California Historical Articles
( Originally Published Early 1911 )Perhaps nowhere in the history of the world is there to be found a clearer example of the nothingness of Time and Place when man is absent than is presented in the history of California. It was the same California that it is now long centuries before Cabrillo first discovered it. It was still the same in the ages that it remained practically undisturbed after Cabrillo, until the time of Serra. And that was little over a century and a quarter ago. But see the change in that hundred and thirty years ! The seed of man's enterprise once sown, how its fruits sprang forth !
Not the wildest conceptions of the Mission founders could have foreseen the results of their California enterprises. To see the land that they found in the possession of thousands of rude savages converted in one short century into the home of tens of thousands of happy, contented, progressive people would have been a wild vision indeed. God surely does work mysteriously, marvellously, His wonders to perform, and nothing is more wonderful than the rapid settlement of California with the choicest elements of America's Eastern civilization.
It seems almost as if the coming of Serra and his coadjutors — the best the Spaniards had to offer of earnestness, power, ability, and sympathetic brotherhood — was Prophetic of what the future had in store for California. America was to give of its best, — East, North, South, in its Starr King, Joseph and John LeConte, Fremont, and a host of others for its physical, mental, and spiritual development.
The East has not yet taken the full measure of the West, — not even as well as did Serra, Crespi, Palou, and Lasuen. The spirit of those men is still in the air, and the results are beyond the ken of all except the few whose vision is prophetic. The Pacific Coast States are yet in their swaddling-clothes. The world has yet to be astounded at their youth and matured manhood.
Many and diverse are the elements which have gone into the making of that " State of the Golden Gate " of which Americans generally are so proud. It has been the stage upon which strangely different actors have played their part — important or insignificant — and left their impress where they played. It has been a composite canvas upon which painters of every school have practised their art: a vivid mass of color here, a touch there, a single stroke of the brush yonder. Then, too, look at it as you will, stage or canvas, it had a marvellous natural setting. Curtains, side-wings, drops, scenes, accessories, suitable for every play, adequate for every requirement. Tragedy? Great mountains, awful snow storms, trackless sand-wastes, fearful deserts, limitless canyons, more ocean line than any other of the North American States, and the densest forests. Comedy? Semi-tropical verdure, orange blossoms, carpets of flowers, delicate waterfalls, the singing of a thousand varieties of birds, the gentlest zephyrs, the bluest of blue skies. What wonder, then, as its history is studied, as a whole or in parts, that it is unusually fascinating, and that it presents features of unique interest?
It has long been the belief of the English-speaking peoples that England is the one great colonizing power of all history ; and, possibly, if extent of achievement be considered this popular conception is true. Yet, considering the time and conditions under which it took place, the student may be pardoned if he is inclined to give to Spain the honor and credit of the larger achievement, — larger in the difficulties to be overcome ; larger in the spirit in which it was undertaken ; larger in its ultimate results ; larger in the wisdom by which its operators were directed ; larger in the marvellous manhood it developed. The discoveries of Columbus had fired the imagination of the bold and adventurous spirits throughout Europe. They believed that the nether coast of India had been discovered by sailing westward instead of eastward as hitherto. For it must not be overlooked that this was the popular belief for many decades after Columbus ; there was no knowledge that a new continent had been discovered.
Four hundred years ! How much may transpire in that time. Columbus had sailed from Palos, Aug. 3, 1492, in Spanish ships and backed by Spanish faith and money. Fifty years previously the Byzantine Empire had sunk under the weight of Turkish arms, and thus Europe was opened up to vivifying influences from both East and West. The dark ages were coming to an end. A flood of literature and learning, science and art was released from the East, and the discoveries in the West so fired men's imagination that the mental and spiritual results bid fair to outrival the material benefits.
The activity to which Spain was aroused was marvellous. Fifty years saw expedition after expedition equipped with fiery zeal and fervent enthusiasm. Ponce de Leon had sailed from Puerto Rico and discovered Florida in 1512. The following year Balboa discovered the Pacific. In 1517 and 1518 Cordoba and Grijalva sailed down the coast of Yucatan, and the following year Cortes set forth from Cuba to conquer the countries discovered by his two predecessors. Born at Estremadura, Spain, seven years before Columbus sailed, he was now, at 33 years of age, the alcalde of Santiago, strong, crafty, brave, unscrupulous, ambitious, fearless, determined. The story of the conquest of Mexico is more exciting and thrilling than any romance. And let it not be forgotten that one of the avowed objects his superior, Velasquez, had in sending him forth was the conversion of the natives to Christianity. In all such expeditions a padre accompanied the explorers, and whatever may have been the character, the motives, the religious or irreligious life of the promoter or commander of the expedition, there can be no doubt as to the genuine piety, the single-heartedness, the devotion and purity of the major part of the priests who went along to undertake the conversion of the natives. Indeed, as Padre Salmeron truly says of New Mexico:
" It is worth consideration that there has been no corner discovered in this New Spain in which the first Columbus was not a fraile of St. Francis. They have ever been first to shed their blood, that with such good mortar the edifice should be lasting and eternal."
Mexico conquered, the Pacific Coast was reached, vessels built upon its shores, and expeditions equipped for the discovery of other lands, and the subjugation of their peoples. Guzman, Becerra, Jimenez, Ulloa, Alarcon, and Cabrillo were all important names on the Pacific Coast in the first half of the sixteenth century.
And on the Atlantic events were transpiring that were to lead to the ultimate colonization of our American South-west, in what are now Arizona and New Mexico. For it is indirectly to one of the Spanish explorations to the Atlantic Coast that we owe their discovery.
How thrilling are the accounts of the adventures of these early explorers. What direful risks men have always taken to satisfy their lust for conquest, gold, and power. How different results have been from what they expected or anticipated. How short the distance the most keen-sighted could peer into the dim obscurity of the future.
Think for a few moments of the proud and haughty Spanish don, with the high-sounding and potent name, Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca, treasurer of the expedition of Panfilo de Narvaez. In June, 1527, this adventurous and ill-fated leader started from Spain with a fleet of five ships and six hundred men, to conquer and colonize a province north of Panuco on the Gulf of Mexico. Storms, hurricanes, and general disaster followed him and his party as they neared the Gulf shores. In April, 1528, they anchored in Tampa Bay, and tired of buffetings by sea, the headstrong and wilful Narvaez resolved to march ashore and let the vessels follow along the coast. He and three hundred men and forty horses went inland. After incredible hardships they grew as weary of the land as before they had been of the sea, and, making five rude craft, those who were still alive embarked, intending to skirt the coast to Panuco. Six weeks of storm, thirst, hunger, exposure, and attack by Indians found the fleet divided. The boat commanded by Vaca, with one other, remained together. Their complete force numbered eighty men. These landed only to be taken captive by the Indians. Slavery was their lot until famine and pestilence swept away all but fifteen. Of this fifteen, four ultimately escaped, and after nine long years of wandering on foot, nakedness, starvation, adventures with wild beasts, to-day in slavery, tomorrow almost worshipped because of sup-posed supernatural powers, they found their way across the continent to the Spanish settlements in northwestern Mexico, — San Miguel in New Galicia, — April 1, 1536.
Vaca's stories, when, again clothed and in his right mind, he came in contact with the Spanish officers, made a wonderful impression. The hot blood of the conquistadores was aroused to go forth and take possession of the land, and it required great effort on the part of the viceroy to restrain them. He refused to allow any exploring expeditions to start until he had sent out a scouting party. Who should go? This was no pleasure trip. It was not to be a going forth " of an army with banners." It was to be a surveying of a country peopled with savages, where track-less deserts might be encountered, and frightful hardships anticipated with tolerable certainty. Priests — no matter of what church — have always made brave, adventurous, and successful explorers. " To seek and to save," — was not that their commission, given by Christ Himself? What, then, was danger, what suffering, torture, death itself? No greater reward could come to them than the crown of martyrdom. Hence their fearlessness, their persistency, their eagerness, their energy. Knowing this, the viceroy, Mendoza, asked Marcos de Niza, the chief of the band of Franciscan missionaries, to adventure forth, accompanied only by a fellow friar, and Stephen, a negro who had been one of Cabeza de Vaca's comrades, to spy out the land and report upon Vaca's stories. Marcos, accompanied by Fray Onorato, left Culiacan, March 7, 1539, penetrated into New Mexico, and from a hillside secretly surveyed one of the villages of Cibola, now known to us as the pueblos of Zuni. This was as far as he deemed it necessary to go. He therefore returned to Mexico and made his report.
