The Old Franciscan Missions of California
GEORGE WHARTON JAMES
Author of "In and Around the Grand Canyon," "Heroes of California," "Through Ramona's Country," Etc.
With Illustrations from Photographs
To those good men and women, of all creeds and of no creed, whose lives have shown forth the glories of beautiful, helpful, unselfish, sympathetic humanity:
To those whose love and life are larger than all creeds and who discern the manifestation of God in all men:
To those who are urging forward the day when profession will give place to endeavor, and, in the real life of a genuine brotherhood of man, and true recognition of the All-Fatherhood of God, all men, in spite of their diversities, shall unite in their worship and thus form the real Catholic Church:
Especially to these, and to all who appreciate nobleness in others I lovingly dedicate these pages, devoted to a recital of the life and work of godly and unselfish men.
The story of the Old Missions of California is perennially new. The interest in the ancient and dilapidated buildings and their history increases with each year. To-day a thousand visit them where ten saw them twenty years ago, and twenty years hence, hundreds of thousands will stand in their sacred precincts, and unconsciously absorb beautiful and unselfish lessons of life as they hear some part of their history recited. It is well that this is so. A materially inclined nation needs to save every unselfish element in its history to prevent its going to utter destruction. It is essential to our spiritual development that we learn that
"Not on the vulgar mass Called 'work,' must sentence pass, Things done, that took the eye and had the price; O'er which, from level stand, The low world laid its hand, Found straightway to its mind, could value in a trice."
It is of incalculably greater benefit to the race that the Mission Fathers lived and had their fling of divine audacity for the good of the helpless aborigines than that any score one might name of the "successful captains of industry" lived to make their unwieldy and topheavy piles of gold. With all their faults and failures, all their ideas of theology and education,—which we, in our assumed superiority, call crude and old-fashioned,—all their rude notions of sociology, all their errors and mistakes, the work of the Franciscan Fathers was glorified by unselfish aim, high motive and constant and persistent endeavor to bring their heathen wards into a knowledge of saving grace. It was a brave and heroic endeavor. It is easy enough to find fault, to criticize, to carp, but it is not so easy to do. These men did! They had a glorious purpose which they faithfully pursued. They aimed high and achieved nobly. The following pages recite both their aims and their achievements, and neither can be understood without a thrilling of the pulses, a quickening of the heart's beats, and a stimulating of the soul's ambitions.
This volume pretends to nothing new in the way of historical research or scholarship. It is merely an honest and simple attempt to meet a real and popular demand for an unpretentious work that shall give the ordinary tourist and reader enough of the history of the Missions to make a visit to them of added interest, and to link their history with that of the other Missions founded elsewhere in the country during the same or prior epochs of Mission activity.
If it leads others to a greater reverence for these outward and visible signs of the many and beautiful graces that their lives developed in the hearts of the Franciscan Fathers—their founders and builders—and gives the information needed, its purpose will be more than fulfilled.
In most of its pages it is a mere condensation of the author's In and Out of the Old Missions of California, to which book the reader who desires further and more detailed information is respectfully referred.
PASADENA, CALIFORNIA, April, 1913.
I. HISTORICAL INTRODUCTION
II. THE RELATIONSHIP OF THE MISSIONS OF LOWER CALIFORNIA (MEXICO) AND ALTA CALIFORNIA (UNITED STATES)
III. THE MISSIONS FOUNDED BY PADRE JUNIPERO SERRA
IV. THE MISSIONS FOUNDED BY PADRE FERMIN FRANCISCO LASUEN
V. THE FOUNDING OF SANTA INES, SAN RAFAEL AND SAN FRANCISCO SOLANO
VI. THE INDIANS AT THE COMING OF THE PADRES
VII. THE INDIANS UNDER THE PADRES
VIII. THE SECULARIZATION OF THE MISSIONS
IX. SAN DIEGO DE ALCALA
X. SAN CARLOS BORROMEO
XI. THE PRESIDIO CHURCH AT MONTEREY
XII. SAN ANTONIO DE PADUA
XIII. SAN GABRIEL, ARCANGEL
XIV. SAN LUIS OBISPO DE TOLOSA
XV. SAN FRANCISCO DE ASIS
XVI. SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO
XVII. SANTA CLARA DE ASIS
XVIII. SAN BUENAVENTURA
XIX. SANTA BARBARA
XX. LA PURISIMA CONCEPCION
XXI. SANTA CRUZ
XXII. LA SOLEDAD
XXIII. SAN JOSE DE GUADALUPE
XXIV. SAN JUAN BAUTISTA
XXV. SAN MIGUEL, ARCNGEL
XXVI. SAN FERNANDO, REY DE ESPAGNA
XXVII. SAN Luis, REY DE FRANCIA
XXVIII. SANTA INES
XXIX. SAN RAFAEL, ARCANGEL
XXX. SAN FRANCISCO SOLANO
XXXI. THE MISSION CHAPELS OR ASISTENCIAS
XXXII. THE PRESENT CONDITION OF THE MISSION INDIANS
XXXIII. MISSION ARCHITECTURE
XXXIV. THE GLEN WOOD MISSION INN
XXXV. THE INTERIOR DECORATIONS OF THE MISSIONS
XXXVI. HOW TO REACH THE MISSIONS
List of Illustrations
MISSION SAN Luis KEY......Frontispiece FACING PAGE
MAP OF THE COAST OF CALIFORNIA
