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adding weakness instead of strength to the crown's defences, and in this way preventing the attainment of the result sought to be accomplished by the statesman, in his use of the church for political purposes. Let us now take a brief view of the governmental part of the political co-partnership between church and state for conquest, its operations and final result.
Side by side the priest and soldier entered California. The latter took possession of the land for Spain, the former for the church, and the officer in command of the military was governor of the territory; his duties were to furnish garrisons to protect the missions, to aid in every way the efforts of the padres in their efforts for converts. To do this, the country was divided into military districts, eventually four of them, each having its seaport, where the commandant of the district made his headquarters and kept the principal forces.
Fortifications were built, consisting of a fort and three or four hundred rods square of land, enclosed with adobe walls, perhaps twelve feet high, on which were planted small cannon. Inside this inclosure were the officers' quarters, and the soldiers' barracks, chapel and store house, and the place was called a presidio.
The fort was outside the presidio, and at San Diego was five miles away; it was considered the main defence, and was erected with a view of commanding the harbor, but practically was never of any
This was demonstrated in 1819, at Monterey, where a few pirates landed, captured the fort, and pillaged and burned the town.
The number of soldiers supposed to be in each military district was 250, but that number was never maintained. The military district embraced about six missions, and a mission usually included about fifteen miles square.
There was no inducement for a man to enlist as a soldier to serve in California, and they went there perforce, some as outcasts, some as criminals; none were half paid or clothed, and eventually, as Forbes says, “California became the Botany Bay of America." Their duties were not heavy; consisting mainly of hunting up fugitive Indians, converts that had thought better of it and “back-slid,” back to their old haunts and pursuits; a sort of human rat-catching was their principal business. They could not marry except by special permission of the king, and this was seldom granted, and nerer unless recommended by the priest. In connection with each presidio was a farm, where the soldiers were erroneously supposed to attempt the growing of products that would constitute a part of their living. This government farm, under charge of the commandant, was called a rancho.
In time, the maintenance of this very small army became too severe a tax on the home government, and a plan was adopted that was thought would lessen the burden, by making it an inducement for the ex-soldier to stay in the country, and, becoming a citizen soldier, maintaining and holding himself in readiness to take up arms in case of any special emergency. This plan (it was not favored by the priests) was set forth in the king's orders, termed a reglamento, made in 1781. There were to be towns laid out, and each ex-soldier was entitled to a lot 556} feet square, as an unalienable homestead. He was to be paid a salary for a given time, he exempt from tax for five years, and receive from the government an agricultural outfit including a certain number of cattle, horses, mules, sheep, hogs and chickens. These were the inducements offered to the soldier whose term of service had expired, to secure his settlement in the country. When a sufficient number had located in one place to warrant it, they were entitled to have an alcalde, and other municipal officers, appointed by the governor for the first two years, and after that elected by themselves. For all of this they were to hold themselves subject and ready to respond to military orders with horse, saddle, lance and carbine. They were to sell all their surplus products to the presidios at a stated price, and after five years were to pay a tax of one and a fourth bushels of corn annually. In this way the towns of Monterey, Los Angeles and San José were started, and became the
centers where assembled the free population of the country, their numbers gradually increasing, and these towns were called pueblos.
For fifty-five years succeeding the establishment of the first presidio, the historic events worthy of mention, performed by the military branch of the “spiritual conquest,” were so few and far between
“ that a chronological reference to them up to 1822, when the Spanish provinces declared their independence of Spain, would seem to be all that would be of interest. It was the period during which the missions were demonstrating that their plan of making a Spanish province was a failure, and the military was so absolutely a part of the missions during the time, controlled by and subject to them, that there seems to be almost an absence of history separate from the mission. Yet all that time slowly was rooting in the land, through the pueblo system, an interest separate and distinct, which eventually overthrew the ally that had become their masters.
