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

K. 3. The Viceroy Disposes

Before the replies drafted by the Captain and missionary could reach the capital city, Anza's future received an unsolicited boost from an unexpected source. The president of 384the Upper California missions, Juniparo Serra, arrived at the City of Mexico, heard of Anza's proposal, and heartily endorsed it as the admirable solution to many problems of the struggling new province. The personal word of frontiersmen who were in the capital where the viceroy and his aides could see them and talk to them personally and so form some personal evaluation of them, always tended to carry much more weight than the impersonal documents arriving in dispatch cases, however impassioned they might be. Moreover the viceroy had to keep in mind the international geopolitical situation and the king's instructions in regard to Upper California. The Russian bear was reputedly colonizing south from Alaska, and King Charles wanted the Russian encroachment investigated (ibid., I:59). King and missionary determined the viceroy's decision and Anza's future, as well as the course of empire on the west coast of North America. The way kept open by Luís Oapicagigua would be utilized.

The Council of War and Royal Exchequer which Viceroy Antonio Bucarely y Ursua convened in the capital building on September 9, 1773, was largely a formality to legalize his decisions with regard to the Anza project. This council went down the line for the viceroy accepting Anza's proposals with few modifications but abundant instructions. The Captain was granted the use of twenty soldiers, his requested minimum, with strict instructions to fire only in self defense and act as friendly toward the native to be met as possible. 385Replacements for this contingent were provided for by authorizing recruitment of an equal number. Father Garcés was authorized to go along but the council wanted another Franciscan friar to accompany him-probably to record the great explorer's pearls of wisdom in a legible hand and intelligible grammar. Aware of the propensity of adelantados for founding unauthorized settlement, the council forbade Anza to colonize.

Anza's arrogant demands in his reply to the previous council's request for information were met: the authorization would go to him directly instead of down the chain of command, and he would report directly to the viceroy, in person, after his return. The governor of Sonora would be required to assist the expedition as necessary (ibid., I:59-60).

Some days later in September Juan Bautista Valdes, a soldier who had been in Upper California, rods north out of the City of Mexico with the viceregal decrees in his dispatch bags (ibid., I:63). The viceroy didn't send the two California veterans Costansó had recommended be sent Anza to guide him on the Pacific Coast, but he did send one of them.

While Anza's and Garcés' reports had been carried south, the viceroy and his aides had deliberated, and while Valdes rode north with the fateful decision, life continued its normal course on the northern frontier. That is to say that the ever-present problem of Apache warfare occupied Captain Anza's attention, and in October of 1773 he was campaigning on the Gila River (O'Conor Aug. 10, 1775 No. 9).

3864. Anza Finds the Pacific

When Valdes arrived with the viceroy's authorization of the great project, the royal fort of Tubac was thrown into a whirl of frenzied activity as Captain Anza prepared for the great months of his life which turned him from one among many post commanders, even if an exceptionally able one, into a hero of empire, provincial governor, and important historical figure. There were weapons to be selected and assembled, ammunition to be packed for mule-back transport, horse-gear to put into repair, and uniforms to fill out, cattle and provisions collected, including a large quantity of tobacco for Indian gifts. Droves of extra horses and mules had to be gathered (Bolton 1930:I:63-64).

The burgeoning preparations caught up most of the northern Sonora frontier settlements from Caborca to Bac. The great Spanish "advance man" at Mission St. Francis Xavier at Bac, Francisco Garcés, had to arrange with the Gila River Pimas to cooperate with the explorers when they reached that stream (ibid., I:64) as he had suggested to the viceroy ought to be done. He had to make arrangements for the administration of his mission by his assistant, Fray Félix de Gamarra, during his absence. Fray Juan Díaz at the Mission of the Immaculate Conception at Caborca was involved in the same sorts of preparations there. Both had to lay in a supply of vestments, holy oils and other sacerdotal necessities for the long journey ahead of them and such items frequently were in short supply on this far frontier of Christianity.

