Spanish expeditions to the Pacific Northwest

Spanish claims to the West Coast of North America date to the papal bull of 1493, and the Treaty of Tordesillas. In 1513, this claim was reinforced by Spanish explorer Vasco Núñez de Balboa, the first European to sight the Pacific Ocean, when he claimed all lands adjoining this ocean for the Spanish Crown. Spain only started to colonize the claimed territory north of present-day Mexico in the 18th century, when it settled the northern coast of Las Californias (California).

Starting in the mid-18th century, Spain's claim began to be challenged in the form of British and Russian fur trading and colonization. King Charles III of Spain and his successors sent a number of expeditions from New Spain to present-day Canada and Alaska between 1774 and 1793, to counter the threat of Russian and British colonizers and to strengthen the Spanish claim. During this period of history it was important for a nation's claims to be backed up by exploration and the "first European discovery" of particular places.

Juan Francisco de la Bodega y Quadra
Capitán de Navío Juan Francisco de la Bodega y Quadra, circa 1785.

1774 voyage of Pérez

The first voyage was that of Juan José Pérez Hernández of the frigate Santiago (alias Nueva Galicia[1][2]). Although intending to reach Alaska, the expedition turned back at Haida Gwaii. Pérez and his crew of 86 were the first known Europeans to visit the Pacific Northwest.

1775 voyage of Heceta and Bodega y Quadra

In 1775 a second voyage of ninety men led by Lieutenant Bruno de Heceta aboard the Santiago, set sail from San Blas, Nayarit on March 16, 1775 with orders to make clear Spanish claims for the entire Northwestern Pacific Coast. Accompanying Heceta was the schooner Sonora, alias Felicidad,[1][2] (also known as the Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe), initially under the command of Juan Manuel de Ayala. The 36-foot (11 m) long[3] Sonora and its crew complement of 16 were to perform coastal reconnaissance and mapping, and could make landfall in places the larger Santiago was unable to approach on its previous voyage; in this way, the expedition could officially reassert Spanish claims to the lands north of New Spain it visited. Ayala took command of the packet boat San Carlos, alias Toysón de Oro,[1] also sailing with the expedition, after its initial commander, Miguel Manrique, took ill soon after leaving San Blas. Heceta then gave Bodega y Quadra command of the Sonora. Francisco Antonio Mourelle served as Bodega y Quadra's pilot and the two forged a strong and enduring friendship.

The three vessels sailed together as far as Monterey Bay in Alta California. Ayala's mission was to explore the Golden Gate strait while Heceta and Bodega y Quadra continued north. Ayala and the crew of the San Carlos became the first Europeans known to enter San Francisco Bay. The Santiago and Sonora continued sailing north together as far as Point Grenville, named Punta de los Martires (or "Point of the Martyrs") by Heceta in response to an attack by the local Quinault Indians. The vessels parted company on the evening of July 29, 1775. Scurvy had so weakened the crew of the Santiago that Heceta decided to return to San Blas. On the way south he discovered the mouth of the Columbia River between present day Oregon and Washington. Juan Pérez, who was serving as Heceta's pilot, died during the voyage south.

Bodega y Quadra, in the Sonora, moved up the coast according to the expedition's orders, ultimately reaching the latitude 59° north on August 15, and entering Sitka Sound near the present-day town of Sitka, Alaska. During the return voyage south Bodega y Quadra discovered, named, and explored a portion of Bucareli Bay on the west side of Prince of Wales Island.

During Bodega y Quadra's voyage numerous "acts of sovereignty" were performed. Many place names were given, including Puerto de Bucareli (Bucareli Bay), Puerto de los Remedios, and Mount San Jacinto, renamed Mount Edgecumbe by British explorer James Cook three years later.

1779 voyage of Arteaga and Bodega y Quadra

Spanish contact in BC and Alaska
Areas of Alaska and British Columbia Explored by Spain

A third voyage took place in 1779 under the command of Ignacio de Arteaga with two armed corvettes: the Favorita under Arteaga, and the Princesa under Bodega y Quadra. With Arteaga on the Favorita was second officer Fernando Quiros y Miranda, surgeon Juan Garcia, pilot Jose Camacho, and second pilot Juan Pantoja y Arriaga. With Bodega y Quadra on the Princesa was second officer Francisco Antonio Mourelle, surgeon Mariano Nunez Esquivel, pilot Jose Canizares, and second pilot Juan Bautista Aguirre.[4] The expedition's objective was to evaluate the Russian penetration of Alaska, search for a Northwest Passage, and capture James Cook if they found him in Spanish waters. Spain had learned about Cook's 1778 explorations along the coast of the Pacific Northwest. In June 1779, during the expedition of Arteaga and Bodega y Quadra, Spain entered the American Revolutionary War as an ally of France, precipitating a parallel Anglo-Spanish War, which continued until the 1783 Treaty of Paris. Arteaga and Bodega y Quadra did not find Cook, who had been killed in Hawaii in February 1779.[4]

During the voyage Arteaga and Bodega y Quadra carefully surveyed Bucareli Bay then headed north to Port Etches on Hinchinbrook Island. They entered Prince William Sound and reached a latitude of 61°, the most northern point obtained by the Spanish explorations of Alaska. They also explored Cook Inlet, and the Kenai Peninsula, where a possession ceremony was performed on August 2, in what today is called Port Chatham. Due to various sicknesses among the crew Arteaga returned to California without finding the Russians.

