Colonizing Expedition, 1775-1776

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Diary of Pedro Font
September 28, 1775 - June 2, 1776

Original diary of Father Pedro Font of the Juan Bautista de Anza Colonizing Expedition (September 29, 1775 to June 2, 1776), beginning at the Royal Presidio of San Miguel de Horcasitas in northern Sonora and ending at the Royal Presidio of San Carlos de Monterey in Alta California. The diary also chronicles the exploratory expedition made by Lieutenant Colonel Anza, Padre Font, and eighteen soldiers from Monterey to the opening of the San Francisco Bay, around the East Bay to the Sacramento River Delta, and back to Monterey. It also details events on the return trip from Monterey to Horcasitas. Father Font was the expedition chaplain and was also responsible for taking latitudes along the way. This diary is an abbreviated version of his later diary. It was compiled in a hurry so that it could reach the Viceroy as soon as, or before, Anza's diary. The purpose of this journal, which he compiled from his notes at Ures, Sonora upon their return from California, was to make an official, preliminary report to his superior, Father Guardian Romualdo Cartagena and, ultimately, to the Viceroy of New Spain, Antonio María Bucareli y Ursua, and the King of Spain, Charles III. This edition is based upon Frederick J. Teggert's translation of the diary in The Anza Expedition of 1775-1776; Diary of Pedro Font, Vol. III, 1913.

Introduction

 

9/29/1775

With some difficulty the Expedition gets under way from Horcasitas

10/23/1775

Manuela Piñuelas dies in childbirth at La Canoa the first evening out of Tubac

11/19/1775

Ana María de Osuna gives birth to a healthy son in a camp on the Gila River

11/30/1775

The Yuma Indians help the Expedition to cross the frigid waters of the Colorado River

12/17/1775

Three separate groups who have been traveling through the snow are reunited today

12/25/1775

Gertrudis Rivas gives birth to a healthy son at camp in Coyote Canyon the night before

2/21/1776

After much delay, a desertion, and a side trip to San Diego to help quell an Indian uprising, the Expedition continues north from San Gabriel

3/10/1776

With great satisfaction the colonizers arrive at Monterey, the earliest recruits having been traveling for just fifteen days short of a year

3/28/1776

Anza, Font, Moraga, and seventeen soldiers stand at the mouth of San Francisco Bay, the first people of European heritage to have seen it

4/14/1776

Anza, Font, and twenty-seven others returning to Sonora bid farewell at Monterey to the California colonists



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