Looking Into San Francisco Bay From The Northern Extremity Of The Peninsula

Divided Back
3.5" x 5.5" (9 x 14 cm)
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Capt. Gaspar De Portola became Governor of the Californias (Lower and Upper) in 1768. Spain, having determined to check the Southward encroachment of the Russians (who had been steadily advancing since the beginning of their Alaskan explorations in 1741), and to hold Upper California under Spanish dominion, instructed Don, Jose de Calvez, Visitador General of New Spain, to send a force to fortify and hold San Diego and Monterey. Governor Portola and Capt. Fernando J. de Rivera, Lieut, Pedro Fages, Father Junipero Serra with other priests a military force, artisans, etc., arrived on foot at San Diego, and on July 16, 1769, the first mission in Upper California was established. On July 14, 1769, Gov. Portola commanding a force of 64, left San Diego on foot for Monterey Bay, but such was inaccuracy of the maps and charts, that the bay was passed and not recognized. Discovery of San Francisco Bay. - While encamped near Mussel Point, two important events occurred. Sergeant Jose Francisco Ortega, with a few men was dispatched by Gov. Portola towards Point Reyes to continue the search for Monterey Bay, and while en route, was the first white man to explore the Peninsula upon which now stands the great city of San Francisco. At this same time a few of Gov. Portola's men, while hunting, traversed the hills northeast of the camp, and on Nov. 2, 1769, beheld a "Great inland sea" in the distance. This was the first time that European eyes gazed upon the Bay of San Francisco, within the Golden Gate. Further search failed to locate their objective point, so a council was held, and against the inclinations of Portola, the expedition returned to San Diego, again passing Monterey Bay, where a cross was erected. A second expedition was formed, upon the advice of Father Serra, who had remained at San Diego, and, led by Gov. Portola, started on foot, April 17, 1770, after the supply ship "San Antonio" had arrived with further orders from Galvez. On May 24th the party again reached Monterey Bay, and Portola became convinced that before him lay the famous bay discovered by Vizcaino in 1602. A week later the "San Antonio" arrived with Father Serra, and on June 3rd, 1770, possession of the region was taken for King Carlos III. Gaspar de Portola, in 1779, became Governor of Puebla, Mexico.

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