June 3, 1777: Neve
reports to the Viceroy regarding the Channel Coast. The road
through this region stretches 24 or 26 leagues (62.4-67.6) miles.
Neve estimates that there are some 8000 channel Indians living
in over 28 villages along the beach or in heights above it. The
danger is obvious. The Indians in an uprising could close the
road entirely. The Spanish must establish control of the Channel
with posts and military forces large enough to hold the Indians
in awe. Missions alone will not suffice. There must be a presidio,
preferably half-way through the channel passage route. The central
region is more urgent because Indian villages are most numerous
and close together in this part of the coast. (Beilhartz,
Felipe de Neve, pp 112)
September 3, 1778: Croix approves of Neves recommendations.
Neve initially thinks he should have a lieutenant, 3 sergeants,
2 corporals, and 62 cavalrymen. This missions of San Buenaventura
and Concepcion should each have a sergeant and 14 soldiers. The
others should be held in the center to garrison the presidio
and protect the mission Santa Barbara. (Beilhartz, Felipe
de Neve, pp 112)
July 19, 1779: Neve draws up a detailed list of articles
and supplies needed for the occupation of the channel. He requests
that an investigation be made by ships of the approaches to the
channel coast to locate the most convenient spot to unload cannon
and powder which will have to come by sea. (Beilhartz, Felipe
de Neve, pp 113)
April 22, 1780: Neve orders a reconnaissance by land of
the whole channel area. Lt. Ortega, Sgt. Juan Robles and a party
of soldiers are detailed for the job. At the southern end of
the channel they find a rich stream of water suitable for irrigation
and land favorable to cultivation. Pasturage for animals is sparse,
but there is plenty of timber and stone for building purposes.
Neve considers splitting his founding party of 24 settlers for
Los Angeles into 2 parties of 12 settlers each. One party can
be placed in San Buenaventura close to the Santa Barbara Presidio,
the other group of 12 could settle on the Santa Ana River where
it is closer to San Diego. (Beilhartz, Felipe de Neve, pp113-114)
July 14, 1781: Riveras party arrives at San Gabriel
from Yuma. There are too few pack mules (62) which are not enough
to transport supplies and personnel to the Channel before the
rains. Due to the lack of wood in Santa Barbara, buildings there
are to be of adobe, which can only be made in dry weather. The
decision is made to put off the Channel project until spring.
(Beilhartz, Felipe de Neve, 114,115)
March 26, 1782: Neve starts the expedition on its way
to the Channel. One days march out, Neve is overtaken by
the news that Fages has arrived at San Gabriel to confer with
him, and that a Sonoran Army is waiting at the Colorado to follow
up on the Yuma uprising. Neve decides to shelve the Yuma campaign
and to go on with the Channel project. According to Beilhartz,
pp118, "Neve accepts the use of Fages men and sets
off with them and their commander to rejoin the Santa Barbara
March 29, 1782: The expedition reaches the Santa Clara
River and proceeds to lay the foundations of Mission San Buenaventura.
Neve rejoins the party here and finding the work well advanced,
leads the way up the coast to the presidial site. (Beilhartz,
Felipe de Neve, pp118).
March 31, 1782: San Buenaventura is founded. By April
12 there is a complete enclosure of the area of the mission site.
The stockade of palings or limbs is set in trenches, woven with
branches and daubed with mud. It is about 137 feet by 110 feet
and 11 feet high. The stockade has two ravelins or bastions,
a gate, and a small storehouse for provisions. Sergeant Pablo
Antonio Cota in charge of 14 soldiers is to protect the mission
establishment. (Whitehead, Unpublished Manuscript, pp 80)
April 15, 1782: Neve leaves San Buenaventura and marches
roughly 27 miles in one day to Santa Barbara with his founding
April 24, 1782: Neves report to the Commanding General
dated April 24, 1782:
On the 15th of the current month he arrived at this place
called previously San Joaquin de la Laguna and found that its
lake provided an abundant supply of good water, much wood, and
stone, and at less than a quarter league from the only anchoring
ground known in the Channel, sufficient wood and pasture lands.
The Presidio of Santa Barbara was located on this site on the
11th of the current month, enhancing its position at a small
rise next to the lake. Immediately they began cutting of paling
to enclose an area of 60 varas (165 feet) with two ravelins (bastions)
of oak which will serve while they complete the actual structure
which will be 80 varas (220 feet) square with 2 small bastions..
