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These conquistadores had formed part of the failed campaigns to the highlands of Bolivia and all in all around Spaniards joined the expedition. Valdivia resolved to avoid the road over the Andes, which had proved fatal to Almagro's army, and set out resolutely through the Atacama Desert. On the way, Pedro Sancho de Hoz, seeking sole leadership, tried to murder Valdivia but failed.

He was pardoned but from then on had to accept subordinate status. The natives of the region were not pleased by the return of the Spaniards due to the maltreatment they had suffered under Almagro. With many promises, Valdivia was able to regain their trust. After a march of five months, and suffering great privations, they arrived at the Copiapo valley, where Valdivia officially took possession of the land in the name of the Spanish king.

Soon thereafter they continued south and in December , eleven months after they left Cuzco, Valdivia and his expedition reached the valley of the Mapocho river, where they were able to establish the capital of the territory. The valley was extensive and well populated with natives. Its soil was fertile and there was abundant fresh water. Two high hills provided defensive positions. Soon after their arrival, Valdivia tried to convince the native inhabitants of his good intentions, sending out delegations bearing gifts for the caciques. After arriving in Chile, Valdivia and his men went out of their way to restore the relationship between conquistador and Indian which had been greatly harmed by Almagro and his merciless ways.

At first, Valdivia was successful in his efforts to deal benevolently with the native population, but this peaceful coexistence did not last long. One of the first orders that Valdivia gave was to have a ship constructed at the mouth of the Aconcagua River to send to Peru for further supplies and to serve as a courier service, but soon was obliged to return in haste to Santiago to subdue a mutiny.

The Spaniards' greed quickly surfaced and overshadowed previous intentions when rumors of gold at the Marga Marga mines, in the vicinity of Valparaiso arose, and the settlers began forcing the natives to work there.

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On learning of Francisco Pizarro's murder in , Valdivia had himself appointed governor of the territory by the council of the new city, and removed Chile from Peruvian control, acknowledging only the royal authority, an arrangement the Crown found acceptable. Secure now in his own domain, he pushed exploration southward and aided the development of the country by dividing the land among his ablest followers and parceling out the Indians in encomiendas.

Chile possessed minerals, but Valdivia definitely subordinated mining to agriculture and stock raising. Still, the colony was not prosperous; gold was scarce and the Araucanians warlike. After an apparent peaceful period the Indians began to resist the invaders. Valdivia marched against the tribes and defeated them at Cachapoal. While away, on September 11, , local Indians led by Michimalonco attacked Santiago. The Spaniards, desperate and willing to fight until death, were able to eventually push the Indians back; Valdivia and his troops made it back just in time to relieve the capital.

By the time the battle ended the entire town had been destroyed and burned to the ground, animals were killed and the fields and stores were decimated. Only a small amount of property was not destroyed, including a handful of seeds, two sows, one pig and a pair of chickens. For the next two years, there were men always saddled and armed, ready to fight in case the Indians posed a threat to Spanish authority. This event meant a real setback for the conquest of the Chilean territory. In September new arms, clothes and other equipment arrived from Peru on the ship Santiaguillo ; thanks to these new supplies, Valdivia was in the position to start the rebuilding of Santiago and to send an expedition, led by Juan Bohon , to explore and populate the northern region of Chile.

In Valdivia sent a naval expedition consisting of the barks San Pedro and Santiaguillo , under the command of Juan Bautista Pastene , to reconnoiter the southwestern coast of South America, ordering him to reach the Strait of Magellan. Encountering severe storms further south, he then returned to Valparaiso. In February Valdivia himself set out, with sixty horsemen plus native guides and porters, and crossed the Itata River.

However, the party was attacked by Mapuche warriors at the Battle of Quilacura. Still, Valdivia managed to subdue the country between Santiago and the Maule River. To secure additional aid and confirm his claims to the conquered territory, Valdivia returned in to Peru, leaving Francisco de Villagra as governor in his stead. When the Gonzalo Pizarro rebellion began in Peru, the insurgents attempted unsuccessfully to win Valdivia to their side. Nonetheless, early in Valdivia joined the royal army of Viceroy Pedro de la Gasca , and his military experience counted heavily in the victory of Xaquixahuana on April 9 of that year.

Nonetheless, a discontented faction from Chile managed to have him tried in Lima, accused of tyranny, malfeasance of public funds and public immorality. He was also ordered to marry Ines off, which he did, upon his return to Chile in , to one of his captains, Rodrigo de Quiroga. As recognition for his services Valdivia was finally appointed as adelantado and won the royal assent to his coveted title of Governor of Chile , returning to the settlement with his position and prestige considerably strengthened.