It was Marcos's favorable report that led Coronado to start out on his great expedition, — the expedition that led to the subjugation of Zuni, the pueblos of the Hopi (or Moki), the Tiguas — Teewahs — of the Rio Grande Valley, and the discovery of the Grand Canyon of the Colorado River, Acoma, &c. Accompanying Coronado were three Franciscan friars, Marcos aforesaid, Fray Antonio Victoria, and Fray Juan de Padilla and Luis de Escalona, a lay brother. Marcos soon returned, and Antonio Victoria was compelled to do so by a broken leg ; so Juan de Padilla and the lay brother were the first missionaries to enter the great field, now Arizona and New Mexico.
But Mexico proper, and all the newly established Central American provinces were being flooded with missionaries. The whole Church in Spain was alive with zeal to convert the vast populations of the new world. Jesuits, Dominicans, Jeromites, and Franciscans were alike active and zealous. Each order had its own work, and there was considerable rivalry, if not jealousy, between them.
Churches by the score, nay by the hundreds, were built, and missions established on every hand in what are now the Mexican provinces. But it was not until Russian aggression in the North rendered Spain fearful, that a real and determined effort was made to establish missions and promote colonization in Alta California ; and this was two hundred and thirty years after Juan de Padilla had begun work in New Mexico.
In that two hundred and thirty years much had transpired in the Mission field of what is now New Mexico, Arizona, Texas, and Lower California. In another volume I shall present the results of the missionary labors of these years in the four districts named.
It had always been the intention of Spain to colonize Alta California, but the pressure of events elsewhere had prevented. The Church earnestly desired it in order to extend its dominion over the souls of the aborigines. These, according to the stern theology of the time, were eternally damned unless the saving offices of Holy Church were given to them, and full of earnestness and zeal the priests never ceased to urge the establishment of colonies and missions that they might accomplish that highly desirable end. But not until political events crowded the Spanish monarch into action was it effected.
Spain was already conducting a large and profitable trade with its possessions, the Philippines. It was a long sail across the Pacific Ocean to Mexican ports, and the English free-booters often played sad havoc with the galleons laden with merchandise and other wealth on their passage. England had just gone to war with Spain (this was in 1760), and her naval activities were especially pernicious ; Russia was crowding down from the North, having already established herself in Alaska, and Charles and his ministry began to feel the urgent necessity of doing something quickly if it were to be done at all.
It is not always a safe policy to conjecture results if certain events had happened, yet in this case it seems probable that the whole history of California would have been materially different, indeed that to-day California would not be ranged under the flag of the United States, had not King Charles sent out his colonizers and missionaries just at the time he did. Whether one believes or disbelieves in " the hand of God in history," it was at least exceedingly fortunate that the Missions were established by Spain, for in the course of time, she lost her hold in Mexico, and California became a province of the new Republic of Mexico. Now, had California at this time, or earlier, been under control of the Russians, who, it must not be forgotten, were slowly reaching down toward San Francisco from Alaska, and who later reached Mt. St. Helena and Fort Ross, — the latter but sixty-five miles north, — the United States would have had Russia to deal with instead of Mexico. California was seized because the United States was at war with Mexico. Two years after the seizure, gold was discovered, and California became a Mecca for the adventurers and the gold-lustful of the world.
Let us here briefly review the facts as they occurred, and then note what they would have been had Russia, instead of Spain, colonized California.
First : Spain assumes political control of California, and at the same time establishes the Missions.
Second: Mexico severs her relations with Spain, and California becomes a province of the Republic of Mexico.
Third: The United States and Mexico go to war; California is seized by the United States as a war measure, and finally becomes an integral part of United States territory.
Had the Russians gained a foothold in California prior to the Spanish Franciscans, it is scarcely possible that they would have relinquished the natural advantages afforded by so remarkable a base of supplies for their Alaskan colonies.
Had Russia owned or controlled California when gold was discovered, the territory would never have been relinquished; for, as yet, the United States has had no occasion to go to war with Russia. So it is apparent that California owes its place in the North American Union of States to Spain and the Franciscan Mission Fathers. Owing to this fact, the steps of the founders of these Missions assume new interest and greater importance.
Now to return after this brief digression which forestalls the actual events. Just at this particular juncture King Charles decided to banish the order of Jesuits completely from his dominions. To. carry out this order in Mexico and the peninsula of Lower California (then, as now, a province of Mexico), he appointed Don Jose Galvez, a tried and trusted crown official, as Visitador General with almost plenary authority.
The Jesuits had long been growing in power. Their Missions were planted wherever the name of Spain was known. While many of the members of the Order were simple-hearted, honest toilers for God, others, and these the leaders, were fired with lust for political as well as ecclesiastical power. Possibly it was their success in gaining this power that led to their banishment. Writing in 1793, Gigedo unconsciously shows what influence they had in government circles. In his report upon Loreto, the capital of Lower California, he says:
" It had as garrison a troop of cavalry, mounted and armed in accordance with the customs of the country ; its pay (including that of the crew of the vessel carrying supplies) amounted to $32,515, which was paid out of the royal treasury. The Jesuits really collected and distributed this money, and also took care of the discipline and service of said troop, placed in commission for the sole purpose of defending and preserving the fifteen missions established and administered by the Society of Jesus."
It would be interesting could a full recital of the history of Jesuit expulsion from Spanish dominions be given. It is too long a story. It was the most extensive proscription known in European history. Henry the Eighth's cruel treatment of the Carthusians and Benedictines affected a far less number than the action of Charles, this " Most Catholic Ring," in thus banishing, without open accusation or public trial, over six thousand men, many of them of the best families and the highest education. Ever since his accession to the throne he had seemingly been friendly to the Jesuits, indeed, had chosen one, Father Wendlingen, as tutor for his eldest son. Suddenly, and without any reason which he was willing to give to the world, — it never was given and to this day is unknown, — he completely turned against them. A secret council was called, the proceedings of which were never recorded fully in the archives, and with a care and thoroughness that reveal a relentless purpose, arrangements were perfected for the arrest and deportation of every professed Jesuit in the Spanish dominions. In order that there might be no failure, the maps were studied, and a date fixed upon, so that the secret orders of the Ring might be carried out simultaneously in every part of his domain. This was not possible in the far-away colonies, but even there a later date was fixed, and the royal commissioners were required to see the decree enforced with exactitude at the time set. Galvez was the appointed officer for Mexico and Lower California. Those who were arrested in Spain were deported to Italy, and those from Mexico were sent to the remote Island of Corsica. On landing, each man received a letter saying that so long as he remained there, refrained from criticising the act which had banished him, refrained from any communication, even with relatives in Spain or Mexico, he should receive a yearly allowance of one hundred dollars. And then, to make the secrecy more effective, it added that if any one of them violated any of these conditions the yearly contribution would be withdrawn from all.
Thus it was that Lower California lost its Jesuit missionaries.
They were sixteen in number, officiating at fourteen Missions, which extended from Cape San Lucas, on the south, to Santa Maria, not far from the mouth of the Colorado River, on the north. The story of the founding of these Missions by the Jesuits forms an interesting part of the companion volume to this, and their banishment from their arduous labors, in which many of them were expending the tireless energy of devoted lives, is pathetic in the extreme.
By the same royal order that banished the Jesuits the charge was laid upon the Franciscan College of San Fernando, in the City of Mexico, to send priests to take their place. In casting about for a man to direct this important work, the unanimous choice fell upon Fray Junipero Serra. The fifteen others, hurriedly gathered together, were sent over to direct the affairs of the peninsula Missions.
