San Francisco History

The Beginnings of San Francisco

The Foundation of San Francisco, 1775-1776

The fame of Anza’s achievement spread throught New Spain. He received the plaudits of his countrymen and was honored by his king. Promoted to the rank of lieutenant-colonel, he was authorized to raise and equip a company of thirty soldiers for the establishment of a strong presidio and mission on the bay of San Francisco. Of the company, ten were to be experienced men from the Sonora presidios and twenty were to be new recruits. All must be married men with families and at the end of their ten year enlistment were to be given land and turned into settlers. In addition to the soldiers and their families, there were to be a certain number of families of settlers (pobladores).

Anza raised the standard of the expedition at San Felipe de Sinaloa with the rendezvous at San Miguel de Horcasitas, then the residence of the governor of Sonora. His own presidio of Tubac was on the northern frontier and contained no white inhabitants save the garrison. By order of the king the royal treasury was thrown open, the colonists, men, women, and children were clothed from head to foot and from date of enlistment "ate with the king." [1]  One hundred and forty pack mules were required to carry the provisions, war material, baggage, and other goods and presents for the Indians among whom they were going. There were one hundred and twenty horses and twenty-five mules for the use of the troops, two hundred and twenty horses belonging to the expedition and three hundred and twenty head of beef cattle, altogether, eight hundred and twenty-five head of stock. Anza took the ensign, sergeant, and eight soldiers from his own presidio and enlisted twenty new men. All were married. The amount allowed for equipment and transportation of each family was eight hundred dollars; this in addition to pay. Besides the soldiers there were several families of pobladores. These also received pay, rations, etc. The chaplain of the expedition was Fray Pedro Font, and two priests, Fray Francisco Garcés and Fray Tomas Esaire, accompanied the expedition to the Rio Colorado where they were to remain to explore the country and catechise the natives until Anza's return. The commissary of the expedition, thirty muleteers, vaqueros, interpreters, and servants, an escort of ten soldiers from Anza's presidio, together with the families of the soldiers and settlers, made up in all a company of two hundred and forty souls, of whom one hundred and sixty were women and children. The number was increased by the birth of eight children on the road. By September 1775, the expedition was assembled ready to start for Tubac, and waiting for the arrival of the escort from that presidio, for the road from Horcasitas to Tubac, infested with the plague of Apaches, was the most dangerous part of the whole journey. As the escort was about to leave this outpost for Horcasitas the Apaches descended upon them and ran off all their horses. The commander at Horcasitas was notified and sent horses from that place to Tubac for the use of the escort. Anza improved the time afforded by this delay to increase his escort but only succeeded in getting five additional soldiers for duty between these points. On September 29th the outfit was mustered and inspected and at 4.30 in the afternoon they began the long march of seventy leagues to Tubac. Crossing the Rio de Horcasitas they left the river on the right and took a course north-northwest to the pueblo of Santa Ana on the Rio San Ignacio, thence up the San Ignacio past the pueblos of Santa Maria Magdalena, San Ignacio, and Imuris,—all known to-day—and at eight o'clock of October 12th entered the dreaded cañon of the San Ignacio. This was the danger point of the journey and the scene of many a massacre by Apaches. A cañon ten miles long, in many places less than a hundred feet wide, with walls rising abruptly to a height of five hundred to eight hundred feet, invited ambush and attack. Anza proceeded very slowly, taking precautions against surprise, and safely accomplished the passage in five hours. Two more jornadas [2] of eight leagues each brought him to the presidio of Tubac. This was his official starting point and the presidio under his command.

On Sunday, October 22d, mass was sung with all possible solemnity for the purpose of invoking divine aid for the expedition; the Santisima Virgen de Guadalupe was named as patroness, with the Princes San Miguel and San Francisco de Asis as protectors, and at eleven o'clock the following morning, Monday, October 23, 1775, the journey began.

Of the personnel of this expedition, the interest centers mainly around the thirty soldiers [3] who were to remain in California and become the first settlers of San Francisco. Fifteen are classed as Españoles, seven as Mulatos, six as Mestizos, and two as Indios. They were good people, carefully selected, and they proved themselves good soldiers and excellent citizens. Anza makes a public record of their faithfulness and devotion to king and country. [Note 12]

Owing to the lateness of the season and the great number of women and children, Anza would not attempt the passage of the Papaguería, but preferred the longer and safer route by way of the Santa Cruz river and the Gila. The first day's journey was four leagues to the north where the expedition camped at a place called Canoa. Here the wife of a soldier, taken with labor pains, gave birth to a boy and died at 3.45 in the morning. The body of the unfortunate woman was taken by Padre Garcés to his mission of San Xavier del Bac, thirteen leagues north of Tubac, for burial. On October 26th they were at Tucson which Anza speaks of as an Indian pueblo, containing the most northerly of the converted Indians. [Note 13] Five uneventful jornados brought them to the Rio Gila where a rest of one day was taken and the comandante and his chaplain visited the famous Casa Grande, of which Font gives an excellent description. On November 1st, the expedition began its march down the river. The order of march, as given by Font, was as follows: Four soldiers went ahead as scouts, Anza led off with the van guard; after him came the priests and next the men, women, and children, escorted by soldiers; the ensign brought up the rear guard. Behind these followed the pack trains with the loose horses and beef cattle. As soon as the long column started, Font would strike up the Alabado, [4] to which all the people would respond. On making camp, when they had dismounted the ensign reported and received his orders. The soldiers made shelters with their cloaks and blankets and there were thirteen tents—nine for the soldiers' families, two for the priests, one for the ensign and a big circular one for the señor comandante.

As he passed through the Pima villages, Anza was joyfully received by the Indians and noted their irrigation ditches and the crops raised, and also, with satisfaction, that the peace established by him between the nations of the Gila and Colorado had been kept. On November 3d he reached Maricopa Wells, the waters of which had such serious effect upon both his people and animals that he gave them the name of Las Lagunas de Hospital. So bad was the water that two of the women were taken violently ill and were thought to be dying. Anza administered such remedies as he had and brought water from the Gila, three leagues distant, for them to drink. Many of the caballerías became sick also and two horses died. Anza determined to move the expedition, though the women were still very ill, and the next journey must be a forced march across the Gila Bend, a desert, without water, and with but scanty feed for the animals. Starting at one o'clock in the afternoon of November 7th, he passed around the southern end of the Sierra de Estrella thence west-southwest towards the Sierra Maricopa and halted for the night before the Pass of the Cocomaricopas. Resuming the march in the morning he crossed the mountains by the above pass and at four in the afternoon reached the village of Opas, or Cocomaricopas, called by him in 1774 San Simon y Judas, having made the journey in fourteen hours of actual trave—very good time with his sick women and sick and dying horses. Bartlett [5] who crossed this desert in 1852, gives a graphic account of the passage. From now on to the jurisdiction of the Yumas, Anza traveled among the rancherías of the Cocomaricopas. He found them enjoying the fruits of the peace he had established between them and the Yumas on one side and the Pimas on the other and they gave him repeated thanks for the great service he had done them, for they could now dwell on open ground and cultivate their lands. The expedition was detained for three days at San Simon y Judas by a very sick woman, and five other members were added to the sick list, including the chaplain, Father Font, who became very ill with a tertian ague.

Resuming the march November 11th they passed down the plain of the river among rich cultivated fields and on the fourteenth reached Agua Caliente [6] where a day's rest allowed opportunity for doing family washing. Here Anza was waited on by a large number of Maricopas—to give them their modern name—who desired him to appoint a chief to rule over them. Anza conferred on one of their number, selected by themselves, the title of governor, and appointed another alcalde, and admonished them to recognize the king as their master and to obey all the orders he or his ministers might give them. This they all agreed to do and Anza fixed the bounds of their jurisdiction. Before installing them he gave them the most precise instructions concerning their duties which, he says, so intimidated the governor that for more than an hour he trembled as if he had an ague.

