U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey.

Methods and results : voyages of discovery and exploration on the northwest coast of America from 1539 to 1603 : Appendix No. 7--Report for 1886 online

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Online LibraryU.S. Coast and Geodetic SurveyMethods and results : voyages of discovery and exploration on the northwest coast of America from 1539 to 1603 : Appendix No. 7--Report for 1886 → online text (page 1 of 12)
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Cornell University

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FROM 1539 TO 1603




1 887








FROM 1639 TO 1603






Page 156, line 30: For seventy, read seventy-one.
Page 160, column 1, line 7 refers to line 5 column 2.
Page 190, column 1, line 15: For las, read los.

Page 210, column 1, line 3 from bottom: For four or five, read three.
Page 212, column 1, line 13: For four or five, read three.

Page 216, column 1, lines 5, 4, 3 from bottom should read: "Foeda corporum laoeratione et crebris in
montibus sacrificijs, hujus Novae A.lbionis portus incol^e, Draci, jam bis corouati, decefsum deflent."
Page 222, column 1, bufore first line insert: £1 Gabo de Finos, Ferrelo, 40°. Feb., Mar., 1543.
Page 222, column 1. line 20, add: (See p. 228.)

Page 222, column 1, line 12: For deck, read deck*, and for foot note, insert: * See explanation, page 234.
Page 223, column 1, line 9, insert: Baia de.

Page 224, column 1, line 3 from bottom: For Carpofero, read Garpdforo.
Page 226, column 1, line 25: After p. insert 206.
Page 228, column 1, line 4 from bottom, add: (See p. 222.)
Page 236, column 1, before the 9th line from bottom insert:
El Puerto de San Sebastian, Gabrillo.
Johnson's Lee. (See p. 238.)
Page 238, column 1, after line 22 insert :

Fl Puerto de San Sebastian, Gabrillo.
Johnson's Lee, latitude 33° 57 J^'. (See p. 236.)
This is an anchorage just east of South Point, under the south-southeast shore of Santa
Bosa Island, and the first shelter the vessel would reach after running through the
San Miguel Passage. Anchorage in the narrow kelp field in seven fathoms of water.
Pages 246, 247. After the last lines add: No. 71, Mar. 5-8, 1543; El Puerto de San Sebastian, F's
Consort: Johnson's Lee, 33° 57^': Anchorage under the south-southeast shore of Santa Bosa
Page 247: In the column of Bemarks on line No. 64, for 3^, read 3.
Page 249, column 1: In lines 5 and 6, delete, etc., and in Evans' (and Henshaw's), and insert: and

Page 249, column 2: After Gabrillo, insert, Gavendisb 162.
Page 250, column 1, lines 23 and 27, for Limancdurt, read Limantour.
Page 250, column 1 : After line 50, insert, Johnson's Lee, 236, 238.
Page 250, column 2: After line 28, insert, El Puerto de San Sebastian, 236, 238.

Sam Feahoisco, Galifornia, May 22, 1888.

Appendix No. 7—1886.


By Prof. &EORGrE! D^-S^IDSON, A.. DOi., Ph.D.
Assistant U. S. Coast and Geodetic Survey.


During my work ou the Pacific coast of tbe United States since the spring of 1850 1 became
deeply interested in the discoveries and explorations of the early Spanish navigators who had
followed the coast from Oape San Lucas to Alaska. Part of my duty consisted in the determina-
tion of the latitude and longitude of the headlands, islands, rocks, harbors, rivers, &c., and in
the geographical reconnaissance of the shores from the Mexican boundary to the forty-ninth
parallel. While in command of the surveying brig K. H. Fauntleroy, I entered (in addition to my
regular duties) upon the self-imposed task of writing a Coast Pilot for California, Oregon, and
Washington Territory, and I have nearly completed the fourth edition of that work. Very natu-
rally, my early interest in the old explorations became intensified, and I made many special ex-
aminations of the narratives , and their application to supposed localities. I think I have been
able to reconcile many of the discrepancies of the old Spanish, English, American, and French
navigators. Their inaccuracies arose principally from "constant" errors of their instruments,
ignorance of the coast currents, errors of judgment in estimating distances, &c. Among the'
Spanish discoverers, the meagerness of detailed descriptions, a failure to seize the salient points
for the determining of their positions, the want of minute accuracy in most of their plans — some-
times giving weight to general features and sometimes to details without distinction — and a lean-
, ing to exaggerate certain discoveries and to completely overlook others, have much involved the
locating of many of their landfalls, headlands, mountains, and streams. The minuteness of re-
cord in Cook and Vancouver, of comparatively recent date, has enabled me to follow their tracks
day by day and to correct their positions by personal knowledge of the localities described j. but
whilst giving these great men the fullest credit for surveys unparalleled before or since (when all
the attendant circumstances are considered), I cannot withhold my admiration for the indomita-
ble courage and perseverance of the old Spanish navigators, who, in small, ill-conditioned, and ill-
supplied vessels, with crews nearly destroyed by scurvy, fought their way to the wildest parts of
the Alaskan coast almost regardless of season. "There were giants in the earth in those days."
The records of such of these voyages as are published are too short to be of much more value
than isolated statbments of what was done; and the inaccuracy of the observations for the deter-
mination of the geographical positions has led many to judge that all were touched with the
spirit of Maldonado, de Fonte, and de Fuca. But with the present knowledge of our coast it is
possible to locate TJlloa; to track Cabrillo and Ferrelo in their discoveries in midwinter ; to place
Drake under Cape Ferrelo and Point Eeyes, and to fix with certainty the most of Vizcaino's,
positions. Later than 1603 I have not undertaken identification in this paper, except to incident-
ally mention Father Taraval's visit to Point Eugeuio, and his landing upon Natividad and Cerros