Here Galvez found them when he arrived three months later. Of his work in the peninsula the companion volume to this will fully treat. What now concerns us is his action towards the colonization and missionizing of Alta California. His orders upon the subject were clear and imperative: " Occupy and fortify San Diego and Monterey for God and the Ring of Spain." Galvez was a good son of the Church, full of enthusiasm, having good sense, great executive ability, considerable foresight, untiring energy, and decided contempt for all routine formalities. He began his work with a truly Western vigor. Being invested with almost absolute power, there were none above him to interpose vexatious formalities to hinder the immediate execution of his plans.
In order that the spiritual part of the work might be as carefully planned as the political, Galvez summoned Serra. What a fine combination ! Desire and power hand in hand ! What nights were spent by the two in planning ! What arguments, what discussions, what final agreements the old adobe rooms occupied by them must have heard ! But it is by just such men that great enterprises are successfully begun and executed. For fervor and enthusiasm, power and sense, when combined, produce results. Plans were formulated with a completeness and rapidity that equalled the best days of the conquistadores. Four expeditions were to go : two by land and two by sea. So would the risk of failure be lessened, and practical knowledge of both routes be gained. Galvez had two available vessels : the " San Carlos " and the " San Antonio."
For money the visitor-general called upon the Pious Fund, which, on the expulsion of the Jesuits, he had placed in the hands of a governmental administrator. He had also determined that the Missions of the peninsula should do their share to help in the founding of the new Missions, and Serra approved and helped in the work.
When Galvez arrived he found Gaspar de Portola acting as civil and military governor, and Fernando Javier Rivera y Moncada, the former governor, commanding the garrison at Loreto. Both were captains, Rivera having been long in the country. He determined to avail himself of the services of these two men, each of them to command one of the land expeditions. Consequently with great rapidity, for those days, operations were set in motion. Rivera in August or September, 1768, was sent on a commission to visit in succession all the Missions, gathering from each one all the provisions, live-stock, and implements that could be spared. He was also to prevail upon all the available families he could find to go along as colonists. In the meantime others sent out by Galvez gathered in church furniture, ornaments, and vestments for the Missions, and later Serra made a tour for the same purpose. San Jose was named the patron saint of the expedition, and in December the " San Carlos " arrived at La Paz partially laden with supplies.
The vessel was in bad condition, so it had to be unloaded, careened, cleaned, and repaired, and then reloaded, and in this latter work both Galvez and Serra helped, the former packing the supplies for the Mission of San Buenaventura in which he was particularly interested, and Serra attending to those for San Carlos. They joked each other as they worked, and when Galvez completed his task ahead of Serra he had considerable fun at the Padre presidente's expense. In addition to the two Missions named, one other, dedicated to San Diego, was first to be established. By the 9th of January, 1769, the " San Carlos " was ready. Confessions were heard, masses said, the communion ad-ministered, and Galvez made a rousing speech. Then Serra formally blessed the undertaking, cordially embraced Fray Parron, to whom the spiritual care of the vessel was intrusted, the sails were lowered, and off started the first division of the party that meant so much to the future California. In another vessel Galvez went along until the " San Carlos " doubled the point and started northward, when, with gladness in his heart and songs on his lips, he returned to still further prosecute his work.
On the 15th of February the " San Antonio," under the command of Perez, was ready and started. Now the land expeditions must be moved. Rivera had gathered his stock, etc., at Santa Maria, the most northern of the Missions, but finding scant pasturage there he had moved eight or ten leagues farther north to a place called by the Indians Velicata. Fray Juan Crespi was sent to join Rivera, and Fray Lasuen met him at Santa Maria in order to bestow the apostolic blessing ere the journey began, and on the 24th of March Lasuen stood at Velicata and saw the little band of pilgrims start northward for the land of the gentiles, driving their herds before them. What a procession it must have been ! The animals, driven by Indians under the direction of soldiers and priests, straggling along or dashing wildly forward as such creatures are wont to do ! Here, as well as in the starting of the " San Carlos " and " San Antonio," is a great scene for an artist, and some day canvases worthy the subjects should be placed in the California State Capitol at Sacramento.
Governor Portola was already on his way north, but Serra was delayed by an ulcerated foot and leg, and, be-sides, he had not yet gathered together all the Mission sup-plies he needed, so it was May 15 before this division finally left Velicata. The day before leaving, Serra established the Mission of San Fernando at the place of their departure, and left Padre Campa in charge.
Now blow, ye favoring winds, and, ye baffling storms, be restrained; the sea has upon its bosom two vessels that are to begin the history of the Golden State, and near by, comparatively speaking, on the land two divisions of weary pilgrims are marching along, in one of which is a man who is to leave his powerful impress upon the new country to which he journeys with so much fiery zeal and religious enthusiasm.
Padre Serra's diary, kept in his own handwriting during this trip from Loreto to San Diego, is now in the Edward E. Ayer Library in Chicago. Some of his expressions are most striking. In one place, speaking of Captain Rivera's going from Mission to Mission to take from them " whatever he might choose of what was in them for the founding of the new Missions," he says : " Thus he did; and altho' it was with a somewhat heavy hand, it was undergone for God and the king."
The work of Galvez for Alta California was by no means yet accomplished. Another vessel, the " San Jose," built at his new shipyard, appeared two days before the " San Antonio " set sail, and soon afterward Galvez went across the gulf in it to secure a load of fresh supplies. On the 16th of June the " San Jose " sailed for San Diego as a relief boat to the " San Carlos " and " San Antonio," but evidently met with misfortune, for three months later it returned to the Loreto harbor with a broken mast and in general bad condition. It was unloaded and repaired at San Blas, and in the following June again started out, laden with supplies, but never reached its destination, disappearing forever without leaving a trace behind.
The " San Antonio " first arrived at San Diego. About April 11, 1769, it anchored in the bay, and awakened in the minds of the natives strange feelings of astonishment and awe. Its presence recalled to them the " stories of the old," when a similar apparition startled their ancestors. That other white-winged creature had come long generations ago, and had gone away, never to be seen again. Was this not to do likewise? Ah, no! in this vessel was contained the beginning of the end of the primitive man. The solitude of the centuries was now to be disturbed and its peace invaded; aboriginal life was to be destroyed forever. The advent of this vessel was the death knell of the Indian tribes. Now was to begin the actual change in the life of the California Indians, such a change as they had never before known, perhaps, in the whole of their history.. As we look back upon it, the picture is a fascinating one.. A handful of priests, hampered by long gowns, in a faraway, strange land, surrounded by a vast population of aborigines, neither as wild and ferocious nor as dull and stupid as various writers have described them, yet brave, courageous, liberty-loving, and self-willed enough to render their subjugation a difficult matter. With a courage that was sublime in its very boldness, and which, better than ten thousand verbal eulogies, shows the self-centered confidence and mental poise of the men, this handful of priests grappled with their task, brought the vast horde of untamed Indians under subjection, trained them to systematic work, and in a few short years so thoroughly accomplished what they had determined, that the Mission buildings were erected by these former savages, who were made useful workers in a large diversity of fields.
Little, however, did either the company on board the " San Antonio " or the Indians themselves conceive such thoughts as these on that memorable April day.
But where was the " San Carlos," which sailed almost a month earlier than the " San Antonio "? She was struggling with difficulties, — leaking water-casks, bad water, scurvy, cold weather. Therefore it was not until April 29 that she appeared. In vain the captain of the " San Antonio " waited for the " San Carlos " to launch a boat and to send him word as to the cause of the late arrival of the flagship ; so he visited her to discover for himself the cause. He found a sorry state of affairs. All on board were ill from scurvy. Hastily erecting canvas houses on the beach, the men of his own crew went to the relief of their suffering comrades of the other vessel. Then the crew of the relieving ship took the sickness, and soon there were so few well men left that they could scarcely attend the sick and bury the dead. Those first two weeks in the new land, in the month of May, 1769, were never to be for-gotten. Of about ninety sailors, soldiers, and mechanics, less than thirty survived; over sixty were buried by the wash of the waves of the Bay of Saint James.
Then came Rivera and Crespi, with Lieutenant Fages and twenty-five soldiers.
