Historic California Posts, Camps, Stations and Airfields
El Presidio Real de Santa Barbara, 1782
by Justin Ruhge

The Santa Barbara Presidio was the last in the line of Spanish defenses that began in North America on the Atlantic Ocean in Florida with the founding of the first presidio on the then western front of the new world at Saint Augustine in 1565, 217 years earlier. The unrelenting conquest of the new world by the Spanish Empire ended with this last redoubt at the final western front on the shores of the Pacific Ocean. As with the San Francisco Presidio, the driving force behind a presidio at Santa Barbara was Father Junipero Serra. He passed through the area on foot several times and saw that there were many Native American villages between Point Conception and the southern end of the Santa Barbara Channel at present day Ventura. This region was a big gap in the control of Spain between the Presidio at Monterey and that at San Diego. The nearest mission was at San Luis Obispo. Only the Spanish horse mail express ever passed through this region on a regular basis.

The Spanish were great bureaucrats and needed a paper trail for everything. Serra started it with his requests. The Council of War and Royal Treasury approved his requirements. The King gave Felipe de Neve, who was appointed Governor of the Californias in October 1774, the task of preparing a new reglamento. This requirement was transferred from the royal council to the Viceroy, who gave it to the Commanding General Croix of the Provincias Internas, who gave it to the new governor, Neve, in August 1777. Neve based his plans on the earlier Regulations of 1772, which have been described in an earlier part of this work. Neve submitted his new Regulations for Governing the Province of the Californias to Croix in June of 1779. These were approved by Croix and sent to the new viceroy, Marin de Mayorga, with the recommendation that the King put them into effect on an interim basis pending approval. With approval of the King on October 24, 1781, the Neve Regulations became law. These regulations applied to the presidios of Alta and Baja California, to the Department of San Blas and to a certain extent to the missions. Included were provisions for the establishments of three missions - San Buenaventura, La Purisima and Santa Barbara and a presidio, which must be located at the center of the Santa Barbara Channel.

In the meantime the Viceroy directed Neve on April 19, 1776 to move the capital of the Californias from Loreto to Monterey and to take charge of the affairs of Alta California. Neve arrived at Monterey from San Diego on February 3, 1777 after passing through the Santa Barbara Channel where he obtained first hand knowledge of the Native Americans and the terrain. In a letter of that date to the viceroy, Neve makes the following statement: "The site which I observed to be most suitable for establishment of the fort (presidio) is in the vicinity of Mescaltitlan, the three towns opposite Yslado and in a dominant and open place. But having to consider the problem of defense and the availability of cultivatable fields, a special reconnaissance is necessary in order to find out more about it. Soldiers must come equipped with weapons and mounted, with two cannon of 4 for the presidio if Your Excellency approves it's founding.

In this case, the shipment of clothing and provisions must be sent by ship, and for this there will have to be a determination as to which of the bays or harbors of the Channel will be more secure to anchor the ships and unload their cargo. Without doubt it should be near the site marked for the fort, concerning which Frigate Lieutenant Diego Choquet, who anchored in the year 1776 next to the three villages of the Channel, will be able to advise you."

Neve's first impressions led him to favor the location around the present day town of Goleta at the location of the Santa Barbara Airport. This was in Neve's time a slough with two islands in the middle and several Native American villages. The name Mescaltitlan was applied to this site by the Portola Expedition in 1769 because it resembled a similar slough and island in the Mexican province of Nayarit on the west coast of Mexico above San Blas, the homeland of many of the early settlers brought to Alta California by the Spanish. Neve did recommend further detailed exploration of the area before a final decision. He referred to a visit by the ship El Principe that was carrying Father Serra south to San Diego in 1776, which tied up in front of the Mescaltitlan location. Neve also recommended supplying any further settlements with supplies brought by ship. A survey to find the best harbor in the area was recommended.

A letter dated September 3, 1778 from Croix, Commanding General of the Provincias Internas, to Governor Neve gave official approval for "erection of a presidio with a garrison composed of a lieutenant, a sergeant, two corporals and twenty-six soldiers in the center of the Channel of Santa Barbara, and, under the protection of the presidio, a mission with the same name and another named San Buenaventura." The pueblos of San Jose and Los Angeles were also approved.

Once the decision had been made, plans were formulated to carry them out. As in the expeditions to found the three earlier presidios, a two-pronged effort was undertaken to bring supplies by sea and to round up soldiers, settlers and cattle in Mexico and to move them by land to the area to be settled. Months of letter writing containing instructions and plans followed between Governor Neve, the viceroy and General Croix who was at Arizpe in Sonora, Mexico.

Once again it fell to Captain Fernando de Rivera y Moncada, Lieutenant Governor of Baja California at Loreto, to cross over to the mainland from Loreto and recruit the needed personnel and cattle from primarily Sinaloa and Sonora. The settlers were to start the pueblos at Los Angeles and San Jose and the soldiers were to sign up for ten years to man the new presidio on the Channel. Twenty-four families, thirty-four soldiers, and over 900 animals were to be moved nearly 1,000 miles to the north.

The group of 261 settlers and six soldiers gathered at San Miguel de Horcasitas in Sonora, north of Hermosillo. The settlers then went south to Alamos for equipment, clothing, provisions, livestock and pay. Once provisioned, the settlers split into two groups. The families and cattle heading for Los Angeles and San Jose went north by way of Tucson and the Colorado River following the De Anza trail to San Gabriel Mission, leaving in April 1781 and arriving on July 14,1781. The second group crossed the Gulf of California by boat from Playa de Santa Barbara to Loreto and then again by boat north along the coast to Bahia de San Luis Gonzaga where they landed and then followed the Portola route up the Baja peninsula to San Diego and San Gabriel. This group arrived August 18, 1781. The list of names of all involved was published in Antepasados, Los Californianos, Vol. IV, 1980, pgs. 59-64.

The first group was accompanied by Captain Rivera as far as the Colorado River where he remained behind on the east band to rest the cattle. On July 17, 1781 the Yuma Native Americans attacked the Spanish settlements on the east side of the river and massacred the inhabitants. At least forty-six were killed including Captain Rivera and other members of the group going north. Thus ended a long and distinguished career by a devoted Spanish soldier who was one of the founders of the State of California.

The combined groups camped at San Gabriel during the winter of 1781 to 1782. During that time the Pueblo of Los Angeles was founded on September 4,1781 with twelve settlers and their families - forty-six persons in all. The push further north to San Jose was delayed pending better weather.

A drawing of the route of the Moncada Expedition of 1781 to settle Los Angeles, San Jose and Santa Barbara. Drawn by Joyce N. Cheney and Courtesy of Los Californianos, San Francisco, California.

