Sir Francis Drake
Along the exterior of the Legislative Library are 14 statues of individuals who held prominence in the earlier history of the territory now known as British Columbia. One of those statues depicts Sir Francis Drake.
Francis Drake was born around 1540 in Devonshire, England. His significance for world exploration is certain; however, his particular significance for British Columbia is disputed. Depending on who is asked, Drake sailed along the coast of the Pacific Northwest as far as Alaska before ice turned him back, setting the stage for later British expeditions to the area, including those of Captains Cook and Vancouver. Others, however, will point to the fact that his maps suggest he only sailed as far north as the current border between Oregon and California. Although it may never be confirmed whether he reached Vancouver Island or the mainland of British Columbia, Drake continues to be associated with the early European exploration of the Pacific Northwest. Sir Francis Drake died on January 28, 1596, off the coast of Panama.