Juan Manuel de Ayala y Aranza (28 December 1745 – 30 December 1797) was a Spanish naval officer who played a significant role in the European exploration of California, since he and the crew of his ship the San Carlos are the first Europeans known to have entered the San Francisco Bay. Having sailed from the Port of San Blas Nayarit Mexico.
Ayala was born in Osuna, Andalucía. He entered the Spanish navy on the 19 September 1760, and rose to achieve the rank of captain by 1782. He retired (on full pay on account of his achievements in California) on March 14, 1785.
In the early 1770s, the Spanish royal authorities ordered an exploration of the north coast of California, "to Ascertain if there were any Russian Settlements on the Coast of California, and to Examine the Port of San Francisco". Don Fernando Rivera y Moncada had already marked the point for a mission in what is now San Francisco, and a land expedition to establish Spanish rule over the area, under Juan Bautista de Anza had been sent northwards. Ayala, then a Lieutenant was one of those assigned to the naval expedition. He arrived in Vera Cruz in August, 1774 and proceeded to Mexico City to receive orders from the Viceroy, Frey Don Antonio María de Bucareli y Ursua.
Bucareli sent him to San Blas where he took command of the schooner Sonora, part of a squadron under the general command of Don Bruno de Heceta, in the frigate Santiago. The squadron sailed from San Blas early in 1775. However, when they were lying outside San Blas about to set out, the commander of the packet ship San Carlos , Don Miguel Manrique, was taken ill - some sources say that he went mad. Ayala was ordered to take command of this larger vessel, sailed back to San Blas to land the unfortunate Manrique, and rejoined the squadron after a few days' sailing. Ayala was designated to pass through the strait and explore what lay within, while the Santiago and Sonora continued northwards.
The San Carlos took on supplies at Monterey, leaving there on 26 July and then proceeding northwards. Ayala passed through the Golden Gate on 5 August 1775, with some difficulty and great caution because of the tides. He tried a number of anchorages, finding that off Angel Island most satisfactory, but failed to make contact, as he had hoped, with Anza's party. Ayala put up a wooden cross where he landed the first night. The San Carlos remained in the Bay until 18 September, returning to San Blas via Monterey. Ayala's subsequent report to the Viceroy gave a full account of the geography of the bay, and stressed its advantages as a harbour (chiefly the absence of "those troublesome fogs which we had daily in Monterey, because the fogs here hardly reach the entrance of the port, and once inside the harbor, the weather is very clear") and the friendliness of the local Native American people.
On August 12, 1775, Ayala gave the name Isla de Alcatraces, "island of the pelicans", and what is now Yerba Buena Island, "on account of the abundance of those birds that were on it". The name was transferred in 1826 to Alcatraz Island.The word "Alcatraz" comes from Spanish, which in turn was a probably a loan word from Arabic, القطرس al-qaṭrās meaning "sea eagle". The pelicans native to San Francisco Bay are brown pelicans.
Juan Bautista de Anza was born in the Spanish province of New Navarre in Viceroyalty of New Spain. Of Basque descent, he served as an expeditionary leader, military officer, and politician primarily in California and New Mexico under the Spanish Empire. He is credited as one of the founding fathers of Spanish California and served as an official within New Spain as Governor of the Province of New Mexico.
Pedro Fages was a Spanish soldier, explorer, first Lieutenant Governor of the Californias under Gaspar de Portolá. Fages claimed the governorship after Portolá's death, acting as governor in opposition to the official governor Felipe de Barri, and later served officially as fifth (1782–91) Governor of Alta California.
Juan Francisco de la Bodega y Quadra was a Spanish naval officer born in Lima, Peru. Assigned to the Pacific coast Spanish Naval Department base at San Blas, in the Viceroyalty of New Spain, this navigator explored the Northwest Coast of North America as far north as present day Alaska.
The Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail is a 1,210-mile (1,950 km) National Park Service unit in the United States National Historic Trail and National Millennium Trail programs. The trail route extends from Nogales on the U.S.-Mexico border in Arizona, through the California desert and coastal areas in Southern California and the Central Coast region to San Francisco.
The Portolà expedition was a Spanish voyage of exploration in 1769–1770 that was the first recorded European land entry and exploration of the interior of the present-day U.S. state of California. It was led by Gaspar de Portolà, governor of Las Californias, the Spanish colonial province that included California, Baja California, and other parts of present-day Mexico and the United States. The expedition led to the founding of Alta California and contributed to the solidification of Spanish territorial claims in the disputed and unexplored regions along the Pacific coast of North America.