The expedition resumed its march Thursday, November 16th, continuing down the plain of the river and passing from the jurisdiction of the Maricopas to that of the Yumas. The stops were usually made at or near some Indian ranchería which Anza had named in his upward passage in May of the previous year. Everywhere he notes improvement in the condition of the people and he cements the friendship established between them and the Spaniards by liberal presents from the stores furnished him for that purpose. With the exception of Agua Caliente, which shows on the map on the north bank of the Gila on the western border of Maricopa County, the names given by Anza in this region have disappeared.

From Agua Caliente the comandante sent forward four soldiers with a Yuma interpreter to announce his approach to Salvador Palma, captain of the Yumas, to select a place for crossing the Colorado river, and to look for a better route across the Colorado desert from Santa Olalla to San Sebastian. At a place named by him in 1774, San Pascual, the expedition was detained three days by the confinement of the wife of a soldier. The cold was excessive and in four days six horses died from it. On the twenty-second Anza resumed his march and on the twenty-seventh Captain Palma with an escort of thirty unarmed Indians met him four leagues above the confluence of the rivers. The Yuma chief embraced his friend joyfully and announced that his nation and all the tribes of the river joined him in the welcome to the expedition. Palma had advanced so far in civilization as to enquire courteously after the health of his majesty, the king, and that of his excellency, the viceroy, saying that he was fortunate in having seen them when they were at the presidio of San Miguel (Horcasitas) [7] and happy in having heard them speak and that to have understood what they said he would willingly have taken off his ears and put on Spanish ones. He anxiously enquired if the missions he had asked for were soon to be established in his country, and said that to make himself worthy of such a blessing he had complied exactly with the order Anza had given him, and had not made war on any nation save the Serranos on the west and had only done that because the Serranos had attacked a Spanish mission in Alta California and killed some of its people. [8] He concluded by offering to the Spaniards all his lands in the name of his people, since all desired the Spaniards to come and settle among them and Christianize them, and he requested that Anza and all his expedition remain with him until the king was advised of his petition. [Note 14] In reply to this Anza said that he had no power to grant such a request, but as his majesty had sent him with troops and families to establish a presidio and two missions in California he would undoubtedly in due time consider Palma’s wishes. This satisfied the chief who said that on Anza's return, if three establishments (a presidio and two missions) had not been made in his country he would accompany Anza to the City of Mexico and make his demand on the viceroy. Anza replied that he would willingly take Palma to Mexico, provided it met with the approval of his people.

On the evening of this day Anza presented the chief with the baton of authority as captain of the Yumas, and also a dress the viceroy had sent him, consisting of a shirt, trousers, waistcoat yellow in front and trimmed with gold, blue coat laced, and black velvet cap adorned with false gems and a plume a modo de Palma. The chief was greatly pleased with these attentions, as were his followers, for the power and authority of Palma were greatly enhanced by the favor shown him by the Spaniards. The Yumas were very proud of the ability of their wives to say "Ave Maria" and other salutations taught them by the members of the former expedition, and were covered with shame at the recollection of the naked condition in which they had then presented themselves.

On the following day a march of four hours brought the expedition to the confluence of the Rios Gila and Colorado. Crossing the Gila by a good ford they reached the ranchería of Captain Palma—San Dionisio of Father Kino—where they were hospitably entertained by the Yumas who brought them beans, calabashes, maize, and other grains in abundance, and very many water-melons. Here came the scouts sent out from Agua Caliente to find a better route across the Colorado desert, and reported that though they had spent six days in the survey they could find no other watering places (aguages), than those indicated in the route of the previous expedition; nor could they find any trails or footprints of men or beasts save those noted thereon. The Indians informed Anza that there was no ford to the Rio Colorado, and when he ordered a raft made said that it was impossible to cross in that manner owing to the coldness of the water, the Indians having to swim and guide the raft. He, however, persisted in making the raft, and at seven o'clock the next morning mounted his horse and accompanied by a courageous soldier and a Yuma went in search of a ford. He spent the forenoon in testing the river at various points, both he and his companions submerging themselves and their horses in the icy waters, and at one o'clock in the afternoon found a place where the river was divided into three branches and could be forded. Here he would attempt the passage and returning to the camp sent a party of axemen to open a road to the ford through the dense forest growth of the river bottom. At seven in the morning of November 30th the expedition moved up to the ford, about a quarter of a league above the camp. The pack-trains were brought up and the freight and baggage were sent over in half loads. The women and children were placed on the tallest and strongest horses, each led by the head strap and each accompanied by ten men on the lower side for rescue in case of a fall. Thus the passage was made in safety with nothing more serious than a wetting, for the water was but little over four feet in the deepest part and about eight hundred and fifty feet wide. One reckless rider who was carrying a child was swept from his horse, but both were instantly rescued. Font, who was sick and dizzy, was held on his horse by a servant on either side, while a third led the animal. He got wet to the knees. Garcés was carried over on the shoulders of three Yumas, two by his head and one by his feet, stretched out stiff, face upward, like a corpse. By one o'clock in the afternoon the first settlers of San Francisco were on California soil.

Building a hut (barraca) on the bank of the river for the two priests who were to remain, Anza prepared to resume his journey when he was informed that two more of his people were added to the sick list and were so desperately ill that the sacrament of penitence had been administered to them. Hastening to their relief, he applied such remedies as he had, but it was not until the fourth day that he could again take up the march.

Settling the padres in their abode with an interpreter and three servants, one of whom was Sebastian Tarabel who had accompanied the first expedition,  Anza provided them with horses and four months' supply of provisions, and committing them to the care of Palma, began his march down the plain of the Colorado on the morning of December 4th. The route was a toilsome one, so overgrown with brush that in many places only a narrow trail could be found. It was so difficult to get the cattle through this chaparral that they remained more than a league behind. That night he camped at the Cerro de San Pablo (Pilot Knob) near the present boundary line. The cold was so great that two horses died and the sick list was increased to eleven. In the morning the march was resumed in a southerly direction with frequent detours to avoid the forest and the crooked branches of the river channel. After an advance of three leagues, camp was made at the Laguna de los Cojas. The sacrament of penitence was administered this night to one of the sick who was thought to be dying. The next day they reached the Laguna de Santa Olalla where they were to rest and prepare for the most difficult portion of their journey: the passage of the Colorado desert. The Indians of Santa Olalla received them hospitably and gave them great quantities of fish from the lake, and grains and fruits, including more than two thousand water-melons which they were obliged to leave behind. Mindful of the dangers of the previous journey, Anza divided the expedition into three parts, to start on different days that all might not arrive at the wells the same day. The first division was under his own command; the second he placed in charge of Sergeant Grijalva, and the third was under command of Ensign Moraga. The beef herd he sent by a separate road in charge of vaqueros, for the cattle were so wild they could not be watered from buckets, but must go from the Pozos del Carrizal to San Sebastian, a distance of fifty miles, without water or pasture. The vaqueros, muleteers, and troopers were ordered to carry maize and grass for the animals. At 9.30 on the morning of December 9th, the first division began the march. It reached the Pozos del Carrizal at half-past two in the afternoon, and found the water abundant, though bad. Font, who was with the first division, called the aguage El Poso Salobre del Carrizal--the brackish well of the Carrizal—and denounced it as a dreadful stopping place, without pasture and with very bad water. The next day after giving the animals all the water they would take, they resumed the march and traveled about five leagues in a west-northwest direction, and camped for the night in a deep dry watercourse where there was a little firewood, but neither water nor pasture. The camp was in the bed of the New river about a mile below the boundary line. The cold was intense. At three o'clock in the morning the caballerías were fed with grain, and at daybreak began a forced march of ten leagues in a westerly direction, reaching Los Pozos de Santa Rosa de las Lajas at night. Anza had sent men in advance with tools to open the wells, but he found them much behind hand with the work. He set himself personally to the task, but so slowly did the water distill that it was ten o'clock before he was able to give water to any of the beasts. The night was cruelly cold; they had no fuel, and in the darkness none could be found. It was two o'clock in the morning before the last thirsty animal had relief, but not till the next forenoon was the herd satisfied. At 12.30 they resumed the march, laying their course in a northerly direction with a slight inclination to the west. A fierce cold wind from the north distressed them and impeded their progress. They made four leagues and camped at a place where there was a small quantity of firewood—very necessary on account of the cold. At daylight they saw the high mountains on their left covered with snow; the cold wind continued, causing much distress to the women and children, and to increase their discomfort it began to snow. At nine o'clock they took up the march, traveling in the same general direction for five and a half leagues, then due north one and a half leagues more, and arrived at 3.30 in the afternoon at the Cienega de San Sebastian. The weather had calmed somewhat and in the clearer atmosphere they saw the Sierra Madre, through which they must pass, so filled with snow that they marveled that so much could be gathered together. Anza caused the people to gather all the firewood possible; this was but little, while at five o'clock the cold wind began again with great force and continued throughout the night. At daylight it began to snow, and Anza determined to wait in camp the arrival of the two divisions that were to follow. At twelve o'clock the cattle arrived, four days from Los Pozos del Carrizal without water, and with the loss of ten oxen. Though taken to the edge of the pool, most of them refused to drink the brackish water and began eating the alkali whitened grass. All day Anza waited the arrival of the second division. All day the bitter wind continued and the snow fell until plain and mountain were alike covered. At eleven o'clock in the night the snow ceased and a pitiless frost followed from which the people suffered greatly and six oxen and one mule died. The morning of the fifteenth dawned clear and cold, with the snow that had fallen the preceding night well hardened by the frost that followed. At 12.15 the second division under Sergeant Grijalva arrived, badly crippled by the storm which had caught them between the wells of Santa Rosa and San Sebastian. Many of the people were badly frost-bitten, one barely escaped death, and they had lost five caballerías from the cold. The frost continued severe and four more oxen died that night. The next morning Anza was informed that the Serranos had run off some of his caballerías during the night. The sergeant and four soldiers were dispatched in pursuit and instructed to recover the animals without harming the Indians unless the latter showed fight, but to warn them that a second offence would be severely punished. All day long they waited for the third division. In the evening the sergeant returned with the stolen animals. He had found them in charge of the women in two different rancherías, the men having disappeared. At seven the next morning the commander sent soldiers with twenty horses to the relief of the distressed rear guard, and at 3.30 in the afternoon it came in. Upon them the storm had fallen with fury and the driving snow had stampeded most of their horses. Four horses had died from the cold, and the ensign with the greatest difficulty had saved the lives of his men. His exposure in caring for the people had brought on an earache so severe that it made him, for a time, totally deaf. [Note 15] Two more oxen died this day from the cold, but Anza notes a general improvement in the health of the command, and notwithstanding the exposure, his sick list is reduced from fifteen to five. He gives credit for this to the many water-melons the people ate at Santa Olalla.

