Chavez, A. & Waner,
T. (1995) The Dominguez and Escalante Journal,
University of Utah Press, SLC, UT
Educational Material / Non-Commercial
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.
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.
Nothing is known about him other that the references to him in this
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
Native of Santa Cruz, near Coca, in Castilla la Vieja. He died in
Olivares from La Villa del Paso:
No additional data have come to light concerning him.
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.
Brother of Andres Muniz, another member of the expedition. From
Embudo, north of Santa Fe.
Born in Santa Clara, new Mexico. No other data available.
Perhaps from Zuni. He was servant to Don Pedro Cisneros.
(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.
(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
(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
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!
Through this website you are able to link to other websites which
are not under the control of the Uintah Basin Teaching American
History (UB-TAH.) We have no control over the nature, content and
availability of those sites. The inclusion of any links does not
necessarily imply a recommendation or endorse the views expressed
let us know if you find