Black Robes in Lower California [2nd printing, Reprint 2019 ed.] 9780520316744

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Black Robes in Lower California [2nd printing, Reprint 2019 ed.]

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Educational Foundations of the Jesuits in Sixteenth-Century New Spain By Jerome V. Jacobsen, S.J., PhJD. Pioneer Black, Robes on the West Coast By Peter Masten Dunne, S.J., Ph£>. Pioneer Jesuits in Northern Mexico By Peter Masten Dunne, S.J., Ph.D. Early Jesuit Missions in Tarahumara By Peter Masten Dunne, S.J., Ph.D.


Black Robes in L,ower California * By Peter Masten Dunne, S.J.

University of California Press Berkeley and Los Angeles • 1968









PREFACE years there has been a need for the story of the Jesuit Missions of Lower California in a single volume. Parts of the record have received expert treatment by such modern historians as Bolton, Decor me, and Engelhardt. The last mentioned has given the history in much detail, but has united it with the Franciscan and Dominican periods. Besides, Father Engelhardt wrote many years ago and important documents have since been made available from the various archives and collections mentioned in the bibliography and in the notes. It is hoped, therefore, that the present wor\ will shed additional light upon the seventy-year activity of the Jesuits in Baja California (/697-/76S), as well as upon the missionary activities and organizations of the west coast of North America. The present writer has profited by the criticisms, constructive and sympathetic, which have been published in the reviews appearing in the standard historical periodicals, criticisms concerned with alleged deficiencies in the preceding three monographs on the early Jesuit missions. According to some reviewers there has been a lac\ of interpretation which one scholar considered to be a general defect of the Bolton school of historiography. I have been grateful for these scholarly refletions and have endeavored to profit by them. A paragraph or two on this point of interpretation may not be out of place. The factual narrative in this sort of wor\ is of first importance. Then each scholar will interpret according to his philosophy and, unless he be inexorably impartial, according to his sympathies or antipathies. A Jesuit writing on Jesuits will be suspected of looking through rose-colored glasses and some of my \indly critics have implied that I have done so. Perhaps this has been true. Bolton is neither Jesuit nor Catholic and yet his Rim of Christendom is bright with admiration for his hero, Eusebio Francisco Kino, and of Jesuit missionary activity. I do not \now that he has been criticized for over-coloring the picture. As a matter of fact he wrote from what the record offered him. He could, of course, show greater enthusiasm for his subject than could a Jesuit. Another may praise; one may not praise oneself. FOR MANY

One of my reviewers writing on the fourth volume in this series said that I did not indicate the reasons why the missionaries failed to win the sympathies of the Indian during the later years of the Jesuit period. Assertion of such failure is a generality and therefore inacvii



curate. Indications of Indian affection for their blac\-robed padre were numerous at the time of the expulsion, for instance in Tarahumara and in various parts of Lower California. Reasons for the repeated uprisings in Tarahumara were indicated and certain missionary methods were criticized, for instance, the endeavor to coax the Indian down from his mountain caves to live in the more concentrated and physically less wholesome environment of the mission pueblo. Perhaps my reviewer wanted my criticisms to be more sharp and more at length. The modern secularist or neo-pagan (if the word be not too blunt) will not approve of any effort to propagate Christianity among the heathen. So, I come to an important reflection. The biologist, the anthropologist (if he be merely that), and the theologian will differ in some of their attitudes toward, and some of their interpretations of, the Christian missionary effort. All will agree, I thin\, that from the biological standpoint the coming of the European to the Western Hemisphere was unfortunate for the aborigines, because both in AngloAmerica and in Hispanic America the Indians were decimated directly by shooting, and indirectly by forced labor and epidemic diseases brought by the European. The last mentioned too\ the heaviest toll of Indian life in Hispanic America. Therefore, biologically speaking, it was a mistake for the missionaries to concentrate the Indians into pueblos where they were repeatedly decimated by disease. The anthropologist, if he be narrow in his specialty, will disapprove likewise of the whole European invasion, for it brought about a clash of cultures, it often robbed the Indian of his land, and it just as often destroyed his religion (if he had any), his culture (if any existed), together with his mores, customs, and tribal integrity. But if the White Man had not come the anthropologist would not be here today to study the ancient Red Man. Add to the above the deplorable destruction in some places of the Indian's temples, his monuments, his inscriptions, and his worlds of art. Here the archeologist will rightly disapprove. The scientist and the historian will be careful of generalization. Widely among the Amerindian any %ind of cultural refinement in the European sense was nonexistent, or was already in decline, or had been destroyed by intertribal enmity and conquest. For instance, in Bolivia the ancient Aymara culture as represented at Tiahuanacu, already in decline, was ultimately destroyed by the



lnca conquest just as in Mexico tribal cultures in the anthropological sense were injured by the Aztecs. On the other hand the European brought biological and anthropological advantages: the elimination of human sacrifice, of cannibalism where it existed, and of the pest, especially among the more backward peoples, of almost constant intertribal warfare. This was especially true among certain tribes of Northern Mexico and of Baja California. The Christian missionary's outlook was not restricted to what was merely the natural. For him the Indian possessed a soul which it was good and wholesome to save for a better lot in the future life. The sciences of biology and anthropology were nonexistent in former centuries, but Christian faith in the acceptance of a divine revelation was very much a part of the psychology of the Spaniard and Portuguese in the New World and of all Christian missionaries in general. The missionary desired only the Indian/ good here and in the hereafter (according to his philosophy) and he worked hard, often heroically, for both purposes according to the knowledge of his times. For him the saving of a soul was paramount, but other advantages were considered too and often imparted: peace, security, inner happiness, the abolition of superstitions (product of ignorance and fear) and faith in a supreme being with the assurance of present and future happiness. In the mind of the Christian this was all to the good. In addition, the missions raised the Indians standard of living, improved his agriculture, taught him how to barter, and imparted some knowledge of language and the arts. Therefore, the validity of making Christian neophytes was never questioned by the missionary and in the broad Christian outlook °f modern times is still not disputed. The scientist, if he be narrow in his specialty, may question this validity, and if he be consistent he may regret that missionaries spread Christianity throughout western Europe from which has sprung our Western cultural inheritance. Let not the Franks be Christianized; let flourish the paganism of ancient Rome. Let us come back, therefore, to the assertion made earlier in this preface: interpretations of the missionary effort will differ according to the philosophy or the lack °f 'n mind of the twentiethcentury scholar, scientist or historian, and in the mind of the interested twentieth-century layman. I wish to express my gratitude to those who have been of assistance to me in the preparation of this volume. To my reviewers and critics



(they have all been \ind) who have been helpful to me in the expansion of my attitudes and to my Jesuit confrères who read the manuscript and whose suggestions have been constructive; to Herbert Eugene Bolton, inspirer and editor of this series, for his enthusisatic encouragement and valuable aid afforded in permitting the use of his rich collection of documents and transcripts; to Father Gerardo Decorme, S.J., of Ysleta, Texas, for his archival direction and enlightenment and for the gift of transcripts of important documents; to Father Constantino Bayle, S.J., of Razón y Fe in Madrid, for procuring and sending to San Francisco indispensable materials from the Archivo General de las Indias in Seville; to Lic. Julio Jiménez Rueda and Lic. Agustín Yáñes of the National Archives of Mexico for courteously performing the same service; to Father Joseph C. Teschitel, S.J., for procuring from Germany valuable letters of missionaries; to Father Joaquin Cardoso, S.J., for the indication of documents existent in the Biblioteca Nacional of Mexico City; and to the staffs of the Bancroft Library, University of California, and of the Huntington Library, San Marino, for their kindly and courteous assistance. Finally I wish to than\ Mrs. Walter H. Brandenburg of Pasadena for much first-hand information concerning Baja California, Mrs. Richard Jones of Los Angeles who has gone over and over the manuscript and who with infinite pains has prepared the index, and to Miss Lucie E. N. Dobbie of the University of California Press for expert editing of the manuscript and for personal interest in the improvement of the narrative.



I. A Hard Land II. Prelude to Permanency

i 26


Salvatierra and Permanence



Assured Continuity


Ugarte Goes to California


Land Route to the Peninsula


Almost Starved Out



Better Years



Two New Missions



Death of Salvatierra



Salvatierra's Legacy


Harbor Hunting



Ugarte Builds a Ship



South to La Paz


Tip of the Peninsula


Head of the Gulf


Three Mountain Missions


The Southernmost Cape




Rebellion Sears the South


The Aftermath


A Futile Twelvemonth






Arrival of German Jesuits


Consag Explores


A Padre at His Post










Again the North



The Last Decade



The Last Mission


The Gathering Storm


The End




I. The Record Book of Santa Rosalía de Mulegé . 431 II. Note on Indian Languages and Tribes . III.

Indian Population Figures Compared

IV. Troubles of a Historian V.


. 443


. 447 448

List of Jesuit Missionaries in Lower California . 452







ILLUSTRATIONS Salvatierra, Father of the Missions Ugarte, Father of the Pious Fund San Francisco Javier Pueblo of San Javier Bell Tower of San Francisco Javier Santa Rosalía Mulegé San Francisco Borja Nuestro Padre San Ignacio de Loyola de Kadakaaman San Luis Gonzaga San José Comondú Savage California San Juan Londó, Visita of Loreto

MAP following page Jesuit Missions in Lower California, 1697-1768 . . . . 540

ILLUSTRATIONS Salvatierra, Father of the Missions Ugarte, Father of the Pious Fund San Francisco Javier Pueblo of San Javier Bell Tower of San Francisco Javier Santa Rosalía Mulegé San Francisco Borja Nuestro Padre San Ignacio de Loyola de Kadakaaman San Luis Gonzaga San José Comondú Savage California San Juan Londó, Visita of Loreto

MAP following page Jesuit Missions in Lower California, 1697-1768 . . . . 540

Chapter I

A HARD LAND continent from its southwest extremity thrusts a long, misshapen finger into the waters of what the early Spaniards called the Mar del Sur, the South Sea. This peninsula, seven hundred miles in length and of varying widths, is separated from the mainland by an equally long and thin gulf, the waters of which are as treacherous as the land they touch is forbidding. Not many years after the conquest of Mexico (1521) Cortes' exploring parties discovered this peninsula. Later visitors applied to it the name California, from a fabled land written of in a novel by the contemporary Spanish romanticist Juan de Montalvo. The name passed over to the gulf too. In the course of time the Spanish South Sea became the Pacific Ocean, and when the fair regions lying north of the peninsula were discovered and settled, the peninsula acquired the name Baja (Lower) California, while the Spaniards called the northern coastal hills and valleys Alta California. 1 T H E NORTH AMERICAN

From the tip of the peninsula to its base, which is attached to the mainland, this flintlike land is one of peaks and mountain ranges and barren plateaus.2 Near the extreme south rise the isolated summits of Las Victorias; a little farther north the Sierra de la Giganta lifts a barrier of rock three hundred miles in length, prohibiting entrance to the interior from the east. The Giantess, crowned by the three lofty peaks, Las Virgines, thrusts her spurs down to the California sea and terminates in the north at an elevation of 5,000 feet in Goldman Peak. Farther to the northwest and stretching in parts almost from coast to coast of this crooked finger of land is the elevated Vizcaino desert. Its great plateaus are cut with valleys and arroyos, sections are cleft by sharp ravines and barrancas or strewn with lava-studded sweeps and declivities. The desert's base is sand and soil and baking rocks, where the rain seldom falls. From this parched ground sprouts almost every kind of cactus: the cholla or arborescent cactus; the thin and thorny poles of the cirio; the pitahaya, garambullo, yucca, and elephant tree, with part of its root system above ground, gnarled like twisted elephants' trunks. The variety of cacti would fill a book with names. "Tiny balls of gray that coax to be caressed but are prepared to spit fire into a friendly hand, venomous snakelike arms 1



that crawl along the ground seeking a place in the sun." There are plants with thin, tangled arms bristling through all their length with needle points; there are others with fruit edible and palatable yet spiked with bunched points. From some species of cactus the Indians made cords; but they never learned to extract the juice and make a fermented drink. Sage and briars, too, vie with the more prickly creation, and in some open spaces a fringe of grass and a spangle of blossoms gladden a patch of barren earth. North of Vizcaino desert the summits of many crooked sierras close the skyline; still farther on loom the sharp-edged crests of the Sierra San Pedro Mártir. They rise blue in the clear distance dominated by two pointed peaks 10,000 feet in elevation. Like a fixed bar or flange the sierra ties the peninsula of Lower California to the mainland north. Its western ridges support the only important stand of timber in the peninsula. These slopes, feathered with pine, the haunt of the bighorn, the mountain lion, and the deer, run down to the hot deserts of the western coast. In areas to the south rarely does an oasis, nurtured by spring or stream, render the landscape inviting and make the ground fertile. In the more watered spots grow thickets of mesquite and forests of palm. It is not, therefore, surprising that Miguel Venegas, the early Jesuit and classical historian of Baja California, deems it "a land the most unfortunate, ungrateful, and miserable of the world," and that Father Wenceslaus Link, one of its last black-robed missionaries, described the country as ". . . nothing but rocks, cliffs, declivitous mountains, and measureless sandy wastes, broken only by impassable granite walls." 8 Southeast along the narrow length of the land is the Llano de Magdalena extending as far as the peaks and mountains of the southern tip or toe; in width the Llano stretches from the coast of the Pacific to the feet of the Sierra de la Giganta. This southern desert is separated from the northern by more than a hundred miles of a lofty but forbidding mesa, extension of the great sierra, which here thrusts to the west, almost as far as the sea, rough volcanic formations overlying sandstone buried between loose and shattered fragments of lava. Boulder-strewn plateaus and sandy wastes, as in the north, make this part of the peninsula sterile, for here, too, the rain seldom if ever falls. 4 The Giantess, rising to a height of 6,000 feet, blocks off both



deserts from the waters of the gulf with gargantuan slabs of steep rock and primeval lava frozen in fantastic forms. T h e lava flowing down and westward eons ago spilled over the basic sandstone and has made a setting of stark desolation. T w o canyons cut into the western flank of La Giganta. They are watered by streams which creep out from under the primeval rock and which create two green strips of fertile land. Deep in one of these oases, called Comondú by the Indians, the pioneer Black Robes placed the mission which became known as San José Comondú, in the other canyon, a few leagues to the north, they placed Purísima Concepción. Farther north on the western slopes of the Giantess the missionaries came upon an even more fertile spot, where the rocky mesa opened unexpectedly and disclosed a verdant arroyo fringed and feathered with palm and watered by a clear and abundant stream. It was the Indian Kadakaaman, which the Black Robes christened San Ignacio, and it became the peninsula's most flourishing mission, as in the twentieth century, richly colored by its past, it is Baja California's most charming town. T h e west coast of the peninsula, as it curves southeast washed by the Pacific, is marked by wide indentations and capacious bays. Sebastián Vizcaíno Bay half encloses a great body of water almost at the middle of the peninsula and is set off and protected by the razorbacked Cedros Island, "a lump of raw material, misplaced and forgotten." Farther south is one of the fine harbors of the world, Magdalena Bay, with an entrance as picturesque as that of the Golden Gate of Alta California. But most of the coast is parched and ugly, and spurs of barren hills poke their denuded forms out into the sea. Cabrillo, Vizcaino, the Manila galleons, and the plodding explorations of the Black Robes have made these desolated coasts historical in all their isolation. T h e rocky backbone of Lower California terminates south in the historic and picturesque cape which the Spaniards called the Cabo de San Lucas. Here for half a mile a solid slab of granite is flung athwart the sea and for millennia the rock has been wrought upon by wind and wave and carved roughly into domes and pinnacles, and slashed and broken into cliffs and sharp ravines. " T h e ocean of Balboa and the Sea of Cortes are forever held apart by the apex of a territory"; the granite bastions of the cape are fit terminal for so sharp a finger of land.



A few miles east of the peninsula's jagged point is the open bay or harborage of San José del Cabo, called by the early Spaniards San Bernabé. Beyond a belt of dunes extends the largest oasis of Lower California, watered by three generous springs, the last of which, nineteen miles inland, is the source of the Rio de San José. The early missionaries did well to choose this spot for their most southerly mission, San José del Cabo. The name of the mission has passed over to the town which in the mid-twentieth century numbered some six thousand inhabitants. The products of the oasis—corn, sugar cane, tobacco, and figs; lemons, oranges, and limes; pomegranates and dates—made San José del Cabo the most thriving community of the peninsula. In the time of Cortés the first explorers reached the eastern coast of this land by sailing from the southern mainland into the gulf. A century and a half later the missionaries first set foot upon this coast by sailing across the gulf. Bays and coves innumerable are here protected by the more than twenty islands which hug the shore. The Giantess lifts up a bastion of rock and pushes spurs into the waters of the gulf. In places along the coast the first barriers of the Giantess rise up from the sea like corrugated iron, stark and black. The bay of La Paz, a hundred miles north of the tip, is the most ancient spot; famed Loreto of mission lore farther north is near a cove protected by Carmen Island and to the north by a tongue of jagged rock. Still to the north lies the Bahía de la Concepción which plunges southwards deep into the land. Here a western indentation forms Coyote Bay; its sprinkled islands float like giant cinders dropped upon the water, and its steep western margin, nude and treeless, is roughened by chunks of lava. Near the mouth of the bay and around a rocky pinnacle, Sombrerito Point (for it juts up like the crown of a sombrero), there flows into the gulf through an estuary a delightful stream creating an oasis. The Indians called it Mulegé, and the spot was ideal for a mission. In time one was founded here: Santa Rosalía Mulegé. Beyond and to the north is San Carlos Bay, the Salsipuedes Channel, and the great, barren bulk of Angel de la Guarda Island. Farther on and near the thirtieth parallel the fine Bahía de San Luis, later called Gonzaga Bay, offered harborage for craft carrying supplies for Santa Maria, the last of the Jesuit missions. But no harbor on this eastern side compares with La Paz in the south. The round half-moon of the bay bites so deep into the thin



peninsula that at this point the shores of the Pacific are a mere twentyfive miles to the southwest. The peninsula's widest girth is about half way from the southern tip, where it broadens to one hundred and twenty-five miles, thickened by the curving peninsula which forms the southern lines of Vizcaino Bay. It was from the eastern coast, so variegated and often so hazardous, that the missionary Black Robes sailed to the forbidding land. Their port of entry was almost always Loreto, a third of the distance north of the southern tip or toe. The missionaries often spoke of pearls along the eastern coast of Lower California, especially from La Paz north. The fisheries, worked by Spanish colonials, unjustly exploited the natives and proved harmful to the morale of the mission Indians. The padres wrote likewise of the rich and interesting bird life of the coast and of the multitudinous life of the sea, with its monsters and its common fish and mollusks.6 They knew of the sea elephants and seals, of the whales which infest the waters of the gulf, of the tintero shark, the swordfish, and of the more harmless yellowtail and garoupa. Clavigero does not mention that vast lumpish member of the skate family, the mobula, which has a weight of four thousand pounds and floats in the sun near the surface with spinal fin protruding, a sure hit for the harpoon. But Father Clavigero knew the manta or giant ray and says, speaking of one specimen, that "its width was twelve feet, its length from the nose to the beginning of its tail nine and one-half feet, and the thickness in the middle of its body two feet. Its tail was fifteen feet in length, and its skin, thicker than that of an ox, was covered with strong spines like thorns." 8 The seamen who manned the mission transports had experiences with the giants of the sea. The craft San Firmtn which was carrying twenty men over to the peninsula late in 1699 was attacked by that fighting monster, the swordfish. It leaped yards above the water and made a lunge for the poop, piercing with its rasped sword not only the outer wooden covering of the boat, but two other thick planks of the ship's side.7 It seems that the fish which swam the waters of the gulf were as misshapen as the land. But the missionaries were not especially interested in these anomalies of the sea which have become the delight of the twentieth-century sportsman; nor in the birds of the sea, the blue-footed boobie, frigate birds, and the colonies of elegant tern; in the duck hawk and the osprey; in oyster catchers and the great blue herons. Father Baegert, however, describes in detail the natural



history of this hard land where he worked and sweat; and Father Fernando Consag in his famous voyage to the head of the gulf in 1746 took notice of great herds of seal and flocks of myriad birds. If the padres were fascinated by the sheer savagery of some of the mission terrain or by the beauty of long vistas or of distant mountain cordilleras, they did not say so. N o r were the men of their age generally affected by the grandeurs which nature spread before them. Another thing the fathers were slow to learn and to their loss and sorrow: the season of the chubasco, that cyclonic wind storm which, with fearful suddenness, blows up from the south and falls upon the gulf waters with devastating strength, whipping its surface to fury and churning up waves to the height of thirty feet and more. Many a mission ship, sailing at the wrong season, was thus caught and sank and a missionary lost his life. T h e padres finally learned and modern mariners well know that the bad season is from the end of July through October, and during that time shipping on the gulf takes care to hug the coast and to keep near the sheltered coves and bays of the peninsula. T h e missionaries then, seemingly uninterested in the beauty of mountain cordillera and valley vista, or in the intriguing variety of bird life and of that of the sea, did with a direct and concentrated singleness of purpose fix their attention upon creating out of the human materials which they found before them good and happy Christians. T h e natives were of a piece with the land upon which they lived; they sprawled upon the lowest levels of the cultural scale of the Amerindians. Did the land drag its aborigines down to the ragged and unkempt condition of its physical surface, or had the Californians, already the backwash of nobler representatives of their race, been driven down into this pocket by stronger peoples of the north ? T h e answer rests not with the historian but with the anthropologist and is nebulous and uncertain in any case. T h e most authentic picture of the lower California Indian has been left us by the missionary who labored to bring to him the amenities of Western Europe's religion and civilization, These men were normally kindhearted and sympathetic and often held their spiritual charges in sincere and even mystic affection; they were therefore not inclined to exaggerate the moral and social backwardness of their actual or prospective neophytes. 8



It is true, that at one time the peninsula was inhabited by a still more primitive people than those the early explorer and the missionary met. From rocks painted with figures of men and animals which the missionaries observed in certain caves they concluded, as did the early Jesuit historian Clavigero, that earlier a more cultured people had lived upon this inhospitable waste. In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries archeologists entered these same caves and examined others where rocks were painted in yellow, red, green, and black and the colors were placed high on the cave wall. There were pictures, too, which showed the outlines of men clothed in garments. In the sierra of San Pedro Mártir at the base of granite walls which rise from a large tinaja, or natural cistern, there are pecked on the face of the cliff figures and signs of various kinds. Such cliff-writings or petroglyphs have been discovered likewise in the Arroyo Grande of Lower California's northeast corner and near Mission San Fernando Velicatá, the first of the Franciscan chain, northwest of the Jesuit mission of Santa Maria. 9 But the people who made these figures and painted the cave rocks had long since disappeared and given place to the lowly creature whom the missionary knew and described. 10 Roughly there were two main divisions among the natives contacted by the Jesuits: the Guaicuros who lived to the south of Loreto, and the Cochimies who lived to the north. The latter were the more dependable and made the best neophytes, but in their manner of living, their religious ideas, and their tribal relationships they differed little from those of the south. The Pericú branch of the most southern Guaicuros left the worst record in mission annals and reports. 11 First of all, the padres of the eighteenth century came upon a naked people. The men wore nothing at all, which was a mild shock to some of the missionaries, and the women merely two pieces of woven reed grass, one in front and one in back, suspended from a waist cord, and draped down close to the knees. Among tribes farther to the north some women also went about naked, others clothed themselves with skins. Though the men wore no clothes, they decked themselves out in ornaments. What the feather was to the North American Indian of the east, strings of beads were to the Californian. These were made of pearls, berries, white round shells from small snails, and pieces of shell and mother of pearl. The Pericúes wore their hair long and covered with a sort of peruke made of pearls interwoven with white feathers. These strung ornaments the men, and



also the women of some groups, used as bracelets, armlets, and necklaces; these last often hung down as far as the waist. The stringlike girdle worn by some of the men, especially leaders or medicine men, had dangling from it berries, snail shells, and deer hoofs. Neither the nakedness of the men nor the odd variety of ornaments surprised the old-time missionary so much as the natives' utter lack of permanent habitation. Most of these people built no houses, made use of no wigwams, erected not even a crude enramada, or shelter made of leaves and branches. Walking over flinty hill or thicketchoked dale to seek out their rude diet of berries, bugs, and roots, they stopped where they happened to be at nightfall and there they sprawled naked under night's canopy, be the place wholesome or filthy, snake infested or insect ridden. Often, however, they returned to a common resting place or to a ranchería. There were at times two exceptions to these primitive habits. If a strong, cold wind was blowing at night the natives would force into the ground a curved shelter of rough stakes or branches and huddle on the leeward side of the rude protection. Sometimes too they slept within a circle of rocks which they had piled two or three feet high. Nevertheless the missionaries noted that they were ineluctably attached to the particular spot or region of California's rocks and deserts in which they had been reared, seldom wandered more than thirty hours' walk from their local habitat, and they always returned. There was no house on the peninsula when the fathers first came, nor the vestige of one, and "not a hut, nor an earthen jar, nor an instrument of metal, nor a piece of cloth." 1 2 Personal belongings were thus at a minimum: a tray, a bowl, a small stick for making fire, a sharp bone which served as an awl, and two nets. These were their household goods. They traveled light! Perhaps the fact that the Lower Californians were constant wanderers within the very limited district of their birth helps to explain the lack of fabricated dwellings. Habit inured them to their comfortless regime. Indeed, they could not bear a roof above them, as the missionaries soon discovered, for when in time of epidemic the padre would place the more seriously afflicted in one of the mission buildings, he would soon find them out again sprawling in the open air. It was a racial claustrophobia. Their wanderings were necessitated by their search for food and they would devour almost anything, from the louse they picked from one another's hair to a loathsome



white worm, the size of a man's thumb, endemic to the country. Included in their diet were bitter roots, scrawny and tasteless dates, insipid fruits; locusts, lizards, snakes, green caterpillars, worms of all kinds, spiders, and other insects. Animals, such as the wildcat and the deer, were highly prized by them, and when they came by dog meat they considered it a delicacy. They ate no human flesh, however, as did some tribes across the gulf before the padres came to them. There was one animal the Californians would not touch. It was the badger, because, explains the early Jesuit historian Clavigero with not even a glint of humor, this animal bore some resemblance to themselves. In the south they shunned the mountain lion, believing they would die if they killed it. T w o other eating habits were sufficiently disgusting and would be almost unbelievable were it not for the fact that they were attested to by the missionaries who worked among them and reaffirmed by the historian. A big season for the California Indians was the ripening of the fruit of the pitahaya cactus. They celebrated the opening of the period in raucous festivity and devoured the fruit until they were stuffed beyond satiety. But at this time they took care to evacuate at a fixed spot, they allowed their excrement to dry, and then, because the small seeds of the fruit had not been digested, they would "with infinite patience" pick through the dried material and segregate the seeds one by one. Then they would toast them, grind them into a dark and mealy powder, and devour over again in the winter time the noisome concoction. T h e Spanish soldiers, with pungent humor, referred to this process as the secunda cosecha, or the second harvest. One of the later missionaries, the Alsatian Jakob Baegert, described this practice in a letter to his brother which he wrote in 1752 just sixteen months after his arrival at his mission of San Luis Gonzaga. A n d after the description he exclaims: "Oh, what a nation this is, miserable and indescribable beyond compare!" 1 3 T h e other habit was hardly less revolting if more ingenious. Since meat was a delicacy to them, they wished to make it last as long as possible, and these children of the rocks and cacti devised a means whereby literally they could eat their cake and still have it. They would tie a toothsome morsel of meat to a string, chew it with gusto and swallow it, the string hanging from the mouth. After two or three minutes, shall we say of enjoyment, they would pull up the little piece, and begin chewing and swallowing all over again. This



process would be repeated until there was no longer any substance left to the morsel of meat. They went farther still. The Indians of the northeast passed around the pipe of peace, and the inhabitants of southern South America today draw from the same bombilla, or tube, a draught of maté from a cup, so, too, these Califórnians, eight or ten of them, would sit around and enjoy their food. After the first person had chewed, swallowed, and then violendy extracted from his stomach the now mellow tidbit, he would hand the dangling morsel to his neighbor, who would chew awhile and then pass it on to the third. The process continued until all had enjoyed their bite and swallow and until the piece was literally chewed up. The natives were, of course, adept in this practice, since they were taught it in childhood.14 After the foregoing descriptions, it will be less shocking to learn that during mission days, when a cow or bullock was skinned, the neophytes would scrape the soft and smelly hides in order to obtain some of the fresh blood or other juices and fat. Not content with this, they would lick the skins with their tongues in order to obtain the greases. These people were great gormandizers, and the Alsatian missionary Baegert reports that he had known one man to devour twentyfive pounds of meat in as many hours and to do away with seventeen watermelons at a sitting. One of the more elementary refinements introduced by the mission system was to get these crude natives to desist from eating insects, snakes, and disgusting worms and to replace this diet with the grains and the corn which the missionary imported and later raised in the more fertile patches of the peninsula. After careful enquiry Baegert arrived at the conclusion that before the Jesuits went to the Guaicuro tribesmen, among whom he labored at San Luis Gonzaga, the natives had no idea of a supreme being or of a future life either of reward or punishment. Father Nicolás Tamaral, on the other hand, who was later murdered in the south in the uprising of 1734, considered that the Indians of the southern cape sprang from ancestors who had a certain knowledge of Christianity, for in the weird legends concerning the origin and development of their deities there was vaguely adumbrated, Tamaral thought, certain notions of the Trinity and of the Incarnation and Redemption, and of the fall of the angels.18 Heaven for them was much more populated than was earth. According to all missionary accounts these southerners were the most degraded of



