De Anza Chapter, NSDAR, was organized April 14, 1934, in Calipatria, Imperial County, California, by 13 patriotic women. The chapter was transferred to Encinitas, San Diego County, California, on December 8, 1965.
De Anza Chapter, NSDAR, is named for Juan Bautista de Anza, one of the most remarkable men to appear in the field of California history. Juan Bautista de Anza was a captain in the frontier provinces of New Spain. He was an officer of unusual abilities, irreproachable character, and he was kind and just to his men. De Anza’s ambition was to find an overland route to California. His dream began at the age of 21. He met with many delays and difficulties. The Franciscan friar, Junipero Serra, supported his dream. Serra contacted the Viceroy of New Spain to push for De Anza’s proposed expedition from Sonora, Mexico, through the deserts of Arizona and California. This overland route would bring supplies and people to the struggling colonies and missions in Alta California. Serra’s request was answered with money and soldiers for De Anza’s journey.
Drawing of Juan Bautista de Anza on horseback. The illustration is said to be based on an oil painting by Fray Ursi done in 1774 and is in the public domain.
In 1774, De Anza accomplished his first journey from Sonora, Mexico, and founded the mission of San Francisco. In 1776, De Anza led over 300 men, women, and children to the first mission at San Francisco. Governor Rivera opposed the settlement of San Francisco and caused the settlers to remain at the mission of San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo in Monterey. All 300 survived, and this success paved the way for the settlement of California.