Genealogy, History

Baltasar Gonzales and the King’s Deer

My ancestor Baltasar Gonzales, who was married to Maria de la Cruz Lopez (sometimes she appears as Ana Maria Lopez), was mentioned in the book The Santa Fe Presidio Soldiers: Their Donation to the American Revolution by Henrietta Martinez Christmas (HMS for short).  The soldiers in the book are recognized by Sons of the American Revolution or Daughters of the American Revolution, so naturally, my curiosity was piqued.

As it turns out, King Charles III of Spain asked his colonists to donate money to the American cause; the “donativo” qualifies some soldiers for DAR.  That’s the short version of it, there’s also the huge assist by Bernardo de Galvez of Spain.  I think I didn’t learn about this in school, did you?

HMS on Youtube!

Anyway, I was set to apply to DAR as a descendent of Baltasar Gonzales but he is one of the few soldiers of the Presidio who are not considered patriots because they were elsewhere during the donation collection.

So where was he?  Long story short again, he was selected to take five fancy New Mexico mule deer back to King Charles III of Spain as a gift.  Captain don Francisco Trebol Navarro selected Manuel Saenz Garvisu, Bartolome Gonzales, Joaquin Trujillo, Julian Ortiz, and Rafael Baca for the long journey, expected to be about three years time.

muledeerOutdoorLifemag
New Mexico mule deer. Outdoor Life Magazine.

They arrived in Mexico City from Santa Fe, when Rafael Baca went back home.  The others arrived at the Port of Veracruz by May 1781.  They set sail on the battleship Arrogante and arrived at the Port of Cadiz October 1781.  Author Jose Antonio Esquibel wrote an article about this event for the Hispanic Genealogical Research Center of New Mexico’s journal Herencia entitled “Deer for the King and a Journey to Spain: The Commission of don Francisco Trebol Navarro, 1779-1785” that appeared in one of the 1993 issues.

Deer for the King Esquibel Herencia 1993
Jose Antonio Esquibel’s article “Deer for the King” Herencia Journal 1993

What a surprising and interesting turn of events that allowed my ancestor to travel on a battleship to Spain.

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