Manuscripts Division
William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan

Finding aid for
Pedro Font Journal, 1854

Finding aid created by
Meg Hixon, August 2012

Summary Information
Title: Pedro Font journal
Creator: Font, Pedro, d. 1781
Inclusive dates: 1854
Extent: 1 volume
Abstract:
This journal is an 1854 English translation of Father Pedro Font's account of his travels from San Miguel de Horcasitas, Mexico, to San Francisco, California, and back between September 29, 1775, and June 2, 1776. Font traveled with a party under Juan Bautista de Anza, which included settlers bound for Monterey, Spanish soldiers, and other religious figures.
Language: The material is in English
Repository: William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan
909 S. University Ave.
The University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1190
Phone: 734-764-2347
Web Site: www.clements.umich.edu


Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

1958. M-1081.

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open for research.

Copyright:

Copyright status is unknown

Processing Information:

Cataloging funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC). This collection has been processed according to minimal processing procedures and may be revised, expanded, or updated in the future.

Alternate Format:

English versions of this diary have been published.

Provenance:

This volume was part of the Alpheus Felch Historical Library, which Felch bequeathed to the University of Michigan in 1896.

Preferred Citation:

Pedro Font Journal, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan


Biography

Pedro Font, a Franciscan clergyman, emigrated from Catalonia, Spain, to Mexico, before the 1770s. He ran the Native American mission at San José de los Pimas, Mexico, before 1775, when he accompanied Juan Bautista de Anza on his second exploration of California (1775-1776). He set out with de Anza, a group of settlers, and Spanish soldiers from San Miguel de Horcasitas, Mexico, in September 1775, and traveled to San Diego, Monterey, and San Francisco, California, before returning to Mexico in June 1776. He died in 1781.


Collection Scope and Content Note

This journal is an English translation of Father Pedro Font's account of his travels from San Miguel de Horcasitas, Mexico, to San Francisco, California, and back between September 29, 1775, and June 2, 1776. Font traveled with a party under Juan Bautista de Anza, which included settlers bound for Monterey, Spanish soldiers, and other religious figures. This translation was created in "Monterey" on June 15, 1854.

The first 2 pages of the journal concern geography and the creation of a map of Font's travels. The bulk of the volume is comprised of diary entries that Font composed daily during periods of heavy travel and less frequently during stays at various settlements. The group departed San Miguel de Horcasitas on September 29, 1775, and reached San Francisco on March 27, 1776. After a brief rest, they set out on a return journey. They arrived in San Miguel de Horcasitas on June 2, 1776, having left around 200 settlers in Monterey, California.

Font provided the distances he traveled (in leagues), kept notes about interesting occurrences, recorded his approximate latitude and longitude, and described the scenery and settlements along the way. He often discussed the other members of the traveling party, who included soldiers, families, and priests, and commented on the group's encounters with Native Americans and on relationships between various groups of Native Americans. Font occasionally recorded native place names, and sometimes wrote lengthier descriptions for locales such as San Diego, San Francisco, and the "Palace of Montezuma" near Uturituc. The party celebrated fast days and other religious holidays.

The journal has a companion manuscript tracing of a map by Pedro Font, which is located in the library's Map Division. It is titled Mapa Correspondiende al D[ia]rio Que Formo el PF. Pedro Font del Viage Que [hizo] a Monterey y Puerto de San Francisco 7 [del Vi]age Que Hizo el PGarces al Moqui, [1854].

Subject Terms

    Subjects:
    • Anza, Juan Bautista de, 1735-1788.
    • California--Description and travel--Early works to 1800.
    • California--Discovery and exploration--Spanish.
    • Catholic Church--Clergy.
    • Chaplains--California.
    • Franciscans--California.
    • Geographers--California.
    • Immigrants--United States--Early works to 1800.
    • Indians of North America--Southwest, New--History--18th century.
    • Mexico--Description and travel--Early works to 1800.
    • Southwest, New--Description and travel.
    Genre Terms:
    • Diaries.
    • Manuscript maps.
    • Translations.
    Contents List
    Container / Location Title
    Volume   1  
    Pedro Font journal,  1854 [series]
    Additional Descriptive Data

    Additional correspondence and research notes concerning Pedro Font and the journal are available in the Manuscripts Division.

    Alternate Locations

    Font, Pedro. Mapa Correspondiende al D[ia]rio Que Formo el PF. Pedro Font del Viage Que [hizo] a Monterey y Puerto de San Francisco 7 [del Vi]age Que Hizo el PGarces al Moqui. [1854].

    Related Materials

    Font, Pedro, and Irving Berdine Richman. San Francisco Bay and California in 1776: Three Maps, with Outline Sketches Reproduced in Facsimile from the Original Manuscript. Providence, Rhode Island: The John Carter Brown library, 1911.

    Bibliography

    "Pedro Font, Font's Complete Diary (1775-1776/1933)." Reading the Roots: American Nature Writing before Walden. Michael P. Branch, ed. Athens (Ga.): University of Georgia Press, 2004. 161-166.