On the following day, December 18, 1775, Anza prepared to resume his march and begin the passage of the cordillera. Three oxen died from cold and exhaustion in the morning, and five more, unable to move with the band were killed, and the beef dried and salted, though hardly eatable by reason of its smell, taste, and color. At 1 :30 in the afternoon the expedition moved up the broad cañada of the San Felipe river and traveled three and a half leagues. The next day they made four leagues to San Gregorio, in Coyote cañon, where the water in the wells was insufficient for the cattle and the cold was so intense that each day many of the cattle and caballerías, weakened by the hardships of the journey, died. The cold this night was so great that the people dared not sleep, and three caballerías and five oxen were frozen. At seven in the morning the commander was notified that many of the cattle, driven by thirst, had escaped from their keepers. Sending the sergeant with three soldiers and a vaquero to look for them he moved forward to the sink of the Santa Catarina (Coyote creek), the site of the camp of March 13, 1774. Here he proposed to give rest to his tired caballerías, which, he says, have, like the cattle, dried up and become so thin that they could not be recognized for the beasts that began the march. In this day's march the loss in cattle and horses was very heavy. In the afternoon of the second day the sergeant returned with a few of the cattle and reported a loss of fifty head, suffocated in the mud of the Cienega de San Sebastian. Anza was greatly distressed at this mishap which had cost him so dear, in spite of all his care. A few miserable Indians came into camp and were fed by the Spaniards. The morning of December 23d began with a rain storm, but the rain ceased at nine o'clock and the expedition resumed its march up the cañon of the Coyote. Two short jornadas brought them on the twenty-fourth to the ranchería of the Danzantes. They were halted here by the sickness of one of the women, and ten o'clock that night she was happily delivered of a boy. Anza makes record that "she is the third who has done this thing between Tubac and this place. Besides these there have been two other births, that, with the other three that happened on the march to San Miguel de Horcasitas make a total of eight, all in the open air." Owing to this affair Christmas was passed quietly in camp but on the following morning, the sick woman having courage for the march, the command moved forward and after a hard climb of about five hours, passing through Horse cañon, arrived at two in the afternoon at the Royal Pass of San Cárlos where a halt was necessary on account of the rain. Here they had a thunderstorm followed by an earthquake. Five leagues of travel the next day carried them to San Patricio, the beginning of San Jacinto river. From this point Anza sent three soldiers of his escort to the missions of California and to the comandante, Don Fernando de Rivera y Moncada, advising them of the probable time of the arrival of the expedition, its condition, and the necessity of furnishing him with horses. He also expressly requested that on the arrival of the expedition at Monterey, the comandante be prepared to accompany him to the survey of the Rio de San Francisco as ordered by the viceroy.

From the summit of the cordillera the poor people looked with dismay upon range after range of mountains filled with snow. To the west, those towards the South Sea, [9] as well as those extending into Baja California, all were so covered that only a few trees on their summits could be seen. Coming from a hot climate few of them had ever seen such a thing, and so terrible did the sight appear that some began to weep, saying that if here so many animals died from the cold and they themselves barely escaped the same fate, what would happen to them in the north where the snow would be so much more plentiful? [10] The commander comforted their hearts by telling them that as they approached the sea the cold would diminish and the journey would be easy and comfortable. The next day they were obliged to remain in camp for between the cold and the damp the invalid was much worse and was threatened with convulsions. Responding to the treatment given, the sick woman obtained relief during the day and night and on December 29th, the expedition moved forward and traveling six leagues down the cañada camped in the Valle Ameno de San José. The following day they marched down the spacious and beautiful valley and camped at the Laguna de San Antonio de Bucaréli. A long march of seven leagues the next day brought them to the Santa Ana river, which on inspection proved to be unfordable. Anza was obliged to build a bridge to get his people over, and it was twelve o'clock the following day before this was completed. The women and children were passed over first, and then the rest of the people and the baggage. The animals had to swim for it and one horse and one ox were swept away and drowned. By three o'clock the passage was completed and they camped for the night of January 1st, 1776, on the western bank of the river. [Note 16] The three soldiers Anza had sent to the mission of San Gabriel December 27th, now came to report, bringing eleven horses from the padres and a message from the corporal commanding the mission guard, to the effect that the Indians had risen against the mission of San Diego, killed one of the priests and two of the servants, wounded the soldiers and burned the mission buildings. The Indians, the corporal said, were gathering in the vicinity of San Gabriel and threatened an attack. He had sent word to the comandante, Captain Rivera, at Monterey, and was expecting that officer at San Gabriel.

In the morning Anza sent two soldiers forward to the mission to announce his approach and taking up his march advanced through a heavy rain storm, intermingled with snow, as far as the site of the present town of Pomona, camping on San Antonio creek. The next day they made five leagues through the heavy mud to the San Gabriel river, and the following morning at eleven o'clock of January 4, 1776, entered the mission of San Gabriel Arcangel, seventy-three days from Tubac. Here Anza met Captain Don Fernando Rivera y Moncada, who had come the previous day. Rivera laid before Anza the particulars of the revolt at San Diego and requested the loan of his troops to suppress the rebellion and pacify the country. The entire military establishment of California at this time (without counting Anza's troops) consisted of Comandante Rivera, one lieutenant, two ensigns, two sergeants, eight corporals, fifty-four soldiers, one armorer, and one drummer, a total of seventy-one. This force was scattered over a coast line of four hundred and twenty miles, guarding two presidios and five missions.