387As the multitudinous tasks of preparation proceeded apace, near disaster occurred in the form of an Apache raid on the livestock collected for the explorers. Anza's recent foray in October evidently called forth Apache vengeance, and the collection of livestock proceeding at Tubac attracted the attention of Anza's perennial enemies. Two weeks before the scheduled departure of his expedition they raided the post horse herd, running off 130 head on December 2, 1773 (ibid., I:64). This loss of mounts not only delayed the start of the expedition for three weeks, it caused Captain Anza to reroute the exploration. He decided to swing southwest through the settlements along the Magdalena-Altar River to try to acquire horses to replace those stolen by the Apaches.  This left Father Garcés the embarrassing task of telling the Gila River Pimas the Spaniards would not visit them on the out trail after all.

The backbone of the expeditionary force was a group of twenty volunteers from the garrison of the royal fort of St. Ignatius at Tubac. As guides whose combined knowledge spanned the country from Tubac to the Pacific there were Father Francisco H. Garcés who had been across the Colorado River, Father Juan Díaz who had many contacts with Colorado River Indians, the soldier Juan B. Valdez who had been in Upper California, and a runaway coastal Indian called Sebastian Tarabal, who had been from the coast to Altar and now Tubac. The support column consisted of a Pima language interpreter, 388five muleteers to handle seven loaded mules each, one carpenter and two servants for Captain Anza (ibid., I:67).

The expedition which determined that Upper California would be Spanish instead of Russian territory finally marched out of the royal fort of St. Ignatius at Tubac on January 6, 1774, on Anza's command to mount "Vayan Subiendo!" (ibid., I:66). That was exactly two months after Captain Anza and Father Garcés had written the viceroy acknowledging his orders and promising to set forth with all possible speed (ibid., I:63). Those two months were, in a sense, the high watermark of the tides of history at Tubac. To be sure Captain Anza had been laying the groundwork for his chance at fame for all the years of his life and especially during his last fourteen years commanding Tubac. He had done his job extra-well to attract the favorable notice of his superiors, he had improved his financial position by ranching and other commercial activities so that he could finance this expedition personally in the tradition of the great captains of the king, and he had simultaneously kept the welfare of his troops at heart and led them well and successfully in battle so that he had no difficulty obtaining twenty volunteers who were ready and eager to follow their commander into the great and terrifying unknown country which mightor might not lead to the Pacific Coast settlements.

Still all Anza's long and painstaking laying of groundwork could have gone for naught had the final preparations 389been faulty. Therefore one can be very sure that Anza drove himself and everyone else at Tubac extra hard during the two months between November 6 and January 6. In his eagerness, Captain Anza almost defeated himself. In the press of preparations, and probably in a welter of anxiety, Anza evidently made a mistake it is difficult to think he would have made had he been acting entirely normally. He left his expanding horse herd (he wanted to take 140 horses on the journey (ibid.,

I:67)) insufficiently protected, enabling the Apaches to drive off 130 head. Although Apaches had raided the fort's horses successfully before, this very fact should have warmed Anza to double and redouble the horse guard, and their success on December 2d argues that Anza very humanly slipped up in this one vital regard.

Having made his slip-up, Anza settled down to the task facing him and decided against delaying the expedition to assemble more horses, hoping to pick up enough in the settlements between Tubac and the jumping-off place at Caborca. In that hope he was disappointed, but the expedition went ahead regardless of its shortage of mounts. By the and of February, Captain Bernardo Urrea was able to forward to the viceroy Anza's report of his success in crossing the Colorado River which had been brought back to Altar by Indian runners (ibid., I:189). From that point on Anza was in tierra incognita until he reached the Pacific coast, and out of communication until he could return.

390Actually the entire round trip required only four and a half months-a very fast trip considering the distance traversed and the exploratory nature of the expedition. Anza's exploration has been compared to that made by Lewis and Clark for the United States government a generation later (ibid., I:vii) in terms of distance covered and unknown wilderness crossed.

Captain Anza led his troop up the Gila River from the Colorado Crossing on the return journey, turning south from the Gila River Pima villages. At Tucson he found a note awaiting him from his superior officer, Adjutant Inspector Antonio Bonilla. Taking six troopers and Father Díaz he pushed on ahead and rode into Tubac at sundown on May 26, 1774, to the great excitement and jubilation of the post population (ibid., I:184). The main body came in on May 27th, saluted by a volley from the muskets of the garrison and the shouts of the people. Fathers Garcés and Díaz celebrated a Mass of thanksgiving and the post populace turned out in its best dress to welcome the explorers home. The heroes of the occasion were still Anza's hardbitten frontier troopers, probably dirty and bearded with their clothing tattered but authentic heroes (ibid., I:185).

