In his first report to Mexico, Serra tells of the Indian population around San Gabriel. He says it is larger than at any other Mission, though, unfortunately, of several different tribes who are at war with one another; and the tribes nearest to the sea will not allow others to fish, so that they are often in great want of food. Of the prospects for agriculture he is most enthusiastic. The location is a well-watered plain, with plenty of water and natural facilities for irrigation; and though the first year’s crop was drowned out, the second produced one hundred and thirty fanegas of maize and seven fanegas of beans. The buildings erected are of the same general character as those already described at San Carlos, though somewhat smaller.
[Illustration: INTERIOR OF MISSION SAN ANTONIO DE PADUA.]
[Illustration: REAR OF CHURCH, MISSION SAN ANTONIO DE PADUA.]
[Illustration: RUINS OF THE ARCHES, MISSION SAN ANTONIO DE PADUA.]
[Illustration: MISSION SAN GABRIEL ARCANGEL.]
When Captain Anza reached California from Sonora, by way of the Colorado, on his first trip in 1774, accompanied by Padre Garces, he stayed for awhile to recuperate at San Gabriel; and when he came the second time, with the colonists for the new presidio of San Francisco, San Gabriel was their first real stopping-place after that long, weary, and arduous journey across the sandy deserts of Arizona and California. Here Anza met Rivera, who had arrived the day before from Monterey. It will be remembered that just at that time the news came of the Indian uprising at San Diego; so, leaving his main force and the immigrants to recuperate, he and seventeen of his soldiers, with Padre Font, started with Rivera for the south. This was in January, 1776. He and Rivera did not agree as to the best methods to be followed in dealing with the troublesome Indians; so, when advices reached him from San Gabriel that provisions were giving out, he decided to allow Rivera to follow his own plans, but that he would wait no longer. When he arrived at San Gabriel, February 12, he found that three of his muleteers, a servant, and a soldier belonging to the Mission had deserted, taking with them twenty-five horses and a quantity of Mission property. His ensign, Moraga, was sent after the deserters; but, as he did not return as soon as was expected, Anza started with his band of colonists for the future San Francisco, where they duly arrived, as is recorded in the San Francisco chapter.
In 1777-1778 the Indians were exceedingly troublesome, and on one occasion came in large force, armed, to avenge some outrage the soldiers had perpetrated. The padres met them with a shining image of Our Lady, when, immediately, they were subdued, and knelt weeping at the feet of the priests.
In October, 1785, trouble was caused by a woman tempting (so they said) the neophytes and gentiles to attack the Mission and kill the padres. The plot was discovered, and the corporal in command captured some twenty of the leaders and quelled the uprising without bloodshed. Four of the ringleaders were imprisoned, the others whipped with fifteen or twenty lashes each, and released. The woman was sentenced to perpetual exile, and possibly shipped off to one of the peninsula Missions.