Rivera had brought with him from Monterey a force of ten soldiers and with two more, taken from the San Gabriel escolta, proposed to put down an insurrection in which from eight hundred to one thousand savages were already engaged and which threatened to unite the entire Comeya in an effort to expel the Spaniards. This incident reminds one of the heroes of the Long Sault in Canada when seventeen devoted young Frenchmen checked the invasion of more than seven hundred Iroquois; only the comparison between the fierce Iroquois and the cowardly Dieguenos will hardly hold. Rivera told Anza that he doubted if the force he had with him was sufficient to inflict the necessary punishment upon the perpetrators of the outrage at San Diego and he had information that the Indians were uniting for a further attack upon the Spaniards.

Anza gave Rivera's request careful consideration and believing he would be justified in stopping to assist him, gave consent to the proposition and volunteered to serve under him in the expedition against the savages. His offer was accepted, and taking seventeen of his veteran troopers, joined to the twelve under Rivera, they set out, January 7th for San Diego, forty leagues distant, leaving the expedition at San Gabriel under command of Moraga, whose commission as lieutenant (teniente) was received here. We will not follow Anza on this march. Nothing was accomplished so far as punishment to the perpetrators of the outrage was concerned, and Anza, in disgust with the dilatory tactics of Rivera, resolved to proceed. with his journey. He returned therefore to San Gabriel where he found that a soldier of the mission guard together with three muleteers and a servant of Sergeant Grijalva had, the night before he arrived, deserted and carried off twenty-five of the best horses of the expedition and of the mission, together with a lot of his stores. He at once dispatched Moraga with ten soldiers in pursuit of the deserters, and after waiting eight days for his return, resumed his march February 21st, leaving orders for Moraga to follow. For Rivera's assistance he left twelve of his soldiers including Sergeant Grijalva, all of whom joined their comrades at Monterey before June 17, 1776.

The incessant rains of a very wet season had made travel slow and difficult for the laden mules, and marching in a westerly direction, Anza passed through what is now the city of Los Angeles, crossed the Rio Porciúncula (Los Angeles river), and came through the Cahuenga pass into the San Fernando valley. He camped for the night in the mouth of the pass, which he calls Puertezuelo (Little Gate). Resuming the march the next morning the expedition traveled along the southern border of the San Fernando valley and halted in the cañon of the Rio de las Virgenes at a spring called by Anza Agua Escondida, now known as Agua Amarga (Bitter Water). The next day's march was a long and difficult one of nine leagues, over the Susanna mountains, the descent of which (Liberty hill) was so steep that the women were obliged to dismount and accomplish it on foot. Passing into the Santa Clara valley they camped on the river of that name, near the present village of Saticoy. A march of two leagues in a dense fog the next morning brought them to La Asuncion, the first ranchería of the channel Indians, and the site of Anza's camp of April 11, 1775. Portolá reached this ranchería, August 14, 1769, the vespers of the feast of La Asuncion de Nuestro Senora, and gave it that name. It was then decided to establish on this site the mission of San Buenaventura, and Anza on his return march camped again on the site April 26, 1776. He then calls the river Rio de San Buenaventura. Continuing his march along the Santa Barbara channel, Anza camped for the night at the Ranchería del Rincon, on the Arroyo del Rincon, the boundary line between Ventura and Santa Barbara counties. The Indians brought them an abundant supply of good fish, and among them Anza named sardines, obadas, and tangres, more than a third of a vara long, not counting the tail.

A march of seven leagues the next day brought the expedition to the Rancherías de Mescaltitan, four large Indian villages around the shore of an estero or lake, while on an island in the midst was one larger still, consisting of more than one hundred houses. On the march this day they passed through three large rancherías, one situated on a lake of fresh water, named by Portolá, La Laguna de la Concepcion, is the site of the city of Santa Barbara. When Governor Neve was about to establish the presidio and mission of Santa Barbara in 1782, he hesitated between the site of Mescaltitan and that of La Laguna, but decided in favor of the latter because the water was of better quality. [Note 17] The rancherías of Mescaltitan have all disappeared, but the island still preserves the name. [Note 18]

The following day they passed through five rancherías, all abounding with fish, and finished the day's journey at Rancheíia Nueva. Four more rancherías were passed the next day, February 27th, and camp made at the Ranchería del Cojo, just east of Point Concepcion. When Portolá reached this village August 26, 1769, he was graciously received by the chief who, being lame, was called by the soldiers "El Cojo" (The lame one) thus giving a name for the chief and his ranchería. Crespi, priest and diarist for the expedition, "baptized" the village with the name of Santa Teresa, but El Cojo was the name that stuck and it may be seen to-day on the county maps. The next morning the expedition finished the Santa Barbara channel and turning Point Concepcion, proceeded to the mouth of the Rio de Santa Rosa (now Santa Inez) where they camped for the night.

Anza remained in camp on the Rio de Santa Rosa until the falling tide enabled him to cross, and in the afternoon of February 29th, continued the northerly march along Burton Mesa, in sight of the ocean, and came in three leagues of travel to a little lake named La Laguna Graciosa where they camped for the night. The map of the Geological survey does not show any lake in this vicinity and it has possibly disappeared. It may have been formed by the San Antonio creek which here flows into the sea. The name is perpetuated by the Cañada de la Graciosa through which the Pacific Coast railroad runs and by Graciosa station at the mouth of the cañon. Three leagues of travel the next morning brought them into a wide and beautiful valley containing a large lake, named by Portolá La Laguna Larga de los Santos Mártires, San Daniel y sus Compañeros—The Great Lake of the sainted Martyrs, St. Daniel and his Companions—now known as Lake Guadalupe, situated in the northwestern corner of Santa Barbara county. Anza did not halt at Lake Guadalupe but pushed on to the mouth of the San Luis cañon, a long jornada of nine leagues, to the Ranchería del Buchon.

A march of three and a half leagues the next morning brought the expedition to the mission of San Luis Obispo, founded in 1772, and now a flourishing town of 3500 inhabitants. In anticipation of their arrival at the mission the colonists had smartened themselves up but disaster overtook them. Just before they reached the mission they fell into a marsh so miry that all had to dismount and make their way across it as best they could. The men had to relieve the pack animals and carry the baggage on their shoulders, while those who endeavored to preserve their finery by forcing their horses through the mire fared worse than the rest, being obliged to dismount and extricate their horses. The marsh which caused such distress was located in what is now the southern part of the town of San Luis Obispo, and one of the finest residence streets of the town to-day is Marsh street. It was the same marsh. that entrapped the Portolá expedition on the Fiesta de los Santos Inocentes.

There was great joy in the mission of San Luis Obispo over the arrival of the expedition. Not only was it a delight to the priests and the soldiers of the escolta to see so many Spanish faces and hear the news from home, but they had been badly frightened by the affair at San Diego, and had been informed by the Indians that they were to be next attacked, and that Anza had been killed and his expedition totally destroyed by the tribes of the Colorado.

Sunday, March 3rd, was given to rest, and on  Monday morning the march was resumed. Traveling up the cañon of San Luis Obispo creek for seven miles, they crossed the summit of the Santa Lucía mountains by the Cuesta pass at an elevation of about 1500 feet, thence a descent of four miles brought them to Santa Margarita where now a little town marks the site and preserves the name of the ancient ranchería. Two and a half miles down the Rio de Santa Margarita they came to the Rio de Monterey (Salinas river), down which they traveled five and a half miles and camped at the ranchería of La Asumpcion (Asuncion), still so called, a good day's march of seven leagues. This is one of the sites selected by the United States government for the camp and summer manoeuvers of the army. The next morning they traveled down the beautiful plain for three leagues, then left the river at a point where El Paso de Robles now stands and passed into the hills to the west, traveling in a west-northwest direction. Four leagues more brought them to the Rio del Nacimiento which they crossed and proceeded another mile to El Primo Vado of the Rio de San Antonio where they camped for the night. Resuming the march the next morning they reached the mission of San Antonio de Padua at four o'clock in the afternoon after a march of eight leagues. Their reception here was equal to that of San Gabriel and of San Luis, and the padres regaled the troops with two very fat hogs and some hog lard. This present, Anza says, considering the condition of the country and of the priests' necessities, they highly appreciated. The following day was given to rest and at one in the afternoon, Lieutenant Moraga arrived and reported to the commander that he had captured the deserters in the desert of the Colorado and had left them prisoners at San Gabriel to be dealt with by Captain Rivera. He also reported that the Serranos of the Sierra Madre had made hostile demonstrations against him, but when he charged them they dispersed. He said that the Indians had secretly killed three of the stolen horses to prevent their recapture, and that he had noted in their possession articles indicating that they had taken part in the sacking of San Diego.

