Gaspar de Portolá

Gaspar de Portolá
Retrat Gaspar de Portolà (Lleida).jpg
Portrait held at the Casa Portolà in Catalonia.
1st Governor of the Californias
In office
November 30, 1767 to July 9, 1770
Preceded byOffice established
Succeeded byPedro Fages
Personal details
Os de Balaguer, Catalonia
Lleida, Catalonia, Spain
Resting placeLleida
Military service
AllegianceSpanish Empire
Branch/serviceEmblem of the Spanish Army.svg Army of Spain
RankOficial3.png Captain

Gaspar de Portolà i Rovira, more commonly known simply as Gaspar de Portolà, (1716–1786) was a Catalan soldier and administrator in the Viceroyalty of New Spain. As commander of the Portolá expedition on land and sea that established San Diego and Monterey, Portolá expanded New Spain's Las Californias province far to the north from its beginnings on the Baja California peninsula. Portolá's expedition also was the first known European to see and record what we now call San Francisco Bay. His expedition gave names to geographic features along the way, many of which are still in use.[1]

Early life

Portolá was born on January 1, 1716 in Os de Balaguer, in Catalonia, Spain, of Catalan nobility. Don Gaspar served as a soldier in the Spanish army in Italy and Portugal. He was commissioned ensign in 1734, and lieutenant in 1743.