Captain Anza found Adjutant Inspector Bonilla at the post inspecting it and the garrison which had been left under the command of Lt. Juan María Oliva. It is easy to imagine that the returned comandant found much to occupy him the moment he 391rode back into his post, for a slackening of discipline and general loss of elan must have been inevitable in a company as dominated by its commander as Anza's was, when it was left in command of as unpolished a subordinate as Oliva.

Hardly had Anza unpacked, however when orders reached him from the Adjutant Inspector to join him at the royal fort at Terrenate. That post Bonilla had evidently found in a sad state, indeed, compared to Tubac even under Oliva, for he placed Anza in temporary command until he could reach Janos to dispatch a relief commander (ibid., I:185).

This perfectly natural behavior on the part of the Adjutant Inspector faced with his perennial problems of poorly officered and under-officered frontier garrisons fighting an incessant attritional war against the southern Athapascans did not endear that officer to the viceroy who was concerned with much more general problems and policies of empire and impatiently awaited Anza's personal report on the success of his mission to reach Upper California.

5. The Viceroy Redisposes

As a result of his success in finding the Pacific Coast from Tubac, Anza was assured promotion and became a lieutenant colonel of cavalry (Bancroft 1884:I:683). More important results of his success developed almost as soon as he reached the capital city. The viceroy now charged Anza with an even heavier responsibility than his exploratory expedition. Anza was to return to Upper California at the head of an expedition 392of soldier-colonists to found a fort on newly-discovered San Francisco Bay (Bolton 1930:I:210). When Anza turned in his complete diary of his explorations, Viceroy Bucarely broached the new expedition and requested suggestions. That was on November 13, 1774. On the seventeenth Anza turned in his suggestions (ibid., I:205).

Captain Anza was enough of a realist to expect that he might encounter hostile Indians on his route even though he had passed through successfully once. He did not desire to gamble an expedition or his career on the recruits who would make up the next post in Upper California. Eventually they would become good fighters, but as fresh recruits they would not be troopers Anza wanted to rely upon. Furthermore the colonizing goal of the expedition called for them to take their wives and children along with them, which would tend to handicap them in an emergency. Therefore Anza asked for a detachment of ten of his own troopers from the royal fort of St. Ignatius at Tubac who had gone to California with him on the previous expedition (ibid., I:207).

The small number of his tough presidials Anza requested bespeaks the extent of his faith in their Indian fighting abilities and trail knowledge. This amounted to testimony that Anza was ready to stake his career and very possibly his life on his own sagacity and the powerful lance and sword arms of himself and ten of his shock troops.

Nor did Anza forget the defensive problems of the people back at his erstwhile command, the fort of Tubac. He hoped 393to minimize the danger to them by replacing the ten-man detachment he wanted with five recruits and five veterans to be transferred from Terrenate, replacing the latter with five more new recruits and thus maintaining the authorized strength of both companies (ibid., I:208).

Viceroy Bucarely trusted the judgement of this presidial officer who had just proved his abilities at empire-building in one of the hours of the empire's need. His orders for mounting the colonizing expedition took into account Anza's suggestions. He authorized Anza to use ten men from the Tubac company as an escort, and ordered him to enlist twenty new recruits and ten veterans for the colony, giving preference to married men with families. He also authorized Anza to nominate a lieutenant and sergeant to command the new company (ibid., I:210). He put Anza to work with a fiscal official on the viceregal staff drawing up estimates of expenses (ibid., I:211), evidently sharing the high opinion of Anza's honesty and financial acumen the Marques de Rubí had gained during his inspection at Tubac eight years previously.

