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Chapter Ten— Of the Arrival of Don Gaspar Portolá and the Departure of the Jesuits from California

47 On February 27, 1767, King Charles III of Spain signed an order to expel the members of the Society of Jesus from every domain of the Spanish Crown. To allow sufficient time for the royal decree to reach all representatives of the Spanish government, it was kept secret until June 25, 1767. On that day the order was put into effect, simultaneously and immediately, in every part of the Spanish Empire. The same fate had struck at the Jesuits in Portugal, which had decreed their expulsion in September, 1759, and in France, in November, 1764. [BACK]

48 Don Gaspar de Portolá born in Balaguer, Spain, in 1723; joined the army in his early youth and became a lieutenant when he was thirty. After twenty years of active service with the Spanish army he went to Mexico and was sent to the frontier presidios of Sinaloa and Sonora. In 1767 he was appointed to direct the expulsion of the Jesuits in California, and to become the first Spanish governor of the territory. In 1769 the Visitor General of New Spain, Don José de Gálvez, ordered Portolá to proceed north, into Alta, California to establish two presidios, one at San Diego, the other on Monterey Bay. Portolá's diary of that expedition, and other contemporary accounts of it are to be found in the Publications of the Academy of Pacific Coast History (Vol. I, 1910, and Vol. II, 1911). In 1779 Portolá became governor of the State of Puebla, Mexico. Five years later he returned to Spain. [BACK]

49 San Juan de Matanchel, a port on the west coast of Mexico, about a mile south of the present San Blas. [BACK]

50 Captain Fernando Rivera v Moncada came to Loreto sometime before 1750. In that year he succeeded Don Bernardo Rodríguez de Larrea as captaingovernor of the presidio of Loreto. When Portolá organized the expedition into Upper California, Captain Rivera was sent ahead with a group of men and charged with collecting supplies for the expedition. For a time he was commander of the presidio of Monterey, but later returned to Loreto. In 1781, the rebellious Yuma Indians destroyed two Franciscan missions on the Colorado River, killing the priests and soldiers, as well as colonists who had stopped to rest there on the way from Sonora to California. Captain Rivera, who had led these colonists, lost his life in the same massacre. [BACK]

51 Father Franz Benno Ducrue, S.J., born in Munich, Germany, on June 10, 1721; entered the Society of Jesus on September 28, 1738, and sent to Lower California in 1748. After the expulsion he returned to his native city, and died there on March 30, 1779. [BACK]

52 Father Juan José Díaz, S.J. (also spelled Díez), born in Mexico, in 1735; sent to Lower California in 1766, one of the last Jesuit missionaries to be sent there. At the time of the expulsion he was serving the newly established Mission Santa María. He died in 1809. [BACK]


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