Juan de Ayala

Juan Manuel de Ayala y Aranza (28 December 1745 – 30 December 1797) was a Spanish naval officer who played a significant role in the European exploration of California, since he and the crew of his ship the San Carlos are the first Europeans known to have entered the San Francisco Bay.


Ayala was born in Osuna, Andalucía. He entered the Spanish navy on the 19 September 1760, and rose to achieve the rank of captain by 1782. He retired (on full pay on account of his achievements in California) on March 14, 1785.

In the early 1770s, the Spanish royal authorities ordered an exploration of the north coast of California, "to Ascertain if there were any Russian Settlements on the Coast of California, and to Examine the Port of San Francisco". Don Fernando Rivera y Moncada had already marked the point for a mission in what is now San Francisco, and a land expedition to establish Spanish rule over the area, under Juan Bautista de Anza had been sent northwards. Ayala, then a Lieutenant was one of those assigned to the naval expedition. He arrived in Vera Cruz in August, 1774 and proceeded to Mexico City to receive orders from the Viceroy, Frey Don Antonio María de Bucareli y Ursua.

Bucareli sent him to San Blas where he took command of the schooner Sonora, part of a squadron under the general command of Don Bruno de Heceta, in the frigate Santiago. The squadron sailed from San Blas early in 1775. However, when they were lying outside San Blas about to set out, the commander of the packet boat San Carlos, Don Miguel Manrique, was taken ill - some sources say that he went mad. Ayala was ordered to take command of this larger vessel, sailed back to San Blas to land the unfortunate Manrique, and rejoined the squadron after a few days' sailing. Ayala was designated to pass through the strait and explore what lay within, while the Santiago and Sonora continued northwards.[1]

The San Carlos took on supplies at Monterey, leaving there on 26 July and then proceeding northwards. Ayala passed through the Golden Gate on 5 August 1775, with some difficulty and great caution because of the tides. He tried a number of anchorages, finding that off Angel Island most satisfactory, but failed to make contact, as he had hoped, with Anza's party. Ayala put up a wooden cross where he landed the first night. The San Carlos remained in the Bay until 18 September, returning to San Blas via Monterey. Ayala's subsequent report to the Viceroy gave a full account of the geography of the bay, and stressed its advantages as a harbour (chiefly the absence of "those troublesome fogs which we had daily in Monterey, because the fogs here hardly reach the entrance of the port, and once inside the harbor, the weather is very clear") and the friendliness of the local Native American people.

On August 12, 1775, Ayala gave the name Isla de Alcatraces, "island of the pelicans", and what is now Yerba Buena Island, "on account of the abundance of those birds that were on it". The name was transferred in 1826 to Alcatraz Island.[2] The word "Alcatraz" comes from Spanish, which in turn was a probably a loan word from Arabic, القطرس al-qaṭrās meaning "sea eagle".[3] The pelicans native to San Francisco Bay are brown pelicans.


  1. ^ Tovell, Freeman M. (2008). At the Far Reaches of Empire: The Life of Juan Francisco De La Bodega Y Quadra. University of British Columbia Press. pp. 15–19. ISBN 978-0-7748-1367-9.
  2. ^ Gudde, Erwin G. (2004). California Place Names: The Origin and Etymology of Current Geographical Names. University of California Press. p. 7. ISBN 978-0-520-24217-3. Retrieved 20 October 2012.
  3. ^ "alcatras, n." OED Online. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 20 October 2012.

External links

1745 in science

The year 1745 in science and technology involved some significant events.

Alcatraz Island Lighthouse

Alcatraz Island Lighthouse is a lighthouse – the first one built on the U.S. West Coast – located on Alcatraz Island in California's San Francisco Bay. It is located at the southern end of the island near the entrance to the prison. The first light house on the island was completed in 1854, and served the bay during its time as a Citadel and military prison. It was replaced by a taller (95 feet (29 m) above mean sea level) concrete tower built in 1909 to the south of the original one which was demolished after it was damaged due to earthquake in 1906. The automation of the lighthouse with a modern beacon took place in 1963, the year Alcatraz closed as the Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary. It is the oldest light station on the island with a modern beacon and is part of the museum on the island. Although when viewed from afar it easily looks the tallest structure on Alcatraz, it is actually shorter than the Alcatraz Water Tower, but as it lies on higher ground it looks much taller.

