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Fray Juan Crespi : missionary explorer on the Pacific Coast. 1769-1774 Bolton, Herbert Eugene, 1870-1953 1927

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The Spanish missionaries were superb pioneers of civilization. They spread the Christian faith among the
heathen beyond the borders of settlement; they taught
their rude neophytes the elements of European culture;
they directed the labor of their charges toward bringing
the frontier spaces under profitable cultivation; they
served as guardians of the border to hold back hostile
natives and intruding European neighbors.
Not the least of their pioneering service was their work
as explorers. No single body of records made so vast an
addition to geographical and ethnological knowledge of the
world in the same space of time as that contained in the
Jesuit letters and reports of the seventeenth century. In
two-thirds of the Western Hemisphere, in major and in
minor explorations alike, the missionaries generally played
a conspicuous part. For this there were good reasons.
Often the unattended friar could go unmolested and without arousing hostility into districts where soldiers were not
welcome. Because of their education they were the class
best fitted to record what they saw. So they were frequently sent alone to explore new frontiers, or as peace
emissaries to hostile tribes, or as chroniclers of expeditions
led by othera. Hence it is that the best diaries of early
exploration in the Southwest, and, indeed, of most of Spanish America, were written by the missionaries.
We have but to recall the example of Friar Marcos,
who led the way to the "Seven Cities"; the rediscovery of
New Mexico by Fray Agustin Rodriguez and his band; the
journeys of Father Larios into Coahuila; the astonishing
travels of Father Kino in the deserts of Sonora and Arizona; the diplomatic embassies of Father  Calahorra in
Texas; the lone travels of Father Garces, seeking a better
route to California; and the almost superhuman expedition
of Fathers Dominguez and Escalante, pathfinders in and
about the Great Basin that lies between the Wasatch and
the Sierras.
High in the list of these "splendid wayfarers" should
be placed the name of Fray Juan Crespi. The missionary
travels of this gentle Mallorcan friar carried him by sea
from Spain to America; by land, on foot or astride a horse
or a mule, all the way across Mexico, and the length of Old
and New California; and by sea again to the borders of
Alaska. To make known to the twentieth-century world
the remarkable journeys of Father Crespi is the purpose
of this volume. With rapid stroke they are sketched in the
Introduction. But this does not suffice. The only way to
appreciate his deeds as explorer and diarist is to read his
remarkable journals, and follow his itineraries with the
map. To make this possible to readers of English, Crespi's
diaries are printed here as the primary part of this book.
They have never before been assembled in one volume or
published as a separate work. They were scattered through
the tomes of Palou's New California, and are here reprinted from my English edition of that treatise (Berkeley,
1926), with the addition of several important hitherto unpublished documents, a special Introduction, and Editorial
The diaries are here introduced in a charming manner
by five intimate personal letters written by Father Crespi
during the historic journeys to San Diego, Monterey, and
San Francisco bays in 1769-1770. Three of these letters-
rare treasures out of the past—have never before been
published. They give a bird's-eye view of the memorable
expedition, and prepare the way for the details of the
diaries. Two of the letters were written to Father Palou,
Crespi's old schoolmate and lifelong friend; two were
addressed to Father Andres, his superior in Mexico City;
and the fifth to Jose de Galvez, the great visitor-general of
New Spain, under whose direction California was colonized.
The Introduction is devoted primarily to a sketch of the
principal expeditions in which Crespi took part. In the
Editorial Notes at the end of the volume are supplied
textual and other comments on the documents, and extensive data concerning manuscript materials for the episodes
covered by the diaries, especially from the archives of
Mexico and Spain. The footnotes are designed mainly to
assist the reader to an understanding of the narrative.
Preface      ii;
Fray Juan Crespi, Missionary Expix>rer '.    xi
The Crespi Manuscripts  lxii
The Portola Expedition  lxv
As told in Crespi's Letters      1
As told in Crespi's Diary    57
The Fages Expedition of 1772..
As told in Crespi's Diaries ....
The Perez Expedition	
As told in Crespi's Diary..
Editorial Notes	
. 275
. 277
. 305
. 307
. 367
. 389
The Monastery of  San Francisco, at Palma,  Mallorca,  where
Crespi was a pupil of Serra ^Frontispiece
First page of Crespi's letter to Father Andres.   From the Mann-
script in the Archives of Mexico     16
Mission   San   Carlos   Boi
Voyage of Discovery..
Portola's Eoute from San Diego
on a modern map	
Luis Obispo, projected
Luis Obispo to San Francisco Bay,
Portola's Boute from Sai
projected on a modern map	
Early Exploration around San Francisco Bay: Portola'a journe
up the coast in 1769, and Fages's journey via Santa Clai
Valley in 1772 „ _	
Crespi's Map of San Francisco Bay, 1772  288
The Perez Voyage to the North Pacific in 1774. Compiled by
Gilbert Becker. Based on the diary of Perez, whose dates
were one day behind those of Crespi .-.  304
Native Woman of Queen Charlotte Island, wearing a lip-piece.
From Dixon's Voyage Bound the World  320
Lip-pieee, horn spoon, and shell, used by Natives of Queen Charlotte Island.   From Dixon's Voyage Bound the World  336
Father Crespi as Diarist
Among all the great diarists who recorded
explorations in the New World, Juan Crespi
occupied a conspicuous place. For more than
three decades he pioneered the wilds of North
America. Like Francisco Palou he was a pupil
of the great Serra and for many years was his
close companion. Like them both he was a
Mallorcan. In the same mission with them he
came to America in 1749. With them he became a member of the Franciscan College of
San Fernando in Mexico. Beside them he went
as missionary to the Sierra G-orda, that wild
mountain fastness northeast of the Aztec capital.
With them he was sent to the Peninsula of California on the expulsion of the Jesuits in 1767,
and there was put in charge of Mission Purisima
Two years later he was one of the small band
of friars selected by Serra to join the Portola
expedition for the occupation of San Diego and
* The materials on which this sketch of Crespi is based are indicated at some length in the Editorial Notes at the end of the volume.
With few exceptions citations to authorities are not given in the
footnotes here.
Monterey, while Palou remained behind to fill
Serra's place as president on the Peninsula.
Crespi even preceded Serra on the great march,
for he joined Rivera y Moncada, who led the
vanguard, while Serra followed with Portola.
Crespi was one of the handful of pioneers who
planted the Cross and the banner of Spain at
San Diego in that fateful summer of 1769.
With Portola he continued north, accomplishing
the first European expedition by land up the
California coast. With the mystified Portola,
seeking the harbor of Monterey, he pushed still
farther north, and became one of the discoverers
of San Francisco Bay, whose existence theretofore was unknown, and whose importance he was
one of the first to recognize. He was the only
friar who made the whole fifteen hundred mile
march from Vellicata to San Francisco Bay and
back. Serra rode the weary way to San Diego;
Father Gomez made the long march thence to
San Francisco Bay; but of the three Crespi
alone covered the whole distance. For this
reason he was commissioned to prepare the
composite diary which was made.
Returning to San Diego, with Portola Crespi
again made the land march to Monterey, and
with Serra, who had come by water, he now
became one of the founders of Mission San
Carlos, or Carmel.   Carmel was his California
home, and there he spent the next twelve years,
as Serra's companion. During part of this time
Palou also was with his old friends. But for
each of them these years were broken by more
than one long jaunt. Two seasons had not
passed when Crespi went with Fages to find a
way around San Francisco Bay to Point Reyes.
A few weeks later he conducted a mule train
south with provisions for starving San Diego,
and returned with another trainload of supplies
brought thither from Mexico by the San Carlos.
Still another year later, with Father Pena, he
went as chaplain on the great sea voyage made
by Juan Perez to Alaska.
Back at Carmel, Crespi remained there as
missionary eight years more. At the end of that
time, with Serra he visited Palou at San Francisco, and beheld again the great bay of which
he had been one of the discoverers and explorers.
By now the sand of his hourglass had run, for
he had scarcely returned to Carmel when he
died, still in his prime, just past sixty.* His
years were few, but bis deeds were many and
Gentle character, devout Christian, zealous
missionary, faithful companion, his peculiar
fame will be that of diarist. Of all the men of
this half-decade, so prolific in frontier extension
up the Pacific Coast by sea and land, Crespi
alone participated in all the major path-breaking expeditions: from Vellicata to San Diego;
from San Diego to San Francisco Bay; from
Monterey to the San Joaquin Valley; from Monterey by sea to Alaska. In distance he out-
traveled Coronado.
In all these expeditions he went in the double
capacity of chaplain and diarist. With fingers
benumbed by cold, with inflamed eyes, in drenching rain, under burning desert suns, or in his
berth on a pitching ship, suffering the while
with nausea, he faithfully chronicled the happenings of these historic journeys. Of all his
expeditions he kept superb records that have
come down to us through a century and a half.
Of the march of the Rivera party from Vellicata
in 1769 his was the best of at least two diaries;
of the journey thence to San Francisco Bay and
return his was the best of three; of the famous
march with Fages in 1772, from Monterey to
San Joaquin River by way of the Contra Costa
and Carquinez Strait, indispensable records
are his exquisite diary and his curious, salamander-like map; and of the Perez voyage he
kept one of the best of the three or more journals. These precious pages record nearly two
thousand miles of land travel and a sea voyage
of twice that distance.  Missionary, globe trotter,
and diarist he was; breviary, pack mule, caravel,
and quill might decorate his coat of arms or his
book plate.
Crespi's record was carved deep in the
palimpsest of North America. His kindly deeds
and his Christian teachings will never die. In
the Sierra Gorda, on the Peninsula, and at
Carmel the baptisms, the marriages, and the
burials of hundreds of neophytes are recorded
in his distinguished hand. The archives of
. California, of Mexico, and of Spain are enriched
by his correspondence with officials and friends.
In his precious diaries the human toils, the
adventures, the thrills, the hopes, the fears of
three historic journeys on the Pacific Coast are
With the Portola Expedition-
The occupation of Alta California in 1769
was one of the dramatic episodes of American
colonial history. For over two hundred years
Spain had contemplated the step but had been
busy with more important affairs. Now and
again the region beckoned, but it was far remote.
Cabrillo made known the merits of San Diego
Bay. The multitude of intelligent natives which
he encountered on the Santa Barbara Channel
offered an enticing field for missionary labors.
Drake and Cavendish threatened the western
end of the mythical Strait of Anian, and caused
misgivings for the security of Spain's commerce
on the Pacific. The ravages of scurvy made
havoc with the crews of the Manila galleons as
they came clock-wise down the Pacific coast.
The merits of lime juice as an antiscorbutic were
not yet known, and California was often talked
of as a health-giving vegetable garden for sailors
returning from the Philippines. Vizcaino, sent
to explore, reconnoitered and over-advertised
Monterey Bay. But still Alta California was
not occupied. The province was not needed and
Spain was too busy elsewhere. And so for
another century and a half the Land of Sunshine was chiefly a matter of conversation and
Then the Russian Bear threatened and the
situation changed. In the seventeenth century
] the Muscovites had crossed Siberia and opened
: trade with China. Early in the eighteenth century Bering made his stupendous voyages into
the North Pacific. He discovered Bering Strait,
coasted the American mainland, and initiated
the fur trade. In a twinkling his voyages were
followed by a rush of fur traders to the Aleutian
Islands. Within a few years posts were established on Bering, Unalaska, Kadiak, and other
islands, for a distance of nearly a thousand
miles.    Aleuts and sea otters now paid awful
tribute to the gold-thirsty men of the North.
Though trading activities were as yet confined
largely to the Aleutian archipelago, alarming
rumors reached the Spanish court of an impending southward push of the Russians.
It was time to act. And action was assured
by the presence of two remarkable men on the
northern frontier of Mexico. One was Jose de
Galvez, the energetic visitor-general of New
Spain; the other was Junipero Serra, the fiery
head of the Franciscan missions of Old California. The decision to move came early in
1768. On January 23 a royal order was sent
to Viceroy Croix to resist any aggressions of
the Russians that might arise. This command,
which coincided with the views already arrived
at by the visitor-general and the viceroy, reached
Galvez as he was on his way to Lower California.
While settling affairs on the Peninsula,
Galvez organized the historic expedition that was
sent forth to hold Alta California. Specifically
it was designed to establish garrisons at San
Diego and Monterey, and to plant missions,
under military protection, to convert and civilize
the natives. The general command was entrusted to Portola, governor of the Peninsula,
and the missionary work to Father Serra. In
a spectacular expedition the enterprise was carried out in 1769.2 The San Carlos under Vicente
Vila and the San Antonio under Juan Perez
conducted a portion of the colony by sea, the rest
marched overland from Lower California in
two detachments.
Owing to errors in latitude made by the
earlier explorers the vessels sailed too far north
in their search for San Diego Bay. The San
Antonio* reached port after fifty-four days at
sea. Slower still, the San Carlos was one hundred and ten days on the way, and when she
entered the harbor her crew were too ill from
scurvy and lack of fresh water even to lower the
boats. A weary fortnight was spent chiefly in
caring for the sick and burying the dead. The
supply ship, the San Jose, on which hopes were
pinned, was never heard of again after her departure from port in Lower California.8
The land parties were more fortunate. Provisions for the journey, horses, mules, and cattle
were assembled at Vellicata, a post eighteen
leagues beyond Santa Maria, the northernmost
of the old Jesuit missions.! The first of the
overland parties waved goodbye at Vellicata on
March 24, 1769.   It* was led by Captain Rivera,
* Also called El Prfocipe.
t Villicata, or Vellieata, was the point of departure of the Portola
expedition from Old California. At the time Rivera and Crespi went
through it was an Indian village where no mission had been founded
as yet. Shortly afterward Serra and Portola arrived from the south
and founded at the site the Mission of San Fernando de Vellicata,
the first, last, and only mission on the Peninsula founded by the
Franciscans.   It was taken over by the Dominicans in 1773.   It is
commander of the company of Loreto. He had
twenty-five leather-jacket soldiers (soldados de
cuera), three muleteers, and some forty Indians
from the old missions, equipped with pick,
shovel, ax, and crowbar, to open the roads
through the mountains and across arroyos. As
chaplain and diarist went Father Juan Crespi,
principal historian of the expedition. To the
timid natives along the route the armored Spaniards were an apparition. Rivera's men were
declared to be "the finest horsemen in the world,
and among those soldiers who best earn their
bread from the august monarch whom they
serve." The cuera, which gave them their name,
was a leather jacket, like a coat without sleeves,
proof against the Indians' arrows except at very
close range. For additional armor they had
shields and chaps. The shields, carried on the
left arm, were made of two plies of bull's hide,
and would turn either arrow or spear. The
leather chaps or aprons, fastened to the pommel
of the saddle, protected legs and thighs from
brush and cactus spines.
The way was difficult and long, but the hours
were shortened by the joy of discovery. For
the first eight days the trail was that followed
by the Jesuit Father Linck three years before.
Thereafter, for over two hundred and fifty miles,
the route was now explored by white men for
the first time. Like De Soto, like Coronado,
Rivera and his men were pathfinders. Frequently water had to be carried in barrels and
skin bags (botas), for the Peninsula is dry.
More than once the animals had to halt for the
night without water, and sometimes there was
no fuel for a camp fire. Several nights were
made shivery by the screaming of a mountain
lion. Much of the way was over rugged mountains. The wild Indians did no harm, but
occasionally they were threatening. When the
Spaniards reached the coast it rained, and the
men spent uncomfortable nights in water-soaked
clothing. At last the difficult journey came to
an end. On the 13th of May scouts from a height
saw the masts of the two vessels anchored in
San Diego Bay. Next day their joy was mixed
with sadness; the welcome salutes and the fond
embraces were offset by news of the horrible
inroads made by scurvy into the ranks of the
sea party.4
Just one day after Rivera and Crespi reached
San Diego, Portola and Serra set out from
Vellicata. The season was better, the trail had
been broken, and the journey was quicker than
Rivera's, even though it may have lacked some
of the romance. On the last day of June, after
a march of six weeks, the wayfarers reached San
Diego.   Serra said Mass, the Te Deum was sung,
and artillery roared salute from the new outpost
of Church and State. This first band of Spanish
pioneers on the soil of Alta California, when all
were assembled, comprised one hundred and
twenty-six souls; twenty-three of the original
number had perished on the vessels or after
landing; of the mission Indians some had deserted on the way, reluctant to leave home. On
Sunday, the 16th of July, Serra preached to a
group of naked natives made happy by little
trinkets from his stock, and dedicated the mission of San Diego de Alcala. Nearby the
presidio of San Diego was founded.5 New California had been ushered into history.
The port of Monterey was still to be protected. Indeed, it was the main objective. Portola therefore sent the San Antonio back to
Mexico for men and supplies; then, leaving the
San Carlos at anchor for want of a crew, he continued up the coast by land to complete his task
without the aid of the vessels. The march began
on the 14th of July, two days before Serra
formally founded his mission of San Diego.
Ahead rode Ortega and his scouts. Next came
Portola, Fages, Costanso, Father Crespi and
Gomez, six Catalan volunteers, and the Indian
sappers. Now followed the pack train in four
divisions, each of twenty-five loaded mules, with
muleteers and a soldier guard.   Li the rear came
Captain Rivera, the rest of the soldiers, and
friendly Indians driving the caballada—the herd
of spare mules and horses.8
Portola and his band jogged northward along
the coast by a route practically on the line of the
railroads today. Most of the way pasture and
water were plentiful and the Indians numerous
and friendly. At Santa Ana River a sharp
earthquake was felt. "It lasted about half as
long as an Ave Maria, and about ten minutes
later it was repeated, though not violently." It
was from this circumstance that the inconstant
Santa Ana was long called the Rio de Ios Tem-
blores. Other shocks occurred during several
days, until the Los Angeles River was crossed.
Without great difficulty the coast was followed
past San Luis Obispo to a point near the southern line of Monterey County. But here the way
was blocked by the rugged Sierra de Santa Lucia,
whose steep cliffs overhang the sea, and a halt
of several days was necessary while Rivera and
the scouts sought a way through the mountains.
An opening was found by clambering up the
steep slopes along San Carpoforo Creek. The
way was continued then to the north and northeast for about fifty miles, across Nacimiento and
San Antonio rivers, and down Kent Canyon to
Salinas River, which was reached at the site of
King City.   This march through the Sierra de
Santa Lucia was one of the hardest stretches of
country encountered anywhere by the early explorers of the West. With grim humor Crespi
wrote, "The mountains . . . are inaccessible, not
only for men but also for goats and deer."
Arroyos flowing down the deep gorges had to be
crossed innumerable times. From a high peak
near San Antonio River nothing but mountains
could be seen in any direction. Sea and valley ■
were completely lost to view. "It was a sad
spectacle for us, poor wayfarers, tired and worn
out by the fatigues of the long journey." Some
of the soldiers by now were disabled by the
accursed scurvy. "All this tended to oppress
our hearts," said philosophic Crespi; "but, remembering the object to which these toils were
directed, and that it was for the greater glory
of God through the conversion of souls, and for
the service of the king, whose dominions were
being enlarged by this expedition, all were animated to work cheerfully."
When the scouts who went ahead looked down
the Salinas Valley they thought they saw the
ocean. The men now "all bestirred themselves,
supposing that the goal toward which we were
marching was only a short distance away, for
our desires traveled faster than we," says Cos-
tanso. But it was an illusion. Six more days'
march were necessary before the roar of the
sea was heard at Monterey Bay. The shore was
approached with breathless anticipation. Vizcaino had told of a "fine harbor." But none
was found, and Portola, bewildered, concluded
that some mistake had been made, and that the
harbor must be farther north. So north he continued up the coast. As the men pressed on
through the spacious forests, they saw, rank
upon rank, the sheer, ruddy trunks of giant
timber, and they called this new tree the palo
Colorado. This is the first historical mention
of the famous California redwood. At Half
Moon Bay they saw the Farallones, Point Reyes,
and Cermefio's (Drake's) Bay; this they recognized at once, for the old pilot Cabrera Bueno
had made it better known than any other point
on the north coast.
Plainly, they had passed Monterey and were
a long distance out of their course. So crossing
Montara Mountain they pitched camp at San
Pedro Point, to rest and debate what should be
done. Ortega, chief scout, was sent ahead to
try to reach Point Reyes. Next day, food being
nearly exhausted, some hunters struck into the
mountains northeast of the camp to look for
game. The chase, or perhaps only the hope of
it, led upward until presently they came out on
a clear height and beheld a great quiet harbor
to the east and north.   These hunters were the
first white men to report a glimpse of San Francisco Bay. Ortega returned a few hours behind
the hunters, with the news that his way to Point
Reyes was cut off by a roadstead that led into
the estuary described by the hunters—a noble
harbor that was almost land-locked, so near
together stood the two titanic pillars of its one
gate, open to the sunset ocean. Crespi, who saw
it next day, had a sense of its importance. "In
a word," he said, "it is a very large and fine
harbor, such that not only all the navy of our
most Catholic Majesty but those of all Europe
could take shelter in it."
The Indians near the Golden Gate had told
Ortega that two days' march to the north there
was a ship in a harbor. The hungry wayfarers
concluded, or dared to hope, that the vessel was
the San Jose, or perhaps the San Carlos, with
provisions. So Portola decided to push on and
find the ship. His way up the coast was cut
off by the newly-discovered channel, so he decided to go round the obstacle, by swinging
On the 4th of November the way-worn party
descended to the bay at Palo Alto. From here
Ortega and eight men were sent out to attempt
to reach Point Reyes by going round the estuary.
The worthy scout explored the bay to its southern extremity, but he succeeded in getting north
only to the neighborhood of Hayward. Either
from this point or while on the Peninsula Ortega
saw the passage through the Golden Gate and
the three islands within the strait—Alcatraz,
Yerba Buena, and Angel. Retracing their route
along the coast they again reached Point Pinos
and Monterey Bay. They planted two crosses,
one near Carmel River and the other on the bay
shore, and continued to San Diego.*
Though he was one of the lesser personages
of this historic expedition, Sergeant Ortega
should not be passed by without further mention.
He does not need my testimony, for Junipero
Serra gave him a eulogy that will fix his place
in history.   Ortega joined Portola's division of
* A good deal of debate has been indulged in as to whether
Ortega saw the entrance to the harbor. Unquestionably he saw it, for
the records of the Portola expedition plainly tell us so. From camp
at San Pedro Point he was sent north to explore, with Point Beyes
as an objective. After going "about three leagues" he reached the
"end or head of the estuary" which the hunters had described.
There his way was blocked by a "very noble and very large harbor,"
. . . "on the parallel of thirty-eight degrees." There were "three
islands within the strait which connects with the ocean between some
high mountains"—the pillars of the Golden Gate. On the basis of
Ortega's reports of his visit to the Golden Gate and of his tour
around to the Contra Costa, Costans6, engineer and map-maker,
drafted a map of San Francisco Bay that was strikingly accurate,
showing the passage to the ocean, and two arms of the bay, between
the Point Richmond and Alviso of today. (See Crespi's Diary, entry
for Nov. 3; Crespi to Pal6u, Feb. 6, 1770; Ortega to Palou, Feb. 9,
the California expedition, following or rather
guiding the governor all the way to San Diego.
Up to that point, of course, they were following
Rivera's trail, and Rivera's work as pathfinder
need not be minimized in an effort to exalt
Ortega. From San Diego northward Ortega
was the real pathfinder. His work can best be
set forth in Serra's own words:
"The Sergeant went with the expedition, and
as soon as we came to the end of a short stretch
of road which some of the soldiers knew because
they had been over it on a preceding expedition,
the governor appointed him to go every day
accompanied by a soldier to explore the route
that we were to take on the following day. And
thus he continued for the space of more than a
month that our journey lasted, going three times
over the road which the rest of us traveled but
once. He went to look for the watering place
and the camping site, returned with the information, and then went with all the party to the
place selected. The soldier who accompanied
him was sometimes relieved but the Sergeant
never. The danger of going in this way among
heathen people who were now resisting us, as
we learned afterwards, kept me in constant
anxiety; and, in fact, on some occasions his
escape in safety could be attributed only to the
saints of his devotion.
"After our arrival at San Diego, where
everybody was surprised at the manner in which
we had come, the departure from that port in
search of the harbor of Monterey was determined upon. The Sergeant never left off serving in the same office; and especially when they
went out in various directions to look for the
harbor, it was he who penetrated farthest in the
examination of the estuaries of San Francisco,
looking for a passage to the other shore."
Ortega's fame as Portola's chief scout in the
discovery of San Francisco Bay is not unmerited. Portola, commander; Crespi, diarist;
Ortega, scout.
At San Diego affairs had gone badly. Fifty
persons had died and the rest were homesick.
During Portola's absence they had had a serious
brush with the natives, who had pillaged their
huts and stripped the invalids of their garments.
Provisions were scarce, and there was even talk
of abandoning the enterprise. But Rivera was
dispatched to Loreto for stock and supplies, and
the pioneers held on as if they knew the full
meaning of their fortitude. In the crisis Serra's
faith was superb. "What I have desired least
is provisions," he wrote. "Our needs are many,
it is true; but if we have health, a tortilla, and
some vegetables, what more do we want? . .
If I see that along with food hope vanishes I
shall remain together with Father Juan Crespi
and hold out to the last breath."7
But relief was at hand. The supply ship
came. To the eyes of the friars, who kept an
unceasing vigil of prayer for nine days, and to
the discouraged Portola, the white sails of the
San Antonio cleaving the clear blue twilight
must have seemed as the wings of some heavenly
visitant, more beautiful than ever ship before
had spread to the beneficent wind. Alta California had been saved from the danger of abandonment. Another expedition to Monterey was
successful and the presidio and mission of San
Carlos were founded there (1770), near the spot
where one hundred and sixty-eight years before
Father Ascension had said Mass under a spreading oak tree.8 "Let thanks be given to His
Divine Majesty for the achievement of what has
cost so many steps and toils," wrote Crespi, who
had shared in all of them.
The Russian menace had been met. Spain's
frontier had been advanced eight hundred miles.
That the event was of more than local import
was generally felt, and the news of it, hurried
to Mexico by special courier and dispatch boat,
was celebrated at the capital. "His Excellency
[the Viceroy] wanted the whole population
forthwith to share the happiness which the information gave him, and therefore he ordered
a general ringing of the bells of the cathedral
and all the other churches, in order that everybody might realize the importance of the Port
of Monterey to the Crown of our monarch, and
also to give thanks for the happy success of the
expedition; for by this means the dominion of
our king had been extended over more than
three hundred leagues of land." To give the
event signal emphasis the viceroy ordered a
solemn Mass of thanksgiving sung in the
cathedral, and attended in person with his whole
viceregal court.
With the Fages Expedition
The long-talked-of harbors of San Diego and
Monterey had been occupied. But Galvez had
ordered that next a mission should be founded
for Saint Francis. And it must be estabJUshed
"on that saint's port," that is, on the bay near
Point Reyes known as San Francisco Bay ever
since the sixteenth century. This was the fiat
of the great Galvez.* Here was a pious task to
be performed; and, besides, the surprising new-
* In regard to the naming and location of Mission San Franciisco,
Galvez wrote an interesting letter to Serra on September 15, 1768.
This was six weeks before Galvez and Serra met and talked over
plans for New California. He said: "It is quite proper that each
religious order should invoke the protection of its own saints, and
especially must we remember the seraphic saint, Our Father San
Francisco. . . . We have seen how, in happy prophecy, the old
explorers gave the names of some of them to the principal points
on the coast above and below Monterey. The port where one of the
low to be established they called San Diego, and that
found bay or estuary piqued curiosity and
claimed attention. Portola had discovered the
puzzling harbor, but its merits were only half
recognized. In fact, it upset old notions of
geography. Cermeno had been wrecked in the
bay under Point Reyes (1595) and called it San
Francisco (now Drake's Bay). Portola regarded the noble sheet which he had stumbled
upon as tributary to Cermeno's harbor, and he
therefore called it the Estuary of the Bay of
San Francisco. By him it was regarded chiefly
as an obstruction in the path to Cermeno's Bay.
