AHC Scholar Garate Presents deAnza
Arizona Humanities Scholar and Chautauquan Don Garate, Chief of Interpretation/
Historian at Tumacácori National Historical Park, will appear at the Copper Queen
Library on January 31 at 6:30pm to present a "first person living history” of
Spanish soldier, explorer and colonizer Juan Bautista de Anza (1736-1788) as part
of the library’s Centennial Celebration of its own history and the history of Arizona.
Juan Bautista de Anza was a Basque born in Cuquiárachi, Sonora, Mexico in 1736.
His father, who had the same name, was born in Hernani, Gipuzkua, Euskadi in
1693 and came to New Spain in 1712. He eventually became the Captain of the
Presidio of Fronteras, twenty miles south of Douglas, Arizona, in Sonora, Mexico.
Apaches killed him when Juan Bautista, Jr. was only three years old.
Growing up in Sonora (and what is today Arizona), young Juan was involved early
in Apache attacks and uprisings by other Indian groups. He joined the frontier
military at age fifteen and eventually became the captain of Tubac Presidio, which
is today in southern Arizona. Serving there for seventeen years, he was wounded
twice by Apaches and twice by Seri Indians.
In 1774, he led a group of soldiers in an exploratory expedition to find a route
from Sonora to California. Having success in that endeavor, he led some three
hundred settlers, soldiers, and workers to California the following year to
establish a colony on the San Francisco Bay. The expedition lasted a year,
starting with recruiting people in Culiacán, Sinaloa, Mexico in March 1775, and
culminating with their arrival in the Bay Area in March of 1776.
After his presentation, Garate will answer questions from a scholar’s perspective,
providing insight and context that the real character could not possibly know.
The presentation is free and open to the public. For further information, contact
the Library at 432-4232.