The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 19, July 1915 - April, 1916 Page: 264
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The Southwestern Historical Quarterly
of P6rez in the frigate Santiago in 1774. The burden placed upon
San Blas was a heavy one. Bucarely expressed an opinion in his
July 27 letter that voyages of exploration would cost less if con-
ducted from Manila. Galvez suggested to Arriaga, December 18,
1773, that the Manila galleon should be ordered to stop at Monterey
on its voyage to Acapulco, and leave goods for Alta. California, a,
cheaper method, he believed, than by reliance upon San Blas.11
So great were the financial burdens of San Blas that one body, the
Tribunal de Cuentas (Tribunal of Accounts) of Mexico recom-
mended that the department be done away with. This extreme
view called forth several protests, among others from Galvez, who
characterized the suggestion as nonsensical, saying that the depart-
ment was indispensable.12 One of the problems in the use of San
Blas was the great cost and labor involved in getting goods across
New Spain to that port, owing to. the width of the viceroyalty at
that point and the difficulty of the route. It was virtually impos-
sible to, get artillery across New Spain to, San Blas, necessitating
recourse to Manila. This caused Bucarely to send one Agustin
Crame to the Isthmus of Tehuantepec to see if a route might be
found for transportation of artillery. Crame's expedition was a
complete success. Writing of it to Arriaga, March 27, 1774,
Bucarely remarked that the Tehuantepec route might be used for
transportation not only of artillery but also of goods for Alta
California and the ships employed in exploring voyages. It would
cost less to send goods that way than it did by way of San Blas,
and would take less time than it would if recourse were had to
Manila.'" I)espite manifold objections to it, however, San Blas
was to remain for many years the seat of the marine department
for the northern shores of the Pacific coast of New Spain. We
may now proceed a little more in detail to consider its difficulties
in the years 1775-1777.
The Perez voyage of 1774 to the far northwest was followed by
voyages of Heceta and Bodega in 1775, while supply ships con-
tinued as before to visit Alta and Baja California. It had been
intended to follow up the 17.75 voyages to the northwest with
others, but even before the return of Heceta and Bodega it was
"A. G. I., 104-3-4.
"Galvez to Arriaga, March 8, 1774, A. G. I., 104-6-16.
"'A. G. I., Estado, Aud. Mex. 1, Doec. 9.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 19, July 1915 - April, 1916, periodical, 1916; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101067/m1/285/: accessed October 22, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.