Spanish native Don José de la Guerra y Noriega (1779-1858) was the founding patriarch of the family in this country. De la Guerra wielded tremendous influence and held several positions of responsibility during the Spanish and Mexican eras, including comandante of the Santa Barbara presidio. Affectionately known as El Gran Capitán, he successfully defended Santa Barbara against the privateer Hipólito Bouchard. Don José de la Guerra was considered Santa Barbara’s “first citizen”, and the entire community looked to him for protection and assistance. Upon his death, he was interred beneath the altar of Mission Santa Barbara.
José de la Guerra y Noriega, 1850
Leonardo Barbieri (Italian, 1810-c1873)
Oil on canvas
35 x 28 inches
Frederica Dibblee Poett Bequest