For nearly nineteen years after his arrival in Mexico, Junipero was engaged in active missionary work, mainly among the Indians of the Sierra Gorda, whom he successfully instructed in the first principles of the Catholic faith and in the simpler arts of peace. Then came his selection as general head, or president, of the Missions of California, the charge of which, on the expulsion of the Jesuits, in 1768, had passed over to the Franciscans. These, thirteen in number, were all in Lower California, for no attempt had as yet been made to evangelize the upper province. This, however, the indefatigable apostle was now to undertake by co-operating with Jose de Galvez in his proposed northwest expedition. Junipero was now fifty-five years of age, and could look back upon a career of effort and accomplishment which to any less active man might well seem to have earned repose for body and mind. Yet great as his services to church and civilization had been in the past, by far the most important part of his life-work still lay before him.
 In the sequel, it may here be noted, the Franciscans ceded Baja California to the Dominicans, keeping Alta California to themselves.
As a result of the conference between Galvez and Father Junipero, it was decided that their joint expedition should be sent out in two portions — one by sea and one by land; the land portion being again sub-divided into two, in imitation, Palou informs us, of the policy of the patriarch Joseph, “so that if one came to misfortune, the other might still be saved.” It was arranged that four missionaries should go into