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Antonio Arce



Chavez, A. & Waner, T. (1995) The Dominguez and Escalante Journal,  University of Utah Press, SLC, UT
Disclaimer: Educational Material / Non-Commercial

Fray Francisco Atanasio Dominguez:

Born in Mexico City about 1740, he joined the Franciscan order on 1757 at the age of seventeen. The first known reference to him is at the Convent of Veracruz as Commissary of the Third Order in October 1772, when he was thirty-two years old and in the order fifteen years. In 1775 he was sent to New Mexico from the Mexican Province of the holy Gospel to make an inspection of the Custody of the Conversion of St. Paul. He arrived in Santa Fe on March 22, 1776. He was also under instructions to investigate the possibility of opening an overland route between Santa Fe and Monterey, California. In 1777 he was recalled to Mexico and served as chaplain of presidios in Nueva Vizcaya. He was at Janos, Sonora, Mexico, in 1800. He died sometime between 1803 and 1805.

Fray Francisco Silvestre Velez de Escalante:

Born in the mountains of Santander in the town of Trecino, Spain, about 1750, he took the Franciscan habit in the Convento Grande in Mexico City when he was seventeen years old. He came to New Mexico in 1774 and was stationed first at Laguna pueblo and the, in January 1775, was assigned to Zuni. He continued to be its minister until summoned by Dominguez to Santa Fe in June the following year. He remained in New Mexico for two years following his return from this expedition. He died in Parral, Mexico, in April 1780, while returning to Mexico City for medical treatment. He was scarcely thirty years old.

Don Juan Pedro Cisneros:

Nothing is known about him other that the references to him in this journal.

Don Bernardo Miera y Pacheco:

Native of Valle de Carriedo, Mantanas de Burgos. Come with his family from Chihuahua to El Paso in 1743, thence to Santa Fe in 1754-56. He was an army engineer, merchant, Indian fighter, government agent, rancher, artist, and cartographer. It was believed at one time that Father Velez de Escalante had recommended that he lead the expedition bound for Monterey; however, Escalante denied this and stated that he should not command the expedition but make a map of the terrain explored. And it was “only for this do I consider him useful.” In 1778 he prepared an interesting and useful map of the country traversed by the expedition. Miera y Pacheco was a painter and sculptor, and his words appeared in many New Mexico mission churches. His large painting of St. Michael still stands on the altar screen in Santa Fe’s chapel of San Miguel. Some of his statuettes were in the Zuni church. Father Dominguez was harshly critical of Miera’s artwork. Miera also prepared a report on the expedition which is included in Herbert E. Bolton, Pageant in the Wilderness: The Story of the Escalante Expedition to the Interior Basin.

Don Joaquin Lain:

Native of Santa Cruz, near Coca, in Castilla la Vieja. He died in 1799

Lorenzo Olivares from La Villa del Paso:

No additional data have come to light concerning him.

Andres Muniz:

From Bernalillo, New Mexico. Knew the Ute language and served as interpreter. He had been with Juan Maria de Rivera to the Gunnison River in 1775.

Lucrecio Muniz:

Brother of Andres Muniz, another member of the expedition. From Embudo, north of Santa Fe.

Juan de Aguilar:

Born in Santa Clara, new Mexico. No other data available.

Simon Lucero:

Perhaps from Zuni. He was servant to Don Pedro Cisneros.

Silvestre (A Timpanogos Ute):

The fathers (Dominguez and Escalante) gave the name of "Silvestre" to the Ute Native who joined the expedition as the main Native guide. Silvestre inherited his name from Silvestre Escalante. The Utah Native, Silvestre, knew the terrain very well and guided the fathers from Colorado to Utah. He saved the lives of the expedition party when they arrived at his village, which is very close to where Provo is today, and his people recognized him. His village and other Ute villages welcomed the Catholic fathers.

Joaquin (A Timpanogos Ute):

The fathers (Dominguez and Escalante) gave the name of "Joaquin" to the Ute Native who joined the expedition as Native guide. Joaquin was about twelve years old and he accompanied the fathers from Colorado, where he joined the expedition with Silvestre. Joaquin traveled back to Santa Fe, New Mexico with the fathers where he was baptized in the Catholic Church. After visiting Silvestre's village, he stayed with the fathers and helped the fathers in many ways during their journey. His name probably was taken from Joaquin Lain, an Spaniard who was also in the expedition

Jose Maria (A Timpanogos Ute): 

The fathers  (Dominguez and Escalante) gave the name of "Jose Maria" to the Ute Native who joined the expedition in Provo (Silvestre's village). The name was probably given to him because the event of finding Silvestre's village was very special. The name Jose Maria is the joined name of the parents of Jesus in the Bible, a very special name for this Native. Jose Maria was also a young boy, probably also about 12 years old. He stayed with the fathers a very short time, from Silvestre's village (Provo) to a place very close to what is Cedar City today. When Jose Maria saw the terrible treatment of one of the servants in the expedition, he decided to leave and return to his village.


In July 30, 1776, the Dominguez and Escalante Journal stated: "We traveled nine leagues, more or less, and arrived at the pueblo of Santa Rosa de Abiquiú, where because of various circumstances we remained on the 31st without traveling, and where by means of a Solemn Mass we again implored the aid of our most holy patrons."

A Spanish league in the eighteenth century was the equivalent of 2.63 U.S. statute miles today. Eighteenth-century travelers calculated a league as the distance traveled for one hour on horseback over level terrain at a normal gait. Thus, on this date, the expedition journeyed nine leagues and therefore covered some 23.67 miles. They were in the saddle for at least nine hours. Reckoning distance in this manner is obviously a haphazard method at best, and accounts for the fact that in retracing the route it is difficult to understand the long distances traveled on certain days. It has been claimed that a man on horseback in level country could travel as much as 20-30 leagues a day, or 52-66 miles!

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