So he sent Ortega to go around the obstacle, but
the worthy scout succeeded only in getting to
the neighborhood of Hayward.
appellation must not be changed. To another fine harbor, situated in
thirty-eight and one-half degrees, they gave the name of the glorious
patriarch San Franciseo, and we must not change this very appropriate title, for after a foothold is once gained in Monterey it must
be the first mission to follow; and our Father, being so beloved of
God, will facilitate the establishment by means of his powerful intercession. Let the intervening mission be called San Buenaventura as
a guaranty of good fortune, and let those that may be founded afterward take the names of other saints of the order. We must not take
away the name of San Carlos from the port or from the town to be
founded at Monterey, for if is the good-omened name of our beloved
sovereign, of the Prince of the Asturias, and of the present Viceroy
of New Spain. Nevertheless, the titular saint of that church must be
the patriarch Senor San Joseph, because the present expedition has
been undertaken under his special patronage; but my saint will not
be offended if the temple having his appellation is small, for he is
very humble . . . and besides, he already has on the Peninsula two
missions commended to his protection." (Joseph de Galvez to Juni-
pero Serra, Santa Ana, September 15, 1768. MS. Museo Nacional,
Doc. Hist. Bel. Mis. Cal. Quarto I.)
Just a year behind Ortega, Pedro Fages
lifted the veil of mystery a little higher. He
had been with Portola, and was left by him in
command at Monterey. On his own initiative
he made another attempt to reach Point Reyes
by land. With six soldiers and a muleteer he
set forth from Monterey in November, 1770.
To the south end of San Francisco Bay he broke
new ground. Portola had held to the coast.
Fages and his men struck into the interior and
by a direct route marked out the present highway from Monterey to San Jose. Northeast they
rode across Salinas River, through the broad
Salinas Valley, over the San Juan grade past
the sites of Hollister, Gilroy, Coyote, and San
Jose, to the mouth of Guadalupe River.
Thus far all was path-finding, but here at the
head of the Bay Fages joined Ortega's trail.
Spurring their mounts forward and swinging
northwest now, his party skirted the Contra
Costa for two days, going seven leagues beyond
the point reached by Ortega. From the Berkeley hills they looked west through the Golden
Gate and to the north they beheld San Pablo
Bay cutting across their route to Point Reyes.
Being needed at Monterey Fages now turned his
horse's head homeward.9
Cermeno's bay was still the goal, and nobody
had succeeded in getting around the Estuary
that stood in the way. But events and curiosity
pushed the explorers on. In May (1771) the
Principe arrived in Monterey with ten friars to
found five new missions. One of them of course
was to be named San Francisco and founded
on "his port." For so Galvez had decreed. To
everybody this still meant Cermeno's bay, near
Point Reyes. Croix ordered preparatory explorations by sea and land, but other things
demanded attention. The Principe could not
undertake the task; Fages had to go to San
Diego for men and mules; and Serra was busy
founding Mission San Antonio in the Sierra de
Santa Lucia. Saint Francis had to wait. These
things attended to, and the winter rains over, in
March Fages set forth to make another attempt
to reach Point Reyes.
With the captain went Father Crespi, six
Catalonian volunteers, six Leather-jackets, a
muleteer, and an Indian servant. Crespi's firm
hand recorded the venture.* To the head of the
estuary they- followed the trail opened by Fages
more than a year before. Northwest to the
region of Hayward they retraced the ground
already twice covered by Ortega and Fages. To
the Berkeley hills they were on Fages's trail.
Thereafter they were path breakers once more,
and their pulses beat faster.
* Fages also wrote an excellent diary.
Where Oakland now stands the explorers
entered a vast plain and halted directly in front
of the Golden Gate. There, with his back to the
foothills, Crespi set up his instruments and in
the clear March atmosphere mapped the passage
from ocean to bay. To him the Golden Gate
seemed two miles wide or more. In front of the
Gate he noted the three islands which Ortega
had seen—Alcatraz, Yerba Buena, and Angel.
From the head of the estuary to this point he
called it fifteen leagues, an estimate that is
confirmed by the speedometer of any good automobile.
The cavalcade moved on. Below the green
hills of Berkeley Fages's men killed a bear, but
in turn were driven to desperation by mosquitoes.
Near the site of Richmond they visited a village
of fair and bearded Indians, who gave the
Spaniards stuffed decoy geese in exchange for
beads. A few miles farther on (six leagues from
the parallel of the Gate) near Pinole, perhaps,
they halted near "a large round bay" such that
"all the fleets of Spain could find room in it."
Crespi's queer map of the "round bay" and its
connections, preserved in Sevilla, is one of the
engaging bits of California cartography. This
fine harbor, of course, was San Pablo Bay.
Beyond it, to the northwest, the wayfarers would
reach Point Reyes.   But next day they suffered
a disappointment when they learned that their
way round the bay was cut off by Carquinez
Across this ribbon of water from the Vallejo
hills came Indians on rafts to meet the fair
strangers and offer them food. Along the strait
the horsemen jingled through other villages of
fair and bearded Indians who mingled admiration with surprise and fear as the cavalcade
passed. Near the site of Pacheco they entered
the beautiful valley in which Concord stands,
a paradise for their animals. Leaving its luxuriant meadows behind, they clambered up a
spur of Mount Diablo whence they, the first
Europeans, gazed down upon the great Sacramento Valley, in its immensity one of the
impressive sights of the world.
"We saw," says Crespi, "that the land
opened into a great plain as level as the palm
of the hand." To the north they beheld Suisun
Bay; to the east the maze of islands and channels
formed by the San Joaquin and Sacramento
rivers; and beyond, the haze-covered foothills of
the great Sierras. The soldiers thrilled with
their discovery; each was an embryo Columbus.
No other white man would be "first" to behold
this matchless country. The vista before them
challenged comparison with beloved homeland.
"Some of  those who were with us," writes
Crespi, "and who had seen the Ebro River in
Spain, declared that that stream is not half as
large as this one." Crespi himself was stirred
to superlatives. "To this great river I gave the
name of my Father San Francisco, . . . which
it seems must be the largest that has been discovered in all New Spain."
Descending the eastern slope of the ridge
they halted near the site of Pittsburg. Here
their outward journey ended, for they had been
overtaken by six Leather-jackets who had followed their di-m trail with letters requiring Fages
to hasten to Monterey and thence to San Gabriel
and San Diego. So, by the light of the campfire
they decided to return. The messengers were
not altogether inopportune, "in view of the fact
that our passage to Point Reyes for the examination of the port of our Father San Francisco
was cut off by these rivers." The bay near
Point Reyes was still the objective. But to cross
the river or the strait, boats would be necessary;
to go to the Sierras and around the stream would
require more men, more time, and more provisions. They were needed at home; hence they
decided to call it a day's work, return, and report to the viceroy.
By their circuitous route they had come
seventy-one leagues from Monterey;* but by
taking a more direct trail homeward they hoped
* Fages's estimate was somewhat less.
to shorten the distance and at the same time to
make new explorations. To the disappointed
this would yield at least a drop of consolation.
There was still something to see. Therefore,
reining southwestward they skirted the western
base of Mount Diablo, re-entered the Concord
Valley near Clayton, and continued west to the
region of Walnut Creek. Turning southeast
now, their spurs clinked past the site of Danville, and on through San Ramon Valley with
its oak-covered hills on either side. Veering
south they skirted the western edge of Liver-
more Valley, camped in front of the Hacienda
de las Pozas, crossed Sunol Valley, threaded
Mission Pass, and re-entered the valley of San
Francisco Bay. They had tied a great loop in
their trail. From this point they hastened to
Monterey by rapid marches over practically the
same route by which they had come. They had
covered in their journey nearly four hundred
miles, half the way over new ground.
This historic journey by Fages and Crespi
had more than merely exploratory significance.
It was a decisive factor in determining the location of San Francisco. Cermeno's bay or Point
Reyes had been predestined for that honor.
There was the historic port of Saint Francis.
But the new-found bay and its affluents stood
in the way. It was now concluded that communication with Point Reyes must be main-
tained by water; or better—and here was the
new thought expressed by Crespi—that the proposed settlement might be planted south of the
Golden Gate, in reach from Monterey by land,
and on the shore of the superb new harbor.
"From all that we have seen and learned,"
wrote Crespi in the last paragraph of his diary,
"it is inferred that if the new mission must
be established on the very harbor of San Francisco* or in its vicinity, neither provisions nor
stock can be taken to it by land; nor if it is
founded will it be able to maintain any connection with this port of Monterey unless several
canoes and some sailors are provided with which
to go from one place to the other, to transport
the necessities, and in this way make communication easy. May God our Lord, who penetrates
hearts, show the rulers what to decide in order
that they may make the decision most conducive
to His greater honor and glory, and to the welfare of those helpless, blind, and unhappy souls.
Amen." With his prayer and his diary Crespi
furnished the new idea. With the help of these
the rulers decided to found the Mission of Saint
Francis south and not north of the Golden Gate.
The Fages-Crespi expedition marks a distinct
step forward, both in discovery and in choice of
a site for San Francisco.10
* That is, Drake's Bay.
With the Perez Expedition
Not San Francisco harbor alone gave anxiety
for the northern coasts. It was the Russians
who had frightened Spain into the occupation
of New California, and the Russian danger had
not by any means passed. New and disquieting
rumors of the Muscovites continued to reach
Spanish ears. Conde de Lacy, Spanish plenipotentiary at St. Petersburg, sent alarming dispatches to Minister Arriaga at Madrid.* He
had heard that the Russian Tscherikow had recently made a voyage to the American coast, the
reports of which the government was jealously
keeping secret. Something sinister was brewing, and Spain must be on the qui vive!
Arriaga lost no time in forwarding the disturbing news to Viceroy Bucareli, with orders
to investigate. There was a buzz of excitement
in Bucareli's court, and the new viceroy showed
his quality by taking the lead. For immediate
help in this time of need he turned to Juan
Perez, ablest pilot in the California service, he
who first in this period had steered a ship into
the harbors of San Diego and Monterey. For
the ultimate problem in the North Pacific, which
he grasped with statesmanlike prescience, Buca-
, reli asked for a corps of skilled mariners, trained
for great (
In quick response the king sent from Spain
six officers of the royal marine, detailed especially
to explore the North Pacific waters and ward off
foreign danger there. This galaxy of mariners,
coming to San Bias, in the next two decades
made one of the brilliant chapters of seamanship in the history of North America. Hezeta,
Bodega, Ayala, Quiros, Choquet, and Manrique,
with several no less gallant associates, form a
group of bold sea-dogs of the Pacific who deserve
but still await an historian.
But it was a year before this marine corps
arrived. Meanwhile Bucareli met the need of
the moment with the materials at hand. New
orders from Madrid quickened his pace. Still
another Russian expedition to the American
coasts was reported. The ambitions of the Russian Bear must be checked or it would be too
Perez sprang to the breach. In September
he submitted a plan for an expedition to the
threatened shores. He would sail north, strike
the coast in latitude 45° or 50° and then recon-
noiter southward to spy out any lurking enemies.
The best time to start would be between December and February, and the best ship available
would be the transport Santiago, alias Nueva
Galicia, newly built for the California service.
Bucareli's ideas vaulted higher. He approved the plan and put Perez in command, but
ordered him to climb the North Pacific as far
as 60° and then coast downward. By all means
the purpose of the voyage must be kept a secret.
This was to be a preliminary reconnoissance
only, not a military expedition. Since Perez
would have no armed force, he must make no
settlement. But he must note the best sites on
the coast, take formal possession of them for
Carlos III, and get acquainted with the natives.
If he found strangers settled anywhere, he must
go them one better by taking possession a safe
distance farther to the north. Through his long-
winded instructions there floats the aroma of
the East brought west by old Marco Polo. In
the spirit of the days of the conquistadores,
Perez was ordered to report on the resources of
the country—its natives, its spices, its drugs, its
metals, its precious stones. He was provided
with copies of the latest Russian maps, sent for
the purpose, with royal solicitude, from Spain.
To win the natives he carried four chests of glass
beads and four hundred and sixty-eight strings.
In distributing these gifts great care must be
taken to discriminate between the high and the
lowly; more beads must be given to chiefs than
to the rank and file.11
Detailed paragraphs told Perez just how to
"take possession." They followed good old custom.   The permanent sign of ownership would
be a large wooden cross, set on a stone base, presumably in cement. For the appropriate ceremony Perez was provided with a long formulary,
couched in legal and pious terms, which, if heard
by the red men doubtless would be most impressive—and wholly unintelligible. In the stone
base of the cross a copy of the formulary of
possession must be deposited in a sealed glass
bottle or flask. This for any Europeans who
might come meddling down the coast. It was
to be like the leaden plates buried by France
up and down the Mississippi Valley as a warning to England, most of which were found, if
ever, long after both contestants were out of the
game, to be quarreled over only by scholars.
San Bias, the California sea base, bustled
and hummed to equip and provision the sturdy
ship. Galloping couriers carried despatches
over the mountains to and from the viceroy.
Late in January, 1774, the sails of the Santiago
filled and she glided from the harbor. On board
were eighty-eight men, counting officers, crew,
surgeon, and chaplain. Besides supplies for a
year's cruise the vessel carried provisions for
Monterey. Close behind, the Principe was sent
with additional supplies to Monterey, to serve,
as succor for Perez in case of need.
The Santiago carried a distinguished passenger—a wiry little man with compelling black
eyes, and an eager look. It was Father Serra,
returning now from his strenuous but successful mission to Mexico, where he had hypnotized
a viceroy and taken Fages's official head. He
had planned to wait for the Principe, but his
eager spirit could not bear to see a vessel depart
without him for his beloved Monterey.
At San Diego a three weeks' stop was made,
and here one of the unfit was weeded out. Not
all of Perez's men were heroes, any more than
were all those whom Washington began to
muster a few months later on the other side of
the continent. Indeed they were quite human
enough to be interesting. Dr. Joseph Davila,
sent as surgeon of the expedition, was one of
those many congenital landlubbers for whom
the ocean has unconquerable terrors. With him
Serra, who had a better stomach for the sea, was
completely disgusted. On the voyage to San
Diego the doctor lay prone in his berth, "not
from illness, but from fear," says Serra. "It
would take long to tell what was done to encourage him, but all in vain. And as soon as he set
foot on land he armed himself with a firm determination not to embark again. His wife
begged and I urged, but we could not budge him.
And there he is remaining till he has an opportunity to come by land."12 Consequently Don
Pedro Castan sailed on the voyage in the timid
doctor's place.
The voyage had been slow and the Santiago
did not reach Monterey till May 9. At three in
the afternoon the vessel fired a salute; anchor
was dropped in six fathoms; the Salve was sung
to the Virgin, and another volley fired. To each
salute the presidio guns gave response; at four
o'clock Captain Fages went aboard the ship to
pay his Official respects; and as he departed three
of the ship's guns boomed again and the sailors
shouted "Viva el Rey"—"Long live the King."
All these details of ceremony the staid pilot
E ste van Martinez gives us in his diary, a log
that is mostly taken up with nautical terms not
intelligible to the layman.
At Monterey Fathers Juan Crespi and Tomas
de la Peiia joined the expedition, named by Serra
to serve as chaplains. Crespi was now fifty-three
years old. He was worn by thousands of miles
of horseback travel on land, and his voyage to
America had proved him to be a poor sailor.
Nevertheless, he resigned himself to obedience
and undertook the hard service. Serra knew his
The departure from Monterey caused a stir
at the little outpost, for it was no everyday event.
Before embarking the men of the crew were confessed. To see them off Serra trudged with
the friars from Carmel over the hills and down
the long slope to the presidio, where also were
Fathers Palou and Murguia. At the beach they
embraced, Crespi and Pena said good-bye, and
went on board. This was on June 6. Anchors
were raised and the next day the Santiago was
towed from the harbor. But they reckoned
without Aeolus. They had scarcely set sail
when a contrary wind drove them back into the
harbor. In this the pious saw the hand of God,
for on the 8th the Principe arrived with the
latest news from San Bias. This of course
occasioned another delay, and while they waited
the chaplains visited the friars on land.
Jehovah was now pitted against the god of
the winds. At the request of Perez, the seaman,
Mass was sung to Our Lady. Serra officiated;
Friars Crespi, Pena, Palou, Murguia and Du-
metz made up the choir. There on the slope of
the deep-hued bay, on the spot where one hundred and seventy-two years before Vizcaino had
landed, the rich harmonies of the majestic
Church melody voiced the hopes and the prayers
of the prospective voyagers, eager yet half
afraid. A picnic dinner on the beach by friars
and officers gave a festive touch, offset the same
day by a tinge of sadness cast by the death of
the boatswain on board the ship. His body was
sent ashore for burial, where presumably it still
rests, in the Campo Santo of the presidial church
of San Carlos.   His clothing was sold "for his
burial and for the good of his soul." On the
llth the Santiago was towed out of the harbor
once more and the voyage was begun de veras.
Crespi's instructions, like Pena's, required
him to report only his observations on land, but
he decided to keep a diary of the sea voyage,
when weather and his inescapable sea-sickness
permitted. The Santiago was breaking new sea
paths. Not for one hundred and seventy years,
not since the famed voyage of Vizcaino, had the
Spaniards examined by sea the coasts beyond
Monterey. The Manila galleon, 'tis true, coming east, usually sighted Cape Mendocino, and
steered thence southward, but these were commercial and not exploring voyages, and the galleons stuck to a course familiar by long use.
Crespi's diary of the journey, like his others,
therefore, has the interest always attached to
"firstness" in discovery.13
Still the sailing was unfavorable. For two
weeks the winds were inconstant, weak, or contrary, and the weather misty. Four days after
sailing the Santiago was wafted back once more
almost to the starting point. By the 24th it had
been driven south below 34°, the latitude of Los
Angeles. San Bias now was a better gamble
than Alaska. Next day, however, the sky cleared
and they began to gain altitude. The good winds
continued, but most of the way the shut-in hori-
zon was so lowering with clouds, fog, and mist
that "it caused great horror and fear, navigating unknown seas."
The monotony of the dreary northward voyage in the crowded ship was broken by various
diversions, chiefly drab-hued. Whenever the
timid sun appeared the pilots set up their instruments and observed the latitude. On Sundays
the chaplains preached and sometimes the sailors
took communion. One day a sick sailor received
the sacrament of extreme unction. The fickle
winds shifted and the course of the craft became
a dizzy zigzag. More than once Aeolus balked
and the ship was becalmed on the wide ocean
waste. A bright rainbow followed by a squall
deserved mention in Crespi's diary. Now some
sea lions were sighted; then some birds in the
air suggested that land was near. Often in the
higher latitudes the mist turned to downright
rain, and then the sailors from the southland
huddled with numb fingers and chattering teeth.
As the winds got better the skies became heavier.
The sailors became downcast, but Perez held on,
and when on July 9th the pilots announced latitude 45° all.were "delighted." Good breezes
now wafted the Santiago rapidly north and six
days later she was above latitude 51°.
This July 15 was a decisive day in the voyage.
Bucareli's instructions said sixty degrees, then
to the coast. But even viceregal commands
must be construed with reason. Perez called a
council in which it was decided to approach land.
The winds so contrary early in the voyage were
now driving him rapidly north, and he feared
lest he might not be able to get back home. The
water supply was low, "some hogsheads with
two barrels, some with one, and others entirely
empty." The crew was dispirited and weak
from cold and illness. To the simple sailors
with Perez the terrors of the uncharted North
Pacific were no less real than those which cowed
the crews of Columbus when he ventured across
the mysterious Sea of the West. To the officers
assembled these seemed reasons enough for veering to the shore, even though they were nine
wide degrees short of the goal marked on the
map by the hard-driving Bucareli.*
The talked-of moment seemed now at hand.
As preparation for taking possession of the
country the carpenters made a wooden cross.
This standard must proclaim to all comers God,
the King, and the year, so it bore the inscriptions
INRI—Carolus III Hispaniarum Rex—Aflo
de 1774. (Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews
—Carlos III, King of the Spains—The Year
1774.)   As they approached the coast they still
* Since the instructions required him to go to 60° he considered
that this decision needed an explanation. The above is the one that
he gave (Perez to Bucareli, Monterey, August 31, 1774.   MS.).
gained altitude, and on July 18 when land was
first seen they were in 53° 43'. For yet two days
more Perez worked northward, "without seeing
sun or stars." On the 20th he stood in front of
Santa Margarita Point, the northernmost tip of
Queen Charlotte Island, in latitude 55°, according to his estimate. This was another memorable day in the voyage—indeed this day and the
next, of all the days, were given the most space
in Crespi's diary.
Friar Juan gives a graphic account of experiences here at this "farthest north" of the
Perez voyage. As the Santiago approached on
the 20th the smokes of many fires could be seen
on land. Then from the roadstead a canoe
sallied forth. The occupants were singing, and
while seven men rowed the eighth, a painted
barbarian, stood up in the boat, danced, and
threw feathers into the water—driving off
strange devils, perhaps. Their singing reminded
Crespi of the natives of New California. As
they made a turn around the vessel, from the
cabin the Spaniards called them to come near.
Suspicious at first, when coaxed with bright
colored handkerchiefs, biscuits, and bread, they
drew close enough to seize the tantalizing gifts.
When a rope was thrown down they declined
to climb up, but by holding on they gleefully
waterplaned  behind  the  vessel for  a  goodly
stretch. Later another canoe approached the
vessel for presents and barter. After nightfall
a third canoe-load came on a begging cruise and
by their yelling and singing disturbed evening
prayers on board.
Next day a whole fleet, bearing more than
two hundred persons, swarmed and swirled
around the vessel eager to trade. Some sang,
others strummed a wooden instrument like a
drum. Some of the canoes were twelve yards
in the keel and held twenty men. One contained
only women who rowed and steered "as well as
the most dextrous sailors." Two bold natives
went aboard, marveled at the wonders of the
ship, and were shown the image of Our Lady.
Two sailors in return delighted the natives by
leaping into the canoes and dancing with the
occupants. The young women especially gazed
at them with admiring eyes. Two red-letter
days were these in the lives of the natives, to be
recounted round many a campfire, no doubt,
until in after years the visits of the white men
became all too frequent.
Crespi's notes on these early Canadians are
unique, for the Perez expedition marks their
first recorded contact with Europeans. "They
are very fat," he writes, "of a good appearance,
red and white in color,* with long hair; and they
* Perez said they had "blue and particolored eyes" (Perez to
Bucareli, August 31, 1774).
cover themselves with skins of beaver and sea
lions." This was gratifying to our good friar,
who sometimes had had to close his eyes as he
passed among naked villagers in California.
"All or most of them wear rush hats, well woven,
with a pointed crown. They are not at all noisy,
and they seemed to us to be mild and good tempered." .
The excellent water craft of the islanders
attracted his attention. "These canoes looked
to us as though they were all one piece, very well
hewn. They were made with keels, almost in
the same way as those used in the Channel of
Santa Barbara, except that these have a rear
deck, which the others lack, and the prow is not
open, as is customary in the Channel. The oars
are well made. We saw in the canoes two very
long harpoons and two axes, one of which looked
to me, by the way it shone, to be made of iron,
but I could not be sure. We saw that the point
of one of the harpoons was of iron, in the form
of a pike."
The handiwork of the natives caught Crespi's
keen eye. There were fur blankets made of
tanned skins; others of woven hair in several
colors, with fringes; mats made of palm fiber;
fine hats and ordinary hats, wooden trays well
carved in relief with figures of animals, birds,
and men; wooden spoons; a spoon made of horn;
woven belts; carved and painted pine boxes
with cord hinges, inlaid with shell work. Of
food they had only dried fish.
With due propriety the friar devoted another
word to the women. This time it was to their
lip-sticks. They wore wooden discs pendant
from the lips making them look as if their
tongues were hanging out. Crespi was intrigued
by the mechanics of the thing. "They manage
it with great facility and simply by a movement
of the lip they raise it and cover the mouth and
part of the nose." Here the friar felt the time-
old man's puzzle. Why this feminine trap?
"We do not know what their purpose is, whether
it be to make themselves ugly or to adorn themselves. I am inclined to the latter." He adds,
"We were interested also to see that the women
wear rings on their fingers and bracelets of iron
and copper."*
The sailors traded for trophies to show their
friends at San Bias. The conical hats and the
curiously made mats were favorite acquisitions.
One "obtained for a large knife that he gave
* Thirteen years after Perez' voyage Captain George Dixon, in
the Queen Charlotte, visited the Indians at almost precisely the same
place, and his report of the natives is strikingly like that given by
Crespi. It is contained in Captain George Dixon, A Voyage Bound
the World . . . in 1785, 1786, 1787, and 1788 (ed. 2, London, 1789).
Like the friar, Dixon was much interested in the lip-sticks of the
women. He published a drawing of one of them, and of one of the
horn spoons.**
them a well plaited rush hat of several colors;
the crown was conical in shape, about a span
high, and the brim of the hat was not more than
six inches wide. Another sailor bought from
them for a large knife a very pretty little mat
a yard square, woven of fine palms of two colors,
white and black, which, being woven in little
squares, makes a good and handsome piece." In
return for these articles iron was the thing most
coveted by the natives. Some of the sailors got
more than they paid for. More than one "who
bought cloaks passed the night badly because
they covered themselves with them and had to
scratch, on account of the bites of the vermin
which these heathen breed in their clothing."
The commander distributed presents, and got in
return some curios which he sent to the viceroy.
For three days Perez tried to round Santa
Margarita Point, but the swift current prevented. To the north he made out Cape Santa
Maria Magdalena (Point Muzon, on Prince of
Wales Island). Between these two capes lay
Dixon Entrance, the "bay, pocket, or strait,"
whose waters checked his advance. On July 22
Perez made observations and found that he was
exactly in 55°. In his maneuvers he had been,
or seen, as high as 55° 49'. His latitudes were
obviously too high. He tried to land, but wind
and current made it impossible.   Divine aid was
needed, and next day a Novena was begun to San
Juan Nepomuceno—evidently Perez's patron
saint—but the weather did not improve. So the
prow of the Santiago was turned homeward, to
reconnoiter the coast as it went.*
The southward voyage was even rougher and
darker than the northward cruise. Dangerous
winds and cloudy weather prevented a close
approach to the shore. But numerous points on
the coast were seen even though at a distance,
and one discovery was notable. A few days out
they saw and named Sierra de San Cristobal
on Queen Charlotte Island, but were unable to
land. On August 6 the shore of Vancouver
Island was seen. On the 8th anchor was dropped
at San Lorenzo harbor, that Nootka Sound
which fifteen years later became such a bone
of contention between Spain and England. Of
this disputed morsel of North America Perez
was the discoverer. The southern point of the
harbor he named San Estevan, in honor of
second pilot Estevan Martinez, he who later
played first role in the international drama that
was staged on those shores. Indians were seen,
and trade flourished as at Santa Margarita.
* ' • Tired now of trying to land, accomplishing nothing, I decided to continue exploring south from the said latitude of 55 degrees,
keeping as close as possible to the coast, but neither the wind nor
the cloudy weather permitted me to do so till the 28th of the same
month" (Perez to Bucareli, August 31).
Momentary fair weather revived Perez's
hope of being able to land and take possession.
Here the first cross should be erected. All hands
were as eager as the commander to put their feet
on terra firma. Next day they put out the
launch to go ashore, but Fate forbade. A west
wind arose, dragged the anchor, and threatened
to drive the Santiago on the rocks. In grave
peril of shipwreck Perez cut the cable, sacrificed
his anchor, and set sail in a storm, towing the
launch. So rough was the sea and so weak were
his men now from scurvy that they could
scarcely get the launch aboard.
Keeping gingerly near the coast, as they
edged along south they saw snow-covered Mount
Olympus and named it Cerro Nevado de Santa
Rosalia. From here forward the shore was frequently seen, but owing to almost constant dark
weather and contrary winds no landing was
made, and the cross so laboriously carved by the
carpenters had an unexpectedly long voyage.
On the way down it rained several dreary days,
the weather was cold, and the sailors suffered
terribly from scurvy. One man died. "I also,"
says Crespi, "have been so badly affected in the
mouth that I have not been able to celebrate
Mass, but my companion celebrated and gave
the sermon."
When Cape Mendocino was sighted everybody was cheered, for the name of this landmark
had a familiar sound. But when next day the
ship was becalmed spirits again went down;
another Novena was begun, and that night the
sailors made a pious promise to the Holy Mother
if she would take them safely to port. But
pulses rose again for port was near. Men
shouted when the Farallones were seen; and
next day there were louder cheers when the
white adobes of the presidio came in sight. The
galliard was hoisted to the foremast and the
pennant flung to the breeze. From shore a
launch was put out; the Salve and three cannon
salutes on board were answered by the presidio.
Here Crespi* landed, home from his last long
On November 2 the sea-worn Santiago sailed
into the harbor of San Bias, whence she had
started nearly a year before. Perez and his men
had not reached sixty degrees, and they had not
planted the cross on land, but they had made
a plucky voyage into unknown seas. Bucareli
complimented the brave Alferez with words of
appreciation; the king, in a more substantial
way, recognized his merit by promotion.