Immediately a permanent camp was sought and found at what is now known as Old San Diego, where the two old palms still remain, with the ruins of the presidio on the hill behind. Six weeks were busily occupied in caring for the sick and in unloading the " San Antonio." Then the fourth and last party of the explorers arrived, — Governor Portola on June 29, and Serra on July 1. What a journey that had been for Serra ! He had walked all the way, and when but two days out his badly ulcerated leg began to trouble him. Portola wished to send him back, but Serra would not consent. He called to one of the muleteers and asked him to make a salve for his wound just such as he would put upon the saddle galls of one of his animals. It was done, and in a single night the ointment and the Father's prayers worked the miracle of healing.
After a general thanksgiving, in which exploding gun-powder was used to give effect, a consultation was held, at which it was decided to send back the " San Antonio" to San Blas for supplies, and for new crews for herself and the " San Carlos." A land expedition under Portola was to go to Monterey, while Serra and others remained at San Diego to found the Mission. The vessel sailed, Portola and his band started north, and on July 16, 1769, Serra raised the Cross, blessed it, said mass, preached, and formally established the Mission of San Diego de Alcala.
It mattered not that the Indians held aloof ; that only the people who came on the expedition were present to hear. From the hills beyond, doubtless, peered and peeped the curious natives. All was mysterious to them. Later, however, they became troublesome, stealing from the sick and pillaging from the " San Carlos." At last, they made a determined raid for plunder, which the Spanish soldiers resisted. A flight of arrows was the result. A boy was killed and three of the newcomers wounded. A volley of musket-balls killed three Indians, wounded several more, and cleared the settlement. After such an introduction, there is no wonder that conversions were slow.
Not a neophyte gladdened the Father's heart for more than a year.
In the meantime, Portola, Crespi, Rivera, and Fages were on their way north. They reached the Bay of Monterey and, failing to recognize it, passed farther north, where they saw the Bay of San Francisco. This was not the great inland sea we now know by that name, but the water under Point Reyes, which for years had been thus known. It was on this expedition, however, that Ortega discovered the present-known Bay of San Francisco, although it was not until several years later that it received that name.
Disheartened and weary, the party returned to San Diego ; only to bring sorrow and sadness to the sick and waiting ones at that place. Portola announced his decision to return to Mexico and to abandon the enterprise. But this was not to be. When hope seemed to have gone, and waiting had become despair, the " San Antonio " returned with abundant supplies. Oh, what a blessed vision was that of the long-looked-for vessel on the very day the abandonment had been decided! Captain Perez had started from La Paz with instructions to proceed directly to Monterey. Of course, he knew nothing of the return of the party from that point, and although the natives of the Santa Barbara channel informed him of such return, he would have gone on, had not the loss of an anchor compelled him to return to San Diego to replace it from the " San Carlos." Thus, the small matter of losing an anchor perhaps led to the saving of the enterprise and to the founding of the Missions as planned.
With new energy, vigor, and hope, Portola set out again for the search of Monterey, this time accompanied by Serra as well as Crespi. This time the attempt was successful. They recognized the bay, and on June 3, 1770, a shelter of branches was erected on the beach, a cross made ready near an old oak, the bells were hung and blessed, and the services of founding began. Padre Serra preached with his usual fervor; he exhorted the natives to come and be saved, and put to rout all infernal foes by an abundant sprinkling of holy water. The Mission was dedicated to San Carlos Borromeo.
Mrs. Leland Stanford recently erected at Monterey a marble statue of Serra standing in a boat, about to land at that point. On the pedestal is a tablet which recounts his heroic deeds.
Thus two of the long desired Missions were established, and the passion of Serra's longings, instead of being assuaged, raged now all the fiercer. It was not long, how-ever, before he found it to be bad policy to have the Missions for the Indian neophytes too near the presidio, or barracks for the soldiers. These latter could not always be controlled, and they early began a course which was utterly demoralizing to both sexes, for the women of a people cannot be debauched without exciting the men to fierce anger, or making them as bad as their women. Hence Serra removed the Missions : that of San Diego six miles up the valley to a point where the ruins now stand, while that of San Carlos he reestablished in the Carmelo valley.
The Mission next to be established should have been San Buenaventura, but events stood in the way ; so, on July 14, 1771, Serra (who had been zealously laboring with the heathen near Monterey), with eight soldiers, three sailors, and a few Indians, passed down the Salinas River and established the mission of San Antonio de Padua. The site was a beautiful one, in an oak-studded glen, near a fair-sized stream. The passionate enthusiasm of Serra can be understood from the fact that after the bells were hung from a tree, he loudly tolled them, crying the while like one possessed: " Come, gentiles, come to the Holy Church, come and receive the faith of Jesus Christ!" Padre Pieras could not help reminding his superior that not an Indian was within sight or hearing, and that it would be more practical to proceed with the ritual. One native, however, did witness the ceremony, and he soon brought a large number of his companions, who became tractable enough to help in erecting the rude church, barracks, and houses with which the priests and soldiers were compelled to be content in those early days.
On September 8, Padres Somera and Cambon founded the Mission of San Gabriel Arcangel, originally about six miles from the present site. Here, at first, the natives were inclined to be hostile; a large force under two chieftains appearing, in order to prevent the priests from holding their service. But at the elevation of a painting of the Virgin, the opposition ceased, and the two chieftains threw their necklaces at the feet of the Beautiful Queen. Still, a few wicked men can undo in a short time the work of many good ones. Padre Palou says that outrages by soldiers upon the Indian women precipitated an attack upon the Spaniards, especially upon two, at one of whom the chieftain (whose wife had been outraged by the man) fired an arrow. Stopping it with his shield, the soldier levelled his musket and shot the injured husband dead. Ah ! sadness of it ! The unbridled passions of men of the new race already foreshadowed the death of the old race, even while the good priests were seeking to elevate and to christianize it. This attack and consequent disturbance delayed still longer the founding of San Buenaventura.
On his way south (for he had now decided to go to Mexico), Serra founded, on September 1, 1772, the Mission of San Luis Obispo de Tolosa. The natives called the location Tixlini, and half a league away was a famous canyada in which Fages, some time previously, had killed a number of bears to provide meat for the starving people at Monterey. This act made the natives well disposed to-wards the priests in charge of the new Mission, and they helped to erect buildings, offered their children for baptism, and brought of their supply of food to the priests, whose stores were by no means abundant.
While these events were transpiring Governor Portola had returned to Lower California, and Lieutenant Fages was appointed commandant in his stead. This, it soon turned out, was a great mistake. Fages and Serra did not work well together, and, at the time of the founding of San Luis Obispo, relations between them were strained almost to breaking. Serra appears to have had just cause for complaint. The enthusiastic, impulsive missionary, desirous of furthering his important religious work, believed himself to be restrained by a cold-blooded, official-minded soldier, to whom routine was more important than the salvation of the Indians. Serra complained that Fages opened his letters and those of his fellow missionaries ; that he supported his soldiers when their evil conduct rendered the work of the missionaries unavailing ; that he interfered with the management of the stations and the punishment of neophytes, and devoted to his own uses the property and facilities of the Missions.
In the main, this complaint received attention from the Junta in Mexico. Fages was ultimately removed, and Rivera appointed governor in his place. More missionaries, money, and supplies were placed at Serra's disposal, and he was authorized to proceed to the establishment of the additional Missions which he had planned. He also obtained authority from the highest powers of the Church to administer the important sacrament of confirmation. This is a right generally conferred only upon a bishop and his superiors, but as California was so remote and the visits of a bishop impossible, it was deemed appropriate to grant this privilege to Serra.
Rejoicing and grateful, the earnest president sent Padres Fermin Francisco de Lasuen and Gregorio Amurrio, with six soldiers, to begin work at San Juan Capistrano. This occurred in August, 1775. On the thirtieth of the following October, work was begun, and everything seemed auspicious, when suddenly, as if God had ceased to smile upon them, terrible news came from San Diego. There, apparently, things had been going well. Sixty converts were baptized on October 3, and the priests rejoiced at the success of their efforts. But the Indians back in the mountains were alarmed and hostile. Who were these white-faced strangers causing their brother aborigines to kneel before a strange God? What was the meaning of that mystic ceremony of sprinkling with water? The demon of priestly jealousy was awakened in the breasts of the tingaivashes — the medicine men — of the tribes about San Diego, who arranged a fierce midnight attack which should rid them forever of these foreign conjurers, the men of the " bad medicine."
