University of Arizona

                                             Special Collections will be closed December 20, 2023 through January 1, 2024 in observance of the University Holiday break.

Documents Relating to Southwest History

Page i from The Discovery of Silver at Arizonac in 1736 April 10, 1737-July 13, 1737

Juan Bautista de Anza I (1693-1740) was born in Basque country before leaving for New Spain when he was nineteen years old. There, he worked in silver mines, joined the cavalry and established livestock ranches. When silver was discovered in 1736 under his jurisdiction he decided who owned the silver but was killed by Apaches four years later.

Juan Bautista de Anza’s son, also Juan Bautista de Anza (1736-1788), was Governor of New Mexico from 1777 to 1787. He and his team fought Native Americans, explored and found land routes across the Southwest to San Francisco Bay.

José de Zúñiga was born in 1755 in Cuautitlán, near Mexico City. On September 8, 1781, he became Commandant of the Presidio of San Diego but was later assigned to what is now Tucson, AZ. Zúñiga blazed a trail between Tucson and the Zuni pueblos in 1795, but Apache hostilities prevented that route from becoming well-traveled.

Collection contains letters and other documents consisting of 7 volumes of typewritten transcripts created in 1925 from the original manuscripts. Volumes 1-5, dating from 1736-1740, cover discovery of silver at Arizonac in the jurisdiction of Juan Bautista de Anza I. Volume 6 and the first half of volume 7 deal with the governorship of Juan Bautista de Anza in New Mexico and his policies toward the Moquis, 1775-1782. The second half of volume 7, covering 1778-1795, concerns the military career of Don José de Zúñiga.