|Thanks to Ugarte's common sense and courage,
Allande was finally able to retire from Tucson to Horcasitas during the
summer of 1786. It was not until December 5, 1787, however that a new viceroy,
Manuel Antonio Flores, granted him permission to proceed to Mexico City
to wait there for a new royal assignment. He set out from San Miguel de
Horcasitas on January 24, 88.
The following letter was written by Allande to the viceroy in July, 1788, from a half-way point along his route to Mexico City. The difficulties of retired military people today in adjusting to civilian life find a precedent in Allande's confusion at this point in his career. The letter also gives details of Allande's family life which are found in no other source. Picture the contrast between the warrior Allande, terror of the troops, and Allande the husband and father, surrounded by his wife, nine little girls, and yet another daughter born en route in Culiacán.
To VICEROY MANUEL ANTONIO FLORES.
In his letter of January 3 of this current year, our commandant general, Jacobo Ugarte y Loyola, informed me that Your Excellency has granted my request to be relieved of the command of the Tucson presidio and given me permission to proceed to Mexico City with an interim annual salary of 1000 pesos until the king gives me another assignment in keeping with my service record and written petition. I also received the passport to make the journey whenever convenient.
I leave it to Your Excellency's profound understanding to imagine the emotion I felt on leaving Sonora. For the first time in thirty-three years of faithful and well - documented service, I was without military assignment. With an annual salary of only 1000 pesos, I was setting out on a long and difficult journey with my large family. I am in no way complaining against the arrangement Your Excellency has made for me. On the contrary, I am following it confidently and without question. Not the least of my troubles, however, was that my wife was seven months pregnant, and I was further burdened by our daughters, aged two and three, and by our seven orphan girls, as well as the servants that such a large family requires.
We set out from San Miguel de Horcasitas on January 24, bound for Mexico City, leaving behind my son Pedro María de Allande in the frontier service as an officer at the Tucson presidio. I am accustomed to having a soldier make arrangements for lodging, care for the bag-
gage, and do a hundred and one other necessary things for me daily. Instead, I had to leave my family in the streets and town squares and wander about begging for lodging and our other necessities. This was the occasion of many an unpleasant situation, including insults to my person and position and harsh words on my part, all of which I will tell you in detail when we meet.
On March 1 we finally arrived in Culiacán with my wife half-dead from her delicate condition and the hardship of the journey. Another daughter was born to us there on March 15, and she will faithfully serve Your Excellency, as will my wife, myself, and the rest of our poor little flock.
We left Culiacán on April 24, arriving at El Rosario on May 6. There we had to stop once again, this time because my second daughter took sick, and her mother was still very tired. I was also having difficulty with our transportation.
We set out once again on May 30. Then, on June 10, we reached this town of Tepic, where my little girl continues ill. The rivers here are up, and we cannot continue on until the waters subside.
I have felt obliged to inform Your Excellency of all of this, so that you will understand why my journey is taking so long and judge me accordingly.
PEDRO DE ALLANDE Y SAAVEDRA16
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Desert Documentary by Kieran McCarty - Chapter 13
Tucson, Arizona: Arizona Historical Society, 1976.
© 1976 The Arizona Historical Society. All Rights Reserved.