The Anza Expedition of 1775-1776. Diary of Pedro Font
Publisher: University of California Press
131 pages with frontispiece. Royal octavo (9 1/2" x 6 1/2") bound in original wrappers. Publications of the Academy of Pacific Coast History, volume 3, number 1. First edition.
Juan Bautista de Anza was born in Fronteras, Sonora, into a military family on the northern frontier of New Spain. He was the son of Juan Bautista de Anza I. In 1752 he enlisted in the army at the Presidio of Fronteras. He advanced rapidly and was a captain by 1760. He married in 1761. His wife was the daughter of Spanish mine owner Francisco Pérez Serrano. They had no children. His military duties mainly consisted of forays against hostile Native Americans such as the Apache during the course of which he explored much of what is now Arizona. The Spanish began colonizing Alta California in 1769. This involved a long sea voyage against the prevailing winds and the California Current. The problem was to find a land route. De Anza heard of a California Indian called Sebastian Tarabal who had fled from Mission San Gabriel to Sonora and took him as guide.In 1772 he proposed an expedition to Alta California to the Viceroy of New Spain. This was approved by the King of Spain and on January 8, 1774, with 3 padres, 20 soldiers, 11 servants, 35 mules, 65 cattle, and 140 horses, he set forth from Tubac south of present day Tucson, Arizona. The expedition took a southern route along the Rio Altar (Sonora y Sinaloa, New Spain) then paralleled the modern Mexico/California border and crossed the Colorado River at its confluence with the Gila River. This was in the domain of the Yuma tribe with which he established good relations. He reached Mission San Gabriel Arcangel near the California coast on March 22, 1774, and Monterey, California, Alta California's capital, on April 19. He returned to Tubac by late May 1774. This expedition was closely watched by Viceroy and King and on October 2, 1774, he was promoted to the rank of lieutenant-colonel and ordered to lead a group of colonists to Alta California. The Spanish were desirous of reinforcing their presence in Alta California as a buffer against Russian colonization of the Americas advancing from the north, and possibly establish a harbor that would give shelter to Spanish ships. The expedition got under way in October 1775 and arrived at Mission San Gabriel in January 1776, the colonists having suffered greatly from the winter weather en route. The expedition continued on to Monterey with the colonists. Having fulfilled his mission from the Viceroy, he continued on with Father Pedro Font and a party of twelve others exploring north and found the first overland route to San Francisco Bay. In de Anza's diary on March 25, 1776, he states that he "arrived at the arroyo of San Joseph Cupertino (now Stevens Creek), which is useful only for travelers. Here we halted for the night, having come eight leagues in seven and a half hours. From this place we have seen at our right the estuary which runs from the port of San Francisco." Pressing on, de Anza located the sites for the Presidio of San Francisco and Mission San Francisco de Asis in present day San Francisco, California on March 28, 1776. He did not establish the settlement; it was established later by José Joaquín Moraga. While returning to Monterey, he located the original sites for Mission Santa Clara de Asis and the town of San José de Guadalupe (modern day San Jose, California), but again did not establish either settlement.In 1781 the Yuma revolted against the Spanish. Although there were punitive expeditions, they could not re-establish their position at the Yuma crossing and de Anza's route was blocked, thereby slowing the growth of California..
Light edge wear with unread page to be still opened. A very good to fine copy.
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