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made out of them." The farmer will readily recognize the little burrowing squirrel that ruins his fields of alfalfa, where the ground cannot be overflowed to drown them. "Our General called this countrey Nova Albion, and that for two causes: the one in respect of the white bankes and cliffes which lie toward the sea; and the other because it might have some affinitie with our countrey in name, which sometime was so called.
"There is no part of earth here to be taken up, wherein there is not a reasonable quantitie of gold or silver. Before sailing away our General set up a monument of our being there, as also of her majestie's right and title to the same, via... a plate nailed upon a faire great poste, whereupon was engraved her majestie's name, the day and yeare of our arrival there, with the free giving up of the province and people into her majestie's hands, together with her highness' picture and arms, in a piece of five pence of current English money under the plate, whereunder was also written the name of our General."
The incentive that prompted all nations to discoveries and occupation along the Pacific coast is forcibly and plainly given by King Philip III., of Spain, in his message to his viceroy in Mexico, in which he states the reason why he issues an order for the further exploration of the coast and its occupation. The document was dated August 16, 1606, and sets forth that, "Don Pedro de Acunna, Knight of the Order of St. John, my governor and captain-general of the Phillipian islands and president of my royal audience there. You are hereby given to understand that Don Louis de Valasco, my late viceroy in New Spain, in regard to the great distance between the port of Acapulco and those islands, the fatigue hardships, and danger of that voyage, for want of a port where ships might put in and provide themselves with water, wood, masts, and other things of absolute necessity, determined to make a discovery, and draughts, with observation of harbors along the coast, from New Spain to these islands."
The communication goes on to give the successive events in the prosecution of the enterprise until after the return of Viscaino's expedition in 1603, and then adds, speaking of the Indians found upon our coast, "that their clothing is of the skins of sea-wolves, which they have a very good method of tanning and preparing, and that they have abundance of flax, hemp and cotton, and that the said Sebastian Viscaino carefully informed himself of these Indians and many others whom he discovered along the coast for above 800 leagues, and they all told him that up the country there were large towns, silver, and gold; whence he is inclined to believe that great riches may be discovered, especially as in some parts of the land veins of metal are to be found."
Thus the Spanish crown gives the reasons for wishing to occupy the country, aud it must be borne in mind that these inducements were equally strong with other powers that were hostile to Spain. V egas, in his efforts to justify the Jesuits, gives the additional reasons not mentioned by the king, why the opposing countries, Spain and England, should desire to possess it. He says: "That in the meantime the English should find out the so-much-desired passage to the South Sea, by the north of America and above California, which passage is not universally denied, and one day may be found; that they may fortify themselves on both sides of this passage, and thus extend the English dominion from the north to the south of America, so as to border on our possessions. Should English colonies and garrisons be established along the coast of America on the South Sea beyond Cape Mendocino, or lower down on California itself, England would then, without control, reign mistress of the sea and its commerce, and be able to threaten by land and sea the territories of Spain; invade them on occasion from the E., W., N. and S., hem them in and press them on all sides."
With all these causes at work to spur forward the different powers of the world—with all these visions of things imagined, that lay covered up in the land unknown, working upon the fancy, it could do naught else than dot the high seas with adventurers and the fleets of empires. Yet one hundred and sixty-three years passed, after the first discovery, before a permanent settlement was made in any part of this fabulous land, that held secreted for the coming generations, within its limits, the realization of all their wildest hopes.
There remains the record of but one Spanish navigator who passed up along the coast of California during the seventeenth century. His name was Sebastian Viscaino, who sailed from Acapulco May 5, 1602. Passing north along the coast of Lower California, he discovered the harbors of San Diego and Monterey, the latter being named by him in memory of his friend, the viceroy of Mexico. At this point he sent back his sick, then moved on up the coast, leaving Monterey harbor to slumber for one hundred and sixty-six years, disturbed only by the winds, and the balsams of the natives. His course was close in along the shore, searching for barbers, where a station to supply the East India galleons might be established. Reaching a point a few miles below the bay that we now know as San Francisco, his evil genius sent him out to sea, where he continued north, keeping the land in sight, nnd thus passed that port. Coming opposite to what is now known as Drake's bay, behind Point Reyes, where that famous sea-king spent those thirty-six days when he landed and took possession of the country for England, he changed his course and put into shore in search of the cargo of a vessel called the San A ugustiue, that had been wrecked there in 1595. The learned historian, Juan de Torquemada, writing in 1615, says: "He anchored behind a point of rocks called 'La Punta de los Reyes,' in the port San Francisco."' Finding nothing, he continued his voyage towards the north, keeping the land in view, until he had sighted Cape Mendocino, when a council of his associates was called to decide what it was best to do under the circumstances. But six able-bodied men were left on the vessel; had there been fourteen it was the general's intention to push on north to latitude 46°, where the Columbia river empties into the Pacific ocean. He believed from all that he could learn that it was the straits of Anian, that at the time was supposed to separate Asia from America, and connect the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, through which he proposed to sail to Spain.
