Juan Crespí

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Juan Crespí
Born (1721-03-01)March 1, 1721
Palma de Mallorca, Spain
Died January 1, 1782(1782-01-01) (aged 60)
Carmel-by-the-Sea, Las Californias, New Spain
Resting place
Mission San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo
Nationality Spanish
Occupation Roman Catholic priest, missionary, explorer
Religion Roman Catholicism

Father Juan Crespí (March 1, 1721 – January 1, 1782) was a Franciscan missionary and explorer of Las Californias.[1] A native of Majorca, Crespí entered the Franciscan order at the age of seventeen.[2] He came to New Spain in 1749, and accompanied explorers Francisco Palóu and Junípero Serra. In 1767 he went to the Baja Peninsula and was placed in charge of the Misión La Purísima Concepción de Cadegomó.

In 1769, Crespí joined the expedition led by Gaspar de Portolà and traveled by land with Fr. Junipero Serra accompanied the mission supplies and arrived at the port of San Diego 8 days later. He later traveled by land further north in New California with Fernando Rivera y Moncada to perform an entrada and identify the port of Monterey. Because he was the only one of the Franciscans to make the entire journey by land, Crespi became the first official diarist for the missions. In that capacity, he authored the first written account of interactions between Franciscan missionaries and the indigenous population of Alta California.

After reaching Monterey in July of 1769, Crespi continued with the expedition that explored as far north as present-day San Francisco, and became the first Europeans to see San Francisco Bay. All told, the expedition traveled in the future state of California through the present-day coastal counties of San Diego, Orange, Los Angeles, Ventura Counties, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Monterey, Santa Cruz, San Mateo, and San Francisco.

In 1774, Crespi was chaplain of the expedition to the North Pacific conducted by Juan José Pérez Hernández. His diaries, first published in H. E. Bolton's Fray Juan Crespi (1927, repr. 1971), and published in the original Spanish with facing page translations as A Description of Distant Roads: Original Journals of the First Expedition into California, 1769-1770 (2001)[3] provided valuable records of these expeditions. One chapel he built, at the Misión San Francisco del Valle de Tilaco in Landa, is reported as still standing.[4]


  1. ^ Kielbasa, John R. (1998). "Rancho Los Encinos". Historic Adobes of Los Angeles County. Pittsburgh: Dorrance Publishing Co. ISBN 0-8059-4172-X. .
  2. ^ "BC Book World - Juan Crespi". Retrieved 2007-12-03. 
  3. ^ Crespí, Juan: A Description of Distant Roads: Original Journals of the First Expedition into California, 1769-1770, edited and translated by Alan K. Brown, San Diego State University Press, 2001, ISBN 1-879691-64-7
  4. ^ *Gross, Ernie. This Day in Religion. New York: Neil-Schuman Publishers, 1990. ISBN 1-55570-045-4.

External links[edit]