Exactly a month and a day after the baptism of the sixty converts, at the dead of night, the mission buildings were fired and the eleven persons of Spanish blood were awakened by flames and the yells of a horde of excited savages. A fierce conflict ensued. Arrows were fired on the one side, gun-shots on the other, while the flames roared in accompaniment and lighted the scene. Both Indians and Spaniards fell. The following morning, when hostilities had ceased and the enemy had withdrawn, the body of Padre Jayme was discovered in the dry bed of a neighboring creek, bruised from head to foot with blows from stones and clubs, naked, and bearing eighteen arrow-wounds.
The sad news was sent to Serra, and his words at hearing it, show the invincible missionary spirit of the man : " God be thanked ! Now the soil is watered ; now will the reduction of the Dieguinos be complete ! "
At San Juan Capistrano, however, the news caused serious alarm. Work ceased, the bells were buried, and the priests returned.
The reader's attention is directed now to another part of the King of Spain's dominions, soon to be closely connected at this stage of affairs with the California Missions. In Western New Mexico (in that portion now called Arizona) there were several Missions not far from the presidio of Tubac, which is now a small village some forty miles south of Tucson. It was deemed desirable that a road should be established between these New Mexico (Arizona) points and the California Missions, and, as a midway stop-ping place, it was decided to establish Mission settlements on the Colorado River.
For many years, — indeed ever since the days of the Jesuits, — when the revered Padre Kino was at work among the Pimas, it had been purposed to establish Missions among the Yuma Indians on the Colorado River. Accordingly, in 1774, Don Juan Bautista de Anza, captain of the presidio of Tubac, left that post on the 8th of January with a body of thirty-four men, sixty-five cattle, and 140 horses, and accompanied by Padres Garces and Diaz. Anza was to find a means of communication between Sonora (his post of Tubac was in Northern Sonora, which reached up as far as the Gila River), and the Missions of California. He arrived at San Gabriel May 22, and then went to Monterey with Padre Serra, who reached San Gabriel from San Diego at the time of his arrival.
As they passed through the Colorado River region the priests investigated conditions as carefully as possible in regard to the foundation of Missions, and on the return trip, Garces made a prolonged visit in order that he might add to his knowledge. Some three years previously he had made a survey of the country and its inhabitants. He was fired with the same untiring zeal that dominated Serra, and he never rested until the desire of his heart in the establishment of Missions for the conversion of the Yumas was accomplished. These Missions will be referred to elsewhere.
This journey of Anza's was the first exploration across the vast waste of country stretching from Western Arizona, over the Colorado Desert, to the California Missions, though Garces had already been as far as the Colorado River.
The first trip thus successfully accomplished, the new viceroy, Bucareli, instructed Anza to proceed to Sonora and Sinoloa to recruit soldiers and settlers for a new presidio which he had decided to establish at San Francisco. The party was made up in the presidio of San Miguel de Orcasitas, and marched up to Tubac, where a complete roster was made by Padre Font, who accompanied the expedition, and whose diary of the trip is still in existence in the Library of Brown University, Providence, R. I.
On their arrival at San Gabriel, January 4, 1776 (memorable year on the other side of the continent), they found Rivera had arrived the day before, on his way south to quell the Indian disturbances at San Diego, and Anza on hearing the news, deemed the matter of sufficient importance to justify his turning aside from his direct purpose and going south with Rivera. Taking seventeen of his soldiers along, he left the others to recruit their energies at San Gabriel, but the inactivity of Rivera did not please him, and, as things were not going well at San Gabriel he soon returned and started northward. It was a weary journey, the rains having made some parts of the road well-nigh impassable, and even the women had to walk. Yet on the 10th of March they all arrived safely and happily at Monterey, where Serra himself came to congratulate them.
After an illness which confined him to his bed, Anza, against the advice of his physician, started to investigate the San Francisco region, as upon his decision rested the selection of the site. The bay was pretty well explored, and the site chosen, near a spring and creek, which was named from the day, — the last Friday in Lent, — Arroyo de los Dolores. Hence the name so often applied to the Mission itself : it being commonly known even today as " Mission Dolores."
His duty performed, Anza returned south and Rivera appointed Lieutenant Moraga to take charge of the San Francisco colonists, and on the 26th of July, 1776, a camp was pitched on the allotted site. The next day a building of tules was begun and on the twenty-eighth of the same month mass was said by Padre Palou. In the meantime, the vessel " San Carlos " was expected from Monterey with all needful supplies for both the presidio and the new Mission, but, buffeted by adverse winds, it was forced down the coast as far as San Diego, and did not arrive outside of what is now the Bay of San Francisco until August 17.
The two carpenters from the " San Carlos," with a squad of sailors, were set to work on the new buildings, and on September 17 the foundation ceremonies of the presidio took place. On that same day, Lord Howe of the British army, with his Hessian mercenaries, was rejoicing in the city of New York in anticipation of an easy conquest of the army of the revolutionists.
September 17, the day of " the stigmata of our seraphic father, Saint Francis," — memorable day, memorable year ! Little did that band of Spaniards imagine the importance of their act ! The dreams of the most vivid imagination could not have conceived what the course of a hundred and twenty-five years would show on the site of their insignificant camp and its surroundings : a great city, the gateway to the Orient, the home of nearly half a million inhabitants ; the hills which they laboriously climbed echoing the clangor of bells; the bustle of factories, foundries, and great ship-building, sugar-refining, and other gigantic enterprises ; the silent bay changed into the busy meeting-place of a thousand ships of all nations and tonnages.
It was the establishment of that presidio, followed by that of the Mission on October 9, which predestined the name of the future great American city, born of adventure and romance.
Padres Palou and Cambon had been hard at work since the end of July. Aided by Lieutenant Moraga, they built a church fifty-four feet long, and a house thirty by fifteen feet, both structures being of wood, plastered with clay, and roofed with tules. On October 3, the day preceding the festival of St. Francis, bunting and flags from the ships were brought to decorate the new building ; but, owing to the absence of Moraga, the formal dedication did not take place until October 9. Happy was Serra's friend and brother, Palou, to celebrate high mass at this dedication of the church named after the great founder of his order, and none the less so were his assistants, Fathers Cambon, Nocedal, and Pena.
Just before the founding of the Mission of San Francisco, the Spanish Fathers witnessed an Indian battle. Natives advanced from the region of San Mateo and vigorously attacked the San Francisco Indian ; burning their houses and compelling them to flee in their tule rafts to the islands and the opposite shores of the bay. Months elapsed before these defeated Indians returned, to afford the Fathers at San Francisco an opportunity to work for the salvation of their souls.
In October of the following year, Serra paid his first visit to San Francisco, and said mass on the titular saint's day. Then, standing near the Golden Gate, he exclaimed : " Thanks be to God that now our father, St. Francis, with the holy processional cross of Missions has reached the last limit of the Californian continent. To go farther he must have boats."
There is a great misapprehension in the minds of many people as to how the Missions were founded. The fact that the missionary work of the various Protestant churches of the United States is done under the auspices and at the expense of the churches themselves has led to the assumption that the same was the case with the founding of the Missions of the Southwest. To correct this misapprehension, it is a pity that all who hold it could not read in toto the thirty-eight pages of closely printed " Regulations and Instructions for the Garrisons of the Peninsula of Californias, erection of new Missions, and fostering of the colonization and extension of the settlements of Monterrey." These were drawn up by Governor Felipe de Neve, in accordance with a kingly decree of March 21, 1775, and sent to Josef de Galvez, Viceroy of New Spain, January 19, 1781, for the King's approval ; which being given, the whole was ordered printed and copies sent to all the officials concerned.
