The Explorers, 1492-1774

TRANSLATION: Diary of Junipero Serra, Loreto to San Diego, March 28-July 1, 1769


Of the expedition to the Ports of San Diego and Monterey by land, which for God’s greater glory and the conversion of the infidels to our Holy Catholic Faith, I began, on March 28, the third day after the feast of the Resurrection, in the year 1769, starting from my Mission and the Royal Presidio of Loreto, in California, after a visitation of the southern missions, where I met and had long conversations about this expedition with the Most Illustrious Lord Don Joseph de Galvez, of his Majesty’s State and Privy Council, Inspector General of this New Spain and chief director of these conquests.

First Note

January 6, of this same year, finding myself at the Port of La Paz, with the Most Illustrious Lord Inspector, I blessed the packet boat named the San Carlos. I went aboard to sing the Mass and bless the flags. The litany was sung and other prayers in honor of Our Lady. And the Most Illustrious Lord made an eloquent speech which greatly encouraged those who were to sail on the boat for the said Ports of San Diego and Monterey. January 9, at night, they embarked; and January 10, set sail, under the command of Don Vicente Vila, appointed Commandant for the sea expedition and a celebrated sailor in European waters. The engineer was Don Miguel Costanso the commander of the troop Don Pedro Fages, lieutenant of the company of Catalonian volunteers. I appointed Father Fray Fernando Parron, my former companion at Loreto since we came to California, as chaplain of the expedition and later as missionary to the pagans. All of them started out in high spirits on January 10.

Second Note

February 15, after returning. to Loreto, the same celebrations were held at Cape San Lucas, with the blessing of boat and flags, of the second packet boat, the San Antonio, also called El Principe. It sailed immediately for the said ports. There were on board, for the same purpose, the Fathers Preachers Fray Juan Gonzales Vizcaino, and Fray Francisco Gomez. The first had just arrived from Mexico, and the second had been minister in the mission of La Pasion, suppressed by order of the Most Illustrious Lord, the Indians having been transferred to the Mission of Todos los Santos. And in this manner the sea or naval expedition set forth.

Translation by Antonine Tibesar, O.F.M., in “Writings of Junipero Serra,” Vol. 1, 39-41.