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CHAPTER VI:
THE ROYAL FORT OF ST. IGNATIUS AT TUBAC

G. Subalterns

The Tubac company carried a complement of two junior officers besides the post comandant. One ranked as a lieutenant and the other as ensign, the equivalent of a first lieutenant and second lieutenant in the United States Army. The turnover in subalterns at Tubac became considerably higher than that of comandants.

258The frontier officer corps was of rather poor quality if the Tubac subalterns were a representative sample of it.  Neither post comandant seemed to be able to secure reliable, well-rounded subalterns. Some of the junior officers such as Lt. Juan M. Oliva made excellent Indian fighters, and Indian fighting was the main business of the Tubac post so the end result was fairly satisfactory. It appears probable that the quality of junior officers at Tubac suffered also from Captain Anza's apparent dislike for subordinates who might compete with his brilliance. For this reason, the Tubac subalterns probably were not a truly representative sample of their ilk at other posts.

1. Lt. Simón Roxas de Thaboada

The original lieutenant of tie Pimería Alta and Tuba company was Simón Roxas de Thaboada, chosen for this post by Governor Diego Ortiz Parrilla when he recruited the company (Ortiz Parrilla Mar. 26, 1752c:47). Like Captain Beldarrain, Lt. Roxas accumulated Indian slaves during his stay at Tubac (Libro de Bautismos y Casamientos de los Pueblos de...Santa María Soamca, f. 8v, 13; Santos Angeles de Guebavi, Libro de Bautismos p. 97).

Judging from the date of Oliva's commissioning, Lt. Roxas transferred out of the Tubac company around the first of June in 1754 (Rubí Dec. 21, 1766). He apparently went to Terrenate, where he married on June 19, 1756 (Libro de Casamientos de Santa María Soamca y Visitas, f. 5v).

2582. Lt. Juan Christiano Ramirez

The original ensign of the Upper Pimería company and the Tubac garrison was Juan Raimirez (Ortiz Parrilla, Mar. 26, 1752c:47). He and his wife Doña Bartola de la Peña had several children at the post (Libro de Bautismos del Partido de San Ygnacio de Caburica, p. 178; Libro de Bautismos y Casamientos de los Pueblos de Visita...de Santa María Soamca, f. 18v; Santos Angeles de Guebavi Libro de Bautismos, p. 112, 115).

The family which Ensign Ramirez and his wife founded at Tubac provides an excellent illustration of the significance the original Tubac garrison has had for northern Sonora and southern Arizona in terms of European settlement ever since its foundation in 1752. For Juan Christiano Ramirez has living descendants in the State of Arizona today! Since his descendants have remained fairly prominent in every succeeding generation, it has proved possible to trace them right up to contemporary times. The genealogical chart of this one family which follows [see next page] would be merely one among many were records of all the other families founded at Tubac as full as those on Juan Christiano Ramirez's progeny.

Ensign Ramirez was probably promoted to lieutenant upon the departure of Roxas y Thaboada around June 1 of 1754 (Rubí Dec. 21, 1766). He may have held acting lieutenant's rank earlier (Santos Angeles de Guebavi, Libro de Bautismos p. 97) and he was certainly a lieutenant in 1757 (ibid., p. 112). He may have retired with that rank (ibid., p. 115) or transferred 259about July 1, 1753 (Rubí Dec. 21, 1766). In any event, Ramirez eventually became a captain of militia, and lived a civilian's life at Tumacacori Mission during his declining years.

Juan Christiano Ramirez died at Tumacacori on November 17, 1777, after receiving the last rites of the Roman Catholic Church from the resident missionary, Fray Pedro Antonio de Arriquibar (San José de Tumacacori, Libro de Entierros, f. 125), who was very friendly with his son Juan José and later reared several of the old officer's grandchildren (Stoner & Dobyns, 1959).

2633. Ensign Joachín de Usarraga

The promotions of Juan Ramirez and Juan L. Oliva cleared the way to advancement from the ranks for another member of the original Upper Pimería company, Joachín de Usarraga (Ortiz Parrilla, Mar. 26, 1752c). This gentleman had been one of the militiamen recruited in Upper Pimería at the time of the Pima Revolt (Ortiz Parilla, June 1, 1752). Evidently when Roxas y Thaboada transferred and Ramirez was promoted and Oliva commissioned, Usarraga took over as sergeant of the company. Then when Ramirez transferred or retired and Oliva was again promoted, Usarraga made ensign, very likely around July 1 of 1758. He certainly held that rank in August of 1760 (Santos Angeles de Guebavi, Libro de Bautismos p. 124), and was functioning as the company's ensign at least at late as March 12 of 1761 (ibid., Libro de Entierros p. 62). Usarraga was apparently somewhat older than the young men who joined the Upper Pimería company. His wife died at Tubac in the spring of 1761 (ibid.), yet he had a daughter old enough to act as a godmother in 1760 (ibid., Libro de Bautismos p. 124) who was apparently born before her father moved to Tubac. Usarraga probably had sons also, for soldiers with that surname served in the Tucson garrison in later years. Ygnacio Félix Usarraga was ensign of the Tucson company in the spring of 1782 (Allande May 2, 1782), and Francisco Usarraga was a sergeant at Tucson in 1794 (Zúñiga 1794). Usarraga's family has probably continued to the present like Ramirez's.