Leaving the mission the next morning, the Spaniards passed up Mission creek and descended Releuse cañon to Arroyo Seco, down which they traveled to the valley of the Rio de Monterey and halted for the night at the site of Anza's camp of April 17, 1774, which he now calls Los Ositos (the Little Bears). The next day they traveled eight leagues through a spacious and delightful valley and camped at a place called by them Los Correos. The following day, Sunday, March 10, 1776, they marched three leagues down the river, then leaving it, turned westward for four leagues more, all in a heavy rain, and at half past four in the afternoon reached the Royal Presidio of Monterey and the end of their journey. Anza gives the distance traveled from Tubac as three hundred and sixteen and a half leagues, made in sixty-two jornados—somewhat fewer than he had calculated before starting.

The next morning the very beloved father-president of the missions, Fray Junípero Serra, [Note 19] accompanied by three other religious, came from the mission of San Cárlos del Cármelo to congratulate the travelers and bid them welcome, the priests sang a mass as an act of thanks for the happy arrival of the expedition, after which Padre Font preached a sermon. In the evening the señor comandante and his chaplain accompanied the priests to the mission, one league distant, as there were no proper accommodations for them at the presidio. Anza notes that the number of Christian converts has been increased to more than three hundred souls, and he says that here, as in the other missions he has passed through, they do not, with all they raise, produce enough to maintain themselves, because, while the land is very fertile, there has been no means of planting it, although this year the amount of land under cultivation is much greater than before; "and in proportion as this abounds will be the spiritual conquest, since the Indians are many, and if, as we say of the greater part of these, conversion and faith enter by the mouth, so much greater will be our success."

The viceroy had ordered Anza to deliver his expedition to Rivera, the comandante of California, at Monterey, and proceed to make a survey of the port and river of San Francisco before returning to his presidio of Tubac. Two days after his arrival at the mission, while preparing for his survey, Anza was suddenly taken with most violent pains in the left leg and groin. So great was the pain that he could scarcely breathe and believed that he would suffocate and die. After six hours of torment, during which the doctor of the presidio administered such remedies as he had without giving him relief, Anza had them make a poultice of a root among his own stores, which somewhat alleviated the pain, but not enough to enable him to sleep. For over a week he was unable to move, but on the ninth day he got out of bed, and on the day following, in spite of the remonstrance of the doctor, he mounted his horse and began his journey to the San Francisco peninsula, going as far as the presidio of Monterey. There he rested, being able to walk but a few steps. The next day, March 23rd, he set out, accompanied by Padre Font, Lieutenant Moraga, and an escort of eleven soldiers. While sick at the mission he had sent to Rivera to say that the soldiers of the expedition were anxious to reach their destination and get settled in their new home and he begged Rivera to join him in establishing the fort and mission of San Francisco as ordered by the viceroy; and notified him that he should himself proceed at once to the survey and examination of the port. The travelers made seven leagues across the valley of Santa Delfina, as Font calls it, and camped at the mouth of a cañon at a place called La Natividad, probably an Indian ranchería. The village of Natividad now marks the site and preserves the name. The place was the scene of a sharp little engagement November 16, 1846, between a detachment of sixty Americans under Captain Burrows and a force of about eighty Californians under Don Manuel de Jesus Castro. The valley, which is the lower Monterey or Salinas, was given the name of Santa Delfina, virgen y esposa [11] de San Elcearo, by Portolá.

Leaving the Salinas valley, the explorers passed into the Gavilan mountains, traveling up the beautiful cañon of Gavilan creek, over the summit, and descended to the San Benito river. They crossed the San Benito just north of where the mission of San Juan Bautista now stands and entered upon the Llano de San Pascual, now called the San Benito valley, passed the Rio del Pájaro, entered the San Bernardino valley and camped for the night on the Arroyo de las Llagas. The following morning the explorers passed between the low hills where the valley narrows to the Coyote river and entered upon the great Llano de los Robles del Puerto de San Francisco—The Plain of the Oaks of the Port of San Francisco—now better known as the Santa Clara valley—and keeping well to the western part, they traveled along the base of the foot hills and camped on the Arroyo de San Jose Cupertino, where from an elevation of about three hundred feet, they saw the bay of San Francisco some seven miles to the north. A march of four leagues the next morning brought the exploradores to the Arroyo de San Francisco, now known as the San Francisquito creek, the site of Stanford University and of Portolá's camp of November 6th to 11th, 1769. A little ranchería of about twenty huts on the bank of the stream received the name of Palo Alto in honor of a giant redwood tree growing on the bank, whose size, height, and appearance is recorded by both Anza and Font as it had been by Father Crespi six years before. The name has been retained and the people of the pretty university town are fond of their name and proud of their tree.

Anza found on the bank of the creek a cross which had been planted by Rivera in 1774, to mark the spot for a mission, but the plan had been abandoned, he says, because the creek was dry in summer. Passing on the explorers crossed the Arroyo de San Mateo and halted for the night on a little stream about a league beyond. Anza comments upon the abundance of oaks and other trees they have been passing through during the last two days and particularly notes the many tall and thick laurels of extraordinary and very fragrant scent. He has been traveling through the most beautiful section of California. After breaking camp early the next morning a march of three and a half leagues brought the Spaniards to the mouth of the port of San Francisco, and they camped at Mountain Lake, known afterwards as Laguna del Presidio. Anza does not give any name to the lake but the creek running from it to the sea he calls the Arroyo del Puerto and says its flow is considerable and sufficient for a mill; while Font says that boats can come into it for water. Its present name is Lobos creek and it is but a little brooklet. [12]

Pitching his camp at the laguna, Anza went at once to inspect the entrance to the bay for the purpose of selecting a site for a fort. Font grows enthusiastic over the wonderful bay. He says the port of San Francisco is a marvel of nature and may be called the port of ports. He gives at length an excellent description of it; its shores; its islands; the great river which disembogues into the Bahia Redondo (San Pablo bay), which has been called the Rio de San Francisco, and which, he says, he will henceforth call La Boca del Puerto Dulce—The Mouth of the Fresh Water Port. At eight o'clock the next morning Anza resumed his survey, and going to the place where the entrance to the bay was narrowest, which he called Punta del Cantil Blanco—Point of the Steep White Rock, now called Fort Point—and where, he says, no one had hitherto been, he planted a cross to mark the spot where the fort should be built, and at its foot, underground, he placed a notice of what he had seen. Between the Laguna del Presidio and the Punto del Cantil Blanco is a mesa—table-land—having an elevation of some three hundred and fifty feet, about a mile in breadth and a trifle more in length, narrowing to the north until it ends in the Cantil Blanco. Font says: "This mesa presents a most delicious view. From it may be seen a great part of the port and its islands, the mouth of the port, and of the sea, the view reaching beyond the Farallones. [13] The Señor Comandante designated this mesa for the site of a new town." [14]

The comandante, taking with him his lieutenant, now turned to explore the inner coast of the peninsula. He encountered some streams and trees, mostly of oak, of good thickness, but twisted against the ground by the prevailing northwest winds. [Note 20] About three-quarters of a league from camp he came upon a little lake of good water, known to the Spaniards as Laguna Pequeña and to the San Francisco pioneers as Fresh Pond, or Washerwomen's Lagoon, from which he thought water for irrigation might be drawn. Continuing along the eastern shore of the bay he came to a large lake into which flowed a good stream or spring—ojo de agua [15]—, and which appeared as if it might be permanent in the dryest season, while the land about it was fertile and promised abundant reward for cultivation. He returned to camp about five o'clock much pleased with the result of his examination. [Note 21]

