Alberni, Pedro de (1745–1802)

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Alberni, Pedro de (1745–1802)

Pedro de Alberni (b. 1745; d. 11 March 1802), Spanish soldier and explorer. Alberni, a native of Tortosa, Catalonia, joined the Barcelona-based Catalonian Volunteers in 1767. Following the Sonora Expedition of 1767–1771 in Mexico, he served in Jalisco and Nayarit, where he married Juana Vélez of Tepic. In 1782, Alberni was promoted to captain of the First Company of Catalonian Volunteers. Between 1789 and 1793 he commanded his unit on several expeditions to the Pacific Northwest. He established a Spanish base for the expeditions at Nootka Sound on Vancouver Island. As troop commander, Alberni assigned Catalonian Volunteers to assist in the mapping of the Spanish claim to the coast of Alaska and the Pacific Northwest prior to the Nootka Sound Convention that led to Spain's loss of the area. He made friends with the Nootka Indians and compiled a small dictionary of 633 words in their language and their Spanish equivalents. While military commander of California, Alberni died at Monterey and was buried at Mission Carmel. Port Alberni on Vancouver Island is named for him.

See alsoCatalonian Volunteers .


Joseph P. Sánchez, Spanish Bluecoats: The Catalonian Volunteers in Northwestern New Spain, 1767–1810 (1990).

Additional Bibliography

Higueras, Dolores. "Pedro Alberni y los voluntarios de Cataluña en Nutka 1790–1792." In Nootka: regreso a una historia olvidada, edited by Mercedes Palau de Iglesias. Madrid: Ministerio de Asuntos Exeriores de España, Dirección General de Relaciones Culturales y Científicas, 1998.

Soler Vidal, Josep. California, la aventura catalana del noroeste. Mexico City: Libros de Umbral, 2001.

                                      Joseph P. SÁnchez

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Alberni, Pedro de (1745–1802)

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