Between and , after his arrival back in Santiago, Valdivia again undertook the conquest of southern Chile, but faced heavy resistance from the indigenous population. Valdivia had a clash with the warlike Araucanians beyond the Bio-Bio River in in which he defeated them but by no means broke their will to resist, a will that grew stronger when the conquistador established settlements in their territory. Later he founded the more southern villages of La Imperial , Valdivia , Angol and Villarrica , in and After a brief stay in Santiago , Valdivia returned to the south again in December He moved against the Araucanians again in and built a fort at Tucapel.

Valdivia had earlier captured and presumably made friends with Lautaro , an Araucanian youth who became his groom. Toward the end of , the Araucanians under Lautaro revolted and they fell on the over-extended Spanish forces in the south. One of the first signs that a big rebellion was building was the attack on the fort at Tucapel, where they managed to destroy the fortress on December 2, Valdivia was at Concepcion when he received notice of this event, and, believing that he could easily subdue the uprising, he hurried southward, sallying forth with only 40 men to stamp out the rebellion.

Near the ruins of the fortress Valdivia gathered the remnant of the garrison. He was ambushed before arriving to his destination and the Battle of Tucapel would be Valdivia's last. As each successive wave of attackers was wiped out or beaten off by the Spaniards, Lautaro sent another, until the entire Spanish company was massacred. The dreaded conquistador was captured still alive along with a priest by the Mapuche. There are many versions of how Valdivia's killing took place. Alonso de Ercilla refers that Valdivia was killed with the blow of a club, then with a knife a warrior cut open his breast and ripped his still quivering heart which was then handed to the toqui, who sucked its blood.

The heart was passed round from one to another, and a drinking cup was made from his skull. The warriors keep running round the corpse brandishing their lances and uttering cries, while the rest of the assembly stamped with their feet until the earth shook.

Valdivia was an educated man and wielded the pen as well as the sword. His twelve letters, addressed to the king and mostly preserved in the archives of the Indies, are models of a vigorous and fluent style, and of great historical interest. His career and death are part of the epic poem La Araucana by Alonso de Ercilla. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Posthumous portrait by Federico de Madrazo. The directions of this return journey are the opposite of those traveled in going, for we returned by the same route.

The number of people in our party was twenty nine. But in remembrance of them, and of the gratitude which I feel to all, and the affection which I have had for them ever since I recruited them, and in eulogy of their faithfulness, may I be permitted to record this praise of a people who, as time goes on, will be very useful to the monarchy in whose service they have voluntarily left their relatives and their fatherland, which is all they have to lose.

On his return march Anza followed the same route as his forward march, which was the one he had explored earlier, the Exploratory Expedition. It was here, between these two camp sites, where the two giants of early California history briefly met, and now with their letters in hand we can accurately describe their encounter. To this he replied, I am having a pain in my leg, and after putting spurs to his mule, he said goodbye. Me ayudaron subir a la bestia.

At about ten minutes to nine, on the road, I met the Lt.

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Colonel, of which I did not feel good, because I carried no news to this Presidio, other than the matters pertaining to the pueble [o] de San Francisco. But having found myself in not the best of luck because we met during my illness [leg pain], from our horses we saluted each other and shook hands, we repeated the same on our parting, and continued in our directions.

He, in the direction of his [southward] journey and mine towards this Presidio where I arrived at about five in the evening, where I went to bed early and an ointment was applied. Nonetheless, with respect to the Royal Service I will sacrifice to it, and with my condescending knowledge, I agree to solely answer Your Honor in writing on those matters that only pertain to the establishment of the Port of San Francisco.

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I have responded to the letters of Your Honor dated 28th of March and 2nd of April of the present year, which I will hand your honor at an opportune time when your asumpto official business with the Royal Service and reply will not be interrupted. To which I respectfully agree. Colonel de Anza closes letter number seven by saying,.

Su Muy Seguro Servidor. I say this because I had heard it in a private conversation which was referred to me by the proper chain of command propio modo in Mexico, but not by His Excellency, nor any other commanding chief [s], and so Your Honor can give the credit where it is deserved. But because, it was an official matter, it would have not passed by me to communicate it to Your Honor. However, it flatters me not a little to be the bearer of the news that will be so appreciated by his Excellency.

