Exploratory Expedition, 1774

Diary of Garcés, 1774

January 1774 - July, 1774

Diary of Father Francisco Hermenegildo Garcés of his part in the exploratory expedition of Juan Bautista de Anza to find a route between Sonora and Alta California (January 8 to April 26, 1774), beginning at the Royal Presidio of San Ignacio de Tubac in what is today southern Arizona, and ending near the junction of the Gila and Colorado Rivers, after traveling to San Gabriel and San Diego in Alta California. The diary also tells of Father Garcés' visit to the Jalchedunes Indians on the Colorado River (May 21 to July 10, 1774). Father Garcés, along with Father Juan Díaz, was the chaplain for the Anza Expedition. The purpose of his diary was to report his findings, both on the Anza Expedition and his side trip up the Colorado River to the Viceroy of New Spain, Antonio María Bucareli y Ursua, and ultimately the King of Spain, Charles III. This edition is based upon Herbert Bolton's English translation of the diary in Anza's California Expeditions, Volume II, 1931.





Father Garcés arrives at Tubac from his mission at San Xavier del Back and the Expedition gets under way after a complete change of plans


The Expedition leaves the Caborca Mission for the Colorado River


Captain Palma and many Pima and Yuma Indians meet peaceably with the explorers


The Expedition crosses the Colorado River. Not trusting his horse, Father Garcés is carried by Yuma Indians


Struggling amid sand dunes and stagnant waters the Expedition flounders and is divided into two groups


With some glass beads and tobacco, Garcés, in the company of three Indians sets out on his own exploratory journey


The decision is made to send much of the baggage and cattle back to the Yuma settlement on the Colorado River and make a quick dash for California


After much travail in passing the dessert and traversing the mountains, and with their supplies exhausted, the little party arrives at the newly established Mission of San Gabriel


Garcés arrives back at San Gabriel after a side trip to San Diego in search of supplies and immediately heads back to the Colorado River


Garcés' party arrives back at Yuma village near the junction of the Gila and Colorado Rivers


Always the wanderer, Father Garcés sets out on an exploratory journey to the Jalchedunes