Throughout the voyage, the crews of both vessels endured many hardships, including food shortages and scurvy. On September 8, the ships rejoined and headed south for the return trip to San Blas. Although the Spanish were normally secretive about their exploring voyages and the discoveries made, the 1779 voyage of Arteaga and Bodega y Quadra became widely known. La Perouse obtained a copy of their map, which was published in 1798. Mourelle's journal was acquired and published in London in 1798 by Daines Barrington.

After these three exploration voyages to Alaska within five years there were no further Spanish expeditions to the Pacific Northwest until 1788, after the Treaty of Paris ended the war between Spain and Britain. During the war Spain dedicated the port of San Blas to the war effort in the Philippines. Voyages of exploration were suspended. Support of Alta California, which depended upon San Blas, was minimal. By 1786 Alta California had become nearly self-supporting and peace with Britain was restored, making further voyages to Alaska possible.[4]

1788 voyage of Martínez and Haro

In March, 1788, two ships were sent north from San Blas to investigate Russian activity. Esteban José Martínez, on the Princesa, was in command of the expedition, accompanied by the San Carlos under Gonzalo López de Haro, with José María Narváez serving as Haro's pilot. The ships arrived at Prince William Sound in May. Following evidence of Russian fur trading activity the ships sailed west. In June Haro reached Kodiak Island and learned from the natives that a Russian post was nearby.[5]

On June 30, 1788, Haro sent Narváez in a longboat to look for the Russian post at Three Saints Bay. Narváez found the post, becoming the first Spaniard to make contact with a large contingent of Russians in Alaska. Narváez took the Russian commander, Evstrat Delarov to meet Haro on the San Carlos, then returned him to his outpost. Delarov gave Narváez a Russian map of the Alaskan coast and indicated the locations of seven Russian posts containing nearly 500 men. Delarov also told Narváez that the Russians intended to occupy Nootka Sound, on the west coast of Vancouver Island.

After this meeting Haro sailed east and joined Martínez at Sitkinak Island. Using the information acquired from Delarov, the expedition sailed to Unalaska Island, where there was a large Russian post, also called Unalaska, under the command of Potap Kuzmich Zaikov. Martínez arrived on July 29, Haro on August 4. Zaikov gave Martínez three maps covering the Aleutian Islands. He also confirmed that the Russians planned to take possession of Nootka Sound the next year.[5] Zaikov explained that two Russian frigates were already on their way, and a third which was to sail to Nootka Sound. He was referring to the 1789 expedition of Joseph Billings, but greatly exaggerating its mission.[6][7] The visit to Unalaska marks the westernmost point reached during the Spanish voyages of exploration in Alaska.

The Spanish expedition left Unalaska on August 18, 1788, heading south for California and Mexico. Due to increasing conflict between Martínez and Haro, the ships broke off contact within three days sailed south separately. Martínez had allowed this but ordered Haro to rejoin him at Monterey, California. But during the voyage south Haro, with support from Narváez and the other pilots, declared his ship no longer under Martínez's command. They sailed back to San Blas on their own, arriving on October 22, 1788. Martínez spent a month in Monterey waiting for Haro. He arrived at San Blas in December, where he found himself faced with charges of irresponsible leadership. He soon regained favor and was placed in charge of a new expedition to occupy Nootka Sound before the Russians did.[5] This expedition took place in 1789, culminating in the Nootka Crisis.

1789 settlement in Nootka Sound

Following up on the 1788 voyage to Alaska, Martínez and Haro were ordered to preemptively take possession of Nootka Sound before the Russians or British could. Events at Nootka Sound in 1789 led to the Nootka Crisis. During the summer of 1789 Martínez sent José María Narváez to explore the Strait of Juan de Fuca in the Santa Gertrudis la Magna (formerly the Northwest America, a British vessel captured earlier by Martínez at Nootka Sound). Narváez found the Strait of Juan de Fuca to be a large inlet with much promise for further exploration. By the end of the year Martínez abandoned Nootka Sound.

1790 Spanish base in Nootka Sound

The Nootka Crisis became a major international incident nearly leading to war between Spain and Britain. As the process unfolded, the Viceroy of New Spain decided it was important to establish a permanent base at Nootka Sound. Three ships sailed to Nootka Sound, with Francisco de Eliza as the overall commander and captain of the Concepción. Manuel Quimper captained the Princesa Real (the Spanish name for the British vessel Princess Royal, captured by Martínez in 1789). Salvador Fidalgo captained the San Carlos. The first settlement in present-day British Columbia was built on Nootka Sound, Santa Cruz de Nuca as well as Fort San Miguel, manned by soldiers of the First Company of Free Company of Volunteers of Catalonia, under Pedro de Alberni. After getting settled, Eliza dispatched Fidalgo and Quimper on exploration voyages. Fidalgo was sent north and Quimper south.