SERRA MEMORIAL CROSS, MONTEREY, CALIF
SERRA CROSS ON MT. RUBIDOUX, RIVERSIDE, CALIF
SERRA STATUE ERECTED BY MRS. LELAND STANFORD, AT MONTEREY
STATUE TO JUNIPERO SERRA, THE GIFT OF JAMES D PHELAN, IN GOLDEN GATE PARK, SAN FRANCISCO
EASTER SUNRISE SERVICE UNDER SERRA CROSS, MT. RUBIDOUX
MEMORIAL TABLET AND GRAVES OF PADRES SERRA, CRESPI AND LASUEN, IN MISSION SAN CARLOS BORROMEO
MISSION SAN CARLOS AND BAY OF MONTEREY
JUNIPERO OAK, SAN CARLOS PRESIDIO MISSION
STATUE OF SAN LUIS REY, AT PALA MISSION CHAPEL
FACHADA OF THE RUINED MISSION OF SAN DIEGO
OLD MISSION OF SAN DIEGO AND SISTERS' SCHOOL FOR INDIAN CHILDREN
MAIN ENTRANCE ARCH AT MISSION SAN DIEGO
THE TOWER AT MISSION SAN CARLOS BORROMEO
PRESIDIO CHURCH AND PRIEST'S RESIDENCE, MONTEREY, CALIF
MISSION SAN CARLOS
MISSION SAN ANTONIO DE PADUA
PRESIDIO CHURCH, MONTEREY
RUINS OF MISSION SAN ANTONIO DE PADUA
DUTTON HOTEL, JOLON
RUINED CORRIDORS AT SAN ANTONIO DE PADUA
INTERIOR OF MISSION SAN ANTONIO DE PADUA
REAR OF CHURCH, MISSION SAN ANTONIO DE PADUA
RUINS OF THE ARCHES, MISSION SAN ANTONIO DE PADUA
MISSION SAN GABRIEL, ARCANGEL
MISSION SAN GABRIEL, ARCANGEL
SAN LUIS OBISPO BEFORE RESTORATION
RUINED MISSION OF SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO
THE RESTORED MISSION OF SAN LUIS OBISPO
FACHADA OF MISSION SAN FRANCISCO
RUINS OF MISSION SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO
ARCHED CLOISTERS AND CORRIDORS AT SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO
CAMPANILE AND RUINS OF MISSION SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO
ENTRANCE TO SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO CHAPEL
INNER COURT AND RUINED ARCHES, MISSION SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO
BELLS OF MISSION SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO
ONE OF THE DOORS, SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO
IN THE AMBULATORY AT SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO
MISSION SANTA CLARA IN 1849
CHURCH OF SANTA CLARA ON THE SITE OF OLD MISSION OF SANTA CLARA
SIDE ENTRANCE AT SAN BUENAVENTURA
FACHADA OF MISSION SAN BUENAVENTURA
STATUE OF SAN BUENAVENTURA
RAWHIDE FASTENING OF MISSION BELL, AND WORM-EATEN BEAM
MISSION SANTA BARBARA
MISSION SANTA BARBARA FROM THE HILLSIDE
INTERIOR OF MISSION SANTA BARBARA
DOOR INTO CEMETERY, SANTA BARBARA
MISSION BELL AT SANTA BARBARA
THE SACRISTY WALL, GARDEN AND TOWERS, MISSION SANTA BARBARA
FACHADA OF MISSION LA PURISIMA CONCEPCION
RUINS OF MISSION LA PURISIMA CONCEPCION
MISSION SANTA CRUZ
RUINED WALLS OF MISSION LA SOLEDAD
ANOTHER VIEW OF THE WALLS OF MISSION LA SOLEDAD
MISSION SAN JOSE, SOON AFTER THE DECREE OF SECULARIZATION
FIGURE OF CHRIST, SAN JOSE ORPHANAGE
RUINED WALLS AND NEW BELL TOWER, MISSION SAN JUAN BAUTISTA
FACHADA OF MISSION SAN JUAN BAUTISTA
MISSION SAN JUAN BAUTISTA, FROM THE PLAZA
THE ARCHED CORRIDOR, MISSION SAN JUAN BAUTISTA
DOORWAY, MISSION SAN JUAN BAUTISTA
STAIRWAY LEADING TO PULPIT, MISSION SAN JUAN BAUTISTA
MISSION SAN MIGUEL ARCANGEL, FROM THE SOUTH
MISSION SAN MIGUEL ARCANGEL AND CORRIDORS
SEEKING TO PREVENT THE PHOTOGRAPHER FROM MAKING A PICTURE OF SAN MIGUEL ARCANGEL
OLD PULPIT AT MISSION SAN MIGUEL ARCANGEL
RESTORED MONASTERY AND MISSION CHURCH OF SAN FERNANDO REY
CORRIDORS AT SAN FERNANDO REY
SHEEP AT MISSION SAN FERNANDO REY
RUINS OF OLD ADOBE WALL AND CHURCH, SAN FERNANDO REY
MONASTERY AND OLD FOUNTAIN AT MISSION SAN FERNANDO REY
INTERIOR OF RUINED CHURCH, MISSION SAN FERNANDO REY
HOUSE OF MEXICAN, MADE FROM RUINED WALL AND TILES OF MISSION SAN FERNANDO REY
THE RUINED ALTAR, MORTUARY CHAPEL, SAN LUIS REY
ILLUMINATED CHOIR MISSALS, ETC., AT MISSION SAN LUIS REY
BELFRY WINDOW, MISSION SAN FERNANDO REY
GRAVEYARD, RUINS OF MORTUARY CHAPEL, AND TOWER, MISSION SAN LUIS REY
SIDE OF MISSION SAN LUIS REY
THE CAMPANILE AT PALA
MISSION SANTA INES
MISSION OF SAN RAFAEL, ARCANGEL
MISSION SAN FRANCISCO SOLANO, AT SONOMA
CAMPANILE AND CHAPEL, SAN ANTONIO DE PALA
ANOTHER VIEW OF THE CAMPANILE AND CHAPEL, SAN ANTONIO DE PALA
MAIN DOORWAY AT SANTA MARGARITA CHAPEL
HIGH SCHOOL, RIVERSIDE, CALIF
WALL DECORATIONS ON OLD MISSION CHAPEL OF SAN ANTONIO DE PALA
ARCHES AT GLENWOOD MISSION INN, RIVERSIDE, CALIF.
TOWER, FLYING BUTTRESSES, ETC., GLENWOOD MISSION INN
ARCHES OVER THE SIDEWALK, GLENWOOD MISSION INN
RESIDENCE OF FRED MAIER, LOS ANGELES, CALIF
WASHINGTON SCHOOL, VISALIA, CALIF
THE OLD ALTAR AT THE CHAPEL OF SAN ANTONIO DE PALA
ALTAR AND INTERIOR OF CHAPEL OF SAN ANTONIO DE PALA AFTER REMOVAL OF WALL DECORATIONS PRIZED BY INDIANS
ALTAR AND CEILING DECORATIONS, MISSION SANTA INES
INTERIOR OF MISSION SAN FRANCISCO DE ASIS
INTERIOR OF MISSION SAN MIGUEL, FROM THE CHOIR GALLERY
ARCHES, SOUTHERN PACIFIC RAILWAY DEPOT, SANTA BARBARA, CALIF
FACHADA OF MISSION CHAPEL AT Los ANGELES
THE CITY HALL, SANTA MONICA, CALIF
MISSION CHAPEL AT LOS ANGELES, FROM THE PLAZA PARK
RESIDENCE IN LOS ANGELES, SHOWING INFLUENCE OF MISSION STYLE OF ARCHITECTURE
The Old Franciscan Missions of California
In the popular mind there is a misapprehension that is as deep-seated as it is ill-founded. It is that the California Missions are the only Missions (except one or two in Arizona and a few in Texas) and that they are the oldest in the country. This is entirely an error. A look at a few dates and historic facts will soon correct this mistake.
