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  • By Steve Wright
    Oct 29, 2012
    A collection of passion, desire, and love of history cannot obscure the failures of this research. Fact manipulation and selective dismissal of relevant evidence leads to the false conclusion of the author. After years of careful documentation, the National Park Service has concluded what multi-national groups of naval officers, master mariners, archaeologists, and historians also agree upon: Drake landed elsewhere. Please do not take my word for it; investigate the research resulting in the National Landmark designation for Drake's Nova Albion. Then you'll understand how far this Oregon claim misses the mark.
  • By Garry Gitzen
    Mar 9, 2010
    "Francis Drake Land Survey" Selected writings from "Francis Drake in Nehalem Bay 1579, Setting the Historical Record Straight." Book Review by Harvey Steele, The Oregon Archaeological Society Newsletter Vol. 57 No. 12 December 2008 Westward, in 1579, Francis Drake sailed along the Pacific Coast, mapping new territory, but leaving a 400 year legacy of mystery for future historians. Did he reach Oregon? A new book, "Francis Drake in Nehalem Bay 1579," says he did. The author, Garry D. Gitzen, subtitles it "Setting the Historical Record Straight." It is a bold claim and one that has involved the Oregon Archaeological Society in may projects over the years. Gitzen is following the lead of the late Wayne Jensen, an OAS member for over 30 years, a student of Dr. Tom Newman and curator at the Tillamook Museum. Jensen, who wrote several articles for this publication, also assisted in several archaeological projects, including work by Dr. Newman at... More > Netarts (Oregon). The work led to a study of the Chinese porcelain at the site written by this reviewer and Herb Beals which was published by the Univ. of Oregon. Jensen was also an advisor to the Nehalem Bay excavations by Dr. John Woodward, a big multi-disciplinary IAS project headed by Chuck Hibbs and Dr. Alison Stenger, plus several grant projects by Oregon State University graduate students supported by the Roy Jones Scholarship. All of the above projects involved the search for the fabled beeswax ship (a Spanish galleon) and Gitzen does provide useful information on that issue in his encyclopedic book. But Gitzen's conceptual target is bigger game: the search for the harbor reached by Francis Drake somewhere on the Pacific Coast. The word "somewhere" IS IMPORTANT, because it is now apparent that the British crown wanted secrecy for Drake's mission and they permitted a paper trail that only a painstaking historian could decipher. Gitzen fills that role and more. His 237 well-illustrated and well-indexed pages offer the most complete compilation on the subject that this reviewer has seen to date... Gitzen is one of only a handful to tackle this difficult project of locating Drake's landing site. In a useful preface, Dr. Lawrence Powers of OIT, has summarized some of the opposing interpretations. Uniquely, Gitzen presents long well-organized sections on each of the key issues: the Neahkahnie survey project; the Hondius Map; a description of the Nehalem Indians; the Three Islands of Saint James; and in an unparalleled effort, an anatomy of Francis Fletcher's "World Encompassed."... an intriguing ball of thread, cafefully unraveled by Gitzen. The five appendices, ranging from a later Neahkahnie survey to dating samples and the John Drake deposition, are also welcome, partly because they are not easily available... Knowing Gitzen to be a good local historian, I expected some success, but when I say his actual product, this volume, I was overwhelmed. HE HAS PRODUCED A MAGNIFICENT COMPILATION WHICH SHOULD BE IN EVERY IMPORTANT HISTORICAL LIBRARY and available to every serious student on this subject. Amateur or professional, he will have critics, but they will have a herculean task to overcome the lucid arguments of this book. As one who has also researched in this historical zone (and worked on the Woodward archaeological project), I applaud Garry Gitzen for his work and urge all OAS members and friends to peruse this book. IT HAS NO PARALLEL.< Less
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Product Details

Fort Nehalem
November 2, 2009
Perfect-bound Paperback
Interior Ink
Black & white
0.61 lbs.
Dimensions (inches)
6 wide x 9 tall
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