all the natives and fomcnters of trouble and revolt. Their leaders were mulattoes and others of mixed bloods. It seems probable that the notions of which Father Tamaral spoke were brought to them through the previous centuries by Europeans—Spanish explorers from the time of Cortes, pearl fishers who constantly touched upon these coasts, men of the Manila galleons, and Negroes known to have been dropped off here by these far eastern argosies. Even English and Dutch privateers who sometimes prowled about the more southerly regions of the peninsula may have spread among the natives some vague ideas of Christianity. Ugarte bears witness to the religion of the Cochimies of the north, and Taraval who resided among this tribe set down fifty points of their belief, which make up a story even more similar to Christianity than that of the southerners. Blent in with this dark mélange of Christianity were superstitions of a stark and ridiculous nature. For the southerners the stars were blinking metal plates which begot the deity Purutabui. The moon gave birth to Cucunumic, another mystic personage of the upper regions. Over all this brood of gods ruled the all-powerful Wac! The northerners, the Cochimies, had a King of Dung. To honor him they thought themselves obliged to poultice their heads with animal or even human excrement. Of a softer nature than those of the south, the Cochimies cultivated some sterner superstitions by which they thought to propitiate the nether god Veloz. It was considered a service to sacrifice their lives for one or another of their gods, to fling themselves off the point of a pinnacle of rock. Some did just this and were dashed and broken in the ravines below. Another homage was to tumble in a thorny clump of cactus and roll about in the comfortable bed. A more rational service was to offer sacrifice by abstaining from the favorite luxury, the ripened prickly pear, for a whole season. The Liyii or, more commonly, Monqui, who held a central geographical position within a fan of leagues about Loreto, were similar to Baegert's Guaicuros southwest: they had no idea of a supreme being. This tribe believed in imps and demons; the master devil was Gumonco who scattered seeds of pestilence over the tribes. He shaped for his pleasure the bays and inlets of the coast to provide for himself quantities of fish. This nebulous and fearsome person demanded propitiation also, and so these poor Monqui Indians, before the coming of the Black Robe, used to gather on the beach of a delightful little cove, the later Puerto Escondido, and there weave



all day long capacious garments of human hair to be worn by the medicine men. Gumonco was pleased at this for the wizards were his servants. The demon employed too a handful of imps who scoured the coasts for delicious fish.16 The Guaicuros, according to missionary Baegert, lived conformably to the vacuity of their beliefs. They married without previous promise or present contract, in a total absence of formality, and in the presence of no one, not even of their parents. Plurality of wives was common, especially in the south, and there was not only frequent exchange of wives but a sort of universal promiscuity. Group would meet with group for the sole purpose of enjoying a general license in matters of sex. The Guaicuro language possessed no word for husband, except to designate a male who had been with a woman. Even after the introduction of Christianity had changed such primitive customs in the mission country, the padre would see a boy and a girl whom he had just married with the formality of the Christian rite leave after the ceremony and each go his own way without a word and in opposite directions, bent on their constant task of seeking food. Bride and groom would not come together until the evening, and the following day it would be the same: each wandered off for himself, vagabond like, ranging the hills and the rocks for their worms and berries. Such was their married life. At death, amid the howls and shrieks of the women relatives but with never a tear, the deceased would be dropped into a shallow grave wrapped in a deerskin. Sometimes the dead were cremated. Some, having fallen into a coma, were buried alive, and the missionary wrote that he once saved the life of an Indian girl about to be buried by nothing more complicated than giving her a good dose of chocolate. She lived, said he, for many years thereafter. These Indians cared little for their children, and life was cheap. A father, especially if he had several wives, took no notice whatever of his offspring, and a child was killed if its mother could not support it. Procured abortions were frequent among the newly married women, because they held a belief that the first child would be sickly or weak. The women gave birth alone, with no attendants, often in the woods while gathering roots and berries. The mother would then walk back with her offspring to the place where she intended to pass the night. Possessing no garments, the mothers first bathed their infants in fresh urine and then powdered them over with charcoal



to keep the infants warm. With urine, too, the women washed their own faces, but Clavigero reminds us that they stopped short of cleansing their teeth with it, as did the ancient Celtiberians, if the report of Diodorus Siculus be true. In the northern fringe of the Lower California mission system the Black Robes discovered an equally astonishing custom for keeping babies warm: a hole was dug in the sand and a fire lighted within to heat the soil. The baby was then set down to take the place of the ashes and covered over with hot sand up to the neck. The missionaries abolished this barbarous practice. Other habits of cleanliness, or rather lack of them, among these Californians can best be left to the imagination. With the same large shell with which they had just been cleaning out the stalls of the mules and carrying away the offal of the sheep and goats they would come to the mission house and receive in the container their ration of wheat or corn. Mothers had been known to cleanse the running noses of their babies by licking them with the tongue. Without religion or morals these people were nevertheless very superstitious. South of Loreto the Guaicuros feared dire results should they kill a mountain lion. The dead lion would bring death to the killer. If a deer was slain the hunter must not eat its flesh, for he would never thereafter be able to kill another. Mountain lions, therefore, multiplied, and in mission days did great damage to the herds and flocks. The stalwart missionary, Juan de Ugarte, in his center of San Javier, dispelled this fear by slaying one of the beasts himself and hauling it into camp on his mule. At one stroke Ugarte dispelled a superstition and gained a reputation. The medicine men, called by California Indians guamas, played skillfully upon the credulity of the people.17 These men formed a closed caste recruited among the most astute of the young braves who were secretly initiated into the mysteries and practices of the guamas. One modern anthropologist, although he was speaking of Alta California, has stated that here on the West Coast the power and prestige superstitiously conceded the medicine man was greater than anywhere else in North America.18 The guamas worked on the fears and superstitions of their victims by pretending to inflict sickness and misfortune as well as to heal and cure. Customs differed with regions; in some areas one guama diagnosed the disease and another applied the remedy. The guama was usually required to go to the




sick when called, and, if he refused, and the sick man died, the guama would be mulcted of his fee. If the patient died the guama might be slain by the relatives. When called to attend the sick or effect a cure the guama enhanced the effect of awe and dread by daubing himself with minium and painting his face a vivid red, or he smeared it with charcoal, thus appearing "as ugly as the devil himself." In some regions the guamas dressed in long garments woven of human hair and wore a headdress of sparrow hawk feathers and carried fans made of feathers. Farther to the south the guamas wore a crown made of deer tails and had two strings of deer hoofs dangling from their waists. In curing the sick the guamas' chief instrument was a piece of wood with marks on it from which he made a show of reading the nature of the illness. After determining the illness he applied plasters made of herbs or fruit juices to the affected parts. In another method of curing the guama smeared his face with urine, put a thorn or thistle in his mouth and approached the patient carrying a tube filled with tobacco smoke. He placed one end of the tube upon the afflicted part and drew in the tobacco smoke. At a given moment he took the thorn from his mouth and boastfully displayed it as having been drawn from the patient, thus indicating the cause of the sickness. 19 If the patient did not immediately recover, the guama made an incision with his fingernail in the skin of a female relative, daughter or sister, and allowed the blood to drip upon the body of the patient. Or, in desperation, the guama would insert his fingers into the patient's mouth and make a show of extracting the vicious humors. If the patient fell asleep after this "treatment" his relatives would strike him on the head with a rock to awaken him and, if he died, the women would lament with great howls and shrieks, furiously beating their heads and punching their noses in token of their grief. Apparently the women of Baja California were given to doing physical violence to themselves. Sir Francis Drake saw the women in Alta California scratch their faces with their nails or with rocks until the blood flowed as a demonstration of respect for a god. The padres who witnessed the self-flagellation in Baja California never saw the women in tears. Apparently these barbarous manifestations of grief—or respect for a deity—were part of the ritual of ceremony and nothing more. The guama's fee for attendance was small bundles of human hair.



If he failed to achieve a cure, the guama might be compelled to return his fee. Besides the fee, so called, the people were obliged to donate to the guama feathers, the first and best fruits of the season, the finest fish, and the largest seeds. Those who failed to give these things were likely to suffer dire consequences; the guama might impose a penance of fasting or he might make reluctant or tardy donors the object of rough and wild invective in public. These propitiatory offerings were made to the guama whether or not his services to the sick resulted, ultimately, in recovery or death. These medicine men, usually old fellows, pretended to be in touch with the devil "so that they intimidate all the rest [of the people]." A missionary of the post-Jesuit period who worked at Guadalupe witnessed and described their wiles. "Their unending speeches and their eloquence carried to extreme lengths and the singular energy of their actions explain why they are held as oracles and why the others consider themselves obliged to give them the best fruits, grains, and other supplies nor do the men dare even to deny them their women." These hechiceros (wizards), as their counterparts on the mainland were called by the Spaniards, gained and retained their prestige by wild stories of their power and prowess which their poor tribesmen believed. Terror prevented any contradiction, since even the saliva of a hechicero would cause death! The natives stood panicstricken before the medicine man and would take his word even against the evidence of their own senses and of their own experience. The missionary continues: "It is a cause of amazement that these simpletons are of such slight intelligence that they believe the hechicero so readily even against the evidence of what they see. The wizard tells them he is going to accompany the dead to the other side of the north, and even though they see that he remains where he is and does not move they believe him and they gulp down many another tomfoolery of like nature." 20 When the Indians of several or many villages came together for their festivities the hechicero exercised his full authority. The season was at the ripening of the cactus fruit and usually at the new moon. The people would forgather to eat, dance, and carouse. The medicine man worked hard on such occasions, directing all. "He delivers himself of a great speech accompanied by a thousand movements of the body and with ridiculous gestures from which he emerges hoarse and tired out and his fatigue lasts for many days, as I myself have seen,"



writes the missionary. T h e hechicero tells the women they will die if they enter his house to gaze upon his feathers and his collected bundles of human hair, and this superstition is deeply imbedded in their consciousness even though experience gives it the lie, "for I myself," says the author of the manuscript called the "Descripción breve de la California," "have made them enter and even take hold of this hair while nothing at all happens to them." 2 1 Most of the padres considered these medicine men to be in league with an evil spirit and practitioners of black magic. In an age when demonology ran riot these good missionaries were inclined to attribute almost every adverse happening to the machination of forces of evil, even though Spaniards generally did not go to the cruel extremes, in the matter of witchcraft, as the northern Europeans and North Americans with their witch hunting, witch torture, and execution. However, the missionaries soon discovered, as did Tamaral at Purísima and Helen at Guadalupe, that there were legions of other make-believe medicine men, uninitiated deceivers, who had never been admitted into the closed circle of the authentic practitioner. T h e fathers discovered that there were many minor impostors who were in the game for what they could get out of it, just like the professional guama. From these deceits they collected prestige and especially the offerings of the faithful. Some natives made their donations, either to guamas or false guamas, in a sincere act of propitiating their divinity; most gave the gifts through fear of the threatened consequences of not giving: sundry calamities, sickness, and death. T h e guama of the peninsula, like the hechicero in the missions of the mainland, often became the bitter enemy of the missionary and caused him no end of trouble. T h e reason is not far to seek. The missionary did two things to ruin them: he uncovered their wiles and their deceits, and he robbed them of the prestige which they had hitherto enjoyed. Venegas, the contemporary and classic historian of these missions, describes them in eighteenth-century style as "the most depraved people who lived in the land and they are the ministers of the devil, chosen by him as his agents in order to aid him in the ruin and perdition of this unhappy race." T h e most diverting characteristic of these poor savages was their childlike nature. They simply never grew up. Father Baegert considered that indolence, lying, and thieving were their three original sins. T o work in the sowing of a field and have to wait for three or four



months to gather in the fruit of their labor was beyond them. In this the Californians were not dissimilar to those other children of the southern continent among whom the Black Robe organized the most prosperous and successful mission system of the New World, the Guaranis of Paraguay. These, if given a cow for a continual supply of milk, could not resist killing it for the ready meat. A group of Californians, when given a small herd of twelve goats in order that they might enjoy the same luxury, killed the animals forthwith in order to devour the strong flesh. Father Wenceslaus Link tells us that in the early days of his northern mission of San Borja he was caring for a great treasure in this parched land: a little truck garden near his dwelling. One fine day he was to carry the Blessed Sacrament to a grievously ill neophyte. Out of respect for the Host (according to an old European custom) he asked his Indians to strew the ground with herbs along part of the way he intended to go. Nothing was better to hand than the lettuce and sprouting corn of the missionary's garden. Before the padre could bat an eye his neophytes had pulled up everything he had planted and been caring for and had scattered the greenage all the way to the sick man's lying place, for he would not be under a roof. It was then Link realized what infants these Californians were. Not in malice, it seems, but for sport they pierced with an arrow the fine mount of one of the padres for which he had refused a high price and which was indispensable for his missionary travels. That same day they childishly slew nineteen head of cattle. This sort of thing became of such frequent occurrence at Baegert's mission of San Luis that he gave over trying to increase his herd of four hundred head of cattle and as large a number of sheep and goats, for they would be destroyed piecemeal by his neophytes. Baegert complains of such actions on the part of the natives more than any of the other padres. Judging from his Nachrichten he seems unsympathetic by nature. Perhaps he was also too severe, so that his Indians took it out on him by decimating his flocks and herds and by stealing his goods. But then, Baegert says that the neighboring missions were robbed too. Nevertheless, flocks and herds multiplied in some of the other establishments, so that it seems we should take the Alsatian missionary's statement with a grain of salt. Two incidents will serve to show the Californians' infantilism. A group of natives came one day upon some large earthen jars along



the west shore, probably jettisoned by a passing Manila galleon or left there by its sailors. Their wide-eyed wonder at the first sight of these strange objects seems never to have abated and they regarded them with superstitious awe. The jars were carried to a cave and placed near the entrance with the mouths turned toward the cave's opening. The Indians came frequently to gaze at these mysterious objects with wide-open mouths. In their dances they were used to imitating the cries and the actions of the wild animals of the peninsula, so now they took to imitating, with what grimaces can well be imagined, the open mouths of the jars. Shortly after an epidemic spread among the group. It was the general opinion that the sickness came from the open mouths of the jars. The wise men met in council and it was solemnly decided these mouths must be stopped up. Since an Indian could not approach the objects now without danger of death, the leaders chose some young, strong men to sneak in at the side of the jars and from behind thrust grass into the openings. By so doing they thought to end the dreaded effluvia of disease. Another tale is still more revealing. In the early days of the missions in this land a neophyte was sent by his padre to a neighboring mission to carry two loaves of bread as a gift to the missionary. An accompanying note explained the gift and other matters. The poor fellow could not refrain from tasting the bread on the way and, finding it good, he consumed both the loaves. Arriving at the mission he handed the father the note which told of the bread. When the missionary asked for the loaves the Indian denied having received them, for he could not guess how the padre could have knowledge of this. Sometime later, perhaps as another test of native psychology, the same Californian was sent down to the same mission with another gift of bread. This time the neophyte would be smart: he would eat the bread, but, so that the father could not know it, he hid the explanatory note under a rock while he devoured the precious cargo. Then he took the note again, went down to the mission, and handed the letter to the padre. "But where are the loaves?" demanded the Black Robe. The Indian replied with childish simplicity: "I confess to you, father, that the first letter told you the truth, because it really saw me eat the bread; but this other [letter] is a liar because it tells you what it has not seen." 22 The Lower California Indians were the greatest thieves and liars in the world. Nothing was safe from them, not the food in the



father's kitchen, not his pots and pans, not even the ornaments of the church or the sacerdotal robes of the sacristy. T h e Alsatian, Father Baegert, perhaps more worldly and certainly less sympathetic than some of his Latin confrères, saw through some of the tall tales about the natives' knowledge of God and even of the Trinity before the coming of the missionary. He simply did not accept them. " T h e Californians," wrote he, "are masters in this kind of lies and deception and they are the least scrupulous as to the means used. On the other hand, to accept their word and thus allow oneself to be deceived is very human." 2 3 H e is here evidently referring to the reports of other missionaries and to other accounts concerning the former religious ideas of the Californians which he considered exaggerated or untrue. And it is certain that some of the early missionaries of the mainland, uncritical as was their age and prone to accept the marvelous and to see the devil everywhere, swallowed much too readily and reported too enthusiastically the great yarns spun out with coarse thread by Tepehuin or Tarahumar hechicero. As asserted earlier, Baegert held that the Californians had in former times no idea of a supreme being. Thus were these poor people the greatest deceivers and at the same time exceedingly dull and dumb. But when it came to shirking unpleasant tasks and getting out of work, for which they had the greatest horror, they were smart enough. Father Baegert on one occasion wanted them to do some work on his meager plantings. Suddenly, so it seemed, an epidemic of sickness swept over the whole group. T h e y all fell ill of some mysterious disorder. But when the time for labor had passed, just as suddenly and as if by miracle, all recoveredl W i t h fine humor, the sturdy Alsatian called Sunday the day of miracles because invariably on that day all those who during the week had been seriously ill were suddenly restored to health. Pretending to be on the point of death and imitating the death agony was great fun for the neophytes, and they would then demand the last sacraments of thé Church, either in order to receive exceptional attention or some delicacy such as a piece of meat. If they were in prison or in chains (a common punishment for the refractory), they would play at dying in order that from sheer compassion the padre might set them free. On such occasions, most ludicrously, as can well be imagined, these infants would imitate the actions of dying cattle which they had witnessed at the slaughter: they would squirm



on the ground, try to make a bellowing noise, roll or cock their eyes, and allow their tongues to hang out as far as they would go. Often the padre must have found it difficult to suppress a chuckle or a laugh. The neophytes would often try to sell the missionary their diseased chickens, or, if they had no chickens, play again at being sick and refuse to eat anything other than chicken. They would steal and pilfer from the padre in a thousand ways. One of Baegert's charges once stole some grain out of the mission's storage room, but he forgot to close the door. To divert all suspicion this chap asked that he might make his confession to the priest and while he was supposedly confessing his sins his accomplice closed the storeroom's door and made off. They would tell enormous lies with a most serious and apparently sincere demeanor in order to get out of a marriage and pass on the bride to another. The Californian was clever or crafty in other ways, too. He could track an animal or follow human footsteps over difficult terrain with a skill that was uncanny. He used a deer's head as a decoy, he caught hares and rabbits by cleverly breaking the legs of the running animals with the throw of a curved stick, and he manipulated large fish nets made of reed grass. And so Baegert concludes that these people in certain things could be clever enough, and that they were not mere animals, but had intelligence. Cowards for the most part when it came to war or battle or the shot of a gun or a show of force or threats on the part of soldier or missionary, they were still in other matters daring and audacious. A beetling cliff or the mere shadow of a passageway across the face of a hazardous declivity affected them not at all. "They would ride at night over trails which it would fill me with fear to negotiate even in the day." Frisky horses or those only half broken they mounted without fear, though the animals wore no saddle or bridle. In the process of setting up the mission buildings they clambered up and stood on the top of poles in a carefree manner which made the Black Robe's hair stand on end and then they would walk along an insecure and slender trellis from one pole or beam to another. Up that tall and spiked pole of the cirio, a single stalk of cactus rising pillarlike from the soil, they would climb and perch upon its top while it bent under their weight and seemed at any time ready to snap and tumble the hapless Indian to the ground thirty or forty feet below. In a frail basket of tule or straddling the trunk of a palm they would



venture out on the treacherous waters of the gulf and remain for hours on end. "Yet, at the report of a gun they will drop their bows and arrows and flee and half a dozen soldiers can master several hundred Indians." 2 4 These rough people could hardly bear to stand while speaking with the missionary, but they must lounge and squat all day long except when they were ranging for food. T h e i r language contained no word of greeting, such as "hello" or "good morning." T h e y knew little or nothing of cooking, used no salt, and the various groups, broken up by infinitesimal divisions, recognized no head chief. T h e r e was no nobility or political leadership among them except that of the medicine men and the chief of a small group. T h e Lower Californians possessed no medicines and used few remedies of any kind and seemed insensible to pain. A n Indian would dig out a thorn imbedded in his body or cut around a boil or a wound with as much lumpish indifference as if the process were being practiced on another. O n certain seasons they had their fun and jollity. T h e y held parties of dance and song, actually of shout and yell, when the fruit of the pitahaya cactus ripened, after a successful deer hunt, and when they pierced the ears and noses of their infants for the hanging of rings. T h e sound of their yelling drowned the cries of the babies. T h e Cochimies held the deer celebration annually during which they distributed the deer skins. O n these occasions a long, open way was prepared which ended in a rounded enclosure upon which the deer skins were hung. Neighboring groups met here carrying the skins of the animals which they had slain that year. Within the enclosure were the successful hunters and to them were given venison and fruits with which they regaled themselves. Surfeited with the good food they smoked tobacco from reed pipes. A guama would place himself at the entrance of the enclosure and "with fearful shouts" proclaim the prowess of the hunters while up and down the cleared passage ran other men covered with skins, and women, too, who danced and sang. W h e n the charlatan had shouted himself hoarse, the dancing ceased and the skins were distributed. T h e pelts were prized by the women, especially by the more northern Cochimies, for with the skins they covered their nakedness. 25 W i t h shout and dance, too, they would celebrate a successful fishing season and also victory over an enemy group. These California Indians knew nothing of seasons of the year, the



sun, or the stars. In the south the men, more particularly of the Pcricú tribe, as described by the sympathetic Black Robe Taraval, lounged and guzzled all day long in the shade of a clump of mesquite or of a yucca palm, while the several wives of each vied with one another to gather in quantities of food for her spouse in order to win his favor. These Californians, knowing no restraint in anything, reached the nadir of sex immorality. Youths were initiated into sexual license by the example of their elders, the occasions of indulgence were daily and innumerable and openly yielded to without fear or shame, and, adds Baegert, averring that he must needs be reticent about the details of such matters, "in all these vices and evil practices, the women are no better than the men; indeed, sometimes they surpass the men in shamelessness and in lack of [marital] loyalty, being thus in contrast to all the women of the rest of the world." 29 The superstitious rites which the natives practiced in secret on boys come to puberty, on mature virgins, on women with child, and on the newly born had better, opines the missionary, be encased in reticence. Because of their low level of culture, the flintlike sterility of the land, and their evil and unhygienic habits, the birth rate remained at a low level. Baegert estimates that there were not more than forty or fifty thousand souls throughout the whole rocky length of the peninsula. Link reduces the number to twelve thousand.27 Such was the native of Lower California when the missionary endeavored to carry to him the amenities of civilization and of the Gospel. Some groups of the Guaicuros of the south seem to have been more primitive than the Cochimies of the north, among whom the pioneer Black Robes enjoyed a greater success and reaped a more abundant harvest. Jakob Baegert, who saw or at least wrote more concerning the darker side than many of his more sympathetic confrères, sums the whole thing up as follows: "In general it can be said about the Californians that they are stupid, dull, coarse, dirty, insolent, ungrateful, liars, lazy, slothful in the extreme, great gabblers, and in their intelligence and actions children to their dying day. It can truthfully be said that they live in a fog of confusion, are improvident, thoughtless, and irresponsible. In nothing have they selfcontrol and in everything they follow their natural instincts after the manner of brute beasts." 28 "This constitution of mind," reported the author of the "Descripción breve de la California," "as it gives them over to softness and



perpetual laziness also renders them amenable to any kind of external influence either to evil or to good. A slight word from the padre will bring them out of the bush to be instructed in the obligations of Christianity and they will follow this influence until such time as someone else will induce them to go back to the mountain and their secluded haunts. Consequently, with the same ease with which they leave the bush to come into the mission they also leave the mission to go back to the wild." This same keenly observant padre remarks on their ingratitude. "They regard with indifference the favors which are done them and in a moment they forget all about their benefactors. It is only vengeance which strikes a deep root in the heart of these wretches. The injuries done to their parents are carried down to the fourth and fifth generation, nor do they account themselves men if, having the opportunity, they do not slay the offender." But in trying to describe the poor native Californian, generalizations, as always, are to be guarded against and also that widespread slant of human nature toward emphasizing the picturesque, the evil, or the crude. The dour Baegert lived among the Guaicuros of the south, generally admitted to be inferior to the Cochimies of the north whom the record shows to have been of superior intelligence and culture. The Monqui tribe which lived around about the mother mission of Loreto seem likewise to have been superior in some respects to the more southern group. The sympathetic Jaime Bravo in a report of 1717 is carried away with enthusiasm in his description of the piety and even the ability of the Monqui Indians of Loreto and its neighborhood. Not only were they, according to Bravo, assiduous at prayer and in attendance at the various spiritual exercises of the mission, but they were diligent in agriculture and skillful in the crafts. They began to cultivate their own gardens and to raise pumpkins, melons, and fruit trees. They cultivated fields and sowed wheat, raised corn, planted cotton, and rode horses well. They learned stock raising too. Besides all of this they became "carpenters, brick layers, smiths, masons, spinners and weavers, cloth and carpet makers," while the women, in addition to spinning and weaving wool, made string and shaped pots, pitchers, spoons, and dishes. Thus according to missionary Bravo these Monqui Indians were clever and energetic indeed. Picolo's Informe runs in similar vein.29 But these great-hearted men had fallen in love with California and its people. Bravo was a fine propagandist. He exaggerates on the good



side, as we know from his description of the fertility of the land, just as Baegert probably exaggerated on the bad side. Even the saintly and sympathetic Salvatierra cried out in despair at the stupidity of the Monqui Indians; indeed, other parts of the record show that they were dumb and dull. But the fathers quite generally among the tribes won sympathy and affection so that the loyalty of the Baja Californian is attested to throughout the mission annals. N o one, however, seems to have a good word for the Pericúes, most southerly branch of the Guaicuros. T h e sympathetic but realistic Taraval has nothing good to say for this small group, and even Bravo avers that "they were the only people who had not shown courtesy" to the Black Robe. But when all is said and done, these natives could be persevering in waiting for, and then sincere in their acceptance of, the Faith, such as the faithful Andres who had seen Kino north of Loreto in 1685 and then waited and waited until the arrival of Salvatierra and Picolo in 1697. H e was baptized and died a sincere Christian. Especially the Cochimies of the north often showed a loyalty and faithfulness as touching as that of the leader Cristobal from the shores of the Pacific who brought his whole family to Father Luyando for baptism at Mission San Ignacio and then rounded up others of his district and did the same by them. A n d it does not seem that he was motivated by the desire for gifts and good food. There was also the loyal and hard-working Cochimi neophyte, Comanaji Sistiaga, who was the right-hand man of Father George Retz at Santa Gertrudis, and finally mention should be made of the unfailing devotion and the untiring labors of Juan Nepomuceno, who superintended the building of the mission houses of San Borja in preparation for the arrival of its missionary, Father Wenceslaus Link, and then went north to Santa Maria to begin the new and the last establishment. Father Francisco Picolo wrote touchingly to the Jesuit General about his newly baptized neophytes, Indian youths from the neighborhood of Loreto, and he said that all Rome would admire these first fruits of the California missions. Father Juan Luyando had nothing but praise for his Cochimies of San Ignacio. H e was able to inspire groups to emulate each other in making mule paths and working in the fields. H e praises the spirit of these simple children, averring that there rose among them "a useful emulation which



showed that they were not stupid nor insensible to the stimulus of fame." Faith, honesty, and generosity could, then, be found among individuals of the primitive Baja California tribes. Nevertheless, the over-all picture sketched by the missionaries Baegert, Taraval, the author of the "Descripción breve de la California," and by the historians Clavigero and Venegas was dark and forbidding enough. These people were to be numbered with the "noble savage" of Reynal and other eighteenth-century philosophers of Europe who were idealizing him in their imaginations and in the salons of Paris as well as in the brilliant if misinformed pages of their essays and histories. T h e missionary knew the truth about the Amerindian and the truth was not attractive. But in the Jesuit's philosophy the dark body of this infantile and often degraded creature was vitalized by a spirit which was destined for a future life. T o refine and save this spirit for a happy lot hereafter the Black Robes of California suffered the harshness of the land and tolerated the crudities of its inhabitants.

