« PrejšnjaNaprej »
ligible to us. The sight of a band of Indians filled him with as much delight as at this day a man feels at the prospect of making a fortune. He regarded them as so many souls that he was to save; and the baptism of an Indian baby filled him with transport. With what sort of a spirit he worked for these creatures you see pleasantly exhibited in the foundation of the Mission of San Antonio de Padua, some twenty or thirty leagues below Monterey. With an escort, a couple of priests and a pack train carrying all the necessary articles for a new Church, he goes off into the mountains, examines all the hollows, and selects a beautiful little plain through which flowed a small river. Here he orders the mules to be unpacked, and the bells to be hung upon a tree, and as soon as that is done he seizes the rope and begins to ring, crying out at the same time at the top of his voice, Hear! hear! oh ye Gen"tiles! Come to the Holy Church! Come to the Faith of "Jesus Christ!" Father Péyras, who was with him, remonstrates, "what do you stop for? Is not this the place for the "Church, and are there no Gentiles in this neighborhood?" "Let me alone," says Father Junipero; "let me unburthen my heart, which could wish that this bell should be heard by all the world, or at least by all the Gentiles in these "mountains" and so he rung away there in the wilderness.
The Missions of San Francisco and Santa Clara were not founded for several years after the occupation of Monterey. The wants of the new Missions of his jurisdiction induced the Reverend Father President Junipero, to make a journey to Mexico to see the Viceroy in person, and although he succeeded to his satisfaction in other things, it was only after much entreaty that he obtained a promise that these two Missions should be established after communication was opened by land. This was done by Captain Juan Bantista Anza in 1773 whilst Father Junipero was absent on his visit to Mexico. [NOTE-A grand-daughter of Captain Juan Bantista Anza is now living in this city. She is the wife of Don Manuel Ainsa, and the mother of a large family of great grand-children of the first Pioneer who came to Upper California, direct from Mexico by land.] He made his report to the Viceroy in 1774, and came
back again with a considerable number of soldiers and families in 1776. In the meantime in anticipation of his arrival the San Carlos was sent up to examine the port of San Francisco, and ascertain whether it could be really entered by a channel or mouth which had been seen from the land. This great problem was satisfactorily solved by the San Carlos-a ship of perhaps some two hundred tons burthen at the very utmost-in the month of June 1775. When she entered, they reported that they had found a land-locked sea with two arms, one making into the interior about fifteen leagues to the south-east, another three, four or may be five, leagues to the north, where there was a large bay about ten leagues across, and of a round figure, into which emptied the great river of our Father St. Francis which was fed by five other rivers, all of them copious streams, flowing through a plain so wide that it was bounded only by the horizon, and meeting to form the said great river; and all this immensity of water discharging itself through the said channel or mouth into the Pacific ocean, which is there called the Gulf of the Farallones. This very striking description was accurate enough for the purposes of that day, and as soon as Anza and his people had arrived and Anza in person had gone up and selected the sites, a party was sent by land and another by sea to establish the Presidio and Mission of San Francisco. The date of the foundation of the Presidio is the 17th of September, and of the Mission, the 9th of October, 1776. The historian mentions in connection with these proceedings some things which may claim a moment's attention. In the Valley of San José, the party coming up by land saw some animals which they took for cattle, though they could not imagine where they came from, and supposing they were wild, and would scatter the tame ones they were driving, the soldiers made after them and succeeded in killing three which were so large that a mule could with difficulty carry one being of the size of an ox, and with horns like those of a deer, but so long that their tips were eight feet apart. This was their first view of the Elk. The soldiers made the observation that they could not run against the wind by reason of these monstrous antlers. And after the Presidio, and before the Mission was established
an exploration of the interior was organized, as usual by sea and land. Point San Pablo was given as the rondezvous, but the captain of the Presidio who undertook in person to lead the land party, failed to appear there, having with the design to shorten the distance entered a cañada somewhere near the head of the bay which took him over to the San Joaquin river. So he discovered that stream.