Cortes had conquered Mexico; Pizarro was conqueror in Peru; Balboa had discovered the South Sea (the Pacific Ocean) and all Spain was aflame with gold-lust. Narvaez, in great pomp and ceremony, with six hundred soldiers of fortune, many of them of good families and high social station, in his five specially built vessels, sailed to gain fame, fortune and the fountain of perpetual youth in what we now call Florida.
Disaster, destruction, death—I had almost said entire annihilation—followed him and scarce allowed his expedition to land, ere it was swallowed up, so that had it not been for the escape of Cabeza de Vaca, his treasurer, and a few others, there would have been nothing left to suggest that the history of the start of the expedition was any other than a myth. But De Vaca and his companions were saved, only to fall, however, into the hands of the Indians. What an unhappy fate! Was life to end thus? Were all the hopes, ambitions and glorious dreams of De Vaca to terminate in a few years of bondage to degraded savages?
Unthinkable, unbearable, unbelievable. De Vaca was a man of power, a man of thought. He reasoned the matter out. Somewhere on the other side of the great island—for the world then thought of the newly-discovered America as a vast island—his people were to be found. He would work his way to them and freedom. He communicated his hope and his determination to his companions in captivity. Henceforth, regardless of whether they were held as slaves by the Indians, or worshiped as demigods,—makers of great medicine,—either keeping them from their hearts' desire, they never once ceased in their efforts to cross the country and reach the Spanish settlements on the other side. For eight long years the weary march westward continued, until, at length, the Spanish soldiers of the Viceroy of New Spain were startled at seeing men who were almost skeletons, clad in the rudest aboriginal garb, yet speaking the purest Castilian and demanding in the tones of those used to obedience that they be taken to his noble and magnificent Viceroyship. Amazement, incredulity, surprise, gave way to congratulations and rejoicings, when it was found that these were the human drift of the expedition of which not a whisper, not an echo, had been heard for eight long years.
Then curiosity came rushing in like a flood. Had they seen anything on the journey? Were there any cities, any peoples worth conquering; especially did any of them have wealth in gold, silver and precious stones like that harvested so easily by Cortes and Pizarro?
Cabeza didn't know really, but—, and his long pause and brief story of seven cities that he had heard of, one or two days' journey to the north of his track, fired the imagination of the Viceroy and his soldiers of fortune. To be sure, though, they sent out a party of reconnaissance, under the control of a good father of the Church, Fray Marcos de Nizza, a friar of the Orders Minor, commonly known as a Franciscan, with Stephen, a negro, one of the escaped party of Cabeza de Vaca, as a guide, to spy out the land.
Fray Marcos penetrated as far as Zuni, and found there the seven cities, wonderful and strange; though he did not enter them, as the uncurbed amorous demands of Stephen had led to his death, and Marcos feared lest a like fate befall himself, but he returned and gave a fairly accurate account of what he saw. His story was not untruthful, but there are those who think it was misleading in its pauses and in what he did not tell. Those pauses and eloquent silences were construed by the vivid imaginations of his listeners to indicate what the Conquistadores desired, so a grand and glorious expedition was planned, to go forth with great sound of trumpets, in glad acclaim and glowing colors, led by his Superior Excellency and Most Nobly Glorious Potentate, Senyor Don Francisco Vasquez de Coronado, a native of Salamanca, Spain, and now governor of the Mexican province of New Galicia.
It was a gay throng that started on that wonderful expedition from Culiacan early in 1540. Their hopes were high, their expectations keen. Many of them little dreamed of what was before them. Alarcon was sent to sail up the Sea of Cortes (now the Gulf of California) to keep in touch with the land expedition, and Melchior Diaz, of that sea party, forced his way up what is now the Colorado River to the arid sands of the Colorado Desert in Southern California, before death and disaster overtook him.
Coronado himself crossed Arizona to Zuni—the pueblo of the Indians that Fray Marcos had gazed upon from a hill, but had not dared approach—and took it by storm, receiving a wound in the conflict which laid him up for a while and made it necessary to send his lieutenant, the Ensign Pedro de Tobar, to further conquests to the north and west. Hence it was that Tobar, and not Coronado, discovered the pueblos of the Hopi Indians. He also sent his sergeant, Cardenas, to report on the stories told him of a mighty river also to the north, and this explains why Cardenas was the first white man to behold that eloquent abyss since known as the Grand Canyon. And because Cardenas was Tobar's subordinate officer, the high authorities of the Santa Fe Railway—who have yielded to a common-sense suggestion in the Mission architecture of their railway stations, and romantic, historic naming of their hotels—have called their Grand Canyon hotel, El Tovar, their hotel at Las Vegas, Cardenas, and the one at Williams (the junction point of the main line with the Grand Canyon branch), Fray Marcos.
Poor Coronado, disappointed as to the finding and gaining of great stores of wealth at Zuni, pushed on even to the eastern boundaries of Kansas, but found nothing more valuable than great herds of buffalo and many people, and returned crestfallen, broken-hearted and almost disgraced by his own sense of failure, to Mexico. And there he drops out of the story. But others followed him, and in due time this northern portion of the country was annexed to Spanish possessions and became known as New Mexico.
In the meantime the missionaries of the Church were active beyond the conception of our modern minds in the newly conquered Mexican countries.
The various orders of the Roman Catholic Church were indefatigable in their determination to found cathedrals, churches, missions, convents and schools. Jesuits, Franciscans and Dominicans vied with each other in the fervor of their efforts, and Mexico was soon dotted over with magnificent structures of their erection. Many of the churches of Mexico are architectural gems of the first water that compare favorably with the noted cathedrals of Europe, and he who forgets this overlooks one of the most important factors in Mexican history and civilization.
The period of expansion and enlargement of their political and ecclesiastical borders continued until, in 1697, Fathers Kino and Salviaterra, of the Jesuits, with indomitable energy and unquenchable zeal, started the conversion of the Indians of the peninsula of Lower California.
In those early days, the name California was not applied, practically speaking, to the country we know as California. The explorers of Cortes had discovered what they imagined was an island, but afterwards learned was a peninsula, and this was soon known as California. In this California there were many Indians, and it was to missionize these that the God-fearing, humanity-loving, self-sacrificing Jesuits just named—not Franciscans—gave of their life, energy and love. The names of Padres Kino and Salviaterra will long live in the annals of Mission history for their devotion to the spiritual welfare of the Indians of Lower California.
The results of their labors were soon seen in that within a few years fourteen Missions were established, beginning with San Juan Londa in 1697, and the more famous Loreto in 1698.
When the Jesuits were expelled, in 1768, the Franciscans took charge of the Lower California Missions and established one other, that of San Fernando de Velicata, besides building a stone chapel in the mining camp of San Antonio Real, situated near Ventana Bay.