In 1775, November twenty-seventh, there was issued the first grant of land in California. It was a small one and at the San Carlos mission, containing only 381 feet square. It was given to “Manuel Butron, a soldier, in consideration that he had married Margarita, a daughter of that mission,” and Father Junipero recommended Mr. Butron and his Indian wife to the government and all the other ministers of the king, because, as he says, “they are the first in all these establishments which have chosen to become permanent settlers of the same.” Six years later a reglamento for guidance of the military forces in the country was signed by the king, thus initiating the pueblo or village system. In it captains of presidos were authorized to give grants of lots to soldiers or settlers. At this time the country had been occupied twelve years, and the entire Catholic population, including Indians, was only 1,749; six years later there were 5,143, and in 1790 the number had reached 7,748, mostly Indian converts.
It was the policy of Spain to treat with suspicion all who approached her colonies on the Pacific, fearing trouble if they were permitted to get a foothold. As an instance in point, on the twenty-third day of October, 1776 (the year in which our fathers declared their independence), the viceroy wrote to the governor of California that “The king having received intelligence that two armed vessels had sailed from London under the command of Captain Cook, bound on a voyage of discovery to the Southern Ocean, and the northern coast of California, commands that orders be given to the governor of California, to be on watch for Captain Cook, and not permit him to enter the ports of California.”
Thirteen years after this, the governor of California wrote to the captain commanding the presido of San Francisco, saying
Whenever there may arrive at the port of San Francisco a ship named Columbia, said to belong to Gen. Washington, of the American States, commanded by John Kendrick, which sailed from Boston in September, 1787, bound on a voyage of discovery to the Russian establishments on the northern coast of this peninsula, you will cause the same vessel to be examined with caution and delicacy, using for this purpose a small boat, which you have in your possession, and taking the same measures with every other suspicious foreign vessel, giving me prompt notice of the same. May God preserve your life many years.
PEDRO Fages. Santa BARBARA, May 13, 1789. To JOSEF ARGUELLO.
For the first time the Spaniard had joined in the same thought the home of the missions and the “home of the free.” The suspicious craft, “said to belong to Gen. Washington,” sailed north without entering the port of San Francisco, and discovered the Columbia river. Before we turn the last page
in the history of the eighteenth century, let us take a look at a brief letter written by the captain commanding at Santa Barbara to the governor of California, which says :
I transmit to you a statement in relation to the schools of the presidio, together with six copy-books of the children who are learning to write, for your superior information. Tay our Lord preserve your life many years.
FELIPE GOYCOCHEA. SANTA BARBARA, February 11, 1797.
Those copy-books are now the property of the state, having fallen into the hands of the government when California was taken from Mexico. They exhibit in the sentences copied (such as “JACOB SENT TO SEE HIS BROTHER,” “The ISHMAELITES HAVING ARRIVED,” &c.) a peculiarity of the times—that of fastening a thought of divinity upon everything. There is hardly a geographical name in this country, of Spanish origin, but is the name of a saint. Even the names given by the priests to the natives, when they baptized them, were usually taken from the bible. Imagine the name of Jesus given to a dirty, ignorant, beetle-browed digger Indian, with the instincts of a beast. Truly it is said, “Familiarity breeds contempt." It is not with the intention on our part of leading the mind of the reader into this channel that the copy-books are here referred to, but to show the marked difference characterizing the policy of the church and state, that in the end made the latter triumph. The priests taught the Indians to say mass and repeat the names of saints, to work under instruction, and no more. The military captains and governor encouraged the children of the free settlers in learning to read and write ; the church gradually developing dependence in the Indians; the state gradually developing independence in the free settlers. The Indian converts numbered about 12,000, the free settlers about 1000-one to twelve in favor of the church. Yet it needed no “ wise man of the East" to foretell the final result.