1790 voyage of Fidalgo

In 1790, Spanish explorer Salvador Fidalgo took the San Carlos to Alaska, visiting and naming Cordova Bay and Port Valdez in Prince William Sound. Acts of sovereignty were performed at both places. Fidalgo entered Cook Inlet and found the Russian post Pavlovskaia, the Pavel Lebedev-Lastochkin Company post at the mouth of the Kenai River. Fidalgo did not stop at the post but continued west to Kodiak Island, where he noted Shelikov's post.[8] Fidalgo then went to the Russian settlement at Alexandrovsk (today's English Bay or Nanwalek, Alaska), southwest of today's Anchorage on the Kenai Peninsula, where again, Fidalgo asserted the Spanish claim to the area by conducting a formal ceremony of sovereignty.[9]

1790 voyage of Quimper

In 1790 Manuel Quimper, with officers López de Haro and Juan Carrasco, sailed the Princesa Real into the Strait of Juan de Fuca, following up on voyage of Narváez the previous year. Quimper sailed to the eastern end of the Strait of Juan de Fuca, discovering the San Juan Islands and many straits and inlets. Having limited time he had to return to Nootka without fully exploring the promising straits and inlets. Contrary winds made it impossible to sail the small vessel to Nootka, so Quimper went south to San Blas instead.

1791 voyage of Eliza

In 1791 Francisco de Eliza was ordered to continue the exploration of the Strait of Juan de Fuca. The voyage consisted of two vessels. Eliza sailed on the San Carlos, with Pantoja as his pilot (master). Narváez sailed on the Santa Saturnina, with Carrasco and Verdía as pilots. During the voyage the Strait of Georgia was discovered, and Narváez conducted a quick exploration of most of it. Eliza sailed the San Carlos back to Nootka Sound, but the Santa Saturnina, under Carrasco, failed to reach Nootka and instead sailed south to Monterey and San Blas. In Monterey Carrasco met Alessandro Malaspina and told him about the discovery of the Strait of Georgia. This meeting led directly to the 1792 voyage of Galiano and Valdés.

1789-1794 voyage of Malaspina and Bustamante

The King of Spain gave Alejandro Malaspina and José de Bustamante y Guerra command of an around-the-world scientific expedition with two corvettes, the Descubierta and Atrevida. One of the king's orders was to investigate a possible Northwest Passage. The expedition was also to search for gold, precious stones, and any American, British, or Russian settlements along the northwest coast. Arriving in Alaska in 1791, Malaspina and Bustamante surveyed the coast to the Prince William Sound. At Yakutat Bay, the expedition made contact with the Tlingit. Spanish scholars made a study of the tribe, recording information on social mores, language, economy, warfare methods, and burial practices. Artists with the expedition, Tomas de Suria and José Cardero, produced portraits of tribal members and scenes of Tlingit daily life. Malaspina Glacier, between Yakutat Bay and Icy Bay was subsequently named after Alessandro Malaspina.

1792 voyage of Galiano and Valdés

In 1792 Dionisio Alcalá Galiano, on the Sutil, and Cayetano Valdés y Flores, on the Mexicana, sailed from San Blas to Nootka Sound, then circumnavigated Vancouver Island. An account of the voyage of Galiano and Valdés, in contrast, was published in Spain and widely promoted, overshadowing the more significant voyage of Malaspina, who had become a political prisoner shortly after returning to Spain.

1792 voyage of Caamaño

Jacinto Caamaño, commander of the frigate Aránzazu, sailed to Bucareli Bay in 1792. Juan Pantoja y Arriaga served as his pilot. Caamaño conducted a detailed survey of the coast south to Nootka Sound on Vancouver Island. By 1792 much of the coast had already been visited by European explorers, but some areas had been overlooked, such as the southern part of Prince of Wales Island. A number of Caamaño's place names in the area have survived, such as Cordova Bay, Revillagigedo Channel, Bocas de Quadra, and in what is now called Caamaño Passage, Zayas Island (named for his second pilot, Juan Zayas).[10][11]

No report on Caamaño's voyage was published until long after and his discoveries remained obscure, although George Vancouver apparently met Caamaño and obtained copies of his maps, especially of areas north of Dixon Entrance. Vancouver later incorporated some of Caamaño's place names into his atlas.

1793 voyage of Eliza and Martínez y Zayas

In 1793 Francisco de Eliza and Juan Martínez y Zayas surveyed the coast between the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the San Francisco Bay. They also explored the mouth of the Columbia River.[12]


Spanish territorial claims in the North West Coast of North America, 18th century

In the end Spain withdrew from the North Pacific and transferred its claims in the region to the United States in the Adams-Onís Treaty of 1819. Today, Spain's legacy in Alaska and the Pacific Northwest endures as a number of place names, such as Malaspina Glacier, Revillagigedo Island, the towns of Valdez and Cordova, and numerous smaller features.