Antonio María de Bucareli y Ursúa was a Spanish military officer, governor of Cuba, and Viceroy of New Spain (1771–1779) during the time of Spanish colonization of California. He was Knight of Justice of the Order of Malta.
Juan José Pérez Hernández, often simply Juan Pérez, was an 18th-century Spanish explorer. He was the first known European to sight, examine, name, and record the islands near present-day British Columbia, Canada. Born in Palma de Mallorca, Spain, he first served as a piloto in western Spanish colonial North America on Manila galleons en route to and from the Philippines in the Spanish East Indies. In 1768, he was assigned to the Pacific port of San Blas, in the Viceroyalty of New Spain, and acquired the rank of ensign (alférez).
Bruno de Heceta (Hezeta) y Dudagoitia (1743–1807) was a Spanish Basque explorer of the Pacific Northwest. Born in Bilbao of an old Basque family, he was sent by the Viceroy of New Spain, Antonio María Bucareli y Ursúa, to explore the area north of Alta California in response to information that there were colonial Russian settlements there.
Felipe de Neve y Padilla was a Spanish soldier who served as the 4th Governor of the Californias, from 1777 to 1782. Neve is considered one of the founders of Los Angeles and was instrumental in the foundation of San Jose and Santa Barbara.
San Blas is both a municipality and municipal seat located on the Pacific coast of Mexico in Nayarit.
Spanish expeditions to the Pacific Northwest were undertaken several times during the Age of Exploration. Spanish claims to the Pacific Northwest date to the papal bull of 1493, and the Treaty of Tordesillas signed in 1494. In 1513, this claim was reinforced by Spanish explorer Vasco Núñez de Balboa, the first European to sight the Pacific Ocean, when he claimed all lands adjoining this ocean for the Spanish Crown. Spain only started to colonize the claimed territory north of present-day Mexico in the 18th century, when it settled the northern coast of Las Californias.
The Free Company of Volunteers of Catalonia was a military company of the Spanish Army serving in the Spanish colonial empire.
Pedro de Alberní y Teixidor, known in Catalan as Pere d'Alberní i Teixidor was a Spanish soldier who served the Spanish Crown for almost all his life. He spent most of his military career in colonial Mexico. He is notable for his role in the exploration of the Pacific Northwest in the 1790s, and his later term as ninth Spanish governor of Alta California in 1800.
Arizpe is a small town in Arizpe Municipality in the north of the Mexican state of Sonora. It is located at 30°20'"N 110°09'"W. The area of the municipality is 2,806.78 sq.km. The population in 2005 was 2,959 of which 1,743 lived in the municipal seat as of the 2000 census.
Juan Carrasco was a Spanish naval officer, explorer, and navigator. He is remembered mainly for his work in the Pacific Northwest during the late 18th century. He was second in command of the 1791 voyage of José María Narváez, the first European exploration of the Strait of Georgia.
Francisco Antonio Mourelle de la Rúa was a Spanish naval officer and explorer from Galicia serving the Spanish crown. He was born in 1750 at San Adrián de Corme, near A Coruña, Galicia.
La Princesa was a Spanish frigate or corvette built at the Spanish Navy base at San Blas and launched in 1778. She is sometimes called a frigate and sometimes a corvette. At the time a corvette was similar to a frigate in that both were three-masted, ship-rigged warships, but corvettes were slightly smaller and had a single deck instead of two. The exact specifications of La Princesa are not known. La Princesa was designed with storage enough to sail for a year without having to restock. She was built for durability rather than speed. Like La Favorita, a similar corvette stationed at San Blas, La Princesa was heavily used, serving for over three decades, playing an important role in the exploration of the Pacific Northwest as well as the routine work of provisioning the missions of Alta California. During her 1779 voyage the Princesa carried six four-pounder cannons and four three-pounders, and had a crew complement of 98. The Princesa carried 26 cannons in 1789 when Esteban José Martínez took control of Nootka Sound.
Ignacio de Arteaga y Bazán was an officer of the Spanish Navy.
Miguel Costansó (1741–1814), original name Miquel Constançó, was a Catalan engineer, cartographer and cosmographer. He joined the expedition of exploration of Alta California led by Gaspar de Portolá and Junípero Serra, serving aboard ship as cartographer and on land as engineer.
North West America was a British merchant ship that sailed on maritime fur trading ventures in the late 1780s. It was the first non-indigenous vessel built in the Pacific Northwest. In 1789 it was captured at Nootka Sound by Esteban José Martínez of Spain during the Nootka Crisis, after which it became part of the Spanish Navy and was renamed Santa Gertrudis la Magna and later Santa Saturnina.