The Explorers, 1492-1774

TRANSLATION: Father Garces’ Diary

Most Excellent Sir

In continuation of the reports which Lieutenant Colonel Don Juan Bautista de Anza has sent you, it has occurred to me (improving the occasion of sending for wine in order to say Mass) to inform you how I have come down this river passing through the tribes, Cajuenches, Tallicuamais or Quiguimas, and Cucarpa. I came to the ocean where I observed and tasted the water besides noting the flood and ebb of the tides as I told you in my diary.

The Indians of the sierra gave me accounts of the priests in both Californias, Upper and Lower. The three nations or groups of people who inhabit this river line down to the sea have received me as I had not expected, showing me all the courtesies they possibly could, although the Cucapa [sic] were at war and very sad on account of their great losses. These had been inflicted upon them by the Yumas, Cajuenches, and Tallicuamais but, thank God, the joy of peace has been attained. This very day, Palma tells me that some Indians will come in here who formerly were enemies.

All the four nations aforesaid, and the Pimas and the Cocomaricopas from the Gila River, are awaiting with pleasure and great eagerness the coming of the priests and the Spaniards to their country, as they have told me repeatedly. Their land is well-suited to the production of every sort of grain. In the greater portion, especially along the Colorado, it is adapted to raising cattle and horses. Although with respect to the location of towns, this Colorado terrain does not offer the greatest advantages due to widespread overflowing of the river, yet, some tablelands adaptable for town locations are not lacking. So it is, that in some areas, plantings will have to be made on the other side of the stream.

I hope that God our Lord may grant me the same felicity among the nations upstream to which, God willing, I intend to start out soon.

Translated by Brig. Gen. Maurice G. Holmes, USMC, Ret.