Father Ferdinand Konšcak, SJ
Explorer and Missionary



Father Ferdinand Konšcak, SJ on Croatia Scott 303
, 1996, the 250th anniversary of Konšcak's expedition to Lower California, Scott 303
featuring a map of Lower California and the boat used in 1746

World-known explorer Ferdinand Konšcak, son of a senior military officer, was born in Varaždin, Croatia in 1703. Determined to become a missionary, he applied to the Jesuit superior general in Rome for six years, asking to be sent to India. Finally he was chosen for Indian missions in Mexico. Later he was sent to a mission in Lower California, and from 1733 he spent 26 years at Misión San Ignacio de Kadakaamán as a missionary and superior, and also as explorer and geographer. He organized and led three major expeditions to explore the northern parts of Lower California, in 1746 by sea, and in 1751 and 1753 by land. The objective of the first expedition was to prove that Lower California is a peninsula, which Konšcak did, and to find springs of fresh water and pastures for further missions in the north. After the 1746 expedition he published a map of the Gulf of California, as far as the mouth of the Colorado in the Gulf of California. This map was later included in many books and was used until the mid-nineteenth century as the official American map. More