See also


  1. ^ a b c Geographical Society of the Pacific (1907). Transactions and Proceedings of the Geographical Society of the Pacific, Volume 4. San Francisco. pp. 108, 152. OCLC 15737543.
  2. ^ a b Rodríguez Sala, María Luisa (2006). De San Blas Hasta la Alta California: Los Viajes y Diarios de Juan Joseph Pérez Hernández (in Spanish). Universidad Autónoma de México. p. 35. ISBN 978-970-32-3474-5.
  3. ^ Pethick, Derek (1976). First Approaches to the Northwest Coast. Vancouver: J.J. Douglas. p. 43. ISBN 0-88894-056-4.
  4. ^ a b c "The Spanish Navy in the Californias during the Revolutionary War Era". The California State Military Museum. Retrieved 6 December 2009.
  5. ^ a b c McDowell, Jim (1998). José Narváez: The Forgotten Explorer. Spokane, Washington: The Arthur H. Clark Company. pp. 24–31. ISBN 0-87062-265-X.
  6. ^ Haycox, Stephen W. (2002). Alaska: an American Colony. University of Washington Press. p. 175. ISBN 978-0-295-98249-6.
  7. ^ Billings, Joseph, Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online
  8. ^ Haycox, Stephen W. (2002). Alaska: an American Colony. University of Washington Press. p. 170. ISBN 978-0-295-98249-6.
  9. ^ History of Spanish exploration of Pacific Northwest and Alaska
  10. ^ "Spanish Place Names on the Face of Alaska". ExploreNorth. Retrieved 5 December 2009.
  11. ^ "Spanish explorers". Archived from the original on February 9, 2010.
  12. ^ 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. p. 154. ISBN 978-0-7748-1367-9.

External links


Adams–Onís Treaty

The Adams–Onís Treaty (Spanish: Tratado de Adams-Onís) of 1819, also known as the Transcontinental Treaty, the Florida Purchase Treaty, or the Florida Treaty, was a treaty between the United States and Spain in 1819 that ceded Florida to the U.S. and defined the boundary between the U.S. and New Spain. It settled a standing border dispute between the two countries and was considered a triumph of American diplomacy. It came in the midst of increasing tensions related to Spain's territorial boundaries in North America against the United States and Great Britain in the aftermath of the American Revolution; it also came during the Latin American wars of independence.

Florida had become a burden to Spain, which could not afford to send settlers or garrisons, so the Spanish government decided to cede the territory to the United States in exchange for settling the boundary dispute along the Sabine River in Spanish Texas. The treaty established the boundary of U.S. territory and claims through the Rocky Mountains and west to the Pacific Ocean, in exchange for the U.S. paying residents' claims against the Spanish government up to a total of $5,000,000 and relinquishing the U.S. claims on parts of Spanish Texas west of the Sabine River and other Spanish areas, under the terms of the Louisiana Purchase.

The treaty remained in full effect for only 183 days: from February 22, 1821, to August 24, 1821, when Spanish military officials signed the Treaty of Córdoba acknowledging the independence of Mexico; Spain repudiated that treaty, but Mexico effectively took control of Spain's former colony. The Treaty of Limits between Mexico and the United States, signed in 1828 and effective in 1832, recognized the border defined by the Adams–Onís Treaty as the boundary between the two nations.

Alta California

Alta California ('Upper California'), known sometimes unofficially as Nueva California ('New California'), California Septentrional ('Northern California'), California del Norte ('North California') or California Superior ('Upper California'), began in 1804 as a province of New Spain. Along with the Baja California peninsula, it had previously comprised the province of Las Californias, but was split off into a separate province in 1804. Following the Mexican War of Independence, it became a territory of Mexico in April 1822 and was renamed "Alta California" in 1824. The claimed territory included all of the modern US states of California, Nevada and Utah, and parts of Arizona, Wyoming, Colorado and New Mexico.

Neither Spain nor Mexico ever colonized the area beyond the southern and central coastal areas of present-day California, and small areas of present-day Arizona, so they exerted no effective control in modern-day California north of the Sonoma area, or east of the California Coast Ranges. Most interior areas such as the Central Valley and the deserts of California remained in de facto possession of indigenous peoples until later in the Mexican era when more inland land grants were made, and especially after 1841 when overland immigrants from the United States began to settle inland areas.

Large areas east of the Sierra Nevada and Coast Ranges were claimed to be part of Alta California, but were never colonized. To the southeast, beyond the deserts and the Colorado River, lay the Spanish settlements in Arizona.Alta California ceased to exist as an administrative division separate from Baja California in 1836, when the Siete Leyes constitutional reforms in Mexico re-established Las Californias as a unified department, granting it more autonomy. Most of the areas formerly comprising Alta California were ceded to the United States in the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo that ended the Mexican–American War in 1848. Two years later, California joined the union as the 31st state. Other parts of Alta California became all or part of the later U.S. states of Arizona, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, and Wyoming.

Bruno de Heceta

Bruno de Heceta (Hezeta) y Dudagoitia (1743–1807) was a Spanish Basque explorer of the Pacific Northwest. Born in Bilbao of an old Basque family, he was sent by the Viceroy of New Spain, Antonio María Bucareli y Ursúa, to explore the area north of Alta California in response to information that there were colonial Russian settlements there.

Esteban José Martínez Fernández y Martínez de la Sierra

Esteban José Martínez Fernández y Martínez de la Sierra, or simply Esteban José Martínez (1742–1798) was a Spanish navigator and explorer, native of Seville. He was a key figure in the Spanish exploration of the Pacific Northwest.

Exploration of the Pacific

Polynesians reached nearly all the Pacific islands by about 1200 AD, followed by Asian navigation in Southeast Asia and West Pacific. Around the Middle Ages Muslim traders linked the Middle East and East Africa to the Asian Pacific coasts (to southern China and much of the Malay Archipelago). The direct contact of European fleets with the Pacific began in 1512, with the Portuguese, on its western edges, followed by the Spanish discovery of the Pacific from the American coast.

