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Title Diario del primer viaje a la California, 1774
Author Anza, Juan Bautista de (1735-1788)
Document Type Diary
Description From the Newberry Library Catalogue: Unsigned and undated ms. copy of the diary of Anza’s first overland expedition to California, from Tubac to San Gabriel Mission, between January 8 and May 27, 1774. Viceroy Bucareli approved the expedition in September of 1773; and early in 1774, Anza and Father Garcés, accompanied by another missionary, Father Juan Díaz and 20 soldiers, set out to establish a land route from Sonora to the port of Monterey. Such a land route, desperately needed for transporting supplies to the settlements in Upper California, had previously been considered unfeasable because of the Gila and Colorado Rivers and the desert beyond. Anza’s diary recounts the difficulties of the journey, such as harsh terrain, lack of food and water, and the possibility of hostile Indians. He describes the Yuma Indians in great detail, finding them affectionate and generous. The travelers pass through the Colorado Desert, the San Jacinto Valley, and finally reach the San Gabriel Mission on March 22, although Anza continues on to the presidio in Monterey arriving April 18. The group returns to Tubac on May 27, having traveled 594 leagues, and pronounces the expedition a success. Throughout his diary, Anza comments on the physical terrain, distances travelled, flora and fauna, characteristics and customs of the various Indian tribes, and the mission settlements.
Names Garcés, Francisco Tomás Hermenegildo (1738-1781)
Places Gila River, New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado River, California, United States; Mexico
Keywords overland trail, expedition, transportation, supplies, travel, travelogue, food rations, cultural contact, observation, custom, Spain, Mexican
Theme Observation, Representation and Cultural Encounters
Tribe / Nation
Culture Area Southwest, Mesoamerica
Language Spanish
Additional Information Anza was a Mexican military officer and explorer. Born in Sonora in 1735, Anza, like his father and grandfather, was a member of the presidial military aristocracy, so essential to the defence of the outlying Spanish provinces. He served as captain of the presidio of Tubac and commanded many patrols against the Seri and Apache Indians. He headed two expeditions to Upper California, to Monterey and to San Francisco, and was later named governor of the province of New Mexico.
Library The Newberry Library
Copyright The Newberry Library
Collection The Edward E. Ayer Collection
Reference VAULT box Ayer MS 1032
Catalogue Link The Newberry Library Catalogue