Chapter II

PRELUDE TO PERMANENCY received various visits from the white man long before any permanent settlement had been made upon its rocky coasts. The vision and ambition of Hernán Cortes, ever reaching out to other worlds, sent an expedition into the gulf eleven years after his conquest of Mexico, but the men did not see the peninsula and touched only upon the opposite coast. The white man first gazed upon this barren land the following year (1533) when Cortés, determined to "pierce the mysteries of the North," sent out a second group. When the crew mutinied and murdered its commander, Fortún Jiménez took charge and succeeded in setting his men upon the shores of the bay of L a Paz. Indians set upon the stragglers, murdering Jiménez and twenty of his men. The rest escaped to carry to the mainland stories of wealth—not of gold this time but of pearls. Such reports stimulated the energies of the great Conquistador, and Cortés resolved to go himself to these coasts and investigate. Early in May, 1535, three ships carrying Cortés and the men who had volunteered for the adventure entered the same bay of L a Paz. Another enemy now attacked the explorers: hunger. As supplies ran out, two ships were sent to the mainland. One was eventually wrecked, and when Cortés himself set out to bring in food he returned to find that twenty-three of the men had died of starvation. He eventually gave up the game and never returned. But what came to be called California, and subsequently Baja or Lower California, had been discovered. Soon after these early exploits those who wrote about them began to call the country California. There were other expeditions. Francisco de Ulloa (sent out by Cortés) penetrated to the head of the gulf in 1539 and it was seen that California was not an island (a truth later forgotten). Ulloa returned and rounded the tip of the peninsula. Hernán de Alarcón led an expedition in 1540 north to the end of the gulf and even some hundreds of miles up the Colorado River in order to cooperate with the land parties of Coronado. Decades passed. T h e coasts of the peninsula were touched upon occasionally. Then Sebastián Vizcaíno, an old sea-dog of the Manila trade, procured authorization from the government to gather pearls along the coast; in return for this priviL O W E R CALIFORNIA




lege he was to subdue and colonize California. He established a colony in La Paz in 1596 and explored on up the coast. But the Indians were hostile and, of course, supplies ran low. The venture was abandoned. Juan de Iturbe in the hire of Tomas Cardona set out from Acapulco in 16x5 on another hunt. He carried soldiers and Negro divers. He sailed north along the rocky and barren coasts and succeeded in gathering a notable quantity of the precious objects. A returning ship was captured and robbed by the Dutch freebooter Spillberg. T w o others, battered by the frequent storms of the gulf but carrying a precious cargo, were able to make their way to the mainland. The fame of the pearls now ranged abroad as formerly the fame of gold in other provinces of the new world. After two decades came Francisco de Ortega, looking for the pearls and trying to found a colony at La Paz. Three times he tried and each time he failed. In the next decade, the 1640's, Porter y Casante met with frustration as did Pinadero and Lucenilla some twenty years later. Jesuits went along on several of these voyages, especially that of 1642 undertaken by Captain Cestin de Canas. He touched the island of San José and sailed down the coast. With him was a Jesuit missionary of Sinaloa, Father Jacinto Cortes.1 The hunt for pearls used up the chief energies of the men participating in these expeditions, the cactus-ridden land would not yield a sustenance, the settlements had to be abandoned. So for almost a century and a half storms and pirates and especially the barren coast broke every effort to colonize Lower California. About this time the Black Robe appears more prominently on the scene. The Jesuits had come to Mexico in 1572. Nineteen years later they had begun to organize on the west coast of the mainland a group of missions which were gradually extended north gathering in hundreds of thousands of neophytes. By the time of the Ortega expedition in 1633 this mission cluster was extended from the Rio Sinaloa to the Yaqui and far up its fertile banks. Other missions had been organized among those rugged mountains called the Sierra Madre Occidental and had spread east over the plains and then crept north into what is now the present-day State of Chihuahua. O n the coast these missions were directly opposite the peninsula of Lower California, and the missionaries soon became interested. Perhaps a Jesuit had early set foot upon that soil, for there is a report



that Father Roque de Vega accompanied one of Ortega's expeditions. 2 While Father Pedro de Velasco was in Rome (1640) as procurator for the Jesuit Province of N e w Spain he petitioned, among other things, that Mexican Jesuits be allowed to open missions on the peninsula. T h e General, Mutius Vitelleschi, in a communication of April 6 approved the proposal and praised the fine spirit of the fathers, especially that of Velasco himself who had volunteered to go. Prudently he deferred decision until the matter could be more thoroughly discussed. Andres Perez de Ribas in his classic, Historia de los triumphos de nuestra santa fee, tells how in 1642 Father Jacinto Cortes at the instance of Captain Luis Centin de Canas crossed to California to examine and to make reports, and Ribas prints a letter of the viceroy to the Jesuit provincial concerning the advisability of missions there. 3 A t the end of this same work in a passage of propaganda to stir the enthusiasm of young Jesuits in Europe, the missionary-historian speaks of "the vast lands of California," a virgin field for the labors of the most ambitious Black Robe. 4 Then, in 1681, there arrived in Mexico the north Italian, the vigorous and energetic Eusebio Francisco Kino, who as Jesuit missionary, explorer, and province builder was destined to make history both in Lower California and along the mainland's western slope north into what is today the state of Arizona. Private hands had been too intent upon the pearl fisheries to permit of their carrying through a successful colonization. But for strategic purposes the government wanted to colonize and to hold Lower California. Every year returning from Manila by the northern route there came swinging down the coast the Spanish galleon laden with its precious wares from the East—silks and porcelains from China, savory spices from the Moluccas and the Philippines, beeswax and tafieta from Manila. Ports of call were necessary along the coast or near Cape San Lucas at the tip of the peninsula, for the ships would have to be overhauled and the men, many always sick with scurvy, would need rest, fresh water, and the juices of the maguey and prickly pear. Spain needed to have and to hold this crooked peninsula. T h e need became urgent when the foreign freebooter appeared in these waters. Sir Francis Drake had sailed up the outer coast in 1579. Eight years later Thomas Cavendish lay in wait for the Manila galleon, robbed it of the precious cargo, burned the ship, and set sail for England west across the Pacific, rounding the globe as Drake



before him. After the English came the Dutch to prowl about these waters. Since private expeditions, therefore, had so often fallen short of permanent colonization the government was forced to undertake the task and at its own expense. The new policy led to the Atondo expedition and the coming of Kino to Lower California. Don Isidro Atondo y Antillon had been both seaman and soldier. At the time that Father Kino arrived in Mexico Atondo was governor of Sinaloa. " H e knew a jib from a topsail and a mortar from a pedrero." It was agreed between himself and Viceroy Rivera, who was also archbishop of Mexico, that he should lead an expedition across the gulf at government expense, pacify and Christianize the Indians, explore the interior, build forts and missions, and otherwise institute a permanent settlement if suitable lands could be found for its support. The project was entered into with all seriousness and from two to five years were to be spent in its preparation: the building of ships, collection of supplies, designation of missionaries, enrollment of a force of men of suitable character, for the Indians were not this time to be alienated by rough treatment. A contract to this effect was signed by Atondo in 1678 and approved by the king in Spain the following year. The ships were built at Nio, a small village and old Jesuit mission on the Rio Sinaloa not far from the sea. Necessary timber had to be collected here and other multitudinous supplies sent from Mexico City on the backs of mules, up and down the precipitous barrancas which lie northwest of Guadalajara and then up along the lowland coastal corridor between the mountains and the sea. Other supplies were sent from distant Vera Cruz. Here seamen were recruited, too. Chacala, lower down the western coast, was to become a depot of additional supplies to be picked up by Atondo at the first sailing of his little fleet. It was agreed that Jesuits should join the expedition as missionaries. The arrangement was practical, for their missions were clustered along the coast which was nearest to the shores of the peninsula. 5 Eusebio Francisco Kino was designated together with Antonio Suarez and Mathias Goni. Suarez never arrived. Kino had long harbored ambitions for the Chinese missions, but was later designated for N e w Spain, and he became the first missionary and chief promoter of the permanent missions of Lower California. Arrived



in Vera Cruz in May, 1681, after a voyage of ninety-six days across the Atlantic, Kino was in Mexico City in early July. He was soon busy writing a book on the comet which had appeared the previous year. He left the capital for the west coast in mid-October and arrived in Nio in March, 1682. The following October the two newly built ships slipped down the river from Nio and turned south to Chacala to'pick up the supplies which had been assembled there. Finally, on January 17, 1683, at midnight, the expedition sailed. The ships headed north at first, touched at Mazatlan and the mouth of the Rio Sinaloa, and then put out across the gulf. Travel up the mainland coast was slow. Then, attempting to cross, they were held five days within sight of land at Sinaloa, and it was only on March 25 that from the sea they glimpsed the coasts of the peninsula. On April 1 Atondo reached the palm-fringed bay of L a Paz, anchored there and went ashore and chose a site for the settlement and mission. The palms were still there in the mid-twentieth century, shading a little town, modern L a Paz. The following day the boats were emptied of their occupants, and the expedition went ashore. On the fifth Atondo took solemn possession of the land in the name of King Charles II, while Fathers Kino and Goni took spiritual possession in the name of the bishop of Guadalajara. A little chapel and a fort were thrown together and explorations into the interior were begun. There were some contacts with the Indians, with the Coras, southeast, and with the Guaicuros, southwest. Toward the end of April one of the ships, the Capitana, was sent back to the mainland for supplies. The two fathers were trying to pick up the languages, Goni that of the Coras, Kino that of the Guaicuros. The Indians began to come about the camp and soon began, also, to become too familiar, to pilfer, and even to shoot a soldier with a dart, which did not, however, even draw blood. The mulatto drummer boy had disappeared, and the Spaniards thought he had been killed by the Indians. Atondo considered the natives should be taught a lesson. He did indeed teach them a lesson, that of his own rashness and cruelty to the undoing of this L a Paz settlement. Early in July sixteen Guaicuro warriors came to camp, making signs of peace. Atondo ordered them to be given pozole, or porridge of corn meal. While they were squatted on the ground thus feasting, a cannon ball was fired at them, killing three and wounding others.



T h e rash act spelled the end of the L a P a z venture. T h e soldiers were n o w panic-stricken with fear that a horde of Indians would rush in and slaughter them in revenge. Besides, the ship, the Capitana, had not returned and supplies had practically run out. It was decided to abandon the settlement. T h e Spaniards pulled up stakes and sailed away July 14. A s luck would have it, the third ship, the Balandra, which had been lost from the first departure from Chacala, entered the bay of L a P a z just as the Almiranta was sailing out with the eighty-three colonists. But neither caught sight of the other. T h e Balandras captain, Parra, viewed sadly the remains of the settlement which had been looted by the natives, sailed up and d o w n the coast looking for Atondo, and finally was forced by the mutiny of his m e n to return to the mainland. Sick and discouraged, he abandoned the ship, which was all but falling apart, and resigned his captaincy. Admiral A t o n d o was soon saved f r o m discouragement. Back in San Lucas on the mainland his fallen spirits were lifted by the arrival of Captain G u z m á n of the Capitana. T h e story of w h y his good ship had not returned with provisions—food, horses, sheep, and cattle—was now learned. Four attempts to recross the gulf had been made and each had been frustrated by storms. A t the fourth effort the little bark was so beaten and battered that to save it and the crew G u z m á n was obliged to dump overboard his livestock: one hundred and fifty head, including fourteen horses, which the charity of the mainland missions had furnished him. Heart-breaking sacrifice! But it was made just off the California coast much farther north from L a P a z where, G u z m á n said, there was a large river and numerous and friendly Indians. Thither A t o n d o would n o w sail and begin afresh. T h e expedition set out a second time to cross the gulf to California, September 29 of that same year of 1683, and after some adventure from storms the good ship Almiranta and the Capitana touched at the "Rio Grande," October 6, Feast of San Bruno, w h i c h gave a name to the new settlement. T h e report of Captain G u z m á n was n o w verified: the Indians were indeed friendly and respectful and were soon coming around in goodly numbers. A l t h o u g h the "Rio Grande" was dry, water could be had by digging holes in its sandy bed. A site for settlement was chosen on the mesa above the beach, and supplies were landed: fifteen horses and mules which Atondo had brought with him, corn, wheat,



and other food. Brush was cleared away, and the construction of a fort, a church, and dwellings was begun. Aiding in this labor were some Mayo Indians whom Father Goñi had obtained at the mainland mission of Conicari, and Mayo women were the cooks. Soon the two ships were sent back for further provisions and this time had better luck. The Capitana was gone but a month and carried back a precious cargo of maize and flour; beef, fish, and shrimp; and animals—goats and wethers. Also, to the joy of Kino, came a special present from the rector of the Yaqui missions—grapevines and quince and pomegranate saplings. With the food problem settled, Atondo and Kino could move about with some security and satisfaction and explore the land. T o the west of them the Sierra de La Giganta lifted against the sky a barrier of rocky ledges and craggy pinnacles. The Indians spoke of giants on the other side. The two leaders wanted to gaze upon the western spurs and slopes and perhaps explore therein. A party started northwest up the valley of the "Rio Grande" and then turned boldly west to try to scale the precipitous sierra. Scouts sent ahead returned to report that these rocky flanks could not be attempted by the animals and were difficult even for the men. The following day a divide was sought but not found. The men decided then to scramble to the summit "on all fours," leaving their mounts behind them. In spots munitions and provisions had to be hauled up by ropes, and even Atondo and some others had thus to be aided. If Atondo was as fat as he was pompous we can imagine some amusement at the sight of his dangling in mid-air at the end of a rope. The summit was finally gained and the prospect gave its reward; rough mesas stretched out before them on the other side. The party descended from the crest and explored a few leagues down along lower country, Indians scurrying away with fright at their approach. A whole day had passed, and Atondo was played out. It was decided that on the morrow he should rest with some of his men; Kino and others would go farther west, taking food for two days, the going and the return. Kino contacted some Indians, gave them little presents, and seemed to have gained their good will. Early on this day's march the men came upon a large village. They had gone thirty miles; next day they returned to where Atondo had camped in their absence. Back at San Bruno, Atondo and Kino wrote reports on their experiences. Kino's bore the date December 21, 1683, the day on which he completed a map of the



region he had just explored. Soon the good ship Capitana was bearing these documents across the gulf to the mainland. The energetic Black Robe did not seem able to rest a single day. For, on that same date, December 21, he was on the trail again, northwest, looking for a pass in the sierra through which the pack animals could be taken. He was successful. He forged out into the plains to the west, reached another large village, and was shown by the Indians a shorter return by another pass to the south. On Christmas Eve the party was back in San Bruno. Their arrival was celebrated by "feasting and music, lights, and dancing in the church." They had midnight Mass, too, with two Masses following. Those were happy hours for Kino, those of Christmas Eve and the hours during which the Masses were being offered. Apart from the spiritual significance (his first Christmas spent in California) he had achieved a notable success—had discovered two different passes through the crests of the Giantess leading to the west coast. A party going along the gulf shore on New Year's Day saw the carcasses of the animals which Guzman had dumped overboard rotting on the beach. The spring and summer of 1684 passed somewhat uneventfully, but not monotonously, at San Bruno. Bolton racily summarizes events from Kino's diary: The Admiral and Kino go to visit San Isidro. An earthquake shakes the church. . . . The Didius flee on the news that the Edues are coming. Atondo has a Mayo Indian woman flogged and Kino protests. Kino goes to the beach for shells with which to decorate a new retable for the altar. A soldier stones a native for a small offense and the Admiral gives him a caning. Indians steal a goat and are punished. . . . Mayo Indians steal a raft on which to flee to the mainland. Three thousand adobes have been finished for the buildings. An Indian steals a sheep and is caned by the Admiral. The runaway Mayo Indians return, for the gulf is pretty wide. 8

Kino gives the Indian boys a rubber ball to play with and they think it is alive. A mother brings to camp her new-born baby wrapped in a jack-rabbit skin. Four Indian boys bring to Kino four iguanas and a bird. Meanwhile the building proceeds: barracks and storehouses, church and fort. In midsummer supplies again began running low, and scurvy broke out among the soldiers. But on August 10 the Almiranta appeared on the horizon and shortly thereafter anchored just off shore. The



ship brought to the peninsula a third Jesuit, Father Juan Bautista Copart, twenty men, and the necessary supplies to carry on for yet a while. After twenty days occupied in unloading and repairing, the ship was again sent across for more supplies, this time carrying Kino, who wanted to visit his brethren on the mainland and stir up enthusiasm for California. Within a month he and the Almiranta were back. The ship made three other successful voyages so that the new settlements were amply stocked for the time being with animals and food. After the return of the Almiranta in December, a journey long projected by Atondo and Kino got under way. It was a trek to the west coast of the peninsula, the journey to the South Sea. The start was made on December 14. The expedition had to surmount almost incredible difficulties. The steep and narrow passes of the Sierra La Giganta had to be threaded by man and beast, Indian guide and plodding pack animal. Still another range had to be negotiated. Then the road led down the Rio Santo Tomás which, after a few miles, cut straight through a gigantic bastion of rock the walls of which rose sometimes a thousand feet above the bed of the stream. It was two days before Christmas when the expedition saw the opening of the gorge. Could it get through ? Scouts reported the passage impassable for horses. On Christmas Eve the party rested while Atondo made a difficult decision; it was to go on, so the perilous passage was begun on Christmas morning. Horses slipped and fell, packs loosened and rolled into the stream, and the men barely escaped drowning. Five miles of this agony and they emerged into open country. The way now lay level to the sea and within a few days Atondo and Kino and their bedraggled little band reached the shores of the Pacific Ocean. They were the first white men to cross the peninsula of California at any part and to gaze at the sea. It was a historic event which they no doubt realized and "each man felt like a Balboa." The date was December 30, 1684. They explored an estuary formed by the Rio Santo Tomás to the south and on the last day of the year Kino and Atondo journeyed up the coast for six leagues and returned to camp to see the old year out and the new year in. Appropriately they called the harbor Año Nuevo. Kino had seen some Indians. They were as timid and fearful as frightened deer, but the padre was able gradually to attract them and to give them presents: "hawks-bells,



scissors, knives, handkerchiefs, earrings, fillets, bracelets, and moccasins," as Kino narrated. The missionary saw more than Indians. He admired "shells of rare and beautiful luster, and of all colors of the rainbow," and especially some large, blue abalone shells. He never forgot these, and years later when he saw the natives of the mainland using the same kind of blue shells, he began to suspect that California (which he had called the largest island in the world) was not an island at all, for the Indians never crossed the gulf and these shells were not found on the mainland coast. The first day of the new year (1685) Atondo made a careful survey of the harbor and described it. Bolton, who saw the coast line from the same spot in 1932, avers that the description "is accurate and graphic." 7 The expedition's work was now completed and the party could return. The men reached San Bruno on the east coast January 13. They had accomplished much; they had made history; but their hopes of watered, fertile lands were dashed. They found that the country to the west over the peninsula's backbone was also desert. Atondo thought he might find better land by going southwest. Father Goni accompanied him this time. But the rocky cliffs of the Giantess thrust him back to the coast down which he explored for almost a hundred miles. There was a brush with the natives and one was killed. The Indians were fat and stalwart and lived in rude huts—a rare thing in California—of reed and brush. Atondo visited fourteen villages which comprised a population of two or three thousand people but he saw no fertile land, none worth cultivation. His disappointment in the rocky peninsula grew. Yet, years later, this same district became a fertile missionary field. About this time misfortune came to the colony. The Almiranta had left for Matanchel on December 14, the day of the start for the west coast. Weeks and months passed while the little colony stood marooned and facing hunger. No sail was sighted until the middle of March when the Balandra, having finally made it, appeared off San Bruno. Later Guzman came in with the Capitana. He found conditions bad. There had been but one light shower in eighteen months, which meant that there was little potable water and what with too much salted food scurvy broke out among the men. Some became paralyzed and were on the point of death. The native women and domestics were themselves prostrate. Atondo called a muster roll.



Only fifteen men appeared; thirty-nine were too ill to show up. Surgeon Castro said he had tried every known remedy without avail. The men clamored to return to the mainland. Atondo after a council made his decision: he would depart for the time being, have the sick men carried to Rio Yaqui, and he would hunt for pearls southward along the coast. So it was that California was abandoned for a time against the will and the strong protestations of Kino. On May 8 the Balandra lifted anchor bound for a pearl hunt, carrying Atondo and Goni; at nightfall the Capitana, carrying Kino, the sick, and what horses were thought fit for use, sailed toward the northeast and two days later reached Yaqui. The sick men were rushed to Torin where three of them died. The idea of a return to California was not given up at all. Neither Kino, nor Atondo, nor officials of New Spain from the viceroy down were willing to strike California from their agenda. When Kino, after his visit to the Seri Indians and after helping Atondo convoy a Manila galleon to Acapulco, finally got back to the capital he went to visit the viceroy. The Black Robe's inborn optimism was caught by the Marques de la Laguna who bade both padre and Commander Atondo give him a written report. Most of what Kino did now, it seems, was to write letters and reports, urging California. Atondo did much the same. The royal treasurer, Don Pedro de la Bastida, was strongly in favor of another attempt at the dry peninsula. So was the viceregal council. Kino wrote (February, 1686) in high optimism to the bishop of Guadalajara: "All these gentlemen and their Excellencies likewise have assured me that without any doubt, by the divine grace, the conquest and conversion will be continued." But these ardent hopes were destined to be dashed. The Jesuit provincial would not undertake to finance another expedition. The royal treasurer, Bastida, then recommended an annual appropriation from the government of 30,000 pesos for the support of four missionaries and twenty-five soldiers with eight Yaqui families as laborers. This was approved by the viceroy and awaited only the consent of the king. Here was the big i f , keystone of an arch of hope which was destined not then to be placed. Although that spring 80,000 pesos in silver had been hauled down from the mines at Zacatecas, it so happened that in Europe "the King of France had Spain's monarch over his knee and his hand was poised in the air." A French ship had gone to the



bottom of the bay of Cádiz and an indemnity was demanded. And even in New Spain trouble was stirring in Tarahumara. So, not even thirty of the eighty thousand could be spared for California. The money was shunted off to other places, among them the pockets of the French king. For the nonce the California game was up and Kino would have to wait for more propitious times. 8

Chapter III

SALVATIERRA AND PERMANENCE change now, but Kino continues, in the background, an important molder of events. The leader becomes Juan Maria Salvatierra. "Square-jawed, hawk-nosed, and clear-headed," Salvatierra was actuated spiritually by that enthusiasm for converting souls and spreading the Gospel which we commonly denominate as zeal. He was destined to carry on where Kino left off. Born in Milan in 1644 and half Spanish on his father's side, he became a Jesuit as a very young man, applied to become a missionary, and went out to Mexico in 1675. Here he studied his theology, was ordained, and completed the tertianship. He was then given a mission and a difficult one in the Chinipas country amidst the high summits and precipitous ravines of the Sierra Madre Occidental. Here years before (1632) the wild tribes had risen and slain two of their missionaries—Julio Pascual and Manuel Martinez. 1 The mission had been reopened by Prado and Pecoro in 1676, and two years later Salvatierra arrived. PERSONALITIES

After the missionary had labored among the Chinipas for almost a decade the new father provincial, Ambrosio Oddón, desirous of learning, through the direct evidence of a trusted representativethere had been conflicting reports—about Pimería Alta, where Kino was working, named Salvatierra. Down from the high mountains rode Salvatierra on a burro. He then turned northwest through flatter and sometimes desert country north to where Kino had been laboring ever since the interruption of the California venture. Kino had been in Pima land for three years, he had crossed the Altar River and founded his mission of Dolores, focal point of his multifarious activities. For days and days the two men rode together over rough trails, Kino pointing out the possibilities of further expansion of the mission field and demonstrating the need, because of still unconverted tribes—Sobas and Sobaipuris—of an increase of manpower in the missions. The two padres on horseback covered more than two hundred miles. It was during these long hours on the trail that Kino was able to do some most excellent propaganda work for his California and its Indians whom he had never forgotten. "In all these journeys," wrote 38



Kino, "the Father Visitor and I talked together of suspended California, saying that these very fertile lands and valleys of this Pimeria would be the support of the scantier and more sterile lands of California." 2 Kino in his enthusiasm would even have a boat built in his mission as an aid to the barren peninsula. In these talks with Salvatierra Kino succeeded in planting a seed. H e planted it in soil the most fertile of all, in the soul of Salvatierra whose gifts were transcendent. From this time forward Salvatierra never ceased working for his goal: the reéstablishment of the California missions. With a tenacity born of religious devotion he was not to be turned aside. H e was given other jobs, made rector of the college at Guadalajara, appointed master of novices at Tepotzotlán, but his persistence finally won the day, and seven years after his visit to Kino's missions the ambitious plans of both were realized. Kino knew the influence he had exercised upon Salvatierra, for he wrote: "Hearing of the ripeness of so great a harvest of souls, the holy ardor of Juan María de Salvatierra rose to such a height that from that time on he determined to use every possible means to facilitate an entrance into California and to effect the conversion [of those Indians]." 3 Salvatierra's old friend of novitiate days, who had traveled with him to Mexico, Father Juan Bautista Zappa, fanned the flame of his purpose by adding his own exhortations. In the meantime Zappa died and it was reported that his spirit appeared to Salvatierra saying that he was on his way to Heaven to urge the accomplishment of the great design. 4 The seven years were spent apparently in fruitless efforts. Salvatierra was turned down by three provincials, by the Audiencia of Guadalajara, by the viceroy, even by the king himself. A l l odds seemed against him. Over and over again, Salvatierra was told, ever since the time of Cortés more than a century and a half ago, California had proved itself a stubborn and rocky rib of land unable to support a settlement. T h e last attempt, that of K i n o and Atondo, had cost the crown more than two hundred thousand pesos and at the end had to be given up. Kino, who had formed a strong spiritual affection for the dusky, naked Californians, worked with Salvatierra on the project. In January, 1696, they both visited the capital together, the one from his far-away mission in the north, Pimeria Alta; the other from Tepotzotlán, the novitiate some twenty miles northwest of Mexico City. They were making a last attempt to obtain leave from