Meanwhile Lieutenant Jose Francisco Ortega, who was transferred from his post as Commandante of the San Diego Presidio to the same position at Santa Barbara by Governor Neve, was training the recruits for the Santa Barbara Presidio.

We will remember that Ortega was with the Portola Expedition and is credited by history to be the first European to see the San Francisco Bay. This same Ortega was directed by Governor Neve to explore the Channel for the best location for the new presidio. The spot that he picked turned out to be the present location of the San Buenaventura Mission in Ventura. Governor Neve was interested in finding a location in the middle of the channel and took an active part in exploring the area.

With improved weather the expedition of 200 people with horses and mules departed San Gabriel on March 26, 1782. This group included 60 soldiers with Lieutenant Ortega at the lead. After three days of marching, the expedition arrived at the present location of the San Buenaventura Mission. Father Serra finally achieved his goal of establishing a mission at the south end of the Santa Barbara Channel. A cross was raised, a temporary tule chapel was built and on Easter Sunday, March 31, Serra sang the first Mass. With the help of the soldiers and the local Native Americans a palisade was constructed and water was diverted from the Ventura River through a newly constructed aqueduct.

Governor Neve left Sergeant Pablo Cota in charge of fourteen soldiers to protect the mission and continue building the new structures. On April 15, 1782 Governor Neve and the remaining soldiers set out for the trip to Santa Barbara, a distance of 27 miles. This trek was made in one day. Upon reaching the present location of the Santa Barbara Presidio, Neve again conducted a survey of the whole area from Mescaltitlan to the present location. Paramount to a choice was a place where a ship could be anchored near enough to unload heavy equipment and close to the site of the Presidio. Two brass four-pounder cannon were to be sent to the Presidio by ship when a location was selected. As in the earlier expeditions, the Royal Navy out of San Blas, Mexico supported this one. Two ships were sent in 1782 to deliver food and equipment to the presidios.

The Princesa was a frigate built at San Blas. She was 189 tons, 92 feet long, 24 feet beam, 15 feet Draft. She was armed with six four-pounder and four three-pounder iron cannon.

The packet Favorita was purchased by the Spanish Navy from Peru. She was 193 tons, 72 feet long, 25 feet in beam, and 15 feet in draft. No cannon were reported for this ship.

Before starting this expedition, the Princesa had just returned from a long and hazardous voyage to the Philippines. Both ships were well known on the northwest coast for many years.
Don Esteban Josef Martinez commanded this expedition in support of the founding of the Santa Barbara Presidio. These ships were sent to the north in 1782 to supply San Francisco and Monterey. They were then to sail south to the location of the central coast and to look for the land portion of the expedition. Pantoja Y. Arriaga was the second pilot on the Princesa. One of the pilot's duties was to keep the ship's log. In a voyage such as this he also conducted surveys and prepared maps of the new area. While the area had been explored by land, it was not mapped in detail by sea. The log of the Princesa on this voyage was first translated by H. R. Wagner and published in 1935 and again by Geraldine Sahyun and edited and published by Richard Whitehead in The Voyage of the Princesa in 1982. From this record is obtained a description of the area of Mescaltitlan Island, as the Princesa and Favorita were moving south.

"Before reaching the last point, in the 2nd of the 3 before mentioned, are the bay, lake, and islands of Mescaltitlan, and on passing at about a league's distance from it a large opening is to be seen, which appears to have a large bay in the center and around its circumference many trees. It is the largest forest to be seen on all this coast of ravines. Several rancherias were seen in it, having a numerous Indian population with many canoes."



The Princesa and the Favorita at the location of Mescaltitlan August 1782, which is now the pesent day Santa Barbara Airport. Drawing by Bud Rinker. From Gunpowder and Canvas by the Author.



The two ships continued south while the Princesa fired her cannon to attract the attention of the land party. Hearing the ship in the distance, the land party prepared a signal fire to attract the attention of the sea party. They finally met at the present Santa Barbara roadstead. A flag had been raised at the point to the south of there. This was later named Point Martinez in honor of the commander of the Princesa. At this time Governor Neve had already decided on the location for the presidio at Santa Barbara on April 21, 1782. However, to back up his decision, Neve ordered the ship commander to send the pilot Pantoja Arriaga to Mescaltitlan to conduct a complete survey. The record of this survey is as follows:


The report of this survey is taken from the Whitehead book and modified as it appeared in Gunpowder and Canvas by the author. These comments and the resultant maps are the only record of the original Mescaltitlan area that comes down to us today. The survey was made on August 12, 1782 when most streams were dry and the effect of the sandbar was most evident. Had the survey been made in January the sandbar may not have existed, there would have been water in the streams and the result may have been different. However as a result of this pivotal survey, the decision was made by Neve to go ahead with the selection of the present location of Santa Barbara. His decision was stated in a letter to Galvez from General Croix dated August 26, 1782.


Neve picked Santa Barbara instead of Mescaltitlan because: "besides the advantages of the land, the grass and lumber, stones, and water, the last three of which were missing in the second place, the chosen site at Santa Barbara, is less than a quarter of a league from the only sheltered place along the coast that is suitable for anchoring ships." Other considerations were the overlook to the east that the site in Santa Barbara provided by the high ground above present Garden Street and the low marshy estero in that direction which was a barrier to any attack from that direction. At Mescaltitlan the presidio would have to be located on More Mesa or almost two miles back from the harbor above present day Hollister Road or on Mescaltitlan Island itself, which was heavily populated by Native American villages. At the Santa Barbara location, the only village was off a mile from the proposed location of the presidio and considered a safe distance. At the present day Goleta location, there were five large Chumash villages. The Santa Barbara site was also out of cannon shot of most shipping. The other consideration, water, seemed to be better provided by the present Mission Creek than was the case in the Goleta area in August of that year. So for all these reasons the fame and importance that has come to the Santa Barbara location has passed by the Goleta location. Had dredging been available to the Spanish in 1782, the Goleta lake and sandbar could have been deepened as is done every year today at the Santa Barbara harbor and a very impressive city built at the Goleta location, instead of just the present day airport. But then that is history!

As in the founding of the earlier presidios, the first structure was a palisade enclosure. Governor Neve returned to Monterey leaving Lieutenant Ortega with forty-one soldiers to begin the work. A location for the permanent presidio had been determined so the temporary structure was offset and would not interfere with the future construction site. Work began on an enclosure of oak palings to enclose an area of 165 feet square with two small bastions. The permanent structure was to be 220 feet on a side also with two small bastions, but made of adobe blocks. On June 2, 1782, Neve made an inspection of the presidio status just five and a half weeks after the founding. He reported to Commanding General Croix that: "the plastering, flat roofs, storehouse, guardhouse and barracks remained to be finished and that the natives were still happy about the Spanish settlement." In other words, much still had to be done. "The governor was complimentary of Lieutenent Ortega on most counts, but said he had to reprimand him for being too familiar with the troops. He also lacked firmness and determination, and his accounts as paymaster were in such bad shape, in spite of his intelligence in such matter, that Neve recommended he be quickly replaced. He said that if Ortega continued as paymaster the inevitable result would be bankruptcy. Neve considered him a good officer under the direction of another commander."

