However there is a society in California that sometimes plays jokes and pranks on each other. As the story goes, four members of the Anxious and Honorable Order of E Clampus Vitus* decided to play a trick on one of their members, Herbert E. Bolton of the University of California. Since Professor Bolton had been urging his students to look for the legendary Plate of Brass in northern California that was described by Francis Pretty as having been planted by Sir Francis Drake to formally lay claim to Nova Albion, as he termed the part of California that he discovered, the merry pranksters decided to do a prank on that topic.
So they obtained a sheet of brass, and hand-carved the text to make it seem like the real deal. Then they planted it in Marin County near where Drake was supposed to have landed; and waited for someone to unearth it.
Someone did, in 1933. However, the original finder forgot about it for a while then tossed it out on the side of the road in another part of Marin County. Someone else discovered it in 1936, and there was a lot of fanfare about this find when it was brought to Herbert Bolton.
Things got out of hand, and the original pranksters were hoisted by their own petard. (Ouch!) This was because in part the University of California paid $3500 for it and it was announced at a meeting of the California Historical Society.
Anyway, there was some question from the start as to its authenticity. Still, it was displayed as a treasure in the University of California Bancroft Library until 2005. At that time physical, chemical, and even linguistic tests established that the Plate of Brass was a fraud. Well, damn!
However, what if Queen Elizabeth had pressed her claim to the Golden State? After all, California was not one of the original thirteen that declared their independence.
In my opinion, the Bancroft Library should have continued to display the Plate of Brass. After all, it was a world-class prank!
*It doesn't mean anything.