Bancroft's estimate of Perez's achievement
is a sound one: "In this expedition Juan Perez,
though he had not reached latitude 60°, as instructed, nor discovered any good ports, nor
* Pena also.
landed anywhere to take possession for Spain,
nor found either foreign establishments or proof
of their non-existence, had still gained the honor
of having discovered practically the whole
Northwest Coast. He had surveyed a large
portion of the two great islands that make up
the coast of British Columbia, giving the first
description of the natives; he had seen and described, though vaguely and from a distance,
nearly all of the Washington coast, and a large
part of the Oregon. He had given to his nation
whatever of credit and territorial claims may
be founded on the mere act of first discovery."*
Crespi made no more long journeys. The
remaining eight years of his life were spent in
quiet but active missionary work at Carmel.
But his travels became justly famous among
his fellow-friars. Soon after his death Palou
chanced one day to be speaking to Serra of the
dearth of volunteers for the missionary service.
With a sigh the weary president replied: "If
the friars of our Holy Province who knew the
late Fray Juan Crespi could but see what he
accomplished, and the great harvest which he
was able to gather, great numbers of them would
be encouraged to come. If they were but to
read his diaries it would be enough to move
many of them to the point of leaving fatherland
* Bancroft, H. H., History of the Northwest Coast, pp. 156-157.
and monastery to undertake the journey in
order to have a share in this vineyard of the
Crespi's travels and toils in California may
be summed up in the simple words of Palou, his
lifelong friend and fellow-missionary:
He was the first missionary to tread its soil, for
he started in the year 1769 from the mission of
Purisima with the first division of the land expedition which discovered the harbor of San Diego. He
continued afterward with the expedition by land
until it discovered this harbor of Our Seraphic
Father San Francisco, whence he returned with the
expedition to San Diego. Shortly after his arrival
there he set out again with the expedition in search
of Monterey, and having found the harbor he took
part in the founding of the presidio and mission of
San Carlos in company with the reverend father
president. In the second year after the founding of
that mission he set out with Commander Don Pedro
Fages to explore this harbor, in which expedition
were discovered the great river or rivers which
flow into this harbor, through whose outlet they
descend to the sea. While they were engaged in
this exploration they had to turn back, as is related
in his diary. After returning to Monterey, having
traveled one hundred and forty leagues, he was sent
by the reverend father president to San Diego to
prevent the abandonment of that port, threatened on
account of the lack of provisions, which was relieved
* Pal6u, Vida del Padre Serra, dedicatory letter.
by the supplies sent by the commander with that
Shortly before the end of the year he again went
up to Monterey, and in the year 1774 he embarked
with Captain Don Juan Perez in the frigate Santiago
on the first expedition to the high latitudes of the
coasts of this sea. After his return he remained
in the mission of San Carlos until God took him
away to reward him for all these labors, from
which he had suffered in so many journeys by sea
and land, and I do not doubt he will have great
glory in heaven, for they were all directed to these
spiritual conquests. Besides being a very exemplary
and humble friar, for I knew him since he was a
boy, as we were reared together and studied together
from the very first rudiments until we finished
theology, he was highly regarded among all his
fellow pupils for his mystic and perfect religion.
For this reason I have no doubt that he is enjoying
Qod, and that he will pray to Him for the conversion
of all these heathen, for which end he labored so
Diaries of all three of Crespi's exploring journeys were included
in Pal6u's Noticias de Nueva California. The only manuscript of
this work known to be extant is that made by Figueroa. When
Pal6u left California in 1785 he took the original of his Noticias
with him and filed it in the archives of the College of San Fernando,
in the City, of Mexico, of which he became guardian or president.
Shortly before he died an order came from Madrid asking for the
compilation of a great body of documents on which to base a monumental history of New Spain. Pursuant to this order Fray Francisco
Garcia Figueroa, of the College in San Cosme, in Mexico, compiled
thirty-two volumes of Memorias para la Historic, de Nueva Espana.
Two of these volumes comprised Pal6u's Noticias. The transcript,
made from Pal6u's autograph manuscript "with all the exactitude
permitted by the wretched and difficult handwriting of the original,''
was certified by Father Figueroa himself on December 3, 1792. Six
decades afterward, in 1857, the Noticias was published by the government of Mexico in the great collection of Documentos para la
Historia de Mexico. It was printed from the Figueroa manuscript,
for Pal6u's holograph had disappeared. Seventeen years still later,
in 1874, a small edition—one hundred copies—was published in San
Francisco by John T. Doyle. Not knowing the whereabouts of the
manuscript, Doyle merely reprinted the Mexican text.
Some twenty years ago I examined the original Figueroa manuscript in the archives of Mexico. A comparison of the printed Mexico
edition with the manuscript showed a multitude of variations. Palou
wrote a direct and simple style. The Mexican editor, a belated
G6ngorist, freely substituted "elegant" phrases for Pal6u's plain
terms. In most cases the sense was not greatly altered, but the
resulting text was by no means a faithful copy, and Doyle's text,
as a matter of course, has the same defects. Indeed, Doyle's text
was not well proof-read, and contains more errors than the Mexican
edition. When in 1926, therefore, I published an English version of
Pal6u's history (Paldu's New California) I based the translation
directly on the Figueroa MS. and not on the printed texts. That
manuscript was laboriously compared with the editions of the Mexican
editor and Doyle, which I designated respectively as M. and D.    To
justify departure in many places from these printed versions, and
incidentally to help establish a correct text, most of the principal
variations of M. and D. from the manuscript—several hundred in
number—were indicated in the Editorial Notes.
The Crespi diaries thus scattered through Pal6u's Noticias are
here reprinted from my English edition of that work. Of the principal diary, that of the Portola expedition, the Figueroa manuscript
is the only version known to be extant. Of the other diaries there
are manuscripts in the Arehivo General de Indias, at Sevilla. Several
copies were usually made of such documents, but they were seldom
identical in all respects, and so it was with these. Although in
essentials they are not greatly different, the archive versions vary
from the Figueroa texts in numerous minor particulars. For this
reason both the archive and the Figueroa texts of the Crespi diary
of the Fages expedition are here printed. The Crespi letters here
published are from the British Museum and the archives of Mexico.
Two of them are included in the Appendices to my edition of Pal6u,
but the others have never before been printed. With this explanation
the manuscripts of the three diaries may be listed as follows:
The Portola Expedition, 1769-1770
A. The Paldu-Figueroa MS.: "Diario del Viage, y descripci6n de
Ios dilatados eaminos, que a mayor honrra y gloria de Dios N. S. y
de N. Rey (que D. G.) hieieron Ios Misioneros Apostolicos del Colegio
de San Fernando de Mexico . . . desde la Mision frontera llamada
N. S. de Ios Angeles, hasta Ios Puertos de San Diego y Monterey,
toda de tierra de Gentilidad en Ios afios del Senor de 1769, y 1770,"
etc. (printed here).   See p. 53, Note.
The Fages Expedition op 1772
B. The Sevilla MS.: "Diario de la Expedizion que desde la Misi6n
de San Carlos de Monterey emprendio el Reverendo Padre Fray Juan
Crespi, Predieador Apostolico del Colegio de San Fernando de
Megico, en eompania del Senor Capitan y Soldados del Presidio en
demanda del Puerto de San Francisco, por el mes de Marzo de 1772."
This is the original official draft of the diary. It is in the Arehivo
General de Indias (at Sevilla), 104-6-17. Cited in Chapman's
Catalogue, No. 1925. This version and C. tell essentially the same
story, but they supplement each other at many interesting points.
C. The Paldu-Figueroa MS.: "Diario que se form6 en el registro
q. se hizo del Puerto de Nuestro Padre S." Francisco." (Printed
here in part.)
D. Crespi's Map: Crespi made a most interesting map of the
results of this expedition, the original manuscript of which is in the
Arehivo General de Indias. It has been reproduced in Wagner, The
Spanish Southwest, Robertson, The Harbor of St. Francis, and
Pal6u's New California (Bolton, editor). It is reproduced in this
volume, also.
The P£rez Expedition, 1774
E. The Sevilla MS.: "Afio 1774. Diario que yo, Fr. Juan Crespi
Misionero del Colegio de Propaganda Fide de S." Fernando
de Mexico, formo del Viage de la Fragata de su Mag.d nombrada
Santiago, alias La Nueva Galicia, mandada por su Capitan y Alf erez
de Fragata D.n Juan Perez, que por orden del Exe."10 S. Baylio Frey
D. Antonio Maria Bucareli y Ursua Virrey de la Nueva Espafia va
a haeer de las Costas del Norte de Monte-Bey, que se halla en la
Altura de 36 grados y medio del Norte, hasta Ios 60 grados a lo
menos." Printed by Griffin in the Historical Society of Southern
California Publications, Vol. II, Part I, Los Angeles, 1891.
F. The Paldu-Figueroa MS.: "Diario de la Expedicion de Mar
que hizo la Fragata Santiago en la que fueron Ios Padres Predic* Fr.
Juan Crespi y Fr. Tomas de la Pena." (Printed here.) See p. 366,
The Crespi letters here printed are from three manuscript collections. The letters to Palou, June 9, 1769 and February 5, 1770, and
to Father Andres, June 11, 1770, are from the British Museum (Add.
MS. 13974. Copia de Cartas escritas por el P. P.or Fr. Juan Crespi.)
These are official copies of letters sent by Guardian Verger to his
superior (see p. 21, Note). They are printed here without Verger's
annotations. The letter to Father Andres, June 22, 1769, is from
the original in the Museo Nacional de Mexico (Documentos Relativos
a las Misiones de Californias, MS. Quarto Series, Vol. I). The letter
to Joseph de Galvez, February 9, 1770, is from the original in the
Arehivo General y Publico, Mexico (Californias, Vol. 66). The letters
of June 9, 1769 and February 6, 1770, were printed in Pal6u's New
California (Bolton, editor, Berkeley, 1926), Vol. IV, pp. 253-265,
269-285.   The others have never before been printed.
SAN DIEGO, JUNE 9, 1769.*
To mt Reverend Father Lector, Fellow-Student
and Pbesujent, Fr. Francisco Palou.
My very dear fellow-student and friend: I shall
be very glad if this letter finds your Reverence in
the perfect health that my deep affection wishes for
you. I give thanks to God for this favor to me, and
as always I am awaiting orders for your further
My dear friend: On the 22d of March, Wednesday of Holy Week, between two and three o'clock
in the afternoon, I reached Villacata well and without any injury to my health. The two boys whom
I brought with me and the soldier Islas were likewise sound. Arriving at Villacata I found the
captain well and ready to leave on Holy Thursday,
although we did not start on that day. I very much
desired to write your Reverence from that place
before our departure, but the captain's impatience
and the fact of my having just arrived at the place
did not permit it. The 24th of March, Good Friday,
we left Villacata in the afternoon, starting our journey in search of the port of San Diego.   The 14th
•British Museum. Add MS. 13974. Copia de Cartas escritas
por P. P.or Fr. Juan Crespi.
of May, the Feast of Espiritu Santo, we arrived
with the greatest success at this pleasant port of
San Diego, all in good health, thanks to the Lord,
having spent fifty-two days on the way, with not a
few misadventures on such an unknown road, in
danger every instant, since it was all so thickly
populated with numerous Indians; but thanks to the
Lord we suffered no harm anywhere on the way.
When we arrived at this port of San Diego we
found in it the two packetboats, San Carlos and El
Principe. The latter arrived here the llth of April
and the former the 29th of the same month. We
found the crews of both ships and the soldiers from
the San Carlos filling a hospital on shore, recovering from the disease of loanda or scurvy. Up to
the present twenty-one have died from the crews
of both ships, besides one or two of the soldiers on
the San Carlos. At this time the sailors on El
Principe are very few, since those who are somewhat stronger, and able to walk and do a little work,
are only about six or seven, while of the soldiers
only three are well, all the rest being sick, many
dying, the majority with cramps in the legs or all
over the body. With all this trouble your Reverence
can easily see how well fitted this sea expedition is
to continue its course to Monterey.
At present only those of us who came by land
are in good health. We found here Fathers Parron,
Vizcaino, and Gomez, who, although they have been
a little indisposed, are all well once more. Of all
our band the one who is frailest and weakest is
Father Parron, who says that he will stay at this
port.   Of those on the two vessels the strongest are
the lieutenant of the volunteers, Sr. Costanzo, the
captain of El Principe, and his pilot. Although
some of them have been ill, they have now recovered,
and with the few that I brought they are the only
ones from the two vessels that are able to do anything. The San Carlos spent three months and nineteen days on the voyage, since they went as far as
thirty-five degrees in search of this port, and the
same thing happened to El Principe, although, as I
have observed, this port is only thirty-two degrees
and forty-two minutes north latitude. As a matter
of fact, they are disembarking the leather-jacket
soldiers from El Principe, in order to send it to
San Bias to inform the visitor-general of what
occurred on the sea expedition. Meanwhile, if the
San Joseph* does not come, or the sick do not get
relief, I do not know how the commanders will
manage to go on to Monte Rey. God has seen fit to
send us the gift of patience and submission to the
Most High Providence of the Lord, since He willed
that those of us who came by land should arrive at
this port in good health. I am much troubled because I do not know when our father lector president
and the governor will come.
When we reached this port, since there was no
fresh water near, we went back about a league, still
in sight of it, where the fathers who arrived the
first of the month had already investigated. We
found there a good sized riverf which empties into
the sea through an estuary which the ships use as a
* This supply vessel was lost at sea, never being heard of after
it set out on its voyage.
fSan Diego River.
watering-station. This river has a very large, broad
plain on its banks, which seems to be of very good
soil, with many willows, some poplars, and some
alders, although so far it has not been possible to
examine it properly. If the river is permanent it
may prove in time to be the best of those discovered
in all California. On the banks of this river, which
are thickly covered with willows, there are many
Castilian rose bushes with very fragrant roses,
which I have held in my hand and smelled. All
the plain is dotted over with wild grapevines, which
look as if they had been planted, and at present
their many branches are in bloom. We have been
in this port since the second day of the Feast of
Espiritu Santo,16 but we have not yet been able to
begin the mission, and we are much troubled because
the river, which flows through the plain and which
has very good, clear water, as we have observed
every day, is drying up to such a degree that
although two weeks ago when we arrived we saw it
flowing with an abundant stream, it has now diminished so that it hardly runs at all, and they say now
that they can cross it dry shod. If this continues
it will be necessary to look for another place to
establish the mission and obtain irrigation.
This port is a large, level place in the midst
of great meadows and plains, with very good pasturage for all kinds of cattle, and not a stone is found
for variety. All the port is well populated with a
large number of villages of Indians, too clever, wide
awake, and business-like for any Spaniard to get
ahead of them. The men are naked and almost all
are very much painted.   They are well armed with
bows and quivers of arrows. We are camped near
one of their villages. They received us in peace,
thanks to the Lord, and so far there has been no
trouble, but strict care is necessary, since they are
great thieves. The women, as many as we have seen,
are all properly clothed with a thick apron from
the waist in front, and skins of deer or seals behind,
and some have a garment made of hare or rabbit
skins in the shape of a cape with which they cover
their breasts and the rest of their bodies, in the
manner of a blanket.
We suffered great cold on the way and it still
prevails. The northwest and west winds are very
cold—too cold. But in spite of it all we have kept
our health throughout, except one soldier, who
became ill during the week of our departure from
Villacata. I administered all the sacraments to him
as he seemed to be in the last extremity, but, thanks
to God, he recovered and at present is safe and
Many of the fifty-one Christian Indians who
accompanied us were sick. I buried five on the way,
and almost all the rest absconded on the road. But
this is not to be wondered at, since they did not give
them food where there was mescal, which was lacking most of the way. When this failed they had to
get along with only a little atole, although the need
of water was more urgent than that of atole. Since
I could not remedy this at all, it is not strange that
they returned to their missions, or that of the whole
number only thirteen reached this port, or that
some of them were sick.
I do not know how to tell your Reverence what
we suffered from hunger on this journey, because
the captain brought only sixteen tierces of very old
flour and ten packs of jerked beef. This was all
the food that was brought; and if he had left eight
other tierces of the flour which he did not wish to
bring, we surely should have perished from starvation halfway along the road. From what he did
bring we had two meals a day of poor tortillas,
which were mostly bran, and a bit of roasted jerked
beef that was so hard and so salty that only necessity
could make one eat it, except some days when they
boiled it in water. On those days we considered it
a great treat to have a little stew, which was more
like brine than anything else, but the beef, which
softened with cooking, tasted as if it were the finest
This was all the food we had on the journey.
The beef gave out eleven days before we reached
this port, and the soldiers got along with a single
dry tortilla, although mine lasted until we arrived
here. This, without any seasoning or sauce, and
the morning chocolate, which was more like a poor
syrup than anything else, was our only food. Praise
God for preserving our health.
Almost all the road was through the mountain,
or mountains, some of them very rough, but we
found water and good pasturage in them on every
day's march. We always traveled on the mountains because the captain had a complete aversion
for going down to the seashore, until finally the
mountain forced us to descend because of its height,
roughness, and steepness, and he was obliged, in
spite of himself, to allow us to come down to the
beach. In my opinion all our good fortune in not
perishing was due to this, because the beach gave
us a good and very easy passage by land, was well
supplied with pasturage, and had sufficient fresh
water for all. We reached this port with only three
tierces of flour and part of another, and this only
because when the first eight tierces were used up
strict orders were given that the two tortillas that
were distributed as rations at the two meals should
be made very thin, so that we might not perish
Words fail me in which to tell your Reverence
of the danger that this man put us in because of
his whim, since, without knowing what road we had
to travel over, he left at Villacata as much flour as
he brought with him, considerable corn, four or
five boxes of chocolate, and four or five jars of wine
and brandy, of which he brought only his case full,
although there were a great plenty of mules, for in
all one hundred and eighty-nine have come.
Moreover, instead of the fifty-two days that we
spent on the way, the journey could have been made
in a month or a little over. I do not know why,
except that it suited his fancy, we were in some
spots two days, and in some even two and a half,
as is seen by what I wrote in my diary, a copy of
which will not fail to reach your Reverence in time,
together with the latitudes and directions on the
occasions when they could be observed on the way.
I have reckoned the distance from Santa Maria
to this port as one hundred and twenty-eight leagues,
and from Villacata as one hundred and eight*
leagues and a half. On all the journey we found
about ten good sites, with sufficient land and water
for establishing missions, and with soil suitable to
raise everything. Many sites have marshes and
moist land, as will be seen in the diary in good time.
The first place was San Isidoro in thirty-one degrees
and five minutes. It has much moist land and some
other land for irrigation, with a very good stream
of water somewhat larger than that which flows
near the Hospice of Tepic, well-wooded with white
poplars, many willows, underbrush, and pasturage
for the cattle. This stream flows to the northwest
by west at the foot of a very high mountain.
Six or seven leagues beyond Rio de San Isidoro
we came upon a large river very much blocked up
and choked with trees. I called it Rio de San
Dionisio, and although we saw no land good for
agriculture where we crossed, we learned from some
Indians by signs that it emptied into the sea, and
that two or three streams of water joined it; and
that beyond the mountain there was a great confluence ; hence we did not doubt that near the shore
there might be some plains that would be suitable
for establishing a mission. Two leagues beyond the
river of San Dionisio we came upon a stream which
I called the San Leon. It has a flow of water perhaps as large as the San Joseph Comundu; and
although we did not see any arable land in passing,
we were persuaded that some would be found on
* See Crespi's letter to Father Andres, p. 15.
I will mention only one other place, the one which
I called San Francisco Solano, since in time you
will read about all of them in the diary. This San
Francisco Solano is a large valley, which is in 32°
and 12', and is entered from the north. In the
center of the level ground it has two springs about
two hundred feet apart, one larger than the other,
and from the two there is a good flow of water.
It has also abundant land and pasturage, and I do
not doubt that one hundred bushels of wheat could
be sown there. Moreover, it is well wooded. The
captain and the soldiers told me that there are to
the west-northwest of this valley many marshes and
much tule land, and that a large amount of moist
land could be planted. From the Christian Indians
I also learned that by going in the same direction
to the beach, which is not very far from this valley,
one finds there a large body of water flowing like
a river.
Besides this, to the east and northeast, two rivers
can be made out in the distance, flowing down from
the mountain between green, wooded banks, which
we conjectured might also have good water, although
we could not explore them. Of all the good places
this seems to me the most advantageous. And thus
your Reverence has now a good site for establishing
the mission of San Francisco Solano, which will be
about eighty leagues distant from Villacata, according to my reckoning. Besides, this is the eighth
of the good locations, counting from Villacata, while
from San Francisco Solano to this place there are
only two others, namely San Jorge and San Juan
Bautista.   This last also might be a good mission.
It is fifteen leagues distant from this port of San
Diego, but I could not take its latitude. It was there
that we began to get news of the ships, in some
well populated villages of Indians who crowded
around us and were very peaceful but wide-awake.
All along the road from Villacata, as we continually saw from the mountain, there were many footprints, and many well worn paths of the Indians,
but, although we came upon many villages, we did
not find a very large number of people because the
greater part of the mountain is very barren, so that
the poor wretches do not have anything to eat. Even
the mescal, their daily bread, is not to be found in
the greater part of the mountains, and those that
we crossed are so very poor that the numerous tribes
of Indians on the two slopes are forced to get their
living from the sea.
On all the mountain we saw no trees that produce
food except some on a peak in the distance that
appeared to be pines. Indeed, all the trees that
we came upon were on streams, and as far as
we have penetrated the mountains continue even
barer than those about the old missions. When we
descended to the shore because the mountain had
closed our road by its height and steepness, our
Gracious Lady wished it to be at the great Bay of the
Virgins.* The map does not show it quite correctly,
because it represents it with one island, whereas it
has two islands, with all the headlands or farallones
that the map shows.   The bay is about twenty-eight
* Todos Santos Bay. Port San Quentin, a little north of Todos
Santos, was called by Vizcaino the Bay of Eleven Thousand Virgins,
in allusion to the Virgins of Cologne.
leagues from this port, and is in thirty-two degrees
and fourteen minutes north latitude.
When we reached the coast we began to encounter
what we had expected, that is, very well populated
Indian villages. From the tops of the nearby hills
Indians well armed with their bows and quivers
began to shout at us, and although we made signs
to them to come to us and that we did not intend
to harm them, they never let themselves be seen at
close range. For three days one village of twenty-
nine Indians followed us along the hill-tops, shouting all the time and too often with gestures of wanting to shoot us with their arrows. Indeed, on the
second day they came so near us that they were
almost within shooting distance. Fearing an ambush in some pass, the captain ordered the pack
animals halted, and that all the soldiers should then
show themselves with their shields and their arms
in their hands, drawn up in battle array. All the
Indians drew up on a small hill in the same valley
a little more than a gunshot away. The captain
gave orders that none of our men should say a word,
but all should be on the lookout. All the Indians
were shouting at us and making gestures of intending to shoot us, until finally, although they were
not within shooting distance, they shot three arrows
into the air, which fell not far from the captain
and the soldiers. At this demonstration the captain
and another soldier fired twice without hitting the
Indians because they were out of range. For this
reason they retreated to the top of the Sierra, which
was near, and gradually disappeared, giving a loud
war whoop.
We were delayed more than two hours in this
affray, but when the Indians had disappeared we
continued our journey, giving thanks to the Lord.
The following day we came upon the river of San
Juan Bautista, on which we found a village of very
peaceful and friendly Indians, from whom we
learned by signs that the port of San Diego was
not very far away, and that the two ships were
there, and that there were fathers dressed in habits
like mine. From this settlement a number of Li-
dians guided us from village to village until we
reached this port, which, as I have said, is about
fifteen leagues distant from the Rio de San Juan
Although I should like to enlarge upon this
narrative more, I cannot, and although I intend to
write to my dear Father Martinez, I shall not be
able to do so at such length. Therefore I request
you to show him this letter and beg him to consider
it as his, and tell all the other father companions
that I hope they are enjoying the best of health,
begging them all most earnestly to keep me in mind
in their sacred devotions, and to pray that we may
arrive at the port of Monterey as soon as possible,
although I do not know what means will be found,
since almost all are sick, including the commander
of the ships, Don Vicente Vila, and his pilot.
Please, your Reverence, accept the warmest
greetings from the fathers and the captain who are
all in perfect health. I remain, your Reverence, as
always, entirely yours, begging God that he may
guard and keep you many years.
From this port of San Diego, June 9, 1769. As
always, your Reverence's most affectionate fellow
student, friend, and humble servant, who honors you
in all things.
Feat Juan Crespi (Rubric).
SAN DIEGO, JUNE 22, 1769.*
My Reverend Father Guardian, Fray Juan Andres :f
I shall be indeed happy if at the time of receiving
this letter your Reverence is enjoying very robust
health. I, thank God, am enjoying this blessing, and
I humbly place it at your feet for the fulfillment of
orders to your satisfaction.
On the 26th of February of this year, by order
of the reverend father president, I left the mission
of Purishna Concepcion,^ where I was missionary,
and took the road to the north for the glorious conquest of the multitude of heathen who dwell in this
hemisphere at the ports of San Diego and Monterey.
On the 22d of March I arrived at Villacata, which is
situated in the midst of the heathen, eighteen leagues
from the frontier mission of Santa Maria, having
traveled by land a distance of one hundred and
eighty-two leagues from Purisima, from which I
started, to the aforesaid place of Villacata. There
I met Don Fernando de Rivera y Moncada, captain
of this province and commander of this land expedition, who was awaiting me so that we might enter
immediately among the heathen to look for this port
of San Diego.
* Museo Nacional de Mexico. Documentos Relativos a las Misiones
de Californias.   MS.    (Quarto Series, Vol. I.)
t Fray Juan Andres was Guardian, or Superior, of the College of
San Fernando in Mexico City, from which came all the early Franciscans to Alta California.
t Father Crespi's
r California.
On the 24th of March we set out from Villacata—
the commander, twenty-five leather-jacket soldiers,
three muleteers, and about fifty-two Christian
Indians from the missions—taking the necessary
provisions and a convoy of about one hundred and
eighty mules and horses, while I alone accompanied
the expedition for its spiritual administration. On
the 14th of May, the Feast of Espiritu Santo, we
arrived at this fine harbor of San Diego, all in good
health, thanks to the Lord, nothing special having
occurred on the road. To travel from Villacata to
this port took us fifty-two days, most of the way
through rugged and barren mountains such as are
common in this Peninsula of California. The distance to this port, according to the computation
which I have made in the diary which I have formed
by order of the father president, is one hundred and
* twenty-eight leagues and a half, counting from
Santa Maria, the frontier of the heathen, which is
eighteen leagues from Villacata, and consequently
from Villacata whence we started to this port it is
one hundred and ten leagues and a hah?.*
Having arrived here on the day that I have just
said, we found at anchor his Majesty's two packet-
boats, the San Carlos and the Principe. The Principe had arrived in April, having taken about a
month and a hah? for its voyage from Cape San
Lucas. The San Carlos dropped anchor on the 29th
of the same month of April, having spent in its
voyage three months and nineteen days. We found
erected on land a general hospital for the crew of
* Li his letter to Pal6u he says 108% leagues from Villacata and
128 from Santa Maria.   See pp. 7-8.
both barks, and the twenty-five volunteer soldiers
of the San Carlos. Up to the present time some
twenty-three persons have died, most of them
sailors, but including two of the soldiers mentioned.
Nearly all of the members of the sea expedition still
living are very sick with scurvy; only a few are able
to stand, and only by a miracle can most of them
escape. The commanders of the expedition, being
in this difficulty, have determined that the Principe
shall sail as soon as possible for San Bias to report
what has happened to His Excellency the Viceroy
and to the Senor Visitor-General.* I found here
the father companions Father Viscaino, Father Parron, and Father Gomez, who had come with the two
barks. They are all in good health, and since they
will report everything more fully to your Reverence
I shall not stop to trouble you further in this matter.
We are momentarily expecting the arrival of the
father president and the governor of this province
by land, but as yet we have had no news of them
whatever. May God be pleased to bring them in
safety as soon as possible.
The number of heathen in the whole country is
truly large, but the land we find more barren the farther inland we go, and greatly lacking in food for the
poor, miserable heathen. Although the daily bread
of the unfortunates who live in this land is mescal,
it is lacking in most of the country as far as my eyes
have seen, for which reason most of the heathen
resort to the two coasts in order to live on sea food.
As soon as we reached this opposite coastf we came
* Joseph de Galvez.
t He means the Pacific Ocean, which was reached near Todos
Santos Bay.