To which concept and for my part, have offered to contribute to its beginnings, and by the same token happily concur with the peons who are staying there to build it, which are the ones that Your Honor proposed I should take back. Pues me lisonjea no poco el conducer esta noticia tan appreciable para su Excelencia. The most essential especial of his [Excellency] superior orders has been put into effect. Anza closes carta number eight with…….. En respuesta de una de las de Vuestra Merced de fecha de oi, digo a su primer capitula [o], que si me he manifestado sentido, hasido desde mismo punto en que quando se verifico nuestro encuentro, y que apenas havia acavado de articular las primeras palabras de urbanidad y buena crianza: pico Vuestra Merced a sus caballeria y se marcho sin darme tiempo mas para lo que le pedi en aquella occasion.

Indeed no other action would be sufficient. That I did not impede said duty and will contribute that which I am able, is within my reach, and in all that pertains to the Royal Service. I give Your Honor well deserved thanks. In response to the forth and final paragraph, I say that in the same case of the robbery and desertion which occurred here with the soldier and mule-packers, I have always observedthat the wages of such people satisfy the first.

Colonel De Anza closes carta number nine in his usual manner. What follows is the response by Captain Fernando de Rivera y Moncada to the three letters written by Anza on April 29, Of these three letters, one and two are letters eight and nine with letter three being number ten. All three were written at Mission San Gabriel. Very few people are aware of this letter and it can be found at the Archivo General de la Nacion, Historia de Mexico, segunda serie, vol. Dixe medio pique porque no llevava espuela en el pie del lado del dolor. San Gabriel 3 de Mayo de Fernando de Rivera y Moncada.

So that Your Honor will not be detained, I am compelled to pass on this notice considering how I will be like after lots of work and how much I need the said lost papers, God knows what he wants of me the letters can not be sent due to their relationship to the affair. By not adding more fuel to the fire, I was hoping we would talk, [therefore] I did not respond to what Your Honor said in one of the three [letters] of April But after searching it was not possible to find it.

I say that on the arrival on the day of our encounter we saluted each other, I saluted the Reverend Fathers who accompanied you and Don Mariano, the purveyor, the best way I could, and after our greeting you did not say a thing. For the second time we shook hands and I half spurred my mount not being in the mood for anything. I said half spurred because I did not have a spur on the foot on the side of the pain. If your sentiment originated because I did not speak to you on the affairs that same reasoning could be used against you, even though not much, but with a greater motive because you were in good health and I was feeling ill.

And because I had received letters from you, as well as you had received mine from the same sergeant and much earlier. You told me to respond to you in Mexico, and did not mention mine. If you serve His Excellency, I serve him as well, and have served him since [17]42, even though never in the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. And likewise I observe the superior orders of His Excellency with the same rigor as that of the saint tribunal. Captain Fernando Rivera y Moncada was at the helm, as second in command and Juan Bautista Valdez, was a soldado de cuera.

After having only seen the signature, I informed him that if not for the condition I was in, I would have had him and all who accompany him to sign under a corresponding penalty. However, I did not ignore that the said petition was against orders and the better rules of conduct. Having said that, and after having spoken to Your Honor, I judge that you will not leave them without the necessary punishment. Therefore, with due respect he and the rest on the march should not ignore the orders. Indeed, I not only read it to them, but imposed it upon them, prior to [recruiting them].

Moraga assured me that what we had would be enough for all. I [also] granted them those [animals] which had been in used by each one, because of having had the courage to arrive here. After having done this, I provided them with one more mule, leaving the remainder for the benefit of these lands and the establishment of the fort just in case Your Honor does not have the greater need to be present.

In regards to the proposition that Your Honor makes in dividing the cattle, I agree in all that Your Honor suggests, thereby, having no doubt that his Excellency will approve it in light of the role he has appointed us to. The lieutenant will enjoy [earn] seven hundred pesos annually, the sergeant four hundred and fifty, and one peso per day for each soldier, to which effect and in view of the anticipation three months pay which I have confirmed. For future dates I was given a portion of money which when [we meet] I will inform Your Honor of said matter.

In the fourth and last of your cited [letter] you impose upon me the care that must be present for the existence of these establishments if the necessary provisions do not arrive. However, I will take the responsibility that this affair will not be neglected due to the fortitude of His Excellency which in my view will not let go of its significance in case of some failure. Be advised to return it.

It does not have the corresponding notes, however, it will serve Your Honor as a guide. The consecutive points indicate the journey which I made during the reconnaissance, and are indicated in alphabetical order. Immediately behind and to the left of my mentioned site is where there is another small cross and where Your Honor located yours [site]. Here Anza eludes to the fact that prior to the colonizing expedition it was thought that the San Joaquin and Sacramento rivers via the Carquinez Strait was one big river, e.

However, it was during this reconnaissance that it was proved otherwise.

