Colonizing Expedition, 1775-1776

Diary of Garcés, 1775

October 21 - December 4

Diary of Father Francisco Hermenegildo Garcés of his part in the colonizing expedition of Juan Bautista de Anza (October 21 to December 4, 1775), beginning at the Royal Presidio of San Ignacio de Tubac in what is today southern Arizona, and ending at the junction of the Gila and Colorado Rivers. Father Garcés, in conjunction with Father Tomás Eixarch, went to the Colorado with the intention of establishing a mission to the Yuma Indians. The purpose of his diary was to report his observations to the Viceroy of New Spain, Antonio María Bucareli y Ursua, and ultimately the King of Spain, Charles III. This edition is based upon Elliott Coues translation of the original in On the trail of a Spanish Pioneer: The Diary and Itinerary of Francisco Garcés (Missionary Priest) in his travels Through Sonora, Arizona, and California, 1900.





The Expedition gets under way from Tubac, Father Garcés having spent the previous days at Tumacácori


The colonizers arrive at Father Garcés' mission, San Xavier del Bac


While the colonists rest, Anza, Font, Garcés, and others visit the Hohokam ruins called Casa Grande


Father Garcés preaches to 200 Opa Indians at Agua Caliente


Chiefs Palma and Pablo and various Cocomaricopa and Yuma Indians meet with the colonists on the Gila River just north of its junction with the Colorado


Anza, Eixarch, and Garcés meet with Captain Palma at his house


A hut is constructed and Garcés, Eixarch, and six others stay behind as the Expedition continues on to Alta California