2644. Ensign Joséph de Huandurraga

Anza's second ensign was a native Sonoran named Joséph de Huandurraga. He entered the Tubac company on December 2 in 1760 as a soldier, but only served there a little under two years before leaving the service on October 21,1763. Anza brought him back on December 1, 1765, commissioning him. He was then twenty-eight years old (Rubí Dec. 21, 1766).  Perhaps the comandant sought a young officer to balance the aging Lt. Oliva.

Whatever moved Anza to commission Huandur-raga, his men regarded it as a bad mistake. They cordially despised the ensign for his cruel punishments which left their mark in the scars of cuts, bruises from blows, and other wounds. He frequently surprised a trooper and without telling him transgression he was being punished for nor allowing him to offer any defense, proceeded to belabor him with sticks or a blade. The ensign was furthermore a rather dissolute character given to employing his power to seduce the wives of his troops. Physical battering the men could have stood, probably, but when the philandering officer pulled his rank to "perturb the peace and union of some marriages" he went too far. The Marques de Rubí (Dec.  21, 1766) warned Captain Anza to be alert to curb this officer from "entering with transparent pretexts of zeal and fulfillment of his duty into the houses of some soldiers with perverse intentions...and continuing in who knows what scandalous commerce... "

265The captain maintained that he kept a tight rain on his post while he was there, but much of the time he was absent on the royal service and could not know what went on. He pledged renewed alertness to strive toward more equitable treatment of the men. He absent on the royal service and could not know what went on. He pledged renewed alertness to strive toward more equitable treatment of the men. He pointed out to the inspector that he had long been aware of the undesirability of disciplining men with the officer's naked sword which did produce cuts and other misfortunes, but added that he could make headway only slowly against what was a very ancient custom among frontier fort officers, without the aid of a formal prohibition by higher authority (Anza Dec. 30, 1766).

GENEALOGICAL CHART OF THE RAMIREZ FAMILY
KEY TO GENEALOGICAL CHART OF THE RAMIREZES:

1. Ancestry and marriage from San José de Tumacacori, Libro de Entierros, f. 125.

2. Born at Tubac May, 1753 (Libro de Bautismos del Partido de San Ygnacio de Caburica, p. 178); Interpreter at Tumacacori Mission (San José de Tumacacori, Libro de Casamientos f. 4v). Ancestry from ibid., Libro de Entierros f. 125).

3. Marriage to Juan José Ramirez on September 21, $

4. Born July, 1775, at Tubac (Libro de Bautismos y Casami$

5. Born Dec., 1759, at Tubac (Santos Angeles de Guebavi, Libro de Bautismos, p. 112).

6. Baptized at Tubac February of 1759 (ibid., p. 115).

7. Sutler at Tucson fort during Mexican sovereignty, prominent in Indian affairs on this frontier, and Justice of the Peace in 1865 (Stoner & Dobyns, 1959).

8. Born December 2, 1774, at Tumacácori Mission (San José de Tumacácori, Libro de Bautismos, f. 14).

9. Born March 12, 1776, at Tumacácori Mission (ibid., f. 17v)..

10. Born December 8, 1778, at Tumacácori Mission (ibid., f. 18v).

11. Married John Sweeney about 1863, died April 18, 1878, slightly over three months after her husband, leaving the children orphaned, the eldest being only eight (Weekly Arizona Citizen, April 19, 1878, p. 2, c. 3).

12. Weekly Arizonian, November 19, 1870, p. 3, c. 2; Tucson Weekly Arizonian, February 7, 1869; Weekly Arizona Citizen, January 18, 1878, p. 2, c. 2).

13. Senator Carl Hayden files, Arizona Pioneers"Pioneers' Historical Society.

14. Sarafina Quixada married Teodoro Ramirez on January 8, 1821, either at Tumacácori Mission or the Fort of Tubac. Her father Pedro Quixada was deceased, but had been a citizen of Tubac, as was her mother Doña María Reyes Peña (Libro de las Partidas de Bautismos, Casamientos y de Entierros de Tropa y Vecindario del Presidio de San Rafael de Tubac... f. 10).

