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The March of Portola and the Discovery of the Bay of San Francisco   By: (1846-1915)

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Zoeth Skinner Eldredge's historical account, The March of Portola and the Discovery of the Bay of San Francisco, offers readers a captivating insight into the exploration and early colonization of California. Through meticulous research and vivid storytelling, Eldredge brings to life the remarkable journey of Gaspar de Portolá, the Spanish colonial governor who led the first land expedition to discover the Bay of San Francisco.

Eldredge's writing style is both engaging and informative, allowing readers to immerse themselves in the expedition's hardships and triumphs. The author’s deep knowledge and passion for the subject shine through, making the book an enjoyable and educational read for history enthusiasts.

One of the book's greatest strengths is Eldredge's attention to detail. Through meticulous research of primary sources and documents, he recreates the challenges and obstacles faced by Portolá and his men as they ventured into unknown territories. The author's descriptions of the landscapes, the encounters with Native American tribes, and the daily struggles of the expedition create a vivid and authentic picture of the era.

Eldredge also delves into the cultural and political context of the time, providing readers with a broader understanding of Portolá's expedition within the framework of Spanish colonial ambitions. By examining the motivations, rivalries, and interactions of both Spanish explorers and Native American communities, the book paints a comprehensive portrait of this pivotal moment in California's history.

Furthermore, the inclusion of maps, illustrations, and photographs greatly enhances the reader's experience, helping to visualize the journey and its various geographical locations. These visuals, combined with Eldredge's engaging prose, make the historical events easily accessible and more vivid.

Despite its many strengths, The March of Portola and the Discovery of the Bay of San Francisco does have its limitations. At times, the detailed historical accounts and the vast number of names and dates can overwhelm readers with information. Some may find the level of detail daunting, while others might appreciate the comprehensive nature of the narrative.

In conclusion, Zoeth Skinner Eldredge's The March of Portola and the Discovery of the Bay of San Francisco is an exceptional historical work that vividly captures the spirit of exploration and the challenging journey of Gaspar de Portolá and his men. Eldredge's meticulous research and engaging storytelling make this book a valuable resource for anyone interested in the history of California's early colonization. While it may be too detailed for some readers, those seeking a comprehensive understanding of the expedition and its significance will find it a rewarding read.

First Page:


By Zoeth S. Eldredge

Log of the San Carlos and Original Documents Translated and Annotated

By E. J. Molera

Published by the Reception Committee of The California Promotion Committee

This Book is published with the approval and endorsement of the Executive Committee of the Portolá Festival.

The March of Portolá


The Log of the San Carlos

San Francisco

"Serene, indifferent of fate, Thou sittest at the Western Gate;

Upon thy heights so lately won, Still slant the banners of the sun;

Thou seest the white seas strike their tents, O warder of two continents,

And scornful of the peace that flies, Thy angry winds and sullen skies,

Thou drawest all things, small or great, To thee beside the Western Gate."

Table of Contents

Introduction The March of Portolá and Discovery of the Bay of San Francisco Data regarding Portolá after he left California Letter of the Viceroy of New Spain to Don Julian de Arriaga Causes that led to the Expedition of the San Carlos Log of the San Carlos Report of the Commander of the San Carlos Description of the Bay of San Francisco Report of the Pilot of the San Carlos


The March to Monterey (Frontispiece) Carrying the Sick Discovery of the Bay of San Francisco Departure of the San Carlos from La Paz Facsimile of signature of Governor Portolá First Survey and Map of the Bay of San Francisco


In 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... Continue reading book >>

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