The Anza Letters

Translated and edited by Phil Valdez Jr.


Lt. Colonel Juan Baptista de Anza
Courtesy of the City of Arispe, Sonora

Fifteen cartas written by Juan Baptista de Anza and addressed to the Captain Governor of Alta California, Fernando Javier de Rivera y Moncada provide an intriguing view of the Anza Expedition and Anza’s return journey. This exchange of letters began in the  area that we now know as Puerto Real San Carlos in  Riverside County, California and ended in the vicinity of the Rio de Santa Anna prior to Anza’s departure for his home base in Sonora, Nueva España. Now Mexico.

Translations of these fifteen cartas have been divided into five sections where readers can get a glimpse of the struggles and needs of the settlers hereto unknown such as: shoes, soap, blankets, underwear, the freezing temperatures that made the women weep, and the feud between these two giants of early California history.

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