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across many villages. All the heathen men go
naked, with no other clothing than that which nature
gave them. The women go modestly covered in
front with strings which they wear tied at the waist
and behind with skins of deer or seal; they also
cover the breasts and the rest of the body with a
sort of cape made of hare and rabbit skins which
they join together very skillfully. Both men and
women are much painted, and the men have the lobes
of their ears pierced, from which they hang sea-
shells. All are well armed with quivers and arrows.
All the heathen of the interior are wide awake and
are great traders. They are docile, although along
the road one village of twenty-nine heathen followed
us with signs of wishing to shoot arrows at us.
They followed us for three days, and then shot at
us, but not within range. Seeing this demonstration
ouf soldiers fired two shots at them, but no one was
wounded on either side, and thereupon the heathen
retired and left us in peace.
This port of San Diego has been found by the
pilots not to be in latitude 33 or 34 degrees as stated
in ancient history, but only in 32 degrees and 42
minutes. When we arrived here we found a good
river* running quite full about a league away, but
in these few days it has entirely dried up. Yesterday, the 21st of the month, Father Viscaino and
I, accompanied by the lieutenant of the troops,
Don Pedro Fages, and the engineer, Don Miguel
Costanzo, with seven or eight soldiers, went out to
explore it. We followed the river, which runs
through a valley with a good plain of land, which
* San Diego River.
narrows in parts to about half a league or a quarter
of a league. It appears to be good arable land, and
seems to have marshes or damp soil. The bed of
the stream is full of trees, such as willows, poplars,
and sycamores, but the river we found dry in many
places, although in some parts there are pools and
in others it flows a very little. We traveled about
three leagues along its bed and plain, which continues in the same way, until we reached the place
where it comes down from the Sierra through a
narrow pass, but where the water still does not
run.* We do not know whether this river could be
used for irrigation or not, but if it depends on rainfall, as is the case in other parts, good seasonal
plantings can be made, for it has plenty of land
and good places for cattle with good grass. But in
the whole region there is no building stone visible,
and it seems that firewood also is scarce in the
entire vicinity, as far as can be seen.
It appears that in accordance with the orders of
the father president, Fray Fernando Parron will
remain here, and that according to the instructions
which I have from the father president I shall go
on to Monterey as soon as the barks sail to join the
father president there, when God may be pleased
to permit it. May His divine Majesty grant that
this may happen soon, in order to raise in that port
the standard of the holy cross forever, and to reduce
to the holy faith that numerous body of heathen
which is collected there the same as here.
* Later on the missionaries built a dam in this vicinity, the
remains of which are still visible.
I do not know whether your Reverence will
have received my two letters which I wrote from
Purisima, I believe it was in May and November of
the past year of 1768. In them I begged you to
grant me the consolation, when the mission shall
have arrived from Spain, and ministers shall have
come to bear us company, of favoring me by permitting my companion, Father Cruzado,* whom I
left in Tilaco, to come to join me. He desires it
very much, as he told me before we separated, but
he did not come then because not more than one
could come from each mission, as was done. We
have been companions for a long time, and there
is much that he could do there. Even though I shall
go on to Monterey to join the father president, as
I have already said, from what I learned of the
plans it seems that in a short time the three missions that are to be founded now, will perhaps
become six; and therefore there will always be room
for Father Cruzado, if it be your pleasure, and the
holy bishopric will send him.
Although I have my good habit, the old one has
been worn out in this long journey all the way
through mountains, and so when opportunity offers
I should be glad if you would send me a habit with
a hood and a tunic and cord, for here there is nothing
of which to make them. I am also greatly in need
of some handkerchiefs for the dust; four or six
might be sent, since they are so far away—thick
ones from La Puebla, for I have only two, which I
brought out of the Sierra,f and they are already
* Fathers Crespi and Cruzado had been stationed together at
Tilaco in the Sierra Gorda.
t He means the Sierra Gorda, in Mexico.
badly worn, and since I have been in this country
I have not been able to get any. I also ask you for
a good encased crucifix for the rosary, for the one
that I have is breaking. This is a favor for which I
shall be very grateful, and God will reward you for
it. Pardon me for troubling you. I pray God to
preserve your important life for me for many years
in His divine love and grace. From this port of
San Diego, June 22, 1769. I kiss Your Reverence's
hands. Your least and most humble servant, who
venerates you.
Fray Juan Crespi (Rubric).
I make the enclosed request for Father Cruzado.
And I commend myself with all my heart to all the
Holy Community, praying that you will keep me
present in your holy sacrifices and prayers.
san diego, february 6, 1770.*
hail jesus, mary, and joseph!
My Reverend Father Lector, Fellow Student, and
PREsmENT Fr. Francisco Palou. My Ever-
Honored and Very Dear Fellow Student in
Christ :
How eager I am that this may find your Reverence in the full perfection of health! Although very
much fatigued by the long journey and pilgrimage
that we have just completed, Father Gomez and I
are in good health, thanks be to God, in spite of the
indescribable toils through which we have passed,
and, in accordance with my desire, together with our
Father Lector Junipero, I promise as always to
serve you in everything that may please you.
My dear friend:—Last year, '69, when the Principe was about to leave this port of San Diego at
the end of June or the beginning of July, I wrote
to your Reverence several letters concerning my
safe arrival at this port, and how also our father
lector had arrived with the governor.   In one letter
•British Museum. Add MS. 13974. Copia de Cartas escritaa
por el P. P.or Fr. Juan Crespi. [Verger makes the following endorsement:] Copy of letters written by the Father Preacher Fray Juan
I wrote at length about what happened to the crews
of the two ships and the expedition, and those that
had died at this port, and how at the same time the
expedition by land continued its journey in search
of the port of Monterey, on which Father Gomez
and I were going, as we did. I suppose that you
must have received those letters of mine and learned
their contents.
Now I will tell your Reverence how on the 14th
of July of last year, '69, we left this port of San
Diego, traveling by land with faces toward the
north, to go in search of the much praised port of
Monterey. On the 14th of January of the present
(-year we all arrived again on our return, having gone
jto the parallel of thirty-eight degrees, where lies
the port of San Francisco. However, that of Monterey has become invisible to us, and we did not find
it anywhere throughout the journey. And judging
from what we saw all along the coast, using the
greatest care that it was possible to observe and
that your Reverence can think of, we did not find
the port of Monterey before we came upon that of
San Francisco, which is a very noble and very large
harbor and is on the parallel of thirty-eight c
Crespi, apostolic missionary of the College of San Fernando of
Mexico, concerning the land expeditions which were made in the
year of 1769 in search of the port of Monterey. After having worked
for seventeen years with laudable zeal in the missions of the Sierra
Gorda, which were under the charge of that college, he went to California for the same work in 1768. Also a letter of Sergeant Don
Joseph Francisco de Ortega, who accompanied the same expedition.
With the correction of the above letters, they agree with their originals; and no new copy is sent because the mail does not permit.
August 4, 1771.
Fray Rafael Verger, Guardian.
as I said. We were at that port about seven days,
and I will go on explaining with all detail what we
saw and explored up to that place. Unless the port
of Monterey is beyond thirty-eight degrees (and
then all the accounts and Cabrera would be proved
wrong, which can hardly be believed, since we saw
very clearly all that Cabrera in particular says of
the coast, with as much exactitude as if he had been
with us and told it to us) that is the place. Therefore, the best and most careful conclusion that we
could come to is that Monterey has been lost or
the land swallowed up, unless, as I have said, it is
beyond thirty-eight degrees. I will now go on
When we left this port of San Diego for Monterey we always kept close to the shore (and only near
this port, so as to take a straight line, did we leave
it for about six leagues) until, about a month after
setting out from here, that is, on the 14th of August,
we entered the first regular town of the Channel
of Santa Barbara, which was given the name of
Assumpta de Maria Santissima, since we both said
Mass there. This place has a pretty river, land,
and numerous peaceful and friendly Indians. From
this place to the Punta de la Conversion,* which is
probably about eight or ten leagues beyond, come
the majority of the islands that form this channel,
and which are probably about five or six leagues
from the mainland, since we saw them very clearly.
This side of the Punta de la Conversion there are no
* Crespi's diary does not mention Punta de la Conversi6n, but it
is on several old maps. Ten leagues from Assumpta would place it
near Dume Point. (See H. R. Wagner, in American Antiquarian
Society Proceedings, April, 1926, pp. 111-112.)
islands, as I understand it, except the first two as
you go from here; they are San Clemente and Santa
Catharina, both of which we saw well and which are
not far before you reach the Punta de la Conversion,
Having arrived, as I said, at Assumpta, tine first
town of the channel, we always followed the shore
until we reached the port of San Francisco, and I
lay it before your consideration whether everything
would have been carefully explored or not when we
were going on an undertaking of so much importance
and value. I made the observations with Don Miguel
Costanzo at all the places where I was able to do so
and where the weather permitted, taking the elevations and noting them in the proper places. From
Assumpta we followed the channel along the beach
almost all the way to this port of San Francisco,
except at the Sierra de Santa Lucia, which did not
allow a passage because it is very steep at the
sea, and it was necessary to open a road over it
for some leagues, so as to be able to advance and
to explore it along the shore, as we did with the
greatest care.
This channel of Santa Barbara is very well
settled, with towns composed of large huts roofed
with thatch and with a very great number of peaceable and friendly Indians. There are at least nine
or ten towns. All have canoes, very well made.
Six villages had as many as fifteen canoes each,
which they use for fishing, because many kinds of
fish, such as tunny, needle-fish, sea bass, barbel, and
very large sardines, are plentiful. All these towns
welcomed us with much rejoicing and entertained
us well, bringing us a fine supply of fish, in particular fresh tunny, of which they made great piles for
us. We had to tell them that we would not take
so much because it would be wasted, for if we had
wished to use all the pack animals, without doubt
it would have loaded them down. All these people
are very wide awake and active, and have no fault
except that of being very nimble with their fingers.
There may well be ten thousand souls along the
channel, from the first town of Assumpta to the
Punta de la Conception, where the islands end.*
There is one town of thatched huts on an island
made by a large inlet. As we looked at it from a
distance it appeared that it might have a hundred
houses, at least as many as that, and the number
might even be two hundred. We conjectured that
this village alone might have about eight hundred
souls, and besides this there are four or five large
villages in the neighborhood of this inlet. Besides
the abundant fish on which they live, they have many
grass seeds of which they make very good pinole
and atole.
I began this letter with the intention of being
very diffuse, and explaining everything in detail,
but I have just this instant received notice that
the expedition is to return to California within a
week, because they say there is no food on which
to five, since the ship San Joseph and even the
Principe, which should have returned by now, for
it left for San Bias before we left for Monterey, has
not come. Therefore, I will recount to you as briefly
s the remainder of our journey.
* Mescal Island, near the site of Santa Barbara.
The time that we spent going and coming was
six months and eight days. We did not find Monterey in all the distance that we passed over; and I
do not know whether it exists or not. We did find
the Sierra de Santa Lucia, which is a high, white,
rough mountain, very steep at the sea and exactly
as Cabrera says. Since we found a point of pines
at about six or eight leagues distance, and since it
was the only one that was seen on the whole trip,
we explored the mountain twice with the greatest
care possible, and the Point of Pines, according to
my observation, is in latitude thirty-six degrees and
forty-two minutes.
Where the Point of Pines begins there is a little
cove; it may be that it cuts into the land a quarter
of a league, and from here the Point of Pines extends. The pines are very dilapidated, and not as
the accounts describe them, and I can assure your
Reverence that I did not see a single one on the
whole point that would do for masts or spars
for these ships. This point ends where it merely
touches the port of Monterey, and from its terminal
there extends a very large cove, of some twenty
leagues at least, to the Point of Ano Nuevo. Along
this cove runs a range of very high sand dunes;
they are mountains in height and cover five leagues
in extent. Near this point where they begin we
found four lakes, all of very poor, brackish water,
so that from only one of them could one drink in
case of need. Where the lakes are there is a plain
which extends as far as the dunes run, and turns
perhaps two leagues toward a mountain.18    Some
large and small oaks and same scraggly pines are
found near some dunes where the lakes are. This,
according to the opinion which we all formed at this
place, is the spot where Monterey ought to be, but
we found it closed with high sand dunes.*
About four or five leagues from where these
dunes end, on the same beach, there is a large
estuary, and near it much moist level ground, and
many large ponds, but without any trees or any
signs of a harbor, although we explored it twice.
Near this spot we not only saw tracks of the mountain animals, but the captain succeeded in seeing
on a trail about twenty-eight as large as cows, with
their young, but it seems to me, as I heard them
described, that the antlers or horns were like those
of deer, although the points were like blunt sticks.
Not far from this spot we saw manure like that of
horses and we saw bears' dung everywhere. I did
not succeed in seeing any of these animals, but the
soldiers saw several, and they testified that the
animals with the manure like horses were like
mules. They said that some of these animals must
be buffalo, but I say that they cannot have been,
according to the skins and the pictures which I have
Seeing that Monterey did not appear, it was
decided, with great eagerness, in view of the fact
that the thirty-seven degrees had not been covered,
to continue until it was found. And at thirty-seven
degrees and forty-nine minutes according to my
reckoning and some few minutes less according to
that of Don Miguel Constanzo, we found ourselves
* See Cabrera Bueno's description of Monterey Bay, p. 236, Note.
in front of a very large inlet or bay, and at its mouth
six or seven farallones just as Cabrera describes
them, and likewise the Punta de Reyes that rises at
a distance from the sea and forms an island, as it
were. And thus exactly Cabrera explains it when
speaking of San Francisco; and says that this port
has three ravines and that by the one in the middle
an estuary flows into the land. All this was as we
saw it, so that we do not doubt that it is the port
of San Francisco. I took the elevation, as I said, at
one side of the port, about three leagues this way.*
We arrived at that harbor on the eve of All Saints \
Day, and we said Mass of that day and the Mass
for the dead. In spite of this we explored for three
days, and went on to see if we could get around the
This is not an estuary proper, but a large arm
of the sea, which enters the land for at least ten
leagues. At the narrowest point it must be about
three leagues, and at the widest expanse it must be
under four. In a word, it is a very large and fine
harbor, such that not only all the navy of our Most
Catholic Majesty but those of all Europe could take
shelter in it. We camped about four or five leagues
from the end of this estuary, about a league away
from it, in a level plain which must have been at
least six leagues wide, wooded with oak and some
live oak. We stopped near a good stream of water
that flowed through the middle of the large plain
and estuary. All the land is so very good and
mellow that it can not be excelled. To reach this
place from the side of the port where I took the
* At San Pedro Creek, just north of Montara Mountain.
latitude we made three marches, travelling eight
While we were in this spot Senor Ortega and
the soldiers went out to explore for four days, by
order of the governor, but in those four days they
were not able to get around to the other sidef of this
estuary, for there still remained a long distance to
go from where they turned back because their time
was up. As a result of this expedition we learned
that at about four or five leagues from where we
were the estuary ended, and that in the middle of
the plain they found a river with a considerable
flow of water and a bed well-wooded with different
kinds of trees. It ran into the estuary and could be
forded with difficulty. From this river they went
forward on the other side of the estuary about eight
or ten leagues, but there was still a long distance
for them to go. At this distance of ten-leagues they
came upon another very large stream with a very
strong current, and its bed was also wooded and its
course was through a great plain which was also
quite well wooded. $
This great estuary or arm of the sea connects
with the ocean between some high mountains which
form, they say, three islands within the strait, but
we could not see them from where we were because
it was low. This estuary is surrounded on all sides
by high mountains throughout its entire extent, so
that it becomes a lake, as it were, protected from
all the winds.    Since this most noble estuary is
* Camp was on San Francisquito Creek, at Palo Alto.
t He means the north side.
X They must have gone as far north as to Niles or farther.
three leagues wide at the narrowest place throughout its whole length, it would seem that its mouth
would therefore be large and that ships could enter
even though they were of deep draught. I do not
doubt that in time it will be possible to make soundings and to explore it. The idea that we have formed
of this large and most noble port of Our Father
San Francisco is that there are two, both excellent
and very large, an outer one in which there are six
or seven f arallones, as Cabrera says; and the other,
a better one, guarded from all winds, within this
estuary or arm of the sea. Therefore, if the ships
do not find the port of Monterey after a time, a thing
I doubt completely since it was sought by so many
eyes and with so much care, inasmuch as the whole
undertaking depended on it, we have in place of it
this fine bay of San Francisco, in which to set up
the standard of the Holy Cross and from which to
convert to our holy Catholic Faith the numerous
friendly and kindly Indians who inhabit the land
round about this estuary.
Concerning the multitude of Indians whom we
have found everywhere, and concerning their gentleness and peaceableness, I will speak in particular of
those of the port of San Francisco. From San
Diego to that port, which is the farthest point
which this land expedition reached, I may say that
all the land in general is everywhere well wooded,
has abundant forage and countless other kinds of
herbage, and of its own accord produces as food for
the numerous Indians plentiful harvests of the crops
from which they make the good pinole and atole on
which they live. All the land is abundantly supplied
with water from creeks and rivers, and the farther
inland one goes the more abundant and frequent is
the water supply. The place with the greatest lack
of running water is a stretch of a few days' march,
near San Diego, but where there is no running water
there are great springs. If it is a country of seasonal rains, as its wooded condition goes to show, it
would be possible to plant in season as is done in
other places where there is no running water. The
farther inland one goes the more frequent and more
abundant is the running water. We found stretches
of only two leagues with six or seven arroyos having
good streams of running water, and in the same
distance two or three or even four or five are very
common. All the water is excellent, cool and clear,
since the majority of the arroyos flow from the
mountains and almost all empty into the sea.
I counted twelve rivers from San Diego to San
Francisco, including those at this port of San
Francisco. Towns or missions could be established
between San Diego and San Francisco at any distances desired, as three, four, or six leagues, or
whatever you like, since there is land and to spare
for it everywhere. In some places this land lacks
nothing except that there is a scarcity of wood
(though generally the mountain nearby has it) and
of rock; but the regions that lack wood generally
have the mountains nearby, and these are very well
provided with fire-wood and timber. In many places
the country is well supplied with herds of antelope
and many rabbits.
All this land is populated with a large number of
Indians who are very gentle, generous, and well-
formed. The most savage natives that we have
found are those of San Diego and a circle in the
same neighborhood. All the others are very good,
peaceable and gentle. About forty leagues from
San Diego the rivers begin, and then in a space of
about eight leagues there are three which flow
through a very large plain. The one that has the
least land must have about six or eight leagues and
is very near the bay of San Pedro. The first of
them, which is the most rapid and has the largest
volume of water, flows ramblingly and empties into
this bay, the shore of which is a plain of many
leagues in extent with large streams of water. All
this plain is extremely level, as is that of the third
river, so that each river by itself would be able to
produce grain sufficient, I do not say for cities
merely, but for provinces, as well as for the people
that inhabit these plains, which are as level as the
palm of the hand.
On the first river, which we named Dulcisimo
Nombre de Jesus de Ios Temblores* on account of
the earthquakes that we felt when on it, there is a
very large village of very friendly, gentle, peaceful
natives, who offered us all their land if we would
remain with them, saying that the Serranos wished
to leave their mountains, that they would feed us on
chia and other seeds, and that they would build us
houses, and protect us. We told them that if we
returned we would stay with them, and that we
would make a house for God and afterwards one for
* The Santa Ana River.
ourselves, and that we would clothe them and plant
for them, and also defend them from their enemies.
When we said this to the one who was captain of
them all, he shed tears of happiness and joy.
From here on in all the towns and villages that
we came to they brought out trays of very good
pinoles, atoles and tamales, not just once, but three
times a day, in the morning, at noon and in the afternoon. There was a village where, besides the large
amount that they divided among the soldiers and
Christian Indians that came with us, they gave us
a good supply of chia for lunch, for there is good
chia in most places.
I have already pointed out above that there are
many villages round about the estuary at the port
of San Francisco. When we were there several
groups came out inviting us to come to their villages, promising that they would give us food. Since
we were out of our way, it was not possible to accept
lest we should lose time, but we managed to satisfy
them by the governor's giving them some trifles and
telling them that we were going to stop at some distance, and if they wished to come they might.
Some of them who urged very strongly that we
go to their villages, seeing that we offered excuses,
went off on the run, and soon we saw a string of
them descending from the mountain. There must
have been at least sixty, some very much burdened.
When they reached the path they all stopped. We
came up and found that they had four very large
baskets, two almost full of some very thick atoles
which were similar to blanc-mange, and the two
others also nearly full of pinoles. Without doubt
each one of the baskets would hold a half bushel
of the seeds, which I tasted and found very good.
They distributed them all to the members of the
On the llth of November we started on the return from San Francisco to this port.17 For seven
days we had very hot sunshine, but at the same time
the cold at night-fall was insupportable. There is
a great abundance of large acorns from the many
oaks, and we all nearly got sick on them because
there was great need of food, since the soldiers then
had only tortillas, and the menestra had been finished some days before. Father Gomez and I,
although the governor looked out for us as much
as he could, setting aside some that he ordered kept
for us, nevertheless suffered many hardships and
not a little hunger. When we turned back from San
Francisco we had thirty or so tierces of flour.
We reached the Point of Pines the 28th of
November to explore the Sierra de Santa Lucia
again, and to see if the port of Monterey had been
hidden in some corner, but we did not find it.18 We
were detained eleven days on this Point of Pines,
until the 10th of December, when we left, continuing
our return with only twelve tierces of flour. On the
20th of the same month we still lacked about a league
of leaving that mountain, and on that day the five
tierces of flour that were left were divided among
all. The governor's two boxes of biscuits were
divided among the leaders and us ;* each of us was
given a ham, and with that and a bit of jerked beef
* Fathers Crespi and G6mez.
which the governor gave us every day, and the birds
and bears that Don Pedro Fages and Don Miguel
could get (they did us a thousand kindnesses) and
the fish that they caught after We entered the Channel, we got along very well in the company of those
gentlemen. I hope God and our holy Father San
Francisco will reward them for the kindness they
showed us.
When we started for San Francisco* about twenty
or so Leather-jackets became ill with the scurvy,
from which some were so sick that they were finally
given the last rites, but in the midst of all our hardships they suddenly recovered their health and no
soldier died and no Indian of those that went on the
Friend, pardon me if this goes without any more
time spent on it, as God is served. Please share it
with all our companions, or if that is not possible,
with those that would like this letter of mine, because
this has been a sudden departure, for they said at
first that they would remain until the food gave
out. I hope our father lector and president will
be more lengthy in telling you of what happened
at San Diego on the day of the Assumption of the
Blessed Mary, when the Indians came near making
away with all of them. There was a bit of warfare
and of our men they killed Joseph Maria, the father
president's servant, wounded two others, and cut
one of Father Vizcayno's fingers from his hand,
but all the wounded have recovered. But, as I am
informed, Father Vizcayno, who is going with this
expedition and is returning to the College, will him-
* From Monterey.
self tell you better in a living letter of the episode
that happened at this new mission of San Diego.
May God desire that the ships shall soon arrive
with supplies so that they may not have to abandon
it for lack of food. Up to the present it has not been
possible to baptize anyone, or even to attempt to
do so. Nevertheless may God, our Lord, move these
wretched people to His understanding and may your
Reverence commend it to His Divine Majesty so that
this beginning may not be lost. When it is possible
I will take a bit from the diary and send it to your
Reverence. Now I beg you earnestly to keep me
much in mind in your holy offices, and to commend
this affair to God for a happy outcome, that such
a multitude of souls dwelling in the scattered regions
of the North may not be lost. I have reckoned that
the port of San Francisco is two hundred and ten
leagues from here. It seems that the governor and
Senor Ortega will remain here.
The governor has treated us with all possible
courtesy and conducted himself towards all with
great wisdom. Will your Reverence please thank
him, a thing which will delight him greatly. He has
worked hard like a true and faithful servant of the
king to find the port of Monterey. He told me that
he was writing to your Reverence, and in addition
he charged me to beg for him from your Reverence
a silver box or chest that he left at San Ygnacio and
which they are keeping for him. May God guard
you and keep you for many years in His divine love
and favor. From this new mission and port of San
Diego de Alcala.   February 6, 1770.
Your affectionate friend and fellow-student, who
honors you in all things, greets your Reverence.
Fr. Juan Crespi.
The Indians have many dogs. The women wear
skirts of deer-skin and bracelets of shells; they are
less timid than the men and are the ones who give
the most. The men go about entirely naked; they
have good hair and very long, which they twist about
their heads.
san diego, february 9, 1770*
hail jesus, mary and joseph!
Senor Visitor-General Don Joseph de Galvez.
Most Venerated Sir: In fulfillment of my obligation I write to tell your Illustrious Lordship that
I together with Father Fray Francisco Gomez was
named by our father president, Fray Junipero
Serra, to go with this expedition by land to look
for the port of Monterey." We left this port of Senor
San Diego on the 14th of July of the past year of
1769, traveling at the start in sight of the coast.
At the end of a month we entered the first town on
the Channel, and from there continued to follow the
coast from beach to beach.
This Channel has eight or ten regular towns
containing a great number of heathen, with very
many round houses in the form of half oranges,
roofed with grass. Some of the houses which, with
other persons, I entered are so large that as many
as sixty families live in one of them. These people
have their form of government, all the towns having
three or four captains, one of whom is head chief
and is obeyed by all the rest. Each of the chiefs
has two wives, while the rest of the men have only
one. They have two cemeteries, one for the men
and another for the women, all surrounded by high,
sharpened palings, painted in many colors, with
many boards set in the ground and painted the same
•Arehivo General y Publico, Mexico, Calif ornias, VoL 66.
way. Around the edge there are many large whalebones.* All this very numerous body of heathen are
mild, affable, and docile, and they feasted and entertained us to the best of their ability.
This Channel abounds in fish, the bonito being
especially plentiful in August. They gave us so
many that in all the towns they made piles of them
for us, both fresh and roasted, so large that we had
to tell them not to bring us any more, because they
would be spoiled. If we wished to do so we could
have loaded the entire pack train with fish, not to
mention the large amount that was consumed. They
remained with us the entire day, unarmed and as
friendly as though they had always known the
Spaniards. I do not know what led them to seek
out us two fathers in particular, and to desire to
talk with us all the time, and to wish to take hold
of my rosary. They asked me to give them one, but
I could not do so, for poor Fray Francisco had only
the one that he wore hanging by a cord. My heart
went out to them, seeing myself with such empty
hands when others were giving to them from full
All these towns have many canoes with keels,
made of pieces very handsomely worked, all having two prows and two oars, and so light that with
one stroke they cover a good deal of water. They
are so light indeed that two heathen can put them
in and out of the water. For fishing they use spears
well made of reeds.   At onef town we counted as
* In his letter to Pal6u, February 6, 1770, Crespi does not mention these cemeteries.
t In his letter to Palou he says "six."   See p. 24.
many as fifteen canoes, some of them not so small,
for they measured not less than seven or eight
varas; but all were equally fight, so that two men
could launch them in the water.
Three or four of these towns have a great deal
of land and firewood, and one of them has a river.
There is one town isolated by a large estuary in
which there is fine fishing; it must have a hundred
and more houses, and of souls there must be no
fewer than eight hundred.* Besides this town there
are many large villages around the borders of the
estuary, each with a large population of heathen.
Without doubt all the Indians in this place together
must number nearly two thousand souls, and it has
been estimated that the Channel alone may have
as many as ten thousand. In front of these towns
are stretched the islands, about five or six leagues
from terra firma. Opposite Point Conception is the
last island of the Channel. On one side of it there
is a rock inhabited by sea lions.
We passed Point Conception by the beach, and
on the 13th of September found ourselves about a
league from a very high white range which, according to all the signs, is the one called by the histories
Sierra de Santa Lucia. Being very precipitous, it
cut off our passage by the beach. So they opened a
road for some leagues along a very high ridge, by
which we climbed this sierra and crossed it.f It
is very rugged, but abounds in very clear running
* This was the town on Mescal Island, near the site of Santa
t They entered the Santa Lucia Mountains by way of San Carpo-
foro Creek.
water. While in it we were near the source of a
beautiful river, having on its banks a heavy growth
of white poplars, and which we all thought must
be the Carmelo River.* Having crossed this sierra
we again came to the same river in a valley of very
good land and about two or three leagues wide.
We followed this river and valley for sixteen
leagues, having the sierra always in plain sight on
the left, until on the 1st of October the river and
plain again placed us on the beach, in sight of a
very large bay and a beautiful point of pines, which
extends far into the sea and from afar makes a
fine view. We were all very happy, for we had not
the least doubt that this was what the histories call
the Point of Monterey, and that the port of this
name must be there.