Islauds. I was particularly interested in the voyages of Cabrillo and Ferrelo, and I have
endeavored to put myself in their places ; and understanding the seasons and the difficulties
they encountered, I have tried to follow them day by day in their exciting discoveries.

I have based my narrative of Cabrillo . upon the condensed and unsatisfying chapters in
Herrera (B), and have corrected several mistakes and deciphered one or two obscure passages.

Of the narrative supposed to embrace the whole voyage of Cabrillo and Ferrelo, I have freely
used the translation made by Mr. Richard Stuart Evans as printed with introductory remarks by
Mr. H. W. Henshaw (H), but in critical passages where important issues were involved I have
examined the original (C) and made my own translations.

Of the voyage of Ulloa, I have had recourse to the short narrative given in Burney and trans-
lated from (A).

Of the voyage by Drake, I have collated from the "English Hero" (D), and the "World
Encompassed" (B), with reference to the Portus Novae Albionis in the margin of Hondius' map;
and to this map I have reduced the Coast Survey chart of the vicinity of Drake's Bay to cor-
respond in scale and in orientation, whereby I have identified his bay.

In the voyage of Vizcaino I first trusted to the English translation of Yenegas' narrative, but
I found it so uncertain in critical positions that I had recourse to the original (F) ; and I have used
Vizcaino's chart of the coast exhibited in Burney, Part II of his series of volumes of Voyages and
Discoveries (G).

For details of some of the jjoints and anchorages south of Todos Santos Bay I have used
the Coast Survey charts of 1874 and the descriptions of the " West Coast of Mexico, from the
Northern Boundary," published by the Hydrographic Bureau of the United States Navy (I).

To preserve accuracy and consistency of description on the coast north of Mexico, I have
referred to the manuscript of the fourth edition of the " Coast Pilot of California, Oregon, and
Washington" (J), and constantly to the charts of the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey.

The full titles of these authorities are appended to this intro'd action with the reference letters.

In order to present as clearly as practicable the descriptions of localities by the different
navigators, I have drawn them up in three parallel columns, preserving in the case of Cabrillo and
Ferrelo the whole of their narratives. My notes and remarks have been placed in another column.
At the close I have added a condensed tabular statement of the names and positions of the seventy
places mentioned by Cabrillo and Ferrelo and which I have identified. In the narratives I have
occasionally added a note or condensed statement in brackets [ ].

In regard to the name " California," I extract the following note from tlie (California Coast
Pilot already referred to :

" The name California is first found in the worthless romance ' Las Sergas of Esplandian,
the son of Amadis of Gaul, written by Garcia Ardonez de Montalvo, the translator of the Amadis.
It was first printed in 1510, with editions in 1519, 1521, 1525, 1526 (two), 1575, 1587, and the recent
reprint of 1857.*

" The name appears in several passages, of which the following are given :

" ' Know that, on the right band of the Indies, very near to the Terrestrial Paradise, there is
an island called California, which was peopled with black women, without any men among them,
because they were accustomed to live after the fashion of Amazons.

" ' In this island called California are many Griffins, on account of the great savageness of the
country and the immense quantity of wild game found there.

" 'Now in the time that those great men of the Pagans sailed (against Constantinople) with
those great fleets of which I have told you, there reigned in this land of California a Queen, large
of body, very beautiful, in the prime of her years, &c.

