Britannica, the opinion that he discovered the 
American coast to the 48th degree was again brought forward, 
and it has been since admitted generally by British writers. 
Burvey, who has examined the question at length in his History 
of Voyages in the South Sea, published in 1803, pronounces that 
"the part of the coast discovered by Drake is to be reckoned as 
beginning immediately to the north of Cape Mendocino, and 
extending to 48 degrees of north latitude," on the authority of 
the "World Encompassed," especialy of the assertion in that 
narrative that the "English searched the coast diligently even 
unto the 48th degree, yet they found not the land to trend so 
much as one point, in any place, towards the east." Burney, 
however, with his usual want of candor, omits to quote the 
remainder of the sentence "but rather running on continually 
northwest, as if it went directly to meet with Asia," Hell know- 
ing that it destroyed the value of the evidence in the first part, 
for the west coast of America nowhere, between ihe 4Oth and 
the 48th degrees of latitude, runs northwest, its course being 
nearly due north. Lastly, Barrow, in his Life and Times of Sir 
Francis Drake, which appeared in 1843, presents his hero as 
the discoverer of the west coast of America from the 38th to 
the 48th parallels, without giving the slightest intimation that 
any doubt on the subject had ever existed or could exist. 

To conclude, the "World Encompassed" is the only direct 
authority for the belief that Drake, in 1579, discovered the west 
coast of America as far north as the 48th degree of latitude. 
In examining the particulars of that account, we find that, be- 
tween the ist and the 5th of June, in two days, the English 
vessel sailed through six degrees of latitude, northward, with 
the wind blowing constantly and violently from that very quarter 
a rate of sailing which could scarcely be obtained at the pres- 
ent time under similar circumstances. We, moreover, learn, 


that, during the whole period in which the latitudes are given 
thus positively, the heavens were obscured by thick fogs, and 
the vessel constantly agitated by storms, in either of which cases 
alone, no observations worthy of reliance could have been made 
with the instruments then in use. When we also take into con- 
sideration the direct falsehoods, in the same narrative, respect- 
ing the cold in that part of the Pacific, which is represented as 
so intense, during the months of June and July, that meat was 
frozen as soon as taken from the fire, and ropes and sails were 
stiffened by ice, we may safely conclude that further evidence is 
requisite to establish the certainty that Drake, in 1579, saw any 
part of the west coast of North America which had not been 
seen by the Spaniards in 1543. 


By George Davidson, pp. 194, 195. 

"The bay was formerly known as Sir Francis Drake's Bay. 
This is the Puerto de San Francisco of the Spaniards as far 
back as 1595. It has been a question whether Sir Francis Drake 
anchored and "trimmed" his ship in this bay or in San Francisco 
Bay ; a careful weighing of evidence is clearly adverse to its 
being in the latter. (See remarks on San Francisco and also see 
"Early voyages of discovery and exploration on the northwest 
coast of America from 1539 to 1603"; Superintendent's Annual 
Report, Appendix No. 7, 1886.) 

The Nicasio Indians are said to have a tradition that Drake 
landed at Drake's Bay. He left a dog, some pigs, seeds of sev- 
eral kinds of grain, and some biscuits, which the natives planted ! 
Some of his men deserted, and mixed with the tribes adjacent. 
On an old Spanish chart there is a little indentation of the 
coast-line about the latitude of Point Reyes which is designated 
"Bahia de S. Francisco Drak." 


(Page 363.) 

"Sir Francis Drake approached the coast of California on 
the 3d of June, 1579, about latitude 42 deg. and sailed two 
( /^Joagu'cs farther ( ?in the same latitude) until June 5th, when the 
winds drove the vessel towards the shore which thev first de- 
scribed, and anchored in a bay much exposed to the winds and 
flaws, and when they ceased there instantly followed thick, 
stinking fogs, which nothing but the wind could remove, and 
that was always violent." Of course it may be questioned 
whether the bay was in the vicinity of Chetco or as far north 
as Port Orford. Nevertheless, an examination of the narrative 
and of the Hondius map of 1595, leave little or no doubt in the 
matter, especially as the map has the Saint George's Reef laid 
down just under the latitude where he anchored. The geograph- 
ical position of the extremity of Chetco Point is Lat. 42 deg. 02 
min. 34 sec. 


By J. S. Corbett, 1898, Vol. i, p. 306, note. 