Captain Don Fernando de Rivera went at once
with nineteen of his leather-jacket soldiers, in high
spirits, to explore this place, and we all eagerly
hoped that he would return with the joyful news
that the desired port was found at last, so that
we might all move there. But on the second day
after his departure he returned with the report that
after exploring the entire vicinity of the point, no
trace was found of any port, large or small. He
said that where the Point of Pines began there was
a little bay into which emptied a small stream, with
a scraggly growth of blackberries, and forming an
estuary on the beach of this little bay; that the
Point of Pines, which must be scarcely a league and
a half long, had on the other side four small lagoons
* The river was the San Antonio. They again encountered it
near King City, where it is known as the Salinas.
of very salt water, and that on this other side of
the point and the lagoons there were chains of very-
high sand dunes, which looked like high mountains,
in front of a plain about two leagues long and extending to a mountain. They said they had traveled
along the whole beach without seeing trace or sign
of a port; but that the Point of Pines was undoubtedly the one so-named in the histories, and that it
was thickly covered with pines down to the sea, but
that the pines were all very scraggly, knotty, and
with low branches. They said that they did not see
any such pines as the histories describe, but that
they did see large five oaks. There were no poplars
either, but they did observe a few five oaks near
the lagoons mentioned.
This report was a sad disappointment to everybody, especially since there were now twenty and
more leather-jacket soldiers very ill with scurvy,
twelve totally incapacitated and the rest not far
from it. In view of all this, and seeing that the port
of Monterey did not appear, the commander held a
council with the other chiefs, in which we fathers
took part, and it was determined to go on until the
port of Monterey should be found, for it might be
that the sierra mentioned would turn out not to be
that of Santa Lucia, which might be found farther
on, with the port.
So we went on, beach by beach, exploring everything carefully. This place where we had made
camp, five leagues this side* of the Point of Pines,
had been named Senora Santa Delphina. I took the
latitude there, and it came out for me 36 degrees
* On "this side" by the trail, but in reality north of it.
and 53 minutes. A rest was taken for some days
on account of the sick, and so that the horses might
recuperate a little, for they were now becoming very
On the 8th of October we left this place of Santa
Delphina, with some leather-jacket soldiers so ill
that they had received communion. In a short time
five or six had been given the last sacraments, and
it was only with great trouble that they could be
carried on fitters, for they were not able to use
their bodies in any way. So we went on with
immense labor, expecting momentarily that those
who had received the sacraments would breathe
their last, until we were near Point Ano Nuevo, at
an arroyo which was named San Luis Beltran.
Here we were thoroughly drenched by a heavy rain
which fell on us, and from this moment all the sick
began to improve, so that in a few days they were
able to mount their horses and help a little. For
this reason the soldiers named the arroyo La Salud.*
On the eve of Todos Santos we came in sight
of a very large port with six or seven farallones
stretching across its mouth for a distance of about
a league.f There are three barrancas in this bay,
and by the middle one a large and round estuary
penetrates into the land. There is a point of land
which runs far into the sea and forms a point like
an island, but is in reality terra firma4 In yiew °f
what we all saw before us we all conceived the idea
that this very great and magnificent port was that
* See the Diary, p. 218.
f Camp was at San Pedro Creek, just north of Montara Mountain.
$ Point Reyes.
of San Francisco, for it is only in that bay that the
histories put the six or seven farallones, the barrancas, and the rest. This caused disappointment
and confusion to all, for we now saw that Monterey
was behind us, in the sierra which we had left there.
We moved near the estuary or arm of the sea,
which must penetrate the land at least ten leagues,
all surrounded by high mountains, and must be three
leagues wide in the narrowest place. We pitched
camp in a plain some six leagues long, grown with
good oaks and live oaks, and with much other timber
in the neighborhood.* This plain has two good
arroyos with a good flow of water, and at the southern end of the estuary there is a good river, with
plenty of water, which passes through the plain
mentioned, well wooded on its banks.f We all hold
the opinion, without any doubt, that this is a very
great and magnificent port, with shelter from all
winds. At one side, about six leagues before reaching it, I took the latitude, and it came out 37 degrees
and 49 minutes 4
This entire port is surrounded by many and large
villages of barbarous heathen who are very affable,
mild, and docile, and very generous in giving what
they have. As soon as they learned about us they
all came out on the road and importunately invited
us to go to their villages, saying they would give
us plenty to eat. When we refused to go, for fear
of getting lost, they came out to the road with large
quantities  of pinole and atole made  from their
* Camp was on San Francisquito Creek, at Palo Alto.
t Guadalupe Biver.
i At San Pedro Creek, on San Francisco Peninsula.
One village brought us a whole bushel of
pinole and several bushels of atole. What I have
just said about these heathen we have experienced
all the way up to this port, all the pueblos and
rancherias bringing us not only one meal but three
meals every day, in the morning, at midday, and in
the evening.
Seeing that this bay was without any doubt the
Port of San Francisco, the commander again called
a council, at which we friars were present, and it
was resolved that we should go once more to make
camp and explore the Sierra de Santa Lucia, and
all its vicinity, with as much care as though looking
for a pin.   This was done promptly.
On the afternoon of the llth of November we
left this port of San Francisco for the Point of
Pines, where we arrived on the 28th of the same
month. It was all explored again, but Monterey was
not found. About six leagues by air line from the
Point of Pines there is a long estuary which has
no opening into the sea, near very large lagoons
and swampy plains without trees.* Here were seen
tracks of all the animals which are ascribed to
Monterey. While exploring in this place some
bands of animals were seen which must have numbered more than fifty, accompanied by their young.
They were as large as cows, without horns, the color
of deer, with feet like cows, head and face like
mules, and the excrement the same. There are
bears in abundance in the whole country from near
San Diego up to the last region explored at San
* This place appears to have been near Pajaro River.   See p. 212.
The land in general is all very good, well covered
with grass, and abounds in running and permanent
streams. In marches of two leagues we found as
many as seven arroyos with good streams of water.
It is all populated by numerous heathen, all of them,
as I have already said regarding the port of San
Francisco, very mild, affable, and apparently docile.
Up to the port of San Francisco eleven or twelve
rivers were encountered, all with plains many
leagues wide, each one capable in itself of furnishing cities or provinces with grain. There is so much
good land between San Diego and the port of San
Francisco that pueblos could be placed there at any
distance apart that might be desired. But the
country, generally speaking, has one drawback,
which is the lack of wood and trees at most of the
sites; but those which have no wood on the spot
have timber not very far off, usually in canons and
along arroyos, as far as we have seen.
Your illustrious Lordship will pardon me for
writing this in great haste, for although I would
wish to write more at length I am prevented by the
positive notice just given me that a young man of
the expedition is setting out immediately for California to inform your Lordship of all that has
happened.* I hope that your Lordship will not take
offense because the port of Monterey has not been
found; for, believe me, your Lordship, this expedition has done its full duty before God and the
whole world, as faithful and obedient vassals of our
Catholic monarch.   And if in time the port is not
* Plans evidently had changed within the past three days. See
p. 25.
found we have that of San Francisco, carefully and
well examined, and only forty leagues distant from
the Point of Pines, counting the many detours made
by the coast, while by air fine or by sea it is clearly
much less. Since the departure of the messenger
catches us so recently arrived and worn out, I have
not yet had time to copy the diary, but I presume
your Lordship will receive those of others promptly.
As soon as I can I shall make a copy and send it
to your Lordship.
In my diary I have estimated from this port of
San Diego to that of our Father San Francisco two
hundred and ten leagues—that much extension for
the crown of our Catholic monarch. And we have
found so many heathen in all this area that it would
be a great pity if so many thousands of souls which
have been lost for so many centuries should be abandoned forever. I trust in God that it shall not be
so, and that it is not unimportant that the whole
country has been explored and the character of these
miserable heathen learned. I assure your Lordship
that from here to San Francisco we have not had
the least alarm, nor has it been necessary to fire
a gun.
Senor Don Gaspar de Portola has comported
himself toward everybody with much circumspection
and prudence, and I do not know that the wisest
could have done better with everybody, officials and
soldiers. He has looked after us friars with the
greatest kindness, and although the provisions were
almost exhausted when we left the Sierra de Santa
Lucia for this place, he ordered a little biscuit and
flour saved for us.   From that place the expedition
has lived on mule meat, bear meat, and whatever
else fell into our hands, including the large sardines
that we were able to get on the Channel. We also
owe thanks for a thousand favors to the gentlemen
Don Pedro Fages and Don Miguel Costanso, who
have done everything that they could. We have
always eaten together. God will pay them for their
kindness. The captain has conducted himself in the
same way, and has carried out his office of explorer
to the best of his ability.
Your illustrious Lordship will pardon my plainness and lack of elegance and will give me such
orders as may please you, with certainty of my
prompt obedience. I pray God in His Divine love
and grace to preserve and guard your important
life for many years, for the protection of those
numerous souls whom His Divine Majesty has
created in this heathendom.
From this port and new mission of Senor San
Diego de Alcala. February 9,1770, Most illustrious
Visitor General, I kiss your hands. Your most
affectionate servant and chaplain who venerates you
Fray Juan Crespi (Rubric).
monterey, june 11, 1770.*
hail jesus, mary and joseph!
My Reverend Father Guardian, Fray Juan Andres.
My always greatly venerated Father Guardian:
I am sending you this letter to tell your Reverence
and all the Discretory the joyful news that we have
taken formal, solemn, and legal possession of this
most famous port of San Carlos de Monterey. On
the 3d of this month of June, day so notable, Feast
of Espiritu Santo, the reverend father president
said the first Mass, I being his vicar in the choir,
aided by Engineer Don Miguel Costanzo. Having
first sung the Veni Creator Spiritus with all the
solemnity possible, the ceremony was concluded with
the Te Beum, with a salute by all the soldiers,
answered from the harbor by the packet boat El
Principe, which must have been about four hundred
yards from us. The Mass was sung on the very
edge of the beach of this harbor, under a five oak,
about six paces from another whose branches
reached the water, and which no doubt was the
very live oak under which the people of General
Vizcayno celebrated Mass. Let thanks be given
to His Divine Majesty for the achievement of what
has cost so many steps and toils. No doubt everybody was grieved by the news that we had not
* British Museum.    Add MS. 13974.    Copia de Cartas eseritas
por el P. P.or Fr. Juan Crespi.
found the harbor, which I wrote your Reverence on
the arrival of this expedition at the port of San
Diego after the first journey. That report could
not be avoided, but thank God all those cares are
now vanished.
While we were in San Diego the packet boat
El Principe, alias San Antonio, was seen in the
vicinity of that harbor in the afternoon of the 19th
of March, day of Senor San Joseph. On the 24th
of the same month it dropped anchor there. As
soon as it arrived it was decided to make a second
journey by land, the vessel going by sea, confident
now that we should find this harbor.*
On the 16th of April, second day of the Feast
of the Resurrection, the vessel sailed for the north,
with the reverend father president on board, in
search of this harbor. The next day, the 17th, in
the afternoon, we of the land expedition set forth.
It was composed of Commander Don Gaspar de
Portola, the Lieutenant of Volunteers, Don Pedro
Fages, with twelve of his soldiers, seven Leather-
jackets, two muleteers, five Christian Indians from
the missions, a servant of the commander, and
myself. On the 24th of May, Ascension Day, we
arrived at this harbor with perfect ease, without
the least mishap or sickness, thank God, having
spent in the journey thirty-eight days.
As soon as we arrived, the very same day, before
we dismounted about half a league before reaching
* For an account of the return journey to Monterey and the founding of the mission and presidio there, see Pal6u's New California
(Bolton, ed.), II, 281-296. Pal6u evidently used this letter in that
the Point of the Pines and the beach where we had
halted on the first journey, we wished to see a cross
which they said they had set up when we started
back last December. We were consumed with
curiosity to see this cross and the beach, which
we had not seen or been on, except those who had
explored that place. And so Commander Don
Gaspar de Portola, Lieutenant Pedro Fages,. and I,
with a soldier, went to see it, guided by the soldier
to the place where he knew the cross had been
erected. We reached it, looked at it, and examined
it again to see if we could find any signs that the
bark had arrived, according to the signals formerly
agreed upon by the chiefs, but we saw no sign of the
bark whatever. We found the cross all surrounded
by arrows and darts with plumes stuck in the
ground; a dart with a string of sardines, still nearly
fresh; another dart with a piece of meat hanging
to it; and at the foot of the cross a little pile of
mussels, all put there by the heathen in token of
peace. ' All along the road where the camp had
halted we found many darts with plumes stuck in
the earth. And now, as soon as they saw us, they
all came out unarmed, just as though they had dealt
with us all their fives.
Satisfied with having seen the cross, we returned
to the beach and went down to it. There we began
to see thousands of sea lions which looked like a
pavement. About a hundred yards from land we
saw two whales together, the sea being very quiet
as though calmed with oil, or like a very quiet lake.
At the same time we noticed that the very large
bay which begins at the Point of Pines was enclosed
by the land, the two points coming together and
forming a large O. Seeing this, all three of us broke
forth in the same breath, saying that this doubtless
was the harbor of Monte rey which according to the
histories is northeast of the Point of Pines. I took
out the compass to see if it was open to the north-
northwest, as the History says, and exactly in the
north-northwest is the place where it opens. We
were all greatly pleased to see that the cross was
placed on the very harbor, whereas we were told by
those who had explored it that there were no signs
of the harbor. In spite of this we waited till the
bark should come, to see if it entered and confirmed
our observations.
On the 31st of May, in the afternoon, a week
after our arrival,* the bark was seen very close to
the Point of Pines, and soldiers went to signal to it
that we were already here. It saluted us with
cannon shots, to let us know that it recognized us,
and then came in to the very spot where the cross
was, entering like Pedro into his own house, guided
by the very same anchorage and signs given by
the histories. The same night it anchored in six
fathoms, and the captain of the bark sent a messenger to us to say that he was now in Monte rey, and
the soldiers told him that as soon as we arrived
we had recognized the place. The bay is most excellent, the sailors say, and has a beach just such as
that described by Cabrera Bueno, who did not miss
* While waiting they camped on Carmelo Bay, at the north edge
of the present town of Carmel by the Sea. To reach camp the pack
train climbed the long slope over the ridge, but Crespi and Fages
went around by shore, over the Seventeen Mile Drive (Pal6u, New
California, II, 285-286).
a single point on the whole coast. The pilots have
found it to be in latitude thirty-six degrees and
thirty-eight minutes. It is a fine sight to see the
forest of pines of all sizes growing on the ridge of
the Point of Pines. The barrancas, the live oaks,
and the estuary of the History are all here. We
even recognized the little barranca of the wells, and
with very little digging three wells have been made
near the estuary which pour forth much water from
This spot where we are encamped and which has
been cleared for the establishment of the presidio
and mission is in front of the bark, in a plain about
two or three gunshots from the beach. The Carmelo
River, which I have crossed and seen many tfmes-,-
is distant from the harbor by land, about a league
and a half. It is a very large place and the river
is pretty, with much good land on its very banks,
all of which can be put under irrigation. There is
plentiful pasture, and about half a league this way
from the river there is a fine arroyo with a good
stream of very good clear water. In that vicinity
there are good groves of cypress. Rose bushes and
blackberries are abundant everywhere.
Having traveled so long, I have not been able
to write the diary,t except what I have in notes.
As soon as I am able I shall write it and send it to
that holy college. I have found from the estimate
of leagues which I have made that from the mission
* Points mentioned by Cabrera Bueno.   See p. 236.
t He evidently refers to a diary of the second Portola journey to
Monterey, a document which has not come to light. Possibly Father
Crespi never completed the diary.
of Santa Maria, on the frontier of heathendom, to
the port of San Diego, it is one hundred and thirty-
three leagues; from the port of San Diego to this
one of Monte rey, one hundred and sixty leagues;
and from Monte rey by the route which we traveled
last year to the last point reached on the Estuary
of the harbor of San Francisco, forty-four leagues.
The mission of San Buenaventura is not yet
founded, but the father president tells me that we
will found it as soon as there is news of Captain
Don Fernando de Ribera, who went to California
with most of the soldiers to bring the stock for the
founding of the missions, which His Lordship had
ordered him to bring when I set out with him. For
the founding of this mission the first regular village
of the populous heathendom of the Santa Barbara
Channel has been selected.* It has a good river
and extensive lands that can be put under irrigation. Along the river there are large groves of
willows, cottonwoods, and alders, plenty of oaks
for firewood, and plenty of stone for building. I
observed the latitude of this place and found it to
be in thirty-four degrees and thirty minutes. It is
distant from the port of San Diego sixty-seven
leagues, and from this one of Monte rey ninety-three
leagues. In order that this mission may be founded
as soon as the captain returns, we two, the father
president and I, will sacrifice ourselves to remaining
alone, he staying in this mission of Monte rey while
I retrace those ninety-three leagues to found San
* The site was at the native town of Assumpta, where later on
Mission San Buenaventura was founded.
Buenaventura, and we will remain here alone as
long as God may be pleased to have us.
If I am not mistaken, since I came to California
I have written three letters to your Reverence, and
in all of them I have begged that you favor me if
possible, as soon as the missionaries arrive from
Spain, with my dear companion Father Cruzado
who, according to what he told me when we left
the Sierra, would come most gladly. We have been
boon companions, through many years of hiving
together. To Father Cruzado I have written as
many letters as to your Reverence, telling him that
I was begging this favor of you. I am not writing
this because I think that you have not replied to
me, but, to speak frankly, I have not received any
letter in reply. Since we are exiled here in another
world, as it were, the letters have perhaps been
lost. I have estimated that by land this port of
Monte rey is four hundred and ninety leagues from
the presidio and mission of Loreto, California.
I shall rejoice greatly if this letter finds your
Reverence and all the rest of that holy community
in perfect health. I, thank God, in spite of so much
travel and toil that have fallen to my lot, have had
good health all the time, except that twice during
these journeys I have had severe inflammation in
my eyes, and I now have arrived here with my right
eye very bad since the 17th of last month. It is
much better now, and although it is still very difficult
for me to write, I trust that soon I shall be sound
I remain with the completest submission to your
Reverence's wishes, asking God, in His divine love
and grace, to guard you and spare you for many
years. From this royal presidio and new mission
of San Carlos of the famous Port of Monte rey,
June 11, 1770.
Your Reverence's most humble and submissive
subject, who venerates you in Christ, kisses your
Fr. Juan Crespi.
Diary19 of the expedition and description of the
long roads which, to the greater honor and glory
of God, our Lord, and of our king (God save him)
were traveled by the apostolic missionaries of the
College of San Fernando de Mexico, of the Order
of Our Father San Francisco, to whom had been
recently delivered, in the years of our Lord 1769
and 1770, the missions north of the Peninsula, from
the frontier mission called Nuestra Senora de Ios
Angeles to the ports of San Diego and Monterey,
all a heathen land. From this the results were
prompt. The foundations of the missions of San
Diego and San Carlos de Monterey were newly
planted on the harbors of their respective names,
and measures were ready for the founding of the
third on the shore at the beginning of the channel
of Santa Barbara under the title of San Buenaventura.
All this has been done under the direction of the
most illustrious Don Jose de Galvez, of the Council
of his Majesty in the Royal and Supreme Council
of the Indies, intendant of the army, and visitor
for New Spain.
The diary was kept by the father prior Fray Juan
Crespi, apostolic preacher of the College named, one
of the three friars in the party, formerly minister
of the mission of Purisima Conception in California,
and now minister of that of San Carlos de Monterey,
for the reason which we will explain in the following
Although there were three of us missionaries
from the College of San Fernando de Mexico who
traveled over the roads which I am going to
describe, that is to say, the Reverend Father Fray
Junipero Serra, doctor and professor de prima of
sacred theology, commissary of the holy office, and
president of all the missions, Father Preacher Fray
Francisco Gomez*, and I, my father president ordered
me to write the diary, as I was the only one who
had gone all the way by land from the royal presidio
of Loreto to the very end, at the port of Our Father
San Francisco. The father president, who came by
land from Loreto with the second division of the
expedition, did not go farther than the port of San
Diego, but remained there with the fathers Fray
Juan Vizcaino and Fray Fernando Parron, for the
purpose of founding the first mission of San Diego.
He sent me with the expedition, giving me as companion Father Fray Francisco Gomez, who had come
by ship from Cape San Lucas to the port of San
Diego, and therefore could not give any account
of the country lying between Santa Maria de Ios
Angeles and San Diego. Consequently, I was the
only one who went all the way by land, and so he
thought that I ought to prepare this diary. However, there were always two religious witnesses of
the journey by land to supplement the reports made
by the subaltern officers who composed the body of
the respective expeditions.
Having reached California, the visitor-general,
Don Jose de Galvez, desiring to send an expedition
by sea and land to the ports of San Diego and
Monterey, with the object of making their spiritual
and temporal conquests, ordered that the land expedition should go in two divisions, the first to discover
and open a road for the second, and that the sea
party should go in two barks. I was designated for
the first division, commanded by Captain Don Fernando Rivera y Moncada; for the second, which was
to be commanded by Don Gaspar de Portola, governor of California, the father president remained to
make arrangements, taking as companion the father
preacher Fray Miguel de la Campa, former minister
of the mission of San Ignacio, with the intention of
founding a mission at Vellicata, eighteen leagues
farther up than the frontier mission of Santa Maria
de Ios Angeles.
For this latter division of the expedition several
diaries were kept which will perhaps come to the
hands of many persons. Some were made by the
first division and others by the second, although,
judging by what I observe in that kept by the father
president, which I have before me, the difference
is very immaterial, even in the names of places.
Because the governor and father president could not
know how we had named them, and as it was necessary for the keeping of their diaries and to make
them intelligible to name them in some way, they also
gave them names. In order to make everything clear
I shall use both designations in this diary, leaving
those who may afterwards establish the missions at
liberty to name them as they please. The father
president, from whose diary I shall insert in this
one some notes whenever it may seem conducive to a
more perfect description of some important places,20
says the same. I shall begin with the departure
from Vellicata, where the soldiers were assembled
for the start on the expedition with which Captain
Don Fernando Rivera went. There were twenty-five
leather-jacket soldiers, selected from the Company of
California; Don Jose Canizares, pilot, charged with
writing the diary for the captain; three muleteers
for the pack train; and some forty California
Indians, new Christians, from the last missions, for
the labor of opening roads and other things that
might come up. However, that number was not
completed, for some did not reach Vellicata, but fled
back to their missions while on the road.   .
March 24,1769, Good Friday.—About four in the
afternoon, those of us destined for the first division
of the expedition set out from the place named
Vellicata, going northeast,21 and following the road
which the father president Wenceslao Line, Jesuit,
traveled over in the year 1766, when he passed
through this place until he came to another named
by him Cieneguilla, whence he climbed the Sierra
and came out on the coast of the Gulf of California
on his way to explore the Colorado River. Before
leaving Vellicata our party filled two barrels and
all the leather bags with water, for they already
knew that we were to pass the night in a place
where there was none.
On leaving Vellicata we directed our course
between some hills. After two hours' traveling we
stopped after sunset in a dry arroyo which had some
grass, and camp was pitched there; we had covered
about a league and a half. The country continues
like the rest of California, sterile, arid, lacking grass
and water, and abounding in stones and thorns.
March 25, Holy Saturday.—At half-past seven
in the morning we left this dry arroyo and continued toward the north-northeast. After about one
league's travel we came out from among the hills
and entered open country with good plains, but the
sterility of the land and the scarcity of water continued, with the difference that we now found some
grass in some places. After twelve we came to
another dry arroyo; then we climbed a hill and
descended to the arroyo of San Juan de Dios, called
thus by the Jesuit father mentioned,* where we
* San Juan de Di6s is on the modern map about where they
reached the arroyo. This stream flows east into the Gulf of California.
made camp at half past twelve.22 The day's journey
was five hours, during which we must have covered
four and a half leagues.
This arroyo has many willows, poplars, and
alders in its bed, and some pools of water. The
soldiers told me that lower down it had much level
land on both banks; and the California Indians, who
went further down the arroyo than the soldiers, told
me that lower down it runs with a good stream of
water. This being the case it may be suitable for
a mission. When we reached this arroyo we found
a village of heathen, who fled as soon as they saw
us. Our California Indians ran after them and
caught a youth whom they brought to the camp,
naked and all painted. He was regaled, in order to
dispel the fear felt by him and the rest. We have
had with us nearly all the way trees called cirios
and cocobas. The California Indians are getting
sick on our hands. As soon as I arrived I confessed
one who is very ill.
March 26, Easter.23—I said Mass, which was
attended by everybody, and we stopped until afternoon. I buried the Indian from Santa Gertrudis
whom I confessed and gave extreme unction last
night, and a cross was planted over his grave. This
day I took the latitude, and it came out for me
thirty degrees and forty-six minutes.*
At half-past two in the afternoon we set out
toward the northwest, looking for the opposite coast,
* Crespi's latitudes are generally too high. This place is near
latitude 30 degrees and 6 minutes.
the cacti and choyas of the Calif ornias still following
us. We entered the arroyo of Los Santos Martires,*
which has water and pasture and some willows in
its bed, but lacks land for planting. We did not meet
a single heathen in this place, although the reverend
father president, when the second division of the
expedition stopped here, saw a large number of
them; but when they sent some California Christians
to invite them in peace, they did not wait for the
embassy, but fled, leaving behind them a bow and
a quiver of arrows, which the Christians brought to
him. Afterwards he succeeded in inducing an old
heathen to come, who told him he wished to be a
Christian. The father president sent him, with a
messenger from Vellicata, to Father Fray Miguel
de la Campa, writing to him that since he had now
a captain and forty heathen under catechism in the
new mission of San Fernando de Vellicata he might
receive this old man into the number of catechumens.
This afternoon's journey lasted three hours, during
which we must have traveled as many leagues, and
camp was made in the arroyo of Los Martires.
March 27, Easter Monday.—I said Mass and it
was attended by all the company. We started about
three in the afternoon, notwithstanding that the day
was cloudy and threatening rain. We followed the
same arroyo, which is several leagues long, among
high sierras; on leaving camp we went northeast, but
after following the bends of the arroyo for a little
* A branch of the west-flowing Arroyo Rosario of today.
while it turned to the west-southwest. The only
woods continue to be the sad cirio, and very spiny
choyas and cocobas, the thistles of California. It
began to rain, and we stopped, very wet, on the same
arroyo, after traveling for two hours and probably
making two leagues. Camp was made near some
pools of water which we found in the arroyo named
Los Martires by the Jesuit above-mentioned.
The captain permitted me to put the poor bed
which I carry inside his good tent, and in this way
I was saved from getting wetter than I already was.
We did not see a single heathen during the day's
journey nor at the stopping place, but we did see
many signs of them.
March 28, Easter Tuesday.—Dawn broke with
rain, which had been falling all night. The altar was
arranged inside the tent, but as it did not hold all
the men most of them got wet while listening to the
Mass that I said. The rain continued all day, and
for that reason we did not start. Here seven California Indians fell ill. I confessed all of them, and
as two became worse immediately I gave them
extreme unction. One of them became unconscious,
and there is little hope that he will live till morning.
March 29.—The day broke clear, and it was
decided to depart as soon as the wet things should
be dried. This morning the Indian whom I spoke
of yesterday died. He belonged to the mission of
San Ignacio. I buried him, and a cross was placed
over his grave.   The captain decided that the other
Indian, who is also very ill, shall be carried on a
litter, and that the five who are not so ill shall return
to their missions, with two or three of the well
ones to accompany them.
At a quarter to eleven we set out from the camp,
and after traveling a little way we left the arroyo,
taking the road to the west-northwest; we climbed a
pass, and between hills we descended to a dry arroyo.
A little afterward the country opened up with
some plains; but it was all sterile land, without any
pasture, and without any other trees than the spiny
cirios and the other cacti of California. The journey
was made up entirely of ascents and descents for
four hours and a quarter, during which time we
must not have traveled more than three leagues, on
account of the windings of the road. We did not
meet a single heathen, but we did see signs of them.
We pitched camp in the arroyo called Las Palmas
on account of its palm trees, some of which are very
large. In this place we found no water, so they
opened a batequi,* although the soldiers immediately
reported that about half a league farther down there
was running water and pasture, and they took the
horses there. A little after we arrived at the camp
the five Indians who had been sent back on account
of illness also arrived and reported that as soon as
we left, ten well-armed heathen had sallied out on
them, and through fear they had got up courage to
follow us.   The poor creatures seem to be better.
* A well dug in the sand.