" ' The name California next occurs in the memoirs of the 'Conquistador, Bernal Diaz del Cas-
tillo, who served with Cortes in the conquest of Mexico. He writes that "Cortes again set sail
from Santa Cruz and discovered the coast of California." Here Cortes remained for some time,
disheartened at the want of success of his various expeditions. The viceroy, Mendoza, dispatched

* The full title of the book is " Las Sergas del Mey Esforxado Cabalero Esplandian hijo del excelente re Amadis
de Gaula." _


a vessel under the command of Ulloa with letters to Cortes. " TJUoa had a most favorable voyage
and soon arrived in the harbor where Cortes lay at anchor. The letters of his wife and those of
his children, and of the viceroy, had so touch effect upon him that he gave the command of his
vessel to Ulloa, embarked for Acapulco, and when he had arrived there hastened to Quanhuahuac,
where his wife resided. * * * Shortly after, also, the troops arrived which had been left behind
in California."

" ' After a few months' repose Cortes sent out a more considerable expedition, under command
of Ulloa. " This armamentleft the harbor de la Kavidad in the month of June of one thousand five
hundred and thirty, and so many years— I forget the exact year."

" The California referred to above is thepeninsula of that name, generally known asLowerCali-
fornia, and the date 1535. They are the only times in which Diaz uses the name, (Cap. C. C.)

" In 1539 Francisco de Ulloa determined Lower California to be a peninsula. This fact appears
to have been subsequently forgotten, for it was called La Islade Las Oarolinas, in honor of Charles
11 of Spain, and late in the last century the charts .continued to delineate it as a great island
parallel to the continental coast.

"The name California was gradually used to designate the region from the Gulf of California
to the mythical " Straits of Aniau," (which were very probably Bering Straits).

"The country was called Few Albion by Sir Erancis Drake in 1579.

"In recent times the region north of San Diego was called Alta California, and that to the
south Baja California.' "

I cheerfully express my thanks to John T. Doyle, esq., aud to H. H. Bancroft, esq., of San
Francisco, for courtesies extended iu ray examination of some of the older authorities ; and to E.
J. Molera, esq., for assistance in rendering several old Spanish idiomatic phrases.

The principal works which I have consulted are —

(A) Tllloa. — There is no Spanish record or book of his explorations. The Italian account is iu
the Jihird volume of the Navigations and Voyages of Gio. Battista Eamusio, pp. 339-354, published
in Venice in 1865. It is published in English, in Hakluy t, Voyages III, pp. 397-424. The title is:

Ulloa. Eelatione della Scoprimento che uel nome di Dio va a far 1' armata dell' illustrissimo
Fernando Cortese, Marchese di Valle con tri Naui, chiamata 1' una Santa Agata, di Grandezza di
dugento quaranta botto, 1' altra, la Trinita, di grandezza di settanta e la terza San Tomaso, di
quarata, dellaquale armata su Capitano il molto Magniflco Caualiero Francesco di VLLOA habita-
tor della citta di Merida.

(B) Gdbrillo. — Historia General de los Hechos de los Castellauos en las Islas y Tierra Firme
del Mar Oceano, Escrita por Antonio de Herrera Coronista Mayor de Su Magestad de las Indias y
Coronista de Castilla y Leon Decada Setima al Eey Nuestro SerLor En Madrid en la OfBcina Eeal
de Nicolas Eodriguez Franco 1730. Con Privilegio de Su Majestad.

Libro Quiuto Oa]). 111. Del viaje que hicieron dos Navios, que embio Don Antonio de Men-
do§a a descubrir la Costa de la Mar del Sur, desde Nueva-Espaiia. Cap. IV. Que prosigue el
descubrimieuto de los dos Navios de Don Antonio de Mendoga por la Mar del Stid.

(Cj Ferrelo. — Collecion de varios documentos Para la" Historia de la Florida y tierras adyacentes.
Largas en fazafias 6 cortos en descrebillas. Tomo I. En la casa de Trilbner y Oompaiiia. Num.
60, Paternoster Eow, Londres. (Se han tirado 500 Ejamplases por Jos6 Eodriguez, Madrid, Ano
de 1857, p. 173. Mar del Sur. 1542. Eelaciou, 6 diario, de la Navegacion que hizo Juan Eodriguez
Cabrillo con dos Navios, al descubrimieuto del paso del Mar del Sur al Nortes desde 27 de Junio
de 1542 que Salio del puerto de Navidad, hasta 14 de Abril del Siguiente ario que se restituy6 a 61,
naviendo Uegado hasta el altura de 44 grados, con la descripcion de la Costa, puertos, ensanadas,
6 islas que reconoci6 y sus distancias, en la extension de toda aquella costa.

