Colonizing Expedition, 1775-1776

Diary of Pedro Font

September 28, 1775 - June 2, 1776

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





With some difficulty the Expedition gets under way from Horcasitas


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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