On August 1, 1782 the long awaited supply ships arrived with the much-needed uniforms, food, and the two bronze four-pounder cannon. Neve gave Ortega explicit instructions as to how the supplies were to be handled and inventoried.

In September 1782 Neve was appointed Inspector General of the Internal Provinces and Pedro Fages succeeded him as Governor of the Californias residing at Monterey.

Reproduced from Gunpowder and Canvas by the Author.



Enlarged section of the Pantoja Map showing the details of the Mescaltitlan area, now the Santa Barbara Airport. Note the numerous Native American rancherias in 1782. From Gunpowder and Canvas by the Author.



By the end of 1782, the mandatory strength report listed Ortega as commanding officer, Josef Arguello as his alferez, or ensign, in addition to Sergeants Pablo Cota and Josef Olivares, Corporals Alejandro de Soto and Josef de Ortega and fifty soldiers. Fifteen were in the escolta at San Buenaventura, seven at San Luis Obispo on a temporary assignment and two were in Los Angeles. This left thirty-two men at Santa Barbara available for duty, not a large force for the area under Spanish control.

Water was brought to the palisade by means of an aqueduct from the Mission Creek. A letter from Neve to Galvez dated October 20, 1783 states: "The numerous Indians who inhabit the said Channel remain quiet and tranquil, and according to the latest news I have received from the said Ortega, they have gladly and voluntarily labored on the buildings of the presidio and the aqueduct constructed from the source of the Pedregozo, distant a quarter of a league, to bring water to the presidio's very walls facing its principal entrance" - from Geiger, Life and Times of Serra II, 289-290. The aqueduct may have ended in a fountain outside the walls and a washbasin, and perhaps also a reservoir.

Governor Neve's displeasure with Lieutenant Ortega was displayed when he appointed Don Felipe Antonio de Goycoechea as Comandante of the Santa Barbara Presidio on January 14, 1783. His family was centered at Alamos in Sonora, Mexico. The reader will remember this as the starting place of the expedition to settle Santa Barbara. Goycoechea joined the army at thirty-five and moved up in rank quickly. He had good family connections and extensive experience on the Mexican frontier. He bore the title "Don" for that reason. His family was of noble Basque lineage. He commanded the Presidio at Loreto for a year before being appointed to the comandante of the Santa Barbara Presidio. He held this post from January 25,1784 to 1802 after which he was Governor of Baja California for eight years.

Ortega was transferred to Loreto. He applied for retirement in 1786 after 30 years of service but was denied. He continued in the service until he was retired as a brevet captain in 1795 but attached to the Santa Barbara fifty company. He died at his Spanish Land Grant ranch at Refugio Canyon twenty miles west of Santa Barbara on February 3, 1798.

With the appointment of Goycoechea, work began in 1785 on the permanent structures of the Presidio. Construction proceeded along the lines of the Reglamentos of 1772 using a formula that we have already seen for the earlier presidios in California. Walls were to be made of adobe with a chapel, three large warehouses, guardhouse, comandante quarters, family quarters, soldier's quarters and two bastions. Gardens separated the quarters from the outer defense walls. One gate was located facing the ocean as with the other presidios. A smaller gate was located on the east side. At Santa Barbara the main gate was on the south side of the quadrangle and the chapel in the wall on the north side. The comandante's quarters were at the right of the chapel and the married officers on the left. The outer walls were about 400 feet on each side. The inner parade ground was about 300 feet square. There was a casa mata outside the walls near the east bastion where the supply of about 350 pounds of gunpowder was stored. Two corrals were located on each side of the entrance behind the walls so that the horses could be watched by the guards at the entrance. Footings were excavated and filled with stone as foundations for the adobe blocks in the walls.

Construction began in 1785 with the construction of thousands of adobe bricks 11"x 22"x 4''. Soldiers, Spanish ship's crews, and the Chumash Native Americans all took part in the construction and all were paid for the work. The Chumash were paid one and a half reales per day and five quarts of corn. Wood beams were first taken from local trees but found to rot quickly so pine and redwood beams were ordered from Monterey and sent down by ship. Roof tiles were manufactured at the Presidio. The south row of buildings nearest the ocean which contained the warehouses and the main gate was constructed first, followed by the west side soldiers quarters, the north side with the comandante's quarters and the chapel, and finally, the east line of buildings. The outer defense wall was constructed last. Most of the buildings were completed by 1788, but the outer defense wall took over three years more to complete. The defense walls were four feet thick and nine feet high. The final steps were plastering the walls and whitewash. This went on for several years more.

The Santa Barbara Presidio construction avoided the mistakes of the earlier presidios, in that it did not first build a flat roof covered with plaster, followed by thatch, followed by tile, but built with tile in the first construction thus saving a huge amount of labor and maintenance. Most of the buildings had overhanging front porches supported by poles. A well was located in the inner quadrangle. The work proceeded briskly because it had the full support and attention of the Governor and the Viceroy. As buildings were constructed, the old palisade structure was vacated and torn down. There was some suggestion that there was a dry moat around the Presidio but none has been discovered to this time.

A document in the Bancroft Library dated September 16,1788 from Goycoechea to Governor Fages describes in detail the status of construction on the Presidio as of that date. Geraldine Sahyun translated this document in the 1960s. Incorporated in the document is a plan of the Presidio with a number for each building, the length, breadth and height of each room, and the materials of construction for the building or room. The map indicated that it is a statement to Governor Fages, prepared by Goycoechea showing the present state of construction of the Presidio. Bancroft's scribes on tracing cloth, using both sides of the tracing cloth, traced the copy in the Bancroft Library from the original. As a result, the ink has bled through the cloth and the document is difficult to read. The Newberry Library has a similar map of the Presidio with the same date but signed by Governor Fages. The Fages map is also a tracing of the original Goycoechea map. The map itself has been lost to history, but the Fages tracing map was found in the Archivo General de la Nacion in Mexico City. It is much clearer than the Bancroft map and has some measurements added that were omitted in the original Goycoechea map. The Newberry document is "Plan del Real Presidio del Canal de Santa Barbara," by Pedro Fages, September 16, 1788, MS in Map Collection of the Richman Papers, Newberry Library, Chicago, Illinois. This map appears in its original Spanish form in Citadel On The Channel by Richard S. Whitehead, pg. 116. A clean copy of the Bancroft map also appears on page 191 with an English translation on page 192. Details of the materials and construction of the presidio can also be found in Citadel On The Channel, Chapters 8 and 9.