Then there are some traits of the first inhabitants of this place, the primitive San Franciscans. They lived upon muscles and acorns, blackberries, strawberries and fish, and delighted above all things in the blubber of whales, when one was stranded on the coast. They wore no clothes at all, at least the men, and the women very little, but they were not ashamed. They found it cold all the year round, (as did the Fathers who first took charge of the Mission,) and, to protect themselves, were in the habit of plastering their bodies with mud. They said it kept them warm, and when the sun came out they would wash off the mud. Their marriages were very informal, the ceremony consisting in the consent alone of the parties; and their law of divorce was equally simple, for they separated as soon as they quarreled, and joined themselves to another, the children usually following the mother. They had no other expression to signify that the marriage was dissolved than to say, "I have thrown her away," or "I have thrown him away." And in some of their customs they seemed to have been Mormons. In their marriages, affinity was not regarded as an objection, but rather an inducement. They prefered to marry their sisters-in-law, and even their mothers-inlaw; and the rule was, if a man married a woman he also married all her sisters, having many wives who lived together, without jealousy, in the same house, and treated each other's children with the same love as their own. Father Junipero's death closes the first period of our history. It is a period marked by exploits they are those of humble and devoted yet heroic missionaries. The story is diversified with only such simple incidents as that in the summer of 1772 the commander, Pedro Fages, had to go out and kill bears for provisions, to subsist on, which formidable game he found in abundance some
where near San Luis Obispo in a cañada that still justly bears the name of Cañada de los Osos; and that in 1780 the frost killed the growing grain at Easter. And only one instance of bloodshed attended the happy course of the spiritual conquest. The vicious Indians of San Diego, on a second attempt, murdered one of the Fathers, and two or three other persons, and burned the mission, which some little time afterwards was reestablished. We are told that they were prompted to this deed by the ENEMY OF SOULS, who was very much incensed at finding his party falling into a minority by reason of the constant conversions of the heathen in that neighborhood. All the seeds that Galvez was so provident in sending up took root and prospered beyond the most sanguine expectations, which he could have entertained when he predicted that the soil would prove as fertile as that of old Spain; and the cattle increased and multiplied with an increase without a parallel, so that in a short time his purpose, that there should be no lack of something to eat in this country, was fully accomplished.
Our historian is the Friar, Father Francisco Palou, one of the followers of Father Junipero, whose life, like a devout disciple, he wrote here at the Mission of San Francisco. He was the first priest who had charge of this Mission, and his book was written here in 1785. It was printed in the city of Mexico in 1787. It is the first undoubtedly, but not the worst book written in California. Copies of the original edition may be found in some private libraries of this city, bound in sheepskin, clasped with loops and buttons of the same, and with a long list of errata at the end. The volume is of itself an object of interest. To the work there is a preface which bespeaks the indulgence of the reader, because it was written among "barbarous gentiles, in the port of San Francisco, in his new "Mission, the most northern of New California, without books or men of learning to consult.” There are also the reports of several censors, and both a civil and ecclesiastical license to print it, and likewise a protest, of which the writer is entitled to the benefit at this day. He declares, in obedience to the Church, the Inquisition and the Pope, that he intends and de
sires that no more faith should be given to his performance than to a mere human history, and that the epithets he gives Father Junipero, and the title of martyrs which he bestowed on some of the other missionaries, are to be understood as mere human honors, and such as are permitted by a prudent discretion and a devout faith. The narrative is clear and circumstantial, well supported by public and private writings, and obviously true. The miraculous is always introduced as hearsay, and whilst it does not impeach the veracity of the writer, serves still further to illustrate the times by showing us the simple credulity of the class to which he belonged-the founders and first settlers of California. With the book there is a map. It exhibits the coast of Upper California, from San Diego to San Francisco. The only objects visible on it are nine missions and a dotted line, to show the road that the fathers traveled, from one to the other, viz. San Diego, San Juan Capistrano, San Gabriel, San Buenaventura, San Luis (Obispo,) San Antonio, San Carlos de Monterey, Santa Clara, San Francisco: and three, Presidios Monterey, Santa Barbara and San Diego, all lying near the coast, and back all a blank. Looking upon this old map we realize that California was designed for the Indians. They were to be its people after they were converted and instructed, as others had been in Mexico. The missions were to be the towns. The presidios were to protect the missions within, and defend the country from enemies without. Only enough settlers were to be introduced to relieve the Government from some part of the burden of supplying the presidios with recruits and provisions from Mexico. For this purpose the Puebl-soSan José de Guadalupe and Los Angeles, one in the north and the other in the south were established, both in the time of Father Junipero Serra. A small tract of land was given to these villages for their use collectively, and smaller parcels to each inhabitant as his private property. Neither of these pueblos appear on this old map-of such little consequence were they regarded. Father Palou, in relating the rejoicings at Mexico, in consequence of the discovery of Monterey, says: "The said "extent of three hundred leagues in length"-an inaccurate measurement of the new dominions of the King in Upper Cal