- Fernando Rivera y Moncada
Fernando Javier Rivera y Moncada (ca. 1725-1781) was a soldier from
New Spainwho served in Baja- and Alta California, participating in several early overland explorations and serving as the region's governor.
Rivera was born near Compostela, New Spain. He entered military service in 1742, serving harmoniously under Jesuit direction in Baja California. In 1750 he was promoted to command of the
presidioat Loreto. He participated in the important reconnaissances of the northern peninsula together with the Jesuit missionary-explorers Ferdinand Konščakand Wenceslaus Linck. Rivera's situation changed in 1768 when the Jesuits were expelled and replaced in Baja California by the Franciscansand by the civil authorities of New Spain. The latter ordered a bold move northward to colonize Alta California.
In 1769, Rivera led the first overland party to San Diego, together with
Juan Crespiand José Cañizares, traveling in advance of the party led by Gaspar de Portolàand Junípero Serra. After the several land and sea groups assembled again at San Diego, Rivera continued north with Portolà to Monterey. Rivera retired to the Mexican mainland around 1772, but he was soon recalled to service. Serra and the Franciscans had quarreled with California's military governor, Pedro Fages, and Rivera took over as Fages' replacement in 1774. The results were not happy. Rivera himself was soon in conflict with Serra and the Franciscans and with Juan Bautista de Anza. Rivera opposed the settlement of San Francisco. When several KumeyaayIndian communities joined together to sack the mission at San Diego in 1775, Rivera had the responsibility of suppressing the revolt. For forcibly removing one of the rebels from a temporary church building at the mission, Rivera was excommunicated by the Franciscans.
Following his tenure as governor in 1777, Rivera was reassigned as military commander at Loreto. His final posting was centered on assisting settlers as they made their way overland to California. Rivera was killed along with the local missionaries, settlers, and travelers at
Mission San Pedro y San Pablo de Bicuñeron the lower Colorado Riverwith the revolt of the QuechanIndians in 1781.
*cite book |last=Ives |first=Ronald L |coauthors= |year=1984 |title=José Velásquez: Saga of a Borderland Soldier (Northwestern New Spain in the 18th Century) |edition=Seventh |editor=Bill Shakespeare|location=Tucson |publisher=Southwestern Mission Research Center |isbn=0915076101
*cite book |last=Rivera y Moncada |first=Fernando de |language=Spanish |editor=Ernest J. Burrus |year=1967 |title=Diario del capitán comandante Fernando de Rivera y Moncada |edition=Colección "Chimalistac" de libros y documentos acerca de la Nueva España, 24-25 |location=Madrid |publisher=Ediciones J. Porrúa Turanzas |oclc=2882621
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