The condition of the crew is beyond the power of pen to describe; the following from that of Torquemada, who was writing of them, will give some idea of what the navigator of those early times had to contend with, having no means of preserving on shipboard, for long voyages, vegetables for food, to ward off the horrible disease. After describing the progress of the disorder, he says; "Nor is the least ease to be expected from change of place, as the slightest motion is attended with such severe pains that they must be very fond of life who would not willingly lay it down on the first appearance of so terrible a distemper. This virulent humour makes such ravages in the body that it is entirely covered with ulcers, and the poor patients are unable to bear the least pressure; even the very clothes laid on them deprive them of life.' Thus they lie groaning and incapable of any relief. For the greatest assistance possible to be given them, if I may be allowed the expression, is not to touch them, nor even the bed-clothes. These effects, however melancholy, are not the only ones produced by this pestilential humour. In many, the gums, both of the upper and lower jaws, are pressed both within and without to such a degree that the teeth cannot touch one another, and withal so loose and bare that they shake with the least motion of the head, and some of the patients spit their teeth out with their saliva. Thus they were unable to receive any food but liquid, as gruel, broth, milk of almonds, and the like. This gradually brought on so great a weakness that they died while talking to their friends. I * * * * Some, by way of ease, made loud complaints, others lamented their sins with the deepest contrition, some died talking, some sleeping, some eating, some whilst sitting up in their beds."
We must pass without further notice the details of this voyage, except to note that it returned to Mexico in March, 1603. Much of what has been given here of the hardships of that celebrated voyage has been for the purpose of impressing upon the mind of the reader a knowledge of some of the obstacles that guarded the approach to our land, which combined with her rocky shore and uncultivated soil, placed at the threshold against invasion a more formidable and dreaded defense than was the fabled winged serpent that guarded the approach to the Indies.
In 1606, the king issued orders that a supply station for the East Indies be established at Monterey, but the order was never executed, and nothing further towards settlement was attempted until 1683, when Admiral Otondo headed an expedition, by water, to take possession of the country. He landed at La Paz, erected a church, and made that his headquarters. Father Kino was in charge of the religious part of the enterprise, and set about learning the Indian language, and soon had translated into their tongue the creeds of the Catholic Church. The effort lasted about three years; during the time they were visited with an eighteen months' drouth, and before they had recovered from the blow, received orders to put to sea, and bring into Acapulco safely the Spanish galleon, then in danger of capture by the Dutch privateers that were lying in wait for her. This was successfully accomplished, the treasureship was conveyed safely in, but the act resulted in the abandonment again of the occupation of California.
The society of Jesuits was then solicited by the government of Spain to undertake the conquest, and was offered $40,000 yearly from the royal treasury to aid them in the enterprise. But they declined the undertaking, and Spain was at last forced to abandon the attempt to occupy the country, though it was believed to be the rival of the legendary El Dorado, and a key to the defenses of her possessions already obtained in the new world. For one hundred and forty-seven years since Cortez first established a colony on her coast had the treasure of private citizens and the government of Spain been poured out in unsuccessful attempts to hold the country by explorations and colonies; but the time had come when they were forced to yield its possession to its native tribes, and acknowledge defeat.
Occupation of Lower California by the Jesuits.
Why a Partial History of Lower California is Given—Father Kino or Kuhn—His Great Undertaking—His Plan—The Means—The Mode of Applying the Means—His Exalted Qualities—Cost to Spain of a Failure to Occupy—The Difficulties that Beset the Enterprise—Father Kino Joined by Salva Tierra and Ugarte—The Order Given Permitting the Jesuits to Enter upon the Conquest—The Expedition Sails —It Lands and Takes Possession of the Country— The Indians Attack the Mission—They are Defeated and Sue for Peace—How the Priests induced them to Work— The Plan of Operations Acted Upon by the Priests—It Proved to be a Success—They Became the Pioneers in Manufacturing, Ship-Building, Wine-Culture, Martyrdom and Civilization before they were Banished—The Reason why a Complete History of the Peninsula is not Given.
