By Donald C. Cutter
Publication by way of Cutter, Donald C.
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Extra resources for California in 1792: A Spanish Naval Visit (American Exploration & Travel Series)
Such an assignment not only was potentially useful to the newly named captains of the Sutil and Mexicana, but also saved Cardero from regressing to a position of potential oblivion. " 8 Since his new assignment was for full-time work, as well as full responsibility for the maps of the forthcoming expedition, and since Carrasco's salary would have been seventy pesos even if he were not capable of so much work, the two captains suggested an eighty-peso-per-month figure to the viceroy. Revilla Gigedo countered with a sixty-peso offer, plus some possible later adjustments.
This was a comfort, particularly insofar as there were frequent receipts of letters, packages, church ornaments, and supplies. In another sense, these more frequent visits taxed the resources of California, since some vessels came there to obtain supplies for the northern garrison rather than go back to Mexico for such provisions. Such a resupply of naval stores and victuals was a mixed blessing as far as California was concerned. It provided an outlet for the surplus commodities that the young colony was capable of producing, for which local producers, whether at the missions or at 1 An informal northern limit to Alta California, that used by the naval scientists, was 43° north latitude, or about sixty miles north of the modern boundary between the states of Oregon and California.
Page 6 pilot, Juan Carrasco, who like Mourelle already had considerable experience along the coast. In a letter to the viceroy, Cayetano Valdés pointed out that, though Carrasco had brought the two exploratory schooners to Acapulco from the shipyard at San Blas where they had been constructed, he did not have the desired capacity as an artist, "having no other skills than those of a normal pilot," and therefore would be of no great utility, but rather would be in the way because of the scarcity of quarters.