The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 16, July 1912 - April, 1913 Page: 67
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The Approaches to California
Vizcaino was directed to search for such a harbor as would be
suitable for Philippine ships to visit on the returning voyage
from Manila; and to discover, if possible, the strait to the At-
lantic. The highest point reached by the second expedition was
in the vicinity of Cape Blanco-42 or 43. The ports of San
Diego and Monterey were visited and described, but nearly one
hundred and seventy years were to elapse before another Drake
could induce the Spanish government to act upon Vizcaino's re-
It was not until the year 1768 that the Spanish authorities
took up the subject of colonizing Alta California where it had
been dropped in 1603. During this interval some progress had
been made towards establishing land routes northward through
the peninsula and by way of Pimeria Alta. These results were
due almost exclusively to the devotion of the Jesuit missionaries-
particularly Father Kino. Exploration of the exterior coast there
had been none, though the sailing-directions of GonzAlez Cabrera
Bueno, published in Manila in 1734, show a very considerable
advance in knowledge. English seamen had touched the coast of
Lower California, especially in the earlier years of the eighteenth
century-William Dampier (1686, 1704, 1709), Woodes Rogers
(1709), George Shelvocke (1721)-but they had been more sin-
cerely interested in the movements of the Manila ships than in
making contributions to geographical knowledge.
When the Spanish government awakened ultimately to the need
of occupying Upper California the preparations were conducted
with so much vigor and determination as to indicate reasons of
the utmost urgency for the step. The reasons were, in brief, that
other nations were actively engaged in opening up approaches to
California. In 1768 the council that determined upon the imme-
diate occupation of San Diego and Monterey founded its opinion
in regard to the necessity of this undertaking upon the advances
that other nations were making towards this unoccupied territory.
The pressure thus exerted came from the four quarters of the
globe and California appears as the objective point towards which
not only Spain, but England, Russia, France, and Holland were
moving. The council referred specifically to the discoveries that
had been made eastward by Russia; to the efforts that France had
made westward from Canada, and which, since 1763, were being
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 16, July 1912 - April, 1913, periodical, 1913; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101058/m1/73/: accessed August 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.