The Anza Expedition of 1775-1776

The Anza expedition of 1775 – 1776

Diary of Pedro fault

edited by Frederick J Teggart

University of California 1913




November 25, 1775

… A Yuma Indian on horseback came to meet us on the road; he was sent by the chief Palma to tell us that he was waiting for us in peace, with all his Yumas and the Jalchedunes, who had come down to the junction of the rivers to see us in consequence of a message sent to them from Agua Caliente.

November 27

… A relative of the chief Palma came out to meet us on the road, and, as soon as we halted, the chief, Salvador Palma himself, came to see us, and another chief, to whom we gave the name of Pablo, accompanied by several young Indians; they greeted us with many demonstrations of pleasure.

November 28

… The Yumas lodged us in a shelter of boughs that the chief Palma had ordered to be made here as soon as he knew of our coming. Many Indians of both sexes came to visit us, very festive and elated. About a league down-stream from this place, the Rio Gila joins the Rio Colorado.

December 1

… We remained here for the purpose of erecting a hut at the village of the chief Palma for the habitation of Fathers Francisco Garces and Tomas Eixarch, who were to stay at this river. The chief Palma dressed himself in the suit that was given to him in the name of His Excellency and the Viceroy.

December 7

… Many Indians of the Cajuenche nation, who live from here on farther down the river, came joyfully, and brought to the camp a great many watermelons, pumpkins, and other provisions, which they traded for beads. These Cajuenches do not differ from the Yumas in their customs, and their language is nearly the same, as is that of the Jalchedunes up the river.

December 8

… A great many Indians came to the camp with their watermelons, etc., and, although all the crowd could not be seen at one time, I estimated from what I saw that the Yumas must’ve numbered about 3000 souls, and the Cajuenches somewhat more.

January 4, 1776

… At this mission we found the Commandant of Monterey, Capt. Fernando de Rivera y Moncada, who had come here on his way to the Presidio of San Diego on account of the rising of the San Diego mission Indians, who had destroyed it, and killed its minister, Father Luis Jaime.

January 5

We remained here to rest, and the commanders talked over the affair of the revolt of the San Diego Indians.

January 11

… The Presidio of San Diego occupies a very bad site on a small and uneven hill, commanded by others. At the foot of the hill flows the river, which during the greater part of the year is dry; it comes from the Sierra Madre de California, which is not far distant, about northeast; after rounding the hill, it empties into the port, which is some to leagues south of the Presidio.

January 13

The investigations were begun in regard to the late uprising, destruction of the mission, and death of its minister, with examination of some Indian leaders who were held in the Presidio.

January 14

Mass was sung to the Dulcisimo Nombre de Jesus for the happy pacification of the rebellious Indians.

January 15

The investigations in regard to the affair of the rebellion were continued.

January 16

Last night the Commandant Rivera sent the sargeant of the Presidio with 15 soldiers to the village of San Luis to seize some rebel Indian leaders who, from information given by an old Indian woman, were known to be there.

January 19

At night the sargeant and the soldiers came back with four of the offending natives whom they had taken, and with the news that the rebel Indians, with their leaders, had taken to the mountains.

January 26

At nightfall the sargeant and the soldiers came back with nine captured Indians; of these, two were leaders, and with them was brought half a stole, a sash, and a piece of cloak with the corresponding lining torn from it. From the prisoners the commander learned that another principal leader had gone to the village of La Soledad, and on the instant he again sent the soldiers and the Sgt. there to seize him.

March 2

… The mission of San Luis [Obispo] is situated in a beautiful spot on a little rise beside the stream, near the Sierra de Santa Lucia, and three leagues from the sea, with very fertile lands. The Indians of this mission are clean, neat, and much better looking and seemly than those of any other nation I have seen.

March 28

… The Indians that we saw on the road to Monterey seem to be gentle, good-natured, and very poor, and as they presented themselves unarmed they gave no sign of being warlike or ill intentioned. Those who live near the port were pretty well bearded, but in color are not distinct from the others.

March 30

… The Indians that we saw hereabouts are, in language, entirely distinct from those we have passed; they have some beard; are docile and very poor; but in color they are the same as all the rest.

April 2

We set out from the small stream at seven in the morning and passed through a village where we were invited to go buy some ten Indians who very early in the morning came to the camp singing. The Indians of the village, whom I estimated at about 400 souls, received us with marked demonstrations of pleasure, singing and dancing.

May 12

… Capt. Palma said that he wanted to come with us in order that he might go to Mexico and pay his respects to the Viceroy, and tell him that he and his Yumas wanted very much to have the Spaniards and the fathers come and live among them. The commander told him of the length of the journey and the delays that would occur, owing to which he would not be able to return to his country for a long time. Palma replied by asking how many years it would be before he could return. The commander told him that it would be a year or more. Then Palma said, “All right”; and as he persevered in his proposal, he was received by the commander to be taken to Mexico with him. He was not to go alone, however, but with some who would volunteer to accompany him. From among the many who offered themselves, Palma chose two companions, to whom one young Cajuenche was added, and the three, with Capt. Palma, accompanied us as far as the Presidio of San Miguel, where I left them, and they remained with Capt. Anza.

May 14

Whilst the raft was being remade, we resorted to the expedient of having the Indian women swim across with a number of articles in trays and large flat bowls, so they spent the whole day in making trips in this fashion.

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