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Mojave River Valley Museum
Profiles in Mojave Desert History
Fr. Francisco GarcesApril 13, 1738 - July 19, 1781
Missionary priest who led an expedition across the Mojave
Francisco Tomás Hermenegildo Garcés
He was born at Morata del Conde, Spain on April 13, 1738. Upon arrival in the New World he was assigned to San Xavier del Bac in 1768, he explored the Gila and Colorado River Valleys, both down the Colorado to the Gulf of California and up it to the Grand Canyon and overland to the Hopi villages. He accompanied Anza part way in both 1774 and 1775-76 expeditions.
In 1775, Garcés, became the first European to meet the Mojave Indians, who accompanied Garcés on his journey to the coast. Garcés’s route, which also took him through Chemehuevi lands and was documented in great detail in his diary, became known to later travelers as the Mojave Road.
He and Juan Díaz established two mission churches on the Colorado at Yuma Crossing. They and Juan de Barreneche and José Moreno were all killed there during the Yuma uprising. Padres Díaz and Moreno were killed on July 17 and Padres Garcés and Barreneche died on July 19, 1781. ---
About the Yuma Revolt, leading to Garces' death:
Spanish priest, Fr. Francisco Garces, first traveled down the pass. Later, explorer/trapper Jedediah Smith. Next, the Mormon Battalion in search of land in ...
ZZYZX Mineral Springs - Mojave Desert, Mojave Preserve
Father Francisco Garces passed through this place, Soda Springs in his journey through the Mojave desert. Over 50 years later, Jedediah Smith passed south ...
In 1776, the Spanish missionary Francisco Garces became the first non-indian to trek these trans-desert routes. In 1826 Jedediah Smith trod these trails to ...
History of Hoover Dam
It was Father Garces, also in 1776, who named the river, Rio Colorado, "river colored red." Jedediah Smith and other trappers came looking for beavers in ...
Spanish Explorers in the Mojave
Padre Francisco Garces was the first Anglo to enter the interior of the Mojave. In 1776 he traveled from the Mohave village near what is now Needles, ...
On the Trail of a Spanish PioneerPertinent sections of Garces' journal of his crossing the Mojave from Needles to the San Gabriel Mission and back across the desert.