The Dominicans now followed, and the Missions of El Rosario, Santo Domingo, Descanso, San Vicenti Ferrer, San Miguel Fronteriza, Santo Tomas de Aquino, San Pedro Martir de Verona, El Mision Fronteriza de Guadalupe, and finally, Santa Catarina de los Yumas were founded. This last Mission was established in 1797, and this closed the active epoch of Mission building in the peninsula, showing twenty-three fairly flourishing establishments in all.
It is not my purpose here to speak of these Missions of Lower California, except in-so-far as their history connects them with the founding of the Alta California Missions. A later chapter will show the relationship of the two.
The Mission activity that led to the founding of Missions in Lower California had already long been in exercise in New Mexico. The reports of Marcos de Nizza had fired the hearts of the zealous priests as vigorously as they had excited the cupidity of the Conquistadores. Four Franciscan priests, Marcos de Nizza, Antonio Victoria, Juan de Padilla and Juan de la Cruz, together with a lay brother, Luis de Escalona, accompanied Coronado on his expedition. On the third day out Fray Antonio Victoria broke his leg, hence was compelled to return, and Fray Marcos speedily left the expedition when Zuni was reached and nothing was found to satisfy the cupidity of the Spaniards. He was finally permitted to retire to Mexico, and there died, March 25, 1558.
For a time Mission activity in New Mexico remained dormant, not only on account of intense preoccupation in other fields, but because the political leaders seemed to see no purpose in attempting the further subjugation of the country to the north (now New Mexico and Arizona). But about forty years after Coronado, another explorer was filled with adventurous zeal, and he applied for a charter or royal permission to enter the country, conquer and colonize it for the honor and glory of the king and his own financial reward and honorable renown. This leader was Juan de Onate, who, in 1597, set out for New Mexico accompanied by ten missionary padres, and in September of that year established the second church in what is now United States territory. Juan de Onate was the real colonizer of this new country. It was in 1595 that he made a contract with the Viceroy of New Spain to colonize it at his own expense. He was delayed, however, and could not set out until early in 1597, when he started with four hundred colonists, including two hundred soldiers, women and children, and great herds of cattle and flocks of sheep. In due time he reached what is now the village of Chamita, calling it San Gabriel de los Espanoles, a few miles north of Santa Fe, and there established, in September, 1598, the first town of New Mexico, and the second of the United States (St. Augustine, in Florida, having been the first, established in 1560 by Aviles de Menendez).
The work of Onate and the epoch it represents is graphically, sympathetically and understandingly treated, from the Indian's standpoint, by Marah Ellis Ryan, in her fascinating and illuminating novel, The Flute of the Gods, which every student of the Missions of New Mexico and Arizona (as also of California) will do well to read.
New Mexico has seen some of the most devoted missionaries of the world, one of these, Fray Geronimo de Zarate Salmeron, having left a most interesting, instructive account of "the things that have been seen and known in New Mexico, as well by sea as by land, from the year 1538 till that of 1626."
This account was written in 1626 to induce other missionaries to enter the field in which he was so earnest a laborer. For eight years he worked in New Mexico, more than 280 years ago. In 1618 he was parish priest at Jemez, mastered the Indian language and baptized 6566 Indians, not counting those of Cia and Santa Ana. "He also, single-handed and alone, pacified and converted the lofty pueblo of Acoma, then hostile to the Spanish. He built churches and monasteries, bore the fearful hardships and dangers of a missionary's life then in that wilderness, and has left us a most valuable chronicle." This was translated by Mr. Lummis and appeared in The Land of Sunshine.
The missionaries who accompanied Juan de Onate in 1597 built a chapel at San Gabriel, but no fragment of it remains, though in 1680 its ruins were referred to. The second church in New Mexico was built about 1606 in Santa Fe, the new city founded the year before by Onate. This church, however, did not last long, for it was soon outgrown, and in 1622, Fray Alonzo de Benavides, the Franciscan historian of New Mexico, laid the foundation of the parish church, which was completed in 1627. When, in 1870, it was decided to build the stone cathedral in Santa Fe, this old church was demolished, except two large chapels and the old sanctuary. It had been described in the official records shortly prior to its demolition as follows: "An adobe building 54 yards long by 9-1/2 in width, with two small towers not provided with crosses, one containing two bells and the other empty; the church being covered with the Crucero (the place where a church takes the form of a cross by the side chapels), there are two large separate chapels, the one on the north side dedicated to Our Lady of the Rosary, called also 'La Conquistadorea;' and on the south side the other dedicated to St. Joseph."
Sometime shortly after 1636 the old church of San Miguel was built in Santa Fe, and its original walls still form a part of the church that stands to-day. It was partially demolished in the rebellion of 1680, but was restored in 1710.
In 1617, nearly three hundred years ago, there were eleven churches in New Mexico, the ruins of one of which, that of Pecos, can still be seen a few miles above Glorieta on the Santa Fe main line. This pueblo was once the largest in New Mexico, but it was deserted in 1840, and now its great house, supposed to have been much larger than the many-storied house of Zuni, is entirely in ruins.
It would form a fascinating chapter could I here tell of the stirring history of some of the Missions established in New Mexico. There were martyrs by the score, escapes miraculous and wonderful. Among the Hopis one whole village was completely destroyed and in the neighborhood of seven hundred of its men—all of them—slain by their fellow-Hopis of other towns, simply because of their complaisance towards the hated, foreign long-gowns (as the Franciscan priests were called). Suffice it to say that Missions were established and churches built at practically all of the Indian pueblos, and also at the Spanish settlements of San Gabriel and Santa Cruz de la Canyada, many of which exist to this day. In Texas, also, Missions had been established, the ruins of the chief of which may be visited in one day from the city of San Antonio.
THE RELATIONSHIP OF THE MISSIONS OF LOWER CALIFORNIA (MEXICO) AND ALTA CALIFORNIA (UNITED STATES)
Rightly to understand the history of the Missions of the California of the United States, it is imperative that the connection or relationship that exists between their history and that of the Missions of Lower California (Mexico) be clearly understood.
As I have already shown, the Jesuit padres founded fourteen Missions in Lower California, which they conducted with greater or less success until 1767, when the infamous Order of Expulsion of Carlos III of Spain drove them into exile.
