We are a 501.c.3 non-profit foundation dedicated to establishing and publishing the truth about Francis Drake’s movements along the North American West Coast in 1579, during the course of his Famous Voyage around the world. Note: The “Oregon” in the Society’s name refers to the old Oregon Territory, which included all the land west of the Rockies between Russian Alaska and Spanish California.
There is compelling evidence that Drake spent the summer of 1579 at Whale Cove, Oregon, where he claimed the land for England, named it “New Albion” and placed the local people under the protection of the British Crown. This was the very first instance of an English colony or protectorate being established on foreign shores, making Whale Cove the birthplace and first outpost of the British Empire. The official account of the voyage placed the anchorage near San Francisco, but we present evidence here that this account was deliberately falsified to keep secret from arch-rivals Spain Drake’s search for the fabled North West Passage, during which he discovered what is now British Columbia, Canada, and perhaps SE Alaska. We follow a trail of clues to Whale Cove, and then offer intelligent speculation about the rest of Drake’s movements as he searched for the Strait.
Discovering the Oregon that Drake discovered in 1579
These pages reflect the results of over thirty years of research by the Society’s founder, Bob Ward. The basic theory was first published in “Geographical”, the magazine of the Royal Geographical Society, in July 1981, and updated in the Map Collector Magazine, Winter 1988 Issue.
We also look at what we are doing to find hard evidence to support our beliefs, including plans to excavate this year what we believe is the small Spanish bark belonging to Rodrigo Tello ship that Drake captured off Costa Rica and left behind when he returned to England. This bark epitomizes the falsifications in the official account, which says that Drake took some of her merchandize and then let her go. However, detailed testimony from ten Spanish witnesses, including five of Tello’s crew, says that Drake took the bark, and gave them one of his pinnaces in return “because his need was greater than theirs.” His cousin John Drake testified that they left the bark at New Albion when Drake returned to England, and we can also demonstrate that he left a crew of about 25 to man her and try to return to England through the Northwest Passage after wintering on the Oregon coast. We believe that the ship may be buried within a tidal mud flat near the mouth of the Salmon River, and with the help of some funding from Lincoln City, we have started to carry out some archaeological work at the site. However, so far limited probing and core sampling have not revealed any evidence of the sunken ship that local resident Ed Calkins claimed to have located in 1974, but the process is ongoing. Eventually we hope to bring up artifactual evidence that will positively identify the ship as the one that Drake left behind. However, the process is costly and ongoing funding is a big issue. Go to our “Contact Us” page to see how you can help.
Here is one way to help: On Saturday May 30, 2015 Bob Ward’s eldest son, Bob Jr.
who lives in England, traveled from England to run in in the Newport marathon in
order to raise funds for the Drake in Oregon Society. Not content with putting himself
through his first marathon at the age of 48, Bob dressed as Sir Francis himself,
complete with newly-grown beard. Running marathons in fancy dress for Charity is
common in England, but this is the first time it has been done in the Newport marathon.
Newport is just ten miles south of Whale Cove and is the administrative center of
Lincoln County, as Drake’s New Albion is now called. It took Drake over 18 months
to reach New Albion after setting out from England: Bob did the same journey in less
than 18 hours, and then completed the 26 mile marathon in a creditable 4 hours 9
minutes. He thanks those who provided encouragement and sponsorship, which will help
the Society complete its preliminary archaeological investigations at the Salmon
River. Anybody still wanting to support our efforts to solve this long-standing
mystery of Drake’s movements by sponsoring Bob’s run can go to our “Contact Us” page
to make a donation through PayPal or by Credit Card, and read more by clicking on
the ”Marathon” link at the top of this page, or click here.