(D) DraTce. — The English Hero : or. Sir Francis Drake revived. Being a full account of the
dangerous Voyages, admirable Adventures, notable Discoveries, and magnanimous Athievements,
of that valiant and renowned Commander. I. His Voyages in 1572, to Nombre de Dios in the
West Indies, where they saw a Pile of silver Bars nearly 70 Feet long, 10 Feet broad, and 12 Feet
high. II. His encompassing the whole World in 1577, which he performed in two Years, and ten
Months, gaining a vast quantity of Gold and Silver. III. His vdyage into America in 1585, and
taking the towns of St. lago, St. Domingo, Carthagena, and St. Augustine. Also his worthy


actions when Vice Admiral of England in the Spanish Invasion, 1588. IV. His last voyage in
those Conntries, in 1595, with the manner of his Death and Burial. Eecommeuded to the Imitation
of all heroic Spirits. Enlarged and reduced into Chapters with Contents. ByE. B. The twelfth
Edition. Dublin: Prictcd for G. Golding at the King's Head in High-street, 1739.

(E) Drake. — The World Encompassed by Sir Francis Drake, Being his next voyage to that
to Nombre de Dios. Collated with an Unpublished Manuscript of Francis Fletcher, Chaplain to
the Expedition ; with appendices illustrative of the same Voyage, and Introduction, by W. S. Vaux
Esq. M. A., London : Printed for the Hakluyt Society, M.D.CCCLIV.

(P) Venegas. — Noticia de la California, y de su conquista temporal y espiritual hasta el tiempo
presenti, sacada de la Flistoria Manuscrita, formada en Mexico aiio de 1739, por el Padre Miguel
Venegas, de la Compania de Jesus : y de otras Noticias, y Relationes antiguas, y modernas : Ana-
dida de Algunos mapas particulares j y uno general de la America Septentrional, Assia Oriental,
y Mar del Sur intermedio, formados sobre las Memorias mas recientes, y exactas, que se publican
jnstamente: dedicada al EeyNtro. Senor por la Provincia de Nueva-Espana, de la Compaflia de
Jesus. Tomo Tercero. Con licencia En Madrid : En la Imprenta de la Viceda de Manual Fer-
nandez, y del Supremo Consejo de la Inquisicion, Afio de M.DCC.LVII.

(G) Burney.—A Chronological History of the Voyages and Discoveries in the South Sea or
Pacific Ocean. Part I. Commencing with an account of the earliest discovery of that Sea by
Europeans, and terminating with the Voyage of Sir Francis Drake, in 1579. Illustrated with Charts
by James Burney, Captain in the Eoyal Navy, London : printed by Luke Hansand, near Lincoln's-
lun-Fields, and sold by C. and W. Nicbol, Bookseller to His Majesty, Pall Mall; G. and J. Eobin-
son, Paternoster Eow; J. Eobson, New Bond Street; Mem's Gate; and Cadell and Davis, in the
Strand, 1803.

(H) Engineer Department U. 8. Army.— Report upon United States Geographical Surveys
west of the one hundredth meridian, in charge of First Lieutenant Geo. M. Wheeler, Corps of
Engineers, U. S. Army, under the direction of Brig. General A. A. Humphreys, Chief of Engi-
neers, U. S. Army. Published by authority of the Honorable Secretary of War, in accordance
with acts of Congress of June 23d, 1874, and February 15th, 1875, in several volumes, accompanied
by one topographical and one geological atlas. Vol. VII. Arcbseology, Washington : Government
Printing Office, 1879. (Appendix to Part I, Vol. VII, pp. 292-314.)

(I) No. 56 U. S. EydrograpMc Office— Bureau of Navigation. The West Coast of Mexico, from
the Boundary Line between the United States and Mexico to Cape Corrientes, including the Gulf
of California. Wfishington : Government Printing Office. 1880.

(J) United States Coaat and Geodetic Survey, F. M. Thorn, Superintendent. Pacific Coast
Coast Pilot of California, Oregon, and Washington. Fourth edition: By George Davidson
Assistant. 1886. [Yet in manuscript, August, 1886.] '

The work upon this investigation has been done at intervals, independently of the regular
duties of the U. S. Coast and Geodetic Survey, and has therefore been a long time in hand.

San Francisco, Cal,, August, 1880.




The Port of Navidad is in latitude 19° 13' N. and
twenty miles west-northwest from the harbor of Mansa-

El Cabo de Corrientes, in 20i°, CabriUo. Latitude
20° 25' : correction to CabriUo, —0° 05' if he observed the
latitude, which I very much doubt. '

Thirty leagues, by the charts.