On August 21, 1790 Goycoechea submitted a report to Governor Fages listing the names of the officers, soldiers, and other residents of the Presidio; their race, age and place of birth; the name, race and age of their wives; and the names and ages of their children. There are sixty-one officers and soldiers and six other men listed. With their wives and children, there were 230 people living in the Presidio.

In October 1794 Goycoechea ordered that construction expenses should stop and only work on the chapel and maintenance of the completed buildings would be allowed.

The first non-Spanish Europeans visited the newly completed Presidio in November 10-18, 1793. The English Captain George Vancouver visited Santa Barbara with his three-ship flotilla, the Discovery, the Chatham, and the Daedalus. The English were welcomed by Comandante Goycoechea, who made every effort to supply, feed and entertain his guests for
the 18-day visit. Vancouver describes his impressions of this Presidio as he did the others in his journals published in Europe. He reports seeing two brass nine-pounder cannon at the entrance to the Presidio. He also observes that the location of the Presidio and harbor could be made more secure by the placement of a fort on the hill about a mile away, which was about 150 feet above it and had a clear field of fire over it. Eventually, a fort was built at that location.

A Copy of the 1788 Goycoechea drawing of the Santa Barbara Presidio courtesy of the Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley, California. BANC MSS C-A7.


Vancouver's comments on his impressions of the Santa Barbara Presidio from his journals as presented in Gunpowder and Canvas by the Author, pgs. 2 - 51. We have been told that there were two brass Four-Pounders at the Presidio. Vancouver recommends a fort on the hill on the southwest side of the roadstead.


Vancouver also commented: "The buildings appeared to be regular and well constructed, the walls clean and white, and the roofs of the houses were covered with a bright red tile. The presidio was the nearest to the sea shore, and just showed itself above a grove of small trees, producing with the rest of the buildings a very picturesque effect." Vancouver also stated that the presidio excels all the others in neatness, cleanliness and other smaller though essential comforts and that it is placed on an elevated part of the plain and is raised some feet from the ground by a basement story, which adds much to its pleasantness.

At the time of Vancouver's visit, the Presidio had just been completed and had not yet seen the wear of the other three presidios visited by him. Also much better construction techniques and materials were used in this Presidio since it was the latest and last to be constructed. The comment about nine-pounder cannon conflicts with the earlier information that they were four-pounders requested by Governor Neve. At a later date, eight-pounder cannon were placed at the fort on the hill. The Presidio was built on a slight hill with the northeast end being higher than the southeast by about eight feet. The northeast end did not have a basement. John Sykes, chief artist with this expedition, rendered the first drawing of the Presidio and the Mission. It shows the Mission and the Presidio with the chapel peaking up over the walls, a tower or torreon on the right side and no bastions. Apparently, the torreon was added after Goycoechea submitted his 1788 plan since it was not shown then. The newly completed mission was also visible.

Following Vancouver's visit, as we have seen in the earlier parts of this work, the Spanish government became concerned about the threat from foreign powers. On October 17, 1794 Viceroy Marques de Branciforte began a program of studies and improved fortifications.

In 1796, work was underway to enlarge the Presidio chapel from 54 to 99 feet long. The enlarged chapel was consecrated on December 12th.
In a letter to Governor Borica dated April 10, 1797, Goycoechea describes the Presidio cannon as "6-caliber", meaning pounder, or firing a six-pound ball. Still more confusion.
The coast of California was rocked with one of the strongest earthquakes in California history in December of 1812. Estimated at over 8.5 on the Richter scale, the results were devastating to the Spanish adobe structures. Almost every building in Alta California was damaged or destroyed. The Presidio was heavily damaged and never recovered from this event.
Captain Jose Antonio de la Guerra y Noriega became Comandante of the Presidio in 1815.

In 1818 the coast of California was attacked by the Argentine revolutionary, Hipolite Bouchard. The widespread and steadily growing feeling of hostility throughout the Maerias for the colonial systems of Europe, which first became strongly manifest in the American Revolution, was brought with startling suddenness to the attention of Californios on October 6th. There arrived at Santa Barbara the American brig Clarion, sailing from the Hawaiian Islands, with the terrifying news that two ships, the Argentina and the Santa Rosa, were outfitting at Honolulu for an attack on the California coast. These insurgent ships flew the flag of the rebel government of Buenos Aires and they were commanded by Captain Hipolite Bouchard and Lieutenant Peter Corney respectively. Nearly 400 armed men were in their crews.

Captain Jose de la Guerra, immediately upon reception of this news, sent couriers to warn Governor Sola at Monterey and the missionaries of the more exposed missions along the coast of the impending attack. When De La Guerra received the required permission from the Governor, he prepared to evacuate the women and children of Santa Barbara, along with those articles of value that could be moved, across the Santa Ynez Mountains to the safety of the Santa Ynez Mission. Though Captain Bouchard carried a commission from the Buenos Aires government, the frightened officials of California branded him and the members of his crew as pirates. After sacking Monterey on November 22nd, Bouchard sailed south and appeared off Gaviota on December 2nd. He landed at Refugio and attacked the Ortega Rancho. The ranch was sacked and cattle killed but the residents and their valuables had disappeared into the mountains. The Spanish did manage to capture three of the insurgents. All of the troops and Native Americans that could be mustered were gathered to stop Bouchard without effect. Bouchard debarked and sailed south to Santa Barbara followed by this large Spanish land contingent at which he fired several cannon balls without effect. There he sent a man ashore under a flag of truce to ask for a parley to which Comandante de la Guerra agreed. In the course of this parley, Bouchard proposed that, for an exchange of prisoners, he would leave the coast. De la Guerra agreed and transferred the three prisoners taken at Refugio and received in exchange a drunken settler whom Bouchard's men had picked up in Monterey. After the exchange was consummated, Bouchard continued his voyage south and after a stop at San Juan Capistrano, was seen no more.

In 1820 the Spanish government had an unknown artist visit the four Alta California presidios and prepare a not-to-scale drawing of each showing what features were there at the time of the drawing. The drawings, held at the Bancroft Library, have already been discussed for the earlier presidios in this work. For Santa Barbara, the rear of the chapel is shown protruding beyond the defensive wall, the chapel bell tower is indicated on the left front as "Torrecito", a tower is shown in the east wall near the comandante's quarters as "torreon de dos cuerpos" or watchtower, the main gate is shown and two small side gates in the east and west walls. There are no bastions shown. A defensive wall encloses the buildings. The main gates are on the inside wall. No water well is shown although Vancouver refers to one during his 1793 visit. A number of buildings owned by the Presidio soldiers are shown outside the Presidio, as is the case at the other presidios at this time.