It had always been the intention of Spain to colonize and missionize Alta California, even as far back as the days of Cabrillo in 1542, and when Vizcaino, sixty years later, went over the same region, the original intention was renewed. But intentions do not always fructify and bring forth, so it was not until a hundred and sixty years after Vizcaino that the work was actually begun. The reasons were diverse and equally urgent. The King of Spain and his advisers were growing more and more uneasy about the aggressions of the Russians and the English on the California or rather the Pacific Coast. Russia was pushing down from the north; England also had her establishments there, and with her insular arrogance England boldly stated that she had the right to California, or New Albion, as she called it, because of Sir Francis Drake's landing and taking possession in the name of "Good Queen Bess." Spain not only resented this, but began to realize another need. Her galleons from the Philippines found it a long, weary, tedious and disease-provoking voyage around the coast of South America to Spain, and besides, too many hostile and piratical vessels roamed over the Pacific Sea to allow Spanish captains to sleep easy o' nights. Hence it was decided that if ports of call were established on the California coast, fresh meats and vegetables and pure water could be supplied to the galleons, and in addition, with presidios to defend them, they might escape the plundering pirates by whom they were beset. Accordingly plans were being formulated for the colonization and missionization of California when, by authority of his own sweet will, ruling a people who fully believed in the divine right of kings to do as they pleased, King Carlos the Third issued the proclamation already referred to, totally and completely banishing the Jesuits from all parts of his dominions, under penalty of imprisonment and death.
I doubt whether many people of to-day, even though they be of the Catholic Church, can realize what obedience to that order meant to these devoted priests. Naturally they must obey it—monstrous though it was—but the one thought that tore their hearts with anguish was: Who would care for their Indian charges?
For these ignorant and benighted savages they had left their homes and given up all that life ordinarily means and offers. Were they to be allowed to drift back into their dark heathendom?
No! In spite of his cruelty to the Jesuits, the king had provided that the Indians should not be neglected. He had appointed one in whom he had especial confidence, Don Jose Galvez, as his Visitador General, and had conferred upon him almost plenary authority. To his hands was committed the carrying out of the order of banishment, the providing of members of some other Catholic Order to care for the Indians of the Missions, and later, to undertake the work of extending the chain of Missions northward into Alta California, as far north as the Bay of Monterey, and even beyond.
To aid him in his work Galvez appealed to the Superior of the Franciscan Convent in the City of Mexico, and Padre Junipero Serra, by common consent of the officers and his fellows, was denominated as the man of all men for the important office of Padre Presidente of the Jesuit Missions that were to be placed henceforth under the care of the Franciscans.
This plan, however, was changed within a few months. It was decided to call upon the priests of the Dominican Order to take charge of the Jesuit Missions, while the Franciscans put all their strength and energy into the founding of the new Missions in Alta California.
Thus it came to pass that the Franciscans took charge of the founding of the California Missions, and that Junipero Serra became the first real pioneer of what is now so proudly denominated "The Golden State."
The orders that Galvez had received were clear and positive:
"Occupy and fortify San Diego and Monterey for God and the King of Spain." He was a devout 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, and gather 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 ninth of January, 1769, the "San Carlos" was ready. Confessions were heard, masses said, the communion administered, 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.
The fifteenth 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 March 24 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, besides, he had not yet gathered together all the Mission supplies 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.
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 afterwards Galvez went across the gulf in it to secure a load of fresh supplies. The sixteenth 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 destroyed forever. The advent of this vessel was the death knell of the Indian tribes.
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 forgotten. 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, after two days out, a 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 just such a salve for his wound 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 gunpowder 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 new-comers 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.
THE MISSIONS FOUNDED BY PADRE JUNIPERO SERRA
San Diego Mission founded, Serra was impatient to have work begun elsewhere. Urging the governor to go north immediately, he rejoiced when Portola, Crespi, Rivera, and Pages started, with a band of soldiers and natives. They set out gaily, gladly. They were sure of a speedy journey to the Bay of Monterey, discovered by Cabrillo, and seen again and charted by Vizcaino, where they were to establish the second Mission.
Strange to say, however, when they reached Monterey, in the words of Scripture, "their eyes were holden," and they did not recognize it. They found a bay which they fully described, and while we to-day clearly see that it was the bay they were looking for, they themselves thought it was another one. Believing that Vizcaino had made an error in his chart, they pushed on further north. The result of this disappointment was of vast consequence to the later development of California, for, following the coast line inland, they were bound to strike the peninsula and ultimately reach the shores of what is now San Francisco Bay. This was exactly what was done, and on November 2, 1769, one of Portola's men, ascending ahead of the others to the crest of a hill, caught sight of this hitherto unknown and hidden body of water. How he would have shouted had he understood! How thankful and joyous it would have made Portola and Crespi and the others. For now was the discovery of that very harbor that Padre Serra had so fervently hoped and prayed for, the harbor that was to secure for California a Mission "for our father Saint Francis." Yet not one of them either knew or seemed to comprehend the importance of that which their eyes had seen. Instead, they were disheartened and disappointed by a new and unforeseen obstacle to their further progress. The narrow channel (later called the Golden Gate by Fremont), barred their way, and as their provisions were getting low, and they certainly were much further north than they ought to have been to find the Bay of Monterey, Portola gave the order for the return, and sadly, despondently, they went back to San Diego.
On the march south, Portola's mind was made up. This whole enterprise was foolish and chimerical. He had had enough of it. He was going back home, and as the "San Antonio" with its promised supplies had not yet arrived, and the camp was almost entirely out of food, he announced the abandonment of the expedition and an immediate return to Lower California.
Now came Serra's faith to the fore, and that resolute determination and courage that so marked his life. The decision of Portola had gone to his heart like an arrow. What! Abandon the Missions before they were fairly begun? Where was their trust in God? It was one hundred and sixty-six years since Vizcaino had been in this port, and if they left it now, when would another expedition be sent? In those years that had elapsed since Vizcaino, how many precious Indian souls had been lost because they had not received the message of salvation? He pleaded and begged Portola to reconsider. For awhile the governor stood firm. Serra also had a strong will. From a letter written to Padre Palou, who was left behind in charge of the Lower California Missions, we see his intention: "If we see that along with the provisions hope vanishes, I shall remain alone with Father Juan Crespi and hold out to the last breath."
With such a resolution as this, Portola could not cope. Yielding to Serra's persuasion, he consented to wait while a novena (a nine days' devotional exercise) was made to St. Joseph, the holy patron of the expedition. Fervently day by day Serra prayed. On the day of San Jose (St. Joseph) a high mass was celebrated, and Serra preached. On the fourth day the eager watchers saw the vessel approach. Then, strange to say, it disappeared, and as the sixth, seventh and eighth days passed and it did not reappear again, hope seemed to sink lower in the hearts of all but Serra and his devoted brother Crespi. On the ninth and last day—would it be seen? Bowing himself in eager and earnest prayer Serra pleaded that his faith be not shamed, and, to his intense delight, doubtless while he prayed, the vessel sailed into the bay.
Joy unspeakable was felt by every one. The provisions were here, the expedition need not be abandoned; the Indians would yet be converted to Holy Church and all was well. A service of thanksgiving was held, and happiness smiled on every face.
With new energy, vigor, and hope, Portola set out again for the search of Monterey, 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.
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, however, 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 re-established 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 them. 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 towards 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 undoubtedly 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 the bishop so rare, 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.