The next morning, Friday, March 29th, Anza packed the baggage and sent it by the road of his coming with orders to await him at the Arroyo de San Mateo; then taking his padre capellan, Pedro Font, and an escort of five soldiers, he went to complete his examination of the southeastern part of the peninsula and of the lake he had seen the day before, to which he gave the name of Laguna de Manantial. He also examined the stream—ojo de agua—which Font calls a beautiful little rivulet, and because the day was the Friday of Sorrows—Viernes de Dolores—Anza named it Arroyo de los Dolores." [16]

Thus originated a name that became the official designation of a very large and thickly settled section of the city of San Francisco—the Mission Dolores—shortened in the vernacular to the "Mission." Anza found here all the requirements for a mission: fertile land for cultivation, unequalled in goodness and abundance, with fuel and water, timber and stone suitable for building; nothing was wanting. Anza speaks with enthusiasm of the new town and mission. The fort, he said, shall be built where the entrance to the port is narrowest and where he set up the cross, the town on the mesa behind it, and the mission in this quiet beautiful valley, sufficiently near the fort to be under its protection, but far enough away to insure its peaceful serenity.

Having settled these details Anza proceeded across the peninsula to examine the Laguna de la Merced, which is situated near the ocean shore in the southwestern part of the city, thence he turned into the Cañada de San Andres, [17] through which he traveled its entire length of some six and a half leagues; and he gives an account of the abundance of suitable timber for building, speaking particularly of the red-wood—palo colorado, the oak, poplar, willow, and other trees, of its proximity to the bay and of the facility with which the lumber could be gotten out. He also suggests that the second bay mission could be established in this cañada, and would serve as a stopping-place—escala—between Monterey and San Francisco. In the cañada an enormous bear came out against them and they succeeded in killing it. At 6.15, after dark, they reached the camp on the Arroyo de San Mateo.

The following morning, March 31st, they proceeded to the survey of the Rio de San Francisco, keeping to the road of their coming until they reached the San Francisquito, then leaving the road they passed around the head of the bay and came to a large arroyo which they crossed and camped for the night. Anza gave the name of Rio de Guadalupe to the stream, a name it still bears, and said it had abundant and good timber, and lands that would support a large population. [Note 22] The next morning the march was resumed and crossing with some difficulty the Coyote river, they traveled northward for seven leagues and camped on the San Leandro creek, named by Fages in 1772 Arroyo de San Salvador. They passed six rancherías, the people of which, being unaccustomed to seeing white men, fled in terror. Anza endeavored to pacify them and gave presents of food and trinkets to all who would approach him. The Indians of the San Francisco bay were of darker color than those of the Colorado and the Santa Barbara channel, many wore beards and all wore hair long and tied up on top of the head. Three leagues of travel the next morning brought the exploradores to the site of the University of California at Berkeley, "a point opposite the disemboguement of the estero commonly called San Francisco," and they gazed out through the Golden Gate to the broad Pacific beyond. Anza noted his opinion that the estero was not five leagues broad, as had. been stated, but scarcely four. [18] Proceeding on their journey they climbed over the treeless hills and crossed the deep arroyos of Contra Costa and camped for the night very close to the "disemboguement of the Rio de San Francisco into the port of that name." Font gives a very good description of San Pablo bay (Bahia Redonda) and speculates whether the large cove and stretch of water which from a high hill he could see away to the west, one-quarter northwest, communicated with the port of Bodega, discovered six months before by Lieutenant Juan Francisco de Bodega y Cuadra. What Font saw was Napa slough. The camp that night was on Rodeo creek about two and a half miles from Carquines strait. On the following day, April 2d, the command proceeded a short distance up the strait and halted to take the latitude of the place, to observe the condition of the "river," and to measure its breadth and depth. Both Anza and Font doubted if it were a river at all as there appeared to be no current and there was no evidence of freshets in the shape of driftwood and rubbish thrown up on its banks. They both tasted the water and found it brackish but not so salty as the sea. They record their observation of the sun as giving the latitude 38? 5' 14". Resuming the march in the afternoon they saw the so-called river begin to widen out until it took on the appearance of a laguna rather than that of a river, [19] then turning somewhat to the south to avoid the marshes they camped for the night on the bank of an arroyo of wholesome water that had been named by Fages Arroyo de Santa Angela de Fulgino, now known as Walnut creek. The next morning they crossed the valley of Santa Angela de Fulgino in a northwest direction, entered Willow Pass and mounted a hill, from the top of which they could see how the river divided itself into three arms or branches, as described by Don Pedro Fages. Descending the hill they tried to approach the river, but were prevented by the marshes. Continuing to the east-northeast for two and a half leagues they came to the river and to a large ranchería of some four hundred Indians who received them with friendly demonstrations and gave them cooked slices of salmon, while Anza reciprocated with the usual presents. Tasting the water of the river they found it quite fresh and were persuaded that what Captain Fages had called the Rio de San Francisco was not a river at all, but a great fresh water sea. They were now on the San Joaquin river.

Resuming his march to the east-northeast for about one league, Anza climbed a high hill to observe the country and from this vantage point he saw a confusion of water, tulares, forest, and level plain of an extension unmeasurable. To the east, beyond the plain, he saw a great sierra nevada, white from the summit down, which appeared to run from southeast to northwest, while northward to the horizon extended the plain, encroached upon by the sea of fresh water and tulares. With the doubt that the Rio de San Francisco was a river at all becoming more fixed in his mind, he descended to the water and camped for the night in a grove of oaks near an abandoned ranchería, which he called San Ricardo. This was at or near the site of the present town of Antioch. It was here that Fages in 1772 gave up the attempt to reach Point Reyes, and turned back to Monterey. Anza again tasted the water and found it crystalline, cool, fresh, and good. Seeing that the breeze caused some gentle waves to wash the beach or shore, he took a good sized pole and threw it as far out on the water as he could, but instead of being carried down the stream it was washed ashore by the little waves. He resolved to go further up the river or laguna and see if he could ascertain what it was. Noting the rise and fall of the tide he posted Lieutenant Moraga to watch throughout the night and measure its height. They found that the difference between high and low water was eight feet and eleven inches. All this convinced Font that the Rio de San Francisco was no river at all but a fresh water sea, and he named it Puerto Dulce—Fresh-water Port, a name which was frequently used by the Spaniards in speaking of Suisun bay. One who has been through the waste of waters of the San Joaquin delta can understand what it might have been one hundred and thirty years ago in the spring of the year. Anza still retained his doubt and from this day used the term, Rio ó Laguna de San Francisco, in alluding to it. Until two o'clock the following afternoon Anza struggled on foot and on horseback to overcome the obstacles which prevented him from reaching the plains on the northeast, but the farther he went the farther he was diverted from his true direction and the more his course was obstructed by water running into the river or laguna. He was now informed by two soldiers of his escort who belonged to the Monterey garrison that the water came from the tulares [20] that reached as far south as the mission of San Luis Obispo, that they were thirty leagues in breadth and were unfordable even in the dry season. Realizing that what he attempted could only be accomplished by a detour of three or four hundred miles and that a survey could be better made from San Luis Obispo, Anza turned and rode straight to the southwest in the direction of Monterey, and traveling four and a half leagues camped for the night in the foot hills of the Monte del Diablo range. Being without a guide he had crossed the entrance to the Livermore pass, missed a very easy road through Livermore valley to the route of his upward journey and plunged into about as rough a mountain country as could be found in America. For the next two days he struggled with the difficulties of the mountain passage, frequently turning back to escape from impassable cañons and on April 6th emerged from the cordillera into the Santa Clara valley by the cañon of Coyote creek. The explorers' route from the camp in the Livermore hills was by the cañon of the Arroyo de Bueno Ayres to the summit of the mountains whence they looked down upon the great San Joaquin valley; thence descending into the Arroyo Mocho they traveled some five miles, passing to the west of Cerro Colorado, which they noted, and camping in San Antonio valley. The second day's route was over the divide to the cañon of the east fork of the Coyote creek down which they traveled, climbing into and out of the dangerous cañon, and camped at night near the site of Gilroy Hot Springs. It was a difficult journey. Anza says that the hardships of the march were very great.. "If we traveled by the cañons we were impeded by the rocks, and when we attempted the heights we nearly fell over the precipices. The sierra, whose width and dangerous heights no one would have believed we could surmount, was named by those who came before 'La Sierra del Charco."'

