Félix Caballero

Félix Caballero was a Dominican priest. He played an important part in the history of the missions of Baja California, and also the opening up of the route to Tucson, Arizona.[1]

Caballero arrived at Veracruz on December 19, 1812 and traveled to Baja California in July, 1814.[2] The first records of his activities on the Peninsula can be traced back to December 15 of that year, where he presided over a burial service at Misión San Vicente Ferrer.

In 1815, he was placed in charge of the Misión San Miguel Arcángel de la Frontera.[3] In 1822 he was one of only three Dominicans in the mission.[4]

On April 14, 1823, Father Caballero and two companions set out from Mission Santa Catalina to reconnoiter a road between Las Californias and Sonora, closed since the revolt of the Yuma in the 1780s. They crossed the lower Colorado River in Cocopa territory to avoid the Yumas, then the Tinajas Altas, then turned northeast to reach the Gila River where he encountered some villages of friendly Halchidhomas, then continued up the Gila through Cocomaricopa and Pima territory and reached Tucson twelve walking days after leaving Santa Catalina and then continued on to Arizpe. He returned to Mission Santa Catalina from Tucson with a military expedition under Captain José Romero who was to establish a route for a mail service through the region.[5]

In 1834 he founded Misión de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe del Norte, the last Dominican mission to be established in California. The mission survived only until 1840, when a local chief, Jatñil, who had previously provided support to the missions, led a rebellion in response to forced conversions of his people.[6][7]


  1. ^ Leland J. Hanchett Crossing Arizona 2002 - Page 43 "Each of these events heightened interest in reconnecting California with Mexico. Father Felix Caballero of the Mission San Miguel and Santa Catalina in Baja California was instructed in 1822 to explore a route to Tucson which would cross the ...
  2. ^ Albert Bertrand Nieser Las fundaciones misionales dominicas en Baja California: 1769-1822 1998 Page 237 "Es muy probable que Ahumada y su sucesor, fray Félix Caballero, usaran como residencia cualquiera de las dos ... junio de ese año.10 José Martínez, Antonio Menéndez y un ya ordenado Félix Caballero viajaron a Baja California en julio de ..."
  3. ^ David Piñera Ramírez Los Orígenes de Las Poblaciones de Baja California 2006 Page 423 "En 1823, el padre Félix Caballero, encargado de las misiones de San Miguel Arcángel y Santa Catalina, realizó un viaje de ... Uno de sus propósitos principales era recabar información sobre los placeres perlíferos del golfo de California."
  4. ^ José María Ramos García Relaciones México-Estados Unidos: Seguridad Nacional e Impactos en ... 2005 -- Page 65 "En 1822 sólo había tres padres dominicos en La Frontera: Félix Caballero, José Miguel de Pineda y Antonio ... Además de cumplir con sus deberes como presidente de las misiones dominicas de Baja California, durante muchos años, antes ..."
  5. ^ John P. Wilson, Peoples of the Middle Gila: A Documentary History of the Pimas and Maricopas, 1500s - 1945, Researched and Written for the Gila River Indian Community, Sacaton, Arizona, 1999, pp.69-71.
  6. ^ Miguel León Portilla, La California Mexicana: Ensayos Acerca de Su Historia (UABC, 1995), ISBN 978-9683647177, p. 240. Excerpts available at Google Books.
  7. ^ Robert H. Jackson, From Savages to Subjects: Missions in the History of the American Southwest (M. E. Sharpe, 2000), ISBN 978-0765641441, p. 74. Excerpts available at Google Books.