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Title Derrotero y diario [manuscript]
Author Vélez de Escalante, Silvestre (d.1792)
Document Type Travel Journal; Diary
Description From the Newberry Library Catalogue: Ms. copy of the diary kept by Father Escalante during the expedition headed by Fray Francisco Domínguez on a circular route through the Great Basin, from Santa Fe, through western Colorado to Utah Lake, and back through northern Arizona and western New Mexico, between July 29, 1776 and January 3, 1777. The 10-man expedition leaves Santa Fe on July 29, 1776, hoping to open an overland route from New Mexico to Monterey. Because of Hopi resistance and hostile Apaches to the west, Escalante and Domínguez take a route used by New Mexico traders northward to Colorado and the San Juan River, past Mesa Verde, the Dolores and Gunnison Rivers, northwest to the Green River, and finally turning west to reach Utah Lake near Provo on September 23. Hampered by difficult terrain and severe weather, the explorers decide on October 8 not to continue on to Monterey, but instead to head south to the Colorado River, which they cross on November 8 at La Purísima Concepción on the Utah-Arizona border, near Glen Canyon, now submerged beneath Lake Powell. The trail east takes them home through Oraibi and Zuni, and they reach Santa Fe on January 3, 1777. Throughout his diary, Escalante describes the geography, plants and animals of the area, and includes his observations on the manners and customs of the Indians they encounter, such as the Lagunas, the bearded Utes, and the Huascari.
Names Domínguez, Francisco Atanasio (fl.1776); Chavez, Fray Angelico; Warner, Ted J.
Places Great Basin, Santa Fe, Colorado, Utah Lake, Arizona, New Mexico, Monterey, San Juan River, Mesa Verde, Dolores River, Gunnison River, Green River, Glen Canyon, Lake Powell, Oraibi, Zuni, United States; Spain
Keywords travel, travelogue, personal account, expedition, discovery, overland trail, Franciscan, hostility, battle, war, trade, trail, observation, custom, geographical survey, translation
Theme Observation, Representation and Cultural Encounters
Tribe / Nation
Culture Area Southwest, Great Basin
Language Spanish
Additional Information Escalante was a Spanish Franciscan missionary priest who came to New Spain in 1769. He served in various missions, and was head of the Zuni mission. In 1776-77, he and Father Francisco Domínguez led an expedition to open an overland trail from Santa Fe to Monterey. Although they never reached Monterey, they explored the Utah Basin and succeeded in crossing the Colorado River near Glen Canyon, which today lies beneath Lake Powell.
Library The Newberry Library
Copyright The Newberry Library
Collection The Edward E. Ayer Collection
Reference VAULT Ayer MS 1083
Catalogue Link The Newberry Library Catalogue