Either Anza failed to stop the use of bare blades by his subalterns and non-coms, or these reverted to old form under acting post commander Lt. Oliva, for the next royal inspector on the Tubac scene found it necessary to repeat the injunctions of the Marques de Rubí. Oliva received orders to prohibit punishment with sticks and knives since there were other more appropriate punishments (O'Conor Aug. 16, 1775).

5. Ensign Juan Phelipe Beldarrain

The greatest rascal of all the junior officers who served at the royal fort of St. Ignatius at Tubac seems to have been the son of the post's first commander, Juan Phelipe Beldarrain. Phelipe, as he was usually called, was born in Sonora in 1750 (Oliva Aug. 13, 1775), so he was just at the 266right age to be thoroughly spoiled as the comandant's son at Tubac during the early years of the post. At the age of three or four, he was already made conscious of his social prestige by acting as godfather to Indian children, for example (Libro de Bautismos y Casamientos de los Pueblos...de Santa María Soamca, f. 11v). Phelipe's whole early career showed that he was not only a spoiled brat but a thoroughly obnoxious one.

On February 4, 1769, at the age of nineteen, Don Phelipe buried three Spaniards killed by enemy Indians in the cemetery at Magdalena. Since the men had been killed on the first day of the month, their bodies probably needed quick burial, but Don Phelipe didn't bother to notify the missionary at San Ignacio Mission as was both politic and his duty, much less ask the priest for license to inter the bodies in holy ground (Libro de Entierros de Santa María Magdalena de 1702)., This was only a foretaste of the future egocentric behavior of this rapscallion.

Nonetheless Captain Juan Bautista de Anza appointed Phelipe ensign in the Tubac company on June 11 of 1771 (O'Conor Aug. 18, 1775), when he reached his majority. Thus Anza completed his record of selecting incompetent ensigns.

It is very likely that Anza knew many of Phelipe's failings but commissioned him regardless, perhaps hoping that military service would make a man out of the spoiled youth. Anza also acted out of a sense of obligation to the provincial upper class of which the Beldarrains and Anzas were 267members, and to the young man personally, for Anza was his godfather (Bolton 1930:IV:511). Since Beldarrain's own father was dead, Captain Anza was obligated to act in the dead father's stead-and Anza took his religious obligations seriously. Moreover, he had no son of his own on whom to spend his affection, so his godson may have been too dear to him for Anza to realize fully his abundant faults and weaknesses.

In 1773 young Beldarrain accompanied Anza to the advance picket at San Bernardino and took out a detachment on his own in January. He managed to capture three of eleven Indians he encountered. In October he campaigned with Anza on the upper Gila River (Oliva Aug. 13, 1775).

In 1774 Beldarrain was again acting as a godfather (San José de Tumacácori, Libro de Bautismos, f. 13v), and helping celebrate marriages of post personnel (ibid., Libro de Casamientos f. 6). The most important thing that happened to him during that year, however, was his selection as the first post quartermaster on June 1, 1774, to carry out the regulations of the king's New Regulations of 1772 (O'Conor Aug. 17, 1775). Significantly enough, Anza did not choose to take young Beldarrain on the explorations to Upper California, a jaunt on which every man might count. Young Phelipe stayed at Tubac, suffering from a lung disease which may have been tuberculosis (Oliva Aug. 13, 1775), and in very ill health. He probably wrote all the documents the acting commander 268needed for the review of the post made by royal ComandantInspector Colonel Hugo O'Conor.

The red-headed Irishman nonetheless recommended Beldarrain's dismissal from the royal service, a very rare occurrence. "This officer has proved his bad conduct in the management of the quartermastership which has been put in his charge, defrauding the soldiers of his company, as a result of which I consider it desirable that he should be separated from the Service without permission to wear any military insignia."

"All the troops are angry with just cause over the conduct of their quartermaster, who has understood how to buy goods at one price and sell them to the soldiers at another higher..." reported O'Conor (Aug. 18, 1775), adding "besides his bad conduct and pusillanimity, he has many other vices which make desirable his total separation from the service."