"The authorized narrative, Molyneux, and John Drake all 
give 48 deg. as the highest latitude reached. Molyneux, how- 
ever, is not a high authority. Though he professes to mark- 
Drake's course on his globe, it is very inaccurately done and he 
did not even know how to spell Drake's name. He writes it 
Draek in the Dutch fashion, although it was after his knighthood. 
Pretty gives 43 deg. As we have seen, he also is a bad authority, 
but Professor Davidson, of the United States Coast and Geodetic 
Survey and author of the Coast Pilot for California, etc., the 
most learned authority on the point, inclines to believe he is 
right (see report, 1886, app. No. 7, and his Identification of 
Sir Francis Drake's Anchorage, etc.). He grounds his opinion, 
as he kindly informs me, on the fact that Drake on June 3 
reached 42 deg., and that when he struck the cold nor 'wester 
he could not have beaten up against it to 48 deg. "in two days 


from June 3 to 5." But here there seems a misapprehension. 
The cold did not come on till the "night following" their reach- 
ing 42 deg., and was not unendurable till they had sailed two 
degrees higher (authorized narrative). Drake after this encour- 
aged them to proceed, and it was not till the 5th that the wind 
came northwest and they gave it up. As they had sailed on an 
average thirty leagues a day since leaving Guatulco (i. e. 1400 
leagues from April 16 to June 3), there is no reason why they 
should not sail with a fair wind six degrees, i. e. 120 leagues, 
from June 3 to 5 inclusive. Professor Davidson also relies on 
Hondius' map. Off California Hondius places an asterisk with 
this note: "Hie prae injenti frigore in Austrum reverti coactus. 
Lat. 42 die 5 Junii." The asterisk, writes the professor, is 
marked "at the northwest terminus of a reef, the "Dragon Rocks" 
of Vancouver, in lat. 42 deg. 49 min. This, again, seems to be 
a mistake. The asterisk is placed not at the end of a reef (the 
map is much too small to show one), but well out to sea at 
the end of a row of dots that represent Drake's course. "This," 
the professor continues, "confirms the several assertions that he 
reached 43 deg. and that he found his anchorage in 42 deg." 
But Hondius expressly says he was turned back in 42 deg., not 
in 43 deg. The only original authority for the 43 deg. is Pretty. 
Dudley, who professes to have had it from Drake, in his Arcano 
del Mare, 1647, places the anchorage in 43 deg. 30 min. There 
seems then to be no authority whatever, not even Hondius, for 
the professor's identification of the anchorage, as at Chetco Bay 
under Cape Ferrels in 42 deg. 01 min. 


By H. S. Burrage, New York, 1906. 

Note on page 155. "Professor George Davidson, of the 
United States Coast and Geodetic Survey, after a careful study 
of the narrative and the coast (voyages of discovery and ex- 
ploration on the northwest coast of America from 1539 to 


1603, Washington, Government Printing Office, 1887, pp. 214- 
218), identifies the harbor entered by Drake with Drake's Bay. 
under Point Reyes, about thirty miles north of San Francisco. 
''Drake's Bay," he says, "is a capital harbor in northwest winds, 
such as Drake encountered. It is easily entered, sheltered bv 
high lands, and a vessel may anchor in three fathoms, close 
under the shore in good holding ground If he had been in- 
side the Estero Limantour, of which he could not have detected 
the entrance from his vessel, he would necessarily have been 
very close to either shore. And had he seen it, he would not 
have dared to enter it without sounding it out. It has only 
thirteen feet of water on the bar at the highest tides, and he 
would not have hazarded his vessel in entering such a doubtful 
anchorage. Nor would he have risked the possibility of attack 
from the Indians in such a contracted place. He doubtless 
anchored in Drake's Bay, and the reef in his plan represents 
in a crude manner the reef of the eastermost point of Point 
Reyes Head. In a rough sketch of his anchorage it is called 
Portus Novae Albionis. 

On the other hand Edward Everett Hale, in his Citical Essay 
on Drake's Bay, in Winsor's Narrative and Critical History of 
America, Vol. iii., p. 74-78, identifies the "convenient and fit 
harbor," which Drake entered, with San Francisco Bay. The 
consensus of opinion among scholars on the Pacific Coast at 
the present time, however, is said to be in favor of Drake's Bay, 
and such is also the view expressed by Mr. Corbett in his 
"Drake and the Tudor Navy." 




Mr. William Friedlander, jeweler and occulist, of Portland, 
Oregon, has kindly furnished me with the following English 
of De Bry's German, and of Duflot de Mofras's French: 

(Page 348.) "After this they sailed from the i6th of April 
to the 3d of June. On the 5th of June they found themselves 
under the 42 degree northern latitude, in such a cold temperature 
that his people could not stand it, and so they found themselves 
obliged to find land. They found a level land, but as it was en- 
tirely covered with snow, they did not land there, but sailed down 
to the 38 degree, where they found a nice bay, and they cast 

(Page 442.) "On the iyth of February, 1579, they found 
themselves before Acapulco in New Spain from there after 
sailing a long time they came to the 43 degree N. L., where 
they met such severe cold weather that they could keep warm 
only with great effort. After that they came to a very nice bay 
of America (called New Albion) under the 38 degree." 


