Fernando de Rivera y Moncada

1725 – 1781

¡Al hogar!

Captain and governor of Baja California. In 1769 he led a division of cuera dragoons from Loreto in Baja overland to San Diego and was a founder of the presidio at Monterey. He became governor of California and served from 1773-1776. Appointed to organize the expedition to found Los Angeles, the presidio and missions of the Santa Barbara Channel in California, Rivera died at Yuma crossing in 1781 after sending most of the colonizing party on to California.
  Maurice Bandy above, a member of Los Californianos, looks very much like the Jo Mora Painting of Rivera below.
With a little persuasion, Maurice took it upon himself to recreate the uniform of Rivera. He has since researched the character and does a wonderful interpretation of Captain Fernado Rivera y Moncada.
Drawings by Jo Mora,
on display at Pacific House
in Monterey California.

© Michael R. Hardwick, February 2001 

The above drawing by Tirsch with contemporary coloring allegedly shows Capitán Fernando Xavier Rivera y Moncada (center).

Padre Ignacio Tirsch was a Jesuit missionary in Baja California in the mid-1700's. He was the first artist that we know by name who depicted life on the peninsula. His drawings of San José del Cabo and several other scenes in that area include pictures of the Soldados and other inhabitants. The above is one of his drawings of life in 1767.

The Drawings of Ignacio Tirsch: A Jesuit Missionary in Baja California. Narrative by Doyce B. Bunis, Jr. Translation by Elsbeth Schulz-Bischof, Dawson's Book Shop, Los Angeles, 1972.