Breaking an officer required approval from higher authority so Beldarrain continued to function as ensign of the Tubac company as late as May 24-25 of 1776 when he met Anza's party returning from Alta California at Caborca Mission (Bolton 1930:IV:509-512). Lieutenant Colonel Anza intervened for his godson with the provincial governor who was able to delay Beldarrain's removal by disapproving his successor (ibid., IV:511). King Charles III approved O'Conor's recommendation and commissioned Diego de Oya on August 31, 1776, to succeed Beldarrain, the viceroy having given Oya an earlier interim 269commission (King Aug. 31, 1776). When higher officials ordered Ensign Diego de Oya back to the frontier to replace Beldarrain, none of the wayward ensign's protectors could help him. Meanwhile, the Tubac company had been transferred north to Tucson and young Beldarrain accumulated additional demerits by completely mismanaging the building funds located for the new post's fortification construction (Medina May 3, 1779). Possibly Phelipe no longer cared-if he ever had-since discharge faced him anyhow. Since Oya finally took over the quartermaster's duties at Tucson on February 16, 1777, he probably replaced Beldarrain a few days previously.

O'Conor's recommendation was not followed completely, the frontier elite closing ranks to protect the cashiered, ensign as much as possible. Beldarrain was allowed to enlist in the Tucson company on November 1, 1781 in the "distinguished soldier" category (Zúñiga 1794).

Beldarrain rendered brave service in the ranks of the Tucson garrison (Franco 1782). Eventually after the death of King Charles III, Beldarrain won a commission again from King Charles IV (King Aug. 11, 1790). Four years later he was promoted to higher rank (King July 10, 1794) as first ensign, serving in that capacity from January 16, 1794 (Zúñiga 1794).

Evidently some years of service in the ranks had finally made a man worthy of command out of the spoiled brat reared by Captain Juan Thomas Beldarrain and Doña María Theresa Prudhom y Moxica. His commanding officer noted that his previously poor health was no longer a problem, for Phelipe was "robust" and more important "He seems to have improved his conduct (ibid.).

6. Non-commissioned Officers

The small frontier garrisons operated with two grades of non-commissioned officers. In a fifty-man unit with three officers, the latter knew their men very well and few non-coms were required. Usually Tubac had only a sergeant and a couple of corporals. As in most armies, the sergeant occupied a key position. Frequently they became commissioned officers.

The original first sergeant of the Tubac company was Juan María Oliva, who was commissioned and eventually retired a captain as related above.

When Oliva was commissioned in 1754, Corporal Joséph Moraga probably moved up to sergeant. Moraga was one of the original corporals of the company (Ortiz Parrilla, Mar. 26, 1752c:47) who had joined the new Upper Pimería company after serving in the militia from that district during the Pima Revolt (Ortiz Parrilla June 1, 1752:3). He may later have won a commission at Terrenate.

Who may have followed Moraga is unknown. Captain Anza very likely brought a sergeant to Tubac with him in 1760 from Terrenate. Probably it was Anza who promoted another veteran to corporal. Carlos Marques had served with the Opodepe 271Valley militia during the Pima Revolt in 1751-52 (Ortiz Parrilla June 1, 1752:2) and enlisted in the new Upper Pimería company in March (Ortiz Parrilla Mar. 26, 1752c:47v). He had at least two children while stationed at Tubac (Libro de Bautismos y Casamientos de los Pueblos...de Santa María Soamca f. 8v; Santos Angeles de Guebavi Libro de Bautismos p. 97).  On November 1, 1765, Captain Anza made Marques the company sergeant (Rubí Dec. 21, 1766). This was very likely as high as Marques could here to go for this native of Loreto in Lower California (Rubí Dec. 22, 1766) seems to have been a mestizo, intermediate in skin color between Spaniards and Indians. His doughty spirit had brought him distinction in battle and he possessed a high sense of honor, so the Marques de Rubí (Dec. 21, 1766) recommended him for further consideration after his inspection of the Tubac post.

On the other hand, the enlisted men from among whom Marques had been lifted resented his heavyhanded discipline. Three of them had actually dared to complain to the captain about the sergeant's conduct, but Anza decided that Marques had had just cause to punish the complainants (Anza Dec. 3 1766).

Marques enjoyed the advantage of being literate (Rubí Dec. 22, 1766), not a common characteristic of presidial soldiers.

One of the corporals of the company at that time was another veteran of the original complement (Ortiz Parrilla, Mar. 26, 1752c) Juan Ignacio Cota (Rubí Dec. 22, 1766). A 272native of El Fuerte, Sinaloa, considered a Spaniard (Oliva Aug. 13, 1775), Cota was an ambitious trooper, holding Indian slaves (Santos Angeles de Guebavi, Libro de Bautismos p. 123), like the officers but still resentful of unequal duty assignments (Rubí Dec. 22, 1766). In 1775 Cota was still a corporal and a fifty-eight year old twenty-one year man (Oliva Aug. 13, 1775).

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