Cities of the World: Their Origin, Progress, and Present Aspect (Classic Reprint)

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Fb&c Limited, Mar 24, 2018 - 360 pages
Excerpt from Cities of the World: Their Origin, Progress, and Present Aspect

The name California, which has for several decades been heard so much throughout the world, was invented by an obscure Spanish romance-writer, and appeared in his semi chivalric story (written about the time Cortez conquered the Mexican Empire), as applied to an imaginary land on the north-west of the Aztec dominions. The term was soon affixed to the great mountainous peninsula whose rugged shores front the Pacific; and the present American State subsequently received the name of Upper California. But many silent years passed away before this mysterious realm was visited by Christian men. Cabrillo's caravels crept timidly up the coast in 1542 and in 1579 that gallant mariner of Bideford town, Sir Francis Drake, with his ships laden deep under the plundered treasures of Mexican and Peruvian fleets and cities, cast anchor in a harbour near the Bay of San Francisco. There are people who believe that the present name of the city is but a Spanish and Catholic modification of Sir Francis's Bay, commemorating the name and the explorations of'the valiant English sailor. Nearly twenty years later the Spanish galley San Augustin, sailing from Manilla to examine the route of the treasure-galleons, was wrecked on this coast; and its pilot, by strange chance saved from the sea and the savages, conducted a naval expedition from Acapulco to the disastrous shore.

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