Juan Bautista de Anza

On January 8, 1774, a Spanish government expedition led by Juan Bautista de Anza departed to explore the territory of the Spanish empire in Arizona, New Mexico, and California.  Anza was searching for a route between Sonora and Alta California, to begin colonizing this territory.  The expedition departed from southern Arizona near the area that is now the city of Tucson, and reached its destination at the Spanish Royal Presidio of San Carlos in Monterey, California in May of that year. This was a small expedition of about 35 men, including 20 soldiers.  The route paralleled the modern border between California and Mexico, crossing the Colorado River.  Later in 1775, Anza led an expedition of 240 men, women and children to found San Francisco, California.

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