Viceroy Montáñez, former bishop of Michoacán, and from the Jesuit superiors, to make another start for California. Once again the answer was no.5 Then, during the course of that same year 1696, things began to change. A combination of circumstances set blowing a more favorable wind. Thirso Gonzales was general of the Jesuits in Rome. He had been a missionary himself; he lent a more willing ear to the pleas of Salvatierra. The latter could go ahead if the local authorities deemed the plan feasible. There was one local authority who did—Don José de Miranda Villaizán, fiscal or legal advisor of the Audiencia of Guadalajara. This man became the staunch backer of Salvatierra, and his stand influenced and changed the whole group, the audiencia, which under the viceroy possessed judicial and administrative authority over the vast reaches of northwestern Mexico. This body had formerly, with everyone else, opposed a fresh attempt to colonize California. But under the influence of Miranda it made an about face and wrote to the viceroy recommending what before it had opposed. In addition to the now swelling tide of approval came that of the provincial of N e w Spain, Juan de Palacios. On a visit to Tepotzotlán, site of the Jesuit novitiate, Palacios fell ill of a fever. Salvatierra used spiritual blackmail. He averred that not a prayer would he oiler toward the provincial's recovery unless approval for the California mission be given. The provincial consented to the arrangement, and Salvatierra organized a procession of his novices to the bedchamber of the sick provincial. The novices chanted the litany of Our Lady of Loreto on the way and bore the image of the Virgin Mary. From that hour the provincial improved. Such, at least, is the story narrated by the Jesuit Miguel Venegas, early biographer of Salvatierra. In any event, the provincial who had formerly, like the audiencia, opposed the idea now began to favor it and he was able not without great difficulty to bring his consultors around to his way of thinking. With them it was the spiritual argument: how could they in conscience oppose the evangelization of so many Indians who had already begun to be converted to the Faith. With the viceroy, besides the spiritual, it was also the material argument: another mission on the peninsula would aid the pearl fisheries and lead eventually to the colonization of the whole region.® So it was that during the latter part of 1696 and during 1697 plans for still another expedition were being worked out. Kino was never



for a moment left out of the picture. H e was as anxious to return to the peninsula as Salvatierra was to go. Further, Juan de Ugarte, professor of philosophy in the Jesuit Colegio Máximo in Mexico City, was the third enthusiastic supporter of the enterprise. T h e great Ugarte, stalwart of body as of mind and heart, was to become one of the strong, sustaining pillars of the California missions. T h e three enthusiasts now began a round of begging in order to finance the enterprise, for it was made plain by the viceroy that no funds would be forthcoming from the royal exchequer. T h e moneys collected and the estates eventually made over by benefactors for the support of the missions came to be known as the Pious Fund with a history of more than two centuries. Ugarte and Salvatierra started out together in Mexico City to collect the funds. They went from house to house "ringing doorbells." T h e first home they entered was the residence of a cathedral prebend. H e tossed Ugarte a peso for California; others said the undertaking was impossible and gave nothing. When both padres got back home Salvatierra made a joke of Ugarte's peso, saying that he had taken in a great haul of mortification which would be a help to the new adventure. Thus with a lean and hungry peso did California's Pious Fund begin. During that month of January (1697) Salvatierra continued to walk the streets and visit the houses of the rich with better success. T h e wealthy Conde de Miravalla gave a thousand pesos. T h e Marqués de Buenavista gave the same. Six other benefactors obligated themselves to give three hundred a year for five years. Soon he had fifteen thousand pesos, five in hand and ten in promises. But more solid funds were needed on the income of which the missions would have assurance of a permanent support. There came forth one who might be considered the founder of the Pious Fund, D o n Juan Caballero y Ocio, a priest of Querétaro and commissary of the Inquisition. This gentleman gave twenty thousand pesos for the permanent support of two missions. H e gave other gifts besides. A brotherhood or sodality of the Jesuit church of San Pedro y San Pablo in Mexico City gave eight thousand for the support of three missionaries. T h e priest Pedro Gil de la Sierpe, Royal Treasurer of Acapulco, offered a launch, a galliot, and two lighter craft for the transport of men and provisions. H e donated also personal jewels. This fine gentleman's total contribution to the missions was valued



at twenty-five thousand pesos. In this way the fund began prosperously and it was destined to grow from then on. The missionaries would cross the gulf, and Juan de Ugarte would remain behind as treasurer and attend to the fund's augmentation.7 The fathers could now again approach Viceroy Valladares, successor to Bishop Montáñez, whose predecessors had been adamant against the expedition. The Black Robes had gained a powerful intercessor in the viceroy's wife, Doña María Andrea de Guzmán, and the collected moneys spoke with eloquence. Valladares was willing to give his consent. Kino and Salvatierra were empowered to reopen the California mission. The conditions laid down by the viceroy were that the Jesuits themselves would have to continue to finance the enterprise. Moreover, they were to take full charge even of temporal affairs and possess authority even over the soldiers which the government would permit them to have, but whose salaries the fathers would have to pay. The Jesuit head of the mission would be the head of the state. Viceroy José Sarmiento Valladares, Conde de Moctezuma y Tula, made very clear the reasons for such arrangements. In the official document dated February 5, 1697, permitting another expedition to California, the viceroy speaks of the depleted condition of the royal treasury. In the former attempt, says the viceroy, "the royal treasury spent 125,400 pesos for the colonization and conversion of the kingdom of California without being able to accomplish it" and he mentions the expense incurred in the defense of the "kingdom of Nueva Vizcáya" because of the recent uprising of the Tarahumar Indians (1690). "The fathers may take with them such men at arms and soldiers as they will be able to pay for" and these men will have placed over them a captain of good Christian character whom the fathers may select. They can, moreover, "unfurl banners and make additional levies of troops according to necessity and with the understanding that all of the country conquered will be in the name of His Majesty." The fathers were furthermore empowered to choose civil magistrates who, like the military captain, would be under their authority. The missionaries could dismiss these officials at will and reappoint others. It was an extraordinary arrangement. The viceroy, of course, must be informed of all. Kino and Salvatierra were overjoyed at this turn



of events, for "no conqueror ever craved more persistently leave to invade and plunder a rich province." 8 Salvatierra lost no time. The day after the viceroy's concession he was off to the west coast to begin immediate preparations for the entrada. He first visited Father Juan Bautista Copart, who was staying at a rancho near Mexico City. From Copart, who had been with Kino on the first expedition, he could glean much firsthand information concerning conditions on the peninsula and incidentally procure a copy of the grammar Copart had composed of the California Indian tongue. From there Salvatierra went to the novitiate of Tepotzotlán and gave over his authority as rector of the house to his successor, Sebastián de Estrado. Grateful to benefactors, he made his way to Querétaro to thank the priest there, Juan Caballero y Ocio, who had donated twenty thousand pesos. Then to Guadalajara to thank Don José de Miranda Villaizán, who had persuaded the Audiencia of Guadalajara to support the expedition. He then rode off to Sinaloa to await the Coming of Kino who was to accompany him across the gulf. Salvatierra arrived at the west coast during Holy Week of the year 1697. However, since neither Kino nor the promised boats from Acapulco had put in an appearance, Salvatierra (who could not remain idle) made a visit to his old neophytes in the Chinipas country. The journey and the sojourn consumed many weeks. He was joyful at seeing his spiritual children again. He said they wept with emotion at sight of him and these tears were to him "an imitation of Heaven." It was a happiness to him, he writes, to have been with his confreres, Prado and Benavides, during the great feast day of the founder of his order, St. Ignatius (July 3 1 ) . As luck would have it, a disturbance broke out in the mountains just as he was on his way to the coast. He turned back to be of assistance to the two missionaries there. His own former neophytes had remained loyal and had even attacked the rebels. After escape from murder and massacre at the hands of those on the warpath, Salvatierra was able to start again for the coast, where he arrived August 16. Here the missionary received a pleasant surprise. T w o days before, the galliot, the Santa Elvira, and a launch, later called El Rosario, had arrived from Acapulco and were now riding at anchor in the bay of the Rio Yaqui. 9 Salvatierra's job was now to collect fresh provisions (the others



had spoiled in the long journey up the coast) and to assemble a sufficient number of soldiers and sailors to provide reliable escort for the padres. In the meantime Kino doubtless would arrive from Pimería Alta. Indeed, Kino had already started on his way south to join his confrère when the order was countermanded. In the unsettled state of Indian affairs in the north and in the mountains, Kino's presence was considered to be worth a thousand soldiers. Consequently, too many influential people were for keeping him in Pimería. Father Horacio Polici wrote to Rome begging for Kino's retention on the mainland; Gironza, governor of Nueva Vizcaya, at Parral, together with other civilians, sent word post haste to the capital urging the necessity of Kino's retention. "More than one hard-ridden horse contributed his breath and his muscle in order that the messages might not arrive too late." The pleas sent to Mexico succeeded. Orders came that Kino be retained and when he received them he obediently turned back. Meantime Salvatierra had been patiently awaiting Kino's arrival, for all was now ready for the departure. Instead of Kino came a message saying the padre had been ordered to remain in Pimería. "We were only waiting by the hour," Salvatierra later wrote, "for Father Francisco Kino when we received a letter saying that because of the danger which Sonora would run if he were absent they would not let him go." 1 0 Thus was this point in the plan broken up. Kino thought of a compromise and he wrote of it to the general in Rome: let him spend six months in Pimería and six months in California. Leave was granted, but the idea never materialized. There had been a most successful missionary among the Tarahumares—he who built the comely mission church at Cárichic which still graces the little town, spread on a gentle slope running down to a stream, branch of the headwaters of the Conchos. The Jesuit's name was Francisco María Picolo. He had already asked to be sent to California and so it was he who received orders to cross the gulf with Salvatierra instead of Kino. But Cárichic was far away, the trek through the mountains would take long, Salvatierra felt he could not wait. Nor did he. A lone Black Robe, he set sail with a very small group of men, sixteen in all! These were Tortolero, commander of the five soldiers, and Romero, captain of the galliot, with his six sailors. With them went three Christian Indians from the mainland missions. One was but a boy, an Indizuelo. These three



Salvatierra calls the first conquerors of California. One of the men was the Portuguese, Estevan Rodriguez, great help to the padre and permanent prop to the missions. Captain Romero was a treasure too, for he had been on the Kino-Atondo expedition and knew the coast. Such was the small beginning which formed the first link of the California chain of missions which within seventy-two years would extend far up to San Francisco in Alta California. Besides the provisions which Salvatierra had collected there was live stock, donated by the missions of the west coast. This time there were thirty head of cattle, ten sheep, four pigs, and a horse. T h e animals went in the launch. Salvatierra carried with him what he considered his most precious treasure, a statue of Our Lady of Loreto. T h e padre considered her the protectress of the whole enterprise. T h e first mission would be named in her honor, her shrine would be the chief adornment of the mission church, and a brace of bells would be hung and struck for divine service of the Virgin Mary. Salvatierra had an eye to the Indian languages too, for with him was a copy of Father Copart's notes on the Edú tongue. H e embarked in the galliot but there were (as always) many delays, and he had to wait several days before putting off. H e finally set sail October 10, Feast of St. Francis Borgia. 1 1 It was the afternoon when they spread their sail, but they anchored just outside the Yaqui harbor and there spent the night. N e x t day they would cross the gulf. But next day nearly brought disaster, for the galliot was driven onto a sand bank and grounded. Efforts of the men and a rising tide finally got it off. T h e morning of October 12 the party awoke to see the tall ranges of the Sierra de la Giganta on the horizon. H a d winds not been contrary they could have made shore that night. As it was they did not land until the fifteenth in the bay called Concepción about twenty-five leagues north of San Bruno. It was in the morning, so the padre said Mass and the men looked about. Since they were so far north of San Bruno, their destination, they embarked immediately, again sailing south. That night a brisk wind carried them along, and the morning found them close to Kino's San Bruno which was somewhat inland. A f e w sailors were the first to go ashore. A group of Indians peered over the brow of a low embankment. T h e padre waved his hat and they made signs with their hands. Salvatierra now went ashore



with Captain Tortolero and other sailors. "I made [the Indians] all kneel," says he, "and kiss the crucifix and the holy reliquary of the Blessed Virgin Mary." The natives wanted the Spaniards to visit their pueblo. It was three in the afternoon and they thought they had time to go and return before dark. But the way was farther than they had surmised and turned out to be very rough in one place, where the path led through a narrow, rocky defile. At one point the men had to crawl on their hands and knees for about half a league. The Spaniards decided that they should go no farther and made signs to the Indians that they intended to return to the ship. But the natives seemed so disappointed that the Spaniards changed their minds and decided to spend the night on land and to go over to the site of the old mission camp of San Bruno. They arrived there at sunset. Here they found Kino's old mission site in utter ruin and desolation. A straggling heap of fallen stones choked with thorns and thisdes lay upon the mesa. The forbidding cactus had sprouted as if with evil intent. One cortina, or curtain, still hung loosely and awry facing the west. It was all that was left of Kino's brave endeavors to found a mission system.12 It was all that was left of it in the mid-twentieth century when the spot was visited by historians, admirers of the Black Robe. Salvatierra did not like the place. He wrote to the bishop of Guadalajara: "I inspected the location. But because its water is bad it seems to me uninhabitable, and because it is a league distant from the sea it seems dangerous to be thus with so few men." 18 This aversion was important: it led to the founding of Loreto, the first mission center, mother of all the California establishments. At San Bruno the men spent a miserable night. They went to a hard bed hungry and thirsty, for they were given only brackish water with no food. Some of the natives too slept near the camp that night. Now Captain Romero knew of the sweet waters of San Dionisio just a little south down the coast. Should they go there? Lots were cast and San Dionisio won. They sailed south, spent the night in Coronado Island, the next day went ashore at the bay of San Dionisio. Indians came down to them; they knelt to kiss the cross and the image of the Virgin of Loreto. They had not forgotten Kino and his teachings. Romero's memory had been correct. In a depression just off the curving beach which formed the bay of San



Dionisio there was a lagoon with water for the animals, and a bit farther inland were good water holes for the men. Salvatierra liked the spot. He described it to the bishop: Here grew the green mesquite and other trees. There was good pasture for the animals, stretches of reed grass, and water fit for animals and men. 14 On the south side of this well-watered depression rose a level plateau. Here, thought the padre, was the place to organize a camp. So, on October 19, the ground on the mesa was cleared and the animals were removed from the ship, while the curious Indians gathered around. The natives had never seen pigs or goats. They crowded about with immense curiosity. "Some women came up close to get a good look at the pigs." The grunting brutes approached them looking for food. The women ran, the pigs followed. Salvatierra thought it a good joke. The animals were corraled, and the men aided by Salvatierra carried the sacks and bales of provisions up to the mesa. A cacique was about called Pablo. He was friendly and helpful. At Salvatierra's suggestion, Romero hauled a pedrero, or small cannon, off the galliot, dragged it up the hill to the plateau, and planted it within the enclosure formed by the sacks of provisions whence, revolving, it could dominate the camp, the canyon below, and the beach. This precaution was taken because the Indians, having received food, began to demand more. T o Salvatierra's great surprise, it rained heavily the night of October 23. "It wet everything we had, we who thought it never rained in California." The following day a cross was solemnly erected, and the statue of Our Lady of Loreto was carried in procession from the beach to the camp to the accompaniment of a salvo of guns and the recital of litanies, while the padre had the Indians repeat after him in their language the Ave Maria. The statue was placed on a decorated pedestal to the boom of more salvos from the guns, and next morning, Saturday, October 25, Salvatierra said Mass at its base. That day the padre was already at work, Copart's manual in front of him, trying to instruct the Indians. Thus began the second attempt to found a mission system in California. This time it would prove to be permanent. But there was uneasiness concerning the launch which had not yet put in an appearance. In it were meat and the finest corn. T h e galliot, therefore, departed in search of it, and Salvatierra with very few men was left alone. They had a job of it that night to get the natives to depart. Indian-like, they had lolled about camp all



day eating what food was given them but helping in nothing. An alarm was shouted that natives were driving off the pigs and goats. Several Spaniards sped down the hill to the glen, and at sight of them the thieves ran off. A cacique, Chief Ibo ( S u n ) , his privates eaten with cancer, came into camp. H e said he was called Dionisius by the Spaniards of Kino's party and asked after Kino, Copart, and Goñi, the padres of the former expedition. H e could say "Señor" and other Spanish words, recite the Ave Maria, and bits of other prayers. H e and his followers were allowed to spend the night in camp. H e secretly warned Salvatierra of a meditated attack from a group of natives. A special watch was set up and, when a rumpus was heard down at the beach, the cannon was fired to scare the Indians. Something extraordinary was going on that night. Dawn dissolved the uncertainty, for the long-awaited launch was descried anchored just off Carmen Island. Shortly it sailed north to Coronado Island, then it passed on and on and disappeared. An Indian ran up to the plateau and handed Salvatierra a letter. H e was glad, thinking it contained news from the launch. But it was from Captain Romero of the galliot. H e had gone to the coast of Yaqui looking for the launch and then had been driven by adverse winds back to the coast of California. 15 How or when or from where this letter was delivered Salvatierra does not say. But the party was now stranded with both launch and galliot loitering about the coast and evidently unable to land. This day and the following the Indians loitered about expecting pozole, which was given to them. Salvatierra tried to explain some doctrine without effect. Then he tried to get them to work. In vain! Finally they were ordered from the camp, at first with kindness, then with threat of arms. They retired in four small groups and pitched their camp below the embankment of the plateau. T h e next day was about the same, pozole was doled out and the Indians lounged and loitered (an attempt to catechize being made) and were dismissed after night prayer. Affairs continued thus for many days. Still no launch and no galliot. Meantime Chief Dionisius was being instructed for baptism. His cancer (so Salvatierra called it) was spreading over his body and he was very sick. H e was baptized November n . A strict guard was kept at all times, the soldiers were under tension, for an assault was daily expected. T h e day after



his baptism the chief warned of the approaching assault. Next day it came. Indians in greater numbers than usual were about the camp for pozole and they praised the porridge beyond their wont. Not admitted into the palisade or entrenchment they tried to rush the guard but were dispersed. They now withdrew and from a distance poured a shower of arrows into the camp and tried to disperse the livestock, shooting arrows into them, too. With difficulty the animals were driven into the enclosure. The hostile Indians then began to attack from various angles. As the enemy pressed forward, it was decided to touch fire to the cannon. Alas, it burst, flinging its gunner to the ground and killing not a single Indian. But there was another smaller gun which was brought into use, and the soldiers (the five or six that were there) began to use their firearms. The result was that three Indians fell and others were wounded, the rest retreated. Soon after, weeping women came with their children, saying the guns had killed their men. They offered to leave their children with the Spaniards, but only one actually did so. 16 Shortly before the fracas the lone horse had been driven off and killed. T w o Spanish soldiers with some friendly natives pursued this group of Indians and found them already flaying the beast for a meal. The thieves fled. Returned to camp, the men distributed the meat to the friendly Indians who accepted it as a rare delicacy. Things now quieted down. The dying Dionisius was given the last rites of the Church, one of his sons, aged four, was baptized, and the other, aged eight, began to be instructed. Others now asked for baptism. T w o dying infants and a mortally wounded Indian received the rite shortly after. 17 While all this was going on two happy events occurred: the two boats came in, one shortly after the other. The launch with all its provisions cast anchor safely off the shore, and a few days later, November 23, the galliot appeared and made a safe anchor. The galliot carried Francisco Maria Picolo, who had journeyed all the way from Tarahumara to take part in the establishment of the California mission. There was much rejoicing in camp, of course, and the tense atmosphere of the earlier part of the month was completely dissipated. These beginnings in October and November of 1697 had been exceedingly modest but not unauspicious. A hostile attack had been successfully repulsed, several baptisms had been



made or were contemplated, plenty of provisions were now at hand, and, best of all, Picolo had arrived to be companion to Salvatierra in his holy work. In the midst of all these events the spirit of Salvatierra shines out like a burning star. We see something of the padre's soul in a letter he wrote to Viceroy Valladares on October 28 of that year. His faith in God and in the protection of the Virgin Mary are expressed in terms of the most ardent Latin piety. His infant mission center he refers to as "the holy, royal, and celestial house of Loreto" (referring to the Holy House of Loretto in Italy), and California is called the "Marian Kingdom," whose conversion, owing to the protection of heavenly patrons, is now at last taking place. "Long live Mary," he exclaims, "and let all souls unite for the good of this Kingdom, especially all the sons and daughters of our holy mother, the Church." He and Father Francisco Maria (Picolo) are grateful for the viceroy's kindness, to those who have aided financially, for the sending over of the carpenter. There is no word about the quality of his neophytes except that "these Californians amaze me and do not allow me to write" and from this statement we can read much between the lines. Referring to the deaths of three baptized infants he says: "Heaven has already received three little California angels," one was buried with Christian solemnity, but the two other bodies the Indians burned according to California custom. The viceroy will have his own little Christian son dedicated to him like another Benjamin, at which the modern reader supposes one of the baby boys was baptized with the name of the viceroy. The padre's enthusiasm was of the highest and most cheerful quality. "In this Marian conquest I have laughed a great deal" in the thought of the protection being given by the Virgin Mother of God and because of the overcoming of all dangers and difficulties. Salvatierra closes this letter to the viceroy with additional expressions of gratitude on his part and on the part of Picolo, and he concludes "I finish wishing you from our Protectress every prosperity." 18 With such a spirit it would seem that the enterprise could not but succeed and succeed it did in spite of more trials and tribulations than the saindy missionary at first looked forward to. For Salvatierra was not practical in the Yankee or mid-twentieth century sense of the word, and the lack of this quality cost the missions later, as we shall see, thousands of pesos. He and the other Spaniards with him



seem never to have studied weather conditions and seasons on the gulf waters and they repeatedly sailed at the wrong time of the year to the harm of the missions and the near heartbreak of the missionaries. Salvatierra's appointment of Father Peralta in 1711 to oversee the refitting of one of the California transports and the building of a new one was a costly blunder both in money and in human lives. The padre's handwriting was so bad that whole passages could not be read, and from a remark in one of his letters he was aware of this. The explosive quality of his spiritual ardor and perhaps the physical and psychological conditions under which he wrote seem to have disorganized his ideas (if indeed he possessed an orderly mind) for many of his letters are incoherent and disconnected. But so far as the great enterprise was concerned these were secondary matters. It was owing to his fiery spiritual enthusiasm, his cheerful energy, and his unflagging perseverance that the project of the California missions was steered safely through the most heart-breaking difficulties. In the course of the years a lesser man would surely have given up. For the present his confidence is supreme. "And so our King now securely holds this land as his own." Thus he wrote to the viceroy on November 27 when the mission was six weeks old. 19

Chapter IV

ASSURED CONTINUITY T H E AKKIVAL in California of Francisco María Picolo was invaluable for the success of Salvatierra's project. The Sicilian Picolo had gone through many experiences and was now come to California at fortythree years of age to inaugurate a famous career. Born in Palermo he had taught school as a Jesuit on the island of Malta. He was not quite thirty when he was assigned to the missions of New Spain. His coming was interesting and venturesome. He went to Rome first and took in its sights; sailed from Naples to Cádiz and there had the good fortune to be assigned to the ship which carried the president of the Audiencia of Guatemala. On the Spanish main the party had a narrow escape from the hands of the pirate Lorenzillo who had just sacked the hapless Santa Marta on the northern coast of South America. There was a forced landing on the shores of Central America and a trek to Guatemala City with the president's party, then on to Mexico and his mission field among the Tarahumar Indians. Jesús Cárichic in modern Chihuahua was to be his post and he had arrived here by the end of 1688. Picolo suffered discouragement at first and prolonged desolation of spirit, for he could not understand his Indians nor they him. But visiting for a brief space a neighboring and matured missionary, Arteaga at Nonoava, the young man was consoled and went back to Cárichic to labor there for almost a decade. Arteaga had told the youthful missionary that he himself had undergone the same desolation of soul. As the next decade wore on talk of the new mission field of California was in the air, and Picolo's spirit stirred within him desirous to work in harder and more venturesome fields, for Cárichic was by this time a well-established mission.1 So Picolo wrote to the Jesuit General, Thirso Gonzales, who acceded to his request in a letter which was shown to Salvatierra and to the Jesuit provincial. When in the fall of 1697 our Sicilian heard that Salvatierra had already crossed over to California he waited no longer, turned over his mission, and departed for the gulf coast.2 He arrived in California, to the joy of all, on the second of the two ships, as we have seen. Salvatierra was delighted of course. In a letter to the aforemen-




tioned benefactor of the California missions, whom Salvatierra addresses as "my father, brother, friend, comisionero, and Captain, Señor Don Juan Caballero y Ocio," he explodes in dithyrambic phrases over the blessings of God to him and to the mission and on the now brightened prospects for the future. The arrival of Picolo with the two ships had touched to flame his native enthusiasm. Salvatierra was looking to the immediate future with its necessities. Since the galliot was only borrowed, another ship was necessary, and he works out the details of its construction in the missive to Caballero y Ocio. Two Jesuit brothers, shipbuilders, should be assigned for this special work by the Jesuit provincial. Sailors must be procured. He says he had written to Don Alonso Altamirano, friend of California, that he should bear the expense of the building of this ship and of its upkeep for several years.3 It was evident that Salvatierra had powerful friends and he knew how to draw upon their support for so laudable a purpose as the California missions. In his letters his enthusiasm is unalterable. He seems to feel it in his bones that this project is now going to be permanent. The galliot was soon made ready for another departure. This time its destination was Acapulco whence it had gone north the preceding month. This craft was carrying to Mexico four of Salvatierra's letters: the two above mentioned and two for the viceroy and his wife, respectively. There were other missives, too. The padre was becoming a great beggar for the California missions, and he desired that these initial successes be narrated to the Jesuit General, Thirso Gonzales, to King Charles II, to the Council of the Indies, and to all important people. After the departure of the galliot Salvatierra completed the enlargement and organization of the camp, which was to become the head mission of Lower California and known as Nuestra Señora de Loreto. Since, according to the terms stipulated with the viceroy, Salvatierra was the head of both "army and navy," he formally appointed Don Luis de Torres de Tortolero captain of the soldiers and boss of the other men. All hands now got to work. The mission (which was also a camp and fort) was set up upon a more definite basis. The enclosure was enlarged and strengthened with a double row of palisades bound together with cane, making it a solid piece. Outside, a ditch was dug and earthworks thrown up to the height of a man's neck. It was well that the Spaniards took such precau-



tions, because before the year was out two assaults by hostile Indians were made upon the mission camp. A chapel of stone was built to be the shrine of Our Lady of Loreto, and three cabins—one for the missionaries and the other two for the captain and the treasurer, respectively. Barracks were erected for the soldiers. On Christmas Day of 1697 the chapel was dedicated with all the formalities, religious and civil, and with the more material manifestations of seventeenthcentury Spanish custom: banners and decorations, a procession, a solemn Mass, and a salvo of guns. Christmas was celebrated with special pomp and ceremony to impress the natives spiritually, and an additional portion of cheer in the shape of maize was handed out to these hungry folk. Salvatierra assembled the people and read them the orders and commands of the viceroy. He further promulgated regulations of his own, for soldiers and Indians alike, for the better ordering and protection of the presidio and mission. There was a fixed order of the day to be followed, and on Sundays there was to be Mass and a sermon for all. Thus was organized this tiny group of white men dangling off the edge of Christendom. In all they were the two padres, two Christian Indians from the mainland, two Indian boys, seven soldiers, and five sailors. The launch made two successful trips to the mainland and returned each time with provisions sent by the fathers of those missions. Five soldiers were likewise added to the tiny presidio. As the days slipped by, a larger number of Indians came to the mission camp for Christian instruction. They were well impressed by a notable fact: none of the white men engaged in pearl hunting. This had been forbidden by Salvatierra from the start. Formerly the greed fomented by this activity with the consequent enforced labor and mistreatment of the Indians had contributed to the failure of many an earlier attempt to colonize the land. So, many natives began coming daily to the mission for instruction, and thus the days and weeks passed by. Picolo instructed the women and children within the little chapel just set up; Salvatierra instructed the men outside the palisade. After every such exercise corn would be distributed to each Indian who came. One day a burly fellotf with but one eye, after receiving his share of maize from the padre, stuck his hand into the sack to get another handful. The soldier present and on guard saw this and gave the thief a stiff jolt in the ribs with the butt of his gun. Salvatierra ex-



plains that this rough discipline had to be administered from time to time in order to keep the natives in their place. 4 T h e absence of pearl fishing spoke of permanency to the Indian leaders, or medicine men, the oft-complained-of hechicero, plague of missionaries and general fomenters of destructive methods. With the increased numbers going to the mission for instruction these men saw their influence waning. Perhaps, too, they missed the fees which former pearl hunters had given them for inducing their people to dive for the treasure. These leaders, therefore, now stirred up trouble, gained a following, and provoked another battle. It took place in April, 1698, and happened this way. Some of the disaffected went down to the beach and destroyed a little canoe which the galliot had left for the service of the Spaniards. T w o soldiers were not enough to prevent them from doing this. Captain Tortolero and his f e w men rushed down at the alarm, but the boats were already destroyed and the Indians had fled. T h e captain decided to punish them. The Spaniards divided into two small companies, four and six, respectively, to seek out and capture the malefactors. T h e four were set upon by fifty Indians in ambush and all but taken prisoners. One of the Christian Yaquis rushed to give word to the captain who came up with his five men. Their guns decided the issue. Some of the natives fell, others were wounded; at nightfall they went away leaving the field to the Spaniards. T h e affair had a good effect. Death to the Indian was always serious and impressive. H e now feared the Spaniard and his arquebus. Within the next few days the natives came repentant into camp and a general pardon was granted by the captain at the order of the two padres.® In the meantime the launch had made another trip across the gulf and came back with provisions. During these early months Picolo and Salvatierra were cautious about baptisms. T h e pair continued perfecting their knowledge of the Monqui tribe about Loreto, Father Copart's manual being their textbook, and they daily instructed the natives who hung about camp, especially the children. But they baptized only the dying, for they were mistrustful of the fickleness of the natives. T h e Indians were impressed with the services of Holy Week, and Salvatierra in his long letter of July, 1698, to Ugarte tells with gusto some pious pranks of a child with rosaries and relics borrowed from the soldiers. Salvatierra, informative missionary, says it was considered by the



