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word being pronounced precisely as we pronounce California. The origin of the German word it is out of our province to discuss. It is merely mentioned as a curious fact.
Webster thinks that the root of the name is probably the Spanish Cdifa, from the Arabic Khalifah, successor or to succeed, the Caliphs being the acknowledged successors of Mahommed.
The explanation of the origin of the natives of the country, under the head of aborigines, may throw some light on this subject..
Numerous other attempts have been made by writers in Mexico, the United States, and Europe, to explain the origin of this name; but the above are the best and most reasonable of such efforts.
BY WHOM DISCOVERED, AND WHEN.
The territory which at present comprises the great State of California, was first discovered, and partially described, in the year 1542, by Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, a Portuguese by birth, but at the time serving as pilot or navigator, in the Spanish service. He also discovered and named the Farralones islands. Equipped for a voyage of discovery along the then unknown shores of the Pacific, under the auspices of Mendoza, the viceroy of Mexico, Cabrillo sailed from the port of Navidad, Mexico, on the 27th of June, 1542. Keeping within sight of the shore, the greater portion of the distance, he reached as far as latitude 40° 30', and longitude 124° 35', when he encountered the great western headland, which he called Cape Mendoza, in honor of his friend and patron, the viceroy—but now called Cape Mendocino. This fact is almost all that remains on record to prove that Cabrillo was the discoverer of the country. He appears to have returned from the voyage on the 14th of the following April, without making any further discoveries.
It was supposed, for many years, that Sir Francis Drake, the famous English navigator, was the discoverer of California, as well as of the Bay of San Francisco. But, before the light of history, he is stripped of both honors, on the clearest possible testimony. Sir Francis, it is known, reached the Pacific Ocean through the straits of Magellan, on board the Golden Hind, in 1558, thirty-six years after Cabrillo had named Cape Mendocino. He was not aware of this fact; but, thinking he had discovered a new country, took possession of it for "Good Queen Bess," as was the custom in those days. It is clearly settled, that the place where he landed is near Point de los Reyes, latitude 37° 59' 5". Sir Francis marked it on his chart as in latitude 38°. The locality will probably be never known hereafter as Drakes Bay The most conclusive argument that could be advanced, to prove that he did not discover the Bay of San Francisco, is found in the name he gave the country—New Albion. There is nothing about the entrance of this bay, to call up images of the "white cliffs of old England," so dear to the hearts of the mariners of that country. Its beetling rocks, which must have been additionally dark and dreary at the season of the year when the great navigator saw them—neither . green with the verdure of spring, nor russet by the summer's heat; while, near Point de los Reyes, there is sufficient whiteness about the cliffs which skirt the shore to attract attention, and "as it is out of the fullness of the heart the mouth speaketh," the "bold Briton," longing for home, may have pictured to his "mind's eye" some resemblance to "Old Albion." Besides, Drake lay thirty-six days at anchor, which it would have been impossible for so experienced a sailor to have done, had it been in our glorious bay, without being impressed with its great importance as a harbor, on a coast so destitute of such advantages as this; but he makes no allusion to any feature traceable in our bay. He never had the honor of seeing it.
In 1602, General Sebastian Viscayno, under orders from Philip Ill., of Spain, made an exploration of the coast of Upper California, in the course of which he discovered the harbors of San Diego, on the 10th of November. After remaining a few days, he proceeded to the north, and, on December 16th, discovered the bay of Monterey, which he named in honor of Gaspar de Zunniga, Count de Monte Rey, the then Viceroy of Mexico. It was at first called Port of Pines. Viscayno remained eighteen days at Monterey, and was much impressed with the beauty of its surroundings. He also discovered the islands which form the Santa Barbara Channel.
Forbes, in his "History of California," states that Viscayno, on this voyage, discovered the bay of San Francisco—a statement which is not supported by any other authority. It is possible that Forbes may have misinterpreted a passage from the diary of the voyage, which states that "in twelve days after leaving Monterey, a favorable wind carried the ship past the port of San Francisco, but she afterwards put back into the port of Francisco." As the diary further states that "she anchored, January 7th, 1603, behind a point of land called Punta de los Reyes, (which was named by Viscayno), where there was a wreck." There is no room to doubt that it was not inside the bay of San Francisco, which there is no proof that Viscayno ever saw. In 1595, Sebastian Cermenon, while on a voyage from Manilla to Acapulco, was wrecked near Punta de los Reyes. This was the wreck alluded to.
There is a work extant, written by Cabrera Bueno and published in Spain, in 1734, which contains instructions to navigators for reaching the "Punta los Reyes, and entering the port of San Francisco," which some authors consider the present bay; but the wreck of Cermenon's vessel near that point, and Viscayno's putting into that port, is tolerable evidence that it was not the harbor of San Francisco which is here alluded to. There was also a map published in Europe, in 1545, three years after Cabrillo's voyage, in which a San Francisco bay is named, as well as the Farralones, which some authors consider a proof that it was "the Bay." As it was Cabrillo who named these islands, after Farralo, his pilot, and it is known that he did not enter "the Bay," it is clear that there must have been another San Francisco harbor, which is not that known by that name at present.