From it is learned the close connection between the Missions of the Peninsula of (Lower) California and those in the California of the United States, and the dependence of all of them upon the central government in Mexico. It is made obligatory upon the governor to inspect the military posts and missions; full instructions are given as to the shipping and receipt of supplies. Loreto (in Lower California), San Francisco, and San Diego, as soon as their number of mules reached twenty-four and thirty respectively, were required to see that thirty others were supplied to the new post that was to be established in the pass of Santa Barbara. A complete account is made of the various allowances of the posts of San Diego, San Carlos, and San Francisco, and also of the post which shall be established in the pass of Santa Barbara. The conduct of the officers and troops was prescribed, and the duties of the paymaster in regard to food supplies, etc., enumerated with exhaustive thoroughness. The kind treatment of the Indians prescribed in former orders is again required. We are told:
"There is on hand at the Post of Monterey a herd of cattle which at present exceeds 500 head of all ages, and another herd of mares which counts up over 170 head, and about 250 head of sheep and goats, with some droves of Burros and Pigs ; and in the Post of San Francisco there are 124 head of Cattle, all belonging to the Royal Exchequer. It is made the duty of the Paymasters to carefully oversee the herding and care of said Herds, their increase, their distribution to settlers as pay or reimbursement ; and with care in breeding shall be kept the outgo of Colts, Bulls, Calves, Sheep, Geldings, Goats, Pigs, and of the others that because old and barren should be constantly used up. The reckoning of these herds shall be kept, to give account of their produce and increase to the Royal Exchequer, as hereinafter set forth."
Even the methods and place of measuring of grain is prescribed, nothing being deemed of too small importance. In the titles referring to settlement it is candidly stated that:
"The most important object for the fulfilment of the pious intentions of our Lord the King, is to perpetuate His Majesty's dominion over the extensive territory embraced for more than 200 leagues by the new settlements and respective posts of San Diego, Monterey, and San Francisco ; to advance the Conversion, and to make this so vast Country as useful as possible to the State — inhabited by innumerable gentiles (except 1749 Christians of both sexes at the eight missions on the road between the first and the last Posts), erecting Pueblos (towns) of civilized people, etc."
It is then definitely stated what shall be paid to and provided for each new settler and settlement. Regulations are made about building-lots, plazas, pastures, etc., and settlers are forbidden to mortgage " the House or fields " granted to them.
"They are to be exempt from payment of tithes or any other tax on the fruits and produce brought them by the lands and herds with which they are furnished, on conditions that in the first year from the day they are allotted their lots and fields they shall build their houses as best they may, and dwell in them; shall open the proper ditches for the irrigation of their lands, placing on their boundary lines, instead of landmarks, useful fruit or forest trees, at the rate of ten to the Field ; and equally that they shall open the acequia or zanja madre (mother ditch), build a reservoir and other public works necessary to benefit the crops."
Settlers are explicitly instructed in such matters even as the breeding of their stock, and distinctly forbidden to kill one of the original head given to him within the term of five years.
Matters outside their immediate California jurisdiction also gave considerable worry to the authorities. Russia and England were constantly buzzing about, like trouble-some flies, and Spain was irritated and disturbed. One has but to read the report of Viceroy Gigedo to see how the Spanish felt about English and Russian aggressions. Explorations were pushed far to the north, and landings were made at Nutka and elsewhere, and formal possession taken. April 14, 1789, in an order to Gigedo, the King informed him of the protest he had lodged with Russia " stating therein that the subjects of that power should not found establishments on our northern coasts of the Californias."
Trouble was made with the English for landing at Nutka, two vessels being seized and taken as prisoners to San Blas. These were ultimately set at liberty, and after considerable negotiations between the courts of Spain and England, the King of Spain by royal letter, dated May 12, 1791, ordered that Nutka should be transferred to the English. It was at this transfer that Vancouver, the English captain, insisted that the boundary between Spanish and English possessions on the California coast should be the port of San Francisco. On reference of the matter, however, to higher authority, the bounds were settled more in accord with the claims of the Spanish. In spite of this dogged insistence of Vancouver he was well treated by the officials at Monterey, and Gigedo reports :
" He expressed to me in writing heartfelt thanks, and in proof of his gratitude, made a gift, of the value of two thousand dollars, more or less, to the ' presidio' and mission of Monterey in implements useful for agriculture and timber cutting, beads and other small articles."
One other matter of geographical importance it is as well to understand at this point. Knowledge of the North-west was still so imperfect that therein lay one great secret of the fears of the Spanish. They deemed it possible that a strait or passage between the Atlantic and Pacific might yet be found, and that if this were to be discovered by some foreign and hostile power it would place the New Mexico Colonies and Missions as well as those of California in jeopardy. In 1793, Viceroy Gigedo, in making his most useful, interesting, and exhaustive report, fully discusses this matter.
When the Columbia River's mouth was discovered it was thought that it was possibly the entrance to the channel which connected the two oceans. He urged the necessity for exploring it ; for, said he :
"If this river should be the passage between the two oceans, then we would have acquired all necessary information about the volume of water it carries, the rapidity or slowness of the current, the Indian tribes either nomadic or stable which live on its banks, and the place more or less accessible, where the river empties into the Atlantic."
But with practical common sense Gigedo discountenanced the further extension of territory without reason, and, in summing up the results of what the various explorations had accomplished, says that " during the period of twenty-five years many millions of dollars have been expended in establishing and maintaining the new settlements of Upper California; in repeated explorations of its northern coasts ; and in the occupation of Nutka."
The same month in which Palou dedicated the Northern Mission, found Serra, with Padre Gregorio Amurrio and ten soldiers, wending their way from San Diego to San Juan Capistrano, the foundation of which had been delayed the year previous by the San Diego massacre. They disinterred the bells and other buried materials and without delay founded the Mission. With his customary zeal, Serra caused the bells to be hung and sounded, and said the dedicatory mass on November 1, 1776. The original location of this Mission, named by the Indians Sajirit, was approximately the site of the present church, whose pathetic ruins speak eloquently of the frightful earthquake which later destroyed it.
Aroused by a letter from Viceroy Bucareli, Rivera hastened the establishment of the eighth Mission. A place was found near the Guadalupe River, where the Indians named Tares had four rancherias, which they called Thamien. Here Padre Tomas de la Pena planted the cross, erected an enramada, or brush shelter, and on January 12, 1777, said mass, dedicating the new Mission to the Virgin, Santa Clara, one of the early converts of Francis of Assisi.
On February 3, 1777, the new Governor of Alta California, Felipe de Neve, arrived at Monterey and superseded Rivera. He quickly established the pueblo of San Jose, and, a year or two later, Los Angeles, the latter under the long title of the pueblo of " Nuestra Senora, reina de los Angeles," — Our Lady, Queen of the Angels.
For many years, — indeed ever since the days of the Jesuits, — when the revered Padre Kino was at work among the Pimas, it had been purposed to establish Missions among the Yuma Indians on the Colorado River. But not until 1.775-6 was anything definite accomplished.. Then, Francisco Garces and Tomas Eixarch visited the Yumas, on the site of what is now the United States Indian School, and were well received by a local chief named Palma. The order for the establishment of Missions at this point was ultimately given by General Croix, on March 20, 1780. With fateful stubbornness this man, unfamiliar with the dangerous conditions, ordered the introduction of a system of management altogether different from that which obtained elsewhere. Indians and Spaniards were to live promiscuously in the pueblo. There was to be no distinct mission for the former, and the priests were given no temporal control over their converts. Indeed, it was to be a modern town, where colonists and natives should live in proximity, with the priests as pastors and teachers, under a kind of semi-military government. The pueblo was named " La Purisima Concepcion," and was situated on the California side, where the Indian school now stands. Garces and Barreneche were its missionaries. A little later, San Pedro y San Pablo de Bicuner was established, some eight or ten miles farther down the river, on the California side. These were ill-fated establishments, unfortunate experiments in colonization, des-tined to offer sad proofs of the determination of the Yumas, shown even today, not to yield anything of their belief to others. They were the scenes of pathetic preparations for martyrdom, and finally rude and terrible butcheries. Priests, settlers, soldiers, and Governor Rivera himself perished in the terrific attack. Forty-six men met an awful fate, and the women were left to a slavery more frightful than death. This was the last attempt made by the Spaniards to missionize the Yumas.
