The March of Portola and the Discovery of the Bay of San Francisco - eBookCategory: Portola CollectionIn the annals of adventure, there are no more thrilling narratives of heroic perseverance in the performance of duty than the record of Spanish exploration in America. To those of us who have come into possession of the fair land opened up by them, the story of their travels and adventures have the most profound interest. The account of the expedition of Portolá has never been properly presented. Many writers have touched on it, and H. H. Bancroft, in his History of California, gives a brief digest of Crespi's diary. Most writers on California history have drawn on Palou's Vida del V. P. F. Junipero Serra and Noticias de la Nueva California, and without looking Further, have accepted the ecclesiastical narrative. We have endeavored in this sketch to give, in a clear and concise form, the conditions which preceded and led up to the occupation of California. The importance of California in relation to the control of the Pacific was early recognized by the great European powers, some of whom had but small respect for the Bull of Pope Alexander VI dividing the New World between Spain and Portugal. England, France, and Russia sent repeated expeditions into the Pacific. In 1646 the British Admiralty sent two ships to look in Hudson's Bay for a northwest passage to the South Sea, one of which bore the significant name of California. The voyage of Francis Drake, 1577-1580, was a private venture, but at Drake's Bay he proclaimed the sovereignty of Elizabeth, and named the country New Albion.