1822 marked a change in management of the presidios. The Mexican revolution ended the Spanish rule of King Ferdinand VII with the government of Mexican Emperor Agustine Iturbide the First. Everyone in California was required to pledge allegiance to the Emperor. On April 13, Presidio Comandante Jose de la Guerra lowered the flag of Spain over Santa Barbara. As we have seen in earlier sections of this work, this event marked the beginning of the end of the presidios.

Many of the soldiers of the presidios were assigned to the missions to control the Native Americans and to capture any that attempted to run away. The Santa Barbara Presidio provided its soldiers to six missions: San Fernando, San Buenaventura, Santa Barbara, Santa Ynez and Purisima Concepcion. As we have seen elsewhere in this work, there were many revolts of the Native Americans against the harsh treatment of the soldiers and the Spanish government in general. A revolt broke out at Santa Ynez as a result of an order given by Corporal Manuel Cota of the guard there. As a punishment for a shortcoming that was real or fanciful, one of the soldiers of the guard at Mission Santa Ynez trussed up a Purisima neophyte who was visiting friends at Santa Ynez and flogged him brutally. This mistreatment proved to be the spark necessary for the ignition of the powder keg. A general uprising followed immediately at the three Santa Barbara missions and an attempt was made at San Buenaventura Mission. At Santa Ynez, the Native Americans attacked the soldiers, who defended themselves behind the thick walls of the mission building. No lives were lost in this attack, but in the fighting inflammable material within the building was set on fire and a part of the structure was burned. This happened on a Sunday February 22, 1824. The next day the news of the conflict having been carried to the Presidio in Santa Barbara, a military force under the command of Sergeant Carrillo arrived on the scene and prepared to give battle to the insurrectionists. The Native Americans gave up the fight and fled to the Purisima Mission. Here the Native Americans took possession of the buildings. Corporal Tapia with the four soldiers stationed there barricaded themselves in their quarters along with the members of their families and the two missionaries and fought off the Native Americans until their supply of powder gave out. During this fight four whites and seven Native Americans were killed. The whites surrendered but were released by the Native Americans and sent to Santa Ynez. Then the Native Americans prepared to defend themselves against the attack that they knew would be launched against them.

In Santa Barbara the Native Americans tried to disarm the soldiers at the mission, but when they resisted, a fight ensued and the soldiers were badly beaten. Outraged by this depredation, Captain de la Guerra led a large force to the mission. In the battle that followed, two of the Native Americans were killed and three others wounded. Four of the soldiers were wounded. With no results the troops withdrew to the Presidio. The Native Americans then broke into the storerooms and took what provisions they could carry and retreated up Mission Canyon with their families. De la Guerra and his soldiers again attacked the mission but found the Native Americans gone. The soldiers sacked the Native American village and captured some women and took them off to the Presidio. Later four old Native Americans from Dos Pueblos encountered a band of soldiers who killed them.

The Spanish 1820 drawing of the Santa Barbara Presidio by an unknown draftsman. This drawing is not to scale but it appears to be accurate based on excavations at this and the other three Presidios.
Courtesy of the Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley, California.


The main body of the Native Americans escaped to Tulare Lake in the Central Valley. In April 1824, Captain de la Guerra dispatched Lieutenant Narcisco Fabrigat and his Mazatlan soldiers, originally rushed to Alta California in 1818 during the Bouchard attack on coastal ports, to bring the truant Native Americans back from the Valley. Eighty picked soldiers engaged the Native Americans at San Emigdio where two encounters took place in which four Native Americans were killed and a number of men on each side were wounded. The fugitives took advantage of a dust storm and escaped. In June Governor Arguello offered the Native Americans at Tulare a full pardon and the Mission Padre Ripoll, whom they trusted, induced them to return to the Santa Barbara Mission.

In the meantime, Governor Arguello sent a large force from Monterey to Purisima to reduce the rebels there. After a short fight, the rebels asked their Padre Rodriguez to intercede for them and to arrange surrender. This was done. There was supposed to be a pardon as with the Santa Barbara rebels. However as an aftermath of this conflict, seven Native Americans were shot as murderers, four were sentenced to ten years of hard labor at the Presidio, and then to permanent banishment, and eight others were condemned to the Presidio for eight years. The padres were outraged by the severity of this punishment but the governor would not relent and thought stricter punishment was deserved.

This whole event showed a complete lack of consideration by the Spanish for the plight of the Native Americans and was the last nail in this peoples' coffin leading to their ultimate extinction. Alta California was a province of Mexico after the revolution. Governor Echeandia called an assembly of electors in San Diego in February 1827. This assembly chose Comandante Jose de la Guerra of Santa Barbara to represent them for a two-year term in the congress organized in Mexico City. De la Guerra was Spanish-born and not allowed to serve under the new laws of Mexico which prohibited Spanish under 60 from living in Mexico unless married to a Mexican-born wife. He elected to go anyway. After a difficult journey to Mexico and a harrowing escape, Captain de la Guerra returned to Santa Barbara where he found Mexican-born Don Romualdo Pacheco in the position of Comandante. De la Guerra then retired at Santa Barbara to manage his large land holdings and to finish work on his grand adobe casa which still stands today on De la Guerra street. Captain de la Guerra was allowed to stay in California as a result of his fame and position in state affairs and a pardon from Governor Echeandia. In later years he again became the comandante.

The French explorer, A. Duhaut-Cilly visited Santa Barbara on August 29, 1827. His ship Le Heros was of 362 tons with a crew of 32 men and 72 guns. He also published his comments about the Presidio in his journals, as did Vancouver. His brief comments follow:

From Gunpowder and Canvas, pg. 2-53 by the Author.



Duhaut-Cilly traveled the California Coast for about a year, stopping at Santa Barbara on several occasions. He left California in August 1827 and returned to France via Hawaii and Canton, China.

The above quote tells us that Captain de la Guerra was in the process of building his adobe casa in 1827, that he purchased beams for it from Monterey, and that he was appointed to represent the province in Mexico City. He mentions a bastion on the Southeast corner of the Presidio, which was not shown in the 1820 drawing. This is the first reference to the existence of this structure. There had been doubt that it ever existed. But he states that it is of poor quality. He refers to a balcony at the comandante's quarters which must be the tower mentioned in the 1820 drawing. However, he places the comandante's quarters at the northwest corner of the Presidio while it was on the right side of the chapel or the northeast corner. The tower was also located on the 1820 drawing at this corner.