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Father Pedro Font, the meticulous chronicler, goes to a great extent to help prove it so. De la letra J. El Gran Capitan, closes cartra number eleven in his usual manner. In concern to this issue and that of your third paragraph, it appears to me to inform Your Honor, that I know it is not as agreeable to His Excellency to have the location of the mentioned fort where Your Honor has suggested to me as the one where I marked it with a cross and which I have indicated to Your Honor. Indeed, in this way the Ports superiority will be confirmed without suffering the reputation like San Diego and other places.

For this reason I feel that this is preferred over the other comforts desired for the troops. However, it is clear that it is not as bad to have their planting and other opportunities at a distance, where there will be no lack of an abundance of firewood and necessary water for their maintenance, which in order to enjoy them, the mouth of the Port will be left without a guard.

Without this the troops, that are to be established at the fort, will not have where to plant their small gardens and thereby be frustrated. But for this purpose there is a lagoon half way between the fort and the mission, where when damming its flow at an opportune time, sufficient water can be had for all intended purposes. Sin que padezca la nota; y el que de San Diego, y otros:. The four aforementioned servants are Antonio, the captured one, Ochoa, Otondo, and Claudio.

The other one, is the deserter Juan Ignacio, who on the day before I reached the Presidio [of San Diego], disappeared without being able to get any notice from. With respect of my occupation here, including some of the soldiers of Monterrey, it is possible [for you] to suspend the building of the missions. Indeed, in light of this, Your Honor can commence your march to the mentioned Port, with the sergeant, 20 soldiers, the settlers, and the five aforementioned servants, to establish the fort in the same area where the Holy Cross was placed.

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As time permits me I will take advantage of the occasion and go to the said Port. For the time being such matters are commissioned to their officers. Because of the disparity between these [officers] and the former simple soldiers, we gain little, in discussing those matters in which they should not interfere. And yes there is an order against it. In this way it gives them cattle for working and breeding, thereby avoiding resentments. I will satisfy your fifth [paragraph] by saying that the reference that Your Honor suggests will be heard with disgust in no way will harm the affairs that I have the honor to inform His Excellency and for him to know our agreements, for the good of these establishments, in which knowledge, I hope Your Honor will not mentioned this subject again.

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To the sixth and last [paragraph] I will say that Your Honor knows good and well that since the new order for the presidios, we have lacked the necessary Captains, with the power to license [promote] any soldier. Carta number thirteen was written at Mission San Gabriel on May 02, , prior to departing on his southward journey.

By now Anza appears to have solved his problems with Commander Rivera in not being able to communicate in regards to the founding of the presidio and its missions. In this way, I recognize we can inform His Excellency. Indeed, there is no doubt that when confirmed [the presidio] will remain completely secure. In fact in can be defended with muskets and any [ship] can be observed in time.

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On the contrary any ship desiring to enter [the bay] will not be able to do so. With regards to the Dolores fountain or spring of water, it is situated as I said in my first communication , two leagues from the mouth of the port and is so well hidden that until the [ship] is inside the port, the ship will not be seen entering nor the arrival towards it. Mountain Lake campsite, April 2, El oficio de Vuestra Merced de fechca de aier que me diregio a las diez dela noche me dessa [deja] con toda satisfaccion por combenirse con mi dictamen sovre el establessimiento del Puerto de San Francisco.

Less than a quarter of a league towards the south, and where I had camped, is another good laguna [now called Mountain Lake] from which a good spring flows como un buey. Corporal Robles saw one to the southwest during the past dry spell but [we] do not know whether it is running or not. And in about a league there is another one running and is the one which I have mentioned to Your Honor and a dam can be built with very little work. It has clear land which will provide for the cattle, and where gardens can be planted. Furthermore, there are two others in between this site and the fort, with others close by, however, even if well maintained, they will not be permanent.

Al pie del Cantil blanco donde pusse la cruz, jusgo que en posos poco hondos; no puede faltar abundancia de agua buena en la maior seca. It would be sensible and noble to not establish it at a place where it was not thought of, [thereby], resulting in higher costs. In view of these grave and important considerations and so that use can be made of these great advantages, a few trivial faults, can be tolerated. However, the necessary maintenance of the troops is essential anywhere the King sends them.

There is no doubt that if you hurry you will avail yourself consiga of him, to the contrary, he will free you from the attention the situation may require and perhaps frustrate the intent [which is] so important to the service of the King and the security of his dominions.

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Never have I mixed my personal affairs with those of official business, as Your Honor has done in his years of service and experience. Because of what I am going to say in this [letter] it is not official and yes you may present it anywhere you like. In one of my letters of the 29th of last month, if Your Honor has not yet burned it, I asked that you do not touch toque the subject, so that it does not interrupt our communications pertaining to the service, also excuse the delivery of my considerations to your statements of the twenty-eighth of March and the second of April of the present year.