The nineteenth century was ushered in amid the convulsions of nature in California, at San Juan Bautista. The captain of the presilio writes to the governor on the thirty-first of October, 1800, as follows:
“I have to inform your Excellency that the mission of San Juan Bautista, since the eleventh inst., has been visited by severe earthquakes; that Pedro Adriano Martinez, one of the Fathers of said mission, has inform me that during one day there were six severe shocks; that there is not a single habitation, although built with double walls, that has not been injured from roof to foundation, and that all are threatened with ruin ; and that the Fathers are compelled to sleep in wagons to avoid danger, since the houses are not habitable. At the place where the rancheria is situated, some small openings have been observed in the earth, and also in the neighborhood of the river Pajaro there is another deep opening, all resulting from the earthquakes. These phenomena have filled the Fathers and inhabitants of that mission with consternation. The Lieutenant Don Raymundo Carillo has assured me the same, for on the eighteenth he stopped for night at this mission (San Juan) on his journey from San José, and being at supper with one of the Fathers, a shock was felt, so powerful, and attended with such a loud noise, as to deafen them, when they fled to the court without finishing their supper, and at about 11 o'clock at night the shock was repeated with almost equal strength. The Fathers of the missions say that the Indians assure them that there have always been earthquakes at that place, and that there are certain cavities caused by the rthquakes, and that salt water has flowed from the same. All of which I communicate to you
In this connection it may be well to give the letter written by the captain of the presidio at San Francisco to the governor, on the seventeenth of July, 1808, which says :
I have to report to your Excellency that since the twenty-first of June last up to the present date, twenty-one shocks of earthquake have been felt in this presidio, some of which have been so severe that all the walls of my house have been cracked, owing to the bad construction of the same, one of the ante-chambers being destroyed ; and up to this time no greater damage has been done. It has been for the want of material to destroy, there being no other habitations. The barracks of the fort of San Joaquin (the name of the fort at the presidio) have been threatened with entire ruin, and I fear if these shocks continue, some unfortunate accident will happen to the troops at the presidio. God preserve the life of your Excellency many years.
LUIS ARGUELLO. SAN FRANCISCO, July 17, 1808.
While services were in progress on a Sabbath in September, 1812, an earthquake shook down a church at San Juan Capistrano, the roof falling in, thirty persons being killed, and the building destroyed. On the same day the church at Santa Inez was thrown down. In 1818, the church at the mission of Santa Clara was destroyed by an earthquake.
In 1807, the Russians first made their appearance in California, with unequivocal intention of becoming a party in interest. In May of that year, one of the vessels of the empire sailed into the harbor of San Francisco, having a distinguished Russian official on board, Count Von Rosanoff, the royal chancellor of the czar. He came with the design of entering into a political compact that had in view California as the base of supplies for the more northern of the fur stations of his people. Pending the negotiation, he met Doña Concepcion Argüello, a daughter of the commanding officer, whose dark eyes made a captive of the emperor's envoy, and caused the “ • stranger of the north" to seek a double alliance, a union of hearts and states. There were, however, serious obstacles looming up, that cast an ominous shadow beyond. The young count was a conscientious member of the Greek Church, while the fair Doña, his promised bride, was a daughter of the church of Rome. Yet what obstacle ever retards the feet of love? what chasm can it not span with hope? On the wings of fancy he would seek the czar, and, as trusted agent, ask for permission of his master to be allowed to serve his country and the crown, by binding the province of Spain to the destiny of Russia, with a commercial treaty guaranteed by a matrimonial alliance with a daughter of one who was a ruler in the land. Armed with the consent of his own prince, he would away to the south and convince the king of Castile that the interests of the church should yield to those of state. That the interests of state were for Spain and his own country to join hands in their outlying colonies of the Pacific—what could be plainer ? Success was certain ! With this fond hope he sailed, and when passing by swift stages through northern Siberia, en route for home, he was thrown from a horse and killed. A sad end to that beautiful dream of a life, the only tale of love that has become a part of California's history. The fair Doña watched in vain for her lover's return ; and when he came not, she took upon herself the habit of a nun, devoting her life to the
; teaching of the young, and care of the sick ; dying at Benicia, in 1860, respected and loved by all who had known her.
The death of the count put an end to further negotiations, and we find that in a very different spirit Russia took possession of the port at Bodega in 1812, coming with one hundred soldiers and one hundred northern Indians. They established themselves about thirty miles from the fort. They erected, in 1820, Fort Ross, and having held possession of that immediate section of the country for thirty years, tinally sold to Capt. J. A. Sutter what could not be easily transported, and because of request to do so by the United States, left California in 1842, as unceremoniously as they had come. From this point they shipped supplies to their fur station in Russian America (now Alaska.) They raised grain, stock, and trapped extensively in the adjacent waters, having, in 1811, as many as eight hundred Russians in the country, as well as numerous natives in their employ.