This place the father president called Santiago in
his diary. On this day's journey nine Christian
California Indians ran away from us. May God
guide them and repay them for the good service they
have rendered us, for their loss will be very much
felt by us.
March 30.—We rested this morning and at midday I had an opportunity to make observations, and
the latitude came out thirty degrees and fifty minutes. At half-past one in the afternoon we broke
camp, and after traveling a little entered another
dry arroyo which has a palm or two. It was very
annoying on account of the sand, which fatigued the
animals. We descended through a small pass, and
the country opened out wide, with some plains surrounded by hills, through which we came to another
dry arroyo which I named San Angelo de Fulgino.
In this arroyo we pitched camp. We brought
water in two barrels and in the leather bags for the
use of the men, but the animals were left without
any, although precaution had been taken to water
them before we set out. After we arrived the
soldiers said that lower down than where we stopped
there was water enough for the men, although somewhat distant. This place the father president called
Corpus Christi, because they arrived there on this
solemn day. In the night a lion was heard to roar,
the same as had happened at the four preceding
When the Christian Indians arrived here they
brought us an old heathen with a girl, a daughter
of his, ten or twelve years old; the man was totally
naked, but the girl was modestly covered in front
with some fibers woven together and behind with a
deerskin hanging from the waist. The commander
presented the girl with some strings of beads and
some glass earrings. In this day's journey we left
the cirios behind. The march lasted four hours, and
we must have traveled three and a half leagues.
March 31.—At half-past seven we left camp, going
straight to the north; we traveled up and down hills,
and with a few turns we" came to wind around to the
north-northeast. In this journey I observed some
change in the land, for although its sterility continued, yet I saw during the day some little trees
with leaves similar to the cypress.
Upon descending a hill we found a village of
more than ten houses. The people were roasting
mescal, but as soon as they saw us they sprang up,
leaving all their little utensils. Some soldiers went
to catch them in order to allay their fears, but they
could only overtake an old woman and three girls,
the eldest of some twelve or fourteen years. They
brought them, and it was seen that they all were
modestly covered, and wore their civas on their
heads. The captain gave them some beads, and sent
them off to their village.
About half-past eleven we arrived at Arroyo de
Los Alamos, so-called by the Jesuit father because
of the large number of cottonwood trees on its banks.
We made camp there after four hours' travel, during
which we must have covered three and half leagues.
As the arroyo had no water they opened a batequi,
but after it had been opened the soldiers said that
lower down there was running water in the arroyo
and also good pasture.
Soon after our arrival here our neophytes came
and brought us four large cakes of mescal, which
were very savory and sweet. They gave them to me,
saying that they had found in the sierra some twelve
heathen who had given them the cakes to bring to
me, with the message that on the following morning
they would come to see me; but they did not keep
their word. I divided three of the cakes among the
neophytes and the other among the soldiers. The
captain and I tasted it and it seemed to us a very
rich preserve. It was made of mescal roasted,
ground, and kneaded just like a loaf of bread. It
is the staff of life for these heathen and those of
the missions of northern California.
When the father president arrived at this place
he and all the company saw a number of heathen,
who, from the top of a small hill that was in sight,
were standing looking at them. They made signals
to them through the neophytes, telling them that
they were friends and came in peace; that they
should have no fear, and should come down to the
camp and receive the gifts that they would make
them; but with all this they did not wish to come.
Two or three of the Californians went toward
them, but they immediately fled, and it was only
possible to catch one, who resisted so strongly that
it was found necessary to tie him in order to bring
him to camp, where he arrived trembling with fear.
Being asked by the interpreters what his name was,
he said it was Arajui. They gave him meat, tortilla,
and dried figs to eat. He ate a little, but trembled
with fear all the time; yet he continued to speak,
and the interpreters said he gave it to be understood
that he was sorry he had been spying upon them so
long, but that he had been sent by his chief to keep
watch upon them, so that when they went forward his
chief, with all of his village together, and four other
chiefs with their villages, might conceal themselves
along the road and fall upon them, to kill the father
and all his company, no matter how many there
might be. As a reward for exposing this crime our
people entertained him as liberally as they could,
and sent him to tell his chief and the rest how well
they had treated him, and that all should come and
see our people, who were friends and came in peace.
They did not permit themselves to be seen close by,
but when our people took up the next day's march
they saw many heathen standing on several hill-tops
looking at them; but they never allowed themselves
to be seen close up. What I shall relate below
happened after they had made the day's march
which follows:
April 1.—At eight o 'clock in the morning we set
out from this arroyo of Los Alamos, directly to the
north, through a long range of hills, and along one
of the best roads that we have had for many days.
Exactly at twelve noon we arrived at La Cieneguilla,
the day's march having lasted four hours, in which
we must have traveled as many leagues.
Up to here we have followed the route of the
Jesuit, Father Line, as we were assured by some
of the soldiers who are accompanying us, and who
went on the exploration with that father; but from
here we shall have to take another route, to the
opposite coast. This Cieneguilla mentioned is at the
foot of a high sierra. When we arrived at this place
we found some small pools of water, but only enough
to serve for the people, so they opened a well. After
digging a little, sufficient water was found for the
horses, and there was a little pasture for them.
This afternoon the weather darkened, with a thick
fog and a northwest wind, and the cold so intense
that we could scarcely endure it. The whole afternoon was spent in trying to make altar breads for
celebrating Mass, but not one could be taken out.
Here one soldier and an Indian neophyte fell sick,
and according to the way they describe it they will
have to be carried on a litter, like the other whom
they have been carrying for days.
When the father president arrived at this place
with the second division of the expedition they were
obliged to endure the annoyance of having many
heathen gather about them, over forty altogether.
They were all armed and very noisy, obstructing the
passage of the pack train and the horses.   Being
asked by the neophytes who served as interpreters
what they wanted, they replied that they did not
wish that they should go on, and that they wanted
to fight. As no arguments sufficed to quiet them
and give a chance to catch the animals, the governor
ordered the soldiers to fire, not to Mil anyone, but
in the air, and by this means they were made to go
away and leave them in peace.
After leaving La Cieneguilla our people saw on
the summit of the hills many armed heathen. As
there was a bad and narrow pass in front, and being
fearful that the heathen would fall upon them, they
made ready with their leather-jackets and arms, but
nothing happened, and it turned out to be a false
alarm, although well-founded. A little while after
leaving these heathen behind twelve appeared in
the road, but apparently they were from a different
village and of a different temper, for they proved
to be very affable and friendly, offering to accompany our people and show them the camping place,
which they did, and our people rewarded them the
best they could.
April 2, Dominica in albis.—I could not say Mass
for lack of altar breads, for, as I said yesterday,
after working all the afternoon it was impossible
to produce even one that would serve. We halted
to-day to give time to the explorers to examine
watering places towards the opposite coast, and if
possible by means of the many tracks that are to
be seen, to find some heathen, with the object of
obtaining from them some knowledge of the country
and the watering places. I took the latitude of this
place and it proved to be thirty degrees and fifty-six
minutes. This afternoon an effort was made to
make altar breads, with some success.
April 3, Feast of the Annunciation.—I said Mass,
which all attended, and about ten o'clock we broke
camp, going north-northwest, guided by two24
heathen whom the explorers succeeded in finding
yesterday, although one of them ran away from us
at the beginning of the march and the one that was
left was only a boy of some fourteen years. The
neophytes are carrying the three sick men, one
soldier and two Indians, on litters. After traveling
half an hour we entered an arroyo without water,
and along it we continued to a beautiful plain of
good land, about a quarter of a league wide and
two leagues long. About half of it is good land but
the rest is sandy.25
In the good land at the foot of the hills of the
opposite coast much verdure is to be seen. When
they reached this place the father president told one
of the Christian neophytes who went with the second
division of the expedition, that in that green spot
there must be plenty of water, and he named the
place Santa Humiliana. Although the land continues to be sterile as before, yet a difference is
perceived, for now some live oaks are met with,
although small, and some wild date palms. The
day's journey occupied four hours, during which we
must have traveled about three leagues. The entire
march has been along the skirt of a high range. We
found on the road three streams of running water,
and grass for the animals. In one of them we saw
many sycamores. The camp halted on another
arroyo with running water and sufficient pasturage
for the animals and which I named San Ricardo.
During the day's journey two villages were
observed, but not a heathen allowed himself to be
seen, although there were many signs of them.
From a high hill in this place the sea of the opposite
coast is visible; they say it must be about ten
leagues distant.
April 4.—We set out from this place at ten in
the morning, after experiencing a sharp frost.
Going northwest by west, we traveled through the
range, ascending and descending slopes of pure
earth, for only in a few places were any stones to
be seen. On one of these slopes we saw signs of
an abandoned village, but although we saw many
paths beaten down by heathen, not one permitted
himself to be seen during the whole day's march,
which occupied four hours and three quarters, and
during which we probably traveled four leagues
through rough country. We stopped in a plain well
covered with grass. Running through it there is
an arroyo of good water which flows according to
the slope of the land. It has plenty of moist ground,
and of all the country traversed up to here it is the
best, for it has a beautiful grove of cottonwoods and
willows. Camp was made under a very large white
Cottonwood near the arroyo, which I named San
Isidro, because we arrived there on this saint's
Although we did not see any heathen in this
place nor during the march, the people of the second
division of the expedition saw many, for the twelve
that I said offered to accompany them did so. As
soon as they left the camp they found their village
of very well built houses, and these heathen, with
others who accompanied them, went leaping down
a declivity that followed, running, shouting, and
going from one side of the road to the other with
joyful shouts. As the road was bad and narrow,
they impeded them, though their intention was good,
for the animals were frightened and there was
danger that they would hurl themselves over the
precipice. They were told that this was enough, and
that our people were satisfied with their hilarious
demonstrations of friendship; but they repeated
their gift of mescales to the neophytes, and, as the
uproar was such that they neither heard nor understood, it went on just the same, and the loss of time
Their chief was now called and ordered to control
his people. He did endeavor to quiet and collect
them, but succeeded only in part. Finally the governor, who went ahead, fell back and made his
*San Isidro is still on the map in the same locality, near the
upper waters of Bio Santo Domingo.
request more forcibly. Seeing that this was not
enough, he was compelled to discharge a gun into
the air, but without wounding anyone. Frightened
by the sound, they ceased and retired. Shortly after
their arrival at the arroyo three of these heathen,
with no other arms than their pipes in their hands,
presented themselves, saying that from the preceding camp word had been sent to them to welcome the
Spaniards in peace, for they were all good people,
and in fact they did so.
The second division of the expedition arrived at
this arroyo on the day of San Fernando, king of
Castile, for which reason they named it San Fernando.
April 5 we rested, in order to give time to the
explorers to look for a pass by which to get through
the high range ahead of us. At this place I buried
one of the California Indians from the mission of
San Ignacio, to whom I administered the holy sacraments of penance and extreme unction, and over his
grave we left a cross planted. On account of this
stop I had an opportunity to make an observation,
and the latitude came out thirty-one degrees and five
April 6.—At a quarter past eight in the morning
we set out from this place, going west-northwest,
and after a little while entered an arroyo between
very high and rough hills. We then turned northwest, traveling along a declivity at the bottom of
which we saw an arroyo grown with cottonwoods.
We went on thus over rough and stony country, and
afterward entered a valley with some level ground,
well covered with grass and crossed by an arroyo
with a good deal of water, which we conjectured to
be the same as San Isidro, and which flows with the
slope of the ground. The medium-sized plain of this
valley appears to be of good land, and in places it
shows that it has some moisture by different herbs,
and by amarinths, some of which were gathered to
eat. In the bed of the arroyo there are many cottonwoods, alders, willows, some pines, live oaks, and
wild grapes.
We pitched camp in a high valley that happens
to be there, with plenty of pasture and water for the
animals. The march occupied three hours and a
half, during which we must have traveled three
leagues without encountering a single heathen,
although we saw many signs of them. I called this
place the valley and arroyo of San Vicente Ferrer,
and the father president, who stopped in it with the
second division of the expedition, called it Santa
Petronilla. In this place they succeeded in seeing
eleven heathen who went to visit them, and seemed
to be very mild and docile. They gave them food
and tobacco, for which they all brought their pipes.
They were very grateful for this and went away well
pleased with our people.
April 7.—We rested to-day while the captain
with eight soldiers went to explore and to see if
they could find water in order to make the march,
and whether we could get out of this rough mountain
April 8.—We left the valley at eight in the morning, taking the road to the north-northwest. After
about one league of travel we came to a large arroyo,
or river, with plenty of running water, and in the
short space of the league traveled over we saw nine
large wolves all told. This little river has a good
width. The water that runs in it is well closed in,
and the bed is so crowded with cottonwoods and
willows that not only on the banks but also in the
middle it was necessary to cut trees in order to cross
it, which it was necessary to do nine times, for the
high mountains on both sides gave no chance for
anything else. On entering the river the direction
turns to the west-southwest, for the course of the
river is from east-southeast to west-southwest. The
march occupied four hours and a quarter, during
which we must have traveled three leagues. We
made camp on the bank of the river, on a little
eminence on which there is a large live oak and
good grass for the horses. I named this river San
April 9, Second Sunday after Easter.26—I said
Mass and we halted to rest, in order to give time
for them to go early to-morrow and repair a bad
pass which the explorers say lies ahead. I took the
latitude of this place and it proved to be thirty-one
degrees and eight minutes.    :
April 10.—Early in the morning I said Mass in
order to give the viaticum to the soldier Guillermo,
to whom I also gave extreme unction. He is very
ill with a pain in the side, and for days they have
been carrying him on a litter. At nine o'clock we
set out from the camp, following the course of the
river, which is to the west-southwest.27 We followed
it for about three-quarters of a league and crossed
it three times. At the last crossing it is spotted with
a sandy stretch and fewer trees. It has a fall, near
which there is an opening in the country, with a
spacious plain. This morning they repaired the
trail up the very high ridge which we have to climb.
The plain passed, we began to climb the ridge,
going northwest. We climbed to the top, but other
higher ridges followed. After ascending the last one
we thought we made out the sea, but it was not so,
because this eminence was behind a very deep ravine
and some medium-sized ranges, and another chain
of hills,28 not less lofty than those already passed.
After having climbed so high we found ourselves
again descending to the foot of the sierra, where
we saw a leafy, verdure-grown arroyo, with a good
stream of water, in which there is a large pasture
and better water for the horses. The march lasted
three hours and a half, and we probably traveled two
leagues. All the ranges and hills that we crossed
in this march are clothed in fragrant rosemary, with
many small trees that resemble cypresses, junipers,
small oaks, some pines, and other trees not known
to us; and we now found very few stones, so many of
which we have traveled over in California and
on the whole stretch up to here. We pitched camp
on a mesa at the side of the arroyo mentioned, which
I named San Leon, after the saint whose day we
celebrate to-morrow.
A little while after our arrival the Indian neophytes from California, who follow on foot, came
bringing a heathen Indian with three girls and a
baby, all much exhausted. The girls were modestly
covered behind with skins of coyote and deer, and in
front with fibers well woven together; but the boy
had no more clothing than nature gives, which is the
only kind that the men use. Hanging from their hair
they had snails29 and seashells. The captain gave
them some beads and ribbons, but I had nothing for
them. They were given food and were with us all
the afternoon, in great good humor. They are very"
poor, for it seems that the land lacks food, especially
When the father president reached this place he
examined the arroyo downstream for about a league,
and ascended a high hill to see what there was to
be seen. It seemed to him that farther down, in the
direction of the opposite coast, there were lands well
covered with grass and good for planting, and which
could be irrigated with water from the arroyo,
which has a grove of cottonwoods and live oaks
and many Castilian roses.    The father president
named it the Arroyo de San Andres Hispelo, alias
El Agua de Nuestra Serafica Religion.
Before leaving this place I buried an Indian
named Manuel Valladares,* of the mission of San
Ignacio, to whom I administered the holy sacraments
of penance and extreme unction. I felt his death
very keenly, for he had served me as interpreter.
A cross was planted over his grave. Anima ejus
requiescat in pace.
April 11.—At one in the afternoon we set out
from this place, going toward the northwest. After
traveling a little while through ravines, ascending
and descending, the road turned. Coming out of
the ravines we entered a dry arroyo, and through
it came to a large plain. Afterwards we came to
a mesa, and the road again turned to the west-
southwest. After four hours' traveling we climbed
a high hill which has some grass but with water
only in a little pool in a small arroyo. We halted
near it, but the animals will be left without water
for there is scarcely enough for the men.
The land on this day's march, during which we
made about four leagues, continued sterile and with
little pasture. The cocoba has followed us through
all the marches up to the present, but here there
was not even any firewood for our use. Up to this
place a heathen boy had followed us, but here he
was joined by another from the neighborhood and
the two disappeared.   The captain had clothed him
* A place called Valladares is still on the map in the same vicinity.
and I was already catechizing him and believed that
he would reach baptism, judging by the signs that
he gave.
April 12.—At seven o'clock we set out from this
place toward the southwest, and entered a spacious
plain in the mountains. Afterwards we traveled
along extensive ranges of hills, not at all rough, but
without pasture or water, or a sign of it. The march
lasted two hours and we must have traveled about
as many leagues. We did not see a single heathen,
although we saw many signs of them. We stopped
at the end of the two leagues because we found a
little grass for the animals, and to give the explorers
an opportunity to look for water, for the horses have
not drunk since day before yesterday, and there is
no water left for us in the leather bags. I called
this place San Angelo de Clavacio, but the father
president, who also stopped here, called it San
The explorers set forth and soon returned with
the glad news that about a league away they had
found running water in an arroyo. They immediately took the barrels and all the leather bags, and
also the animals, so that they might drink their fill
April 13.—At about a quarter to ten we started
towards the northwest, and traveled over ridges of
the mountains, which are not rough. The land continues sterile, without trees, but with large patches
of grass.   At the end of two leagues we encountered
many mescales, the largest we have seen on the trip,
and in such abundance that they gave no room
for the animals to step. Among them were many
patches of cocoba, which has not been lacking the
whole way. After traveling four hours and a half,
during which we must have made four leagues, we
descended to a large valley, also crowded with
mescales. We pitched camp at the beginning of
the plain, to the east of it, where some grass was
found but no water at all, and we only brought a
little in the leather bags. As soon as we arrived
the explorers went out in search of water, and came
back with the report that to the west of the valley
they had found a large pond of good water. This
place was immediately named La Poza de San
April 14.—We rested in the morning with the
intention of moving to the pond. At twelve I took
the latitude, which was thirty-one degrees and seventeen80 minutes. At half-past four in the afternoon
we left camp, crossing the valley from east to west.
On departing from this place we left behind the
groves of mescal, which had been very annoying to
the animals. We crossed many paths well beaten by
heathen, and saw many coyotes, deer, and antelopes,
of these last a band of nine together. At nine o 'clock
at night we arrived at the pond, the march having
lasted four hours and a half, during which we must
have traveled about four leagues over land as level
as the palm of the hand.   Before reaching the pond,
which lies to the west of it, this plain is all well
covered with grass, among which we saw some
patches of tule whence water flowed. At the end
of the plain is the pond, near a narrow pass formed
by the hills to the west.
The water in the pond is fresh and clear, and it
must be about a hundred and fifty varas long and
twenty wide, and so deep that on the second division
of the expedition a diver who went in close to the
bank, after having been under water as long as he
could bear it, came out saying he had not been able
to reach the bottom. There are some fish in it, the
most abundant being small turtles, about a hand-
breadth in size, of which they caught some. I did
not see any heathen; the explorers said they had
seen four, but as soon as they saw them they ran
away. The reverend father president says that
when he stopped at this pond he saw many heathen
on a high hill, one of whom came down to the camp
and gave account of the first expedition, telling them
that we had stopped near the sea, but very far away.
He adds that from a high hill they made out the sea,
which seemed to them to be about four leagues
distant, and through a pass in the mountains they
saw something like a harbor or bay. The father
president named this pond Los Santos Martires
Gorgonienses, but it previously had been given the
name   of  San  Tehno.*    While  there  I  took the
* The San Telmo of to-day is in the same vicinity but nearer the
latitude, which was thirty-one degrees and eleven
minutes—seven minutes less than yesterday's camping place, on account of our having changed our
direction in our day's march in order to reach the
April 15.—This day was set aside for rest and
to allow the animals to enjoy the good pasture and
water while the explorers go to look for a camping
place for to-morrow's journey. They brought the
sick soldier as far as this place on a litter. Thank
God, he is now better and able to continue on horseback. Four Indians, neophytes of the mission of
San Borja, ran away from us here. May God save
them from misfortune.
April 16, Third Sunday after Easter.81—After
Mass we set out from this pond at half-past eight,
going north. After traveling a little way we veered
to the north-northeast, but afterwards we kept on
to the north during the whole march, which occupied
four hours and a half, during which we must have
traveled about three leagues. On this march the
mescales, cocobas, choyas, and other California cacti
continued. We descended by a path well beaten by
heathen, to a green and leafy valley, entirely surrounded by hills. It must be a little more than a
league long and about a quarter of a league wide.
It has plenty of grass and the land is good, although
it gives signs of being alkaline. We pitched camp
near good water, although we could see no current.
Towards the opposite coast we saw cottonwoods,
alders, willows, and other trees. The explorers said
that to the northwest of this valley there is another
and better plain with running water. I called
to-day's camping place San Rafael, to whom I pray
this day.
As soon as we arrived the explorers started to
look for the camping place for to-morrow, and on
their return they told us about the other valley.
They brought one heathen man, two women, and
a boy; the man was naked and painted all over,
and horrible to behold; the women were modestly
covered, as I said of the rest. We wished them to
serve as guides to the watering places, but we could
accomplish nothing because our neophytes did not
understand any of their language. The commander
made them presents of beads, ribbons, and some
gourd cups, and with this sent them off, very well
The reverend father president says in his diary
that when they arrived at this place they saw a little
grove and many heathen in it. One of them came
down to the camp, bringing a stick in one hand and
a timbrel in the other. They welcomed him with
much attention and gave him food, but he would
not taste it by any manner of means, although, in
order to remove his suspicions, our people tasted it
first. He gave them to understand that he was the
dancer of that country, and that he could not eat
without dancing first, and that if they would give
him permission he would dance.    They consented,
and he began to dance and to play the timbrel.
When the soldiers gave him some food he told them
to put it in the center, and then changing his tone,
he danced around it. Not content with this, he
danced around all the packs, making a turn about
the camp; having done this he had now the general
permission to eat it all. He said that the first
people, who had gone farther on, had stopped in
this place, and that he offered to accompany them
if they wished, but on condition that they would
allow him to dance82 the whole way. They told him
"Yes." Being asked what he was called, he replied
"Matiropi"; and the father president said to him;
"Well, from now on you will be called Bailon,*
reserving the name Pascual until you are baptized.''
He remained in the camp until the hour of departure,
when he ran off hike a deer to the hills and they
saw him no more. The father president named this
place Santa Margarita.
April 17.—At eight in the morning we left the
camping place, going north, and after traveling a
short distance the road turned northwest. The
day's march occupied five hours and a half, during
which we traveled about five leagues, all through
level land, but sterile, and with cacti like the preceding. The mountains on the sides were very high
and bare, with here and there a small tree. We
came to another valley which has a large, very green
plain, and a large pond of salty water, although
* Great dancer.
it has some that is fresh and potable. It appears
that the entire plain is full of alkali. I named it
San Bernabe.
April 18.—At eight in the morning we set out
from this valley, going north-northeast, and after
traveling a short distance the road turned to the
northwest. At one league we found two little houses
of heathen, with only one old man, of whom we
inquired by signs where there was water. Taking
up his bow and arrows he went ahead to guide us,
but although he was given meat and tortilla he did
not wish to eat.
Here the country begins to open, with meadows
and hills stretching out, but the land continues with
the same sterility and without firewood. After four
hours' travel, in which we must have made about
four33 leagues, we came to a very large plain, with
damp or marshy land, all clothed in green grass,
and the old heathen showed us near a hill some little
pools of fresh water, and good water for the animals.
He was asked if he wished to accompany us farther,
and he said "No." The commander made him a
present of some beads, and he went back home well
Through this place runs an arroyo with many
cottonwoods, alders, and willows, and the plain
stretches from north to southwest. It has arable
land with plenty of moisture and is even marshy.
We crossed the arroyo and saw some water running.
It may be that lower down it runs with more volume.
I named this spot the Marsh of Santa Isabel, Queen
of Hungary, and the father president named it
Giiido de Cortona. Everybody thought it was a
good site for a mission. I observed the latitude,
which came out thirty-two degrees.
April 19.—At eight in the morning we set out
from the camping place toward the northwest, veering to the west. The journey lasted five hours and
a half, in which we must have traveled about five
leagues, over a bad road of ups and downs and
gorges. We now found the mountains and hills
covered with some small trees similar to the juniper,
" and small oaks, but the land continued sterile and
without grass. Many signs of heathen have been
seen which indicate that the country is well populated, although the people do not permit themselves
to be seen. At five leagues we came to an arroyo
full of alders and plenty of grass, but without water,
for which reason it was given the name of Arroyo
Seco de Ios Alisos, although the second division
called it San Nazario. We stopped near the arroyo,
comforted by the fact that we had brought water
for the people in the barrels and leather bags,
though the animals were left without any.
April 20.—At seven o'clock we left the dry
arroyo, taking the road to the northwest. The first
part of the march was through gorges and over
medium-sized hills. After traveling one league,
when we were on the top of the last hill we saw the
sea on the opposite coast, distant from us about a
quarter of a league, but, although we desired to go
down to the shore, the high, steep mountain gave us
no chance, and so we took the road to descend to
a valley in which we found plenty of grass, and
water in a little pool used by the heathen. We made
camp on a mesa near the little pool, the day's
journey having covered two leagues. The pool had
water, but was so deep that the animals could not
drink from it, so they found it necessary to open
a hole, from which a little water was obtained.
Shortly afterwards, down the valley, they found
running water under some trees, with which the animals satisfied their thirst. I named the valley Beato
Jacobo Ilirico, choosing this saint for its patron.
The father president, who passed it on the day of
San Antonio, named it San Antonio de Ios Trabajos,
on account of the troubles they had suffered from
want of water. I observed the latitude and it came
out thirty-two degrees and eight minutes.
April 21.—At half-past six in the morning we set
out from the camping place, after burying an Indian
neophyte from the mission of Santa Gertrudis, who
died after receiving the holy sacrament of penance
and extreme unction; above his grave I fixed a cross.
On setting out we took the road to the north, and
after traveling a short time we entered another
arroyo full of alders and with good pasture. The
march occupied three hours, during which we must
have traveled as many leagues. We halted in the
same arroyo, which has running water, and which
I called the Alders and Spring of San Anselmo, and
which the father president named San Basilio. I
did not see in it or in its vicinity any land on which
the water could be used.
April 22.—At eight in the morning we set out
from the camp, traveling to the north-northeast.
After going a little way we turned to the north and
traveled a league and a half through valleys and
over steep hills bare of trees, but very passable.
We finally made out a large valley, but in order to
go down to it we had to cross a very bad ridge, high
and steep, but entirely of earth, so that the animals
sank in half way up to their bodies. We descended
to the plain, which had a length from north to south
of about two leagues, and a width of about half a
league. We camped in the middle of it near a spring,
one of two which it has, about a stone's throw apart.
By means of them the fertile land of the plain could
easily be irrigated, and a good mission founded
in it.
When we left camp this morning our neophytes
went to the shore. They came back late to the next
camp, saying that the beach is near, and that an
arroyo discharges into it, coming out of the side of
the plain nearest the other coast, where we saw many
trees. I called this plain San Francisco Solano. I
observed its latitude, and it is in thirty-two degrees
and ten minutes. There is enough pasture on the
plain for the,animals, and all the hills are green
with the grass which covers them.
The second expedition stopped at this place on
the day of San Antonio de Padua, for which reason
the father president named it the Valley of San
Antonio. He states in his diary that he explored
it carefully, accompanied by the sergeant of the
Leather-jacket Company, Don Francisco de Ortega,
examining the large cottonwood grove that this
valley has to the west-northwest, towards the shore.
He says there are many cottonwoods and live oaks
of all sizes, some of them very large. They saw in
the grove a large marsh with many tules, and a
channel of running water more than a buey deep.
They could not go on to explore farther down lest
some heathen should be killed. As a matter of
fact, near the tules they encountered three heathen
women, with whom they did not stop, but went on
with the object of finding the source of the water.