Due to the poor conditions that existed at the four presidios after California became a province of Mexico, the soldiers complained for years of lack of pay and provisions. At Monterey, a political agitator named Joaquin Solis from Chile had recently come to Monterey with a contingent of ragtag soldiers and convicts sent by the Mexican government. He was a fiery orator and talked the soldiers at the Monterey Presidio into a revolt against the Mexican government. On November 12, 1829 he seized control of the Monterey Presidio. He then left a contingent of his own followers in charge and took 100 men to San Francisco where he convinced the Presidio there to surrender and join the cause. Again, leaving a few loyal supporters in charge, Solis proceeded south to Santa Barbara to take control of the Presidio there. A group of Americans at Monterey formed an opposition party to Solis and sent a courier to warn Governor Echeandia at San Diego of the approaching army of about 200 men. Echeandia arrived there after two weeks and took command of the Santa Barbara Presidio. He sent a courier to Solis promising amnesty to any rebel who would desert. Solis crossed Refugio Pass and made camp in Refugio Canyon, where he sent a return message to Echeandia demanding surrender and stating he would in turn grant amnesty. The Governor ordered all residents of the town to the Presidio, except for thirty old women whom he sent to the Scottish ship Funchal anchored in the harbor. On December 13, 1829 the Presidio army of 90 headed by Comandante Pacheco encountered the Solis army near Cieniguitas, present day Modoc and Hollister streets. Pacheco beat a hasty retreat to the Presidio. Solis marched to within a mile of the Presidio in the vicinity of Mission and De La Vina streets where he set up cannon and opened fire on the Presidio. The governor returned the cannon fire. For three days cannon balls were lobbed back and forth without hitting anything. Solis then ran out of gunpowder and provisions. The Solis army returned to Monterey where it was captured by the American army loyal to the government. Joaquin Solis was eventually deported to his native Chile. As historian H. H. Bancroft phrased it, "the battle of Santa Barbara" was the first in which Californian was pitted against Californian."

Alfred Robinson was an early visitor and settler in California. After years of business and a long life in California, he published Life in California in which appear the second earliest known drawings of Santa Barbara entitled "Presidio (or Town) of Santa Barbara, Nueva California. From a Hill Near the Castillo, Founded April 21, 1782", dated 1829. He draws the Presidio without walls. Just to the left of the Mexican flag appears to be the tower (torreon) of the Presidio mentioned in the 1820 drawing. The de la Guerra adobe is to the left with its second story, Altito; and Burton's Mound is in the foreground. The mission is shown with two towers.

The Santa Barbara Presidio fell into disuse after becoming part of Mexico for the same reasons presented earlier in this work as did the three other presidios. The transition from the presidio to the pueblo resulted in the construction of private homes around the original structure and the sell-off of parts of the Presidio for that purpose so that with time the Presidio disappeared into the pueblo. The chapel was abandoned for the new parish church in 1854. The walls slowly dissolved and parts of the decaying structures of the Presidio were salvaged for building materials for new adobes.

In 1841 the French government sent their Mexican attaché, Duflot de Mofras, to California to learn as much as possible about the Mexican settlements there since it had been 14 years since Duhaut-Cilly's visit. Unlike the former visitor, de Mofras did not have a formally outfitted expedition. He moved from place to place on ships of convenience. He first arrived from San Blas on the ship Ninfa in May 1841. He stayed in areas for months to observe the culture and study the economic conditions. He described his findings in a two-volume book that was published in France in 1844 entitled Duflot De Mofras' Travels on the Pacific Coast by Marguerite Eyer Wilbur, Ed, and trans. 1937. The De Mofras comments reveal that the Presidio is deteriorating but still staffed by a garrison of 15 soldiers and 5 officers. There are one four-pounder (iron) and two bronze eight-pounders cannon. The hide and tallow trade is well established since hide sheds have been erected near the shore. The "Spanish battery" is now razed. This reference verifies that the battery did exist. A drawing in De Mofra's books shows the location and chevron shape of the "battery".



Alfred Robinson's rendering of the Pueblo and Presidio of Santa Barbara in 1829. Drawn from a hill near the Castillo. This is only the second known rendering.
Courtesy of the Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley, California.



In 1844, the "Kings Orphan" visited Santa Barbara and prepared two pencil sketches of the pueblo. The tower in the 1820 drawing is shown, however no walls or bastions are visible. The intact bell tower in front of the chapel is clearly visible. A flagpole with flag is shown in one view. The de la Guerra adobe is shown on the left view along with the two-story Alpheus B.Thompson adobe. The Mission is shown in the background with two towers. In one view, a building is shown on Burton's Mound in the foreground along with a beachside "hide house" to the right.

U.S. Naval Lieutenant James Alden with the U.S. Coast Survey drew the next view of the Presidio in 1855. He visited the Presidio and drew the chapel showing the ruined bell tower, an intact but deserted chapel and the melted defense walls and some of the collapsed buildings on either side of the chapel. A triangular buttress to prevent collapse supported the back of the chapel.


The chapel bells are shown mounted on a rack in front of the ruins of the bell tower. The chapel was abandoned after 1855 when the new parochial Our Lady of Sorrows Church replaced it as the place of worship in Santa Barbara. The original drawing of the chapel is located at the Santa Barbara Mission Archives Library.
Edward Vischer visited all the missions and presidios in 1865 and prepared drawings of the missions and some of the presidio remaining buildings. One of his pictures of Santa Barbara shows the one remaining building that housed the soldiers' family, called El Cuartel. To the left of this drawing and just underneath the eave is an image of a three-masted sailing ship in the roadstead. Other ships appear on the right side in the background.

Henry Chapman Ford made a drawing of the Casa de la Guerra on the backside in 1886 presenting the complete view of the "Altito" or second story supposedly built by Captain de la Guerra to house his gold. This structure has since been removed but it is seen in early
photographs of the Casa.

In 1895 Walter A. Hawley of Santa Barbara became interested in the history of the Presidio and the Mission. He retained a civil engineer and had the remains of the Presidio surveyed and a map prepared drawn with pencil on heavy brown paper. The map is located in the files of the Santa Barbara Mission Archives Library. As a result of his historical research on Santa Barbara, Hawley published a book in 1910 entitled Early Days of Santa Barbara. The book was republished in 1920 by Mrs. Hawley and again in 1987 by John C. Woodward with additional illustrations. The history of the Presidio, Mission and ranchos as well as many other historical events were presented. At the time of this publication in 1910, El Cuartel, the comandante's quarters and the Canedo Adobe were the only parts of the Presidio still standing. The Canedo Adobe is at the far left of the chapel location. It was once used to house Presidio soldiers and their families. The adobe was later granted to Jose Maria Canedo, a Presidio soldier and extensively remodeled in the 1940's by Elmer Whitaker.

