(1762-1805)             Italian version

Dionisio Alcalá Galiano (1762-1805), was a native of Cabra (Córdoba) and an officer of the [Spanish] Royal Navy.  In 1784 he began to work in the service of Vicente Tofiño, and the following year participated in the expedition of Antonio de Córdoba to the Strait of Magellan, aboard the  frigate Santa María de la Cabeza.  In 1788 he was still with Tofiño, occupied on the cartography of the Azores, and in 1789 he set sail for America with the Malaspina Expedition, for the duration of which he was engaged in hydrographic, cartographic and astronomical work.  In 1792, together with his colleague Cayetano Valdés, aboard the schooners Sutíl and Mexicana, he made a voyage into Vancouver Strait, in search of the Northwest Passage described by Juan de Fuca.  After returning home, he wrote an account in which he proved the nonexistence of the Passage.  In Spain, from 1794, he proposed that he develop a topographical atlas of the peninsula, but this project - as also the publication of the accounts of the Expedition - did not come to fruition because of the suspicions which the fall of Malaspina brought, by association, on his most faithful collaborators.  There is no doubt that Alcalá Galiano was a good friend of Malaspina. The officer perished in the battle of Trafalgar, in command of the vessel Bahama. SALVÁ, Alcalá Galiano, Cartagena, Imprenta del Departamento Marítimo Cartagebìna, s.d. 154 pp.

J. KENDRICK - R. INGLIS, Enlightened Voyages. Malaspina and Galiano on the Northwest Coast. 1791-1792, Vancouver, Vancouver Maritime Museum Society, 1991, 82 pp.

D.C. CUTTER, Malaspina & Galiano. Spanish Voyages to the Northwest Coast. 1791 & 1792, Vancouver-Toronto, Douglas & Mclntyre, 1991, 160 pp.

J. KENDRICK, "Dionisio Alcalá Galiano, un egabrense insigne," in M. PALAU A. OROZCO (eds.), Malaspina '92 I Jornadas lnternacionales: Madrid - Cádiz - La Coruña, Cádiz, Real Academia Hispano-Americana, 1994, pp. 209-214.

J. KENDRICK (ed), The last Spanish Exploration of the Northwest Coast of America The Voyage of Sutil and Mexicana. 1792, Spokane, The Arthur Clark Company, 1991, 260 pp.

Image courtesy of the Centro di Studi Malaspiniani, Mulazzo, Italy and the Museo Naval, Madrid.  Biographical and bibliographical notes by Dario Manfredi, translated by John Black.

 Visit the website for Don Juan Valera Alcalá Galiano.

Updated: August 28, 2006