In 1521 a Spanish expedition led by the Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan was the first known crossing of the Pacific Ocean, who then named it the "peaceful sea". Starting in 1565 with the voyage of Andres de Urdaneta and for the next 250 years, the Spanish controlled the transpacific trade with the Manila galleons that crossed from Mexico to the Philippines and vice versa, until 1815. Other expeditions from Mexico and Peru discovered various archipelagos in the North and South Pacific. In the 17th and 18th centuries, other European powers sent expeditions to the Pacific, namely the Dutch Republic, England, France, and Russia.

George Vancouver

Captain George Vancouver (22 June 1757 – 10 May 1798) was a British officer of the Royal Navy best known for his 1791–95 expedition, which explored and charted North America's northwestern Pacific Coast regions, including the coasts of what are now the American states of Alaska, Washington, and Oregon, as well as the province of British Columbia in Canada. He also explored the Hawaiian Islands and the southwest coast of Australia.

Vancouver Island and the city of Vancouver, British Columbia are named for him, as is Vancouver, Washington. Mount Vancouver of Yukon and Alaska, on the Canadian-American border and New Zealand's sixth highest mountain, are also named for him.

History of Hispanic and Latino Americans in the United States

The history of Latinos and Hispanics in the United States is wide-ranging, spanning more than four hundred years and varyingday United States, too. Hispanics (whether criollo or mestizo) became the first American citizens in the newly acquired Southwest territory after the Mexican–American War, and remained a majority in several states until the 20th century.

As late as 1783, at the end of the American Revolutionary War, Spain held claim to roughly half of today's continental United States. In the Treaty of Paris France ceded Louisiana (New France) to Spain from 1763 until it was returned in 1800 by the Treaty of San Ildefonso. In 1775, Spanish ships reached Alaska. From 1819 to 1848, the United States and its army increased the nation's area by roughly a third at Spanish and Mexican expense, gaining among others three of today's four most populous states: California, Texas and Florida.

History of Oregon

The history of Oregon, a U.S. state, may be considered in five eras: geologic history, inhabitation by native peoples, early exploration by Europeans (primarily fur traders), settlement by pioneers, and modern development.

The term "Oregon" may refer to:

Oregon Country, a large region explored by Americans and the British (and generally known to Canadians as the Columbia District);

Oregon Territory, established by the United States two years after its sovereignty over the region was established by the Oregon Treaty; and

Oregon, a U.S. state since 1859The history of Oregon, and of the Pacific Northwest, has received little attention from historians, as compared to other regions of the American far west.

History of the west coast of North America

The human history of the west coast of North America is believed to stretch back to the arrival of the earliest people over the Bering Strait, or alternately along a now-submerged coastal plain, through the development of significant pre-Columbian cultures and population densities, to the arrival of the European explorers and colonizers. The west coast of North America today is home to some of the largest and most important companies in the world, as well as being a center of world culture.

Ignacio de Arteaga y Bazán

Ignacio de Arteaga y Bazán (17 February 1731 – 1783) was an officer of the Spanish Navy. He was born in Aracena, Andalusia. His paternal Basque family 'Arteaga' made it possible for Arteaga to join the naval academy at Cádiz. He was accepted as a guardiamarina (midshipman) in 1747 and upon graduation in 1754 was given the rank of alférez de fragata (ensign). After serving on various ships and in various places he was transferred to Havana in 1766 and given his first command, the sloop Vibora. In 1767 he was promoted to teniente de navío (lieutenant).In 1771 Arteaga returned to Spain and tried to marry without certain required royal and ecclesiastical permissions. The priest who was to perform the marriage ceremony refused and Arteaga made an appeal to the ecclesiastical tribunal. During the proceedings grew abusive and insulting. As a consequence he was imprisoned for three years in the jail of the naval arsenal at La Carraca, Cádiz.In 1774 he was released. Although allowed to continue his career in the navy he was exiled to the remote naval station at San Blas, on the west coast of New Spain. He arrived in San Blas in 1775. He was given command of an expedition to Alaska in 1779. Two frigates were assigned, the Favorita, commanded by Arteaga, and the Princesa, under Bodega y Quadra. With Bodega y Quadra on the Princesa was second officer Francisco Antonio Mourelle, surgeon Mariano Nunez Esquivel, pilot Jose Canizares, and second pilot Juan Bautista Aguirre. The expedition's objective was to evaluate the Russian penetration of Alaska, search for a Northwest Passage, and capture James Cook if they found him in Spanish waters. Arteaga and Bodega y Quadra did not find Cook, who had been killed in Hawaii in February 1779.The two frigates sailed directly from San Blas to Bucareli Bay, Alaska. The voyage of 81 days, which was relatively fast, leaving time for further exploration. Arteaga and Bodega y Quadra carefully surveyed Bucareli Bay then headed north to present-day Port Etches on Hinchinbrook Island, near the entrance to Prince William Sound. While the ships were anchored, Arteaga took a party ashore to perform a formal possession ceremony. All the officers and chaplains went ashore in procession, raised a large cross while cannons and muskets fired salutes. The Te Deum was sung, followed by a litany and prayers. After a sermon was preached a formal deed of possession was drawn up and signed by the officers and chaplains. Arteaga named the site Puerto de Santiago, commemorating Saint James, the patron saint of Spain, whose feast day falls on July 25. The title to Puerto de Santiago was important for years afterward, as it formed the basis of Spain's claim to sovereignty in the North Pacific up to 61°17′N.Arteaga and Bodega y Quadra also explored Cook Inlet, and the Kenai Peninsula, where a possession ceremony was performed on August 2, 1779, in what today is called Port Chatham. Due to various sicknesses among the crew Arteaga decided to return south. On September 8, the ships rejoined and began the return trip to San Blas. Although the Spanish were normally secretive about their exploring voyages and the discoveries made, the 1779 voyage of Arteaga and Bodega y Quadra became widely known. La Perouse obtained a copy of their map, which was published in 1798. Mourelle's journal was acquired and published in London in 1798 by Daines Barrington.