California male a great dishonor to wear clothes, but he hopes this view will change in time. One day a sick and pale Indian of about fifty years of age came into camp. He suffered from a distressing cough. Begging baptism, he was conceded the rite. In a few days he was dead. They gave him a big funeral, the first solemn one in California, with a Mass and the other ceremonies. The Indians were duly impressed. But in June, 1698, they all made off. It was the season of the ripening of the cactus fruit. It meant going back to their idolatries and dances, wearing big ahuaras in their ears and noses from which hung ornaments of plaited reed grass. This abandonment of the mission was saddening, because it resulted in a setback of the Christian spirit, especially among the children. That early summer of 1698 had been hard on the settlement at Loreto. It was the anxiety over food for lack of transportation. The launch had not returned with the necessary provisions, and the galliot Santa Elvira was being careened which would take months. The colony was down to its last sacks of bad wheat and worm-eaten corn. "I am the oldest of this camp of Our Lady of Loreto," wrote Salvatierra in July, "and I shall pay nature's tribute first, falling as the least resistant into the tomb." Even the high-spirited padre seems to have suffered discouragement and desolation of spirit. Now took place an incident which was repeated in Alta California seventy-one years later at the beginning of the history of those famous missions. Salvatierra organized a novena of prayers for the return of the launch. "They were about to finish the novena and with it the provisions when a bark appeared!" It was not the launch, but a surprise ship, the San José, rented or loaned to Caballero y Ocio for this trip. It had put off from the port of Chacala carrying the provisions so desperately needed: two hundred fanegas of corn and a supply of wheat sent by the royal fiscal, José de Miranda, and other benefactors of Guadalajara. Moreover, with the food came men. Seven were landed, volunteer soldiers for service on these desolate shores. The mission could now carry on for yet a little while. Salvatierra's almost unshakable optimism again comes out at the end of his letter to Ugarte: "I hope that shortly the families of the benefactors will come here to live . . . and that with the help of Mary, most holy, the pride of Hell and of the priests with their idols will be broken down. This it is which holds this great kingdom in error and deception." 6 He concludes by asking Ugarte



to communicate this news concerning California to all benefactors, and all the convents and monasteries in Mexico. About the craft, the San José, both Caballero y Ocio and Salvatierra were cheated. Salvatierra, not good in business matters, should have been more wary, and he disregarded a warning. Many of the precious provisions which the San José had carried to California just in the nick of time had been spoiled, for it had a leaky and rotted keel. Nevertheless, the padre thought to buy the boat and crossed the gulf to close the deal between Caballero y Ocio, who had sent it over, and its owner, a citizen of Compostela. Twelve thousand pesos was paid down for it. Only then was it discovered what a shaky and leaky craft the mission now had on its hands. Another six thousand was spent on repairs, but to no avail, for after a couple of years the vessel floundered and was disposed of finally for five hundred pesos. This bad deal was more than made up just a short while after. The treasurer of Acapulco, Sierpe, who had provided the two original craft, sent up from his port town two other ships loaded with provisions. These were a large bark named the San Firmin and a smaller boat or launch, the San Javier. California now had four boats, all given or loaned by Sierpe, for the new ships were in addition to the first two transports, the galliot Santa Elvira, and the small boat referred to simply as La Lancha. These with the leaky San José made a fleet of five transport ships for the California mission field. Great was the joy on the peninsula at the arrival of the two new ships. No sooner were they unloaded than they were both sent across to Yaqui and soon returned with precious cargo: eight cows, six mares, and some tame horses. With these came sacks of wheat and corn. All were the gift of Agustín de Encinas, pious layman whose son was to continue his father's generosity. With these beasts on hand a sense of security was felt and the horses meant that explorations inland could be made.7 Now that there were horses to ride, the fathers felt they could spread out a bit, explore the land, and begin the organization of new units of a mission system. They would forge the first link of a chain which within seventy-eight years was to extend as far north as San Francisco in Alta California. Salvatierra went north to Londó. He took the trail pardy trod by Kino and Atondo in 1685,



the time they slogged their way through San Bruno to the west coast of the peninsula. This was the first step in the founding of Mission San Juan Londó. The missionary sent word of his coming and departed with Captain Tortolero and a few soldiers. But when the group arrived at the sweet grass meadows and ranchería of Londó there was not an Indian in sight. Fear of the soldiers made them scurry away like scared rabbits. Salvatierra returned disappointed. A second jaunt to the place had better results for the natives did not run away this time. The padre gave them food and trinkets, and they permitted twenty infants to be baptized. This was the beginning of the first mission station, or visita; Salvatierra called it San Juan after Juan Caballero y Ocio.8 The third visit here was made in the fall of 1698. The occasion was a report which came to Loreto that the cacique Andrés, friend of Kino, had been bitten by a snake and was in danger of death. If this were true he should be baptized immediately. In the early morning of November 3,1698, Salvatierra hit the trail, accompanied by Captain Tortolero, six soldiers on horseback, and twelve Indians. The latter were the carriers, for there were no mules. Eight Indians carried a mule load and they were paid well in food. Each one had a blanket in which he bore a bit of maize and a container of fresh water. It was hard going through the brush and prickly cactus. Four leagues from camp they were encouraged by the discovery of springs of fresh water. At nightfall of the following day the party arrived at the destination, which Salvatierra calls "the glen of Londó of San Isidro," where grew some fresh reed grass. The men bivouacked for the night with thoughts of what the dawn would bring.9 But there was no Andrés and there were no Indians. They had all gone off either fishing or hunting for berries in the mountains. Such was the information brought by messengers who came in the following day. Andres had gone with them. The man was evidently not very ill, therefore Salvatierra and his party broke camp and returned south to Loreto. Before leaving, the Spaniards followed an old custom still preserved in many parts of Latin America: they carved a cross on a mesquite tree which the padre said would be a memory for many years. It was; for Salvatierra had set his mind upon this mission station where the previous spring he had baptized twenty infants.



The Indian village in Londo was soon to become the Christian mission of San Juan Londo. December in the second year of the mission was a big month in Loreto. There were three ecclesiastical festivals to celebrate with pomp and ceremony to impress the native. These were December 3, Feast of St. Francis Xavier; December 8, the Immaculate Conception; and December 25, birth of the Savior. Christmas, Salvatierra's second in California, was an especially joyous one. Naked Californians came from all around to see the sights: the ritual of the Church, the decorated chapel, and the silk-robed and bespangled statue of Our Lady of Loreto. Silks from Milan draped the Lady, to the wonder of the wide-eyed Indian, and a necklace of pearls hung over her breast and a silver crown adorned her brow. It was not only Spanish splendor which spoke to the native, however. His stomach desired the pozole which was doled out to all hands. More than a hundred natives had gathered about the mission fortress. For the instruction and amusement of the fathers and soldiers they put on a show exhibiting some of their native dances. Of these they had more than fifty, representing hunting, fishing, war, and travel. Salvatierra considered it fine entertainment and "it gave to all of us much amusement to watch it." 1 0 The Black Robe soon matured his plans for returning to the San Isidro of Father Kino and founding his mission of San Juan Londo. This he did in March, 1699. A party went by sea, the padre and the captain by land. Indians were here this time, and the Spaniards witnessed a weird Indian dance (Salvatierra described it in detail) accompanied by rhythmic beats upon the shoulders and upon the ground with a stone held in the hand. This dance was accompanied by shrill cries from the women. But best of all, Mission San Juan Londo was begun. A very rude chapel was hastily erected. Twenty-nine children were baptized and a cacique whom they named Isidro. Alas, Andres, Kino's friend, was no longer in the land of the living. He had been killed shortly before, not by a snake bite, but by an arrow from one of an enemy tribe, he and an old man who was with him. Salvatierra thinks his soul was saved through desire of baptism. On March 28 the party returned to Loreto. Londo had been founded. It was the second mission of California. However, it never had a missionary resident for more than a few months. It remained chiefly a visita.



A few days after the return from Londó the San Firmtn arrived from across the gulf carrying eight horses, ten cows, and a supply of maize and wheat, all a gift of the Jesuits of the Sinaloa missions and of a Basque army officer named Veráztegui. The good ship San Firmin was soon off again to return well provisioned. Not long after Salvatierra made another expedition to San Juan Londó, this time in the interests of peace. It is a commonplace in the history of the Indian tribes that they were periodically decimated by petty tribal enmity and warfare. Two of the tribes which lived in this part of the peninsula, the Monquis and the Cochimies, were at arrow's point in their relations. It was a Monqui who had slain Andres, a Cochimi. Therefore, now going again to San Juan Londó among the Cochimies, the missionary led with him a group of Monqui leaders in order to bring the two tribes together. The Cochimies did not like this at all; they were sullen and resentful that the Monquis should come into their country. The two groups were almost at the point of fighting. The father's mule was hit with an arrow; the Monquis made off with part of the provisions and wounded another animal in the process. There were apparently some hotheads who thought of killing all the Spaniards. But the presence of Salvatierra together with the gifts he presented to both sides succeeded in calming the hostile elements. The tribes agreed to drop mutual suspicion and to call a halt to mutual enmity. The gesture of the Black Robe proved a success and Christianity could now be spread with greater ease and security.11 While Salvatierra was interesting himself in the north, Picolo was making his first contacts with the natives to the south. This was the land of the Monqui-Laimon Indians. Laimon, Salvatierra explains, means "inland." Picolo went south late in 1698 to what was called the Puerto de Danzantes, for it lies opposite a tiny island, called Danzante to this day, though the port, made by a hook of land, no longer carries a name. Picolo had sent a message to the people: would they be happy to receive him ? Yes, was the reply. So, the Monday after Christmas (1698) he made his entrada with Captain Tortolero and eight soldiers. He found the district well populated and a large ranchería called Chuenqui; he found wood in abundance and good water, too. The people came around to listen to the instructions. Father Picolo was aided in his work with the natives by the faithful Andres. Although he was from the north and a Cochimi, he helped round up




the tribesmen and bring them to hear the father. Andres led Indians south even from his own country of Londo. Perhaps this action is the reason why a Monqui Indian later killed him, as related earlier. A few children were baptized and in a few days the padre returned to Loreto. Such were the humble beginnings of Picolo's work south of the mission camp. 12 Picolo was soon to begin a settlement which would become a permanent mission. Indians who were related to those near Loreto had often come in from the southwestern villages of a fertile valley called Biaundo, lying within the mountain area of Vigge. It was decided that Picolo should establish a mission there. The place was hardly accessible, for it lay over a range of the rocky Sierra de la Giganta, the harsh and forbidding backbone of the peninsula. What made matters worse for the entrada, the region had recently received a great deal of rain. All of the month of January, 1699, was overcast and rainy. On March 7 the rain poured hard and steadily for twenty-four hours, spilling water over the land and changing the usually dry arroyos into roaring streams. Salvatierra, who had an eye to nature, said that the desert burst into bloom, that the horses and livestock waxed fat on the springing herbage, and that any kind of seed could then have been planted and would have grown. But the rains offered an obstacle to Picolo's journey into the vale of Biaundo in the land of Vigge. The party left Loreto for the southwest on May 10: Picolo, Captain Tortolero, nine soldiers mounted on horses that were "fat and good," and a number of friendly Indians. Jogging along the party heard a roar in the distance which turned out to be a rushing stream, swollen by the recent rains, tumbling over its rocky bed. It was thought impossible to pass until a native pointed to a place where the stream could be forded. However, the horses could not or would not cross and were left in care of a few Indians while the others got soaked in the passage. Then, later that day, the precipitous sierra had to be negotiated. The Indians of Biaundo had not reported its almost impossible declivities. This day and the following were spent in scrambling and sliding over the mountain barrier. After the Spaniards had ascended painfully the steep trail into the bosom of the Sierra de la Giganta and passed through the precipitous gorge of Los Parros they could command to the east a superb view of the distant gulf waters beyond the sloping plains and could behold around about



them the lofty cliffs and the pointed pinnacles of the Giantess. Passing the divide they descended over some hills into a very good country, "with fine sweeping savannahs rich in pasture, with abundance of the fruit-bearing cacti, and fertile fields where an^ kind of plant or tree could be grown." Thus enthusiastically and with exaggeration does Salvatjerra describe the valley of Biaundo in V i g g e . 1 3 T h e yield for the missionaries promised to be abundant, too. The inhabitants of the valley of Biaundo came in friendly manner to speak with Picolo. Some had known the fathers from visits to Loreto; some brought babies who had been baptized there. Better than that, Picolo found out that the first adult baptized by Kino when he was at San Bruno had been among them and had introduced them to Christianity. He found they knew something already. When he explained to them the reasons for his visit they were glad. H e went the rounds of the valley to see for himself, visiting on foot all the fields and inspecting the level stretches on which crops could be raised. Irrigation was feasible, for in that season, at least, a running stream watered the valley floor. But there and then Picolo gathered in the beginnings of a spiritual harvest by baptizing thirty children. He had made up his mind: this was the place for his first mission. H e would call it San Francisco Javier, in honor of the great apostle of the East Indies, St. Francis Xavier. The Spaniards remained at this place four days, carried on friendly meetings with the natives, and upon leaving planted a cross. A new mission had been founded and it came to be referred to in the correspondence of the padres as San Javier Vigge and thus we shall henceforth designate the place. 14 Picolo returned at the end of May to Loreto determined to go back to Vigge and to give permanency to Mission San Javier. But it was seen that permanency was impossible without a mule and horse path over this flinty backbone of California. A trail had to be built and was begun immediately. Captain and padre, soldiers and Indians, left Loreto with "crowbars, picks, axes, and adzes. So great was the labor that each put in the work of two men." Soon their shoes were worn out. Leather sandals had to be sent from Loreto. Indians came from Vigge to help. Although it was June the weather fortunately remained cool. A native showed a way to cross a steep arroyo so that a bridge would not have to be built. In a few days the mule path was completed, so that on June 12,1699, "all rode on horseback into the beautiful vales of San Francisco de Biaundo en Vigge." This was the second



entrance of the Spaniards into this pleasant country, a refreshing patch in the universal sterility. The day after making camp a party of soldiers ascended a peak from the crest of which they descried the two seas, the Gulf of California and the Pacific Ocean. Their excitement was great. Picolo had begun his instructions in Christian doctrine, and a rude chapel was erected. Later, returning to the coast for supplies and to report to Salvatierra, the padre of San Javier heard good news. While the Indians were working on a new church in Loreto they raised the cry "pua, pua," "a sail, a sail"! T h e Santa Elvira came in, sent by the tried and trusted friend, Pedro Gil de la Sierpe, the royal treasurer at Acapulco. It was loaded with supplies of rice and corn and brought pay for the soldiers. Soon the San Firmin also appeared carrying additional supplies and six more soldiers. There were now twenty-seven soldiers and officers and three older men. 1 5 Picolo determined to return to Biaundo and take up permanent residence there and build Mission San Javier Vigge. At the beginning of October he bade goodbye to Salvatierra and with a few neophytes went southwest and over the sierra to live by himself among his children. Soon he had his little chapel. By the end of the year he had explored the country, had a few huts built around the rude church, and had instructed and baptized more than two hundred children. 16 Salvatierra was enthusiastic over the success. He wrote in high glee to his brethren of the mainland. "From now on we do not leave California," said he. "It belongs to the most holy Mary, and if she will not help us we shall remain here alone, alone!" In the meantime there took place a change of captains of the presidio. Luis de Tortolero had acquired an eye infection during his campaigning in California and became afflicted with a continual rheum. He felt obliged to resign his position as head of the presidio and to return to Mexico. Salvatierra appointed in his place Don Antonio Garcia de Mendoza. Soon another expedition to the Western Sea was organized. It was to be the second overland journey in the history of California. Captain Mendoza wanted to explore to the coast, so southwest from San Javier the captain, Father Picolo, and a band of soldiers followed an arroyo which led them to the sea. T h e party passed through a large village of Indians whom the men found both tame and tractable. Picolo was very interested and decided that here was another mission



site, so he named it Santa Rosalia. Arrived finally at the beach he saw many of the blue shells which had so interested Kino, but he failed to see on this desolate coast of the Pacific any harbor suitable as a port of call for the Manila galleons. In years to come many another expedition from various points would be made to this rim of the great ocean. T h e explorers returned up the same arroyo which had led them to the sea. They passed again through the populous Indian village of Santa Rosalía. Picolo invited the inhabitants to visit him at Javier, where he would welcome them and give them presents. Santa Rosalia was soon to be Christianized and become a visita of Mission San Javier, and often be mentioned in the annals of the pioneer foundations. By the end of October, Picolo with his Indians and handful of soldiers had completed the chapel of Todos Santos at San Javier Viggé. Salvatierra was invited to come for the dedication which was fixed for November 1, All Saints Day. He came and the "rude temple" was dedicated "with greater devotion and piety than solemnity," says the old chronicler. There was a procession, of course, by soldiers and padres between rows of catechumens to the door of the church. A large crowd of Monquis and Laimones gathered around to see the sight and be awed by the ceremony. After the solemn Mass the Indians wanted to put on a sham fight for the benefit of the Spaniards and were given permission to do so. This show, said Salvatierra, was worthy of a better theater. Picolo rewarded the victors with small knives and bells. These latter the natives shook at their fellow tribesmen, tied them to their ears, and jumped and rolled and praised the generosity of the padre. The following day the church was blessed and the children were baptized. The emotional Spaniards wept for joy at the sight, and Salvatierra went back home, over the steep and narrow trail, with a certain divine glow which a man of his deep piety would certainly experience. 17 A t Loreto, where Salvatierra was busy with the building of a new church, an incident took place which is worth recording. It was in connection with idolatry and its punishment. Flogging of troublemakers had been resorted to from time to time since the beginning of the west coast mission system. As the end of the year 1699 drew near, Salvatierra noticed that many of the natives were leaving the mission and going off to their pagan sacrifices. He discovered this fact from



a girl who told him what was taking place. It was decided to put a stop to this. The abode of a well-known medicine man was known to Captain Mendoza. One night this fellow was secretly surrounded, seized, and brought into the mission. The following Sunday in full view of all who were gathered about he was led out of the palisades with hands bound behind him to the flogging post and the announcement was made that he was to be beaten to death. T h e Spanish soldiers stood at arms. A t this sight and at the first strokes of the lash the Indians who had come for Mass fled in fear and horror and stood a gun shot away looking on in dreadful suspense. A t this moment, according to fixed plan, Salvatierra hurried up to the captain and interceded for the culprit who was now spared any further torture. By this not very ingenuous arrangement fear and dread of Spanish power made itself felt, and the padre's prestige as a kindly benefactor of the natives was enhanced. The accomplices of the old man, with curses and imprecations, ran toward the livestock pen as if to drive off the animals. But the soldiers pursued them on horseback, whipped some, and bore down on others. One, resolving not to be taken, was killed, others fled to the hills. The dead man's head was cut off and placed on the limb of a tree where all might see it. Next day the fugitives returned in all penitence and humility, kneeling before the captain and padre and begging pardon for their idolatry. 18 This episode is as interesting as it is typical of some of the methods used in the missions of that day in New Spain. As the fall of 1699 passed on to the end of the century the routine of things was usually of a pleasant, and sometimes of a charming, nature. A t Loreto, before and after the founding of Viggé, Salvatierra used to gather the boys together after the daily instruction in the Faith. H e taught them how to sing. A bit of a musician himself, he took a guitar, formed some of the doctrinal truths into an Indian song or chant, and himself began to sing for the little fellows. They learned to follow suit, and the padre (as in the missions of the mainland) soon had an experienced group of choristers. Then the missionary did a smart thing: he told the youngsters to get together in their villages and to chant just as he had taught them. The old, slow to learn, would thus be attracted and painlessly would memorize the truths of the Faith. Some adults had been baptized. These had taken the holy waters the previous spring, both on Holy Saturday and the Saturday before Pentecost, according to the Roman ritual. On Holy Saturday



after the morning services the padre, according to the same ritual, went about the mission camp in among the lodgings of the soldiers, and sprinkled and blessed everything with holy water. The Risen Savior had given a clean and happy start to everything. All the other rites had been carried out: ashes on Ash Wednesday, palms on Palm Sunday, Mass for the dead on All Souls' Day. Shortly after this commemorative event of the first day of November Salvatierra went on one of his jaunts over to San Juan Londó. The Mass he celebrated there was for all the departed souls of his fellow Jesuits since the founding of the Order. This custom still continues all over the world. The versatile Salvatierra could not only play the guitar and sing, he could also dance. It was his custom to visit the Indian villages which were nearest Loreto. Here he would often sit and watch the Indians put on one or other of their fifty dances. Once in their rough hilarity they surrounded him where he sat, lifted him from his seat, and begged him to dance for them. He did, to their admiration. The nimble-footed padre performed on this occasion what the Indians called the nimbe. These savages averred he did it as well as they. 19 The Black Robe had taken literally the dictum of St. Paul and had become all things to all men. Salvatierra's letters written at this period show the spirit of the man which clung to high spiritual summits of enthusiasm. He was very much a seventeenth-century Spaniard in his devotional attitudes, some of which were exaggerated. In a letter of October 22, 1699, to Don José Miranda, royal treasurer of Guadalajara, he reports on the movements of the ships of supply and their difficulties with the winds and the seas. It was the Devil on one side and Our Lady of Loreto on the other: the Devil tried to wreck these ships, but Our Lady of Loreto saved them. 20 Such expressions are not to be interpreted too literally, however. They were often a mere manner of speaking characteristic of the times, and not unfrequent even in the mid-twentieth century among pious folk and in the religious orders. Right through the storms plowed the good ship San Firmin, he writes to the same Miranda, carrying a statue of the Infant Jesus. Arrived safely, the Infant was borne in procession to the mission chapel of Loreto, placed appropriately against a retable under a canopy, set off with pictures, and hung about with portieres. "[The shrine] seems like a paradise!" In spite of his ardent zeal and high enthusiasm Salvatierra some-



times descended into the valleys of discouragement and desolation. We must remember that he is trying to make intelligent Christians of the most backward peoples to be found in colonial North America, of the peoples whose sloth and stupidity so unfavorably impressed the less ardent, but more realistic Alsatian, Jakob Baegert. W e can understand, therefore, the inner trials of the more humane but less sturdy Latin, and his soul was sometimes wrung with anguish. " O h help me G o d ! " he wrote to Miranda, "What patience is necessary to carry on with these poor children, soldiers as well as Californians!" 2 1 But in general, the two Black Robes, the Sicilian Picolo and the half-Spanish, north-Italian Salvatierra, had many reasons to be satisfied. In their seventeenth-century Latin piety they gave ardent thanks to Heaven for benefits so far received. In an official report written a couple of years later (February, 1702) Picolo releases the full measure of his enthusiasm and is led into patent exaggerations about the nature of the land. Were it so richly flowing with milk and honey as he pictures it to the Audiencia of Guadalajara then there would be no need of the two voyages a year to carry in the provisions which he recommends. But like Salvatierra, Picolo was an optimist, and the enthusiasm of both carried them through where the spirits of others would have flagged. Picolo likes the dusky Californians and exaggerates their qualities. They "are a very lively people and fond of joking. W e found this when we first began to instruct them. Whenever we committed any error in speaking their language they laughed and jeered at us." T h e Indians had less f u n at the expense of the padres as the latter gained mastery of the barbarous tongues. 22 It seemed impossible for anything to dampen the enthusiasm of Picolo and Salvatierra. T h e latter showed at this time the greatest assurance together with confidence in everything and everyone. Earlier in 1699 Salvatierra sent various petitions (they read almost like instructions) to the president of the Audiencia of Guadalajara, Cevallo Villaputierre. H e asks for many things for California. H e wants Albanil, the supervisor of the work being done on the cathedral in Mexico City, to be sent over in order to supervise the building of the Holy House of Loreto dedicated to Our Lady, and also Joachim, another official, to be sent for the same purpose. H e wants a shipment of flat earthenware pans for cooking maize cakes and also some hollow stones for grinding corn. H e wants a shipment of rice in good containers. Select a good Indian, Salvatierra says to the



president o£ the Audiencia, to be servant and worker. H e furthermore gives the president what turned out to be a dubious assurance, namely, "that the expenses of all of this will be defrayed by alms to be collected." Juan de Ugarte, now rector of San Gregorio and procurator, will make all expenses good to the president. A n d Ugarte, continues the padre, will see to it that Captain Redondo and the frigate will be in readiness for sailing. Ugarte will, furthermore, ask the president to give orders that a sufficient number of Indians be held in readiness at Chacala for the loading of the vessel. 23 T h e enthusiastic padre shows care for his men too, for he asks Ugarte to reimburse with 113 pesos one of the former California soldiers for personal property that had been lost in the crossing of the gulf. 2 4 In addition, Salvatierra founded still another mission on the coast north of Loreto to which he gave the name Dolores. 26 It was destined, however, soon to disappear. So, by the end of 1699, after little more than two years' activity, and when the seventeenth century was going out, these two men had founded four missions in Lower California: Loreto, the mother mission of the eastern coast; San Juan Londo to the north and near the coast, Kino's old San Isidro; San Javier Viggé, southwest of Loreto and over the rocky sierra; and Dolores, not far from Londó. Seventy persons from the mainland (Spaniards, mestizos, and Christian Indians) were now living on the peninsula. More than two hundred children had been baptized, and some adults. T h e fathers could well be satisfied with these, first fruits of their activity in California. Though the problem of providing for the mission had not been entirely solved, they felt they could carry on. T h e enthusiasm of Salvatierra led to exaggerations, of course, as can be seen by comparing his exalted accounts of California with the more realistic narratives of Taraval and Baegert. But a less ardent spirit would have found it well nigh impossible to launch so venturesome and difficult an enterprise. Still another example of Salvatierra's ebullient religious ardor can be seen in an undated letter to an official. T h e letter opens: "Long live Jesus, long live Mary, long live His Apostle of the Indies, St. Francis Xavier, who through his intercession continues to cultivate the soil of this Marian conquest." 2 8 T h e spirit of Francisco Maria Picolo was of the same blend and offers a study in seventeenth-century Latin piety. In a letter of July,



1699, to the viceroy he exults over the success of two expeditions from Loreto, one of which is none other than the trek over the sierra and into the valley of Biaundó. After speaking of the divine patrimony in the saving of souls which are "the rich jewels in the crown of our Catholic K i n g s " he informs the viceroy of his "joy and consolation in having made two happy expeditions during the months of May and June over to the mountains of the west and we found it . . . rolling in gende slopes and spreading out in plains and valleys watered by streams, all exceedingly attractive with good and extensive lands for everything." Mescal, figs, grasses, and seed for flour can be raised here, he continues, and there are trees and fruits, "so that in the Hell of California, as they used to say, thanks to the Almighty Creator and to His most Holy Mother, there is here a stretch of the terrestial paradise." 2 7 L i k e his spiritual chief Salvatierra, Pícolo in his high spiritual emotion exaggerates the conditions of the barren country and presents a pretty piece of propaganda to impress authorities across the gulf. T h e somewhat dour Alsatian, Father Baegert, passing through this same country half a century later, indulges in no idealistic affections, and in one of his first letters says that California "from top to bottom and from coast to coast is nothing else than a thorny heap of stones or a pathless, waterless rock rising between two oceans." 2 8 But their spiritual quality and ardent Latin enthusiasm carried these earlier missionaries through almost insurmountable difficulties to ultimate success. Without them Baegert in later decades would not have had his mission of San Luis Gonzaga. Both Salvatierra and Pícolo would have been at once consoled and saddened could they have lifted time's impenetrable curtain and peered into the future. They would have seen comely churches rise in well-fitted stone courses upon the early mission sites of Loreto and Viggé, and Christian native Californians worshipping in both places for decades. They would have seen fourteen other establishments dot the land and come to have, most of them, stone churches. T h e y would have witnessed, too, the sad departure of the Black Robe ordered by the K i n g of Spain and, later on, the gradual decline of mission activity and finally its end. T h e Indian would become all but extinct and no padre would be on hand to conduct a Christian service and to offer the morning sacrifice of the Mass. T h e buildings



of stone would endure—at Loreto in a mutilated condition, at Viggé with comeliness and strength, at San Ignacio in serene and isolated grandeur. In the mid-twentieth century Loreto's five-footthick walls still tied the fabric together with its flat roof. T h e brace of bells, later augmented to nine, carried over by Salvatierra still hung from wooden supports instead of from a tower. The interior of the church, measuring twenty by one hundred and eighty feet, was once floored with stone cubes which had been partly carried off; its stone altar had been sadly dismantled; and its several holy-water fonts of onyx were beautiful even in their ruin. Of eight oil paintings five had only the frames, and because of leaks in the roof the shrines became tarnished and the tapestries faded. But old, neglected madonnas still stand in their niches, among them probably the one which Salvatierra took such pride in placing and decorating. T h e church still looks out upon the sea with its curving shore, the cove which the padres called the bay of San Dionisio. Once a year a padre came; he said Mass, and a few of Loreto's five hundred people, mostly women, were present for worship and prayer. 20 San Javier Viggé, standing at the foot of one of the great ribs of the Giantess, has been seemingly untouched by time. This church was constructed by Father Miguel Barco in the mid-eighteenth century and it was fourteen years in the building (1744-1758). Picolo who started here and after him Ugarte who labored here so well would not have believed their eyes. Its noble romanesque façade and sturdy tower proclaim it the finest mission church on the Pacific Coast. Its interior is spacious, its roof vaulted, and its four windows are set in walls five feet thick. The isolation of this spot has precluded the depredations of vandals so that the altar, the shrines, and the paintings have been unharmed in the passing of centuries. Surmounting the main altar is a noble statue of Xavier himself, set off with paintings, which regales the visitor in this isolated splendor. A bit of fresco painting lends color to the whitened walls. The ruins of a still older and smaller church lie amidst brush and cactus about a mile from San Javier. Its rough façade of unhewn rocks and flattish stones is marked by the square framework of a door fitted by hewn stone. Ugarte may have seen this church rise years before Barco's later and majestic structure. Over both these relics of the past the Giantess eternally is standing guard and over



tfcie larger fabric her great shoulders tower "in the somber grandeur off repellent cliffs." Something of Father Picolo's enthusiasm could still be revived in the mid-twentieth century, because the shadows of the Giantess fall upon gardens where flowers bloom and where a handful of inhabitants cultivate their beans and alfalfa, their corn amd their grain.

