In fact no missions were secularized on the northern frontier during the Spanish period. . In all missions hospitals have been built, potions have been purchased and medicines acquired from surgeons of the province and from books. 27. Thus it was essential that California’s Indians be “reduced” into settled and stable communities where they would become good subjects of the King and children of God.5 Missionization required a brutally sudden change in cultural patterns and lifestyle akin in several respects to the forced movement of black people from Africa to the American South. None of the missionaries could lay claim even to the cassock which he wore. California Fugitive Slave Act of 1852: In 1852, pro-slavery forces in California pushed a law through the legislature that put many blacks at risk of being forcibly deported back to slaveholding states in the south – and to lives of brutal indentured servitude. Open revolt is, of course, the most obvious reaction to real or imagined oppression. With more gifts and kindness, skeptical natives were induced to build their own jacales, or huts, within the mission compound.6. Soldiers were later sent into the hills to try and capture those responsible for the insurrection. Squads of soldiers were sent into the hills to surprise and capture renegades with some success. Foundation of missions was controlled by the Crown, their existence was supported by the royal treasury, and inhabitants were secured by the military. In fact, the mission friars enslaved the California Indians and treated them with deliberate cruelty. See Fray Vicente SarrÃa to the missionaries, Soledad, June 6, 1814, Archives of the Archdiocese of San Francisco. It is not fair to remove these men from their place in time and subject them to standards of the late twentieth century. Located in the heart of Balboa Park While criticisms leveled at mission management by outsiders were apt to be less than sympathetic, defenses of the missions by the Franciscans were written with an eye to justification. 9. All foreign interlopers were intruders upon the Spanish domain and were rivals for empire. Corporal punishment is inflicted on the Indians of both sexes who neglect the exercises of piety, and many sins, which are left in Europe to the divine justice, are here punished by iron and stocks. The California Mission Indians were illiterate and therefore unable to express in written form their own feelings toward the system to which they were subjected. Indians lived in crude huts and life was carefully regulated by the ringing of a bell. Economic motives cannot be assigned to the Franciscan frontiersmen who pioneered Alta California. Either soldiers from the escolta, or mission guard, or soldiers from a presidial company were assigned the task of tracking and capturing runaways. When Indians killed a priest who was especially cruel in his whipping they were caught and sentenced to fifty daily lashes each for nine days and to life sentences of hard labor. Escapees in concert with non-mission natives frequently made violent and sometimes successful resistance to recapture. La PÃ©rouse commented favorably upon the Spanish inhabitants and the climate. For the 2,000 enslaved people brought into the state during the Gold Rush and granted freedom in 1850, the … Vasali Turkanoff, Statement of My Captivity Among the Californians, trans. in Kenneally, The Writings of FermÃn Francisco de LasuÃ©n, vol. 8. Event & Exhibition Updates The natives of Spain’s northwest salient lived in small, scattered tribal groups with much diversity as to language and social custom. However it was early apparent that alien Christian doctrines held little attractive power for suspicious natives. This urbane Frenchman shared the goals of the missionaries but exhorted that they could be achieved by example rather than force. California rejected slavery from the start, but committed genocide against Native Americans. Infrequent visitors to the California coast are the only available source of comment by outsiders. in Finbar Kenneally, The Writings of FermÃn Francisco de LasuÃ©n (Washington, 1965) vol. Associated moral codes define a system of social organization and Christianity insists on monogamy and stresses sedentary living. As Elias Castillo puts it, âSome may have simply willed themselves to die, unable to stand the terrible stressâ¦.Nearly half of the missions populations died each yearâ and to make up for such losses the friars hunted farther and farther to find tribes from which they could seek a new and free labor force for their plantations. 2, pp. 28. The Spanish Visitor General wrote to Serraâs close friend Friar Palou that they should ânot teach the Indians how to write; for I have enough experiences that such major instruction perverts and hastens their ruination.â, This too followed the methods of the slavery plantations where reading and writing were forbidden. 2, pp. The Franciscans saw themselves as agents for salvation in the next world, not this. In “A Cross of Thorns: The Enslavement of California’s Indians by the Spanish Missions,” published last year, Castillo draws on seven years … These commentaries demand equally cautious interpretation. See Harold Livermore, A History of Spain (New York, 1958). 