The rest of the journey was easy and rapid. They reached the presidio of Monterey at 10.30 in the morning of April 8th, and Anza went to the mission of the Cármelo to cure his leg, from which he was still suffering. On April 13th he sent five soldiers to the presidio of San Diego, where Rivera still lingered, to request the comandante of California to meet him at the mission of San Gabriel on the 25th or 26th of April, and come to some agreement regarding the duty with which they were both charged, viz: the establishment of the presidio and mission of San Francisco. Then with but slight improvement in his malady, Anza went to the presidio of Monterey to deliver to Lieutenant Moraga the command of the expedition.

At two o'clock in the afternoon of April 14th Anza began his return march to Mexico. With the commander was his chaplain, Fray Pedro Font, the purveyer of the expedition, Don Mariano Vidal, his escort of ten soldiers, and twelve vaqueros, arrieros, and servants—twenty-five in all. He was also accompanied by two priests of San Luis Obispo, visiting at Monterey, who availed themselves of this opportunity for returning. "This day," he writes, "has been the saddest that said presidio (of Monterey) has experienced since it was founded. As I mounted my horse in its plaza, the greater part of the people I had brought from their country, and particularly the women, remembering the treatment, good or bad, they have experienced from me while under my command, came dissolved in tears, which they shed publicly, not so much because of their banishment as because of my departure, and with embraces and wishes for my happiness bade me farewell, giving me praises I do not deserve. I was deeply moved by their gratitude and affection, which I reciprocate, and I testify that from the beginning up to to-day I have not seen any sign of desertion in any of these whom I have brought from their country to remain in this distant place; and in praise of their fidelity I may be permitted to make this memorial of a people who in the course of time will come to be very useful to the monarchy in whose service they have voluntarily left parents and country, which is everything one can abandon."

Returning by the road he had come Anza met on the morning of the second day, the sergeant whom he had sent with dispatches to Rivera. Delivering to Anza two letters from Rivera the soldier requested the honor of a private interview in which he communicated to Anza the fact that Rivera, who was following close behind, had been excommunicated at San Diego for having violated the sanctuary of the church in taking there from by force an Indian criminal; that in his opinion the comandante was mad; that he had treated him with indignity and had reduced him from the rank of sergeant; that the comandante had first refused to receive Anza' s letters, and on the following day had demanded them and at the same time, without opening them had given him the letters for Anza and bade him begone. Anza opened Rivera's letters and found they contained a refusal to join him in the establishment of the presidio at San Francisco.

Directing the sergeant to continue his way to Monterey Anza resumed his march and a league further on met Rivera. Anza saluted the comandante courteously with an enquiry for his health, but without halting Rivera answered the enquiry and spurred his horse forward with a short "goodbye." Anza called to him, "Well! about the letter lately written you, you shall answer me in Mexico—or wherever you wish"; to which Rivera replied, "Very well." This so enraged Anza that he called on the priests with him to witness Rivera's discourtesy. [Note 23]

At San Luis Obispo Anza was overtaken by a messenger from Junípero Serra who requested his good offices in the matter of the Indians concerned in the late rebellion at San Diego who had now offered their submission. The messenger also brought a letter from Rivera, apologizing for his discourtesy, and both priest and soldier asked Anza to await their arrival from Monterey. Anza waited, but the conference resulted in nothing. The two officers did not meet but conducted their negotiations by letter. Rivera, from his camp a short distance from San Luis, requested a conference at San Gabriel. Anza, who had lost four days in waiting, pushed on for San Gabriel where he waited three days more for Rivera to appear, and then resumed his march, first sending to Rivera a plan of the port of San Francisco, with the places selected for the fort and mission. At the Santa Ana river he was again overtaken by a messenger from Rivera who wrote that he had been so busy over the papers in the affair at San Diego that he had no time to write to his excellency, the viceroy. He begged Anza to make his excuses to the viceroy and at the same time enclosed him a letter to be delivered to the father guardian of the College of San Fernando. Anza, who was out of patience with Rivera's trifling and considered it disrespectful for him to write to the guardian and not to the viceroy, refused to receive the letter and sent it back. Crossing the San Jacinto mountains by the route he had come, he reached the Cienega de San Sebastian on the evening of May 7th. Wishing to cross the desert in one jornada if possible Anza made what he calls a tardeada—a late march—and starting at 12.45 p.m. of May 8th reached the Laguna de Santa Olalla at midnight of the 9th, having traveled twenty-five leagues with two rests of five and a half hours each. Joyfully received by the Indians of Santa Olalla, who brought the travelers an abundance of maize, beans, and other eatables, Anza rested his weary men and caballerías until three o'clock of the next afternoon and then resumed his march for the junction of the rivers, where he arrived at eleven on the morning of May 11th.

At the Puerto de la Concepcion Anza found Padre Esaire, one of the two priests that had accompanied him from Horcasitas to the Colorado river; the other, Garcés, had gone up the river, whence he had crossed the Mojave desert into the interior of California and was, at that moment on the Kern river on his way back from San Gabriel. Anza dispatched a letter by an Indian messenger to the place where Garcés was supposed to be, saying that he would wait three days and then resume his journey. He then began collecting logs for a raft, for the river was running full.

The next day came Palma, chief of the Yumas, to remind Anza of his agreement to take him to the City of Mexico. Anza represented to the chief that the City of Mexico was a great distance off, and that if Palma went there he would be a long time away from his people. Palma asked how many years he would be away and the comandante told him not more than one at most. Palma said it was well; that he had provided for the government of his nation during his absence, and he presented to Anza two underchiefs to whom he had committed the administration of affairs. Anza required him also to select three of his people to accompany him, that there might be witnesses to report to the Yumas if anything should befall their chief, and then, after consultation with the priests, granted Palma's petition. [21]

They now prepared to cross the river, selecting a place where it was compressed to about one hundred varas in width. The current was very rapid but the banks were approachable. One raft was launched on the morning of the 13th, loaded with some of Anza's people and baggage, directed by twenty-three Yumas swimming, and made the journey in safety, but consumed five and a half hours on the trip. At four o'clock another raft was sent over and made the opposite shore, but far down the stream, and was so badly damaged that the Yumas did not attempt to return it that night.

At daybreak the next morning the river was much higher and the great force of the water made the passage of the train very difficult. The provisions and such of the freight as could be divided into small portions were sent over in coritas and cajetes grandes, [22] which the women, swimming, pushed before them like little boats. Owing to the swiftness of the current a woman would have to swim more than fifteen hundred varas—four-fifths of a mile—in going and coming, and they had to bring back the empty vessels. Anza says that some of the women made twelve trips. All they asked for the service was a few glass beads, which Anza gave them in abundance. A raft was sent over at midday with some of the people of the expedition, and late in the afternoon two others were completed on which the rest of the command embarked. On the larger of the two were the comandante, the two priests, the purveyor, and some soldiers—thirteen persons in all. It was managed by forty Yumas in the water, but as it was leaving the bank it began to sink. Instantly more than two hundred Yumas—among them many women, plunged into the river and with much noise and shouting the raft was passed over to the other shore, traveling some eight hundred varas, its passengers safe, but a little wet. [Note 24] Anza says: "I have, before this, made the statement which I now most emphatically confirm, that the fact of our having the people of this river for friends, enables us to cross it with the fewest difficulties, and that were the contrary the case, it would be almost impossible to make the passage." [23]

On May 15th, having seen all his people and baggage safely over the river, Anza resumed his march, passing up the Gila some thirty-one and a half miles to the Laguna Salada; then leaving the river he struck across the Papaguería, direct to the southeast and by forced marches reached Carrizal, the sink of the Sonoita, about noon of the 19th, having lost six caballerías on the passage. From here on to the mission of Caborca on the Rio del Altar he followed the route of his upward passage of 1774. Starting from Caborca on the 25th, he continued his route to the southeast. At Real de la Cieneguilla, a rich gold mining camp, he took under his protection a pack-train that was waiting for an escort, this portion of the country being infested with Apaches, and reached San Miguel de Horcasitas and the end of his journey, June 1, 1776.

