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Rivera y Moncada, Fernando de (1711–1781)

Rivera y Moncada, Fernando de (1711–1781)

Fernando de Riveray Moncada (b. 1711; d. 18 July 1781), Spanish commandant of the Californias. Rivera y Moncada, a native of Compostela, Nayarit, served in the military at Loreto, Baja California, in 1742. He explored the Bahía de Sebastián Vizcaíno with the Jesuit Fernando Consag in 1751. As commandant, he aided in the founding of missions at Santa Gertrudis (1752) and San Francisco Borja (1762). With the Jesuit Wenceslaus Linck, Rivera y Moncada explored as far as the Sierra San Pedro Mártir in 1766. In January 1768 he aided Gaspar de Portolá in the expulsion of the Jesuits from California, and in May of that year he and the Franciscan Juan Crespí led the first land party to San Diego. With Portolá he explored as far as San Francisco and Monterey from July 1769 to January 1770, and from Baja California he supplied Alta California in 1770–1771. Rivera y Moncada retired to Guadalajara in 1772, but by 1774 he was back in service as military commandant of Alta California, where he put down the San Diego revolt in 1775. He was commandant of Loreto from 1777 to 1779, and in 1781 he led Sonoran colonists to Alta California. He was massacred in an uprising by the Yuma Indians near La Concepción on the Colorado River.

See alsoBaja California; Jesuits.


Francisco Palóu, Historical Memoirs of New California, translated by Herbert E. Bolton, 4 vols. (1926).

Ernest J. Burrus, ed., Diario del capitán comandante Fernando de Rivera y Moncada, 2 vols. (1967).

Additional Bibliography

Gustafson, Janie L. "Never to Turn Back: The Controversy Between Junipero Serra, OFM, Fermin Francisco de Lasuen, OFM, and Commander Fernando de Rivera y Moncada and its Effects on the Evangelization/Acculturation of the California Indians at Missions San Diego de Alcala and San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo in the Years 1774–1777." Ph.D. diss. Graduate Theological Union, 1986.

Rodríguez Sala de Gomezgil, María Luisa, and Pedro López González. Exploraciones en Baja y Alta California, 1769–1775: Escenarios y personajes. Mexico City: UNAM, Instituto de Investigaciones Sociales: Amat, 2002.

                                    W. MIchael Mathes

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