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.




A brief account of the founding of San Carlos at Monterey, June 3, 1770, was given in an earlier chapter.  What joy the discovery of the harbor and founding of the Mission caused in Mexico and Spain can be understood when it is remembered that for two centuries this thing had been desired.  In the Mexican city the bells of the Cathedral rang forth merry peals as on special festival days, and a solemn mass of thanksgiving was held, at which all the city officials and dignitaries were present.  A full account of the event was printed and distributed there and in Spain, so that, for a time at least, California occupied a large share of public attention.

The result of the news of the founding of San Carlos was that all were enthused for further extension of the Missions.  The indefatigable Galvez at once determined that five new Missions should be founded, and the Guardian of the Franciscan College was asked for, and agreed to send, ten more missionaries for the new establishments, as well as twenty for the old and new Missions on the peninsula.

At the end of the year 1773 Serra made his report to Mexico, and then it was found that there were more converts at San Carlos than at any other Mission.  Three Spanish soldiers had married native women.

A little later, as the mud roofs were not successful in keeping out the winter rains, a new church was built, partly of rough and partly of worked lumber, and roofed with tules.  The lumber used was the pine and cypress for which the region is still noted.

There was little agriculture, only five fanegas of wheat being harvested in 1772.  Each Mission received eighteen head of horned cattle at its founding, and San Carlos reported a healthy increase.

In 1772 Serra left for Mexico, to lay matters from the missionary standpoint before the new viceroy, Bucareli.  He arrived in the city of Mexico in February, 1773.  With resistless energy and eloquence he pleaded for the preservation of the shipyard of San Blas, the removal of Fages, the correction of certain abuses that had arisen as the result of Fages’s actions, and for further funds, soldiers, etc., to prosecute the work of founding more Missions.  In all the main points his mission was successful.  Captain Rivera y Moncada, with whose march from the peninsula we are already familiar, was appointed governor; and at the same time that he received his instructions, August 17, 1773, Captain Juan Bautista de Anza was authorized to attempt the overland journey from Sonora to Monterey.

As we have already seen, this trip was successful and led to the second, in which the colonists and soldiers for the new Mission of San Francisco were brought.

In 1776 Serra’s heart was joyed with the thought that he was to wear a martyr’s crown, for there was a rumor of an Indian uprising at San Carlos; but the presence of troops sent over from Monterey seemed to end the trouble.

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