Select a letter below
Encyclopedia of San Francisco
Today in San Francisco History Biography of the Week Timeline of San Francisco History Image Gallery
Visit the SFM&HS website
Search the Site
About Us Contact Us Editors and Contributors
   

Cambón, Pedro Benito

Spanish Missionary, Co-Founder and Builder of Mission San Francisco de Asis

Entry Author: Br. Guire Cleary, S.S.F

Fray Cambón was a Spanish-born Franciscan friar and Roman Catholic priest who arrived in Mexico in 1771. He witnessed much of the initial Spanish encuentro of California and founded or served in several of the early missions in Alta California. In 1776, he accompanied Lieutenant José Joaquin Moraga on the final leg of the Anza expedition, the members of which founded the Mission and Presidio of San Francisco. In autumn of 1776 he sailed with José Joaquin Moraga and Fernando Quiros on a voyage to explore the lower Sacramento River.

Cambón was highly regarded for his knowledge of irrigation, agriculture, and building construction. He is credited with being the founder of Mission San Gabriel and asistencia of San Pedro y San Pablo, and co-founder, with Fray Francisco Palóu, of Mission San Francisco de Asís. In 1782, he co-founded Mission San Buenaventura with Fray Junipera Serra. One of his most significant accomplishments was the solid construction of the mission church of San Francisco de Asís, which still stands. Historian Herbert Bancroft characterizes Cambón as "able and zealous." Ill health forced Cambón to leave California and return to Mexico City in 1791. He sailed home to Galicia in 1792; the details of his final years are not known.

Bibliography

Bancroft, Herbert H., History of California. Wallace Herberd, Santa Barbara, 1963.

Englehardt, OFM, Zephyrin, San Francisco or Mission Dolores. Franciscan Herald Press, Chicago, 1924.

Geiger, OFM, Maynard, Franciscan Missionaries in California. The Huntington Library, San Marino, 1969.

Portman, Frank J., Pedro Benito Cambón, OFM: Mission Builder Par Excellence. The Argonaut, San Francisco, fall 1994, Volume 5, No. 2.

QUICK FACTS

Born: 1738, Lugar de Leaya, Galicia, Spain
Co-founder, with Fray Francisco Palóu, of Mission San Francisco de Asís
Died: (date and place of death unknown)

RELATED INFORMATION

> Jose Joaquin Moraga
> Fray Francisco Palou
> Mission San Francisco de Asis

OUTSIDE RESOURCES

+ Mission San Gabriel
+ Mission San Buenaventura
+ California Missions

 

Top of Page

 
Home | Today in History | Bio of the Week | Timeline | Gallery | About | Contact | Join
   
 
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z