San Francisco History

The Beginnings of San Francisco

Bucaréli to Rivera

Instructions of the viceroy to the comandante of California regarding the establishment at San Francisco. (Provicial State Papers Miscellaneous ii., 259, Spanish Archives of California.)

"In consequence of what you and the Reverend Father President of your missions have represented to me in your last letters, I have now resolved upon the occupation of the Port of San Francisco, persuaded that this port may serve as the base for future operations, and have decided that Captain Don Juan Bautista de Anza, who at present is in this capital, shall lead a new expedition by land from his presidio of Tubac, taking adequate provisions of fruits and cattle, which being finished and the land surveyed by him, he must return by the same road with the ten soldiers he will take, and give me an account of the results.

"Besides the escort (of ten soldiers) that will accompany him, he will take a lieutenant and a sergeant and he has orders to recruit in the province of Sonora twenty-eight men who will volunteer to go and make their homes in that country, and who, it is calculated, with their wives and children, will make a company of one hundred persons.

"With this consideration I have arranged that the packet boat destined to supply with provisions the presidio and mission of Monterey, shall carry sufficient (provisions) for their maintenance for one year, and have so ordered the commissary at San Blas, Don Francisco Hijosa, to act, taking care to send them entirely separate, and distinctly marked that you may know them. When they are received they must be put in a safe and suitable place where they may be preserved and kept on deposit until the arrival of Anza's expedition, and the domiciliation of the families he will transport takes place, at which time, as they have this destiny only, the use of these provisions must begin, without permitting them to have any other application. If Don Juan Bautista de Anza should have need of any (provisions) in order to return to Sonora they must be furnished him from those that may be in the presidio or in the missions.

"With this arrangement I believe I will have supplied the people you lack, as represented in your letter of 16th of June last, and with the sending of the arms, asked for in that of the 8th of October, which I suppose are in San Blas, or near that port, the needs for the defence of your establishments, which you state as urgent, will be supplied.

"The proposed occupation of the Port of San Francisco has for its object not only the utility which may inspire us with larger ideas, but that there may be in that place a constant and sure sign indicating the authority of the king; and as I consider the erection of the proposed missions very proper in order to accomplish this purpose and propagate religion among the gentiles that inhabit the neighboring lands, I earnestly beg and charge the Reverend Father Junípero, that in making selections of suitable religious men for these missions from among his subordinates, he will earnestly impress upon them the importance of the undertaking, as upon this depends their success; and it becomes a singular service to God and to the king, to which you must contribute, on your part, all necessary assistance.

"The indicated expedition will be under your orders in the custody of said port, from the very moment that Captain Don Juan Bautista de Anza arrives at your presidio and delivers it up to you; it being understood that the said captain has to assist also in the survey of the Rio de San Francisco, so as to be able to report to me what he has seen, and he will then return by the same road with the ten soldiers belonging to his presidio.

"God preserve you many years.
Mexico, December 15, 1774.
El Bailio Frey Don Antonio Bucaréli y Ursúa,
Señor Don Fernando de Rivera
y Moncada.

"P. S. The object of this expedition is to conduct troops for the escoltas of the two missions that I have resolved to establish in the Port of San Francisco. There is nothing so interesting as this undertaking in its relation to future plans when we know, through advices we have received by sea, of the abundant harvest of souls awaiting the apostolic zeal of the missionary fathers, and I say to the Reverend Father Junípero that, in order to give effect to the pious intentions of the king and that these establishments may mutually aid each other, I will, on my part, give all the support in my power, on your sending me the information that you are in accord with Father Serra.

"I have been informed of the abundant crops that have been raised this year in your country, and as the plentifulness of provisions can facilitate the conversion of the gentiles, I command this important matter to Padre Fray Junípero.

"Between the two missions and not far from the coast, the fort should be erected for the shelter of the troops in order that they may go to the aid of either when the six men assigned to each mission are not sufficient. You may also take from the presidio in your charge some of the men whom you consider most suitable as being accustomed to the country, and exchange them for others among the company Captain Anza will bring. You can arrange this with him, understanding that he is fully advised of everything."

El Bailio Bucaréli.
Señor Don Fernando
de Rivera y Moncada.

Source: Eldredge, Zoeth Skinner. The Beginnings of San Francisco. 1912: San Francisco.

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