August 18, 1789
Cádiz. August 18. On the 30th of last month, the Descubierta and Atrevida of the Real Armada left this port under the command of Commander Alexandro Malaspina, on orders to circumnavigate the world. The magnificence with which this expedition had been outfitted reflects the strong interest of the King, who treats the advancement of the sciences with the importance that it deserves, since no means or expense has been spared. The two ships have been built expressly with all the characteristics required; have been manned with chosen and skilled officers, and with naturalists, botanists, and landscape and botanical artists; and are supplied with longitude-clocks, chronometers, marine specimens, and precious collections of the best astronomical, mathematical and physical instruments; all books of these sciences considered appropriate; and, in fine, all that can be possibly carried for the successful accomplishment of this important enterprise, since it even includes all that is necessary to improvise a hospital at any place. Their complements are as follows:
Descubierta: Commander, Frigate Captain Alexandro Malaspina; Senior Lieutenant, D. Cayetano Valdes; Junior Lieutenants, D. Manuel de Novales and D. Fernando Quintano Solis; Alferezes de Navio, D. Francisco Xavier de Viana, D. Juan Vernacci and D. Secundino Salamanca; Midshipman, D. Fabio Ala Ponzone; Paymaster, D. Rafael Rodriguez de Arias; Chaplain, D. Joseph de Mesa; Surgeon, D. Francisco Florez; two Master’s mates; and 104 individuals in total.
Atrevida: Commander, Frigate Captain D. Joseph Bustamante y Guerra; Senior Lieutenants, D. Antonio Tova Arredondo and D. Dionisio Galiano; Junior Lieutenants, D. Juan Gutierrez de la Concha, D. Joseph Robredo and D. Antonio [in fact his brother Arcadio] Pineda; Alferez de Fragata, D. Martin de Olavide; Midshipman, D. Jacobo Murphy; Paymaster, D. Manuel Ezquerra; Chaplain, D. Francisco Añino; Surgeon, D. Joseph Maria Gonzalez; Master, D. Juan Diaz Maqueda, with the same number of men.
Also on this voyage are First Lieutenant of the Guards of Spanish Infantry, D. Antonio de Pineda, in charge of the area of natural history; D. Louis Neé, in charge of botany; D. Tadeás Haenke, who was unable to leave with the expedition but will join it in progress; Alferez de Fragata D. Felipe Bauzá, as cartographer; D. Joseph del Pozo, a member of the Academy of Sevilla, as landscape and botanical artist, and Joseph Guio, for drawing and preserving botanical specimens.
Original Spanish text courtesy of Robert King. Translated by Maria Guadalupe Soto de Podritske, Lorill Ireland and John Black.
Updated: January 21, 2015