Pedro Font

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Pedro Font (1737-1781) was a Franciscan missionary and diarist. He was born in 1737 in Girona, Catalonia, Spain.[1] Font received his training at Querétaro Missionary College,[2] from 1773 to 1775, he served at Mission San José de Tumacácori in Pima Country. He was the chaplain of Juan Bautista de Anza's expedition that explored Alta California from 1775 to 1776.[2] Font authored the diary With Anza to California, the principal account of the expedition. While a member of the expedition, Font created one of the first maps of San Francisco Bay in early 1776,[3] he also identified the site for the proposed Mission San Francisco de Asís, which would be established later that year by Fathers Junípero Serra and Francisco Palóu.[2] Font was also involved in the excommunication of then-military governor Fernando Rivera y Moncada, whose use of force on a neophyte is described in detail in With Anza to California. Font later served at Mission Santa Teresa de Atil, Mission Santa Maria Magdalena, Mission San Pedro y San Pablo del Tubutama and La Purísima Concepción de Caborca prior to his death at the visita of San Diego del Pitiquito in 1781.[1]

In 1777, Pedro Font's map named the mountain range currently known as the Sierra Nevada.[4]

Font interacted with Native Americans of the area, and among other things made observations about transgender or homosexual activity, and saw a great need for Christianity to eradicate these "nefarious practices."[5]


  1. ^ a b "Pedro Font". Tumacacori National Historical Park. 
  2. ^ a b c Zephyrin Engelhardt (1912). The Missions and Missionaries of California, Volume II: Upper California. pp. xxix, 173–190. 
  3. ^ Nancy J. Olmsted. "The Spanish Presence at Mission Bay, 1775-1833". FoundSF. 
  4. ^ Farquhar, Francis P. (1926). "S". Place Names of the Sierra Nevada. San Francisco: Sierra Club. 
  5. ^ Katz, Jonathan (1976). Gay American History: Lesbians and Gay Men in the U.S.A. Avon Books. p. 291. ISBN 978-0-380-40550-3. OCLC 50381327. Retrieved 1 July 2016.  quoted in FitzGerald, Maureen; Rayter, Scott (2012). "Chapter 4 The Regulation of First Nations Sexuality, by Martin Cannon". Queerly Canadian: An Introductory Reader in Sexuality Studies. Canadian Scholars’ Press. p. 52. ISBN 978-1-55130-400-7. OCLC 801167318. Retrieved 1 July 2016. Among the women I saw men dressed like women, with whom they go about regularly, never joining the men. From this, I inferred they must be hermaphrodites, but from what I learned later I understood that they were sodomites, dedicated to nefarious practices. ...There will be much to do when the Holy Faith and the Christian religion are established among them."