Here ends the diary. Anza's mission was accomplished. He had taken his people through in safety to Monterey, meeting with skill and courage the perils of the way—the cold, the deserts, the mountains, and the rivers—and he testifies that of all those entrusted to his care, not one had been lost except the woman who died in childbirth the first night out from Tubac. He had left them in a strange and far country and they had parted from him with tears, not because they had left home and friends, but because they should see his face no more.

Anza's character may be read in the pages of his diary. He was by nature simple and kindly, responsive to the call of duty and true to the "chivalrous traditions of heroic Spain." It is not easy to estimate the value of the services of this gallant soldier, and the monument erected in San Francisco to the Pioneers of California is incomplete without his name.

From San Diego Rivera wrote Moraga to build houses at Monterey for the people of the expedition as there would be a year's delay before the presidio could be founded at San Francisco; but on May 8th, the comandante, having changed his mind, ordered the lieutenant to proceed to San Francisco and establish the fort on the site selected by Anza, also instructing him to notify the priests that the founding of the two missions was for the present suspended. In conformity therefore with this order Lieutenant Moraga with Sergeant Grijalva and sixteen soldiers, two priests, seven colonists, besides servants, arrieros, and vaqueros, left Monterey, June 17th, and took the road followed by Anza to the peninsula of San Francisco. They traveled slowly, the men having their families with them, and on the 27th reached the site selected by Anza for the mission and camped on the bank of the Laguna de Manantial, which they called the Laguna de los Dolores, taking the name from the arroyo. The packet boat San Cárlos was to sail from Monterey with the stores and the remainder of the expedition. While waiting the arrival of the vessel Moraga employed the men in cutting timber for the buildings of the presidio and mission. After waiting a month for the vessel Moraga moved the greater part of his command to the site selected for the presidio, leaving six soldiers to guard the camp on the Laguna de los Dolores. On August 18th the paquebot arrived, seventy-three days from Monterey, having been driven by adverse winds as far south as San Diego. The commander of the San Cárlos, Lieutenant Fernando de Quiros, sent his sailors ashore and they, with the soldiers, began the construction of the buildings at the presidio and mission. At the former were built a chapel, a storehouse, and quarters for the troops, all of wood, and thatched with rushes. Before the arrival of the San Cárlos, on the 10th day of August, 1776, was born the first white child in San Francisco to the wife of the soldier De Soto in the camp at the mission.

On the 17th of September, "The anniversary of the impression of the wounds of our father Saint Francis, patron of the presidio and fort," as Father Palou says, they took formal possession of the presidio. Father Palou said mass, blessed the site, and after the elevation and adoration of the Holy Cross, concluded the religious services with the Te Deum. Then Moraga and his officers took formal possession in the name of the sovereign and with discharges of cannon by the San Cárlos and the shore batteries, and volleys of musketry from the troops, the city of San Francisco was born.  [24]

1. Palou: Noticias de la Nueva California, iv, 133. [back]
2. Jornada, a day's journey. [back]
3. Soldados de cuera, so called because of a sleeveless coat worn by them made of six or seven thicknesses of dressed deer skins, impervious to Indian arrows except at very short range. The horse was also protected, in part, by a leathern apron, fastened to the pommel of the saddle and covering the breast of the horse and the legs and thighs of the rider. The arms were lance and shield, carbine, and broadsword. [back]
4. A hymn of praise. [back]
5. John Russel Bartlett, U. S. Boundary commissioner. [back]
6. Hot Water; named by Anza on his upward passage May 19, 1774. [back]
7. Palma had visited Horcasitas to ask the governor of Sonora to establish a mission on the Rio Colorado. The diarist does not state whom Palma took for the king and viceroy. [back]
8. This referred to the destruction of the mission of San Diego by the Dieguenos, who, as well as those Indians called by the diarist Serranos, belonged to the Comeya. Anza had evidence that the Serranos of the San Jacinto mountains participated in the sack of the mission. [back]
9. The Pacific Ocean was usually called the South Sea. Father Font's map has it "Mar del Sur." [back]
10. It is difficult for one who is not a californian to realize how little the latitude has to do with the climate of California. On the coast the same temperature practically rules without regard to latitude, and in the interior, the northern citrus belt, six hundred miles north of Los Angeles, produces the earliest oranges. [back]
11. Esposa, as used here, does not mean spouse—wife, but a young woman who devotes herself to the service of the holy man. [back]
12. The government is taking measures to fortify the mouth of Lobos creek, which forms the southern boundary of the Presidio reservation, not to prevent the boats of a hostile fleet from entering the creek, but as a part of the system adopted for fortifying the harbor of San Francisco. [back]
13. The Farallon Islands; about twenty-five miles off the coast. [back]
14. Captain Benjamin Morrell, who visited the port in May, 1825, says: "The town of San Francisco stands on a table-land, about three hundred and fifty feet above the sea, on a peninsula five miles in width, on the south side of the entrance to the bay, about two miles to the east of the outer entrance, and one-fourth of a mile from the shore" (Morrell's Narrative, p. 211). The settlement at the presidio was abandoned after 1835-6, when the Americans and other foreigners began to build their trading-houses and residences at Yerba Buena. It was not on the mesa but on the lower and more sheltered ground of the presidio. [back]
15. Ojo de agua, means a spring of water or a spring from which flows a stream of water. Anza frequently used the expression to denote a small stream. [back]
16. The Friday of Sorrows is the Friday before Palm Sunday. [back]
17. It extends from a little north of Point San Pedro southerly to the San Francisquito creek. It was from the heights as he crossed into it that Portolá first saw the bay of San Francisco. It formed part of the Buri Buri and Las Pulgas grants and now belongs to the Spring Valley Water ompany and contains their principal reservoirs. [back]
18. 4 leagues: 10.4 miles. It is 9.75 miles from the Berkeley shore to the Marin coast. [back]
19. This was Suisun bay. [back]
20. "The Tulares" is a large tract of marsh reaching from Kern lake in the Upper San Joaquin valley to Butte in the Sacramento—a distance of about three hundred and fifty miles—and filled with tules or bulrushes. It has been largely drained and contains some of the richest land in California. [back]
21. Anza took with him to the City of Mexico Palma, his brother, a son of Pablo, and a Cajuenche Indian—four in all. They lived with him in a house in the Calle de la Merced and were handsomely entertained. They were baptized February 13, 1777; Don José Gomez, Cabo de Alabarderos, was sponsor. [back]
22. Corita—a large, shallow, water-tight basket. Cajete—a flat, earthen bowl. [back]
23. After the destruction of the missions of the Colorado in 1781, the overland route from Sonora was closed until sometime after the beginning of the nineteenth century. It was reopened in 1823, but there was always trouble with the Yumas. [back]
24. The authorities for the narrative of Anza's two journeys are his diary of 1774, his diary of 1775-6, Pedro Font's diary of 1775-6, and Garcés diary of 1775-6. Of Anza's subsequent career little is known. After his return from California he was made governor of New Mexico where he served until April, 1788. He died December 19th of that year and his widow and heirs were paid a year's salary of a colonel of cavalry—twenty-four hundred dollars. [back]
Source: Eldredge, Zoeth Skinner. The Beginnings of San Francisco. 1912: San Francisco.


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