(Whitehead, Unpublished Manuscript, pp 91)
April 28, 1782:
Serras report to the Commanding General, April 28, 1782:
We arrived here at the Santa Barbara Channel on April 15.
We spent some time in talking over which would be the best site
for the foundation, then in getting everything in readiness.
And so, the very next Sunday, which was the 3rd Sunday after
Easter and the feast day of the patronage of the Most Holy Patriarch
Saint Joseph, the foundation was started. There were all the
usual ceremonies - the setting up and blessing of a large cross,
the blessing of the site, the first Mass, with an accompanying
sermon. And so was begun this presidio and mission - at present
they are united in one - dedicated to the most glorious Virgin
and Martyr Santa Barbara. (Whitehead, Unpublished Manuscript,
April 21, 1782:
Founding ceremony of the Presidio of Santa Barbara.
June 2, 1782: Neve reports that plastering, flat roofs,
storehouse, guardhouse and barracks remain to be finished and
that natives are still happy about the Spanish settlement. Neve
inspects the Santa Barbara Presidio and reports that the troops
were put through the manual of arms, cavalry formations and target
practice, and performed satisfactorily in spite of the fact of
their recent recruitment and large amount of time they had spent
on constructing the presidio. The governor is complimentary of
Lt. Ortega on most counts, but has to reprimand him for being
too familiar with the troops. He also lacks firmness and determination,
and his accounts as paymaster are in such bad shape, in spite
of his known intelligence in such matters, that Neve recommends
that he be quickly replaced. Neve considers him a good officer
under the direction of another commander.
Uniforms are in deplorable shape due to the fact that supply
ships have not arrived. Much of the equipment is defective. Safeties
on the pistols are inoperative and swords of Toledo steel are
tempered so high that they could break into pieces if used carelessly.
(Whitehead, Unpublished Manuscript, pp 95)
Michael Hardwick graduated from the University of California,
Santa Barbara in 1972 with High Honors. He has a Bachelor of Arts
in Anthropology with graduate work in Public Administration from
University of Redlands.
While in college, Mike did some of the original
archaeology on the Presidio in Santa Barbara. In the 1970s he
established the archive at La Purísima Mission State Historic
Park and was a State Park Ranger Intermittent there for five years.
Mike served on the Board of Directors of the Santa Barbara Trust
for Historic Preservation for 17 years. During that time he acted
as Treasurer of the Trust, chaired the Archive Library, Descendants
and Genealogy Committees, and was a member of the Reconstruction
As a living history enthusiast, Mike was
a Civil War reenactor for six years and was a member of the Santa
Barbara Civil War Council. He was instrumental in founding Los
Soldados del Real Presidio de Santa Barbara in 1990 and is currently
an active Soldado in that group. He established a Web site for
Los Soldados and has written several papers on Spanish Colonial
Michael currently does a living history
impression of Phelipe de Neve, first governor of the Californias,
1777-1782. Appointed the Soldados National Spokesperson for the
Gálvez project, Mike orchestrated an impressive ceremony
in October of 2003, which paid tribute to Bernardo de Gálvez
as part of a Hispanic-American Heros Series sponsored by Somos
Primos, Society of Hispanic Historical and Ancestral Research.
Mikes interests are varied. He served
on the La Purísima Mission Advisory Committee. He is on
the Santa Barbara Mission Museum Board. He belongs to CMSA (California
Mission Studies Association) and has published an extensive bibliography
on Presidios and Soldiers of Northern New Spain on their WEB site.
Mike is currently working on the beginnings
of horticulture in California and is actively researching that
topic. He has recently published, Changes in Landscape, The Beginnings
of Horticulture in the California Missions, which is available
through the bookstore at the Old Mission, Santa Barbara, 2201
Laguna Street, Santa Barbara, CA. 93105. He is participating with
others in a heritage plant project at Mission Santa Barbara and
hopes to enlarge and republish his book.
Mike is a Vietnam Era Veteran. He spent
six years in the Navy and was with the Commander of Seventh Fleet
on the Flagship, USS Oklahoma City during the years 1968
1969. He retired from the County of Santa Barbara as a Senior
Systems Analyst in 2002. He was a County employee for 26 years.
As a data processing professional, Mike taught for a number of
years in the SBCC Adult Education Program. He holds a California
Community Colleges teaching Credential.