Book and Plate of Brass foil replica.
Francis Drake’s voyage marked England’s first entry into the Pacific Ocean and the first English visit to what would become the United States. Landing at Marin County, California in 1579, Drake put up plate of brass claiming the land for England. For nearly 350 years, the lore of Drake attracted attention around the world, including that of Herbert Eugene Bolton, California’s most notable historian. Bolton told his UC Berkeley students to keep an eye out for the plate.Meanwhile, a fun-loving group of historians resurrected a Gold Rush era fraternity: The Ancient and Honorable Order of E. Clampus Vitus. In 1933, the Plate of Brass was found! For forty years, the Plate was accepted as the genuine article. But, misgivings and questions abounded. In 1977, renewed analysis proved the Plate to be a fraud.Who made the Plate? Why was it made? Why wasn’t the hoax figured out earlier? Researchers Von der Porten and Spitze worked through scores of clues and conducted many interviews. Their results were announced in conjunction with the University of California, Berkeley. Then more details emerged. Now, the full story of “Drake’s” Plate of Brass can finally be told.