Images (from left to right): 1) Coast Miwok elder Maria Copa at Nicasio in 1932. Photograph by Isabel Kelly, courtesy of Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology, University of California, Berkeley; 2) Portrait of Sir Francis Drake, published in “The World Encompassed by Sir Francis Drake”, 1628. Library of Congress; 3) Dedication of Sir Francis Drake Highway in Olema, November 1929. Courtesy of Jack Mason Museum of West Marin History.
Welcome to the Marin County Free Library’s resource and learning page focused on Marin County and the Sir Francis Drake roadway. Sharing information to help the Marin County community connect, learn and explore is a part of our Mission. This page includes information and perspectives gathered from local, national and international sources about the indigenous community of Marin, the Coastal Miwok, present when Sir Francis Drake ventured into what is now Marin County; Sir Francis Drake the person; and, the early 20th Century unified naming of the 43-mile roadway that is now called Sir Francis Drake Boulevard. The information on this page and the associated links are not comprehensive, though we do expect the resources accessible through this page to grow.
As we launch this page in July 2020, its purpose is to support information needs expressed by members of the Marin County community. Over time, MCFL anticipates interest from school groups and a cross-section of community members. If you have information (published materials) that might be of use to community members interested in this topic, as with any published material ideas, please use our online contact form to send your suggestion for review.
Feedback & Questions
Video Recording of Drake Blvd Renaming Discussion 1/25/21
Informational meeting for residents and businesses along SFD corridor in the unincorporated area of both the Ross Valley (District 2) and West Marin (District 4). Summary of outreach to date, presentation cost, impact to businesses and residents, and historical information on naming of the road.
Highlights from Online Learning Session 8/17/20
Video Recording of Online Learning Session 8/17/20
Video Recording of Listening Session 6/26/20
Recent Publications – Historic Naming and Statues
Drake sculpture, school signs removed ahead of protest, published in Marin IJ, July 29, 2020
https://www.marinij.com/2020/07/29/sir-francis-drake-sculpture-removed-amid-safety-concerns/, opens a new window
Must we allow symbols of racism on public land?, published in Harvard Gazette, June 19, 2020
https://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2020/06/historian-puts-the-push-to-remove-confederate-statues-in-context/, opens a new window
Renaming bases and removing statues that honor racist leaders will help America begin anew, published in USA Today, June 12, 2020
https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2020/06/12/america-must-face-its-history-and-rename-buildings-new-beginning-column/5344010002/, opens a new window
How to Rename a Street, published in New York Times, June 23, 2020
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/23/magazine/how-to-rename-a-street.html, opens a new window
This Monument to White Supremacy Hides in Plain Sight, published in New York Times, June 23, 2020
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/23/opinion/drakes-cross-white-supremacy.html, opens a new window
Coast Miwok History
Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria, a federation of Coast Miwok and Southern Pomo groups recognized as a tribe by the U.S. Congress
, opens a new window
Historical Background & Timeline, courtesy of the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria
https://gratonrancheria.com/culture/history/, opens a new window
Miwok Archeological Preserve of Marin
https://www.mapom.org/, opens a new window
Marin Museum of the American Indian
https://www.marinindian.com/, opens a new window
The Archeology of Sixteenth-Century Cross-Cultural Encounters in Point Reyes National Seashore , National Park Service
https://www.nps.gov/archeology/sites/npSites/pointReyes.htm, opens a new window
Short History of Californian Indian History, via the State of California, Native American Heritage Commission
http://nahc.ca.gov/resources/california-indian-history/, opens a new window
California Cultures: Native Americans, a collection of online exhibitions provided through Calisphere, a project of the University of California
https://calisphere.org/exhibitions/t1/native-americans/, opens a new window
National Museum of the American Indian—Did You Know?
https://americanindian.si.edu/nk360/didyouknow, opens a new window
American Indian Records in the National Archives
https://www.archives.gov/research/native-americans, opens a new window
Overview of the First Americans, provided by Digital History
https://www.digitalhistory.uh.edu/era.cfm, opens a new window
Sir Francis Drake: History & Biography
Sir Francis Drake’s Forgotten Role in the English Slave Trade by Claire Jowitt
https://www.historyextra.com/period/tudor/francis-drake-slave-trade-english-history-elizabeth-i-why-forgotten-legacy-john-hawkins/ , opens a new window
Drake Navigators Guild
https://www.discoveringnovaalbion.org/, opens a new window
A Catalog of Work on Drake
https://www.loc.gov/rr/rarebook/catalog/drake/drake-bibliography.html, opens a new window
Up from Slavery by John Sugden. Sonoma Historian, 2020.
Up from Slavery by John Sugden [pdf], opens a new window
Sir Francis Drake by Peter Whitfield
Sir Francis Drake by John Sugden
A Wicked History, Sir Francis Drake by Charles Nick
The Life, Voyages, and Exploits of Admiral Sir Francis Drake by John Barrow
Sir Francis Drake: The Queen’s Pirate by Harry Kelsey
The World Encompassed by Sir Francis Drake
This work of 1628 is the first edition of the earliest detailed account of the voyage around the world by Sir Francis Drake in 1577-80. In addition to the library editions, it is available to download and read, via the World Digital Library, opens a new window. Drake’s encampment on the West Coast of North America (thought by many to be at Drake’s Estero in Marin County) is detailed on Pages 64-81 of this book through the diary entries of the ship’s chaplain, Francis Fletcher. The account also describes the crew’s inter-actions with the Native American inhabitants of the area.