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.

Two of the old Mission bells are hung in the new church.  On one of these is the inscription:  “S.S.  Jose.  Ano de 1826.”  And on the upper bell, “S.S.  Joseph 1815, Ave Maria Purisima.”

The old Mission baptismal font is also still in use.  It is of hammered copper, about three feet in diameter, surmounted by an iron cross about eight inches high.  The font stands upon a wooden base, painted, and is about four feet high.

CHAPTER XXIV

SAN JUAN BAUTISTA

The second of the “filling up the links of the chain” Missions was that of San Juan Bautista.  Three days after the commandant of San Francisco had received his orders to furnish a guard for the founders of Mission San Jose, the commandant of Monterey received a like order for a guard for the founders of San Juan Bautista.  This consisted of five men and Corporal Ballesteros.  By June 17 this industrious officer had erected a church, missionary-house, granary, and guard-house, and a week later Lasuen, with the aid of two priests, duly founded the new Mission.  The site was a good one, and by 1800 crops to the extent of 2700 bushels were raised.  At the same time 516 neophytes were reported—­not bad for two and a half years’ work.

In 1798 the gentiles from the mountains twenty-five miles east of San Juan, the Ansayames, surrounded the Mission by night, but were prevailed upon to retire.  Later some of the neophytes ran away and joined these hostiles, and then a force was sent to capture the runaways and administer punishment.  In the ensuing fight a chief was killed and another wounded, and two gentiles brought in to be forcibly educated.  Other rancherias were visited, fifty fugitives arrested, and a few floggings and many warnings given.

[Illustration:  RUINED WALLS AND NEW BELL TOWER, MISSION SAN JUAN BAUTISTA]

[Illustration:  FACHADA OF MISSION SAN JUAN BAUTISTA]

[Illustration:  MISSION SAN JUAN BAUTISTA, FROM THE PLAZA]

[Illustration:  THE ARCHED CORRIDOR, MISSION SAN JUAN BAUTISTA]

This did not prevent the Ansayames, however, from killing two Mutsunes at San Benito Creek, burning a house and some wheat-fields, and seriously threatening the Mission.  Moraga was sent against them and captured eighteen hostiles and the chiefs of the hostile rancherias.

Almost as bad as warlike Indians were the earthquakes of that year, several in number, which cracked all the adobe walls of the buildings and compelled everybody—­friars and Indians—­to sleep out of doors for safety.

In 1803 the governor ordered the padres of San Juan to remove their stock from La Brea rancho, which had been granted to Mariano Castro.  They refused on the grounds that the rancho properly belonged to the Mission and should not have been granted to Castro, and on appeal the viceroy confirmed their contention.

In June of this year the corner-stone of a new church was laid.  Padre Viader conducted the ceremonies, aided by the resident priests.  Don Jose de la Guerra was the sponsor, and Captain Font and Surgeon Morelos assisted.

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