Before reaching it a band of heathen appeared on
the summit of the hills and shouted at them. They
called to them in peace to come down without fear,
but they kept up their shouting. By the signs they
made it was understood that they were telling the
Spaniards to turn back. Seeing that they did not
do so, a well-armed Indian scrambled down and ran
in front, making gestures as though he wished to
fight, and compelling the sergeant to make ready
with his leather jacket and shield. The father president, seeing the danger to the life of the heathen,
thought it was best to go back without finding the
source of the water, postponing the search till a
better occasion. But, according to what he saw of
the valley, it seemed to him, as it did to me, a suitable site for a large mission.
April 23, Fourth Sunday after Easter.34—After
Mass was said we left the place, about eight in the
morning, going straight north. Having left the
plain we traveled over a hill and through a pass,
in which we found a great many stones for building
if a settlement should be made there. The whole
ascent and descent, which is not very rough, is full
of live oaks. After two hours' travel we came to
another medium-sized valley, about a league long,
which runs from northeast to southeast, all of very
good land, with a good deal of marsh and wet land,
and so much verdure that at first sight it looked like
a cornfield. In the highest part of the valley there
are many willows and tules. In the midst of this
pleasant place there is a good pool of water, which
runs for same distance within the green grove where
it seems to sink. Although this water is very hot,
almost as soon as it strikes the air it cools, and it
is very good. Besides this water there are two
other little pools of cold water from springs. Everybody thought it a suitable place for a settlement.
I named it the Valley and Marsh of San Jorje, and
the father president, who also stopped there, called
it San Atenogenes, for the bishop and martyr, in
deference to the sergeant, who has a very special
devotion to this saint.
In the afternoon the captain went out with eight
soldiers to explore and look for a camping place
for to-morrow. They returned, saying that on the
summit of a high hill about three leagues from the
place they descried the sea, which beat upon the
cliffs of that hill, and that it formed a very large
bay with two islands in the middle, which we inferred
to be the bay of Todos Santos. But they observed
that the mountain range which followed was higher,
precipitous and close to the sea, and had no pass,
and also that the road to the north which we were
following was taking us to the precipice, without
any possibility of descending to the shore. For
this reason it was necessary to stop here while the
explorers looked for a road and water in another
April 24.—The explorers set out early in the
morning. In the afternoon they returned with the
report that they had found a way out and a water-
hole at which to camp; but in the night it became
cloudy, and began to rain hard, with a northwest
wind which continued all night.
April 25.—The day broke raining, and it continued all day and the next night, so that we could
not leave the place.
April 26.—The day dawned clear, but in order to
give an opportunity somewhat to dry the clothing
that had been wet, we did not leave until half-past
ten in the morning, when we started northeast,85
turning our steps to the north after going a short
distance. The march lasted three hours and a half,
and covered three leagues of hard travel, during
which we crossed hills grown with groves of small
oak and other trees not known to us. During the
entire day's journey we did not see a single heathen,
though we did see trails well beaten by them. We
reached the watering place that the explorers had
found. It is an arroyo which has grass and some
water, with some live oaks, alders, and other little
trees which we did not know, but nothing else
worth notice. I named it Los Santos Martires Clete
y Marcelino, and the father president, who also
stopped there, called it San Gervacio.
April 27.—We set out from the camping place at
eleven in the morning, carrying water for our use
in the two barrels and all the leather bags, as a
precaution against the chance that the next camping
place might not have any. We went directly to the
north and traveled three hours, in which we must
have made about two leagues, all ups and downs.
ALfter surmounting the first hill we descended to a
dry arroyo which has some live oaks and alders, and
pitched camp in a hollow without water. The explorers went out to look for some and to ascertain
whether the very high mountain which we have
close to us is very rough, and if there is any pass.
They returned dissatisfied with their examination,
saying that they had not found water and that the
mountains ahead of us to the north do not permit
passage on account of their roughness. We therefore have to content ourselves with the water that
we brought as a precaution, and the animals with
the grass which, thank God, there is in this place.
They will drink water when some is found.
April 28.—Early in the morning the explorers
started out to see if they could find water in another
direction, for it was now badly needed by everybody.
At the same time the captain decided that the pilot,
Don Jose Caiiizares, should go out with six soldiers
to explore at closer range, and ascertain whether
the mountain36 gave any chance to descend to the
shore. Both bands spent the whole day in their
respective explorations. In the evening they returned, the first ones saying they had found a small
spring of water about half a league behind the camp;
and the pilot bringing the report that from a high
hill they had seen the beach, which is a bay; that
in it there are some islands; that he believed the
descent could be made to the shore; but that in all
the country he had traveled over he had not found
water or any signs of it.
April 29.—We started early in the morning,
turning back about half a league from this hollow
to the little spring of water that I said yesterday the
explorers had found. It is in a very deep dry run37
with live oaks and alders. It has plenty of pasture
for the animals, but although the spring has a sufficient flow of water, the animals could not drink
from it; and even for the men it was very difficult.
For this reason they opened a well, and enough
flowed out for all, with which, thanks to God, we
were relieved.   I named this place the Spring of
San Pedro Martir, and the father president, who
stopped here, named it Santa Miguelina. In the
afternoon the captain went out with ten soldiers
to examine the bay and see if there is a passage
by the beach, and to look for watering places, in
order to continue the journey.
April 30.—We rested in this place until the
captain should come back from his explorations. I
celebrated Mass, because it is the fifth Sunday after
Easter. In the afternoon the captain returned well
pleased, saying there is a passage along the shore
of the bay, over level land all the way and with
plenty of water and pasture for all, God be thanked
and may He guide us on our way.
May 1, Feast of the Holy Apostles San Felipe
and Santiago.—I said Mass in the presence of everybody. Then we set out from the camp, going west-
southwest, carrying water in the barrels and leather
bags because the next watering place can not be
reached to-day. The journey lasted five hours,
through very rough gorges and with ups and downs.
After about an hour's travel we saw the bay from a
height and continued our way to it. We stopped
in a hollow, in level land now, on the way to the
beach. While descending the last slope we heard
some heathen shouting and saw them raising a great
cloud of dust. As soon as they saw us they turned
back and ran at great speed, like deer. We stopped
in the hollow, about a league before reaching the
bay, having traveled about three leagues.   I named
the place the Hollow of the Holy Apostles. We had
no water here except what they carried, and the
animals, though they had good pasture, went without
May 2.—We started early in the morning
towards the northwest, over level land, and after
traveling a league we came to the shore of the bay,
having crossed a ravine about half way. The day's
march occupied three full hours, and we pitched
camp on a high spot in a ravine formed by the first
curve of the bay, about two hundred yards from
the water of the sea. It is a delightful place, all of
level land, well covered with green grass, and near
the hills, which are not very high. There are some
trees in an arroyo to the west which has no water.
But there is plenty of it in some large pools, and
although one of them is salty, the rest are of good
water. I named the place Holy Cross of the Pools
of the Bay of Todos Santos,* and the father president called it the Visitation of Nuestra Senora
Maria Santisima. On reaching this place we found
a village of heathen near one of the pools of water.
But as soon as they descried us they fled with their
arms to the hill, and although the captain ealled to
them, making signs to them that they should come
without fear, as we were friends and peaceable
people, he accomplished nothing except that they
shouted to us from above and made signs that we
should turn back.
* The bay still has the same name.
May 3, Feast of the Holy Cross.—I said Mass
in the presence of everybody. We rested this day in
order to permit the explorers to lay out the road
for the following march, while the horses enjoyed
the good pasture and the abundance of water. I
took the latitude and it came out thirty-two degrees
and fourteen minutes.
May 4, Great Feast of the Ascension of Christ.—
I said Mass in the presence of everybody, and at
nine o'clock we broke camp, going northwest. On
leaving the place we made a circuit around a range
of hills that descend to this first curve of the bay,
and at the end of the first hour we found ourselves
again on the seashore. We proceeded along the
shore the rest of the march, which lasted three hours
and a half, all over good level land, until we struck
a hill which juts out into the sea. It has on its skirt
a green hollow, with several pools of fresh good
water, and we made camp near it. We called it the
Pools of Santa Monica, and the father president
named it Village of San Juan. Our explorers found
in this place a large village which we did not find
later on our arrival, doubtless88 because the inhabitants hid themselves in the hills through fear. The
second division of the expedition found them, and
the reverend father says in his diary that they were
with them all day; that they were Indians of good
appearance, affable and cheerful; and that they were
much in love with these good-looking heathen. They
gave the Spaniards fish and mussels, for which they
went to fish in their little canoes; and they danced
for them in their fashion to entertain them, and
begged them to remain there a second night. The
mules caused the natives much fear and astonishment, and even when they were in the midst of our
people, in perfect confidence, if they saw the mules
come near they all trembled, and calling out "mula,
mula," a term which they quickly learned, they tried
to get away. In order to quiet them one of our men
had to get up, take hold of the mules, and lead them
aside. The men all go about naked, with quivers
on their shoulders, while on their heads they wear a
kind of crown made of skins of beaver and other
aiiimals. They wear their hair cut like perukes and
daubed with white and green with some taste. The
women go modestly covered with woven fibers and
skins. The bay has two islands in the middle of
its mouth, and answers the description given to it
by the pilot Cabrera Bueno.
May 5 and 6 we rested in this place to give time
for the explorers to examine the country and look
for water for the succeeding journeys.
May 7.—To-day, Sunday, after Mass was said, we
started from this place about half-past seven in the
morning, taking the road to the north in order to
go to the watering place which the explorers had
found. For a short distance we followed a very
stony arroyo, and then climbed a very steep and
stony slope. After an hour's journey we again saw
the sea, though it was far away.   We crossed a very
green arroyo, full of alders and live oaks, but
without water. After traveling four hours and a
half, during which we must have made four leagues
over hills and slopes, we came to a large valley with
a great deal of pasture, trees at its ends, and a
stream of water running among the tules. It has a
good pool of water, and some live oaks.39 We made
camp in the shade of a very large one, near the
arroyo. I called this place the Valley of San
Estanislao, and the father president called it San
Juan Bautista.
I observed the latitude and it was found to be
thirty-two degrees and eighteen minutes. During
this march some heathen shouted from some hills.
Seeing that we paid no attention to them they followed us, but at a distance, and keeping on the tops
of the hills. We came to the camping place and they
stopped on the last hill, continuing their shouts and
making motions with their hands for us to go away.
There were about thirty of them, armed with bows
and arrows. The captain signaled them to come
to the camp, showing them the beads and ribbons;
but there was no way to induce them to come down
or to be quiet, so they kept on in this way, we paying
no attention to them, until sunset, when they gave a
great halloo and went off.
May 8.—At half-past seven in the morning we
left the camp, taking the road to the west-northwest.
As soon as we abandoned the spot we heard a joyful
shouting, and saw that they were the heathen, the
same number that we saw yesterday afternoon.
They immediately went down to see if we had left
anything and then, divided in two bands, they began
to run to the summits of the hills that skirt the
valley we were crossing. After half a league's
travel it became necessary for us to ascend a pass,
and then go through a narrow opening between hills.
At the narrowest place we saw the heathen, who
were almost above us and within gunshot. Seeing
this, the captain ordered the pack train to halt,
close up, put on their leather jackets, take their
arms in their hands, and forming in a file, to maintain silence and pay attention to the movements and
orders that he might give them. They did this
instantly. As soon as the heathen, who numbered
twenty-nine, and were apparently the same as those
of yesterday, with their quivers of arrows, saw this
movement, they halted a little beyond gunshot,
divided in two bands. Half of them were on a knoll
and the other half on the slope of the hill with bows
and arrows in their hands, ready to draw the bow.
One of them shouted at us, making motions with
his hands, now up and now down, now to one side
and now to the other. We kept this position about
half an hour. At this juncture one of them slid down
the slope of the hill, as though he wished to go
behind some bushes where the horses were, in the
rear of the file of soldiers, where I also was awaiting
the outcome of the show.
Seeing this, the captain, who was in the band40
of soldiers, went out with four of them, and little
by little crept up to where the heathen was sliding
down. As soon as he saw them the Indian rushed
off at full speed to the place where the others were.
The captain halted in the file, watching the movements of the Indians, who continued shouting. When
one wearied another continued with his harangue
while our men, with their eyes fixed upon them,
remained quiet and awaited the orders of the
captain. After a short time three of the band that
was standing on top of the hill let themselves down
little by little, but they never came within gunshot.
And all three shot their arrows into the air; they fell
near the captain, who ordered a soldier to fire and
he fired himself. Thank God, there was no casualty,
for they were not within range, as I said, and the
firing was done only to frighten them and to prevent
deaths. It did in fact serve this purpose, for as soon
as they heard the shot they all fled, and did not stop
until they reached the summit of the bill which was
near the knoll; but from there, where they considered themselves safe, they kept up their shouting
as before, while our people did not move or utter a
word. We stood in this way about two long hours,
until they grew tired, and, giving one yell, passed
behind the hill. Some time having elapsed during
which we did not see them, we again took up the
march, until we came in sight of a very green valley
with an abundance of water; but it was very deep,
with a long, high, and even steep descent.
It was already three o'clock in the afternoon, and
we did not know at what point we could get down
into the valley, so the commander ordered camp
pitched on a very spacious mesa near the beach,
having an abundance of grass and mescales, until
they could find a way to descend into the valley,
whence water could be brought up for the use of
the people, letting the animals wait until the following day. About three in the afternoon we halted
on the mesa, which I called San Juan Bautista,
about one league before reaching the valley. As
soon as we arrived we saw the twenty-nine heathen
on a height, some distance off, who did not go away
until sunset.
May 9.—Early in the morning we set out from
the mesa. We went west-northwest, and after
traveling a short distance descried the very deep
green valley. We descended its long steep slope,
all of earth or dust, into which the animals sank
so that they seemed to be sliding rather than walking. As soon as we began to descend into the valley
it looked to us like a mission already established,
both on account of the verdure, which resembled a
cornfield, and because the many little Indian houses
which appeared to us like a town. The moment the
heathen saw us they broke into an uproar, all coming
out of their houses and running to some knolls, most
of them not stopping until they reached a hill on
the other side of the valley. At the foot of the
slope we found a large running arroyo, with many
tules in it, amid which there is a great deal of water
in pools.
We halted near the middle of the valley, not very
far from the little houses of the heathen. After
camp was pitched, seeing that the heathen remained
on the knoll and the hill that I spoke of, and did
not come down to the village, the captain
approached them with two soldiers and without going down to the village called to those on the knoll
and the hill which I mentioned, and to those who
were nearer. He made signs to them not to be afraid
and to come down, as he wished to give them presents, showing them a piece of cloth and a ribbon,
but they did not move. Instead they made signs
that he should leave these things and go away, and
they would come down and take them. Complying,
the captain left them on the ground and retired to
the camp, when one of the natives went down and
got them, leaving three arrows fixed in the ground.
Near them he left a fish net, to repay the gift and as
a sign of peace. The captain went and took it,
expressing his thanks by signs, and inviting them
again to come down to the camp. By this three of
them were now encouraged to come to the camp, but
with arms in their hands. They were caressed and
entertained as much as possible. Encouraged by
this, everybody came down, men, women, boys and
girls, to their little houses or to the camp. They
were all given presents and they reciprocated with
roasted sardines. They told us, as we understood
perfectly by the signs, that they had seen two 1
pass by, and that they were not far away.
While they were with us and in very good humor,
some heathen were heard shouting, and, looking,
we saw that they were the same twenty-nine who had
been following us during these days, and who had
not learned their lesson. They were coming down
the same slope by which we had descended. As soon
as the friendly ones of this village saw them they
fled like deer to the hill, and it was impossible to
detain them. Without doubt they were from a
hostile village, and they fled through fear, not feeling
safe even with us. We regretted this greatly, for
they had promised to go with us as far as the next
camp to show us the watering place.
The hostiles came half-way down the slope, where
they stopped and sat down. They remained there
shouting more than two hours, and when they were
tired they gave one loud yell and went off, doing no
damage except to frighten away the good Indians,
who did not come near the village again, no doubt
being afraid of the others, for from us they had
nothing to fear.
This place seemed to me suitable for a good
mission, with water, land, pasture, and many villages, very near the shore. I named it the Valley of
San Juan Bautista; the father president, who
camped there, called it San Juan Capistrano.
May 10.—Early in the morning we set out from
this valley towards the northwest, and entered a
canyon with many trees. After a little we climbed
a high ridge, and traveled over some large mesas,
covered with good grass. An abundance of wild
beans were found here, which seemed to me very
little different from the cultivated or ordinary
beans. At these mesas nine friendly heathen from
the village of San Juan Bautista caught up with us,
having come to guide us as they had promised. They
had left the village for the reason already stated.
They now kept their word, showing us the road and
leading us away from a high range which we had
on our right.
After four hours' travel we came in sight of a
valley as green and pleasant as the one we left
behind at San Juan. But we were at a standstill,
not knowing how to descend to it, as much because
of its depth as because we were on the top of a very
high declivity down which it was necessary to go.
Everybody alighted, and down we went, in some
places standing up and in others sliding, in constant
peril of rolling down, although we had the consolation that it was pure earth. In this way we
went down to the vale or valley, which is grown
with tule and a thick wood of very tall saplings. We
did not examine the place, but a well was opened in
the tule, which has marsh water, so that the animals
could drink, and also to get water for the use of the
people. By clearing out the trees from this valley
it might serve for a town, taking the water from
above. We arrived here after having traveled some
four leagues from the preceding camp, and halted
in the vale or valley, which I called the Wells of the
Valley of San Antonio, and which the father president, who also stopped there, called San Francisco
Solano. The nine heathen from the preceding camp,
who accompanied and conducted us more than half
the way, also arrived here with us.
Shortly after our arrival many heathen of both
sexes and all ages began to descend from the hills
into the valley, so many in number that we could not
count them. They apparently belonged to four
villages, for we observed that four of them, who
were doubtless captains or chiefs, made us long
speeches, of which we understood nothing, although
we inferred from their signs that they offered themselves and their lands to us. We understood also,
the same as from the preceding village, that they had
seen two barks, and that they were anchored.41 They
also spoke of the people who had come in them, and
said that there were three fathers who wore the
same dress as I, pointing to me and taking hold of
my habit.
The captain gave them beads, ribbons, and other
little gifts, for which they were very grateful. They
reciprocated with fish nets, which they carried tied
around their waists, and many arrows, painted in
all colors, with good flints. The men collected42
about six dozen, which were brought all the way to
San Diego. They also gave us roasted sardines and
mussels. All the men were naked and painted in
different colors, and wore feathered head-dresses.
They were all armed, most of them with bows and
arrows, and some with macanas and long harpoons
with points of bone. The women were also painted,
but were modestly covered, wearing woven fibers
as far as the knee in front and skins of beaver or
seals behind. All the Indians seemed to us to be
docile, friendly, and submissive. They remained
in camp with us until very late, with the same confidence as though they were with their own people.
At night they went to sleep in their villages.
May 11.—Early in the morning we set out from
this place, guided by many heathen, who were
prompt to accompany us and guide us to the next
camping place. We took the same direction as
yesterday, to the north-northwest, veering to the
northwest. As soon as we left the valley we came
out on the seashore, crossing some large sand dunes.
Nearly the entire march was by level land and close
to the shore; but there were many canyons to cross,
they being ravines of pure earth which must have
been formed by the water that flows in the rainy
season to the sea. One league from the preceding
place is found a very wide green valley, with less
brush than the one before. It ends on the beach, and
we saw that an estuary opens into it. Farther back
from the sea there may be fresh water emptying
into the estuary. We did not examine it, but only
saw it in passing, and we noticed that the coast here
appears to be peaceful. Afterwards we crossed
some mesas of earth with good grass and many
mescales and prickly pears with sour fruit.   I may
note that here the mescales end, and that farther up
no more are met with. We went on, drawing away
from the shore. Seeing that we were not taking
their advice, the natives went away little by little,
as if they were offended, and in a short time not a
single heathen was left to us.
We continued on our way, and after traveling
five hours and a half, in which we must have
marched four leagues, we halted in a little valley
which has an arroyo with water running among
willows, and wet ground with pools of fresh water.
One pool, which is about a hundred steps from the
sea, has running water which debouches on the
beach. Near it there is a good village of heathen.
We made camp on a mesa which is full of small
bisnagas, and it was necessary to cut away many of
them so as not to hurt our feet while in camp. The
village was about two gunshots distant from us.
I named this place El Vallecito de San Pio, and
the father president, in his diary, called it San
Benvenuto. As soon as we reached the camp we
saw a heathen coming from the village, followed by
all the rest, men, women, and children. The first
one was very friendly, as if he had already communicated and dealt with us, and he did not stop
talking and gesticulating. He wore some clothing,
and some beads hanging in the cartilage of his nose,
which he had pierced. He continually kept talking
and laughing and examining everything in the
camp.    The captain gave him some ribbons and
beads, and did the same with the others; but they
were so stingy that even though they brought mussels they did not give us a single one. They demanded pay in advance, and it had to be just what
they wanted, and nothing less. We soon learned
that they were very wide awake, extremely clever,
and very thievish, so much so that the heathen whom
I first spoke of, who looked at everything with such
confidence, stole some spurs and mangas from the
soldiers, without anyone seeing him. When the
father president stopped here on a feast day and
said Mass this same fellow stole from him the little
altar bell and his spectacles, and hid them close to
the altar under the ground, so that they had a great
deal of trouble finding them. For this reason they
called that Indian Barrabas.
May 12.—Early in the morning we left this place,
going towards the north, along the shore, guided
by some heathen from this village, who, without
being invited, offered to accompany us. They
followed us for about half the day's march, when
they left us. The journey was a little more than
three hours over country all passable, during which
we crossed some ravines, though not so troublesome
as the preceding ones. During this interval we must
have traveled about three leagues, and we reached
a village of heathen which is on a mesa that
resembles an island, not bathed by the sea but surrounded by a ravine. As soon as these heathen saw
us they invited us to stop near their village; but
it seemed better to cross the ravine and camp on
the other side of it near the shore, which has plenty
of grass for the animals. In the ravine there is a
pool of fresh water from which this heathen village
gets its supply. Men, women, and children are
unpainted and without arms. They are very
different from the preceding and are very peaceable,
docile, and friendly. During the day they remained
with us as confidently as though they were with their
own people. They told us the two ships were near,
showing that they were pleased about it. Opposite
this place are the four islands called Los Cuatro
Coronados. I called the place Pool of the Holy
Martyrs, Nercio and his companions; the father
president named it Carcel de San Pedro.
May 13.—Early in the morning we left this place,
continuing north, accompanied by seven heathen
from the village. After traveling a little distance
we had to descend a long and very steep slope to a
deep arroyo; then, as soon as we got to the bottom
we began to ascend a high pass, because the road
which we were following along the beach was blocked
by the steep cliff which juts out to sea. After
traveling one league we passed a point of land which
prevented us from seeing how the beach runs, and
then we saw in a long stretch the level shore that we
were to follow, all the land being well covered with
green grass.
From a height on this plain we could see that the
ocean enters far into the land.   In the bay we saw
the mainmasts of the two barks, which were scarcely
to be made out, on account of the distance that we
were still away from them. This sight was a great
consolation and a joy for everybody, for we found
ourselves at last so near the desired harbor of San
After three hours' march we came near to a
populous village of heathen, along one side of which
runs a good arroyo of water coming from the foot of
a mountain range which we have had on the right
during the entire day's march. At this place it
retires about a league, forming a large plain of good
land with much green grass. We stopped near the
village, where we had good water and pasture for
the animals. Although firewood is scarce, the
mountains, which are not far off, have it in abundance. I named this village Sancti Spiritus, as it
was the Eve of the Feast of the Holy Ghost,
hoping that God with the fire of His divine love
would light in the hearts of these heathen lively
desires to receive our Catholic Faith.
As soon as we arrived and made camp many
heathen of both sexes and all ages came not only
from this village but also from others near by. All
were very much painted and well armed, the men
with their bows and arrows, and with great plumage
on their heads. These Indians are extraordinarily
clever and spirited, great traders, and covetous of
everything they see and like, and very thievish.
They are vociferous when they talk, and when they
speak they shout as though angry.
This place is about half a league from a bay near
the harbor. The heathen brought mussels, but if
they were not given what they wanted and liked,
by no means would they hand out a mussel. This
afternoon it became cloudy and then it began to
rain, and all were thoroughly drenched.
May 14, Sunday, the Feast of Espiritu Santo.—
Not only did it rain on us all night and thoroughly
wet us all, but the morning opened very dark, and
as soon as day dawned a heavy shower fell again,
lasting about an hour and a half, which I endured
without any other covering than my cloak and hat.
Afterwards the day cleared, but the captain was of
the opinion that I should not say Mass, because we
were all so wet, and also because there was a large
crowd of heathen standing there, all armed. Consequently we went without Mass, which I regretted
very much, on such a great day as the first day of
the Feast of Espiritu Santo.
We were all anxious to reach the desired port,
and we thought that we could get there in one day's
march, even though it was somewhat long. In accord
with these desires, notwithstanding that we are all
so wet, the captain decided to break camp. We
therefore set out a little before ten o'clock, continuing north, over a broad plain, withdrawing a
little from the shore of the bay for fear that there
might be marshes near the coast.
The reverend father president, with the second
division of the expedition, stopped about one league
farther up, to the north of the village of Sancti
Spiritus, taking the direct road and approaching
somewhat nearer to the shore, where, on this same
plain, he also came across an arroyo with running
water and good pasture which he named San Pablo.
It seemed to him a very good site for a town or
mission. This arroyo doubtless empties farther up
the shore than we went, for we did not find it. In
the space of three leagues after our departure from
the village where we stopped yesterday we found
to-day three villages of heathen, but apart from the
road which we were following. All along the way
we met heathen from those villages, all of them
armed with their bows and arrows. The day's
march occupied somewhat more than six hours and
a half, all over level land, well covered with grass,
during which we probably traveled about six leagues,
and we arrived very fortunately and happily at the
desired port of San Diego.
As soon as we descried the camp the soldiers
discharged their guns, giving a salute, and immediately those who were in the camp, as well as those
on the packets, responded with their artillery and
firearms. Immediately the three fathers who had
come in the barks, and also the officers who were on
land, came to meet us and gave us hearty embraces
and congratulations that we were all now united
in this port of San Diego. We soon had the story
of their arrival and of the misfortunes that they
had suffered on the sea from the scurvy. They also
told us that many had died, and how the rest had
been stricken with the same disease; and how the
packet San Antonio, alias El Prmcipe, had arrived
first, which was on the 15th of February, although
it was the last to sail from Cape San Antonio—I
should say San Lucas. It dropped anchor in the
port of San Diego on the 14th of April, and the
San Carlos, which had left the port of La Paz on the
10th of January, had anchored in San Diego on
the 29th of April.
To the northeast of this port, not very far from
its shore, there is a valley of good arable land, the
length of which must be not less than three leagues,
and the width half a league, or in the narrowest part
a quarter of a league. In the middle of this valley
ran a large river, six or eight varas wide, with water
half a vara in depth, but it went on diminishing from
day to day, so that in three weeks after our arrival
it entirely stopped flowing, and there was left only
water in pools. The bed of the river is everywhere
very full of willows, cottonwoods, and alders. In the
lower part of the valley there are some large live
oaks, also many very leafy wild grapes, and Castilian
roses loaded with flowers, a species of very fragrant
wild rosemary, and an abundance of the wild fruit
of the cocoba, which has not been absent on the
whole trip.
In this port and its vicinity there are many large
villages of heathen. All the men are naked and most
of them painted, as I have said of all the rest, but
the women are modestly covered in front with woven
fibers and behind with skins of animals. They are
very intelligent Indians, noisy, bold, great traders,
covetous, and thievish. They all go armed with
their bows and quivers of arrows, and some with
macanas. The beach abounds in large sardines,
star fish, other species of fish, and mussels. All
these heathen are fishermen, and they go to sea in
rafts made of tule. The country consists of high
hills, all of earth and without stones, and all covered
with green grass and good pasture for every kind of
stock. In front of the harbor, to the south, are the
four islands named Los Cuatro Coronados, distant
from terra firma about six leagues. The entrance
to the port is from south to north, and its mouth,
according to the observations made by the captains
of the packets, is in thirty-two degrees and thirty-
four minutes. The point where the mission was to
be established, about three leagues farther north,
is in latitude thirty-two degrees and forty-two
After arriving at this port, while waiting until
the father president should arrive in company with*3
the second division of the land expedition, in which
came the governor of California, Don Gaspar de
Portola, commander-in-chief of the expedition by
land, we four friars who came employed ourselves
in assisting the many sick that were there, both the
volunteer soldiers of Catalonia and the crews of
both barks, who were stricken with scurvy. The
fathers told us that nine of the crew of the San
Carlos had already died of it, two on the way who
were cast into the sea, and seven who were buried
on the shore where the camp was established.4*
At the end of June the sergeant of the Leather-
jacket Company, Don Jose Francisco Ortega,
arrived at this place, accompanied by a single
soldier.*6 He brought the news that the governor,
with the father president and the rest composing the
second division of the expedition, were now near,
being only about three marches away, and that he
had come ahead to give us this information. Captain
Don Fernando immediately ordered the sergeant
to return with ten soldiers to meet the governor,
who, as soon as he received this relief pushed forward and arrived at this port on the day of San
Pedro. The reverend father president, with all the
rest who composed that expedition, arrived on the
first day of July, a little before midday. All arrived
in good health, without the slightest accident, thanks
to God, as regards the land expedition, except the
Indian neophytes, some of whom died, as I have
already said, and most of whom ran back to their
own country.