In the meantime events were shaping elsewhere for the founding of the Mission of San Francisco. Away yonder, in what is now Arizona, but was then a part of New Mexico, were several Missions, some forty miles south of the city of Tucson, and it was decided to connect these, by means of a good road, with the Missions of California. Captain Juan Bautista de Anza was sent to find this road. He did so, and made the trip successfully, going with Padre Serra from San Gabriel as far north as Monterey.
On his return, the Viceroy, Bucareli, gave orders that he should recruit soldiers and settlers for the establishment and protection of the new Mission on San Francisco Bay. We have a full roster, in the handwriting of Padre Font, the Franciscan who accompanied the expedition, of those who composed it. Successfully they crossed the sandy wastes of Arizona and the barren desolation of the Colorado Desert (in Southern California).
On their arrival at San Gabriel, January 4, 1776 (memorable year on the other side of the continent), they found that Rivera, who had been appointed governor in Portola's stead, 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 tenth 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 to-day as "Mission Dolores."
His duty performed, Anza returned south, and Rivera appointed Lieutenant Moraga to take charge of the San Francisco colonists, and on July 26, 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.
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 buildings; 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 Indians, burning their houses and compelling them to flee on 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 professional cross of Missions, has reached the last limit of the Californian continent. To go farther he must have boats."
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, and 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.
In the meantime, contrary to the advice and experience of the padres, the new Viceroy, Croix, determined to establish two Missions on the Colorado River, near the site of the present city of Yuma, and conduct them not as Missions with the Fathers exercising control over the Indians, but as towns in which the Indians would be under no temporal restraint. The attempt was unfortunate. The Indians fell upon the Spaniards and 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.
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.
For some time his health had been failing, asthma and a running sore on his breast both causing him much trouble. Everywhere uneasiness was felt at his physical condition, but though he undoubtedly suffered keenly, he refused to take medicine. The padres were prepared at any time to hear of his death. But Serra calmly went on with his work. He confirmed the neophytes at San Luis Obispo and San Antonio, and went to help dedicate the new church recently built at Santa Clara, and also to San Francisco. Called back to Santa Clara by the sickness of Padre Murguia, he was saddened by the death of that noble and good man, and felt he ought to prepare himself for death. But he found strength to return to San Carlos at Monterey, and there, on Saturday, August 28, 1784, he passed to his eternal reward, at the ripe age of seventy years, nine months and four days. 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.
 In 1787 Padre Palou published, in the City of Mexico, his "Life and Apostolic Labors of the Venerable Padre Junipero Serra." This has never yet been translated, until this year, 1913, the bi-centenary of his birth, when I have had the work done by a competent scholar, revised by the eminent Franciscan historian, Father Zephyrin Englehardt, with annotations. It is a work of over three hundred pages, and is an important contribution to the historic literature of California.
THE MISSIONS FOUNDED BY PADRE FERMIN FRANCISCO LASUEN
AT Padre Serra's death Fermin Francisco Lasuen was chosen to be his successor as padre-presidente. At the time of his appointment he 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 Spanish 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. To-day nothing but a memory remains of the Mission of the Holy Cross, it having fallen into ruins and totally disappeared.
Lasuen's fourth 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 Sitjar and Garcia, in the presence of Lieutenant Jose Argueello, the guard, and a few natives, raised the cross, blessed the site, said mass, and formally established the Mission of "Nuestra Senyora 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 baptized 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 Gert [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, so that, as the Missions became strong enough to support themselves, the Indians there might be brought under the influence of the Church. Governor 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."
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. Langsdorff 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 therefore 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 water-tight. 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 Padres 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 and its interior remains to-day almost exactly as decorated by the hands of the original priests.
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, evicted a few years ago 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.
THE FOUNDING OF SANTA INES, SAN RAFAEL AND SAN FRANCISCO SOLANO
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 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 Arcangel. 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, although 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 Argueello 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 new padre presidente—Senan—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 Senan, 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 Argueello 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.
THE INDIANS AT THE COMING OF THE PADRES
It is generally believed that the California Indian in his original condition was one of the most miserable and wretched of the world's aborigines. As one writer puts it:
"When discovered by the padres he was almost naked, half starved, living in filthy little hovels built of tule, speaking a meagre language broken up into as many different and independent dialects as there were tribes, having no laws and few definite customs, cruel, simple, lazy, and—in one word which best describes such a condition of existence—wretched. There are some forms of savage life that we can admire; there are others that can only excite our disgust; of the latter were the California Indians."
This is the general attitude taken by most writers of this later day, as well as of the padres themselves, yet I think I shall be able to show that in some regards it is a mistaken one. I do not believe the Indians were the degraded and brutal creatures the padres and others have endeavored to make out. This is no charge of bad faith against these writers. It is merely a criticism of their judgment.
The fact that in a few years the Indians became remarkably competent in so many fields of skilled labor is the best answer to the unfounded charges of abject savagery. Peoples are not civilized nor educated in a day. Brains cannot be put into a monkey, no matter how well educated his teacher is. There must have been the mental quality, the ability to learn; or even the miraculous patience, perseverance, and love of the missionaries would not have availed to teach them, in several hundred years, much less, then, in the half-century they had them under their control, the many things we know they learned.
The Indians, prior to the coming of the padres, were skilled in some arts, as the making of pottery, basketry, canoes, stone axes, arrow heads, spear heads, stone knives, and the like. Holder says of the inhabitants of Santa Catalina that although their implements were of stone, wood, or shell "the skill with which they modelled and made their weapons, mortars, and steatite ollas, their rude mosaics of abalone shells, and their manufacture of pipes, medicine-tubes, and flutes give them high rank among savages." The mortars found throughout California, some of which are now to be seen in the museums of Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, San Diego, etc., are models in shape and finish. As for their basketry, I have elsewhere shown that it alone stamps them as an artistic, mechanically skilful, and mathematically inclined people, and the study of their designs and their meanings reveal a love of nature, poetry, sentiment, and religion that put them upon a superior plane.
 Indian Basketry, especially the chapters on Form, Poetry, and Symbolism.
Cabrillo was the first white man so far as we know who visited the Indians of the coast of California. He made his memorable journey in 1542-1543. In 1539, Ulloa sailed up the Gulf of California, and, a year later, Alarcon and Diaz explored the Colorado River, possibly to the point where Yuma now stands. These three men came in contact with the Cocopahs and the Yumas, and possibly with other tribes.
Cabrillo tells of the Indians with whom he held communication. They were timid and somewhat hostile at first, but easily appeased. Some of them, especially those living on the islands (now known as San Clemente, Santa Catalina, Anacapa, Santa Barbara, Santa Rosa, San Miguel, and Santa Cruz), were superior to those found inland. They rowed in pine canoes having a seating capacity of twelve or thirteen men, and were expert fishermen. They dressed in the skins of animals, were rude agriculturists, and built for themselves shelters or huts of willows, tules, and mud.