Chapter V

UGARTE GOES TO CALIFORNIA year of the new century was an unfortunate one for Europe and for California. King Charles II of Spain was approaching the end of a feeble reign. King for thirty-five years, he was from the beginning (1665) unfit for his high office. Effete offspring of the Hapsburgs and practically an imbecile, he carried on the multiple and complex business of administration through ministers who were not always model administrators or men of integrity. He witnessed the deepening of that decline of the nation which had already begun in the reign of Philip II (1556-1598). The various European wars in which Spain had engaged weakened her resources and depleted her exchequer. The death of Charles on November 1, 1700, was to bring on a still more terrible conflict known to history as the War of the Spanish Succession (1701-1713), for he designated as his heir Philip of Anjou, grandson of Louis X I V , King of France, and greatnephew of the dying Spanish king. He became Philip V of Spain. The European powers determined to prevent this apparent union of the crowns of France and Spain and there resulted the long, drawn-out war which further exhausted the resources of the Spanish crown. T H E FIRST

Enfeeblement at the head meant inertia in the members, and all of Spain's colonies felt during this period the decadence of what had been a more vigorous rule. This is why the new missions in Baja California when they fell into fresh difficulties sought in vain for support from the government. Unfortunately, a high-born lady, who had kept California alive at the court of Madrid, Doña Elvira de Toledo, Condesa de Galve, died shortly before Charles II, so that when the second batch of reports reached the court in 1700 nothing was done. It had been understood, of course, that the missions would be able to carry on with the help they would receive from the Jesuits and their friends and this was the vital importance of Ugarte's activities. Still, after two years of the success already narrated there was a slump and fresh calamities. Salvatierra had been keeping in touch with Viceroy Valladares, Conde de Moctezuma, giving him the details of the successes in California since October of 1697. He now determined to ask the 7*



viccroy for help. The main reason was that Ugarte's funds and sources of money began to run out. Some former benefactors lost interest, and others died. But seeking aid from the government was in contravention of the plan previously agreed upon, namely that the Jesuits would stand the whole expense of the California mission. This was pointed out to Ugarte by the royal treasurer. The padre replied that he had indeed established the missions with such an understanding and had succeeded for two years. But the success achieved so far did not mean that he could support the missions forever, and he pointed out that the necessities of both Church and State demanded immediate relief if what had been gained was to be preserved. Salvatierra on his part penned a long petition dated March 1, 1700, to the Royal Audiencia in Mexico City setting forth with great prolixity (as was his wont) the state of things from the beginning to the present calamitous need. From it we learn that sixty-six persons were living in the colony: padres, soldiers, muleteers, Filipinos, Christian Indians from the mainland, two Spanish soldiers of fortune, besides women and children. He gives the salaries of each officer and of the soldiers and says the military expenditures alone amount to 16,000 pesos yearly. He details the other expenses in maintaining the transports, gives the necessity of constant provision from across the gulf, and expatiates upon the mission successes already enjoyed. He tells of the future of this great colony (which he now calls the Carolinas after Charles II)—provided the royal government will give financial aid and help in paying the soldiers. He dates it March 1, "from the camp of Loreto Concho de las Carolinas." It was just before his departure for the mainland. Salvatierra read this long, drawn-out piece before Picolo, the captain, and the whole presidio, who forthwith agreed to everything it said and all affixed their signatures, which with Salvatierra's made thirty-five.1 Soon after this appeal was penned still worse reports came from across the gulf. The San Firmin, the better of the two large transports, was lost. It had been grounded, owing to the carelessness of sailors, off the mouth of the Río Fuerte, and those in charge could not or would not get it off the sandbank where it was gradually broken by the seas. The craft was laden with livestock for California, which made matters worse. The animals were saved but there would be long delay in getting them across. Only two ships were now left



to the mission for transport: the bark San José and the smaller craft, the San Javier, called La Lancha, or launch. Sierpe of Acapulco must have recalled the Santa Elvira and the original launch, both merely loaned by him. The two remaining vessels were rickety and leaky, and after each voyage both had to be beached for repairs. While the time was thus taken up in those slow-moving years the colony on the peninsula starved. At the shocking news of the loss of California's finest ship Salvatierra resolved to go to the mainland at once to try to procure another. Leaving Picolo in charge of the four missions he embarked in the rickety launch, the San Javier, taking with him five of his dusky California children as good propaganda specimens.2 Arrived on the coasts of Sinaloa he wrote again, this time personally to the viceroy, complaining that now only one transport boat was left to the missions (the launch would be too small for cattle) and that as this one craft, the San José, was in a miserable condition, the colony was likely to perish. In this missive Salvatierra tries to use a compelling and to us an amusing argument. He tells the viceroy he has heard that the Franciscans in their entrada into Texas were given 20,000 pesos for mission founding and were excused entirely from paying the salary of the soldiers. "But now the time has arrived," concludes the Jesuit, "for the conquest of California." 3 Ugarte was to present both these memorials, of March i and July 12, to the royal authorities and press for their fulfillment. But the viceroy was not in the mood for donating ships for transport. Letters and discussions were continued between the California procurator and the officials of state. However, in the end pressure had its effect and the government was moved to oiler 1,000 pesos a year for the support of Baja California. This sum Ugarte refused as totally inadequate; in his view it would serve only to discourage former benefactors who would think that the viceregal government was now entirely supporting the mission. In a letter of June, 1701, Ugarte complains to Miranda. "Over there in Spain," he writes, "all the interest taken in reports from California was due to the influence of Señora Condesa de Galve . . . and with her death there has ensued a lack of interest." * For the rest, the viceroy remained cool and simply passed on these representations to Madrid where, with the countess dead and the king dying, nothing was done.



Misunderstandings arose, too, and even calumnies against the California missionaries. Many could not understand the disinterested motives of Picolo and Salvatierra. These men were thought to have an eye to treasure trove in the pearl fisheries. The charge aroused Ugarte's wrath against those "who have the pupils of their eye yellow with the humor of bile" and cause the disaffection of the royal officials and even of the viceroy who made this charge himself. Ugarte's anger spills over. "Although I have not campaigned in California," he writes to Miranda, "I have the spirit of a soldier . . . and with the shield of suffering I can ward off a blow while with the sword of reason I strike so sharply as to cleave down the most valiant." 6 Despite this financial setback Salvatierra was as busy as a bee during his four months' visit to the mainland. The five California Indians with him were a kind of propaganda device used often before. From time to time Californians had been sent over in the supply ships. The five natives now accompanied Salvatierra wherever he went. At the invitation of the Sinaloa missionaries he gave a series of spiritual conferences, "a retreat," to the Spaniards of a mining camp Los Frailes, the modern Alamos. The Californians noted the numbers of Spaniards who attended Mass and their piety. This was good propaganda, too. As word sped over the country that Salvatierra was again on the mainland coast with five neophytes, messages and representatives came in to invite him and the Californians for a visit. From Salvatierra's former mission field, from the land of the Chinipas, the Guazápares, and the western Tarahumares of the Sierra Madre ambassadors came in to urge him to come once again to his old mission field. The Jesuit missionaries there—Ming, Montoya, and Benavides—did the same. Salvatierra did not decline. He went with his five Californians far up into the mountains, as far as Mission Santa Ynéz, and was a guest for many days. The tribesmen built shelters and enramadas to cheer the travelers on their way. While Salvatierra exchanged notes with the fathers, his five Californians were entertained by members of the mountain tribes. These simple creatures from the peninsula were amazed at what they saw: beautiful churches, numbers of devout Indian neophytes, even the very dress of the tribes (rich in the eyes of the Californians): Tarahumares wearing warm brilliant serapes and white or colored headbands. The wide-eyed Californians were told that only a few



years before these tribesmen had been barbarians like themselves, without horses, cattle, and sheep, and without many of their mountain crops which now supplied them a sufficiency of good food. Chiefs from eight pueblos went on horseback to Santa Ynéz to see the Californians. These latter (we suppose by sign language) asked a hundred questions. When it was time for Salvatierra to return to his mission they all descended to the coastal plain laden with presents. They embarked June 19 on the launch San Javier, which was well weighted with flour, corn, mutton, and choice salted beef. T w o days later the party made a safe landing and Salvatierra was back at his palisaded mission-presidio which he calls Loreto Concho.6 Troubles had developed in California while the padre was away: discontent among the soldiers and disaffection on the part of Captain Mendoza, who had replaced Tortolero. Perhaps a combination of three factors led to Mendoza's attitude: having a priest as his immediate superior, disappointment at not being allowed to engage in pearl diving, and irritation at the stupidity and treachery of the Indians. In any case, Captain Mendoza wrote many letters to the viceregal government accusing the missionaries and complaining against them, and he wrote in the same vein to his friends. These things got around and partly explain the coolness of both government and former benefactors. Some of the soldiers were discontented, too, so Salvatierra determined to get rid of them. Eighteen were sent back to the mainland at the risk of exposing the mission to Indian aggression. Salvatierra in a letter of October, 1700, to Miranda, treasurer at Guadalajara, acquainting him of the dismissal of the soldiers, indited this dramatic passage: "I await only the final decision of the Audiencia of Mexico before dismissing the rest of the [soldiers], and on this I shall make my last protests. After this dismissal we shall think of paying the remainder of our debt provided our sons of California do not send us beforehand to give an account to God. Failing military protection there remains [that of] Our Lady of Loreto, who without doubt will pay." 7 But matters were to turn out to be not so distressing for the padre. While he was on the mainland, Salvatierra had written to his old friend Kino, begging assistance. Such petitions to the missionary of Pimería Alta were never made in vain. Kino promised to help with cattle and other provisions and was thanked by a



letter from Salvatierra written August 25 from California. The padre before returning to the peninsula in June, 1700, had planned to meet Kino in person. "On Wednesday I shall take the road to Onabas," he wrote in a letter to Kino of May 9, "and because of the hope of happily seeing Your Reverence, I do not answer the points . . . of your letter, which have caused my heart to swell." Kino had been already at work for California, and Salvatierra thanks him, for he had sent supplies south from his missions in the north. The superior of the mission of Mátape, Salvatierra writes to Kino, "has already received ten loads of provisions." But the meeting did not take place. Salvatierra was on his way north to visit his old friend when eye trouble broke out among the California Indians he had with him, and the arrival of the launch from California brought the bad news of the discontent of Captain Mendoza and of some of the soldiers. Salvatierra must return. Kino, besides the above-mentioned supplies, was now having delivered to the port of Yaqui three hundred head of beef catde to be shipped to California. Salvatierra refused to take all three hundred: it would be too great a depletion of Kino's missions; he would gladly accept, and would need, two hundred. 8 Realistic and great hearted, Kino attended personally to the transportation of the livestock through the summer heat of that semitropical coast. " . . . I accompanied them," he wrote, "and in person helped them to Tuape in June." 9 Kino continued begging for California. Indeed, he hastened back from an expedition to the Colorado River to be on hand in Sonora for the collection and transportation of the supplies. The mission district of Oposura gave at this time a hundred head of cattle and a thousand head of sheep and goats. The mission of Ures gave ten beeves, Cucurpe gave one hundred, Mátape sixty and some horses, Guepaca seventy, Arispe fifty, and so on. 10 A new station, which Kino calls a ranch, was established near the mouth of Rio Yaqui for the maintenance of livestock until it could be shipped across the gulf. Also it was to be a depot for dried meat, tallow, and lard for California. The viceroy and his committees may have been cool and lethargic, former benefactors may have closed their purses, and evil report may have spread, but the Jesuits on the missions of the west coast held together, showed a splendid perseverance, and came to the rescue of California.



Salvatierra was to spend six months in the peninsula and return again to the mainland where he would accomplish momentous things with Kino, his old friend and companion. On the peninsula, groups of children continued to be baptized at Loreto, at Londó, and at Viggé, where Picolo went back into residence after Salvatierra's return. On November i, Salvatierra climbed to the ragged summits of La Giganta northwest of Londó and descried some fine country suitable for future missions. On his return he had the Indians guide him by a direct path from Londó to Viggé and a feasible land communication between the two missions was discovered. The padre surprised Picolo by coming in upon him from the north. It was unfortunate that during this period the great benefactor of the missions, Pedro Gil de la Sierpe, died. The reader will recall that it was Sierpe who loaned two vessels at the beginning of the California venture, and, later, had given two others to the missions. Without this means of transportation the missions could not have been so successful. The fathers were lavish in their gratitude, and this official of the king was doubtless pleased, if not highly flattered, when he learned that one of the first Indian babies baptized in the peninsula was named after him. Don Juan Caballero y Ocio had shared the same honor which was doubtless conferred on many another founder of California's Pious Fund. The missions would miss Don Pedro and now that his San Firmtn had perished he was not at hand to lend or give another boat. California has reason to remember him with gratitude. In September, 1700, the wretched craft San José, which for more than a year had been beached for repairs, arrived at Loreto carrying cattle—probably collected, at least in part, by Kino—other provisions, and a letter containing orders from Father Provincial Arteaga. Salvatierra was requested to cross to the mainland once again and found a mission at Guaimas, not far north of the mouth of the Rio Yaqui, which would serve as a more practical sailing point for California and as a depot for the supplies destined for that mission. The missionary, therefore, in October took to sea once again in the miserable San José. The bark lacked equipment, and its cables were rotten so that when it arrived off the Yaqui's mouth it could not be anchored, and, since there were no wharves, there was nothing for it but to return to the peninsula lest it be blown upon a sandbank and lost. But arrived back in Loreto the crew luckily found



the San Javier at anchor off shore and it had the cables of the lost San Firmtn. These they put on the San José which could now be anchored off the mainland. Such were the vicissitudes of sea travel in those times. Salvatierra arrived finally off the Rio Sinaloa in January, 170X (how slowly things moved), carrying back some soldiers dismissed for want of money to pay them. T h e missionary started north at once to go to Guaimas and fulfill the provincial's instructions. In the meantime the procurator of the missions, Ugarte, had not been inactive. His efforts with the government failing, he intensified his begging in the capital of N e w Spain and was able to gather together from friends and well-wishers an encouraging amount of supplies as gifts and donations for California. H e arranged that these should be sent to the coast and made ready for transportation across the gulf. T h e great Ugarte, strong in body as in character, had come to a decision for himself, to which his religious superiors reluctantly gave their consent. H e would go in person to California and be a missionary there with Salvatierra and Picolo. Father Ugarte, born in the capital of Honduras and educated in Guatemala City, was now thirty-eight years old. After ordination to the priesthood he had charge of temporal affairs of the Jesuit novitiate in Mexico, then he moved on to the chair of philosophy in the Colegio de San Pedro y San Pablo in Mexico City, finally he became rector of the Indian school of San Gregorio. H e had always hankered after the mission field, and a meeting with Salvatierra deepened his desire to go to estas islas, those islands, as California was often referred to, and to join Salvatierra in his labors. Because of this interest in the peninsula Ugarte accepted in 1697 the task of getting and dispensing the money for the missions and in 1700 he determined to go there himself. 1 1 It was by progressive steps that Ugarte finally reached the rocks of the peninsula. H e felt he had to go to the gulf ports to expedite the transport of provisions in the ship San José. Ugarte was impatient to see the work through, to have the vessel stocked with provisions, and sent to California. Then he thought he should visit the land of California, at least temporarily, to get the feel of things. Reluctantly his superiors in Mexico City consented, although fearing that once he was across the gulf he might be found so neces-



sary to the missions that Salvatierra or Ugarte himself would press for permanent residence. Indeed, such was his desire, as is shown by his letters, and so did it transpire. Ugarte seems to have guessed as much, because before leaving the capital he wound up the affairs of his rectorship at San Gregorio, and saw to the appointment of a successor as treasurer and procurator of the missions, Father Alejandro Romano. 12 So it was that on December 3, 1700, Ugarte rode out of Mexico City forever, leaving Romano to do the begging and to organize the commissary while he left for the front. For California, its fortunes and its Indians, it was a happy day when he did so, for he became a strong sustaining column to the rising mission. On his way to the coast, as Salvatierra had done before him, Ugarte visited important towns in order to thank former benefactors or to beg again from them. In Queretaro he conferred with Juan Caballero y Ocio; in Guadalajara with the royal treasurer, Miranda. He learned at the coast that the bark San José, badly mended, had already taken a cargo across the gulf and that Salvatierra had returned in the same leaky craft to Yaqui. With this knowledge Ugarte trekked north to Sinaloa and at Ahome made arrangements for the transportation in the San Javier of supplies he had recendy begged from the coastal missions and from other benefactors. The San José was there, too, but useless. Then he went farther on thinking to meet Salvatierra, who had returned to the mainland. Ugarte went as far as Rio Yaqui, but Salvatierra had already left and was on his way to the Pima Country to meet Kino for a great adventure. It was now early in 1701 and Ugarte was anxious to get over to the peninsula. In his eagerness he embarked in an old, loose-jointed little hulk which had lain for long unused upon the sands of Loreto's beach. The missionaries of the lower Yaqui tried to dissuade him, but he would brook no delay. In the hazardous craft he set forth with the soldiers who had sailed in it. He had taken St. Joseph as the patron of this crossing and sure enough the missionary, whose faith had kept him whole, landed on California's shore March 19, 1701, festal day of his patron. 18 He had slipped away from the fathers without telling them. They thought he was dead or lost. They said prayers for him. But he had sailed for California. His arrival was an event in the annals of those missions, but it



was bereft of immediate succor and the coming imparted a sort of hungry joy to Picolo and his despondent personnel at Loreto, the depleted handful of soldiers, sailors, the Indian servants. Ugarte was desolated to learn that the provisions he had sent in the San Javier had not arrived. He learned that the last shipment had been brought by the San José shortly before Salvatierra boarded it in October for the mainland. Since September, 1700, no boat had come in with desperately needed food. Now, past the middle of March, 1701, Ugarte found the slim colony reduced to the last stages of deprivation. He could give them hope, however. He could speak of the supplies he had recently collected, of their transport to the coast, of his arrangements for their shipment in the San Javier across the gulf. But why had the ship not come in? Ugarte did not know that a storm had blown it back and south to Mazatlán. However, this time luck or St. Joseph was with Ugarte and the mission. The Jesuit had been on the peninsula but a few days, and was probably becoming very hungry on the slim and stale rations, when he had the satisfaction of witnessing at long last the safe arrival of the San Javier, carrying the provisions which he had collected. The joy was dampened a bit when it was learned of the storms which had beat upon the frail bark, and of how long it had been at sea buffeted by wind and wave. The consequence was that much of the provision had been lost or spoiled. But for the time being the colony had been saved from starvation, and soon Salvatierra would arrange for still other supplies to be shipped across the treacherous waters. Ugarte felt the rocks and the cacti of California holding him close to the land. In his own mind he had decided not to return, provided (Jesuit-like) he could obtain leave from his superiors through arguments which would incline them to his desires. He wrote a letter, therefore, and so eloquently did he plead the cause of California that, regretfully, the authorities in Mexico bowed to his will. Ugarte could now with assurance of continuity of his work bend his energies to the building of the mission. 14 True it was that Salvatierra's presence was missed by Picolo and Ugarte and by the mission personnel, but the padre was doing the mission's work. He would send over food and he was on his way to another trip with Kino north along the eastern shore of the gulf to try to find a land route to the missions of the peninsula. Too much



money had already been expended upon boats and too many provisions had been spoiled or lost in transit. This narrow sea was blown upon by varying and treacherous winds. A land route would be more safe and more secure, even if it were longer. On this business, then, Salvatierra and Kino were engaged at the time that Ugarte arrived on the peninsula. 16

Chapter VI

LAND ROUTE TO THE PENINSULA Salvatierra had been constantly exchanging letters (that is, as often as a boat would cross the gulf) on the matter of a land route to California. 1 Later in the same century one of the first important measures taken after the founding of the first missions in Alta California was to discover a land route to the new country. Otherwise it was felt the mission system could not expand and Spain's hold upon the country would be precarious. Kino and Salvatierra were aware of this same fact in the first years of the eighteenth century. True, a land route to Baja California was never discovered. One has not been found feasible even today. There is no practical route because the distance is too great, deserts and barren country and the wide mouth of the Rio Colorado intervene. However, the padres sought a land route even though the search was futile. Eusebio Francisco Kino, explorer and frontiersman that he was, had already penetrated many times into the wilds of the northern desert. Sometimes alone, sometimes with Captain Juan Mateo Manje, Kino had set forth. Beginning with 1694 "the padre on horseback" had made four expeditions into the north, the last in 1700. That year he had gone west along the Gila River as far as its meeting with the Colorado and he had made contact with more than a thousand Yuma Indians. 2 Returning in October he bent his energies to gathering supplies for the California mission in accordance with the petition of Salvatierra. Kino had begun to suspect that California was not an island. After his return from the unsuccessful California venture with Atondo he had seen Indians on the mainland wearing blue shells. The northern Pima Indians had them. They were the very same specimens he had seen on the Pacific shores of the peninsula. Indians never crossed the gulf, and there were no blue shells on the mainland coast. Therefore, they must have been brought overland from the shores of the Pacific. Some day he would find out whether Baja California was island or peninsula. K I N O AND

Salvatierra offered the inducement and the opportunity. The California missionary was as eager as Kino for this discovery. If California was not an island, then it could be reached by land around the northern end of the gulf. This would be a slower but a surer 83



means of getting in supplies by pack train. When Salvatierra returned to the mainland in the middle of January, 1701, in order to carry out Provincial Arteaga's orders concerning Guaimas, he entered the port of Ahome, at the mouth of Río Fuerte. He had with him as usual five California Indians, to show them off and in so doing propagandize for Christianity. Guaimas lay north of the mouth of Rio Yaqui so that northward he turned his steps. This is why Ugarte missed him when he arrived later on the coast. At Mátape, a mission pueblo in southern Sonora, Salvatierra discovered that not only he and Kino, but other Jesuits of the west coast missions had the same ideas concerning the geography of Baja California and the desire to have its true position determined. At Mátape Salvatierra was asked "to undertake the labor of finding out whether California is joined in the north to New Spain." Father Marcos Antonio Kappus showed him three blue shells which Kino had sent him, shells which had been worn by the "Cocomaricopas del Rio Grande," as well as some pieces of cloth which had come from the northwest and were of a kind never woven by the Indians there. He was also shown several large black pellets, very round and very hard, something like the bolas used by the Argentine gauchos in snaring cattle and the ostrich. Salvatierra was encouraged and excited. "At seeing all of this," he wrote to his provincial, "I rejoiced greatly, for the blue shells are exactly the same as those which are found on the other coast and the Western Sea of our California and no one has ever seen them on our eastern shores." 3 Moreover, the California Indians recognized the pieces of cloth which had been shown them as woven by the women in the northern part of their country. They were familiar, too, with the large black pellets or bolas and told the fathers how they were made. The California Indians took the gum of a white tree, known to the Spaniards as the annasada and mixed it with a special kind of soil, rounding it into a small ball. When the pellet dried it became hard as a rock, but very light in weight. These discoveries were encouraging. Not only blue shells, but cloth and the black pellets seemed to have been brought overland from California. Information from Salvatierra's Indians further increased the hopes of the missionaries. They told the Black Robes that they suspected from what their forebears had said that California was joined to the mainland in the north. There was a certain dance, said the Indians,



called by the Californians mica. Indians of other tribes came south to dance it with alien tribesmen and they carried with them as part of their dance regalia articles which had been brought from far off places. By this slow process, said the Californians, foreign articles had found their way south into their o w n lands: knives, heads of strange birds and animals, and feathers. Salvatierra was intrigued by this tale of articles passing from tribe to tribe in the dance ceremonies. H e suspected that the knives were Spanish pieces which the Indians had procured in N e w Mexico, at Moqui and Zuñi, and had passed on west and south until they reached the peninsula of California. Such then was the genesis of Salvatierra's decision to try to discover a land route to California, and to surprise Picolo by coming d o w n upon him from the north by land. H e could found the mission and goods depot at Guaimas on his return. H e began immediately to prepare for the strenuous venture. H e called upon the visitor of the Sonora missions (a sort of resident provincial), Antonio Leal, and procured official approval for the journey. T h e n he addressed himself to the governor of Sonora, D o m i n g o de Geronza, to beg for soldiers for the expedition. In this, presenting many arguments, he was successful. E n route to the north, he wrote to Kino, w h o m he planned to meet in the latter's mission of Dolores. H e wrote twice — o n c e from T u a p e on February 10 and again from Cucurpe on February 14. In the latter missive he gives directions to K i n o . It was the disciple instructing the master. Salvatierra writes: "It will be necessary that all your Reverence's mules g o from Los Dolores loaded; some ten or twelve loads of flour, some two loads of pinole, and t w o loads of biscuit. A n d it is necessary that all the tierces be of six arrobas, which, as they proceed, will be continually lessened. A s to dried meat, perhaps it would be well to take a couple of loads, so as not to have to be troubled with having to kill as soon as one arrives at the places even- where there are live animals. . . . " 4 Writing thus to K i n o was certainly carrying coals to Newcastle and perhaps K i n o saw the humor of it. H i s friendship for Salvatierra prevented any slight irritation. Salvatierra traveled north by slow degrees through the country of the Pimas. H e showed off his Californians on the way, and the Pimas appeared friendly and tried to speak with them. H e told the Pimas the purpose of his journey and they seemed interested.



