The first biography of an eighteenth-century Basque immigrant who became a silver miner, a cattle rancher, and commander of the cavalry in Sonora, Mexico. The name of Juan Bautista de Anza the younger is a fairly familiar one in the contemporary Southwest because of the various streets, schools, and other places that bear his name. Few people, however, are familiar with his father, the elder Juan Bautista de Anza, whose activities were crucial to the survival of the tenuous and far-flung settlements of Spain's northernmost colonial frontier. For this first comprehensive biography of the elder Anza, Donald T. Garate spent more than ten years researching archives in Spain and the Americas. The result is a lively picture of the Spanish borderlands and the hardy, ambitious colonists who peopled them.
Donald T. Garate is deeply involved in research and preservation of Spanish history in both Arizona and Sonora, Mexico, and has brought attention to new material concerning the Basque influence in that history. He is currently chief of interpretation/historian at Tumacacori National Historical Park in Arizona.