Antonio de Benavides

Antonio Benavides Bazán y Molina (December 8, 1678 – January 9, 1762) was a Lieutenant General in the Spanish Army who held administrative positions in the Americas as Royal Governor of Spanish Florida (1718–1734), Governor of Veracruz (1734–1745), Governor and Captain General of Yucatán province (1745 – 1750), as well as Governor of Manila in the Philippines (September 1750 – ?). Before his successive appointments to these various positions, he served with distinction in several campaigns of the War of the Spanish Succession in 1710, and perhaps saved the life of Philip V, the first Bourbon King of Spain, at Guadalajara.

During his term of office in Florida, Benavides jailed Juan de Ayala y Escobar, the previous governor, for dealing in contraband, and repelled several attempts by the English to invade Florida by land and sea. He secured the friendship of the neighboring Indian groups who had previously been inimical to the Spaniards, a state of affairs that continued without interruption while he governed the province. He defended the rights of the indigenous people and established the first black militia unit in Florida to defend St. Augustine, the capital of the province, from British attacks. Over the course of his various administrative appointments, Benavides apparently donated most of his income to the poor people of Florida, Yucatan, Veracruz and Santa Cruz de Tenerife in the Canary Islands.

Ayala (surname)

Ayala (Basque: Aiara) is a toponymic surname, originally de Ayala (of Ayala), deriving from the town of Ayala/Aiara in the province of Álava, in the Basque Country, northern Spain.

Coyote Creek (Marin County)

Coyote Creek is a stream in the Richardson Bay watershed, draining Tamalpais-Homestead Valley, California (Tam Valley) eastward into Richardson Bay, Marin County, California, United States. The stream originates on Coyote Ridge and flows 2.5 miles (4.0 km) to the bay at the south end of Bothin Marsh.

Cusco School

The Cusco School (Escuela Cuzqueña) or Cuzco School, was a Roman Catholic artistic tradition based in Cusco, Peru (the former capital of the Inca Empire) during the Colonial period, in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. It was not limited to Cuzco only, but spread to other cities in the Andes, as well as to present day Ecuador and Bolivia.There are high amount of Cusco School's paintings preserved, currently most of them are located at Cusco, but also currently there are in the rest of Peru and in museums of Brazil, England and United States.

De Ayala

de Ayala may refer to:

Adelardo López de Ayala y Herrera (1828–1879), Spanish writer and politician

Jaime Zobel de Ayala (born 1934), prominent Filipino businessman and photographer

Juan de Ayala (1745–1797), Spanish naval officer

Pero López de Ayala (1332–1407), Castilian statesman, historian, poet, chronicler, chancellor, and courtier

Pedro de Ayala (d. January 1513), Spanish diplomat

Pilar López de Ayala (born 1978), Spanish film actress

Ramón Pérez de Ayala (circa 1880–1962), Spanish writer

Francisco de Córcoles y Martínez

Francisco de Córcoles y Martínez (early 18th century) was a Spanish military officer who served as governor of Spanish Florida, an office he occupied from 1706 to 1716.

Golden Gate

The Golden Gate is a strait on the west coast of North America that connects San Francisco Bay to the Pacific Ocean. It is defined by the headlands of the San Francisco Peninsula and the Marin Peninsula, and, since 1937, has been spanned by the Golden Gate Bridge. The entire shoreline and adjacent waters throughout the strait are managed by the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

Hernán Venegas Carrillo

Hernán Venegas Carrillo Manosalvas (c.1513 – 2 February 1583) was a Spanish conquistadorfor who participated in the Spanish conquest of the Muisca and Panche people in the New Kingdom of Granada, present-day Colombia. Venegas Carrillo was mayor of Santa Fe de Bogotá for two terms; in 1542 and from 1543 to 1544.

Imperial Violets (1952 film)

Imperial Violets (French: Violettes impériales, Spanish: Violetas imperiales) is a 1952 French-Spanish historical musical film directed by Richard Pottier and starring Luis Mariano, Carmen Sevilla and Simone Valère. It is an operetta film, based on the 1948 stage work of the same title. The film's sets were designed by Léon Barsacq and the costumes by Marcel Escoffier and Jean Zay.

