Notes and Documents
Diary of Pedro Jose de la Fuente,
Captain of the Presidio of El Paso del Norte,
Translated and Edited by JAMES M. DANIEL*
T HE DIARY OF I HE CAPTAIN OF THE PRESIDIO OF EL PASO FOR THE
period from January through July, 1765, was published in an
earlier issue of the Southwestern Historical Quarterly.' With the publi-
cation of the August through December 1765 portion of the diary, the
record of events during the full year becomes available. Aside from the
accounts of campaigns against the Indians and of continuous depreda-
tions by Apaches (mainly the theft of stock), one of the most interesting
aspects of El Paso life that emerges is the lively commercial activity of
the times, reflected in the frequency of caravans going to and coming
from Santa Fe, Chihuahua, Janos, and even Oposura in Sonora.
When Manuel Antonio San Juan de Santa Cruz, captain of the pre-
sidio of El Paso for the previous eleven years, died early in 1764, the
viceroy, the Marques de Cruillas, on June 6 appointed Pedro Jose de la
Fuente to the post. De la Fuente was born in Llanos, Asturias, in 1722.
He became a private in the militia of Chihuahua in 1744, and in 1755
became captain of the militia there. His appointment by the viceroy in
1764 to the captaincy of the presidio of El Paso would normally have
been approved by the king, but Charles III refused to confirm the ap-
pointment and instead, on March 27, 1765, issued a patent to Pedro del
Barrio Junco y Espriella, former governor of Nuevo Le6n and governor
ad interim of Texas (1748-1750). Barrio finally reached El Paso on Feb-
ruary 6, 1767, and on the following day relieved de la Fuente as captain
of the presidio.2
*James M. Daniel, a resident of Arlington, Virginia,
1See James M. Daniel (trans. and ed.), "Diary of Pedro Josd de la Fuente, Captain of the
Presidio of El Paso del Norte, January-July, 1765," Southwestern Historical Quarterly, LX
(Oct., 1956), 260-281.
2Ibid., 260. The translation of de la Fuente's diary is based on "Aiio de 1776; corre-
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 83, July 1979 - April, 1980. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101207/. Accessed October 22, 2014.