I was intending to keep them but now that the occasion arises I will include them because what is in them infers what was suspected previously. Your schemes are discovered and confirm the present situation which has already been foreseen. This act being so honorable for Your Honor not to let His Excellency know in a letter and only remembering this unequalled Superior Officer and Commander in the Kingdom in a postscript.

I am an officer of higher rank,who has completed most of the commission, in which I have been sent and will continue between now and when my statement will be received. My greetings were not properly completed when Your Honor kicked your mule with or without a spur which does not enter the case and after the great rudeness of [you] marching off claiming that I implored, interrupted, or detained you.

For your greater satisfaction Your Honor wishes to attribute it to the effects of your sickness. You did not mention it in your previous letter which is proper but very ordinary. I have had the honor of having ascended [to his present rank], not by the echelon of a simple soldier, but [because of my] communicated with officials of distinguished and illustrious classes and although in minor capacity I discern the treatment of one and the other. For it does not take much, after the said dispute, to excuse oneself from concurring with Your Honor.

For it would be to excuse the worst in which, without a doubt, Your Honor would be the loser. Although, Your Honor takes the opportunity to tell me you never held my rank. However, if you would listen to others who do not affirm Your Honor the contrary will be confirmed. As for me I say that I have known and do know since I read your letters of March and April that those whom I brought here will have to remain disappointed after having been directed to the important Port and Missions of San Francisco.

Heaven would desire if in my wisdom, I had not been in such a hurry to put the plan into effect, that I should turn my back on it, and that I should not defer for more time like that which you lured me into, with the scare at San Diego, where the Indians were not armed, were without leadership at all tiimes although Your Honor feared them so and were asking for peace, and that by the incomparable compassion of our Sovereign, has been granted with less judgment to others, who with more skill, have been unfaithful and apostates of the church and religion, and of whom he is justly flattered to be your main defender.

I will execute it with a lot of apprehension, even though I am not the one who has committed this remarkable error. Indeed, I have provided Your Honor with enough time to write and much more with what I sent yesterday morning with Sergeant Grijalva. You have not been lacking in any time to inform His Excellency of what is proper, which you charge me by means of a letter.

We are not taking any [letters from you] to His Excellency.


Did I say little did he know? Somehow I bet he knew. On May 13,, el Gran Capitan, with his faithful companion, the meticulous Padre Pedro Font, on their journey back to Sonora, crossed the Colorado River and with this crossing passed one of the most historical, but forgotten figures of the state of California. While, numerous articles have been written about Juan Baptista de Anza, little is known about don Fernando, other than his Military Governorship of Alta California from May 25, through February 3, He frequently refers to the fact that he became a soldier in , serving his Majesty among the Indians.

His career was to be that of a soldier for the rest of his life. His military career began in Baja California in When the captain of the Presidio of Loreto, Bernardo Rodriquez Lorenzo, died in , he was appointed Captain Commander of the Presidio of Loreto and the entire peninsula The only daughter, Isabel, died at a young age, while attending the Colegio of San Diego, in the City of Guadalajara, shortly after he left to take command of Alta California.

The Rivera y Moncada family remained together until the latter part of , when he was appointed military governor of Alta California and at that time were living on a small farm near Guadalajara. When Rivera set out for Monterrey, his brother Ambrosio generously shouldered the maintenance of the entire family, sending Isabel to the Colegio of San Diego in Guadalajara, and the oldest son, Juan Bautista, to the diocesan seminary in the same city, and probably educating the two other boys as well.

With the Russian threat to the security of Alta California and it not yet settled by any Europeans, Spain decided on assuring its possession in that area to the north, by sending a four prong expedition, two by land and two by sea. They failed to recognize that port and continued to the San Francisco bay area, where they realized their mistake and set out on there return trek reaching San Diego on January 24, Here the ship, San Antonio, laden with supplies pulled into port, San Diego was saved, and the explorers proceeded north for the second time and established Monterrey on June 3, On October 18, , Lt.

Their bodies were now decomposed, but that of Moncada was unmistakenably identified by the broken shin bone in one of his legs. On Oct. Colonel says, Este dia mande recoger, los huessos del difuntto Capitan Rivera y Moncada los que se enterraron. Today I ordered that the bones of the deceased Captain Rivera y Moncada be gathered and they were interred. This endeavor required the help and input of many, therefore, I will like to acknowledge Californio descendant Gregorio Bernal Smestad, Ph. D, Vladimir Guerrero, Ph.

D, Donald T.