Historiography of Quest for Drake’s West Coast Landfall

Historiography of Quest for Drake’s West Coast Landfall

By Published On: February 17, 2024


Two books provide the most background about the search for the site of Drake’s landing on the West Coast of North America:

  • Hanna, Warren L., Lost Harbor: The Controversy over Drake’s California Anchorage, Berkeley, University of California Press, 1979.  Lost Harbor provides good background on Drake’s West Coast landing, though is California-centric and a bit dated.  Lost Harbor is out of print, but is available used online.
  • Darby, Melissa, Thunder Go North, The Hunt for Sir Francis Drake’s Fair & Good Bay, University of Utah Press, Salt Lake City, 2019. Thunder Go North, though not as detailed as Lost Harbor, provides other perspectives of the mystery of Drake’s landfall, in particular questioning California’s claims to the site.  This book is also available online.

Advocates’ websites and social media (see “Site Advocate…” post following) also provide historiographical information.


  1. G. Gitzen February 26, 2024 at 1:52 pm - Reply

    Anything connected with Berkeley is incestuous beginning with Professor George Davidson, Admiral Nimitz after his retirement in late 1940s, Bolton, Heizer. Melissa’s book is an attempt to indict Bolton for making the plate. Heizer lost favor of the Guild in 1979 when he said Drake landed in SF Bay and ‘we know very little’.

  2. G. Gitzen February 26, 2024 at 1:54 pm - Reply

    If you want the true story “Francis Drake in Nehalem Bay 1579, Setting the Historical Record Straight” is in a number of libraries and amazon.

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