The earthquake of 1825 severely damaged the comandante's quarters. The building could not be repaired and was torn down.

By 1911 the chapel no longer existed. The Chinese settled in and around the old Presidio compound. On the old chapel site the Chinese constructed a two-story Buddhist Temple. This structure lasted until 1967 when it was torn down to begin the Presidio reconstruction.



The above quote from De Mofras's journal is taken from Gunpowder and Canvas by the Author, pgs. 2-54-55.
Pen sketch of the town of Santa Barbara in 1844 by the King's Orphan.
Courtesy of the Society of California Pioneers, San Francisco, California.
The second pen sketch, from a different angle and time, of Santa Barbara in 1844 by the Swedish Traveler G. M. Waseurtz Af Sandels, the "King's Orphan."
Courtesy of the Society of California Pioneers, San Francisco, California.

El Cuartel, one of the remaining soldiers quarters in 1865. Drawn by Edward Vischer.
Courtesy of the Huntington Library, San Marino, California.

Photograph of the El Cuartel Shown above, circa 1880s. It was used as a place to live even then.
From Early Days of Santa Barbara, 1910 by Walter A. Hawley, pg.53.
The De la Guerra Adobe sketched by Henry Chapman Ford in 1886 showing the rear view with the original two story "Altito." photo. CL Pierce 05585.
Courtesy of the Huntington Library, San Marino, California.



The Comandancia was one of three original buildings of the Presidio remaining in 1910. The 1925 earthquake damaged the adobe building beyond repair so it was demolished.
Photograph by N.H. Reed, From Early Days of Santa Barbara by Walter A. Hawley, pg. 58.

Underneath the site were found the brick-lined vaults of Spanish and Mexican Presidio residents buried in the chapel.





The Santa Barbara Presidio is the only one of the five Spanish presidios that has been partially restored. Primarily the north side, which includes the chapel, has been restored. Part of the comandancia and the torreon in the east line of buildings has also been restored.

The Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation, a non-profit organization, was formed in 1963 with restoration of the Presidio as its primary objective. The trust then acquired, restored and donated El Cuartel to the State. Later El Presidio de Santa Barbara State Historic Park was formed. El Cuartel is the oldest building owned by the State of California. Several other properties in the Presidio area have been acquired for the project, including the Canedo Adobe and the site of the Presidio Chapel. The Trust operates the State Park under an agreement with the State Department of Parks and Recreation.

Archeological investigations within the Presidio's quadrangle have been conducted since the mid-1960s. A large portion of the fort's stone foundations has been located. Extensive and ongoing research in original Presidio documentation has provided much information about the Presidio's history. As a result of these investigations, the Trust has been able to reconstruct the padre's quarters, the chapel, comandancia, and torreon with the assistance of the California Conservation Corps and volunteers working under professional supervision.

Excavations have also located the aqueduct from the reservoir at Mission Creek near the Mission that entered the Presidio at the rear of the comandancia. To date, the casa mata has not been found. Some think it is located on the Rochin property at 820 Santa Barbara Street. No cannon from the presidio period have been recovered. Cannon were movable and either found a new home on some ship, were buried or sold for scrap.

While State, County and City revenues have been provided for land acquisition in the Presidio quadrangle, the planning and financing of reconstruction have been largely the Trust's responsibility.


Comandantes of the Presidio


Many of the local place names and family surnames of Santa Barbara are due to the first settlers of the Presidio and to the Comandantes and Governors. Most of the pioneers were from the western provinces of Mexico, only a few were from Spain. In the following list the Comandantes of the Presidio are reviewed.

The officers of the Presidio were civil as well as military and consisted of the comandante, who had sometimes the rank of lieutenant but generally that of captain; and the habilitado, who had charge of all branches of the revenue and was generally postmaster. The duties of habilitado were frequently discharged by the comandante.

The first comandante was Captain Jose Francisco Ortega, born in Guanajuato, Mexico. He was engaged in mining in early life but moved to Baja California where he entered the military service. He served as Comandante at Santa Barbara and Monterey and continued to perform military service until shortly before his death. He supervised the construction of the temporary palisade presidio and constructed the first water supply for the presidio and farm plots.

In 1784 Ortega was succeeded in command by Captain Felipe de Goycoechea, who was the Comandante at Santa Barbara until 1802. During his term of office the permanent Presidio was constructed and most of the mission buildings were finished.


The Restored Canedo Adobe on the north wing of the Presidio. One of two original buildings remaining. Now used as the Administrative Offices of the Trust for Historic Preservation.
Photograph by the Author


The soldiers quarters, El Cuartel, the second of the original Presidio buildings in what was the west wing of the original Presidio. Restored and used as a museum and book store by the Trust for Historic Preservation. Photograph by the Author.

The reconstructed Presidio Chapel circa 1995, without the bell tower, Note adobe bricks for future building construction and Spanish Flag. Photograph by the Author.

The reconstructed Presidio Chapel With bell tower, 2001. Photograph by the Author.


Vancouver Plaque located on the end of one portion of the Comandancia facing on Santa Barbara Street. Photograph by the Author.



Sidewalk Plaque at the Presidio on the east side of Santa Barbara Street showing how the original Presidio is divided by the modern Santa Barbara and Canon Perdido Streets. The Comandancia location is bisected. Photograph by the Author.




Reconstruction of the northeast corner of the Presidio. Top construction 1996. Finished building is a portion of the Comandancia, on the left, now used as a Museum, and the Torreon in 2001 along Santa Barbara Street. Photographs by the Author.


A rendering of the Presidio based on the 1788 Comandante Goycoechea Plan, drawn by Russell A Ruiz and on display in the Museum of the Comandanica in the northeast corner of the restored Presidio. Photograph by the Author, 2001.



Upper, Shows the adobe cross section of the reconstructed inner defense wall and its foundation at the northeast corner of the Presidio. Lower left, shows the roof construction using beams, tied with rawhide and cane or tule wattles. Lower right, is a reconstructed bread oven. Photographs by the author.


Upper, shows Ongoing excavation work on the northwest corner of the Presidio along Canon Perdido Street in 2001. Bottom, shows an excavated portion of the original aqueduct that entered the Presidio behind the comandancia. Photographs by the Author.


After leaving this assignment, he was made Governor of Baja California. Goycoechea was succeeded by Lieutenant Raimundo Carrillo, who for five years was Comandante at the Presidio and discharged the duties of his office with firmness yet clemency.

