Fray Juan Crespi : Missionary Explorer on the Pacific Coast 1769 -1774

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Author: Herbert Eugene Bolton (1870-1953)

Year: 1927

Publisher: University of California Press

Place: Berkeley


lxvi+402 pages with frontispiece, plates, maps, index and errata laid in. Octavo (8 3/4" x 6 1/4") bound in original publisher's blue cloth with gilt lettering to spine. First edition.

Joan Crespí or Juan Crespí (1721-1782) was a Franciscan missionary and explorer of Las Californias. Crespí came to New Spain in 1749, and accompanied explorers Francisco Palóu and Junípero Serra. In 1767 he went to the Baja California Peninsula and was placed in charge of the Misión La Purísima Concepción de Cadegomó. In 1769, Crespí joined the expedition led by Gaspar de Portolá and Junípero Serra (see Timeline of the Portolá expedition). He traveled in the vanguard of the land expedition to San Diego, led by Captain Fernando Rivera y Moncada, where a presidio and mission were established. Crespí then continued north with Portolá and Rivera to identify the port of Monterey. Because he was the only one of the Franciscans to make the entire journey by land, Crespí became the first official diarist for the missions. He was one of three diarists to document the first exploration by Europeans of interior areas of Alta California.

After reaching Monterey in October 1769, Crespí continued with the expedition that explored as far north as present-day San Francisco, and became one of the first Europeans to see San Francisco Bay. All told, the expedition traveled in the future state of California through the present-day coastal counties of San Diego, Orange, Los Angeles, Ventura, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Monterey, Santa Cruz, San Mateo, and San Francisco. In 1772, Crespí accompanied Captain Pedro Fages on an exploration of areas to the east of San Francisco Bay. The Fages expedition members were the first Europeans to see the Sacramento River and the San Joaquin Valley.

In 1774, Crespí was chaplain of the expedition to the North Pacific conducted by Juan José Pérez Hernández. His diaries, first published in H. E. Bolton's Fray Juan Crespi (1927). Crespí is credited with giving Los Angeles its name, after having named the region's primary river El Río de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Ángeles de Porciúncula, meaning, in Spanish, "the River of Our Lady Queen of the Angels of Porciuncula". The town that later formed nearby took its name from this river.


Previous owner's name and date to front end paper, light rubbing at spine end, some pencell marginalia to back end paper and paste down else better than very good.


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