• Sunlight illuminates the top of historic Mission San José de Tumacácori church.

    Tumacácori

    National Historical Park Arizona

Gabriel Antonio de Vildósola

A Basque from Elejabeitia, Vizcaya, Spain, Gabriel Antonio de Vildósola purchased the Santa Barbara Ranch from Nicolás Romero, son of Diego Romero, the year before the Pima uprising. Although he and his young wife, Josefa Gregoria de Anza, were living on the ranch at the time, he was at the Anza family's Sópori Ranch the day the rebellion began. He worked his way back safely to Guevavi and the SanLuisValley and fled with the rest of the vecinos to Terrenate. Gabriel was twenty-nine years old, Gregoria was nineteen, and they had been married nearly five years. After depositing his wife safely at Basochuca, Sonora, Gabriel went with four other armed men, one of whom was his young brother-in-law, Juan Bautista de Anza, to San Ignacio to join the militia and help put down the uprising. In 1754 upon the death of Juan Antonio Menocal he was appointed captain of the Presidio of Fronteras as a reward for services rendered the king during the rebellion. He provided the following testimony in 1754 concerning the Pima uprising of 1751:

Luis of Sáric, Captain General of the entire Pimería [was the leader of the uprising]. He was not content with having abused his authority and command in bringing the major part of the Pimas to the point of riot and insurrection, nor was he content with having set the time and method by which it would be accomplished, but he, himself, also conspired to execute its cruelties. In his village of Sáric on the afternoon of November twentieth, the actual day the uprising began because the Indians had already become restless because of what they planned to do that night. In order to conceal their scheme they set up a clamor that the Apaches were coming. Spreading the fear that the said Apaches were about to attack, they helped some ten people, all of whom were women and children, into the house that belonged to Luis, claiming that they would protect and defend them there. This is what Luis promised but did not do. Instead, upon leaving his house he locked those persons inside, even though one was his comadre (godmother of his child), the wife of one Laureano, and began his treachery by setting fire to his own house to burn inside of it (which, in effect, he did burn and incinerate) those innocent persons. The only reason he did not do the same thing to Father Juan Nentvig, Missionary of Sáric, was because this father prevented it by fleeing to Tubutama before Luis went in search of him. And, afterwards, Luis did go looking for him to kill him in his house in Sáric. San Ignacio de Cuquiárachi, September 9, 1754 (AGI, Guadalajara 419, 3m-10, pages 13-14)

At Guevavi, Father Joseph Garrucho, for the better part of the year, kept provisions in a large storehouse that was in the plaza. I also know and testify that in that village, the said Father as well as his mayordomo planted and cultivated the fields of the Indians, as well as those of the mission, in order to teach the Indians, and then afterwards, they would work for him. I also observed in that same village, about a year before the rebellion, that Captain Luis of Sáric arrived there with sixty Indians, in company with those who were leaving on the campaign. Not only did Father Garrucho not hinder the recruitment of men for the campaign, but he maintained all of the people there for three days. Afterwards, he gave them fourteen beef cattle and pinole for their provisions so that they would be well fed. Luis returned from the campaign without having done anything while on it. San Ignacio de Cuquiárachi, September 9, 1754 (AGI, Guadalajara 419, 3m-10, page 22)

Some personal documentation of Gabriel de Vildósola reads as follows:

In the parochial church of Our Lady Santa Maria of Castillo, on the tenth of November of the year one thousand seven hundred and twenty-two, I, Don Francisco de Gallaga, priest of the same, baptized Gabriel Antonio, legitimate son of Don Juan Antonio de Vildosola and Doña Francisca de Puente. Paternal grandparents, Don Juan Lopez de Vildosola and Doña Maria de Ibareche. The maternal grandparents, Don Bentura de la Puente and Doña Francisca de Herreros, residents and parishioners of the valley of Oquendo. Godparents were Don Gabriel de Ugarte and Doña Maria Josepha de Vildosola, and I advised them of their relationship, in which certification I sign: Francisco de Gallaga

On the first of February in the year one thousand, seven hundred, forty and seven in the Royal mining camp of Basochuca on the said day were married and veiled in the church and in the presence of witnesses, Don Gabriel Antonio de Vildosola and Doña Gregoria de Ansa, the marriage having been advertised diligently for the prescribed number of days with no resulting impediment. Witnesses were Don Gerardo Ortiz Corttes, Mr. Francisco Salazar, and Mr. Salbador Fuentes, before me, the said priest. Joaquin Feliz Diaz

On the twenty-fifth of June of one thousand seven hundred seventy and eight the body cadaver of Don Gabriel Antonio de Gamboa Vildosola y Puente was provided burial. He received the holy sacraments of penance, eucharist and extreme unction; Testified in faith by Manuel de Vergara, scribe in the sheep range of Arratia. He left two daughters (being lieutenant colonel of the armies of His Majesty) of the legitimate marriage to Josepha Gregoria de Anza Becerra, called Maria Gregoria and Maria Francisca de Gamboa Vildosola y Anza. And in confirmation I signed: Don Francisco Antonio de Vildosola

Most Excellent Sir: Don Gabriel Antonio de Vildósola, Captain of the Presidio of San Bernardino, otherwise known as Fronteras, in the Province of Sonora, residing in this city with license he obtained from the Commandant Inspector, Don Hugo O'Conor, to try to improve his health, makes this presentation to Your Excellency with the greatest respect. He has presented a memorandum to His Majesty, God keep him, for Your Excellency's direction, imploring retirement of His Piety with the grade of Lieutenant Colonel because of the impossibility he finds in continuing the service in his condition, which will be proven by the opinion of Lord Don Domingo Ruci, physician of this court. Your petitioner and his family are found in this city expecting to go to Spain because of this inability and to attend to the family estate. Because of his employment in the service of His Majesty on the frontiers of the barbarians and because His Majesty's ship called the Santiago is nearing time for its trip to Spain, he petitions Your Excellency to grant him license to travel to the said Kingdom in the aforementioned ship, having presented to His Majesty his --- in consolation of the petitioner. Therefore, he asks Your Excellency as above, hoping for its attainment by the graciousness of Your Excellency, whom he asks God to keep many years. Gabriel Antonio de Vildósola.

Mexico, 23 February 1776: In consideration of what was contained in a letter of last September first, the Commandant Inspector of the Internal Provinces, Don Hugo O'Conor, informed me of the indisposition of this person. Respecting what is prescribed in Article 5, Title 1, and Article 1, Title 8 of the New Royal Regulation, I grant the permission that he solicits to go to Spain with his family, where he will have to wait for a resolution from the King in regard to granting his retirement with the grade of lieutenant colonel as he has requested. Send the dispatch directing that he and his family and servants who are not excepted in the laws be permitted to embark. Also, inform the Commandant Inspector of the resolution with the idea of maintaining the company of the Presidio of Fronteras which this officer commanded. Issue the corresponding declaration with a copy of this document and decree as an account to His Majesty. A. M. Bucareli


To learn more about Gabriel Antonio de Vildosola go to Mission 2000 by clicking (here) and following the blue ID numbers. To return to Soldiers, click (here).

Did You Know?

Mission San José de Tumacácori

Tumacácori National Historical Park is located in the historic Pimería Alta or "Land of the Upper Pimas," an area that includes much of present-day southern Arizona and northern Sonora, Mexico.