6. Anza Colonizes the Bay

When all the orders had been issued and all the top-level preparations completed in the City of Mexico, Anza departed for the frontier again, recruiting colonists at Culiacan and in southern Sonora (ibid., I:228). By the summer of 1775 he had reached the Sonoran provincial capital at San 394Miguel de Horcasitas where much of his supply requisitioning and collection had to be accomplished. He planned to get to Tubac in August, but was not able to keep to that schedule (Bolton 1930:IV:137). By that time the effects of Anza's prolonged absence from his command at Tubac were showing in disorderliness in the garrison. The alert Apaches, attracted by the prospect of approximately 500 horses assembled at Tubac for the expedition's use, took advantage of the situation and drove off the entire hard on September 7 (ibid., IV:128). Anza, still at Horcasitas, rushed horses north to Tubac so his ten-man escort could at least ride south to join the expedition and see it safely to the frontier post (Bolton 1930:I:230). The Tubac garrison had been left quite effectively afoot by the Apache raiders. On top of that disaster Anza suffered additional losses in a stampede of horses and mules at Horcasitas (ibid., I:229). He was unable to leave the capital until September 29, 1775, still under-mounted and using five militiamen to augment his escort as far as Santa Ana where others replaced them for the remainder of the trip to Tubac (ibid., I:230).

It was altogether quite an imposing and rarely-seen spectacle which finally hove in sight of the royal fort of St. Ignatius at Tubac. Anza had assembled 177 people whose baggage plus munitions and provisions required 120 mule loads in three pack trains, not counting twenty mule loads of baggage belonging to the commander's mess and 450 riding animals (Bolton 1930:IV:4). The ten shock troops from Tubac 395and the militiamen from Santa Ana raised the total force to nearly 200 (ibid., IV:11). This was well over one-third the total population of the royal fort at Tubac, and the arrival of so many people must have thrown the post into an immediate state of galvanized activity and confusion as quarters were sought for so many on October 15 (Bolton 1930:I:242), beginning with the first arrivals at 2 p.m. that Sunday afternoon (Bolton 1930:IV:18).

Anza was confident that his subordinates at Tubac would have the people, stock and provisions assembled there to join the expedition all prepared and ready to move out at once. As usual, he overestimated his subordinates. He had to wait while Sergeant Juan P. Grijalva went to the royal fort at Terrenate to get his family, which reached Tubac on October 21 (Bolton 1930:I:242).

The expedition's cosmographer, Father Pedro Font, had stopped at Tumacácori Mission on the 15th to join Fathers Arriquibar, Eixarch, Garcés and Gamarra (Bolton 1930:IV:18). Anza requested Font to go to the fort, and he did so the next morning, but returned to the mission to wait out the final preparations (ibid., IV:19). The ailing priest took to his bed at the mission and got up again only on the 21st when Anza sent him a servant to assist him in making and breaking camp, along with orders to join up along with Fathers Garcés and Eixarch. Father Arriquibar accompanied his brothers to the fort and returned to his mission that afternoon (ibid., IV:20).

396During the week's stop at Tubac a not inconsiderable reinforcement of the expedition was accomplished. Anza added sixty-three individuals there, bringing the total force to 240 (Bolton 1930:I:242). The Tubac contribution amounted to twenty-six and a quarter per cent of the total, which was apparently the largest complement furnished by any one community and a large chunk of Tubac's own population.

Like the two months of preparations for Anza's first California expedition, this week of feverish activity marked a high point in the history of Tubac. If the earlier period were more historically and geopolitically significant, this period was more exciting and enjoyable for the populace of the frontier post. Before it had been a matter of scraping together local resources to send local troops off on a dangerous mission, but one which everyone had confidence Anza and his men could accomplish. This time the fort bustled with scores of strangers fresh from the more settled regions to the south, with many interesting facts and tales to relate.  None fascinated more than Anza's tales of the City of Mexico and conferences with the very viceroy of New Spain himself, and the marvels of the length of the kingdom between Tubac and the capital, if he had time to tell about them. Provisions gathered from much of the kingdom were lying about to be packed on the mules, and local additions to the stores had to be collected and packed. These even included a vestment for Father Garcés to use among the Indians (Bolton 1930:IV:44). There were hundreds of head of strange horses and 397mules for connoisseurs of horse and mule flesh to examine and predict trail qualities, hardiness, etc. Finally, there was a moment of poignant sadness to anticipate when the expedition moved out for the Gila River and California, for this time many Tubac residents would be riding toward new homes near San Francisco Bay, and their relatives and friends could not expect to see them for many long years if ever again.