It may be stated, as a proof that there was another port of San Francisco, besides the present bay, that, in 1812, Baranof, chief agent of the Russian-American Company, asked permission from the Governor of California, to erect a few houses and leave a few men at Bodega Bay, a "little north of the port of San Francisco." San Francisco Bay had been visited before that time, by the Russians, and was known to be nearly sixty miles south-east from Bodega, which place is only "a little north" of Punta de los Reyes, where the Spanish port of San Francisco is located, and where Viscayno anchored.
As further proof that there was such a harbor, we refer to the fact that Governor Portals, when his party first discovered the great bay, called it San Francisco, under the impression that it was the harbor of that name, north of Punta de los Reyes, which had long been known to the Spanish navigators on the coast, as is proven by the above extracts.
From 1610 to 1660, upwards of twenty attempts were made to explore and take possession of the country, under a vague, irresistible impression that it contained not alone large deposits of gold, silver, and pearls, but diamonds and other precious stones.
But little, however, is known of the country from the date of Viscayno's discoveries, till 1767, or one hundred and sixty-four years afterwards; when the Jesuit missionaries, being expelled from Lower California by order of Charles III of Spain, their missions and property were granted to the Fathers of the Order of St. Francis. These enthusiastic propagandists, acting under instructions from the Marquis de Croix, then Viceroy of Mexico, made arrangements for extending their labors into the upper territory. To carry this object into effect, Father Junipero Serra, a very energetic and zealous member of the order, was, in 1768, appointed President of all the Missions to be established in Upper California. This holy man, who was the real founder of civilization in the territory now owned by the State, in company with sixteen monks from the convent of San Fernando, in the City of Mexico, proceeded to carry out the objects of the Viceroy, which were to establish missions at Monterey, San Diego, and San Buenaventura. Expeditions were at once arranged to take possession of the country, both by sea and land; the ships to be used to carryall the heavy materials and supplies, and the land party to drive the flocks and herds. The first vessel, the San Carlos, in command of Don Vicente Vidal left Cape St. Lucas (Lower California) on .the 9th of January, 1769, bound for San Diego, and was followed by the San Antonio, commanded by Don Juan Perez, on the 15th of January. A third vessel, the San Jose, was dispatched from Loretto, on the 16th of June.
The sufferings of the "pioneers" on board these vessels afford a striking contrast to the security, comfort and rapidity enjoyed by the voyagers to and from California in the present day. The San Carlos arrived at San Diego on the 1st of May, with the loss of all her crew— except the officers, cook, and one sailor—through scurvy, thirst, and starvation. The San Antonio arrived on April 11th, with the loss of eight of her crew by scurvy. The San Jose was never heard of after leaving Loretto.
The land expedition was formed into two divisions. Don Gaspar de Portala, who had been appointed Military Governor of the new territory by Don Jose' de Galvaez, the special agent of the King of Spain, appointed Captain Rivera y Moncado to take charge of the first; the Governor himself taking charge of the second. Rivera and his party, consisting of Father Crespo, twenty-five soldiers, six muleteers, and a party of Indians from Lower California, started from Villacats on the 24th of March, 1768, and arrived at San Diego on the 14th of May. This was the first white settlement in Upper California.
Father Bogart, a German Jesuit, who lived for many years in Lower California, on the expulsion of his Order from that territory, returned to Manheim, his native place, where, in 1773, he published an "Historical Sketch of the American Peninsula of California," in which he states that no white man had ever lived in Upper California until the year 1769.
The second division, accompanied by Father Junipero, started from Villacata on the 15th of May, and arrived at San Diego July 1st The worthy father organized the mission on the 16th of July; and the first native Californian was baptized on the 26th of December.
On the 14th of July, Governor Portala, accompanied by Fathers Juan Crespi and Francisco Gomez, and fifty-six white persons, including Captain Rivera, a sergeant, and thirty-three soldiers, Don Miguel Constanzo, engineer, a party of emigrants from Sonora, and a number of Indians from Lower California, started out to find Monterey, for the purpose of founding the mission there. By some means or other, they did not find the bay of Monterey; but, continuing their wanderings to the north, they, on the 25th of October, 1769, discovered the gem of the Pacific—the bay of San Francisco, one of the finest harbors in the world, so securely land-locked and sheltered that none of the keen explorers who had been within a few miles of it, had succeeded in discovering its entrance. Having given the bay the name of San Francisco—the titular saint of the missionaries—the party returned to San Diego, which they reached on the 24th of January, 1770, after an absence of six months and ten days.
Some writers credit Father Junipero Serra with the discovery of this beautiful bay; but there are no good reasons for believing that he ever saw it for nearly six years after its discovery. His name is not included in the list of those who accompanied Governor Portala, whose party made the discovery. On the contrary, it is distinctly stated by Father Palou, the chronicler of the missions, that "Father Junipero, with two other missionaries and eight soldiers, remained behind at San Diego."
It was discovered soon after their return, that the provisions on hand were only sufficient for a few weeks, with little prospect of relief, unless a vessel, then several months overdue, should make her appearance. It was decided that, if she did not arrive before the 20th of March, the party would return to the missions in the lower territory, and abandon the upper one. The arrangements were completed for this purpose when, on the 20th, the San Antonio made her appearance, or California would have been abandoned, and the most important events in her history would never have been written.
Scarcely any importance appears to have been attached to the discovery of the grand bay in which the ships of all nations have since found wealth and safety. It was upwards of six years before any attempt was made to found a mission on its shores.