Fresh Light on Drake and Company’s Sojourn on the West Coast of America in 1579

Author(s): Melissa Darby

Year: 2014


The Drake Anchorage Research Collaboration (DARC) is revisiting the question of where on the west coast of North America Drake and Company careened the Golden Hinde and camped for five weeks during the summer of 1579. Though Drake’s logs and charts are lost, we have several contemporary accounts and documents that provide a picture of conditions at the landing. Drake and company built an enclosed camp on the shore and spent 37 days repairing their ship and preparing for the voyage across the Pacific Ocean. Convergent archaeological, ethnographic, and linguistic evidence that suggests that Drake may, in fact, have landed at Whale Cove, along the central Oregon coast, rather than in California. A new study of the linguistic data by linguist John Lyon (UBC) found that there are some compelling and plausible matches between Native Oregon languages on the coast and the words and phrases Drake’’s crew recorded. Some of the matches are linguistically as-close-to or stronger than the Coast Miwok correspondences suggested by Heizer (1947). In light of these findings, ethnographic, archaeological and cartographic evidence will be examined and correspondences discussed.

Cite this Record

Fresh Light on Drake and Company’s Sojourn on the West Coast of America in 1579. Melissa Darby. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. 2014 ( tDAR id: 436575)

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Contact(s): Society for Historical Archaeology

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): SYM-4,05