After returning to San Blas, Arteaga requested and received a royal pardon and reinstatement of his loss of pension. He did not go to sea again, due to "broken health". Arteaga served as commandant of the naval department of San Blas until his death in 1783. Shortly before he died he was promoted to capitán de fragata (commander)—his first promotion in 16 years.

Index of Alaska-related articles

The following is an alphabetical list of articles related to the U.S. state of Alaska.

Juan Francisco de la Bodega y Quadra

Juan Francisco de la Bodega y Quadra (22 May 1743 – 26 March 1794) was a Spanish naval officer born in Lima, Peru. Assigned to the Pacific coast Spanish Naval Department base at San Blas, in the Viceroyalty of New Spain (present day Mexico), this navigator explored the Northwest Coast of North America as far north as present day Alaska.

Juan Francisco de la Bodega y Quadra joined the Spanish Naval Academy in Cádiz at 19, and four years later, in 1767 was commissioned as an officer of the rank Frigate Ensign (alférez de fragata). In 1773 he was promoted to Ship Ensign (alférez de navío), and in 1774 to Ship Lieutenant (teniente de navío).

Juan José Pérez Hernández

Juan José Pérez Hernández (born Joan Perés ca. 1725 – November 3, 1775), often simply Juan Pérez, was an 18th-century Spanish explorer. He was the first known European to sight, examine, name, and record the islands near present-day British Columbia, Canada. Born in Palma de Mallorca, Spain, he first served as a piloto in western Spanish colonial North America on Manila galleons en route to and from the Philippines in the Spanish East Indies. In 1768, he was assigned to the Pacific port of San Blas, in the Viceroyalty of New Spain (present day Mexico), and acquired the rank of ensign (alférez).

Major explorations after the Age of Discovery

Major explorations of Earth continued after the Age of Discovery. By the early seventeenth century, vessels were sufficiently well built and their navigators competent enough to travel to virtually anywhere on the planet by sea. In the 17th century Dutch explorers such as Willem Jansz and Abel Tasman explored the coasts of Australia. Spanish expeditions from Peru explored the South Pacific and discovered archipelagos such as Vanuatu and the Pitcairn Islands. Luis Vaez de Torres chartered the coasts of New Guinea and the Solomon Islands, and discovered the strait that bears his name. European naval exploration mapped the western and northern coasts of Australia, but the east coast had to wait for over a century. Eighteenth-century British explorer James Cook mapped much of Polynesia and traveled as far north as Alaska and as far south as the Antarctic Circle. In the later 18th century the Pacific became a focus of renewed interest, with Spanish expeditions, followed by Northern European ones, reaching the coasts of northern British Columbia and Alaska.

Voyages into the continents took longer. The centers of the Americas had been reached by the mid-16th century, although there were unexplored areas until the 18th and 19th centuries. Australia's and Africa's deep interiors were not explored by Europeans until the mid- to late 19th and early 20th centuries, due to a lack of trade potential, and to serious problems with contagious tropical diseases in sub-Saharan Africa's case. Finally, Antarctica's interior was explored, with the North and South Poles reached in the 20th century.

New Spain

The Viceroyalty of New Spain (Spanish: Virreinato de Nueva España Spanish pronunciation: [birei̯ˈnato ðe ˈnweβa esˈpaɲa] (listen)) was an integral territorial entity of the Spanish Empire, established by Habsburg Spain during the Spanish colonization of the Americas. It covered a huge area that included territories in North America, South America, Asia and Oceania. It originated in 1521 after the fall of Mexico-Tenochtitlan, the main event of the Spanish conquest, which did not properly end until much later, as its territory continued to grow to the north. It was officially created on 8 March 1535 as a viceroyalty (Spanish: virreinato), the first of four viceroyalties Spain created in the Americas. Its first viceroy was Antonio de Mendoza y Pacheco, and the capital of the viceroyalty was Mexico City, established on the ancient Mexico-Tenochtitlan.

It included what is now Mexico plus the current U.S. states of California, Nevada, Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, Arizona, Texas, Oregon, Washington, Florida and parts of Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Kansas, Oklahoma and Louisiana; as well as the southwestern part of British Columbia of present-day Canada; plus the Captaincy General of Guatemala (which included the current countries of Guatemala, the Mexican state of Chiapas, Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua); the Captaincy General of Cuba (current Cuba, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Trinidad and Tobago and Guadeloupe); and the Captaincy General of the Philippines (including the Philippines, Guam, the Caroline Islands, the Mariana Islands and the short lived Spanish Formosa in modern-day northern Taiwan as well as the briefly occupied Sultanate of Ternate).

