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The representations of San Francisco (California): a portable harbor in the fragile geography of the North Pacific

Author(s): Salvador Bernabéu Albert | José María García Redondo

Journal: Antíteses
ISSN 1984-3356

Volume: 4;
Issue: 8;
Start page: 461;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Keywords: San Francisco | Representation | Cartography | Expeditions during the Enlightenment | Borderland.

San Francisco bay first appeared in chronicles and navigation charts two centuries before being officially discovered. The news of the existence of a great shelter to the north of New Spain encouraged diverse expeditions and brought back mythical images in literature and cartography. This mysterious enclave that maps glided stealthily was looked for unsuccessfully by a number of seafarers. Systematic advances to take control of the Pacific during the period known as the Enlightenment dispelled the obscurity to which the territory had been submitted and did shed light on the harbor that had been hidden for so long. The expeditions of the 18th century finally banished the last frontier of the New Spanish Great North and from that period onward an image of San Francisco that exceeded its own legend was created.

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