It was second most popular film released in France in 1952, attracting an audience of more than eight million.

José de Zúñiga y la Cerda

José de Zúñiga y la Cerda (1654–1725) was a Spanish nobleman, field marshal and governor of Spanish Florida (1699–1706) and Cartagena de Indias in present-day Colombia (1712–18).

Juan de Ayala y Escobar

Juan Francisco Buenaventura de Ayala Escobar (1635 – May 28, 1727) was a prominent Spanish soldier and administrator who governed Spanish Florida from October 30, 1716, to August 3, 1718. The succeeding governor, Antonio de Benavides, a zealous reformer, accused Ayala of trading in contraband with the English, and had him arrested and briefly jailed in the Castillo de San Marcos of St. Augustine. He was eventually exiled to Cuba, where he died in 1727, before he was exonerated and all charges dropped in 1731.

List of colonial governors of Florida

The colonial governors of Florida governed Florida during its colonial period (before 1821). The first European known to arrive there was Juan Ponce de León in 1513, but the governorship did not begin until 1565, when Pedro Menéndez de Avilés founded St. Augustine and was declared Governor and Adelantado of Florida. This district was subordinated to the Viceroyalty of New Spain. In 1763, following the transfer of Florida to Britain, the territory was divided into West Florida and East Florida, with separate governors. This division was maintained when Spain resumed control of Florida in 1783, and continued as provincial divisions with the Spanish Constitution of 1812. The Spanish transferred control of Florida to the United States in 1821, and the organized, incorporated Florida Territory was established on March 30, 1822. This became the modern State of Florida on March 3, 1845.


Osuna (Spanish pronunciation: [oˈsuna]) is a town and municipality in the province of Seville, southern Spain, in the autonomous community of Andalusia. As of 2009, it has a population of c. 17,800. It is the location of the Andalusian Social Economy School.

Among famous people associated with Osuna is Juan de Ayala, the commander of the first European ship to enter the San Francisco Bay in California.

The battle of Munda, the last battle won by Julius Caesar in person, was probably fought outside Osuna, halfway to Écija near La Lantejuela.

Pedro de Olivera y Fullana

Pedro de Olivera y Fullana, was the governor and captain general of Spanish Florida from July 13 to October 30, 1716. He died at the provincial capital, St. Augustine, just over three months into his term of office.

Quito School

The Quito School (Escuela Quiteña) is a Latin American artistic tradition that constitutes essentially the whole of the professional artistic output developed in the territory of the Royal Audience of Quito — from Pasto and Popayán in the north to Piura and Cajamarca in the south — during the Spanish colonial period (1542-1824). It is especially associated with the 17th and 18th centuries and was almost exclusively focused on the religious art of the Catholic Church in the country. Characterized by a mastery of the realistic and by the degree to which indigenous beliefs and artistic traditions are evident, these productions were among of the most important activities in the economy of the Royal Audience of Quito. Such was the prestige of the movement even in Europe that it was said that King Carlos III of Spain (1716–1788), referring to one of its sculptors in particular, opined: "I am not concerned that Italy has Michelangelo; in my colonies of America I have the master Caspicara".

Sebastiano Serlio

Sebastiano Serlio (6 September 1475 – c. 1554) was an Italian Mannerist architect, who was part of the Italian team building the Palace of Fontainebleau. Serlio helped canonize the classical orders of architecture in his influential treatise variously known as I sette libri dell'architettura ("Seven Books of Architecture") or Tutte l'opere d'architettura et prospetiva ("All the works on architecture and perspective").

Vicente de Santa Maria

Father Vicente de Santa María (1742 – July 16, 1806) was a Spanish Franciscan priest who accompanied explorer Juan de Ayala on the first Spanish naval entry aboard the San Carlos into the San Francisco Bay. Born in the village of Aras in Navarre Province, Spain, Santa Maria moved to Mexico City to attend the Colegio de San Fernando seminary in 1769. Santa Maria wrote detailed first-hand accounts of the journey of the San Carlos and of the indigenous inhabitants of the San Francisco Bay Area prior to Spanish colonization. He later served at Mission San Francisco de Asis in San Francisco and Mission San Buenaventura in Ventura, California, where he died in 1806.

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.