July 2.—As it was Sunday and the Feast of the
Visitation of Our Lady, we sang a solemn Mass in
thanksgiving to her most holy spouse, San Jose,
patron of both expeditions by land and sea, since
all parts of it were now congregated in this, their
intermediate destination.
As soon as the two divisions of the land expedition which was to be commanded by Governor Don
Gaspar de Portola were united, he consulted with
the commander by sea, Don Vicente Vila; and in
view of the fact that all the crew of the packet San
Carlos, the flagship, were ill, and many of them
already dead, and that the other packet, the San
Antonio, lacked little of being in the same condition,
the two chiefs decided that the packet El Principe
should sail with the few men that it had left for
San Bias, to inform his Excellency of the state of
these expeditions, and that the land party should
continue their journey to look for the port of Monterey. This plan was carried out, El Principe
sailing from the port of San Diego on the 9th day
of July. The governor decided that the expedition
should resume the march by land on the 14th of
the same month, as was done, with the expectation
that the bark San Jose, which it was said would leave
California in May with provisions, would overtake
us on the road or at the port of Monterey.
This expedition is composed of the governor and
commander-in-chief, Don Gaspar de Portola, with a
servant; Captain Don Fernando Rivera y Moncada
with his servant; Lieutenant Don Pedro Fages, with
seven of his soldiers of the Free Company of Catalonia; twenty-seven leather-jacket soldiers; Engineer Don Miguel Constanzo, and fifteen Christian
Indians,*8 California neophytes.
The reverend father president decided that I, in
company with the reverend father preacher Fray
Francisco Gomez, should go with this expedition, his
Reverence remaining in San Diego, with Father
Fray Juan Vizcaino and Fray Fernando Parron,
to make a beginning of the first mission, until the
bark San Jose should arrive, in order to go in it by
sea to Monterey. The commander left as escort in
San Diego eight leather-jacket soldiers, all ill, not
only the volunteers of Catalonia, but also the crew of
both barks. The chief surgeon was left to give them
medical care, and as laborers some California
Indians who had come with the second division, and
a serving boy. All the rest, seven in number, go
as muleteers with the land expedition to Monterey,
making the total of this company seventy-four,
including the two friars, the father companion, Fray
Francisco Gomez, and myself.*7
Fray Juan Crespi.
Diary and Itinerary of the Expedition from the
Port of San Diego de Alcala to that of
Monterey, Leaving on the 14th of
July, 1769
Friday, July 14,1769.—We set out from this port
of San Diego on this day of the seraphic doctor, San
Buenaventura, about four in the afternoon. We
went northwest, over level land well covered with
grass on account of the proximity of the estuaries,
which have good salt deposits. Afterwards we came
upon the beach of tine second harbor that San
Diego has, although it is closed, so that it cannot
be entered.* On some parts of the road there are
rosemary and other small bushes not known to us,
and on the right hand we have a mountain range,
moderately high, bare of trees, of pure earth well
covered with grass. We saw many hares and rabbits, for this port abounds in them. At about two
leagues we came to a very large village of heathen
who are in a valley formed by this second harbor
where there are some small springs of water.   We
•Now False Bay. The village was near the northeast point of
the bay.
called this spot the Village of the Springs of the
Rinconada de San Diego. As soon as the heathen
saw us approaching they all came out into the road,
men, women and children, as though they came to
welcome us, with signs of great pleasure. We gave
them such presents as we could.
Here we left the shore, and entered a valley
between hills but on the same road. It has many
willows and some alders and live*9 oaks, and we
understood from the heathen of the preceding village that in this valley there were some small pools
of good water, and we believed it to be so because it
was so green. Although the valley is not very broad
it is well covered with grass, and on all sides of it
there are knolls, ridges, and hills, all of good land.
We found small pools, which contained water enough
for the people but the horses had nothing to drink.
After traveling two hours and three quarters, in
which we must have covered about two and a half
leagues, we stopped and made camp near the little
ponds which we called the Pools of the Valley of San
Diego.* As soon as we arrived at this place, it being
already dark, the heathen came. They brought50
some very large sardines, and one of them made a
long speech, after which the governor and the captain accepted the sardines, reciprocating with beads
and some clothing, with which they left in great
good humor.   Day's march, two leagues and a half.
Saturday, July 15.—About half-past eight in the
morning we left the place, following the same direc-
* Camp was not far from LadriUo.
tion to the northwest. We ascended a large grassy
hill, all of pure earth, and then found ourselves on
some very broad mesas of good soft ground, all
covered with grass, not having encountered a stone
since leaving San Diego nor any other trees than
those spoken of in the preceding valley, except that
here and there we saw some very small oaks and
chaparral. We saw seven antelopes running together
on this mesa and at every moment hares and rabbits
came running out. After about a league and a half
of travel we came to a very beautiful valley, which,
when we saw it, seemed to us to be nothing less than
a cultivated cornfield or farm, on account of its mass
of verdure. On a small eminence in this valley we
saw a village of heathen, with six little straw houses.
Upon seeing us, all of them came out into the road,
in great good humor and making demonstrations of
joy. We descended to this valley and saw that its
verdure consisted of very leafy wild calabashes, and
many Castilian roses. These heathen have near
their village a pool of water in an arroyo.
This valley runs from southeast to northwest,
and is about one league long and some four hundred
varas wide, all of good pasture,61 with some live oaks
and alders. We called it the valley of Santa Isabel,
Queen of Portugal.* We stopped a little while so
that the commander might distribute some beads
among the heathen of this village, and then continued
on our way to the north side of the valley, with a
* Soledad Valley, near Sorrento.
heathen of the village who voluntarily offered to
accompany us to the camping place. In about half
a league's travel, at the end of the valley we came
to a medium-sized pool of fresh water, in which we
saw two pots of baked clay, very well made. Here
we turned into a valley which lies to the north and
traveled through it, over level land well covered with
grass, from which we saw another valley better than
the preceding, and went down to it. We pitched
camp near a large pool of good, fresh water, which
the soldiers called the Well of Ozuna, and which
we called the valley of San Jacome de la Marca,*
asking that saint to intercede with the Most High
for the conversion of its heathen natives, and that
a mission might be formed here, with him as its
patron, since the site is apparently very suitable and
invites it. The march this day covered three and
one-half leagues.
The valley must measure about one league from
north to south and about half a league from east to
west; all the land is level, very verdant, with much
pasture, many wild grapes, and other herbs. To the
south of this valley there are three large pools, and
to the north, according to the story of the explorers,
there is a very verdant arroyo, and some other very
large pools. Near the southern pools, on a slope,
there is a large village of heathen and many well
built houses with grass roofs. As soon as we arrived
about eighteen heathen came to visit us, with their
* San Dieguito Canyon, near Del Mar.
women and children, all very affable and not at all
noisy. It seems that this place is near the sea,
judging by our view of it as we came down the
valley. The hills that surround this valley are not
very high, and are all of pure earth, covered with
pasture, the only thing lacking to the site being
trees. Many scorpions have been seen, but no one
has been bitten by them. Day's march, three and
a half leagues.
Sunday, July 16.—On this day we two fathers
celebrated the holy sacrifice of the Mass, which was
heard by aU the people, and at half-past two in the
afternon we set out north and northwest, traversing
the entire plain; then we climbed a bare hill which
followed soon afterwards, with a small wood of little
trees unknown to us, and some chaparral. Passing
over it, we came out upon some broad grassy mesas,
and in about two leagues and a half we descended
to a very green valley, with good level land covered
with alders. In this valley we came across a village
of heathen who, as soon as they saw us, all came
running to us, in great good humor. They showed
us a little pool of water that was there for their
use, and we understood that they were asking us
to remain; but, as this was not the spot the explorers
had picked out for the camping place, we stopped
only a little while. The commander gave some beads
to the chiefs, and in passing we called this place the
Valley of the Triumph of the Holy Cross, to which
we prayed.*
* Apparently San Elijo Lagoon.
We proceeded on our way, accompanied by all
the heathen, who told us that farther on there was
another small watering place. In about half a
league we came to another little valley with many
five oaks, where we found62 a small stream of water,
which ran a short way in the midst of some blackberry bushes, where we found another village which
had only six women. We saw that they had some
pots and jugs of baked clay, well made. We called
this place the Spring of the Valley of Los Encinos.
Then followed extensive hills, with good land and
pasture. After about one more league of travel we
descended to another very green valley, with good
black soil, and from this we entered still another,
very green and with good land well covered with
grass. In the last valley we made camp near a
hill which has two springs of water, one on one side
of the hill which had about a limon of water, and one
on the other side with about one finger of running
water, from which, by digging it out .a little, the
animals could drink. Both springs are surrounded
by Castilian roses, of which I gathered a branch
with six roses open and twelve about to open. Right
after this valley there comes another, with a village
of heathen. As soon as they saw the camp made,
the whole village, which was composed of eight men,
three women, and four children, came down. Their
chief made us a harangue, and when it was concluded they sat down as though they had always
known us. One of the heathen came smoking a pipe
of black clay, well made.   We called this place San
Alejo.* The day's march occupied four full hours,
and we must have covered about four leagues. On
the following day I observed our latitude and it
proved to be thirty-three degrees, exactly.
Monday, July 17.—At three in the afternoon we
left the camp, following the valley in a northerly
direction. In a little while we climbed a very grassy
hill without rocks, in open country, then traveled
over mesas that are in part covered with grass and
in part by a grove of young oaks, rosemary, and
other shrubs not known to us. Aside from this all
the land is well covered with grass and is mellow.
After traveling about a league we descended to a
valley full of alders, in which we saw a village, but
without people. In passing we named this valley
San Simon Lipnica.f It is not very far from the
shore, and at the end of it we saw an estuary,
although the sea was not visible. We continued on
our way in the same northerly direction, over hills
and broad mesas supplied with good pasture, and
after about one more league's travel we descended
to a small, very green valley, which has a narrow
plain some fifty varas wide. We pitched camp on
the slope of the valley on the west side. The water
is collected in pools, and we noticed that it flowed
out of several springs, forming about it marshes,
or stagnant pools, covered with rushes and grass.
We named this place Santa Sinforosa.| We saw
from the camp a village of heathen on the summit of
* Batequitos Lagoon.       f Agua Hedionda Creek.
X Buena Vista Creek, near Carlsbad.
a hill, who, having been informed by their neighbors
of San Alejo, deputed two of their number to ask
permission to visit us. They were given to understand by signs that they must put it off until the
following day, as it was late, but, as soon as they
went back to their village all its inhabitants came
to camp. Not fewer than forty presented themselves. As soon as they arrived their leader made
his speech, with excellent gestures; but without waiting for him to finish his harangue, he and his people
were given some beads and dismissed. The next
morning they returned and remained until our
Tuesday, July 18.—A little after three in the
afternoon we set out to the north. We climbed a
hill of good soil, all covered with grass, and then
went on over hills of the same kind of land and
pasture. We must have traveled about two short
leagues, when we descended to a large and beautiful
valley, so green that it seemed to us that it had
been planted. We crossed it straight to the north
and pitched camp near a large pool of water, one
of several in the plain. At the extremities or ends
of the plain there are two large villages.
Soon after our arrival the heathen came to visit
us. There were more than forty Indians, naked and
painted from head to foot in several colors, which
is their usual custom when they go visiting or to
war. They all came armed with bows and arrows,
and their chief made the accustomed harangue.
When it was concluded they threw their arms on
the ground and sat down near us. The governor
took out some beads, and, giving half of them to me,
requested that we two should distribute them among
the Indians. They gave the governor a present of
a few fish nets made of thread that they make out
of some fiber which, when it is spun, looks like
raw hemp. Behind the men followed the women and
children, who numbered more than fifty, but they
did not dare to come near. We made signs to them
not to be afraid, and after one of the heathen spoke
to them they came at once, and we gave them also
presents of beads.
The women were modestly covered, wearing in
front an apron of threads woven together which
came to the knees, and a deerskin behind. To cover
the breasts they wear little capes made of hare and
rabbit skins, of which they make strips and twist
them like rope. They sew these strips together, to
protect them from the cold as well as for covering
for modesty's sake. Most of the women go clothed
in the same manner, but all the men go as naked as
Adam in Paradise before he sinned, and they did
not feel the least shame in presenting themselves
before us, nor did they make any movement to cover
themselves, just as though the clothing given them
by nature were some fine garment.
This valley must be about two leagues long from
northeast to southwest, and about half a league wide
in the narrowest place. To the southwest it ends
on the beach, which must be about half a league
distant from the camp, although there is a hill which
prevents us from seeing the ocean. We found no
running water, although we saw three arroyos which
are dry and apparently run only when it rains.
There are, indeed, pools of good water, with tules
on the banks. The valley is all green with good
grass, and has many wild grapes, and one sees some
spots that resemble vineyards. I gave this valley
the name of San Juan Capistrano, for a mission,*
so that this glorious saint, who in life converted so
many souls, may pray God in heaven for the conversion of these poor heathen. Next morning the
Indians came back, and my companion, taking up
the image of the Holy Christ, spoke to them by signs
about God and Jesus Christ crucified, and about
heaven and hell, and they showed that they understood some of it, and looked remorseful and sighed.
But, although they saw that the two fathers, the
commander, and all the officers venerated the images
of Christ, and we told them to do the same, and with
this object raised it to their mouths, they were never
willing to kiss it, but drew back and pushed it away
with their hands. But this was attributed to their
lack of knowledge and their failure to understand
what we told them. I observed the latitude and
it was thirty-three degrees and six minutes. The
march from the last place covered about two short
Wednesday,68 July 19.—On this day we halted, in
order to give Sergeant Don Jose Francisco Ortega
* San Luis Rey Mission was founded near the site several years
time to go with seven soldiers to explore for the
next marches, while Nwe entertained ourselves with
the heathen, who did not leave us the whole day.
There were more than two dozen of them together
in the camp.
Thursday, July 20.—We set out about seven in
the morning, which dawned cloudy, and, taking the
road straight to the north, we traveled by a valley
about one league long, with good land, grassy, and
full of alders. This passed, we ascended a little
hill and entered upon some mesas covered with dry
grass, in parts burned by the heathen for the purpose of hunting hares and rabbits, which live there
in abundance. In some places there are clumps of
wild priekly pear and some rosemary. A league and
a half from the camping place we saw another
beautiful green valley, well grown with alders and
other smaller trees. On going down to it we saw
a lagoon which the explorers said was salt water.
We pitched camp in this valley near a pool of fresh
water; the reason for stopping, although the march
has only covered a league and a half, is because,
since the departure from San Diego, we have had
on the right a very high mountain range, and we are
now apparently going to meet it, and it is necessary
to explore it before crossing it, for it seems as
though it is going to end on the beach. The pool
of water, which I just saw, is more than a hundred
varas in length, and its water is very clear and good,
i this one the explorers say that lower down
in the arroyo from the north, there are some more
pools, and that a good stream of water runs from
them, and they have good lands on which crops
might be raised by irrigation. According to this,
the place is better suited for a town than the preceding. Because we arrived at this place on the
day of Santa Margarita, we christened it with the
name of this holy virgin and martyr. As soon as
we arrived the heathen of the village, and counting
men, women and children, they made not less than
sixty, who have their town on the same plain, came
to the camp. We gave them presents of beads and
sent them off.*
Friday, July 21.—We set out in the morning
toward the northwest, because the mountains prevented us from going north. We climbed a hill
which has some stones, near the valley from which
we had emerged, and from the height we saw the
valley of Santa Margarita, which extends more than
a league from north to south. We went on over hills
of moderate height, all grassy, and halted near the
water, which is in the grass, so that we could not
judge whether or not it was running. What we did
see was a great deal of water, and that the spot
was full of grape vines and innumerable Castilian
rosebushes and other flowers. For this reason it
was called the Valley of Santa Praxedis de Ios
* Camp was near Home Ranch.    This camp and the next are
commemorated in the name of Santa Margarita y Las Flores Raneho.
t Las Pulgas Canyon.
Very near there we found a small village from
which three men immediately came to visit us, with
eleven women and some children. We entertained
them, and the captain gave them some beads. This
valley has a width of about a quarter of a league,
but in parts it narrows more and more; its length
runs from northeast to southwest. To the north-
northeast it comes to a high mountain range,* which
is distant about a league and a half from the spot
where the camp was pitched. In that direction there
are many live oaks, and the same on the skirts of
the mountains. To the southwest it seems that there
is a valley which extends to the beach, although it
cannot be made out. From this place I observed
the latitude, and it was thirty-three degrees and ten
minutes.   The day's march was about two leagues.
Saturday, July 22.—This day dawned cloudy for
us. About seven o 'clock we set out west and climbed
a grassy hill. In a little while we entered a valley
which turned to the north-northwest, and which communicates with that of Los Rosales. We traveled
in the mountains, for they are not rough but open,
with hills and extensive mesas, covered with a great
deal of grass and grown with live oaks and alders,
especially in the little valleys and arroyos, with an
abundance of Castilian roses. Three mesas covered
with large live oaks were encountered. About eleven
o'clock we came to a pool of water, after having
traveled some four leagues from the preceding place.
This pool of fresh water is in a dry arroyo, which
* Santa Margarita Range.
is grown with many alders. We made camp near
the pool, and immediately about fourteen heathen,
and as many women, with boys and girls, came and
showed themselves to be very friendly; we entertained them and made them gifts.
The explorers informed us that on the preceding
day they saw in the village two sick little girls. After
asking the commander for some soldiers to go with
us to visit them we went, and we found one which
the mother had at her breast apparently dying. We
asked for it, saying that we wished to see it, but it
was impossible to get it from its mother. So we
said to her by signs that we would not do it any
harm, but wished to sprinkle its head, so that if it
died it might go to heaven. She consented to this,
and my companion, Fray Francisco Gomez, baptized
it, giving it the name of Maria Magdalena. We went
then to the other, also small, who had been burned
and was apparently about to die. In the same way
I baptized it, giving it the name of Margarita. We
did not doubt that both would die and go to heaven.
With this, the only success that we have obtained,
we fathers consider well worth while the long
journey and the hardships that are being suffered
in it and that are still awaiting us. May it all be
for the greater glory of God and the salvation of
souls. For this reason this place is known to the
soldiers as Los Christianos; I named it San Apoli-
nario; others called it Valley of Los Bautismos.*
•Now Cristianitos Canyon, north of San Onofre.
Sunday, July 23.—After we two had said Mass
we started at seven o'clock, going to the north-
northwest. On leaving this place we ascended a
large hill, not very rough and all of pure earth,
covered with dry grass. Having gone through the
pass54 we went on over mesas, hills, valleys, and dry
arroyos, ascending and descending, all the land
being well covered with grass. We passed two
valleys with two dry arroyos, both grown with
alders and large live oaks. In one of the valleys
we found a village of heathen, who, as soon as they
saw us began to shout; and they came out, as if to
meet us at the watering place, where we went55 to
stop. We must have traveled this day about four
leagues in the four hours on the road.
A little before eleven we came to a very pleasant
green valley, full of willows, alders, five oaks, and
other trees not known to us. It has a large arroyo,
which at the point where we crossed it carried a
good stream of fresh and good water, which, after
running a little way, formed in pools in some large
patches of tules. We halted there, calling it the
valley of Santa Maria Magdalena.* In the journey
of this day we came upon some deposits of fine red
ochre, and some others of very white earth. They
are on some hills near which we passed, and we
inferred at once that from this earth the heathen
• Now San Juan Capistrano. The route from here was along the
foothills east of the Santa Ana Valley, across La Puente Hills by
La Habra to Bassett.
provide themselves for their paint, which is their
gala dress for their visits and their war feasts. I
observed the latitude of the valley of Santa Maria
Magdalena, and found that we were in thirty-three
degrees and fourteen minutes.
Monday, July 24.—We got up early this morning
and broke camp at a quarter past six. Going north-
northwest, we descended from the high hill on which
we had stopped to a valley in the same direction.
Before we left about nine heathen from a village in
this valley allowed themselves to be seen. After
traveling a short distance in it we came to two good
villages, whose people were all very friendly. We
greeted them in passing, and they made us their
speech, of which we understood nothing. We traveled through this valley for about two leagues; it
is of good land, but they had burned all the grass.
From ridge to ridge it is about five hundred varas
wide. After two leagues' travel we turned to the
northwest, veering considerably to the west, in order
to climb a high pass through a range of grass-
covered hills;66 and after traveling about a league
over good mesas we descended to a pleasant arroyo,
and a valley very full of large alders and live oaks,
so that it looked like a fig orchard.
After about three hours on the road from the
starting place, during which we must have traveled
as many leagues, we pitched camp on a very long
mesa of earth, which runs to the foot of a high
mountain range, from which flows an arroyo of good
water.* Instantly the Indians from a village in the
valley came to visit us. They came without arms,
and with a friendliness unequaled; they made us
presents of their poor seeds, and we made return
with ribbons and gew-gaws. Nearly the whole day
they remained with us, men, women and children;
and these heathen listened with more attention to
what we told them by signs, of God, of Jesus Christ,
and of their salvation, and several times they
devoutly venerated the Holy Christ and the cross
of the crown.
The soldier explorers said that the preceding
day, from the top of a hill, they made out six islands.
Several of us went to the hill, but we saw only two,
which they said must be San Clemente and Santa
Catarina. The latter was just opposite us, and they
said the bay of San Pedro must be about five leagues
distant from our camp. Because we arrived at this
place to-day, the day of San Francisco Solano,
Apostle of America, we gave it his name, so that
with his intercession the conversion of these docile
heathen may be accomplished by founding for them
on this spot a mission dedicated to him as patron,
since the place and the docility of the heathen invite
it, for I have made them say the acts of Faith, Hope,
and Charity, and, without knowing what they did,
they repeated it with devotion and tenderness, or
at least their voices caused tenderness in my heart.
Tuesday, July 25.—This day we rested since it
was that of the patron of our Spain, and we two
•Alisos Creek, near El Toro.
priests celebrated the holy sacrifice of the Mass.
We had another visit from the heathen of this
village. We observed that they have houses made
of willows, and large baskets of reeds so tightly
woven that they hold water. They have given us
to understand that in the interior there are people
like us, who are clothed the same, and that the
soldiers carry swords and wear hats, and that they
have horses and mules, pointing to those that we
have. God knows what truth there is in their talk,
or if we misunderstood them. This place is in latitude thirty-three degrees and eighteen minutes.
Wednesday, July 26.—On this day we celebrated
the holy sacrifice of the Mass, which was heard by
all the people, and about three in the afternoon we
set out, with the object of breaking the next day's
march, which was long, according to the report of
the explorers. At first we went northwest, making
our way through a valley full of wild grapes and
Castilian roses. All the valleys and the hills on both
sides are of pure earth, well covered with grass, and
without a single stone. So we went on over very
open country, with hills and broad mesas, ascending
and descending through three or four little valleys
of good soil well grown with alders. After traveling
two hours and a half we entered a large plain. At
the beginning of it we pitched camp near a dry
lagoon on a slope, from which we examined the
spacious plain, the end of which we could not see.57
Near the camp some verdure was to be seen, and
when the father companion approached it he found
two small springs of water, clear and good, for which
reason the soldiers called this spot the Springs of
Father Gomez, and I christened it with the name
of San Pantaleon.*
Thursday, July 27.—About six in the morning
we set out, crossing the plain and continuing to the
northwest. We halted after three leagues' travel
near an arroyo of running water, although it was
evident that it was diminishing because of the
drought, and little by little the waters were being
absorbed by the sand. It has willows, grapevines,
brambles, and other bushes. It comes down from
the mountains, and shows that it must have plenty
of water in the rainy season. It was given the name
of the holy apostle and patron of the Spains,
Santiago.! If this watering place should remain
throughout the year, it would be a site for building
a city, on account of the large amount of land and
the extensive plain that the arroyo has on both
sides. We saw only two heathen near the camp. I
observed the latitude, and it is thirty-three degrees
and thirty-six minutes.58
Friday, July 28.—About seven in the morning
we set out, continuing our way to the northwest
along the skirts of the mountains which we have on
the right, to the north, and after traveling a league
and a half we came to the banks of a river which
has a bed of running water about ten varas wide
* In the Santiago Hills east of Tuston.
t Still called Santiago Creek Camp was in the hills northeast of
and half a vara deep. It is not at all boxed in by
banks. Its course is from northeast to southwest,
and it empties through this place, according to the
judgment of those who sailed to the bay of San
Pedro. It apparently has its source in the range
that we have in sight on the right, about three
leagues from the road that we are following. The
bed of the river is well grown with sycamores,
alders, willows, and other trees which we have not
recognized. It is evident from the sand on its banks
that in the rainy season it must have great floods
which would prevent crossing it. It has a great
deal of good land which can easily be irrigated.
We pitched camp on the left bank of this river.
On its right bank there is a populous village of
Indians, who received us with great friendliness.
Fifty-two of them came to the camp, and their chief
told us by signs which we understood very well that
we must come to live with them; that they would
make houses for us, and provide us with food, such
as antelope, hares, and seeds. They urged us to do
this, telling us that all the land we saw, and there
was certainly a great deal of it, was theirs, and
that they would divide it with us. We told him
that we would return and would gladly remain to
live with them, and when the chief understood it
he was so affected that he broke into tears. The
governor made them a present of some beads and
a small silk handkerchief, and in gratitude the chief
gave us two baskets of seeds, already made into
pinole, together with a string of beads made of shells
such as they wear. I called this place the sweet
name of Jesus de Ios Temblores, because we experienced here a horrifying earthquake, which was
repeated four times during the day. The first,
which was the most violent, happened at one in the
afternoon, and the last one about four. One of the
heathen who were in the camp, who doubtless exercised among them the office of priest, alarmed at the
occurrence no less than we, began with frightful
cries and great demonstrations of fear to entreat
heaven, turning to all the winds. This river is
known to the soldiers as the Santa Ana.*
Saturday, July 29.—At two in the afternoon we
set out from this place and crossed the river with
great difficulty, on account of the swiftness of its
current, and followed the plain to the northwest.
Near the river the mountains have many prickly
pears and much sage, but afterwards all the land
continues fertile and is well covered with good grass.
After traveling a short distance we turned to the
north-northwest, and after marching a league and
a half we again turned to the northwest, in order
to ascend the nearest mountain range, which was
now very low and comes to an end to the west-
northwest. We climbed a medium-sized hill, quite
steep, and descended to a very green little valley,
which has a small pool of water, on whose bank
there is a very large village of very friendly
• Still called by the s
f Olive, east of
We made camp on a hill near the pool which has
good grass for pasture. As soon as we arrived the
whole village, which numbered more than seventy69
souls, came to visit us. They invited us to go to stay
at the village, but, in order not to be incommoded
we remained on the hill, at the foot of which there
is a beautiful valley of many leagues of good land.
But the place has no water except the pool, which
was only enough for the people, for which reason the
animals were left without drinking. This afternoon's
march occupied two hours, during which we traveled
about two leagues. The place was known by the
name of Santa Marta.* The Indians of this village
were having a feast and dance, to which they had
invited their neighbors of the river called Jesus de
Ios Temblores.
Sunday, July 30.—Af ter we two priests had celebrated Mass with all the people present, we started
about seven and descended the hill, continuing to
the north-northwest. We crossed the large plain,
which has an extent of more than four leagues. To
the west,60 far away, it seemed to communicate with
the preceding valley, and in that direction some
mountains were seen, with many trees at their base.
Crossing the plain, we ascended a passf and entered
a valley of very large five oaks and alders. We then
descended to a broad and spacious plain of fine black
earth, with much grass, although we found it burned.
After traveling for an hour through the valley we
* La Brea Canyon, north of Fullerton