With these sad events in mind the Fathers founded San Buenaventura on March 31, 1782. Serra himself preached the dedicatory sermon. The Indians came from their picturesque conical huts of tule and straw, to watch the raising of the Cross, and the gathering at this dedication was larger than at any previous ceremony in California; more than seventy Spaniards with their families, together with large numbers of Indians, being there assembled.
The next month, the presidio of Santa Barbara was established, and later the Mission of the same name.
In the end of 1783, Serra visited all the southern Missions to administer confirmation to the neophytes, and in January, 1784, he returned to San Carlos at Monterey. Then he visited the two northern Missions of Santa Clara and San Francisco, returning home in June. His last days were saddened by the death of his beloved friend and brother, Crespi, and embittered by contests with the military authorities for what he deemed the right. His last act was to walk to the door, in order that he might look out upon the beautiful face of Nature. The ocean, the sky, the trees, the valley with its wealth of verdure, the birds, the flowers — all gave joy to his weary eyes. Returning to his bed, he " fell asleep," and his work on earth ended. He was buried by his friend Palou at his beloved Mission in the Carmelo Valley, and there his dust now rests.
His successor as the president of the Missions was Fermin Francisco Lasuen, who, at the time of his appointment, was the priest in charge at San Diego. He was elected by the directorate of the Franciscan College of San Fernando, in the City of Mexico, February 6, 1785, and on March 13, 1787, the Sacred Congregation at Rome confirmed his appointment, according to him the same right of confirmation which Serra had exercised. In five years this Father confirmed no less than ten thousand, one hundred thirty-nine persons.
Santa Barbara was the next Mission to be founded. For awhile it seemed that it would be located at Montecito, now the beautiful and picturesque suburb of its larger sister; but President Lasuen doubtless chose the site the Mission now occupies. Well up on the foothills of the Sierra Santa Ines, it has a commanding view of valley, ocean, and islands beyond. Indeed, for outlook, it is doubtful if any other Mission equals it. It was formally dedicated on December 4, 1786.
Various obstacles to the establishment of Santa Barbara had been placed in the way of the priests. Governor Fages wished to curtail their authority, and sought to make innovations which the Padres regarded as detrimental in the highest degree to the Indians, as well as annoying and humiliating to themselves. This was the reason of the long delay in founding Santa Barbara. It was the same with the following Mission. It had long been decided upon. Its site was selected. The natives called it Algsacupi. It was to be dedicated " to the most pure and sacred mystery of the Immaculate Conception of the most Holy Virgin Mary, Mother of God, Queen of Heaven, Queen of Angels, and Our Lady " : a name usually, however, shortened in common parlance to " La Purisima Concepcion." On December 8, 1787, Lasuen blessed the site, raised the Cross, said mass and preached a sermon; but it was not until March, 1788, that work on the buildings was begun. An adobe structure, roofed with tiles, was completed in 1802, and, ten years later, destroyed by earthquake.
The next Mission founded by Lasuen was that of Santa Cruz. On crossing the coast range from Santa Clara, he thus wrote : " I found in the site the most excellent fitness which had been reported to me. I found, beside, a stream of water, very near, copious, and important. On August 28, the day of Saint Augustine, I said mass, and raised a cross on the spot where the establishment is to be. Many gentiles came, old and young, of both sexes, and showed that they would gladly enlist under the Sacred Standard. Thanks be to God ! "
On Sunday, September 25, Sugert, an Indian chief of the neighborhood, assured by the priests and soldiers that no harm should come to him or his people by the noise of exploding gunpowder, came to the formal founding. Mass was said, a Te Deum chanted, and Don Hermenegildo Sol, Commandant of San Francisco, took possession of the place, thus completing the foundation. Today nothing but a memory remains of the Mission of the Holy Cross.
Lasuen's third Mission was founded in this same year, 1791. He had chosen a site, called by the Indians Chuttusgelis, and always known to the Spaniards as Soledad, since their first occupation of the country. Here, on October 9, Lasuen, accompanied by Padres Sijar and Garcia, in the presence of Lieutenant Jose Arguello, the guard, and a few natives, raised the Cross, blessed the site, said mass, and formally established the Mission of " Nuestra Senora de la Soledad."
One interesting entry in the Mission books is worthy of mention. In September, 1787, two vessels belonging to the newly founded United States sailed from Boston. The smaller of these was the " Lady Washington," under command of Captain Gray. In the Soledad Mission register of baptisms, it is written that on May 19, 1793, there was baptised a Nootka Indian, twenty years of age, " Inquina, son of a gentile father, named Taguasmiki, who in the year 1789 was killed by the American Gret (undoubtedly Gray), Captain of the vessel called Washington, belonging to the Congress of Boston."
For six years no new Missions were founded: then, in 1797, four were established, and one in 1798. These, long contemplated, were delayed for a variety of reasons. It was the purpose of the Fathers to have the new Missions farther inland than those already established, that they might reach more of the natives : those who lived in the valleys and on the slopes of the foothills. Besides this, it had always been the intent of the Spanish government that further explorations of the interior country should take place, that, as the Missions became strong enough to support themselves, the Indians there might be brought under the influence of the Church. Neve's Regulations say :
" It is made imperative to increase the number of Reductions (stations for converting the Indians) in proportion to the vastness of the country occupied, and although this must be carried out in the succession and order aforesaid, as fast as the older establishments shall be fully secure, etc.," and earlier, "while the breadth of the country is unknown (it) is presumed to be as great as the length, or greater (200 leagues), since its greatest breadth is counted by thousands of leagues."
On this subject Von Langsdorff in his " Voyages," published in London in 1814, says :
"Every year military expeditions are sent out to obtain a more exact knowledge of the interior of the country, with a view, if possible, of establishing, by degrees, a land communication between Santa Fe and the northwest coast of America. While I was at the Mission of St. Joseph, thirteen soldiers, with a serjeant and corporal, arrived there on their return from one of these expeditions. These people asserted that they had penetrated between eighty and ninety leagues into the country, and had arrived in the neighborhood of a high and widely extended chain of hills, covered with eternal snow; this chain is known to the Spaniards under the name of the Sierra Nevada, or Snowy Mountains. The river, or rivers of St. Francisco and another stream which flows into the sea near St. Michael, must have their sources in these mountains.
Individuals, inhabitants of the Sierra Nevada, affirm, that three or four days journey eastward of this chain, they have seen men with blue and red clothing, who entirely resembled the Spaniards of California ; they were very probably soldiers of Santa Fe, who had been sent on a similar expedition from the Eastern coast, to examine the interior of the country westwards.
According to this information, the Spaniards, between the thirty-fifth and thirty-eighth degrees of latitude on the different sides of the continent, must have come pretty near to each other; a probability is thus afforded, that, in time, a regular inland communication may be established between Santa Fe and St. Francisco."
Further on he states that one of these expeditions was fitted out for travel to the Sierra Nevada during their stay. The Padre, Jose Uria, went " partly in the hope of engaging fresh converts, partly for the purpose of gaining a more extensive knowledge of the interior, with a view to establish a new Mission, from which he expected great advantages to be derived."
In spite of the fact recorded by Langsdorff, however, I think it must generally be conceded that the priests in California were more active as local pastors than as explorers. They were not possessed of the spirit that animated Kino and Garces. Had the latter been in charge in California, it is hard to believe that he would not have known more of the interior country, even had he been forced to make the explorations alone.
Various investigations were made by the nearest priests in order to select the best locations for the proposed Missions, and, in 1796, Lasuen reported the results to the new Governor, Borica, who in turn communicated them to the Viceroy in Mexico. Approval was given and orders issued for the establishment of the five new Missions.
On June 9, 1797, Lasuen left San Francisco for the founding of the Mission San Jose, then called the Alameda. The following day, a brush church was erected, and, on the morrow, the usual foundation ceremonies occurred. The natives named the site Oroysom. Beautifully situated on the foothills, with a prominent peak near by, it offers an extensive view over the southern portion of the San Francisco bay region. At first, a wooden structure with a grass roof served as a church; but later a brick structure was erected, which Von Langsdorff visited in 1806.