To the colonists, Tubac was their final taste of civilization and security-ahead was nearly a thousand miles of trail to be covered with only four Indian missions near the Pacific Coast to offer any assistance or sight of familiar architecture and European faces at all.

On Sunday, October 22d, Father Font as chaplain of the expedition preached an exhortative sermon after celebrating mass, urging the colonists to behave as good Christians, and with patience and perseverance provide an example for the heathen Indians they would pass through, and to obey Anza. He compared them to the Israelites during their exodus from Egypt (Bolton 1930:I:244), and assured them God and the Virgin of Guadalupe would protect them (Bolton 1930:IV:20-21). Anza did not leave the task of boosting the spirits of the expedition's personnel to the sickly priest, but himself delivered a cheery speech (Bolton 1930:I:245). This was the final day of preparations. The colonizing expedition was ready to ride off the next morning.

On Monday, October 23, 1775, the pattern was set which continued throughout the journey. Anza ordered the riding 398stock driven in so each person could catch his mount and those for his family. Father Font said mass while the horses and mules were saddled and bridled. When the muleteers had the pack trains ready, Lt. Col. Anza sang out Vayan Subiendo, "Everyone Mount", and the expedition lined out with four troopers riding the point followed by a vanguard under Anza accompanied by Font, then the main body of colonists followed by the rear-guard under Lt. Moraga. The pack trains followed him with the remount herd jogging along behind and the beef cattle brought up the rear (Bolton 1930:IV:24).

The expedition must have had much of the air of a crusade for Father Font began saying the Alabado as the column got into motion, and the people uttered the responses (ibid., IV:25). This must have seemed passing strange to Anza and his frontier veterans, accustomed to going into deadly battles unshriven during the years of duty in a post without a military chaplain.

With the departure of Anza with the colonizing expedition on the morning of October 23, 1775, the royal fort of St. Ignatius at Tubac reverted to command of Lt. Oliva, and settled back into its humdrum garrison activity, its great moment of history ended and its existence already doomed.

Anza's shock troops with the colonizing expedition performed their duty perfectly, and the colonists reached Monterey in safety, and with an increase in numbers due to births along the trail. The Captain's accomplishment, in terms more familiar to North Americans, was as great as United States 399Captains Lewis and Clark would have made if they had organized a military colony at St. Louis upon their return from the Pacific Coast, and led it back across the Plains and Rockies to hold the mouth of the Columbia River against foreign aggression (Bolton 1930:I:vii). This the U. S. officers did not do. This Anza did.

After delivering the colonists to Monterey for organization of the advance to the Golden Gate, Lt. Col. Anza took Father Font, Lt. Moraga, and a corporal's guard of eight of his Tubac veterans with three California troopers as guides and six muleteers and servants and set off to explore the great San Francisco Bay (Bolton 1930:I:390 & IV:317). Having completed that project, Anza set out for Sonora again in mid-April accompanied by Font, the commissary, his ten Tubac troopers, a colonist couple who had changed their minds, and fourteen muleteers, etc. (ibid., I:419). By the end of May the party had reached Caborca, the northwestern outpost of Sonora (ibid., IV:509), and on June 1, 1776, Lt. Col. Juan Bautista de Anza rode into the provincial capital at San Miguel de Horcasitas after eight months in the field. The governor honored him with a dinner, and the colonel himself put on a celebratory dance (ibid., I:486).

While this was triumph for Anza personally, and he went on to enjoy the fruits of his achievement in the form of advancement in the royal service, it was epilogue to Anza's historic achievement in leading a colony overland to Upper California. His two California expeditions continued the 400course of empire kept open when Luís Oapicagigua walked into Captain Díaz del Carpio's encampment at Tubac on March 18, 1752. Spanish colonization and control of Upper California was assured and the Russian southward advance forestalled. This was the great contribution of Anza and his post at Tubac to world geopolitics. Anza needed his post at the far northern rim of the Sonoran frontier to carry out his great project, and Tubac needed a comandant of Anza's calibre to raise it out of the commonality of frontier garrisons to a position of historic significance as a nucleus of settlement for Upper California as well as southern Arizona.

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