194-234. This report is the most eloquent and complete defense in existence.13, If indeed by slavery we mean an almost total restriction of personal freedom, LasuÃ©n’s defense is the system’s condemnation. Our museums and archives are temporarily closed to support the effort to contain the spread of the COVID-19 virus. MISSIONS as developed in Spain’s colonial empire have not only been characterized as frontier institutions, but from their inception they have been a controversial feature of the Spanish frontier. Gavin Newsom has signed a bill establishing a task force to study and make recommendations on reparations for slavery. Despite the absence of motivation for personal gain the missions nevertheless destroyed those people they had been sent to save. Are we working for a just economic system that respects all humans and all earth creatures? 619-232-6203, Located in Presidio Park Many sources discuss the San Diego Revolt. The European civilization of which the Franciscans were the purveyors contributed in other ways to the destruction of the first Californians. LasuÃ©n’s ultimate defense of the system which he served rested upon the defective character of the natives. The communal character directed by a Franciscan priest, typical of California’s missions, was determined primarily by the native peoples with whom the system operated. Thank you for your writing and speaking!â¥ï¸. Women are particularly affected. email@example.com Typically the Fathers and a squad of soldiers went in pursuit. They were, of course, restricted to the mission complex at all times.9. 15. Active and passive resistance to the regimen was commonplace and clearly suggests many Indians resided at Missions under duress rather than by choice. A record of Indian behavior under the mission regimen does provide historians with some clue. In 1804 and 1805 JosÃ© MarÃa Benites, a physician, was sent to California to report on diseases responsible for the alarming death rate. 16. Tribal leaders in California, and Governor Gavin Newsom (fourth from left), meet at the future site of the California Indian Heritage Center on June 18, 2019.. Rich Pedroncelli/AP Photo The missionaries were, however, not blind to the effects which their well-intentioned efforts had upon the Indians. Jean F. G. De la PÃ©rouse, A Voyage Round the World Performed in the Years 1785, 1786, 1787 and 1788 by the Bousole and Astrolabe (New York, 1968) vol. The Indian population is declining. Have we advanced far regarding economic justice since Serraâs time? 177-179. Missions were far from luxurious, and although food became plentiful all imported items were in short supply. 186-189. Through peculiarities of Spanish history, religious and secular became so intertwined as to create an inseparable bond between the two. Several Indians received near mortal lashings but all were eventually released at the request of their Franciscan mentors.18, The revolt at San Diego was the only organized outbreak of its kind. Hubert H. Bancroft, History of California, vol. 42-61. Eighty-three Christians and seven gentiles were captured and taken to Mission San JosÃ©. For a contemporary expression of the dual role of the California missions see Patentes e Ynstrucciones dados a los Empleados de la ExpedicciÃ³n maritima de Monterrey, JosÃ© de GÃ¡lvez, Puerto de la Paz, December 6, 1768, Archivo General de Indias, Guadalajara 416. 139, 131, 109f, 112-114, 98. Women were not whipped in public but were taken away to be whipped so their cries would not arouse the men to rebellion. Slavery, in the usual sense of the word, implies economic exploitation of the enslaved for the benefit of the slaveowner. It is, consequently, only indirectly that we, two hundred years removed, can decipher their thoughts. These reports provide a concise summary of baptisms, marriages, deaths and total population resident at each mission. A Way to God: Thomas Merton’s Creation Spirituality JourneyIn A Way to God, Fox explores Mertonâs pioneering work in interfaith, his essential teachings on mixing contemplation and action, and how the vision of Meister Eckhart profoundly influenced Merton in what Fox calls his Creation Spirituality journey. Thank you Matthew for bringing these crimes to daylight and to our consciences. 1. Father President FermÃn Francisco de LasuÃ©n, Refutation of Charges, San Carlos, June 19, 1801. On Wikimedia Commons: Consider deeply how once again, as with slavery, economics is foundational to the entire system of the missions. The population decline is made more notable since in twenty-four years I have known only two epidemics, that of 1801 and the measles of 1806.27. The neophytes the friars chose to carry out the priests’ commands were “like the overseers of a slave plantation: passive beings, blind performers of the will of their superiors (friars).â They beat any Indian, no matter what age or sex, who violated mission rules. Meanwhile more discreet means of striking at the regime were practiced. See Fray Vicente Fuster to Fray JunÃpero Serra, San Diego, November 28, 1775. Diseases, starvation, filthy and crowded living conditions, cruelty and torture–but also depression killed the mission Indians. La PÃ©rouse left a picture of a highly regularized communal system in which transgressions of rules made by the Franciscans were swiftly punished. Some of the runaway men were tied to sticks and beaten with straps. Disaster was sometimes the result of these expeditions. The Spanish first began to settle in California in 1769, founding the first Spanish mission, Misión San Diego de Alcalá. 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