It seems singular to us at this date that although the easiest means of communication between the Missions of Santa Clara, San Jose and San Francisco, was by water on the Bay of San Francisco, the Padre and soldiers at San Francisco had no boat or vessel of any kind. Langsdorf says of this : " Perhaps the missionaries are afraid lest if there were boats, they might facilitate the escape of the Indians, who never wholly lose their love of freedom and their attachment to their native habits ; they there-fore consider it better to confine their communication with one another to the means afforded by the land. The Spaniards, as well as their nurslings, the Indians, are very seldom under the necessity of trusting themselves to the waves, and if such a necessity occur, they make a kind of boat for the occasion, of straw, reeds, and rushes, bound together so closely as to be watertight. In this way they contrive to go very easily from one shore to the other. Boats of this kind are called walza by the Spanish. The oars consist of a thin, long pole somewhat broader at each end, with which the occupants row sometimes on one side, sometimes on the other."
For the next Mission two sites were suggested; but, as early as June 17, Corporal Ballesteros erected a church, missionary-house, granary, and guard-house at the point called by the natives Popeloutchom, and by the Spaniards, San Benito. Eight days later, Lasuen, aided by Padre Catala and Martiarena, founded the Mission dedicated to the saint of that day, San Juan Bautista.
Next in order, between the two Missions of San Antonio de Padua and San Luis Obispo, was that of " the most glorious prince of the heavenly militia," San Miguel. Lasuen, aided by Sitjar, in the presence of a large number of Indians, performed the ceremony in the usual form, on July 25, 1797. This Mission eventually grew to large proportions. In a subsequent chapter, dealing with the interiors of the Mission churches, a detailed description of the interior of San Miguel will be given; since it remains to-day almost exactly as decorated by the hands of the original artists.
San Fernando Rey was next established, on September 8, by Lasuen, aided by Padre Dumetz.
After extended correspondence between Lasuen and Governor Borica, a site, called by the natives Tacayme, was finally chosen for locating the next Mission, which was to bear the name of San Luis, Rey de Francia. Thus it became necessary to distinguish between the two saints of the same name: San Luis, Bishop (Obispo), and San Luis, King; but modern American parlance has eliminated the comma, and they are respectively San Luis Obispo and San Luis Rey. Lasuen, with the honored Padre Peyri and Padre Santiago, conducted the ceremonies on June 13, and the hearts of all concerned were made glad by the subsequent baptism of fifty-four children.
It was as an adjunct to this Mission that Padre Peyri, in 1816, founded the chapel of San Antonio de Pala, twenty miles east from San Luis Rey : to which place were removed the Palatingwas, or Agua Calientes, recently evicted from Warner's Ranch. This chapel has the picturesque campanile, or small detached belfry, the pictures of which are known throughout the world.
With the founding of San Luis Rey this branch of the work of President Lasuen terminated. Bancroft regards him as a greater man than Serra, and one whose life and work entitle him to the highest praise. He died at San Carlos on June 26, 1803, and was buried by the side of Serra.
Estevan Tapis now became president of the Missions, and under his direction was founded the nineteenth Mission, that of Santa Ines, virgin and martyr. Tapis himself conducted the ceremonies, preaching a sermon to a large congregation, including Commandant Carrillo, on September 17, 1804.
With Lasuen, the Mission work of California reached its maximum power. Under his immediate successors it began to decline. Doubtless the fact that the original chain was completed, was an influence in the decrease of activity. For thirteen years there was no extension. A few minor attempts were made to explore the interior country, and many of the names now used for rivers and locations in the San Joaquin Valley were given at this time. Nothing further, however, was done, until in 1817, when such a wide-spread mortality affected the Indians at the San Francisco Mission, that Governor Sola suggested that the afflicted neophytes be removed to a new and healthful location on the north shore of the San Francisco bay. A few were taken to what is now San Rafael, and while some recovered, many died. These latter, not having received the last rites of their religion, were subjects of great solicitude on the part of some of the priests, and, at last, Father Taboada, who had formerly been the priest at La PurIsima Concepcion, consented to take charge of this branch Mission. The native name of the site was Nanaguani. On December 14, Padre Sarria, assisted by several other priests, conducted the ceremony of dedication to San Rafael Arc-angel. It was originally intended to be an asistencia of San Francisco, but although there is no record that it was ever formally raised to the dignity of an independent Mission, it is called and enumerated as such from the year 1823 in all the reports of the Fathers. To-day, not a brick of its walls remains ; the only evidence of its existence being the few old pear trees planted early in its history.
There are those who contend that San Rafael was founded as a direct check to the southward aggressions of the Russians, who in 1812 had established Fort Ross but sixty-five miles north of San Francisco. There seems, however, to be no recorded authority for this belief, al-though it may easily be understood how anxious this close proximity of the Russians made the Spanish authorities.
They had further causes of anxiety. The complications between Mexico and Spain, which culminated in the independence of the former, and then the establishment of the Empire, gave the leaders enough to occupy their minds.
The final establishment took place in 1823, without any idea of founding a new Mission. The change to San Rafael had been so beneficial to the sick Indians that Canon Fernandez, Prefect Payeras, and Governor Arguello decided to transfer bodily the Mission of San Francisco from the peninsula to the mainland north of the bay, and make San Rafael dependent upon it. An exploring expedition was sent out which somewhat carefully examined the whole neighborhood and finally reported in favor of the Sonoma Valley. The report being accepted, on July 4, 1823, a cross was set up and blessed on the site, which was named New San Francisco.
Padre Altimira, one of the explorers, now wrote to the padre presidente — Sefian — explaining what he had done, and his reasons for so doing; stating that San Francisco could no longer exist, and that San Rafael was unable to subsist alone. Discussion followed, and Sarria, the successor of Sefian, who had died, refused to authorize the change ; expressing himself astonished at the audacity of those who had dared to take so important a step without consulting the supreme government. Then Altimira, infuriated, wrote to the Governor, who had been a party to the proposed removal, concluding his tirade by saying: " I came to convert gentiles and to establish new missions, and if I cannot do it here, which, as we all agree, is the best spot in California for the purpose, I will leave the country."
Governor Arguello assisted his priestly friend as far as he was able, and apprised Sarria that he would sustain the new establishment ; although he would withdraw the order for the suppression of San Rafael. A compromise was then effected by which New San Francisco was to remain a Mission in regular standing, but neither San Rafael nor old San Francisco were to be disturbed.
Is it not an inspiring subject for speculation? Where would the modern city of San Francisco be, if the irate Father and plotting politicians of those early days had been successful in their schemes?
The new Mission, all controversy being settled, was formally dedicated on Passion Sunday, April 4, 1824, by Altimira, to San Francisco Solano, " the great apostle to the Indies." There were now two San Franciscos, de Asis and Solano, and because of the inconvenience arising from this confusion, the popular names, Dolores and Solano, and later, Sonoma, came into use.
From the point now reached, the history of the Missions is one of distress, anxiety, and final disaster. Their great work was practically ended.
Before entering upon the history of each Mission in detail it is well to recapitulate the list of Missions established and the jurisdiction to which each one belonged. As has been shown, a presidio was established for the military guardianship of the Missions. Each presidio was responsible for all the Missions and pueblos under its jurisdiction as follows:
JURISDICTION OF SAN DIEGO.
Presidio of San Diego ; Mission of San Gabriel ; Mission of San Juan Capistrano ; Mission of San Diego ; Mission of San Luis Rey.
JURISDICTION OF SANTA BARBARA.
Presidio of Santa Barbara; Mission of La Purisima; Mission of Santa Ines ; Mission of Santa Barbara ; Mission of Buenaventura; Mission of San Fernando; Pueblo of La Reyna de Los Angeles.
JURISDICTION OF MONTEREY.
Presidio of Monterey ; Village of Branciforte ; Mission of San Juan Bautista ; Mission of San Carlos ; Mission of Nuestra Senora de Soledad ; Mission of San Antonio ; Mission of San Miguel ; Mission of San Luis Obispo.
Presidio of San Francisco ; Pueblo of San Jose de Guadalupe ; Mission of San Francisco Solano ; Mission of San Rafael ; Mission of San Francisco ; Mission of Santa Clara ; Mission of San Jose ; Mission of Santa Cruz.
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