The political organization divided the viceroyalty into kingdoms and captaincies general. The kingdoms were those of New Spain (different from the viceroyalty itself); Nueva Galicia (1530); Captaincy General of Guatemala (1540); Nueva Vizcaya (1562); New Kingdom of León (1569); Santa Fe de Nuevo México (1598); Nueva Extremadura (1674) and Nuevo Santander (1746). There were four captaincies: Captaincy General of the Philippines (1574), Captaincy General of Cuba, Captaincy General of Puerto Rico and Captaincy General of Santo Domingo. These territorial subdivisions had a governor and captain general (who in New Spain was the viceroy himself, who added this title to his other dignities). In Guatemala, Santo Domingo and Nueva Galicia, these officials were called presiding governors, since they were leading royal audiences. For this reason, these hearings were considered "praetorial."

There were two great estates in America. The most important was the Marquisate of the Valley of Oaxaca, property of Hernán Cortés and his descendants that included a set of vast territories where marquises had civil and criminal jurisdiction, and the right to grant land, water and forests and within which were their main possessions (cattle ranches, agricultural work, sugar mills, fulling houses and shipyards). The other estate was the Duchy of Atlixco, granted in 1708, by King Philip V to José Sarmiento de Valladares, former viceroy of New Spain and married to the Countess of Moctezuma, with civil and criminal jurisdiction over Atlixco, Tepeaca, Guachinango, Ixtepeji and Tula de Allende. Another important Marquisate was the Marquisate of Buglas in Negros Island at the Philippines which was awarded to the descendants of Sebastian Elcano and his crew, the first to circumnavigate the world. King Charles III introduced reforms in the organization of the viceroyalty in 1786, known as Bourbon reforms, which created the intendencias, which allowed to limit, in some way, the viceroy's attributions.

New Spain developed highly regional divisions, reflecting the impact of climate, topography, indigenous populations, and mineral resources. The areas of central and southern Mexico had dense indigenous populations with complex social, political, and economic organization. The northern area of Mexico, a region of nomadic and semi-nomadic indigenous populations, was not generally conducive to dense settlements, but the discovery of silver in Zacatecas in the 1540s drew settlement there to exploit the mines. Silver mining not only became the engine of the economy of New Spain, but vastly enriched Spain and transformed the global economy. New Spain was the New World terminus of the Philippine trade, making the viceroyalty a vital link between Spain's New World empire and its Asian empire.

From the beginning of the 19th century, the viceroyalty fell into crisis, aggravated by the Peninsular War, and its direct consequence in the viceroyalty, the political crisis in Mexico in 1808, which ended with the government of viceroy José de Iturrigaray and, later, gave rise to the Conspiracy of Valladolid and the Conspiracy of Querétaro. This last one was the direct antecedent of the Mexican War of Independence, which, when concluding in 1821, disintegrated the viceroyalty and gave way to the Mexican Empire, in which finally Agustín de Iturbide would be crowned.

Nootka Sound

Nootka Sound is a sound of the Pacific Ocean on the rugged west coast of Vancouver Island, in the Canadian province of British Columbia, historically known as King George's Sound. It separates Vancouver Island and Nootka Island. It played a historically important role in the maritime fur trade.


Oregon ( (listen) ORR-ih-gən) is a state in the Pacific Northwest region on the West Coast of the United States. The Columbia River delineates much of Oregon's northern boundary with Washington, while the Snake River delineates much of its eastern boundary with Idaho. The parallel 42° north delineates the southern boundary with California and Nevada. Oregon is one of only three states of the contiguous United States to have a coastline on the Pacific Ocean.

Oregon was inhabited by many indigenous tribes before Western traders, explorers, and settlers arrived. An autonomous government was formed in the Oregon Country in 1843 before the Oregon Territory was created in 1848. Oregon became the 33rd state on February 14, 1859. Today, at 98,000 square miles (250,000 km2), Oregon is the ninth largest and, with a population of 4 million, 27th most populous U.S. state. The capital, Salem, is the second most populous city in Oregon, with 169,798 residents. Portland, with 647,805, ranks as the 26th among U.S. cities. The Portland metropolitan area, which also includes the city of Vancouver, Washington, to the north, ranks the 25th largest metro area in the nation, with a population of 2,453,168.

Oregon is one of the most geographically diverse states in the U.S., marked by volcanoes, abundant bodies of water, dense evergreen and mixed forests, as well as high deserts and semi-arid shrublands. At 11,249 feet (3,429 m), Mount Hood, a stratovolcano, is the state's highest point. Oregon's only national park, Crater Lake National Park, comprises the caldera surrounding Crater Lake, the deepest lake in the United States. The state is also home to the single largest organism in the world, Armillaria ostoyae, a fungus that runs beneath 2,200 acres (8.9 km2) of the Malheur National Forest.Because of its diverse landscapes and waterways, Oregon's economy is largely powered by various forms of agriculture, fishing, and hydroelectric power. Oregon is also the top timber producer of the contiguous United States, and the timber industry dominated the state's economy in the 20th century. Technology is another one of Oregon's major economic forces, beginning in the 1970s with the establishment of the Silicon Forest and the expansion of Tektronix and Intel. Sportswear company Nike, Inc., headquartered in Beaverton, is the state's largest public corporation with an annual revenue of $30.6 billion.

San Blas, Nayarit

San Blas is both a municipality and municipal seat located on the Pacific coast of Mexico in Nayarit.

