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Juan Crespi

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Juan Crespi

Juan Crespí
Born (1721-03-01)March 1, 1721
Palma de Mallorca, Spain
Died January 1, 1782(1782-01-01) (aged 60)
Carmel-by-the-Sea, Las Californias, New Spain
Resting place Mission San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo
Nationality Spanish
Occupation Roman Catholic priest, missionary, explorer
Religion Roman Catholicism

Father Juan Crespí (March 1, 1721 – January 1, 1782) was a Majorcan missionary and explorer of Las Californias.[1] He entered the Franciscan order at the age of seventeen.[2] He came to America in 1749, and accompanied explorers Francisco Palóu and Junípero Serra. In 1767 he went to the Baja Peninsula and was placed in charge of the Misión La Purísima Concepción de Cadegomó. In 1769 he joined the expedition of Gaspar de Portolà and traveled by land, while Father Serra accompanied the mission supplies aboard ship and arrived 8 days later to occupy Monterey; he authored the first written account of actual interaction between Franciscan friars and the indigenous population after his expedition traveled through the regions known today as San Diego, Orange, Los Angeles and Ventura Counties in July and August of that year. He was chaplain of the expedition to the North Pacific conducted by Juan José Pérez Hernández in 1774. His diaries, first published in H. E. Bolton's Fray Juan Crespi (1927, repr. 1971), and published in the original Spanish with facing page translations as A Description of Distant Roads: Original Journals of the First Expedition into California, 1769-1770 (2001)[3] provided valuable records of these expeditions. One chapel he built, at the Misión San Francisco del Valle de Tilaco in Landa, is reported as still standing.[4]

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