The principal written source of authority for our knowledge of the Indians at the time of the arrival of the Fathers is Fray Geronimo Boscana's Chinigchinich: A Historical Account, etc., of the Indians of San Juan Capistrano. There are many interesting things in this account, some of importance, and others of very slight value. He insists that there was a great difference in the intelligence of the natives north of Santa Barbara and those to the south, in favor of the former. Of these he says they "are much more industrious, and appear an entirely distinct race. They formed, from shells, a kind of money, which passed current among them, and they constructed out of logs very swift and excellent canoes for fishing."
Of the character of his Indians he had a very poor idea. He compares them to monkeys who imitate, and especially in their copying the ways of the white men, "whom they respect as beings much superior to themselves; but in so doing, they are careful to select vice in preference to virtue. This is the result, undoubtedly, of their corrupt and natural disposition."
Of the language of the California Indians, Boscana says there was great diversity, finding a new dialect almost every fifteen to twenty leagues.
They were not remarkably industrious, yet the men made their home utensils, bows and arrows, the several instruments used in making baskets, and also constructed nets, spinning the thread from yucca fibres, which they beat and prepared for that purpose. They also built the houses.
The women gathered seeds, prepared them, and did the cooking, as well as all the household duties. They made the baskets, all other utensils being made by the men.
The dress of the men, when they dressed at all, consisted of the skins of animals thrown over the shoulders, leaving the rest of the body exposed, but the women wore a cloak and dress of twisted rabbit-skins. I have found these same rabbit-skin dresses in use by Mohave and Yumas within the past three or four years.
The youths were required to keep away from the fire, in order that they might learn to suffer with bravery and courage. They were forbidden also to eat certain kinds of foods, to teach them to bear deprivation and to learn to control their appetites. In addition to these there were certain ceremonies, which included fasting, abstinence from drinking, and the production of hallucinations by means of a vegetable drug, called pivat (still used, by the way, by some of the Indians of Southern California), and the final branding of the neophyte, which Boscana describes as follows: "A kind of herb was pounded until it became sponge-like; this they placed, according to the figure required, upon the spot intended to be burnt, which was generally upon the right arm, and sometimes upon the thick part of the leg also. They then set fire to it, and let it remain until all that was combustible was consumed. Consequently, a large blister immediately formed, and although painful, they used no remedy to cure it, but left it to heal itself; and thus, a large and perpetual scar remained. The reason alleged for this ceremony was that it added greater strength to the nerves, and gave a better pulse for the management of the bow." This ceremony was called potense.
The education of the girls was by no means neglected.
"They were taught to remain at home, and not to roam about in idleness; to be always employed in some domestic duty, so that, when they were older, they might know how to work, and attend to their household duties; such as procuring seeds, and cleaning them—making 'atole' and 'pinole,' which are kinds of gruel, and their daily food. When quite young, they have a small, shallow basket, called by the natives 'tucmel,' with which they learn the way to clean the seeds, and they are also instructed in grinding, and preparing the same for consumption."
When a girl was married, her father gave her good advice as to her conduct. She must be faithful to her wifely duties and do nothing to disgrace either her husband or her parents. Children of tender years were sometimes betrothed by their parents. Padre Boscana says he married a couple, the girl having been but eight or nine months old, and the boy two years, when they were contracted for by their parents.
Childbirth was natural and easy with them, as it generally is with all primitive peoples. An Indian woman has been known to give birth to a child, walk half a mile to a stream, step into it and wash both herself and the new-born babe, then return to her camp, put her child in a yakia, or basket cradle-carrier, sling it over her back, and start on a four or five mile journey, on foot, up the rocky and steep sides of a canyon.
A singular custom prevailed among these people, not uncommon elsewhere. The men, when their wives were suffering their accouchement, would abstain from all flesh and fish, refrain from smoking and all diversions, and stay within the Kish, or hut, from fifteen to twenty days.
The god of the San Juan Indians was Chinigchinich, and it is possible, from similarity in the ways of appearing and disappearing, that he is the monster Tauguitch of the Sabobas and Cahuillas described in The Legend of Tauguitch and Algoot. This god was a queer compound of goodness and evil, who taught them all the rites and ceremonies that they afterwards observed.
 See Folk Lore Journal, 1904.
Many of the men and a few women posed as possessing supernatural powers—witches, in fact, and such was the belief in their power that, "without resistance, all immediately acquiesce in their demands." They also had physicians who used cold water, plasters of herbs, whipping with nettles (doubtless the principle of the counter irritant), the smoke of certain plants, and incantations, with a great deal of general, all-around humbug to produce their cures.
But not all the medicine ideas and methods of the Indians were to be classed as humbug. Dr. Cephas L. Bard, who, besides extolling their temescals, or sweat-baths, their surgical abilities, as displayed in the operations that were performed upon skulls that have since been exhumed; their hygienic customs, which he declares "are not only commendable, but worthy of the consideration of an advanced civilization," states further:
"It has been reserved for the California Indian to furnish three of the most valuable vegetable additions which have been made to the Pharmacopoeia during the last twenty years. One, the Eriodictyon Glutinosum, growing profusely in our foothills, was used by them in affections of the respiratory tract, and its worth was so appreciated by the Missionaries as to be named Yerba Santa, or Holy Plant. The second, the Rhamnus purshiana, gathered now for the market in the upper portions of the State, is found scattered through the timbered mountains of Southern California. It was used as a laxative, and on account of the constipating effect of an acorn diet, was doubtless in active demand. So highly was it esteemed by the followers of the Cross that it was christened Cascara Sagrada, or Sacred Bark. The third, Grindelia robusta, was used in the treatment of pulmonary troubles, and externally in poisoning from Rhus toxicodendron, or Poison Oak, and in various skin diseases."
Their food was of the crudest and simplest character. Whatever they could catch they ate, from deer or bear to grasshoppers, lizards, rats, and snakes. In baskets of their own manufacture, they gathered all kinds of wild seeds, and after using a rude process of threshing, they winnowed them. They also gathered mesquite beans in large quantities, burying them in pits for a month or two, in order to extract from them certain disagreeable flavors, and then storing them in large and rudely made willow granaries. But, as Dr. Bard well says:
"Of the Vegetable articles of diet the acorn was the principal one. It was deprived of its bitter taste by grinding, running through sieves made of interwoven grasses, and frequent washings. Another one was Chia, the seeds of Salvia Columbariae, which in appearance are somewhat similar to birdseed. They were roasted, ground, and used as a food by being mixed with water. Thus prepared, it soon develops into a mucilaginous mass, larger than its original bulk. Its taste is somewhat like that of linseed meal. It is exceedingly nutritious, and was readily borne by the stomach when that organ refused to tolerate other aliment. An atole, or gruel, of this was one of the peace offerings to the first visiting sailors. One tablespoonful of these seeds was sufficient to sustain for twenty-four hours an Indian on a forced march. Chia was no less prized by the native Californian, and at this late date it frequently commands $6 or $8 a pound.