La Bahia de Santa Cruz, UUoa.

El Puerto de la Cruz, 24° and "more," CabriUo.

El Puerto del Marques del Valle.

(The Emperor had given Cortes the title of Marques
del Valle del Qnaxaco in 1528.) This port is probably
the cove under Cape Pulmo.

The Point of California "in 24° and more," is quite
likely the present Cape Pulmo which is the easternmost
land of the peninsula of Lower California, and placed in
latitude 23° 23', so that the correction to CabriUo woiild
be — 0° 37' "and more." Hence to Cape San Lucas fol-
lowing the coast line the distance is 44 geographical

The cliffs at Cape Pulmo are 410 feet above the sea,
and within a mile the hiU rises to 850 feet with a low
neck or valley behind it, so that from the northward or
southward this hill presents a notable feature. Inside
of this the mountains eight miles westwardly rise to
2,885 feet, while Miraflores of the Sierra la Victoria, 27
miles from the gulf shore, rises to 6,200 feet elevation :
the former is visible at 62 miles distance, the latter at
91 miles.

On the south side of Cape Pulmo there is a nice cove
three-quarters of a mile deep where anchorage may be
had in ten fathoms within two hundred yards of the
beach. Fresh water is found in the arroyo which opens
on the cove.

This bay is probably the Puerto del Marques del Valle
where one of Cortes ships put in during the expedition
of 1534, and where Ximenes the Captain (who had muti-
nied as pUot) was killed. The bay of Santa Cruz was
visited by Cortes himself in 1536. In 1596 El General
Vizcaino, under orders of Don Gaspar de Zuniga Conde
de Monte-Rey, visited the eastern shore of the southern
end of the Peninsula of California and remained eight
days at the Puerto de San Sebastian, but abandoned it
for a more convenient place, and sailing further they
came to the Puerto de la Paz. This Puerto de Santa
Cruz may therefore be reasonably considered the same as
that of the Marqnesdel Valle.

Juan Rodriguez set sail from the Puerto de Navidad
to discover the coast of New Spain on the 27th day of
June, 1542.

He' was delayed from the Puerto de Navidad to Cabo
Corrientes a day and a night, forty leagues, with a
southeast wind.

From Wednesda.y to the following Thursday they held
their course along the coast thirty-five leagues.

Sunday, the secoud day of July, they had sight of
California : they were delayed in crossing over, by the
weather, which was not very favorable, almost four
days ; they anchored the following Monday, on the third
of the same, off the Point of California, and were here
two days, and from this place





Don Antonio de Mouilo9a took more interest in mari-
time matters, for notwithstanding tlie vessels lie had
sent to discover that part of the coast of New Spain, to-
wards the South, had suffered a great deal, he sought,
by every . means, to know what there was further on,
and for that purpose he ordered two vessels to be fitted
out, and appointed for Captain of them Juan Rodriguez
Cabrillo, a Portuguese, a person very conversant with
the matters of the sea.

Oue of the vessels was named the San Salvador, which
was the flagship, and the other La Victoria ; there was
for chief pilot Bartolomfe Ferrer, and also for jiilot Bar-
tolom& Fernandez ; and for masters Antonio Carrera, and
S. Eemo.

These vessels being quickly made ready, they sailed
from the Puerto de Navidad, on the twenty-seventh of
June, of the present year, [1542,] at noon, and arrived
early iu the morning at Cabo do Corrientes in twenty
degrees and a half.

Friday, ou the 30th, running along the coast, they
found themselves in twenty and two degrees, and a

Sunday, on the second of July, they found themselves
iu twenty aud four degrees and more, and recognized
the Puerto del Marquez del Valle, which they called de
!ii Crnz, which is the Coast of California.


[Vizcaino, with his three vessels and a long boat, left
Puerto de la Navidad outhe twenty-second of May 1602;
continuing his course with adverse winds nearly to Cape
Corrientes where he arrived on the twenty-sixth; and
after a survey of that vicinity he proceeded along the
Coast to Mazatlan, where he arrived June second.]

' ' On the eighteenth of October, they reached the bay ct
Santa Cruz. October twenty ninth, [1539], TJlloa sailed
with the Santa Agueda aud the Trinidad", from the bay
of Santa Cruz, to follow, as before, the trend of the coast :

1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12

Online LibraryU.S. Coast and Geodetic SurveyMethods and results : voyages of discovery and exploration on the northwest coast of America from 1539 to 1603 : Appendix No. 7--Report for 1886 → online text (page 1 of 12)