Spanish Empire

The Spanish Empire (Spanish: Imperio Español; Latin: Imperium Hispanicum), historically known as the Hispanic Monarchy (Spanish: Monarquía Hispánica) and as the Catholic Monarchy (Spanish: Monarquía Católica), was one of the largest empires in history. From the late 15th century to the early 19th, Spain controlled a huge overseas territory in the New World and the Asian archipelago of the Philippines, what they called "The Indies" (Spanish: Las Indias). It also included territories in Europe, Africa and Oceania. The Spanish Empire has been described as the first global empire in history, a description also given to the Portuguese Empire. It was the world's most powerful empire during the 16th and first half of the 17th centuries, reaching its maximum extension in the 18th century. The Spanish Empire was the first empire to be called "the empire on which the sun never sets".Castile became the dominant kingdom in Iberia because of its jurisdiction over the overseas empire in the Americas and the Philippines. The structure of empire was established under the Spanish Habsburgs (1516–1700) and under the Spanish Bourbon monarchs, the empire was brought under greater crown control and increased its revenues from the Indies. The crown's authority in The Indies was enlarged by the papal grant of powers of patronage, giving it power in the religious sphere. An important element in the formation of Spain's empire was the dynastic union between Isabella I of Castile and Ferdinand II of Aragon, known as the Catholic Monarchs, which initiated political, religious and social cohesion but not political unification. Iberian kingdoms retained their political identities, with particular administration and juridical configurations.

Although the power of the Spanish sovereign as monarch varied from one territory to another, the monarch acted as such in a unitary manner over all the ruler's territories through a system of councils: the unity did not mean uniformity. In 1580, when Philip II of Spain succeeded to the throne of Portugal (as Philip I), he established the Council of Portugal, which oversaw Portugal and its empire and "preserv[ed] its own laws, institutions, and monetary system, and united only in sharing a common sovereign." The Iberian Union remained in place until in 1640, when Portugal overthrew Habsburg rule and reestablished independence under the House of Braganza. Under Philip II, Spain, rather than the Habsburg empire, was identified as the most powerful nation in the world, easily eclipsing France and England. Furthermore, despite attacks from other European states, Spain retained its position of dominance with apparent ease.

The Treaty of Cateau-Cambresis (1559) confirmed the inheritance of Philip II in Italy (the Mezzogiorno and the Duchy of Milan). Spain's claims to Naples and Sicily in southern Italy dated back to the Aragonese presence in the 15th century. Following the peace reached in 1559, there would be no Neapolitan revolts against Spanish rule until 1647. The Duchy of Milan formally remained part of the Holy Roman Empire but the title of Duke of Milan was given to the King of Spain. The death of the Ottoman emperor Suleiman the Magnificent in 1566 and the naval victory over the Ottoman Empire at the Battle of Lepanto in 1571 gave Spain a claim to be the greatest power not just in Europe but also in the world.

The Spanish Empire in the Americas was formed after conquering large stretches of land, beginning with Christopher Columbus in the Caribbean Islands. In the early 16th century, it conquered and incorporated the Aztec and Inca Empires, retaining indigenous elites loyal to the Spanish crown and converts to Christianity as intermediaries between their communities and royal government. After a short period of delegation of authority by the crown in the Americas, the crown asserted control over those territories and established the Council of the Indies to oversee rule there. Some scholars consider the initial period of the Spanish conquest as marking the most egregious case of genocide in the history of mankind. The death toll may have reached some 70 million indigenous people (out of 80 million) in this period. However, other scholars believe the vast majority of indigenous deaths were due to the low immunological capacity of native populations to resist exogenous diseases. Many native tribes and their cultures were entirely wiped out by the Spanish conquest and disease epidemics.The structure of governance of its overseas empire was significantly reformed in the late 18th century by the Bourbon monarchs. Although the crown attempted to keep its empire a closed economic system under Habsburg rule, Spain was unable to supply the Indies with sufficient consumer goods to meet demand, so that foreign merchants from Genoa, France, England, Germany, and The Netherlands dominated the trade, with silver from the mines of Peru, Bolivia and Mexico flowing to other parts of Europe. The merchant guild of Seville (later Cadiz) served as middlemen in the trade. The crown's trade monopoly was broken early in the seventeenth century, with the crown colluding with the merchant guild for fiscal reasons in circumventing the supposedly closed system. Spain was unable to defend the territories it claimed in the Americas, with the Dutch, the English, and the French taking Caribbean islands, using them to engage in contraband trade with the Spanish populace in the Indies. In the seventeenth century, the diversion of silver revenue to pay for European consumer goods and the rising costs of defense of its empire meant that "tangible benefits of America to Spain were a moment when the costs of empire were climbing sharply."The Bourbon monarchy attempted to expand the possibilities for trade within the empire, by allowing commerce between all ports in the empire, and took other measures to revive economic activity to the benefit of Spain. The Bourbons had inherited "an empire invaded by rivals, an economy shorn of manufactures, a crown deprived of revenue... [and tried to reverse the situation by] taxing colonists, tightening control, and fighting off foreigners. In the process, they gained a revenue and lost an empire." The Napoleonic invasion of the Iberian peninsula precipitated the Spanish American wars of independence (1808-1826), resulting the loss of its most valuable colonies. In its former colonies in the Americas, Spanish is the dominant language and Catholicism the main religion, enduring cultural legacies of the Spanish Empire.

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