This period was memorable because of the earthquake of 1806, which damaged not only some of the buildings of the Mission but also the Presidio Chapel. The walls of the latter were badly cracked and a severe gale almost completely destroyed the edifice. Carrillo was born in 1749 at Loreto, the capital of Baja California; and came to Alta California about twenty years later, becoming a soldier. He served as a corporal at Monterey and later as a sergeant at Santa Barbara. He was made lieutenant and Comandante at Monterey and two years later was Comandante at Santa Barbara.

Captain Jose Dario Arguello, who for nine years was Comandante at Santa Barbara, succeeded Carrillo in command. Captain Arguello was born in Queretaro, Mexico in 1755 and when twenty years old enlisted in the army. One of the most important acts of his administration was the opening of common schools but unfortunately they received little public support. During this time the disastrous earthquake of 1812 occurred in December causing great damage to many of the buildings at the Mission and elsewhere in California. Extensive damage to the Presidio resulted from this event. Some considered reconstructing the Presidio on another site. For a short time Arguello was acting governor of Alta California and served for several years as Governor of Baja California. Arguello was one of the most influential men in California where he resided for thirty-four years.

Arguello was succeeded in 1815 by Captain Jose Antonio de la Guerra y Noriega whose command extended over 24 years. He was born in Spain in 1779 of a distinguished family and while still very young moved to Mexico to live with his uncle. He entered the army as a cadet and occupied several military positions until 1806 when he was promoted to Lieutenant of the Santa Barbara Presidio. In 1810 he was chosen Habilitado General of both Californias and sent to Mexico but was arrested by Mexicans during the revolution and returned to Santa Barbara. In 1815 he was appointed Comandante which office he occupied with a few interruptions until 1842. He was promoted to Captain soon after his appointment to Comandante. During his long life Captain de la Guerra exercised a strong influence in the political affairs of Alta California. He died in 1858 and was buried at the Mission.

Gumesindo Flores, a Mexican brevet lieutenant colonel who was Comandante at Monterey from 1839 to 1842, succeeded De La Guerra. Flores was actively engaged in territorial affairs during his short term as Comandante at Santa Barbara and is regarded as the last Comandante, although Raimundo Carrillo was acting commander during his absence for part of the year of 1846. In December of 1846 Captain Fremont crossed the Santa Ynez Mountains with his American battalion and occupied Santa Barbara during the conquest of California.

References The following documents were used for references and excerpted to prepare the foregoing history of the Santa Barbara Presidio: The Narrative of James O. Pattie by James O. Pattie; The History of California by H.H. Bancroft; Early Days of Santa Barbara by Walter A. Hawley; Exploration of the Coast of Southern California in 1782 by Henry R. Wagner, Quarterly Publication of the Historical Society of Southern California, pgs. 135-138; California Pictorials by Jeanne Van Nostrand and Edith M. Coulter; Fabricas by Elisabeth L. Egenhoff; A Brief Story of Santa Barbara by Edward Selden Spaulding; Old Spanish Santa Barbara by Walker A. Tompkins; Royal Presidio of Santa Barbara Archaeology of the Chapel Site by Brian Fagan; The 1781 Rivera y Moncada Expedition by Rudecinda Lo Buglio, Anteposados Volume IV 1980-1981, pgs.59-64; The Voyage of the Frigate Princesa to Southern California in 1782 by Richard S. Whitehead; Gunpowder and Canvas by Justin M. Ruhge; Felipe de Goycoechea: Santa Barbara Presidio Comandante by Jarrell C. Jackman; Citadel on the Channel by Richard S. Whitehead; California Missions Studies Association WWW.Ca-Missions.Org

Commandantes of the Presidio of Santa Barbara



 1781  Jose Francisco de Ortega  September 8, 1781 to January 25, 1784
 1784  Felipe Goycoechea  January 25, 1784 to August 31, 1802, Appointed on January 17, 1783 in Loreto
 1802  Jose Raimundo Carrillo  1802 to 1807
 1807  Jose Arguello  January 1, 1807 to October 13, 1815
 1815  Jose de la Guerra y Noriega  October 13, 1815 to January 1, 1828, Suspended part of 1828 to 1830
 1819  Gabriel Moraga  December, 1819 to April, 1821 (Acting only)
 1828  Romuldo Pacheco  December, 1828 to November, 1829 and April to August 1830 (Acting only)
 1828  Romuldo Pacheco  April to August 1830 (Acting only)
 1830  Jose de la Guerra y Noriega  November 1, 1830 to November 2, 1832
 1833  Juan M. Ibarra  July 1833 to April 1836
 1837  Jose Castro  December 25, 1837 to March 1838
 1838  Jose Ma. Villa  April 1838 (Acting only)
 1839  Jose de la Guerra y Noriega  January to December, 1839
 1840  Jose de la Guerra y Noriega  June and July, 1840 to October, 1841
 1841  Gumesindo Flores  November, 1841 to March, 1844
 1845  Jose Carrillo  September 3, 1845
 1846  Gumesindo Flores  Again appointed January 26, 1846
 1847  Henry S. Burton  May 26, 1847
 1847  Francis J. Lippitt  July, 1847 to September 8, 1848
 1848  Captain Smith  September 8, 1848

Source: Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation

Initial Garrison
Officers and Noncommissioned Officers
Don Felipe De Neve, Governor
Jose Francisco Ortega, Captain
Pablo Cota, First Lieutenant
Dario Arguello, Second Lieutenant
Jose Carrillo, First Sergeant
Jose Maria Ortega, Second Sergeant
Ignacio Olivera, Sergeant
Pedro Amador, First Corporal
Jose Ignacio Rodriguez, Second Corporal

Soldados (Soldiers)
Juan Franco Soto
Felipe Gonzalez
Anastasio Felix
Salvador Cervantes
Rosalino Fernandez
Juan Villa
Eugenio Valdez
Ignacio Rochin
Juan Jose Lobo
Eugenio Ruiz
Guillermo Soto
Tomas Gonzalez
Juan J. Dominguez
Jose Lugo
Luis G. Lugo
Isidro German
Vicente F. Villa
Joaquin Rodriguez
Jose Ruiz
Jose M. Flores
Juan Valencia
Jose I. Martinez
Tadeo Sanchez
Francisco Garcia
Mariano Cota
Luis Pena
Martin Reyes
Juan Ballesteros
Jose Ayala
Juan M. Romero
Vicente Quijada
Manuel Valenzuela
Jose Valenzuela
Manuel Machado
Juan Leyva
Jose Valdez
Indian Soldiers
Jose Loreto
Jose Salazar
Manuel Orcha
Pedro Ramon
Rafael Gerardo
Marcos Varela
Hilario Carlon
Luis Yaquis
Jose Callixto

Source: Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation



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Updated 8 February 2016