Portola Expedition, 1769-1770

Diary of Miguel Costansó

August, 1769 - January, 1770

Diary of Engineer Miguel Costansó of the exploratory expedition to northern California under the command of Governor Gaspar de Portolá (July 14, 1769 ­ January 24, 1770), from San Diego to the vicinity of Monterey Bay and back. The purpose was to establish a settlement on Monterey Bay and although the Expedition bypassed their goal, they discovered the San Francisco Bay. The purpose of the diary, which Costansó compiled at San Diego from his notes on February 7, 1770, was to make an official report to the Viceroy of New Spain, Carlos Francisco de Croix, and ultimately the King of Spain, Charles III. This edition is based upon Frederick J. Teggart's The Portola Expedition of 1769-1770: Diary of Miguel Costanso, 1911.

7/14/1769 The Portolá Expedition leaves the newly established Presidio of San Diego in search of Monterey Bay
9/8/1769 Some Expedition members have a close scrape while bear hunting
10/31/1769 From a high point the Expedition members view the magnificent San Francisco Bay, its islands, and its enormous river for the first time
11/11/1769 Finally convinced they have gone too far north, the Expedition turns back to the south
12/5/1769 Frustrated and running low on provisions they have still not located Monterey
12/10/1769 After erecting a cross on the beach and placing a message at its foot the Expedition heads back to San Diego
1/24/1770 The explorers arrive at San Diego and happily find the infant establishment still intact