"The pinion, the fruit of the pine, was largely used, and until now annual expeditions are made by the few surviving members of the coast tribes to the mountains for a supply. That they cultivated maize in certain localities, there can be but little doubt. They intimated to Cabrillo by signs that such was the case, and the supposition is confirmed by the presence at various points of vestiges of irrigating ditches. Yslay, the fruit of the wild cherry, was used as a food, and prepared by fermentation as an intoxicant. The seeds, ground and made into balls, were esteemed highly. The fruit of the manzanita, the seeds of burr clover, malva, and alfileri, were also used. Tunas, the fruit of the cactus, and wild blackberries, existed in abundance, and were much relished. A sugar was extracted from a certain reed of the tulares."
Acorns, seeds, mesquite beans, and dried meat were all pounded up in a well made granite mortar, on the top of which, oftentimes, a basket hopper was fixed by means of pine gum. Some of these mortars were hewn from steatite, or soapstone, others from a rough basic rock, and many of them were exceedingly well made and finely shaped; results requiring much patience and no small artistic skill. Oftentimes these mortars were made in the solid granite rocks or boulders, found near the harvesting and winnowing places, and I have photographed many such during late years.
These Indians were polygamists, but much of what the missionaries and others have called their obscenities and vile conversations, were the simple and unconscious utterances of men and women whose instincts were not perverted. It is the invariable testimony of all careful observers of every class that as a rule the aborigines were healthy, vigorous, virile, and chaste, until they became demoralized by the whites. With many of them certain ceremonies had a distinct flavor of sex worship: a rude phallicism which exists to the present day. To the priests, as to most modern observers, these rites were offensive and obscene, but to the Indians they were only natural and simple prayers for the fruitfulness of their wives and of the other producing forces.
J.S. Hittell says of the Indians of California:
"They had no religion, no conception of a deity, or of a future life, no idols, no form of worship, no priests, no philosophical conceptions, no historical traditions, no proverbs, no mode of recording thought before the coming of the missionaries among them."
Seldom has there been so much absolute misstatement as in this quotation. Jeremiah Curtin, a life-long student of the Indian, speaking of the same Indians, makes a remark which applies with force to these statements:
"The Indian, at every step, stood face to face with divinity as he knew or understood it. He could never escape from the presence of those powers who had made the first world.... The most important question of all in Indian life was communication with divinity, intercourse with the spirits of divine personages."
In his Creation Myths of Primitive America, this studious author gives the names of a number of divinities, and the legends connected with them. He affirms positively that
"the most striking thing in all savage belief is the low estimate put upon man, when unaided by divine, uncreated power. In Indian belief every object in the universe is divine except man!"
As to their having no priests, no forms of worship, no philosophical conceptions, no historical traditions, no proverbs, any one interested in the Indian of to-day knows that these things are untrue. Whence came all the myths and legends that recent writers have gathered, a score of which I myself hold still unpublished in my notebook? Were they all imagined after the arrival of the Mission Fathers? By no means! They have been handed down for countless centuries, and they come to us, perhaps a little corrupted, but still just as accurate as do the songs of Homer.
Every tribe had its medicine men, who were developed by a most rigorous series of tests; such as would dismay many a white man. As to their philosophical conceptions and traditions, Curtin well says that in them
"we have a monument of thought which is absolutely unequalled, altogether unique in human experience. The special value of this thought lies, moreover, in the fact that it is primitive; that it is the thought of ages long anterior to those which we find recorded in the eastern hemisphere, either in sacred books, in histories, or in literature, whether preserved on baked brick, burnt cylinders, or papyrus."
And if we go to the Pueblo Indians, the Navahos, the Pimas, and others, all of whom were brought more or less under the influence of the Franciscans, we find a mass of beliefs, deities, traditions, conceptions, and proverbs, which would overpower Mr. Hittell merely to collate.
Therefore, let it be distinctly understood that the Indian was not the thoughtless, unimaginative, irreligious, brutal savage which he is too often represented to be. He thought, and thought well, but still originally. He was religious, profoundly and powerfully so, but in his own way; he was a philosopher, but not according to Hittell; he was a worshipper, but not after the method of Serra, Palou, and their priestly coadjutors.
THE INDIANS UNDER THE PADRES
The first consideration of the padres in dealing with the Indians was the salvation of their souls. Of this no honest and honorable man can hold any question. Serra and his coadjutors believed, without equivocation or reserve, the doctrines of the Church. As one reads his diary, his thought on this matter is transparent. In one place he thus naively writes: "It seemed to me that they (the Indians) would fall shortly into the apostolic and evangelic net."
This accomplished, the Indians must be kept Christians, educated and civilized. Here is the crucial point. In reading criticisms upon the Mission system of dealing with the Indians, one constantly meets with such passages as the following: "The fatal defect of this whole Spanish system was that no effort was made to educate the Indians, or teach them to read, and think, and act for themselves."
To me this kind of criticism is both unjust and puerile. What is education? What is civilization?
Expert opinions as to these matters vary considerably, and it is in the very nature of men that they should vary. The Catholics had their ideas and they sought to carry them out with care and fidelity. How far they succeeded it is for the unprejudiced historians and philosophers of the future to determine. Personally, I regard the education given by the padres as eminently practical, even though I materially differ from them as to some of the things they regarded as religious essentials. Yet in honor it must be said that if I, or the Church to which I belong, or you and the Church to which you belong, reader, had been in California in those early days, your religious teaching or mine would have been entitled, justly, to as much criticism and censure as have ever been visited upon that of the padres. They did the best they knew, and, as I shall soon show, they did wonderfully well, far better than the enlightened government to which we belong has ever done. Certain essentials stood out before them. These were, to see that the Indians were baptized, taught the ritual of the Church, lived as nearly as possible according to the rules laid down for them, attended the services regularly, did their proper quota of work, were faithful husbands and wives and dutiful children. Feeling that they were indeed fathers of a race of children, the priests required obedience and work, as the father of any well-regulated American household does. And as a rule these "children," though occasionally rebellious, were willingly obedient.
Under this regime it is unquestionably true that the lot of the Indians was immeasurably improved from that of their aboriginal condition. They were kept in a state of reasonable cleanliness, were well clothed, were taught and required to do useful work, learned many new and helpful arts, and were instructed in the elemental matters of the Catholic faith. All these things were a direct advance.