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Discovering Cabrillo

Discovering Cabrillo

The true story of Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo's voyage of discovery to California.

By Harry Kelsey

Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo brought the first European explorers to the west coast of the United States more than 450 years ago. This compact book traces Cabrillo's historic voyage north from Mexico in 1542, sent into unknown and unmapped waters in search of the Spice Islands and a fabled river said to flow from the Rocky Mountains into the Pacific Ocean. He failed to reach his goals, but in the process he and his crew became the first Europeans to encounter the peoples and lands of present day California, from San Diego and the Channel Islands north as far as Point Reyes and Point Arena.

Discovering Cabrillo cuts through the myths that have shrouded Cabrillo and his voyage, and presents the truth of his discoveries. The story culminates with his death due to a tragic accident while his fleet was wintering in California, cutting his life short before he could return to Spain and report on the new lands he had encountered. The author delves into the earliest published accounts and many unpublished documents to present a vivid account of Cabrillo's final and most important voyage.

Written in an accessible style well suited to young readers as well as adults, this short book will appeal to anyone interested in European explorers or California history. The text is complemented by 18 maps and illustrations, which bring the story to life.

“Harry Kelsey's Cabrillo is engaging, well-illustrated, imaginatively researched, and intelligently written with vivid and concrete detail.”

–Southern California Quarterly

Harry Kelsey is a historian and research scholar at the Huntington Library. He is the author of many books including Sir Francis Drake, Sir John Hawkins, Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, Mission San Juan Capistrano, and Mission San Luis Rey.

Softcover, 64 pages, 5.25" x 8.25".

Price: $9.95

ISBN: 0-9785881-3-4

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