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The Arrival of the Franciscans in the Californias-1768–1769

  • Maynard Geiger (a1)
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1 The Noticias were written by Palóu in Upper California between 1773 and 1783. This manuscript he took with him when he returned to Mexico City late in 1785. It is no longer extant. It survived Palóu’s death (1789) long enough, however, to be copied by a scribe under the direction of Fray Francisco Figueroa in 1792. This Figueroa manuscript is still preserved in volumes 22–23 of the Sección de la Historia in the Archivo General de la Nación, Mexico City. A complete photostatic copy of the two volumes is in the Santa Barbara Mission Archives (SBMA). The Noticias were first published from the Figueroa manuscript in Mexico in 1857, and then in San Francisco, California, in 1874. They were published in English, also from the Figueroa manuscript, by Bolton, Herbert E. in four volumes under the title, Historical Memoirs of New California (Berkeley, 1926). Hereinafter when reference is made to the English translation, the short title Memoirs will be used; when reference is made to the Figueroa manuscript or the Spanish printed versions, the short title, Noticias will be used. See Bolton, , Fray Juan Crespí: Missionary Explorer on the Pacific Coast (1769–1774), lxii-lxiii , for a discussion of the Crespí diaries of the Portola expedition. The account of the arrival of the Franciscans in Lower California may be read in Memoirs, I, 3–32.

2 Printed in Mexico in 1787 under the title: Relación Histórica de la Vida y Apostólicas Tareas del Venerable Padre Fray Junípero Serra. Hereinafter referred to as the Vida. The account of the coming of the Franciscans to Lower California may be read in the Vida, 53–63.

3 Vida, 56; Memoirs, I, 26.

4 Memoirs, II, 42104; 109260; 329358; or Fray Juan Crespí Missionary Explorer on the Pacific Coast (1769–1774) by Bolton, , 59273; 276303.

5 San Diego to Monterey in 1769; Monterey to San Diego, 1769–1770; San Diego to Monterey, 1770; Monterey to San Diego, in 1772; San Diego to Monterey, fall of 1772.

6 “Se sacarán en limpio los Diarios, así el mío, como él del P. Fr. Juan, quanto antes se pueda, y harto siento no vayan ahora.” (Serra to Palóu, San Diego, February 10, 1770. Vida, 93). “Diario ninguno hemos remitido hasta ahora que va esse al Colegio, y el mío queda, supuesto quedar incluida su substancia en él que va”. (Serra to Verger, Monterey, June 20, 1771. Biblioteca Nacional, Mexico).

7 Even so, Serra was not satisfied with it. He wrote to Verger; “Lo que en mi sentir, necesita, para salir al público, es que alguno se dedicase a resumirlo, tantito, y darle un estilo más natural y corriente”. (June 20, 1771).

8 “Verá Vuestra Reverencia el destino de los diez religiosos, sus parajes, y distancias, por el diario que va adjunto, las conveniencias que dichas parajes ofrecen. Essa es obra del Padre Fray Juan, ya que el fué quien lo anduvo todo.” (Serra to Verger, Monterey, June 20, 1771). Crespí himself writes in the Prólogo: “me ordena mi R. P. Prete. que yo sea el que ordene y descriva este diario, en ateción a ser yo el único que lo anduve todo, y repetidas vezes la mayor parte.”

9 Of this collection, the SBMA has a complete photograph of the Serra diary, the last pages of the Crespí diary of the first Portolá expedition, the first part and the last pages of the Crespí diary of the second Portolá expedition.

10 Vida, “carta dedicatoria,” vii.

11 See paragraph commencing with “Prólogo al q quisiere leer este viage.”

12 See Memoirs, II, 43.

13 The Palóu-Figueroa text of the Crespí Prólogo they used or curtailed may be read in Memoirs, II, 4345.

14 The original Crespí manuscript has: “Da 24 Henero 6 leguas. Día veinte y quatro Henero y Miercoles de buena mañana salimos de este buen paraje y Valle del Sr. Sn. Jacome de la Marca, el primer paraje bueno para Población, Vecino del Puerto de Sn. Diego por este Rumbo” etc. It is about seven hundred and fifty words in length. The Figueroa manuscript for January 24, 1770, starts as follows: “Miercoles 24 de dho. Ibamos llegando ya al Puerto de Sn. Diego, y esta Jornada se nos fue en hablar en que estado lo hallariamos; si poblado de la poca gente que dexamos, y en el Puerto los Paquebotes, o si del todo despoblado en mas de seis meses.” It is about four hundred and seventy-five words in length.

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The Americas
  • ISSN: 0003-1615
  • EISSN: 1533-6247
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