Letter from Anza, addressed to:

Most Excellent Lord Knight Commander,
Frey Don Antonio Maria Bucareli y Ursua

August 15 to September 10, 1779

Most Excellent Sir


I left the Presidio of San Miguel for this one of my charge on day 29 of the month just past, not having been able to accomplish my departure four days earlier as I had said in my last letter to Your Excellency because of Father Friar Pedro Font having been gravely ill, who, even though until today is quite debilitated in his health, has voluntarily resolved to follow the expedition.

Anza portrait by Orsi, 1774

Juan Bautista de Anza,
drawn from portrait in
oil by Fray Orsi in 1774.

By virtue of Divine Providence, the expedition has traveled this far with complete success, accomplishing our arrival by regular marches (and three days of rest) on the sixteenth of this month. Notwithstanding, on the third day's march, eight of the enemy saw us from a distance. The rear guard responded immediately to my order to fire on them. Our train formed a circle, in the middle of which the families of the troop and other non-combatants were placed. Alferez Don Jose Joaquin Moraga immediately sallied forthwith the ten soldiers from the presidio of my command. In order to pursue the enemy more vigorously, he took a larger number of soldiers to look for them, with whom he returned to our encampment and, although he did not overtake them, they were sufficiently pursued such that they were unable to discover the impediments with which we march.

The said expedition has come to this point with sufficient good fortune. So that that Your Excellency will not observe any negligence in my conduct. I am including the attached letters responses of the officers who drew up their contents to show the only resources they could offer me. To this effect, the Presidio of San Miguel only had five, nearly untrained militiamen that they could give me. From Santa Ana we picked up another group of the same amount and caliber, and the Presidio of Altar could supply none.

Our Lord keep Your Excellency many years. Royal Presidio of Tubac, October 20, 1775.

Most Excellent Sir

Juan Bautista de Anza (rubric)

Garate, Donald T., Captain Juan Bautista de Anza Correspondence on Various Subjects 1775. Antepasados VIII, Los Californianos, 1995