by Anna Karyl © 2003

Diary entry on this date, July 4, 2013:

The gala was quite spectacular, as was our welcome when my crew and I sailed in to Drake's Bay in San Francisco, California. It was here that my forebear, Sir Francis, put in during his 16th century circumnavigation for his queen.

Our arrival made for a celebration. However, San Franciscans, I found, would party for any reason.

We were quite entertained when the San Franciscans attempted a rather humourous Chautaugua of Sir Francis's landing and subsequent interactions with the Miwoks. The natives then had thought my ancestor was a god of some sort and literally gave him title to this particular area of coastline and the entire San Francisco bay to honor his initial visit.

Sir Francis was no fool. He immediately had his men carve a deed onto a brass plate that was lost and then rediscovered many years later by one Mr. Beryl Shinn. That, I understand, catalyzed an historical firestorm. In the ensuing years, expert upon expert examined Drake's brass plate for authenticity. Half of the boffins claimed it was a Clampers' hoax; half deemed the plate valid. But thanks to our advanced techniques in metallurgy - i. e., our subatomic molecular scan - we proved unequivocally when the brass plate had been forged. Since then, no courts anywhere have been able to successfully challenge us on this issue, though they tried heartily. The deed stands as issued.

We were delighted, of course, with the natural assets we discovered in San Francisco. However, we empathized for its inhabitants. Ten years earlier, the United States had forced the entire state's secession from the Union because of its untenable political views and, more importantly, its enormous fiscal deficits that had played heavy on the nation.

Actually, we could agree on the latter point, finances being what they are. California's political troubles erupted; it seems, during their 2003 governor's recall debacle from which they never fully recovered. It was a problem to be sure, but certainly not an insurmountable one for us in the long run. Southern California then decided to form it's own government and to reunite with Mexico. San Francisco and Northern California were still debating the issue, even upon our arrival.

As the gala was winding down, my crew gathered data on the resources of the area. These were varied and rather abundant, though resolving the inhabitants' shortsighted neglect of the environment would have to be a priority.

We did decide to restore Sir Francis' original name for the area - Nova Albion - and have the surveyors immediately draw boundaries, even before the gala ended.

As soon as my crew had a complete picture of our bequeathed territory, we called the mayor of San Francisco and her cabinet into a private meeting to discuss our terms. To our surprise, she seemed not to understand.

In order to placate our hostess, I called for my crew to deliver the indisputable evidence for her review. She and her officials fell strangely silent as my crew presented our findings. At first, we mistook her silence for acquiescence. But then the mayor and the members of her cabinet began to object vehemently to what we proposed.

I took my crew aside and suggested that we allow these quaint San Franciscans to air their disagreements which they did. But at the end of the day, reason must be the rule of law. We made a public announcement regarding when the official name changing would commence prompting the San Franciscans to begin making bizarre threats. These were quite dramatic, but, of course, poignantly futile.

I ordered my crew to continue to treat these San Franciscans with all due respect, even as we went about carrying out our mission.

Finally, though, the San Franciscans began to act so foolishly, we were forced to curtail their activity, at least until the rest of my ships arrived to help us civilize these poor, child-like inhabitants and to protect them from themselves. I mentioned to them in passing that I commanded, at King William's pleasure, a very large fleet, and that our king would never allow my returning home empty-handed.

Then, in an apparent act of lunacy, the San Franciscan mayor hurled insults, calling us "invaders." My crew and I could only smile indulgently while we herded them into a sheltered area where they could do no harm.

I took the mayor aside briefly in the hope of helping her regain her sense of proportion. She had earlier told me that she had been a student of history, so I reminded her of the legitimacy of our claims. I asked her if she recalled what our dear Queen Elizabeth had said when regarding the revolution of 1776? The mayor paused for a moment and then smiled bitterly.

Queen Elizabeth had said that England lost the American colonies because we lacked the statesmanship to know the right time and the proper manner of yielding what is impossible to keep.

As I led San Francisco's mayor back to her shelter, I couldn't help but comment on the irony….

Supreme Admiral of His Majesty's Fleet,

Sir Manfred Drake

x x x

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