By Robert Zucker
Hstorically, the major reason that Father
Eusebio Francisco Kino went to the New World was to enforce an
edict from the King of Spain:   It forbade the enslavement of natives in the mines. 
Local mining activities were already
in operation by Spanish colonists before the
Jesuit missionaries made their way into Pimería Alta,  and the native Indians were being badly mistreated and forced to work in the mines.   Kino wanted to prevent further abuse.
Charles II, the King of Spain issued
his Royal Cédula in 1686. It promised the natives that they would
not be forced to work in the mines for a period of five years– then
prolonged to 20 years– if they converted to Christianity.  
The King made his decree:
“…promising in my name to all new converts
that during the first twenty years of their reduction they will not be
required to give tribute or to serve on estates or in mines, since this
is one of the reasons why they refuse to be converted…”
Done at Buen Retiro, Royal Provision and Royal Cédula Which Favors The New Conversions, May 14, 1686. I, the King.” 
Kino arrived in Sonora in February,
1687, with expectations that this “Catholic seal might well,
and should, astonish and edify the whole world.” 
Kino made several journeys from his
base at Mission Nuestra Señora de los Delores and
headed north into the Pimería Alta. Each time a
military escort accompanied him. One of those soldiers was named
Escalante. This may have been how the Escalante name became linked with
Kino in the legend.
During Father Kino’s first expedition in
the autumn of 1697, he traveled past the Santa Catalina Mountains
and along the San Pedro and Santa Cruz Rivers. Kino
established several missions along the way. He named the rivers,
mountains, and villages that were encountered.      It was during this journey he reportedly named the Santa Catalina Mountains.
Kino left Dolores in Sonora, Mexico, on November 2nd under
the escort of Lieutenant Cristobal Martin Bernal, Alférez Francisco
Acuña, Sergeant Juan Bautista de Escalante, and twenty soldiers
from the Compañia Volante (“Flying Company”) the mobile
military unit that roamed the Pimería Alta to protect the settlers,
mines, and missionaries. Their military objective was to
determine the nature of the natives and to hunt for a cache of stolen
Carrying gifts for the Sobaipuri Indians,
Kino’s group met up with Capt. Juan Mateo Manje and ten Indians. As
the entourage traveled up the east range of the Santa Catalinas along
the San Pedro River (“Rio de Quiburi”), they met many friendly
Sobaipuri Indians and made “numerous finds of artifacts.” 
Kino brought along lots of livestock.
At each Indian village he named, he left twenty to thirty of his
“mission horses.”  Some of those cattle and wild horses roaming Southern Arizona today are descended from Kino’s initial herds. 
The group traveled farther north to the Gila River and saw the “Casas Grandes” (the Casa Grande ruins). 
Sgt. Escalante wrote how he marveled at the structure. From there they
went south along the Santa Cruz and passed several villages until they
arrived at “San Xavier del Baac of the Rio de Santa
Maria (Santa Cruz River).” 
The inhabited villages in the Santa Cruz
Valley were named La Rancheria de San Cosmé de Tucson, San
Agustin del Oyaut, San Clemente, and Santa Catalina de
Cuitoabagum.  Kino named San Xavier del Baac after his patron, the apostle of the Indies in the New Galicia.  During that journey Kino rode about seven hundred and eighty miles in thirty days. 
Captain Bernal’s account of that trip
gave rise to the early legend about the report of minerals shown
to the Spaniards.
Both history and the legend are correct.
Father Kino was on an expedition when, somewhere along the trip,
they heard reports from the Sobaipuri natives about rich
minerals in the nearby mountains.
“El año 1697 el capitan Don Mateo Manje,
pasando con el Padre Francisco Eusebio Kino por la rancheria de San
Javier del Bac, cuarenta leguas disante de dicho rio gila, le dieron
los indios una piedra de metal del poniente que parecia rico metal de
Lt. Cristobal Martin Bernal 
(“In the year 1697, the Captain Don Mateo Mange (Manje), went with
Father Francisco Eusebio Kino to the ranch of San Xavier del Bac,
distance of forty leagues of the Gila River, the Indians gave rock of
rich metal setting that looked like silver metal.”)
Manje, or someone else on that same trip,
also wrote about the report of minerals as they traveled from Casa
Grande towards San Xavier del Bac. 
“Many rancherias were visited by detachments wandering in different directions, and reports were received of quicksilver mines, and of white men bearing fire-arms and swords who sometimes came to the Colorado.”
This is where history and the legend
merge. While the events are recorded, there is no mention of where the
reported discovery originated. If the group left the Casa Grande
ruins and headed south to San Xavier, they would have passed the
Santa Catalina Mountains on their left. Along that route was the
Santa Catalina visita.
Legend writer John D. Mitchell had
been told this mine was discovered in 1698 by Indians who were hunting
deer in the Catalinas on the “western slopes of the mountains and not
far from the Ventaña, a hole in the rocks resembling a window.” The mine
could be seen from the light shining through the Ventaña in a
“southeasterly direction from where they stood.”  This may have been the unwritten portion of that find. The legend names the Catalinas.
 “To the
Very Catholic Majesty of Our Sovereign, Philip V,” letter from Father
Kino explaining his desire to attend to the new conversions. From
Spain in the West, Volume 3, page 85. Also, page 107.