Finally about February 20 Salvatierra arrived at Kino's mission of Dolores with a guard of ten soldiers and his native Califoraians. It was a happy meeting, for the two Jesuits had not seen each other since 1696 when, in Mexico City, they arranged the California venture. "We talked with pleasure," wrote Kino, "of everything concerning the expedition to this land passage to California. . . ." Salvatierra had Kino baptize one of the young Califoraians, and he was called after Kino, Juan Eusebio. s For the journey it was agreed that Kino's mission of Dolores should give twenty loads of provisions— flour, biscuit, dried meat, with many other necessities for so hazardous a venture, and these should be borne by eighty pack animals furnished by the mission of Dolores. With this sizable pack train and his California Indians, but with only two soldiers, Salvatierra started west toward the coast. Kino was to join him later. A trek over the sierra brought the train to San Ignacio where Father Agustín de Campos lived. This missionary was generous with supplies, so that when Salvatierra started out again he had "twenty mule-loads of provisions and one hundred and fifty saddle and pack animals." 6 Captain Manje, who had been delayed by the pursuit of a band of three hundred Apaches who had stolen two hundred animals, came up before Salvatierra had- left San Ignacio. His presence was welcome, for with him was an officer and eight soldiers. This now impressive expedition set out west from San Ignacio to Tubutama and then down the Rio Altar to Caborca. From here the mountains of California could be seen, wrote Salvatierra, and he was anxious to get on his way immediately to the waters of the gulf. But the Indians here fled from Salvatierra's proffer of baptism and he had to win them with gifts. After three days Kino and his pack train trudged in to Caborca about dusk. He was delighted to find Salvatierra waiting with the soldiers to welcome him at the door of the little church, together with more than four hundred Indians standing in a line, "very much as in the old Christian pueblos," wrote Kino with enthusiasm. On the altar of this mission church at Caborca Salvatierra had placed the picture of Our Lady of Loreto which had bfeen painted by the famous artist Juan Correa. The fathers were much concerned about this image and each cared for it reverently half a day at a time. These two men, Kino and Salvatierra, together with Manje, captain of the military, had now set out upon a notable expedition. Be-



cause of the stark nature of the country it was almost as daring an exploration as those undertaken by the Frenchman St.-Denis across Texas a few years later (1714) and by General Pike into Texas a century later (1806-1807). ^ it failed of its main purpose which was the discovery of the desired land route, it still accomplished much: it went into country untrod before by white men, penetrated to the northern shores of the gulf, and brought the missionaries to stronger confirmation of what they had long suspected, that California was not an island. The next day was spent in preparations for the long trek north to Son6ita more than a hundred miles through the desert and toward the land inhabited by the Papago Indians. The trail was known to Kino, for the year before, trekking south from the Gila, he had returned this way to his mission and made friends with the chief of Sonoita. Later he founded a mission here, the farthest northwest of the Jesuit mission system just below the present Arizona state line. That day of preparation at Caborca the fathers baptized thirty infants and three sick adults and "killed three fat beeves and three sheep of the very fat large and small stock." 7 That evening there came into the mission four Indians sent down all the way from near Son6ita by the chief of Actiim to bid the fathers welcome to the country. In the afternoon the loaded pack animals had started on their way with the provisions and supplies: a pack train of forty loads. The following morning, March 1 1 , 1701, the fathers set out with the rest of the company—Indians and soldiers—with a few provisions.8 The men sang on the trail. There had been singing on the trail before, and often since. But never before was there singing such as this, for the words were now in Latin, then in Spanish or Italian, and even in the rough language of the California Indians. Of course, only the two padres and the five Californians sang in this last tongue. They chanted hymns and psalms, the litany of Our Lady of Loreto and various prayers. It was plainly a happy company. (Bolton says this was the most learned company that ever trudged along this trail, in spite of the fact that he and a college professor and two college students followed it in 1932.) It must have rained recendy in the desert, for it was abloom with roses and flowers of various colors. Kino notes this in his diary of the journey and reflects that it seemed as if the author of nature thus gaily strewed the way to honor Our Lady of Loreto. But in the



midst of this beauty there were the dangers of the desert: lack of water for the animals. K i n o does not mention this, but Manje does. T h e animals had not taken drink since the morning of the day before. Some became crazed by thirst the end of their third day out, and ten or twelve fled in the night after camp was made at ten o'clock at Texubabia. T h e plan was to reach Quitobac that night where water was available at a desert lake, but they could not make it. T h e Indians refused to disclose the whereabouts of water holes in the immediate area. In the morning Salvatierra bribed an Indian with a little gift and discovered where the water holes were. T h e animals had their water, Kino said a Mass of thanksgiving, and the party went on. T h e expedition rested for a day at Quitobac where loyal natives brought in the eight or ten animals that had fled the night before. O n Sunday there was a sermon for the soldiers and for the Indians and a large cross was planted "to give light to those gentiles and when it was raised they fell to their knees after the manner of Christians." 9 O n the fourteenth the expedition reached Sonoita where the trail turns west and into the ashy heart of the desert. This was the base from which the party began its descent into no-man's-land, for beyond a watering place called El Carrizal no white man's foot had ever trod the sands west to the shores of the gulf. T h e party was now in the country of the Quiquima Indians and waited a day for guides from this tribe. T h e first day out of El Carrizal, following the stony bed of the Sonoita arroyo, a halt was made at a parched and needy village of two hundred Indians. Even the fathers had to dig for wells in the sand. Here a soul was saved, however, for there was found in a cave an ancient squaw whose age Captain Manje guessed to be one hundred and thirty. She received hasty instruction in the Faith, was baptized, and three days later her spirit fled the dried up and drooping body. A t this time, too, a young girl was baptized. T h e way was hard now, for the expedition was on "one of the hardest explorations in all North American history." For t w o days the animals had to go without water through sand and volcanic ash, probably from ancient eruptions of the near-by mountain called Santa Clara. A t last, when thoughts of being forced to turn back had begun to stir, the party found a natural stone basin of water near a poor Indian village. T h e next day was March 20 and Palm Sunday (Easter



was early that year). There amidst nature's desolation, upon volcanic ash and lava beds, among thorny cactus and jagged rock, the party held its isolated celebration of the day. It was unique in history. The two priests celebrated Mass "with the blessing and distribution of branches," as Kino informs us. These branches were surely not of the palm or of the olive, unless perhaps a palm or two grew on the rim of the lagoon at Quitobac, and the fathers had provided ahead for this occasion. Palm Sunday was the day after the Feast of St. Joseph, so appropriately enough the place was called San José de Ramos, "St. Joseph of the Palms." Still westward the travelers pressed their way through what Salvatierra calls "a horrible country, which looked more like ashes than earth, all peppered with boulders and . . . entirely black, all of which formed figures, because the lava which flows down solidifies, stops, and assumes shapes. . . . Indeed, I do not know that there can be any place which better represents the condition of the world in the general conflagration." 1 0 "And it caused still greater horror," adds the padre, "to discover that eight leagues from here there stretched a great cordillera which seemed likewise of volcanic ash." Then sand dunes had to be crossed. The animals were tortured on either hand. Their hoofs were pierced and split in the flinty, volcanic fields; and in the dunes they sank to their knees. With difficulties thus mounting, the pack train was left at a water hole in a boulder-strewn arroyo which was named E l Tupo, while the main body pressed on over the heaving dunes. Some of the party saw in this stricken country the gaping maw of certain death. Panicky, they ran away and hid and later found their way back to the water at E l Tupo. A t the end of a dreary day, March 21, the main party was led by the Indian guides to three springs. The weary men were at last near the sea, for this watering place was only a mile or so from the waters of the gulf. While the men hurried to the water's edge for a swim and the gathering of shells, Salvatierra, probably with Kino, rode north and toward the beach. The padres were eagerly bent upon something which vitally touched their curiosity and their ambitions for the future. The sun was setting over California, and the sea was set aglow in the warm red reflection of the sinking sun. Would they see a purple waterway leading west and separating California from the mainland, a waterway shown on some of the earlier maps? Salvatierra tells his provincial superior what he saw:



"We distinctly and with great clarity saw California and the cordilleras, and still more clearly after sunset, when it appeared . . . that the sierra must be distant from us about ten or twelve leagues and that the land on this side of the sierra must be even closer than that." 1 1 The fathers, now looking toward the head of the gulf, saw no strait of water leading to what they called the Western Sea. On the contrary they saw that the hills and mountains on both sides of the gulf curved toward each other, and they were all but sure that land closed in all the water, making California a peninsula. Only a jutting barrier of hills closed out the view to the northwest which would render this conclusion a certainty. T w o other indications helped to corroborate the missionaries in their opinion. There were no blue shells such as Kino had seen on the western shores of Baja California. Moreover, some Indians had appeared wearing attire which evidendy they had gathered from some wreck at sea. There had been no such accident in the waters of the gulf, hence the natives must have got their plunder from wreckage washed ashore on the western coast and carried overland by them to Pimeria. A few days later Salvatierra spoke with a native from farther west, a Yumyum or Yuma, and the padre affirmed that "in every way in his carriage, the expression of his eyes, and his entire body he was like a Californian." 12 Kino and Salvatierra had set out upon this expedition to go by land over the northern end of the gulf and then south to Loreto. They now were almost certain that land stretched all the way. They would try to pass over it and surprise Picolo and Ugarte on the other side. Alas, it was not to be. The three water holes near the beach were found to be insufficient for the pack animals, and scouts sent along the beach in the direction which would lead to California reported a lack of water. The Indians had said too that great dunes lay in that direction. There was nothing for it but to return. Left where they were the animals would perish with thirst. And so the long train trudged back in agony over the dunes and then over the volcanic slag to the water of El Tupo. Thence it would retrace its steps through San José de Ramos and El Carrizal to Sonóita. On their way back Salvatierra and Kino, their geographic curiosity still unsatisfied, decided to corroborate their conviction that California was a peninsula. The pack train was sent ahead to Sonóita, and the



two padres, with Indian guides and Captain Manje, turned west again and went about thirty miles to ascend a mountain from which they hoped to gain a complete view of the head of the Gulf of California. They ascended a peak, probably the Sierra Hornaday, and from its crest the fathers were rewarded with the view and the knowledge they had been looking for. It was again sunset. From their lofty eminence they descried the northern limits of the Gulf of California floating on a crimson sea. They saw how the tall sierras of Lower California bent east and commingled with lower hills and plains which curved south to form the northern frame of the gulf. California was plainly a peninsula. Of this fact the two missionaries were now firmly convinced. Reported Kino: "The sun set, and from the peak we saw with all clarity all the sea below, toward the south, and the place on the beach to which we had descended. We saw that the half arch of sierras of California whose end had been concealed from us by the spur of the mountains kept getting constantly closer together and joining with other hills and peaks of New Spain." 1 8 From this sweeping view the two men felt certain that they had seen that California was a peninsula. It was a historical achievement of importance for the expansion of Spain's empire in southwestern North America. T o celebrate the event Kino and Salvatierra sang the litanies of Our Lady of Loreto in thanksgiving for the knowledge imparted them. Salvatierra's doubts had vanished: he knew now that California was not an island. Thus he wrote to Arteaga: "I was sufficiently satisfied by what I saw with my own eyes and from the information got from the Indians concerning the closing in of the gulf to warrant the founding of traveling stations in the land, in order each year to be able to advance farther along the way, so that finally through commercial contact by land New Spain and California will be joined." 1 4 T h e modern air route from Mexico City to Los Angeles passes over this country. From the altitude of the plane the eye sweeps over a far broader ring of territory than the two padres were able to descry from their mountain top. T o the west tower the forky and pointed peaks of the Sierra San Pedro Mártir of northern Lower California, below, the waters of the gulf join to form the estuary of the Colorado River, north and east stretch far to the horizon that dread land of volcanic slag, sand dunes, and desert. Here are spots right out of Dante's Inferno. The two padres with Captain Manje and the men



had performed the herculean task of piercing this black terrain to the waters of the gulf. After Kino and Salvatierra had looked from their mountain top they wanted to continue farther west, but their Indian guides refused to conduct them. Therefore they returned east to Sonoita, but with the understanding that the following October, which was the best month for water, they would return again and complete what they now were unable to accomplish. The following year (1702) Kino put the discovery beyond the shadow of a doubt. He rode northwest to the junction of the Gila and Colorado, followed the latter down stream, and then threaded down its eastern bank to the estuary which swings west at the head of the gulf. He now stood west of the sea, he saw the land across the estuary, and he watched the sun rise over the waters of the Gulf of California. It was fixed and certain: California was not an island. 15 The fathers parted company at Sonoita. Kino continued east to Bac, near his later mission, San Javier, while Salvatierra went south to look for a sailing point to California. He trekked to Caborca, then east to Dolores, and then south again, writing to Kino from Cucurpe. Salvatierra in this letter again goes a-begging for his California missions. ". . . Now it is time for Your Reverence to aid us with a good consignment of flour, tallow, and suet, in skins, because I consider these poor people in great need." Salvatierra was not at all bashful, for he continues: "If Your Reverence could send your pack train to Mátape with aid it would be of great importance at this time, and the Father Rector of Mátape will send it promptly to Hyaqui [ Yaqui] for the sail boats." 1 6 Alas! It was going to take a long time for the livestock and other supplies already collected to reach California. In the meantime that isolated colony would almost starve. Continuing south Salvatierra reached the site of the present town of Guaimas where, according to instructions from the provincial, Arteaga, he founded a new mission called San José de la Laguna and he put Father Manuel Diaz in charge. The place is now called San José de Guaimas and lies a short distance north of the town. On May 9, Salvatierra embarked on the refitted San José to cross to California, where he arrived after a three-day voyage, anchoring at San Bruno to land some cattle and then sailing south to Loreto. 17 He arrived joyfully at his Loreto on the curving bay of San Dionisio and his joy was heightened when to his astonishment he



beheld coming out to welcome him not only Picolo but his old friend and one-time procurator Ugarte now come to work in Salvatierra's chosen land. Ugarte had stolen a march on his superior, who wrote with enthusiasm about his home-coming. "We dropped anchor at Loreto . . . and were received with joy by the Father Rector, Juan de Ugarte, the soldiers, and the Indians. All the Californians returned in good health after a journey of eight hundred leagues, this by the special grace of the Madonna and may she always be blessed." 1 8 N o sooner was the padre back than he penned another missive to Kino, not begging this time, but with generosity giving to him all the credit for the discovery of California as a peninsula. In August he directed a letter to the Jesuit General in Rome, Thirso Gonzales, telling briefly of the expedition and of the discovery made, which happy event he attributes to Our Lady of Loreto. H e speaks of another expedition planned for the following year by himself and Kino, and he promises a longer account in the near future. 1 9 A s much an optimist as Kino, Salvatierra thinks that soon supplies will be flowing by land around the head of the gulf and south into the missions of the peninsula. There is pathos in a letter to Kino written at this time by Picolo from Loreto in California: "May Our Lord grant us the boon of seeing California carry on trade with New Spain by land, for the relief of these missions and for the good of so many souls." 20 But there was to be no land route. The distances and the desert saw to that. Both man and beast would have perished before the parched and volcanic trail would have been half covered. For want of land communication the missions of Lower California would suffer constantly and there was to be continued expense and labor for the maintenance of boats to cross the gulf. The only land route discovered was to Alta California in the last quarter of the century. Juan Bautista de Anza performed that service in 1775 for the later and more famous chain of missions.

Chapter VII

ALMOST STARVED OUT new laborer in California, was soon to learn by bitter experience on how slender a thread hung the very existence of the missions. The supplies which he had sent across the gulf soon ran out. Salvatierra on his return carried little with him and the abundant provisions and livestock which Kino had seen transported to the mouth of the Yaqui were immobilized for lack of transport. Picolo was to be sent across to the mainland in order to speed up the fitting of the ship San José. Twice he made the attempt and twice he was blown back by adverse winds. The Spaniards had not yet learned the season of the wild chubasco which from July to the end of October can descend upon these waters with cyclonic fury. It was December 26 before the padre could finally make the journey. Hunger descended upon the little colony and for a while even the fine optimism and splendid courage of Salvatierra faltered. He called together the soldiers and the Christian Indians and the two fathers. It was a council not of war but of despair. Salvatierra actually proposed the abandonment of the enterprise. "Up to this point," said he, "we have mobilized our feeble forces to preserve for God and for King the conquest of these lands. At an advanced age we have not spared fatigue nor labor." Yet the supplies have again run out. ". . . Our necessity increases. The land is in itself arid and it is practically impossible to get the natives to expend labor upon its cultivation. We have to accede to the times and this present necessity. The happy hour has not arrived for the conversion of California." 1 The padre was visibly moved. There was silence over all. Then Ugarte broke the tension. What he said was to the point and his action was brave and determined. He said he knew that Salvatierra as a prudent superior had his subjects in mind when he proposed abandoning the mission. Their suffering and their fatigue in scraping from the lap of nature a tiny subsistence had touched his father's heart. If left to himself Salvatierra would not thus give up. "I know that so far as Your Reverence is personally concerned, you would prefer to die helping these poor souls, and that neither hunger, nor thirst, nor nakedness would be able to drive you from California. As





for me, I stand resolved not to leave even if I am forced to live among the savages." T h e big man then made straight for the rude chapel of the mission camp, knelt before the statue of Our Lady of Loreto, and vowed never to leave the mission unless obedience to higher superiors should order it. Coming out he harangued the soldiers and filled them with his own determination. And so the decision was made: they decided to stick it out, come what might. For the next few weeks they lived almost as did the savages on a pittance of maize, rice, berries, and shell fish. And the two missionaries led the men up to the hills and down to the beach in daily search of food. All of them became thin and Salvatierra was reduced to a bag of bones. In the meantime other interesting developments had taken place. T h e disgruntled captain of the soldiers, Antonio García de Mendoza, seeing he could not have independent command, but must hold office under Salvatierra, and grievously disappointed that he was forbidden to exploit the natives in the pearl fisheries, finally resigned his command, for he realized his complaining letters had not been favorably received at the viceregal court. 2 Both missionaries and soldiers were well rid of the troublemaker (though we are not sure when he sailed for the mainland). But his successor proved a man of such cowardly instincts that the soldiers were again disgusted, and he, too, was soon replaced. It happened this way. T h e medicine men were again at their work of stirring up their tribesmen against the Black Robes. Such mischief making had been a repeated occurrence on the mainland at the founding of each new mission unit. T h e fickle nature of the Indian and the stern moral discipline of Christianity often made him lend a ready ear to plots against the fathers and plans to destroy the mission. In the missionaries the medicine man saw his rival, the robber of his ancient prestige. It was not difficult to make out a case against the uninvited Spaniards which would appeal to the wild nature of the native. Christianity meant loss of freedom and of old liberties and license, the hechiceros could say, and the abandonment of all that had been to them worth living for. Often the leaders promised reward if the neophytes succeeded in killing the missionary and destroying the mission. Too often did these men succeed in their agitations and they were successful once again here in California. At San Javier Viggé (fortunately while Picolo was away) they attacked the mission, destroyed the rude chapel, riddled with arrows a statue



of the Virgin Mary, and sought the life of the padre. Loyal Indians carried the news to Loreto, and the new captain was dispatched with soldiers to seek out and punish the marauders. But this officer showed such slight energy and determination in his task that the soldiers—anxious to pursue the fugitives—themselves begged to be relieved of his command. Salvatierra then permitted the men to select their own commander by secret ballot. Their choice fell upon a tried and trusted servant, Don Estevan Rodriguez Lorenzo, a Portuguese who had come with Salvatierra in 1697. This man was destined to hold his post with one intermission for many decades. H e was a blessing to the fathers and to the missions in the establishment and progress of which he became an important factor. T a k i n g office in September, 1701, he died in California after forty-nine years of service. Salvatierra had presided over the first elections ever held in California history and officially appointed Rodriguez captain of the presidio according to the will of the majority. 3 During these lean and hungry months of the latter part of 1701 Ugarte was trying to make himself into a practical missionary by learning the language of the Californians. Since Picolo was waiting for a favorable wind to cross to the mainland during the fall, the mission of San Javier V i g g é had remained abandoned and desolate. Toward the end of the year Ugarte had acquired at least an elementary working knowledge and it was decided that he should go to San Javier to rebuild the broken mission. Salvatierra invested him with the spiritual authority of the district in the chapel at Loreto with a fervently enacted ceremony before the statue of Our Lady. Thus it was that Ugarte received his first commission. With a handful of soldiers he departed southwest along the precipitous trail which led over the rocky backbone of the Giantess and descended into San Javier to reopen and rebuild the mission. Matters did not go very well at the start. Not an Indian came near the place, and the district round about was empty. T h e soldiers wanted to go out and bring them in, but Ugarte forbade it. T h e soldiers then grew discontented with too much time on their hands and nothing to do. T h e padre, suspecting that it was the presence of the military which kept the Indians away, sent all the soldiers back to Loreto and waited alone. Soon an Indian boy appeared, cautious and curious. Ugarte was kind to him; loaded him with



presents and sent him back to his people with the message that the soldiers were gone. T h e Indians then put away their fear and began to come to the camp. Soon Ugarte could begin a regular regime: Mass in the morning, then instruction in religion, and a distribution of pozole. There was much work to do in rebuilding the mission and Ugarte set the Indians a good example by undertaking himself the most menial tasks. Chapel and dwelling for the padre had again to be constructed, surrounding thickets had to be cleared, rocks removed from level spaces that corn might be planted, dams and ditches made in order to irrigate the soil. Ugarte believed in building for the future, for the mission could not continue to exist on the fringe of starvation. T h e padre had his troubles but he was determined not to call upon Loreto for anything. During his instructions the neophytes would burst out laughing at the way he handled the meager grammar of their speech. Like small boys they played the classical trick on h i m : when he inquired how to say such and such a thing they gave him the wrong or a funny—perhaps an obscene—word. When he used what they had given, they roared with laughter. H e learned his lesson. A f t e r one or two experiences of this kind he went to the smaller children for his information and he profited by their lack of sophistication. These crude Californians made fun also of Ugarte's exposition of hell. That would be a good place to go to, said they, for there must be plenty of wood there, and besides they could always keep warm, escaping the cold of their mountains and valleys. T h e old Jesuit chroniclers narrate all these incidents without a hint of humor, and they are piously shocked at such insolence or stupidity. But with greater realism they describe the quality of Ugarte's courage and devotion. H e who had once sat in a college president's chair and filled the pulpits of Mexico was now barefooted and barelegged, planting a little corn in a parched field, and hoeing out a little ditch to carry water for its irrigation. In the spring of 1702 Ugarte's little crop was growing. Perhaps in the fall he would reap a tiny harvest. Still the Indians continued to tantalize the padre by coming late for the instructions or causing disturbances during them. H e noticed that these savages had no regard for his patience, charity, industry, or any other moral virtue. They admired only physical strength and prowess. H e made a lesson of one scoffing and ribald



fellow, taking him by the hair and bouncing him up and down several times. After that there was less trouble. His prestige rose still higher at another feat. Many of the Loreto mission animals had been killed by mountain lions, so numerous in this wild peninsula. The Indians were afraid of the beast which, moreover, a superstition forbade them to kill, for if they did the killer, too, would die. Ugarte blasted their credulity and gained prestige at one stroke. One day, confronted by a mountain lion on a narrow path, he let fly a large stone at the head of the beast and killed it. He brought it into the mission slung over his mule and still warm so that the Indians were certain that Ugarte himself had slain it. Great was their admiration of his prowess, and when he did not die, and when no other evil thing befell him, their superstitions were dispelled. They were now free to kill mountain lions themselves and help to rid the peninsula of the pest.4 Ugarte was rewarded with the passing of the years. The crops he planted, his wheat and his corn, actually grew, and his neophytes, after some time, were able to absorb sufficient Christian dogma for baptism. They took on Christian habits and became slightly more industrious and a bit more docile to the laws of the Christian ethic. In 1707 there was drought on the mainland; and from the usually drought-ridden peninsula Ugarte could write an exultant letter to his friend in Mexico, Don José de Miranda, dated June 9: "Thanks be to God it is now two months that we eat . . . good bread here from our own crops of wheat, while the poor unfortunates of the other side, of Sinaloa and Sonora, perish with hunger. Who would ever have dreamed of it. Long live Jesus and the great Mother of Grace and her spouse, bestower of the impossible." 5 It is quite evident that Ugarte's enthusiasm was equal to that of Kino and Salvatierra. From Viggé Ugarte kept an eye on the near-by district which Picolo had named Santa Rosalia, nor did he neglect San Juan Londó in the north. He and Salvatierra, in Picolo's absence, used to visit the site. In the meantime, however, there were troubles, difficulties, and even anguish. The year 1702 was bad in spite of Ugarte's brave beginning at San Javier Viggé. It was quite impossible to maintain the colony through the precarious and long-delayed services of the two remaining vessels, the leaky San José and the launch San Javier. After each trip they had to be overhauled on the mainland and this causcd no end of delay. Hence the plight of the missions dur-



ing the winter of 1701-1702. The San Javier with Picolo aboard finally arrived at the end of January. It brought corn, flour, and other provisions, including probably some goats, for we shortly hear of these animals being at Ugarte's mission. But where were those hundreds of head of catde and the thousand head of sheep and goats (not to account for other provisions) which Kino's industry had collected in the summer of 1701 at the Yaqui's mouth for transport to California? Were the animals still waiting and perhaps rotting while California starved? Another and larger ship was a prime necessity. At the end of January the supplies collected by Kino the year before came in. The San Javier was immediately sent back for more. The vessel had not brought in much, and apparendy Salvatierra was too generous with the Indians. Even that man of extreme good will, the newly elected Captain Rodriguez, entered a complaint in his diary: "Such was the charity," says he, "of the venerable Father Juan María de Salvatierra in dispensing alms to the Indians that in a short time we again found ourselves reduced to the utmost necessity."6 So, that spring and summer the food situation was again precarious. It became necessary for the men to dig for roots. Ugarte brought in fish, and some fruit of the prickly pear ripened in June and July. This meager diet was supplemented by wild berries and a little milk from a few goats. But Ugarte, Picolo, and Salvatierra did not falter. The plight of the three fathers and the presidio, reduced now to twelve men, was made worse by a general uprising of the rancherías. It happened this way. A soldier, a mere lad, was married to a California Indian, who had become a Christian. In June, 1702, the natives celebrated the ripening of the prickly pear with song and dance. The pagan mother of the girl came to fetch her back to her own people that she might take part in the celebration. The girl was not unwilling and one night they both stole away, and the poor poblano woke in the morning to find his young bride gone. The lad went out in search of his wife, but could not find her. A few days later, disobeying his captain's orders, he went again accompanied by a friendly Californian. The two came upon a ranchería whence issued the noise and shouting of a grand celebration. An old Indian, learning of the soldier's purpose, told him to be careful, for he might be killed. An argument ensued, the soldier lost his head, and slew the Indian with a shot from his musket. The report



of the gun drew the attention of the village, the inmates rushed out and, seeing what had been done, transfixed the soldier with a dozen arrows and killed him. T h e Californian managed to escape. This incident was the signal for a general rebellion. T h e Indians well knew that the garrison was small and word was quickly sent to all the surrounding villages. Captain Rodriguez, on the report of the Californian, immediately rushed soldiers to Londó, Viggé, and Santa Rosalia. Ugarte's new house and mission chapel would have been destroyed again had not the guards been present. As it was, his maturing little crop of corn, almost ready to be gathered in, was laid low and his goats were driven off. T h e captain and a few men went in search of the leaders of the rebellion. There were a few brushes with the natives and four or five were killed but nothing else was accomplished except the destruction wrought by the uprising. The anger of the natives continued to run high for a while, and the colony was reduced to the direst straits, trying to fight hunger on the one hand, and to defend itself against the savages on the other. 7 Salvatierra, hungry as usual but with spirit strong and robust, wrote in good humor to his old friend Don José de Miranda: " W e suffered much until the twenty-second of July when the launch appeared and before that time I was not able to write to Your Honor for hunger held me in its clutches so that I was only able to desire to write rather than to hold the pen in my hands." 8 All this while the bark San José which might have been used was again laid up for repairs which required an interminable time. Finally the San Javier reappeared to save the Spanish colony which had waited from January to July for fresh provisioning. Besides the badly needed supplies, the ship carried soldiers and good news for the future of the California missions. The ship brought word of a change at the center of Spain's administrative system. T h e new king, the Bourbon from France, Philip V, successor to Charles II, was going to be a friend to California. Almost five years had passed since Salvatierra had made his brave beginning. Again and again the task had appeared almost impossible of accomplishment. But the first five years were the hardest, and the colony had recently weathered the most difficult crises. The Indians gradually quieted down, food was again on hand, and the future looked brighter.

