Diary of Juan Bautista de Anza

Colonizing Expedition, 1775-1776


Memorandum of the Observations Made During the Expedition Under My Command from the Province of Sonora to Northern California Mentioned in the Foregoing Diary

For the reasons concerning this matter which are set forth in the diary, the day when the observation was made and the altitude indicated by the quadrant are given here, from which, as has been said, we afterward shall compute the latitude of each place, in which, as I have likewise said, I do not claim accuracy, through not being sure of the accuracy of the tables by which we have been guided.

Real de Santa Anna in the Pimería Alta, province and alcaldía of Sonora, October 7, 1775, the quadrant showed the meridian altitude of the lower limb of the sun to be 53° 28'. With this observation and the addition of the corresponding minutes and the rest for the complement or reduction of the altitude, we will say (as for the following places) that this place is in latitude 30° 46'.


Royal Presidio of Tubac. On the 21st of the same month the quadrant indicated 47° 16'. Latitude of this place 31° 45 1/2'.


Pueblo del Tuczon, the last pueblo on the northern border of the same province and alcaldía, where now exists the former presidio. On the 27th of the same month the quadrant indicated 44° 26'. Latitude of this place 32° 30'.


Casa del Rio Gila. On the 31st of the same month the quadrant indicated 44° 25'. Latitude of this place 33° 35'.


Point of the Sierra de San Pasqual on the same river. On November 19th of the same year the quadrant indicated 37° 20'. Latitude of this place 32° 54'.


Cerro de Santa Cicilia, alias del Metate, on the same river. On the 24th of the same month the quadrant indicated 36° 24'. Latitude of this place 32° 44 1/2'.


Laguna de Santa Olaya on the Colorado River. On December 7th of the same year the quadrant indicated 34° 28'. Latitude of this place 32° 37'.

Ciénega de San Sebastián. On December 17th the quadrant indicated 33° 10'. Latitude of this place 33° 10 1/2'.

Arroyo de San Patricio. On the 28th of the month the quadrant indicated 32° 48'. Latitude of this place 33° 37 1/2'.

Mission San Gabriel in Northern California. On February 17, 1776, the quadrant indicated 43° 42'. Latitude of this pueblo 33° 58 1/2'.

Port and Royal Presidio of San Diego. On January 12th of the same year the quadrant indicated 35° 20'. Latitude of this place 32° 40'.

Mission San Luís. On March 3d of the same year the quadrant indicated 48° 04'.

Mission San Antonio, in the same California, on the 7th of the same month the quadrant indicated 48° 52'. The latitudes of this place and the foregoing place of San Luís are not recorded because in the tables by which we were guided an error in their transcription was noted.

Mission of Carmelo. On the 22d of the same month the quadrant indicated 53° 05'. Latitude of this place 36° 27'.

Port of San Francisco. On March 28th the quadrant indicated 55° 21'. Latitude of this place 37° 40'.

Puerto de la Concepción and the site where the Colorado and Gila Rivers unite. On May 13th the quadrant indicated 75° 38'. Latitude of this place 32° 39 1/2'.

Pueblo de Caborca, last pueblo to the west in the province and government of Sonora. On the 28th of the same month the quadrant indicated 80° 00'. Latitude of this place 30° 38 1/2'.

Villa and presidio of San Miguel de Horcacitas, capital of the province hereinbefore named. On June 2d the quadrant indicated 82° 34'. Latitude of this place 29° 28'.

Memorandum of the Measurements which were Observed and Recorded for the Foregoing Edifice

This edifice is located in the place and latitude mentioned, with level country on all sides, about a league from the river, at the western end of a settlement which must have been about a league and a half long and a quarter of a league wide, and which provided itself with water by an aqueduct about six varas wide, which ran from the same river and was introduced into the middle of the settlement.

This edifice is almost square with the four cardinal points, as is noted, and is in the center of a rectangle at whose four corners it is seen that there were four bastions.

This rectangle is 420 geometrical feet long from north to south, and 260 from east to west.

The interior of the house is composed of five rooms divided as is shown in the drawing. The three innermost rooms are 26 feet long and 10 wide, and the two first which are at the ends are 38 feet long and 12 wide.

These rooms, which from story to story are the same height, are 11 feet long.

The doors for communication, which in all the rooms are parallel, are 5 feet high and 2 feet wide, except the four principal entrances, which are a little larger.

The interior walls are 4 feet thick and the exterior 5.

The walls are perfectly filled with stone and mortar and are colored with red ochre, for this color even yet shows plainly. The exterior walls are tapering and it is noted that the inner walls taper all the way from the bottom to the top.

The edifice described has exterior measurements of 68 feet from north to south, and 48 from east to west.

The room shown apart from the house and rectangle mentioned, in the position indicated by the drawing, is 26 feet long and 19 wide.

The timber of these dwellings was chiefly pine and live oak, with some mesquite, the pine and oak being twenty-five or thirty leagues distant. Of these kinds of timber large fragments still remain, notwithstanding the fire which they have suffered, showing that they were of all thicknesses and sizes.

The material of this edifice is of pure clay taken from the region where it stands. But it is so well mixed with some unknown substance that it has withstood the long time which may be imagined, with its inclemencies, so firmly that even yet the walls maintain their top rows of stones, being built apparently of tapia with molds of various sizes.

It is very plainly seen that the edifice had three storeys, and there is good reason for thinking that there were four, the first floor being a little below ground, as the Pima Indians who live in the neighborhood assure us they have seen.

To all of the rooms, all of which were truncated, the light was introduced, not only by the doors which have been mentioned, but also by some clairvoyants situated in the middle of the rooms, and facing east and west, through which, according to a tradition held by these Indians, their king -- nicknamed El Amargo, because of his harsh rule -- looked to watch the sun rise and set, and this was an indispensable and religions ceremony.

Finally, no indications of stairs were found for the management of the upper storeys, from which we infer that they must have been portable and of wood, and that they must have been destroyed in the fire which the edifice suffered.