 “I (Kino)
set out on December 16, having obtained from the Royal Audiencia the
royal provision and the inserted royal cédula...” From “Kino’s
Historical Memoir of Pimería Alta,” by Herbert Eugene Bolton.
Volume 1, page 107.
“Misionero nombrado para la reduccion de gentiles, y conversion a
nuestra Sancta fe de los Seris, Huaymas, y Pimas en la provinzia de
Sonora, Reyno de la nueua Vizcaya.” Petition asking prohibition of
taking Indians with seal to work in mines from his prospective
missions. Guadalajara, Dec. 16, 1686. A.G.I. 67-1-36. Transcript in
Bancroft Library.” From Kino’s Historical Memoir of Pimería Alta, Vol.
2, page 290.
Appraisal of Coronado National Forest, Part 5. Department of the
Interior, Bureau of Mines, MLA 25-94, 1994. Page 24. Based on Edgar
Heylmun, 1981. Page 11.
suffered them in the mines and farms to be guilty of the most abominable
excesses, which the fathers took care to restrain their habitation.”
From A Natural and Civil History of California, published in 1759.
Volume 1, Page 296. Translated from Noticia de la
California, published in 1757. Tomo Segundo. Page 89-90 (see next
 “Fuera de
las violencias se acudia, para extraerlos de las Missiones al diabolico
medio de permitirles en las Minas, y Haciendas los vicio, y defordenes,
que les impedian, y refrenaban los Padres en sus reducciones.” From the
manuscript written in 1739 and published in “Noticia de la California Y
De Su Cnquista,” in 1757. Tomo Segundo. Page 90.
 “que no
pudiessen ser compelidos a trabajar en Minas, y Haciendas los Indos
recien conversion.” From “Noticia de la California,” 1757. Tomo Segundo.
Page 89. See translation in next footnote.
the new converts among the Indians, should not, during the first five
years of their conversion, be obliged to work on the lands or in the
mines.” Translated in A Natural and Civil History of California, 1759.
Volume 1, Page 296.
Provision and Royal Cédula Which Favors The New Conversions.” This is
the petition of Eusebio Francisco Kino, “missionary named for the
reduction and conversion to our Holy Faith of the Seris, Huaymas, and
Pimas in the province of Sonora, Kingdom of Nueva Vizcaya,”
regarding taking Indians under seal to work in mines, undated, but
passed on by the Audiencia December 16, 1686; and petition of Father
Azcarasso, undated, but considered May 2, 1687. From Spain in the
West, by Herbert Eugene Bolton. Vol. 3, Chapter 2. Page 109.
 Ibid. Page 109.
November 21, 1697, Kino made the trip accompanied by Lt. Manje, Capt.
Bernal and 22 soldiers. Spain in the West, Kino’s Historical
Memoir of Pimería Alta, Volume 1. Page 56.
 Annals of the Spanish Northwest: North Mexican States, [1531-1800] (1884) by Henry L. Oak. Page 264-265.
 The Papago County, Arizona, by Kirk Bryan Dept of Interior, 1925.
 Kino’s Historical Memoir of Pimería Alta, Vol. 1, p. 186. By Herbert Eugene Bolton, Ph.D.
Antigua California: Mission and Colony on the Peninsular Frontier,
1697-1768, by Harry Crosby. University of New Mexico Press, 1994. Page
440, Notes on pages 53-55.
 Oak uses the date of November 5th.
Marched by the order of General Jironza, Sgt. Escalante’s name is
included in the list. From Annals of the Spanish Northwest: North
Mexican States, [1531-1800] (1884). Pages 264-265. http://archive.org/
 “Father Kino’s 1697 Entrada to the Casa Grande Ruin in Arizona A Reconstruction,” by Ronald L. Ives, reprinted from Arizona and the West, Vol. 15, No. 4, Winter 1973. Pages 345-370. Ives reconstructs Bolton’s account of Kino’s journey.
 The Critically Endangered Colonial Spanish Mission Horse, by Deb Wolfe.
Kino Heritage Society. Endurance Rider: The Padre on Horseback. First
Arizona Breeder of Horses. http://padrekino.com/kino-legacy/horseman/
Casa Grande ruins are located approximately halfway between
Tucson and Phoenix. These are the same ruins reported by Coronado.
Works of Hubert Bancroft, Vol. XV, History of the North Mexican States,
Vol. I, 1531-1800, A.L. Bancroft Publishers, 1884. The return route
from Casa Grande on the 21st was along the Santa Cruz
River past “S. Andres, Sta. Catalina, S. Agustin, S. Javier del
Bac or Batosda, S. Cayetano Tumacacori, Guevavi, Cocospera,
Remedios and Dolores.” Footnote, Page 265.
 Spain in the West, Kino’s Historical Memoir of Pimería Alta, Volume 1. Page 186.
Arizona: The Jesuits in Pimería Alta, From American Journeys Collection,
Report and Relation of the Near Conversions, diary notes from Father
Eusebio Kino. Page 435.
 Ibid, Page 58.
Materiales para la historia de Sonora, by Miguel Angel Paz Frayre, UNAM,
2007. A compilation of documents of the Archivo General de la Nación in
Mexico City. Page 603.
Possibly written by Manje or someone else on that trip. From Annals of
the Spanish Northwest: North Mexican States (1531-1800), by Henry
Lebbeus Oak, 1884. Volume 1. Page 265. The Spanish text is not provided,
so the actual mineral is not known.
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