Chapter VIII BETTER YEARS WHEN THE seventeen-year-old Philip, grandson of Louis X I V , was named in the will of Charles II as K i n g of Spain, Louis is reported to have said with a wave of his hand: " T h e Pyrenees no longer exist," meaning that Spain and France would from then on be one. T h e powers, Austria, England, and Holland, later joined by Savoy and Portugal, were determined that the Spanish crown be given to Archduke Charles, grandson of Emperor Leopold. T h e Grand Alliance was formed and the long W a r of the Spanish Succession began. T h e conflict lasted until 1 7 1 3 and exhausted France. T h e Treaty of Utrecht specified that Philip V be acknowledged K i n g of Spain and the Indies with the provision that the crowns of France and Spain never unite. T h e year of the beginning of the war ( 1 7 0 1 ) Philip turned his attention to the missions of California. During the reign of the incompetent Charles II (1665-1700) the Spaniards had felt poverty pressing down upon them and increasing unemployment owing to a lack of industries. T h e numbers of women and men in convents and monasteries continued to increase and a quantity of food was doled out in charity to the poor whom industry should have supported. T h e outbreak of the war "shook the nation out of its unhealthy slumber; and when the dust and smoke of battle were dissipated, Gibraltar had vanished and the royal palace was full of Frenchmen. They wore powdered wigs, they were gay and lighthearted, and frowned at the Spaniards whom they found too solemn and too slow." 1 T h e Spanish black was laid aside at court for the gay colors of the French, and this outward change in custom was symbolic of what took place in government. A f f a i r s under the young French king were attended to more rapidly and, concomitantly, greater speed and efficiency were apparent in the handling of matters of state. T h e throb of a renewed vigor was felt to the very edge of the empire, even to the shores of Baja California. T w o years before the death of Charles, Viceroy Jose Sarmiento Valladares had sent a report of Jesuit labor in California to the court and had passed on to Madrid all the later pleas of Salvatierra. Unfortunately for California the influence of the Condesa de Galve, California's best friend in Madrid, ended with her death. In 1700 101



the court was absorbed in the intrigues around the dying king, Charles II, who finally succumbed in the fall of that year. On November i Philip was proclaimed king and started for his new domain. All of these matters explain why there was delay in responding to the appeals for financial aid which Salvatierra made to Viceroy Valladares in Mexico, who simply passed them on to the royal court and did nothing more about them. The fathers for a while took these difficulties so seriously that they ceased baptizing adults for fear they would have to discontinue the mission. Picolo left California at the end of 1701, as related in the last chapter, to stir up the flagging enthusiasm of officials and friends of the peninsular missions. He took with him three of his neophytes to show them off on the mainland and in the capital of New Spain. Picolo was very proud of his spiritual children and he wrote touchingly to the Jesuit General, Thirso Gonzales, concerning them: "If Your Paternity could only see my three California sons, precious youths and first fruits of that new church [which is] the conquest of Mary most holy, how you would rejoice and all of Rome with you." Picolo was destined during his many months in Mexico to see the beginnings of better fortune for his peninsular missions. It is true that the indifferent Valladares, Conde de Moctezuma, was replaced as viceroy by a churchman (a recurrent phenomenon in New Spain), Juan Ortega y Montañés, Archbishop of Mexico, who was then serving his second term in the highest civil office. But so far as California was concerned he was no better than his predecessor or perhaps he was worse. Picolo complains of him with some bitterness in the aforementioned letter to the Jesuit general: " I expected to find the same piety and care for the service of God and of the King which I found in the royal Audiencia of Guadalajara, but having discovered His Excellency to be so taken up with matters of greater importance (I suppose it to be so) than the salvation of souls, it has been necessary to fortify myself with unlimited patience and also with holy zeal when I heard him say to me that it was a small matter if California perished." Picolo further charges that the archbishop-viceroy has uttered no word of thanks to the benefactors of California, not even to Caballero y Ocio concerning the 44,000 pesos he gave the missions before he died, though he saw the gentleman repeatedly; that he ordered prayers taught to the Indians in Castilian, which Picolo says is impossible; finally, avers the aggrieved mission-



ary, the general discontent against the archbishop is so great that an uprising in the city is feared.2 But better days were about to dawn, although Picolo does not seem at the date of his letter to be completely aware of it. The new Bourbon king in Spain, Philip V, had taken an interest in the California missions, for the peninsula was a province he wanted to hold. He therefore issued a decree, called a royal cédula. There were three documents in all, each carrying the date of July 17, 1701. The documents reached Mexico early the following year. One was directed to the archbishop-viceroy and the other two to Guadalajara, to the audiencia, and to the bishop, respectively. Instructions to the archbishop-viceroy were to the effect that from the royal exchequer six thousand pesos should be disbursed each year in support of the California missions. The king desired to be informed about the condition of the California peninsula and to be instructed about the best means to continue a prosperous setdement. Moreover, the king decreed that the estate of the late Don Alonso Fernández de la Torre, bequeathed for the foundation of two missions in Sinaloa and Sonora, be applied to the founding of two missions in Lower California if there was any residue after the mainland missions had been aided. The authorities in Guadalajara were instructed to promote the prosperity of the missions by any means whatsoever and the California venture was described as a holy and pious work. The king acknowledged his gratitude to those who had already aided the missions.3 It was evident that new life and vigor had been injected into the Spanish administration by the young Bourbon and his partly French entourage and that a strong party at the court wanted the missions to continue and to prosper and desired that California be setded by and held for Spain. The presence of pirates prowling about the tip of the peninsula in order to pounce upon the galleons from Manila made it important for Spain to have stations there. Also, a port of call was needed badly for the necessary repair of the creaking hulks for the last lap of the long voyage to Acapulco and to care for the crew, some of whom were always sick or dying with scurvy. It was this fine tide of good fortune that encouraged the spirit of Picolo soon after his arrival in New Spain. However, when he wrote to the father general in May, 1702, he was evidently unaware




o£ the fact that the archbishop-viceroy had already issued orders for the disbursement of the six thousand pesos to be g i v e n a n n u a l l y to the support of the C a l i f o r n i a missions, for he c o m p l a i n s that this h i g h e s t official had d o n e n o t h i n g about the royal decree. T h e truth is that the orders of the archbishop-viceroy b e c a m e e n t a n g l e d in the red tape of officialdom. 4 T h e matter w a s ultimately resolved and P i c o l o received his six thousand for the missions. L a t e r that same year the unsympathetic archbishop w a s replaced as viceroy b y F r a n cisco F e r n á n d e z de la C u e v a , D u k e of A l b u r q u e r q u e a n d


o f C u e l l a r . T h i s f r i e n d of the Jesuits a n d of C a l i f o r n i a w a s to hold office n i n e years, w h i c h w e r e to be prosperous ones f o r the missions. T h e A u d i e n c i a of G u a d a l a j a r a h a d acted e v e n before the viceroy, a n d that b o d y asked the Jesuit f o r precise i n f o r m a t i o n c o n c e r n i n g the state of the missions. P u r s u a n t to these desires Picolo in F e b r u a r y , 1702, w r o t e a n account of the C a l i f o r n i a situation w h i c h he h a d attested before a notary a n d three witnesses, t w o of t h e m Indians w h o h a d lived o n the peninsula. T h i s f o r m a l a n d official docum e n t w a s later printed in M e x i c o C i t y . 5 P i c o l o m a d e it clear to the authorities in both cities that the m o n e y w o u l d be of little assistance w i t h o u t a ship to carry across the g u l f provisions already collected a n d to be procured, a n d he insisted that additional missionaries w e r e n e e d e d to assure the p e r m a n e n c y of the g o o d w o r k . H e asked for six additional soldiers a n d three missionaries. H i s Informe

is e n l i g h t e n i n g o n California's past. H e first builds

u p a b a c k g r o u n d , the facts w h i c h h a v e been recounted here in p r e v i o u s chapters. T h e n he enters into current details. L i k e Salvatierra h e refers to the mother mission at L o r e t o C o n c h o o n the shores of the bay of San D i o n i s i o . T h e presidio is fortified w i t h palisades. " T w o gunshots a w a y " is the chapel and the house of the p a d r e w i t h some w o r k s h o p s and a g o o d t r u c k g a r d e n . A l l buildings are a d o b e w i t h roofs of straw. W e have h a d most of this i n f o r m a tion f r o m the p e n of Salvatierra, b u t Picolo's


for 1702 are

n e w . H e says that a thousand children h a v e been prepared f o r baptism a n d that three thousand adults are about ready. Saturday a n d S u n d a y the adults are instructed together w i t h the children. F o u r m i s s i o n centers carry o n this w o r k , says h e : L o r e t o C o n c h o , S a n F r a n c i s c o Javier, San Juan L o n d ó , a n d N u e s t r a Señora de los Dolores. Picolo's twenty-page report gives details f o r each mission center, a n d f r o m these the twentieth-century reader gleans k n o w l e d g e about



the Indians and their mentors. The Indian population of the sterile peninsula was not at all large and the Indians lived widely scattered in very small settlements (rancherías) containing from twenty to fifty families each. Loreto ministered to ten rancherías, and Picolo gives the Indian names of each.8 San Francisco Javier at Viggé was responsible for twelve villages with names such as Quimiauma, which the Spaniards changed piously to Angel de la Guarda; Lichú which they called Cerro de Caballero; Picoloprí and Yenuyomú were others. The farthest away was Omemaitó twenty leagues distant from the mission center. San Javier evidently was well set up with a good house and church of adobe and straw, a truck garden of cabbage and lettuce, and in the vicinity an abundance of the fruitbearing cactus. Dolores had three stations. Last in this record is San Juan Londó with four rancherías with such names as Teupnon and Tamonqui. Here the vigorous Ugarte had lately been at work. Ranging over the country he had discovered these rancherías. There is a financial aspect to Picolo's report. Loreto and San Javier had been endowed by the oft-mentioned Don Juan Caballero y Ocio, with twenty thousand pesos fetching an income for each establishment of five hundred a year. The third was financially set up by the sodality at the Jesuit college of SS. Peter and Paul in the capital with a sum of eight thousand giving an income of four hundred a year. The non-Indian personnel is described. Eighteen soldiers with their captain make up the presidio garrison. Two of them were married and had their families with them. There were twenty-four sailors: twelve for the two mission boats, the San Javier and the Rosario, and another twelve "which I took with me in the ship San José." The Rosario had just been purchased by the padre with donated funds. Besides these soldiers and sailors eight other persons lived in the missions—Negroes and Chinese (or Filipinos) "de servicio." Some of the soldiers, however, had recently been dismissed for lack of funds to pay them. Picolo, like Salvatierra, and like Bravo fifteen years later, exaggerates, among other things, the productivity of the barren land, so that the report gives an encouraging, even a glowing, picture of present and prospective crops, and California seems to flow with milk and honey. Corn and wheat had been sown and varieties of the bean family : lentiles, chick-peas, lima beans, and ordinary frijoles. Picolo himself had planted squash, pumpkins, and watermelon, and



he looks forward to a good yield. Crops have already been reaped, and nature produces the yucca generously. Picolo also refers to the extensive and thick beds of fine white salt which had accumulated from the sea on some of the islands. Decades earlier Kino saw and described the salt bed on a small island in the bay of L a Paz. Picolo writes of the fauna of the country, too. There are deer, hare, rabbits, and two kinds of wild sheep whose flesh makes good eating. Picolo contradicts Baegert about the bird life, saying it was abundant. He mentions mockingbirds, partridges, scissortails, linnets, larks, turtledoves, and pigeons. Duck, geese, with other waterfowl and an abundance of shell fish complete the picture; the pearls come in for mention too. Picolo, like Salvatierra and Bravo, was a robust propagandist for the rock-ridden cactus patch. His exaggeration of the fertility of "paradaisical" California went the rounds of eighteenth and failure of, 134, 1 8 1 ; summoned to Mexico City, 134; to mainland, 135; death, 135, 157; estimate of, 137 ff.; powers of, 1 3 8 - 1 3 9 ; Sunday religious processions, 149, 1 5 1 ; fiestas, 150-1 ; 1 ; intercessions in Heaven, 168; cited on evils of independent soldiery, 296; and mission finances, 354-356 passim, 366, 367; plans mission at Mulege, 431 San Bernabé, 245, 259-260 passim, 276, 277. 348 San Bor ja: Consag explores countryside, 279; site at spring of Adac, 380, 381; name, 380; Link at, 380 ff.; aid from older missions, 381; Retz's aid, 3 8 1 382; Indians, 382-383; Arnés arrives, 383; church, 404-405; Franciscans, 404; Dominicans, 404-405; inaugurated, 447; Link on number of neophytes, 447 San Bruno: name, 3 1 ; Atondo at, 32; Kino at, 33, 35; misfortune, 35-36; location, 45; Salvatierra lands at, 4 5 46, and aversion to, 46; desolation, 46 San Diego de Alcali, 426 San Dionisio Bay, 46-48, 92, 123 San Fernando Velicati : petroglyphs near, 7; first Franciscan mission, 426 San Firmin, 5, 57, 60, 63, 66, 368 San Francisco de Borja. See San Borja San Francisco Javier, 368, 391 San Gregorio: Ugarte rector at Indian school, 79; Ugarte leaves, 80 San Ignacio Kadakaaman: site, 3, 70, 118, I 3 2 _ I 3 3 > 254; Campos at, 86; Salvatierra visits, 86; mission founded, 110, 224, 227; Picolo says Mass at, 132; Indians, 133, 228-230, 234; Luyando at, 133, 225-228, 422; Picolo at, 224, 254; Sistiaga visits, 226; agriculture, 226-228; church, 227, 235-236, 392; prosperity, 227, 228, 422; Echeverria visits, 227, 244; wine famous, 228; plagues, 230-232, 233; northern Indians repelled, 233-234; pueblos, 234; Sistiaga attends, 235; Taraval at, 235, 249; Consag relieves Taraval at, 320;



San Ignacio Kadalcaaman ( continued) Consag returns to, 330; floods, 3 9 1 392; school, 39a San Isidro. See Londó San Javier (La Lancha), 57; Salvatierra to mainland on, 74, and return, 76; Ugarte sends provisions on, 79-81 passim, 98-99, 100, 105; to site for Santa Rosalia, 111; shipwrecked, 128; expense for rebuilding, 172, 367 San Javier Viggé: founded, 61, 62-63, 254; name, 62; Picolo at, 63, 64; chapel of Todos Santos, 63, 64; today, 70; Picolo again at, 78; path from Londó, 78; Indians attack, 95-96; abandoned, 96; Ugarte to rebuild, 96-97; soldiers sent back, 96-97; third massacre, n o ; hurricane destroys church, 168; Ugarte at, 168 S., 255; drought, 169; mission centers, 170; order of day, 170; pueblo founding, 170; church, 393; Indians at, 393; spiritual life of, 393; prosperity, 393, 396; last Mass at, 4 2 1 4 " San ¡oté, 56, 57, 74, 78, 92, 98, 100, 105 San José del Cabo: mission site, 4, 24s; Tamaral at, 245-247, 253, 258 S., 264, 265; Echeverría visits, 246; aid for Manila galleon, 259-261; no soldiers at, 2 6 1 - 2 6 2 ; Uchitfes attack, 265, 2 7 1 ; plague, 3 1 4 ; Indians sent to Santiago, 314; abandoned, 376, 447; Villapuente provides for, 376; livestock, 396; no resident missionary after 1762, 447 San José de Guaimas. See San José de

bankrupt, 3 5 5 ; to 1 7 2 1 has resident missionary, 447 San Juan Londó. See Londó San Luis Gonzaga: Baegert at, 9, 17, 69, ' 9 6 , 335, 338, 340 ff.; Guillén sets up visita, 165, 3 3 5 ; becomes mission pueblo, 165; Hostell resident missionary at, 165, 195-196, 3 3 5 ; mission established, 195; Hostell on Indians, 196; Bischof! at, 196, 336; stone church, 197; visitation by Lizasoain, 197; bay of, 3 3 3 ; Christian population, 336; livestock, 343-344; order of day, 346; poverty, 396

la Laguna San José Island, 1 2 2 - 1 2 3 , 183 San José de la Laguna: Salvatierra founds mission called, 92; Ugarte to, for horses, 108-109 San José de Ramos, Kino and Salvatierra

Santa Rosa: mission named for Rosa de la Peña, 253; Taraval founds, 253 Santa Rosalia Mulegé: site, 4, 63-64, i n , 116, 4 3 1 ; Picolo names, 63-64, 116, 2 55> 431; Basaldúa assigned to, 116, 4 3 1 ; chapel, 116; path to Loreto, 116; prosperity, 1 1 6 - 1 1 7 ; 118, 437; church, 1 1 7 , 439; rancherías, 1 1 7 - 1 1 8 ; Picolo at, 1 1 7 ; order of day, 1 1 8 ; Sistiaga at, 168, 226, 432, 434; Nascimbén at, 273, 435; Salvatierra plans mission, 431; Basaldúa chooses site, 4 3 1 ; Palóu quoted on, 4 3 1 ; Franciscans at, 431, 435-436; Dominicans at, 432, 4 3 5 436; record shows growing influence of Sistiaga and Christianity, 432; mar-

celebrate Mass at, 88-89, 90 San Juan Bautista Malibat: site for mission, 1 1 2 ; Salvatierra inspects site, 1 1 8 - 1 1 9 ; Pedro de Ugarte establishes, 1 1 9 , builds chapel, 119, and leaves, 120; Guillén assigned to, 1 3 1 , 160, 168; 1719 expedition reaches, 160— 1 6 1 ; vicissitudes, 194; pillaged, 194; Ugarte orders Guillén to abandon, 194; disappears, 197; founder López goes

San Marco ranchería, 1 1 7 , 1 3 2 San Miguel, 368 San Miguel: running water, 169-170; visita of San Javier Viggé, 170, 220; chapel, 170; Mass, 170; wine, 170; hechicero curse, 1 7 0 - 1 7 1 ; Tamaral at, 170, 2 2 0 - 2 2 1 ; pueblo, 176 San Pablo: Ugarte builds mission, 169; pueblo, 170 San Pedro y San Pablo college. See Colegio Máximo Santa Catalina Island, 1 8 2 - 1 8 3 Santa Elvira, 43, 56, 57, 63, 74 Santa Gertrudis: Consag finds site, 332, 333. 376; founding fund, 376; houses at. 376-377; Retz at, 3 7 7 If.; remarkable progress, 377-379! self-supporting, 378; church, 405; Indians, 422 Santa Margarita Island, 159, 160, 164 Santa Maria de Angeles: site, 4, 7; last Jesuit mission, 4, 399, 404. See alto Calamajue

INDEX riage record«, 432-433; number of rancherías evangelized, 433; entry by Luyando, 434; entries by Helen, 434, by Gordon, 434, by Consag, 434-435; plague, 435; Escalante last Jesuit at, 435; death rates, 437; Sistiaga's inventory, 437> 439, continued by Luyando, 437-438; luxuries of missionaries, 440; books, 440-441 Sana Ynéz Island. See Tiburón Island Santiago: plans for mission, 197; Nipoli establishes, 197 ff.; Cora Indians near, 199 ff., 206; Villapuente finances, 202; Bravo visits, 204; Carranco replaces Nipoli restores chapel, 292; Sistiaga recalled, 205; Tamaral and Echeverría visit, 248; poorly guarded, 262; Indian raid, 264-265; Sistiaga visits, 292, and sends Tempis to, 292, 312, 315; Nipoli searches for bones of Carranco, 292; Nipoli restores chapel, 292; Sistiaga orders Taraval to, 292 Sea otter, 330 Sebastiin Vizcaino Bay. See Vizcaino Bay Sedelmayr, Jacopo: ordered to Pimería Alta, 303, 311; at Santa Maria hospice, 304-305; quoted on Santa Rosa, 306, on passage, 308; on German Jesuitt.inNew Spain, 308; on California in letters to Munich, 312; missionary at Tubutama, 324; letter to Echeverría on Colorado River, 324-325 Seri Indians, 36; Salvatierra mollifies, 128, 209; Ugartc and, 209-210, 215 Serra, Junípero, 425, 426 Shells, blue (abalone): Kino sees, 35; significance, 35, 84, 90; Pimas have, 83; Salvatierra and, 84; none at Santa Rosalia, 64 Sierpe, Pedro Gil de la: gift to Pious Fund, 41-42; boats for California, 57, 63, 78; recalls Santa Elvira, 74; death, 78 Sierra de Calamajue, 379, 385, 402 Sierra de Calmalli, 326, 379 Sierra de la Giganta, 1-4 passim, 32-35 passim, 45, 61, 96, h i , 125, 168, 187, 219, 224, 226, 254, 335, 337 Sierra Madre Occidental, 27, 38 Sierra San Pedro Mirtir, 2, 7, 91, 203, 208, 333, 386, 387, 402 Sinaioa missions: Atondo governs, 29;


support for, 103; aid California missions, 124, 357, 363; Plcolo visits, 254; Indians, 257; Lizasoain visits, 388 Sistiaga, Andrés Comanaji: aids Retz, 24; builds houses at Sana Gertrudis, 376377; instructs other Indians, 378 Sistiaga, Sebastiin de: at Santa Rosalia, 117, 216, 432; begins record book, 117, 432; at San Ignacio, 133, 151, 225; Ugarte visits, 209; brings Ugarte's party to Santa Rosalia, 216; continues Picolo's work at Kadakaaman, 225; chooses site for San Ignacio, 225, 226; accompanies Luyando to San Ignacio, 226; returns to Mulegé, 226; to Loreto, 226; advises Luyando, 233, 234; wants squadron in south, 247; returns to San Ignacio, 272; replaces Guillin as superior, 291-292; to La Paz and Santiago, 292; orders La Paz evacuated, 292; retires to Mexico, 315; life, 432; inventory of mission possessions, 437, 439; Indians named for, 437 Soldiers: presidio organization, 141; one in each mission center, 141, 143; captain of, punishes Indians, 141-142; discipline, 143; pearl fishing forbidden to, 143, 145; discontent, 143-144; salaries, 144, 157, 179, 343, 357-358, 366, 370; powers of captain, 146; number of, 146, 179; Indians resent floggings by, 257; sixty allocated to California, 295; Vizarrón removes from Jesuit jurisdiction, 295-296; evils of independent, 296; again placed under missionaries, 297, 318; Escobar urges, in presidio on Gila River, 319; Baegert on, 343; inventory missions, 421 Sonora missions, 85; support for, 103; proposal to abandon, 114-115; aid to California missions, 124, 357; Nipoli to, 205; Indians, 257; Philip V wants California mission system to meet, 318 South Sea, 1, 34, 208 Spillberg, 27 Strafford, William, 208, 212, 213, 216; log of voyage, 217, and map, 217 "Sucinta Relación," accusations against Jesuits, 408, 410, 415 Tamaral, Nicolis; on Indians, 10-11, 16; at Purísima, 118,131,134,166; coastal



Tamaral, Nicolás (continued) explorations, 166; at visita of San Miguel, 170-171, 219-220; life, 2 1 9 220; founds Purísima Concepción, 220221; agricultural labors, 221, 223; order of day, 222-223; travels with Echeverría, 244-245; at San José del Cabo, 245-247, 253; on Pericúes' polygamy, to Santiago with Echeverría, 248; on Uchities, 258; Uchities plan to kill, 259; aids Montero and crew, 259-260; Carranco warns, 261; refuses to leave San José, 264; murdered, 265, 434 Tamarón y Romeral, Pedro, 394 Tamburini, Michael : accepts Salvatierra's resignation, 1 2 1 ; adds to Salvatierra's powers, 138; orders to Bravo, 176; interest in mission field, 237; approves system for Pious Fund, 355 Tapia, Gonzalo de, 137 Tapia, Pedro: request for visitation to missions refused, 238; begins mainland mission system, 336 Tarahumara: trouble, 37; Jesuits in, 75; proposal to abandon missions in, 1141 1 5 ; Ratkay to, 239, 242; Picólo in, 254; Aschenbrenner in, 303, 3 1 1 ; aid to California, 354; Lizasoain in, 388 Tarahumaras: Salvatierra among, 38, 137; dress, 75; Spanish abuse, 297-298 Taraval, Sigismundo: description of Indians, 24; at Comondú, 196; arrival in California, 235, 237; to San Ignacio, 235; account of 1734 rebellion, 239; personal history, 249; arrives in Loreto, 249; ordered to write history of California missions, 249; source for Venegas, 249; replaces Tamaral at Purísima, 249, and Luyando at San Ignacio, 249; on Cedros Island fiora and fauna, 2502 5 1 ; to Todos Santos, 253; founds Mission Santa Rosa, 253; visits Indian villages, 253-254; on Pericúes, 257; suspicious of Indians, 262-263; forced to flee Todos Santos, 265-266; reaches La Paz, 266, 267; to Espíritu Santo, 266267; to Dolores, 268; to La Paz against Indians, 269; 1734 Christmas, 270; again to Dolores, 272, 273; to La Paz with Huidobro, 283; on Huidobro, 283-288 pattim; stay at La Paz, 2 8 5 286; journal on Huidobro's treatment

of Indians, 286-291 passim; at Santiago, 291, 292; journal on martyrs, 292; on Mayorga, 293; Consag relieves, at San Ignado, 320; on Indian language, 444, 445; cited on mission centers, 445 Tempis, Antonio: replaces Nipoli at Santiago, 292, 312, 3 1 5 ; death, 315 Tepic, 336 Tepotzotlin: site of Jesuit novitiate, 39, 40, 3 1 1 ; Salvatierra resigns as rector of, 43; Luyando retires to, 235 Tiburón Island: Kino and Minutuli discover, 172; Ugarte visits, 209, 210, 214; sacrament, 210; Punto de Buen Socorro on, 215 Tirsch, Ignacio, message to Ducrue, 418 Todos Santos: Bravo establishes, 193, and names, 203; road to, 203-204; Nipoli visits, 204; Carranco resident padre for, 204-206; visita, 204, 206; pueblo all but exterminated, 206, 253; Taraval to, 253; endowed by Rosa de la Pena, 253; three soldiers at, 262; conspiracy, 262; Taraval and staff leave, 265-266; attacked, 267; Indians moved to Santiago, 314; continues until end of Jesuit period, 3 1 4 - 3 1 5 ; today, 315 Toledo, Elvira de, 72, 74, 101 Tompes, Juan Francisco de: on reestablishing missions, 279; goods to missions, 362-363; funds to repair ships, 368-369 Tortolero, Luis de Torres y, 44, 46; at Loreto, 53, 55; to Londó, 58; with Picolo to Viggé, 61; resigns, 63 Triunfo de la Cruz. 175, 176, 182-183, 187, 188, 207-210 passim, 2 1 4 - 2 1 6 passim, 255, 368 Trujillo, Gaspar: missionary at Loreto, 393; privilege of Eucharist, 393-394; to Dolores del Sur, 397 Tubutama, 86; Minutuli at, 1 1 2 ; Sedeimayr missionary at, 324 Uchiti Indians: Tamaral among, 258; Rogers describes, 258; ringleaders, 258; conspiracy, 262-267; murder Carranco and Tamaral, 264-265 Ugarte, Juan de: cited on religion ,of Cochimies, 10, 13; kills lion, 13, 98, 438; professor of philosophy, 41; sup-

INDEX ports Pious Fund plan, 41-42; Salvatierra's letters to, 55, 56; funds run out, 73; memorials to Salvatierra for ships, 74; refuses offer for support of Baja California, 74; gathers supplies for California, 79; determines to be missionary in California, 79-80; life, 79; leaves Mexico City for coast, 80; arrives in California, 80-81; begs to stay, 81; visits Salvatierra at Loreto, 92-93; determines to continue at Loreto, 94-95, 255; learns Indian language, 96; and Indians, 96-97; dismisses soldiers, 96— 97; sent to rebuild San Javier, 96 ft.; to San José de Guaimas for horses, 108, 109; joins expedition to Pacific, 109; at Comondú, 125; increases number of missions, 131 ft.; Salvatierra leaves in charge, 135; continues work of Salvatierra, 168; superior, 168, 182; at San Javier, 168 if., 2 ; ; ; Indians taught weaving, 169; builds ship, 171 ft.; cuts timber, 174; 1720 expedition 182 if.; sea exploration for northern route to join missions, 207; 1721 northern exploration, 208-214; rheumatism, 209213 passim; confirms California a peninsula, 213, 216, 217; returns to Loreto, 214-216; goal, 218; death, 254, 2 ; ; , 256; estimate, 255-256; and mission expenses, 354 Ugarte, Pedro de: replaces Minutuli, 114; assigned to south, 1 1 6 ; with Salvatierra to Malibat, 1 1 8 - 1 1 9 ; establishes San Juan Bautista Malibat, 1 1 9 ; learns language, 1 1 9 ; trouble with hechicero, 119-120; returns to Mexico City, 120 Ulloa, Antonio de, 323-324 Ulloa, Francisco de, 26, 208 Ures, mission of, 77 Utrecht, Treaty of, 101 Valero, Marques de. See Zúñiga, Baltazar de Valladares, José Sarmiento: conditions for financing missions, 42; Salvatierra informs, 50, 72-73; asks help, 73; reports to court on Jesuit labor, 1 0 1 , 102; replaced, 102 Velarde, Luis: believes California an island, 207-208; denies Kino's discoveries, 324

Velasco, Luis de, funds to Dolores del Sur, 195 Velasco, Pedro de, 28 Venegas, Miguel: on California, 2; on medicine men, 16; biographer of Salvatierra, 40; story of Palacios' recovery, 40; on "miraculous" answer to prayer, 108; refutes complaints about missionaries, 145; considers California an island, 213, 216, 324; credits Taraval as source, 249; on Vizarrón, 276; charitable to Huidobro, 283—284; on Villapuente, 299; estimate of cost of missions, 354, 357; publication of manuscript, 448-451 Ventura, Lucas, 397-398, 419 Vera Cruz, 29, 239, 307-308 passim, 312, 416 Villapuente, Marqués de: gift for new missions, 107; founder of Comondú, 1 3 1 , 298; finances Guadalupe mission, 176, 298; funds for La Paz, 177, 182, 298; founder of Santiago, 201, of Purísima Concepción, 220, 298; founder of Pious Fund, 237, 298; death, 298; his benefactions, 298-300, 354-355, 356 Villavieja, Juan, 401, 419 Visconti, Ignacio: quoted on poverty of missions, 372-373; reproves Mexican Jesuits for avarice, 412-413 Vitelleschi, Mutius, 28 Vizarrón, Juan Antonio de: Montero reports to, 266; fatuous actions, 268; Guillen's report on Indian raids to, 268, 275; refuses help, 275, 276; feud with Jesuits, 275; attitude, 275-276; testifies in self-defense, 280; sends force to Baja California, 282; orders presidio, 295; places soldiers again under missionaries, 297 Vizcaino, Sebastián: colony in La Paz, 27; permission for pearls, 26; discovers Magdalena Bay, 160 Vizcaino Bay, 5, 165, 250, 329, 330 Vizcaino Desert, 1 , 2, 381 Wagner, Franz Xavier: succeeds Mayorga at San José, 128; to California, 303; on crossing, 307; rescued, 308; on German Jesuits in New Spain, 310, 3 1 1 - 3 1 2 ;



Wagner, Franz Xavier (continued) in Mexico City, 3 1 1 ; to Baja California, 3 1 2 ; to Comondu, 3 1 2 - 3 1 3 ; feud with medicine men, 3 1 3 ; death, 3 1 5 Walter, Victor: describes trip from Cadiz, 239—241; admires foundations, 240— 241; on Indians, 241, 242 War of the Spanish Succession, 72, 1 0 1 , 122, 155, 303 Yaqui Indians, 257; loyalty, 268, 269; aid in quelling 1734 revolt, 270, 2 7 4 -

275, 370; with Huidobro, 282; with Consag, 322 Yeneca pueblo: Boton at, 258; Indian conspiracy, 261, 264, 290 Zappa, Juan Bautista, 39 Zumalde, Mateo: and Indians, 277-278; reports to Vizarron, 278 Zumpziel, Bernard, 195 Zuniga, Baltazar de, 1 3 4 - 1 3 5 ; instructions from Madrid, 1 5 5 ; calls viceregal council, 156; pays for supplies for California, 157

Jesuit »on J o v l t r






• Tumococorl j*










To accompany Black Robes in Lower California, by Peter Mas ten Dunne, S.J.

Drawn by Jane Bendi*