It may occur to the mind of the reader, that any part of a history of the settlement of Lower California, one of the states of Mexico, is not a pertinent subject to be reckoned properly among the events constituting the history of our California. Yet it would seem important, when one comes to understand that the peninsula was the door through which, in after time, civilization was to enter our golden land. It was the nursery where experience taught a religious sect how to enter, then exist, and finally subdue the land.
In the preceding chapter is noted the last expedition before the final abandonment by Spain of any further attempt to occupy a part of California. With that expedition was a monk who had voluntarily abandoned a lucrative and honorable position as a professor in Ingolstadt College. He had made a vow, while lying at the point of death, to his patron Saint, Francis Xavier, that if he should recover, he would, in the remaining years of his life, follow the example set in the lifetime of that patron. He did recover, resigned his professorship, and crossed the sea to Mexico, and eventually became the one who, as a missionary, accompanied that last expedition. He was a German by birth, and his name in his native land was Kuhn, but the Spaniards have recorded it as Father Eusebio Francisco Kino.
Father Kino had become strongly impressed in his visit to the country with the feasibility of a plan by which the land might be taken possession of and held. His object was not the conquest of a kingdom, but the conversion of its inhabitants, and the saving of souls. His plan was to go into the country and teach the Indians the principles of the Catholic faith, educate them to support themselves by tilling the soil, and improvement through the experience of the advantages to be obtained by industry; the end of all being to raise up a Catholic province for the Spanish crown, and people paradise with the souls of converted heathen. The means to be employed in accomplishing this were the priests of the order of Jesuits, protected by a small garrison of soldiers, both sustained by contributions from those friendly to the enterprise. The mode of applying the means was, to first occupy some favorable place in the country, where, protected by a small garrison, a storehouse and church could be erected that would render the fathers' maintenance and life comparatively secure. This would give them an opportunity to win the confidence of the Indians, by a patient, long-continued, uniform system of affectionate intercourse and just dealing, and then use their appetites as the means by which to convert their souls.
It is difficult for us of the nineteenth century to appreciate the grand conception, to realize the magnitude of the task undertaken by that monastic Hercules. With a heart that loved humanity because it had a soul, with a charity that forgave all things except a death in sin, infolding with affection all the images of the Creator, with a tongue that made the hearer listen for the voice of angels, with a faith in success like one of the chosen twelve, he became an enthusiast, and was to California what John the Baptist was to Christianity, the forerunner of a change to come. And the end is not yet—it will never be, for eternity will swallow it up.
Spain had spent vast treasures in that century and a half of unsuccessful effort to survey and occupy the upper Pacific coast. The first colony, established in 1536 by Cortez, had cost $400,000; the last, by Otondo, 1683, $225,400, to which add all the expensive efforts that occurred between those dates, and the total foots among the millions. So vast an outlay, followed by no favorable result, rendered the subject one of annoyance, and clothed with contempt any that were visionary enough to advocate a further prosecution of such an enterprise, so repeatedly demonstrated to be but a "delusion and a snare."
With such an outlook, uncheering, unfriendly, with no reward to urge to action, except beyond the grave, with a prospect of defeat and a probability of martyrdom as a result, Father Kino started, on the twentieth of October, 1686, to travel over Mexico, and, by preaching, urge his views and hopes of the enterprise. He soon met on the way a congenial spirit, Father Juan Maria Salva Tierra; and then another, Father Juan Ugarte, added his great executive ability to the cause. Their united efforts resulted in obtaining sufficient funds by subscription. Then they procured a warrant from the king for the order of Jesuits, to enter upon the conquest of California, at their own expense, for the benefit of the crown. The order was given February 5, 1697, and it had required eleven years of constant urging to procure it. October 10, of the same year, Salva Tierra sailed from the coast of Mexico to put in operation Kino's long-cherished scheme of conquest. The expedition consisted of one small vessel and a long-boat, in which were provisions, the necessary ornaments and furniture for fitting up a rude church, and Father Tierra, accompanied by six soldiers and three Indians. It was an unpretentious army, going forth to