"In 1579 Sir Francis Drake appeared on the coast of 'New 
Spain' and after having devastated the coast of Guatemala he 
sailed straight north up to the 45 or 46 degree. Nearing land 
he landed in a small bay which he does not describe further and 
where it was impossible for him to stay. He found himself 
compelled to go back to Port Reyes, situated between the ports 
of San Francisco and Bodega. Drake did not know anything 
about the last two, although he arrived there 37 years later than 
'Cabrillo.' The English were not afraid to name this whole 
country 'New Albion,' trying by this to claim the honor of its 

"He reached the N. W. coast of America and sailed up to 
the 48 degree N. up to where no Spanish navigator had reached, 
and sailed near the coast, and sailing down again to the 37th 
degree, at 3814 degree he discovered a port where he remained 


some time and which has retained his name. He named the 
whole country 'New Albion' and took possession of it in the 
name of 'Elizabeth'." 

Notes by R. M. B. Juan Rodrigues Cabrillo sailed from the 
Port de Navidad (modern Port au Prince) of the Island of 
Haiti, on the 27th of June, 1543, and reached the coast of Cali- 
fornia and Oregon in March, 1544: he was really the first dis- 
coverer of that coast. He coasted it as far north as Lat. 44 deg. 
He gave the name Mendocino to the cape in honor of his patron 
who sent him, Mendosa, the first Viceroy of New Spain. He 
described the mountains around the cape as covered with snow : 
he placed it in Lat. 40 deg. N., which is very near what it is. 
He missed finding San Francisco Bay on his first voyage in 1544 
and again in his second voyage in 1545. Near the parallel of 
San Francisco Bay he saw some hills covered with trees, which 
he called Port of San Martin. 

In Lat. 40 deg. N. he met with such extreme cold in March 
that he had to return south. This was 35 years before Drake's 
voyage through the same latitudes ; so that though Drake found 
the cold so severe in the beginning of June between 43 deg. and 
48 deg. latitude, it may be that Greenhow's criticism about the 
cold experienced is not a just one. It may be that a much 
colder cycle prevailed in those latitudes in the sixteenth century 
than what has been known by white men since. It may be that 
the Japan gulf stream had a more western direction in the six- 
teenth century, which would have made the coast climate of 
Oregon and Northern California colder. Earthquakes and alter- 
ations therefrom in the level of the ocean bed would probably 
cause diversions in the general course of this stream. 

San Francisco Bay was not discovered by the Spaniards until 
1769, when an exploring party (probably originating from Cibola, 
now located in Western New Mexico) travelling overland, dis- 
covered the southern and eastern shores of this Bay. But it was 
not until 1776 (195 years after Drake's visit) that the Spaniards 
discovered the connexion of the Bay, at the Golden Gate, with 
the Pacific Ocean. 

The description given in Hakluyt of Drake's landing in Cali- 

fornia, and of his friendly relations with the Indians forms one 
of the most pleasing episodes in the historical records of Anglo- 
American relations. 

It describes the then habitations of the Indians ; as being round 
holes or dug-outs covered with earth, rushes (tules) and grass ; 
the entrance to which was made "slopous like the skuttle to a 
ship." It tells about the thousands of deer he saw ; the vast num- 
bers of "coneys" or pouched rats (gophers and ground squirrels), 
the whole country being "a warren of them." It relates his won- 
der at seeing so many wild horses, because he had heard that the 
Spaniards had found no native horses in America ; save those of 
the Arab breed which they had introduced. 

At the time of Drake's visit, the farthest points north on land 
that the Spaniards had reached were Cibola in New Mexico and 
the Sonora region of Mexico. These regions had been explored 
by Juan Vasques de Coronado with a small cavalry troop in 
I S4 1 5 38 years prior to Drake's landing in 1579. 

The late greatly esteemed Oregonian, Thomas Condon, Ph. 
D. of the State University at Eugene, has furnished us a most 
interesting description of the very ancient progenitors of the 
present native Oregon horse the cayuse in his charming book, 
"The Two Islands and What Came of Them," (printed by the 
Irwin-Hodson Co. and published by the J. K. Gill Co., of Port- 
land), which seems fully to explain why Drake found native 
horses in California. 



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