The Old Franciscan Missions Of California eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 227 pages of information about The Old Franciscan Missions Of California.

The work of Galvez for Alta California was by no means yet accomplished.  Another vessel, the “San Jose,” built at his new shipyard, appeared two days before the “San Antonio” set sail, and soon afterwards Galvez went across the gulf in it to secure a load of fresh supplies.  The sixteenth of June the “San Jose” sailed for San Diego as a relief boat to the “San Carlos” and “San Antonio,” but evidently met with misfortune, for three months later it returned to the Loreto harbor with a broken mast and in general bad condition.  It was unloaded and repaired at San Blas, and in the following June again started out, laden with supplies, but never reached its destination, disappearing forever without leaving a trace behind.


[Illustration:  SERRA CROSS ON MT.  RUBIDOUX, RIVERSIDE, CALIF.  Under which sunrise services are held at Easter and Christmastide.]

[Illustration:  SERRA STATUE.  Erected by Mrs. Leland Stanford, at Monterey]

[Illustration:  STATUE TO JUNIPERO SERRA.  The gift of James D. Phelan, in Golden Gate Park San Francisco.]

The “San Antonio” first arrived at San Diego.  About April 11, 1769, it anchored in the bay, and awakened in the minds of the natives strange feelings of astonishment and awe.  Its presence recalled to them the “stories of the old,” when a similar apparition startled their ancestors.  That other white-winged creature had come long generations ago, and had gone away, never to be seen again.  Was this not to do likewise?  Ah, no! in this vessel was contained the beginning of the end of the primitive man.  The solitude of the centuries was now to be disturbed and its peace invaded; aboriginal life destroyed forever.  The advent of this vessel was the death knell of the Indian tribes.

Little, however, did either the company on board the “San Antonio” or the Indians themselves conceive such thoughts as these on that memorable April day.

But where was the “San Carlos,” which sailed almost a month earlier than the “San Antonio”?  She was struggling with difficulties,—­leaking water-casks, bad water, scurvy, cold weather.  Therefore it was not until April 29 that she appeared.  In vain the captain of the “San Antonio” waited for the “San Carlos” to launch a boat and to send him word as to the cause of the late arrival of the flagship; so he visited her to discover for himself the cause.  He found a sorry state of affairs.  All on board were ill from scurvy.  Hastily erecting canvas houses on the beach, the men of his own crew went to the relief of their suffering comrades of the other vessel.  Then the crew of the relieving ship took the sickness, and soon there were so few well men left that they could scarcely attend the sick and bury the dead.  Those first two weeks in the new land, in the month of May, 1769, were never to be forgotten.  Of about ninety sailors, soldiers, and mechanics, less than thirty survived; over sixty were buried by the wash of the waves of the Bay of Saint James.

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The Old Franciscan Missions Of California from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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