The Old Franciscan Missions Of California eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 194 pages of information about The Old Franciscan Missions Of California.

The formal speeches ended, and amidst the laugh and wine,
Some one spoke of Concha’s lover,—­heedless of the warning sign.

Quickly then cried Sir George Simpson:  ’Speak no ill
of him, I pray! 
He is dead.  He died, poor fellow, forty years ago this
day.—­

’Died while speeding home to Russia, falling from a
fractious horse. 
Left a sweetheart, too, they tell me.  Married, I
suppose, of course!

‘Lives she yet?’ A deathlike silence fell on banquet,
guests, and hall,
And a trembling figure rising fixed the awestruck gaze
of all.

Two black eyes in darkened orbits gleamed beneath the
nun’s white hood;
Black serge hid the wasted figure, bowed and stricken
where it stood.

‘Lives she yet?’ Sir George repeated.  All were hushed
as Concha drew
Closer yet her nun’s attire.  ’Senyor, pardon, she died,
too!’”

In 1810 Moraga, the ensign at the presidio, was sent with seventeen men to punish the gentiles of the region of the Carquines Strait, who for several years had been harassing the neophytes at San Francisco, and sixteen of whom they had killed.  Moraga had a hard fight against a hundred and twenty of them, and captured eighteen, whom he soon released, “as they were all sure to die of their wounds.”  The survivors retreated to their huts and made a desperate resistance, and were so determined not to be captured that, when one hut was set on fire, its inmates preferred to perish in the flames rather than to surrender.  A full report of this affair was sent to the King of Spain and as a result he promoted Moraga and other officers, and increased the pay of some of the soldiers.  He also tendered the thanks of the nation to all the participants.

Runaway neophytes gave considerable trouble for several years, and in 1819 a force was sent from San Francisco to punish these recalcitrants and their allies.  A sharp fight took place near the site of the present Stockton, in which 27 Indians were killed, 20 wounded, and 16 captured, with 49 horses.

The Mission report for 1821-1830 shows a decrease in neophyte population from 1252 to 219, though this was largely caused by the sending of neophytes to the newly founded Missions of San Rafael and San Francisco Solano.

San Francisco was secularized in 1834-1835, with Joaquin Estudillo as comisionado.  The valuation in 1835 was real estate and fixtures, $25,800; church property, $17,800; available assets in excess of debts (chiefly live-stock), $16,400, or a total of $60,000.  If any property was ever divided among the Indians, there is no record to show it.

On June 5, 1845, Pio Pico’s proclamation was made, requiring the Indians of Dolores Mission to reunite and occupy it or it would be declared abandoned and disposed of for the general good of the department.  A fraudulent title to the Mission was given, and antedated February 10, 1845; but it was afterwards declared void, and the building was duly returned to the custody of the archbishop, under whose direction it still remains.

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