Chimes of Mission Bells
Maria Antonia Field

Produced by David Schwan

Chimes of Mission Bells

An Historical Sketch of California and Her Missions

Maria Antonia Field

To the Revered Memory of
Junipero Serra

And of
My Great Grandparents
Estéban and Catalina Munrás

This Book Is
Affectionately Dedicated

Acknowledgment of Gratitude

In producing this book I wish to thank my Mother, who wrote for me in
modern notation the music of the hymns of the Mission Fathers which are
contained in this work, and gave me much welcome information; also Rev.
Raymond M. Mestres, my zealous parish Priest, successor and compatriot
of Junipero Serra and the Mission Padres, for valuable data, and for
allowing me access to the early archives of San Carlos Mission and of
the Mission Church of Monterey.

Maria Antonia Field
Monterey, California, June 1, 1914


Translation of the Names of the Missions

Tribute to Junipero Serra and the Mission Padres

Chapter I
Junipero Serra, Leader of the Heroic Band of Spanish Missionaries of
California. His Coming to San Fernando, Mexico, Thence to California

Chapter II
Brief Sketch of the Conquest of California and of the Founding of the
Missions. Hospitality of the Missions. Care and Benevolence of the
Missionaries Toward the Indians

Chapter III
More About San Carlos Mission and Monterey

Chapter IV
California Under Spanish Rule

Chapter V
California Passes from Spanish to Mexican Rule. Secularization of the

Chapter VI
California Passes from Mexican to American Rule

Chapter VII
Mission Anecdotes and Hymns

Chapter VIII
Retrospection of the Work of the Spanish Missionaries, Explorers and
Settlers and their place in California's Appreciation

Chapter IX
Rev. Raymond M. Mestres Writes Historical Drama "Fray Junipero"

A Letter of Junipero Serra.
The Meaning of California Missions.
Dances of Early California Times


In presenting this modest volume to the public, I wish to call the
attention of my readers to the following facts. Firstly, my humble work
is a work of love--love simple and unalloyed for the venerable Spanish
Missionaries of California and for the noble sons and daughters of Spain
who gave such a glorious beginning and impetus to our state. Being a
direct descendant of pioneer Spaniards of Monterey, I take a particular
interest in California's early history and development and as my family
were staunch friends of the Missionary Fathers and in a position to know
the state of affairs of those times, and to family tradition I have
added authentic knowledge from reading the earliest archives of San
Carlos Mission, as well as other historical references, I feel I can
fearlessly vouch for the truthfulness of my little work. Secondly--
while fully appreciating the sympathy and interest of many charming and
intellectual characters who grace California to-day, it must be admitted
that there is a sadly ignorant or misinformed number who scarcely seem
to know who Spaniards and their descendants are, judging from the
promiscuous way the term "Spanish" is used, and what is the result of
this among many? Prejudice, and absurd misunderstanding of the golden
days of Spanish California as well as of the Spanish race and character.
It is far from being my wish to offend, but I wish to present correct
historical facts. Thirdly--there is no pretense to consider this brief
sketch a complete or detailed history, but only a truthful outline of
the heroic and chivalrous Mission days.

Maria Antonia Field.

Translation of the Names of the Missions.

1. San Diego.--A Spanish form of Saint James, who is the Patron Saint
of Spain.

2. San Carlos.--Saint Charles. Mission San Carlos and the Royal Chapel
of Monterey were so named in honor of Saint Charles the Patron Saint of
King Carlos III under whose reign the mission was founded.

3. San Antonio De Padua.--St. Anthony of Padua.

4. San Gabriel.--St. Gabriel (the Angel of the Annunciation.).

5. San Luis Obispo.--Saint Louis, Bishop.

6. Nuestra Señora de Los Dolores.--Our Lady of Sorrows.

7. San Juan Capistrano.--St. John Capistrano.

8. Santa Clara.--Saint Clara.

9. San Buenaventura.--Saint Bonaventure.

10. Santa Barbara.--Saint Barbara (whose feast is commemorated on
December 4, the date of the foundation of the Mission.)

11. Purisima Concepcion.--Most Pure Conception (of the Blessed Virgin
Mary). This feast is celebrated on December 8, the day on which this
mission was founded.

12. Nuestra Señora De La Soledad.--Our Lady of Solitude. (In the
Catholic Church the Blessed Virgin Mary is venerated under this title to
commemorate her solitude from the time of our Saviour's death until His

13. Santa Cruz.--Holy Cross (so named in honor of Our Saviour's

14. San José.--Saint Joseph.

15. San Juan Bautista.--Saint John, Baptist (whose feast occurs on June
24, the day this mission was founded).

16. San Miguel.--Saint Michael.

17. San Fernando, Rey De Espana.--Saint Ferdinand, King of Spain.

18. San Luis, Rey De Francia.--Saint Louis, King of France.

19. Santa Ynez.--Saint Agnes.

20. San Rafael.--Saint Raphael.

21. San Francisco Solano.--Saint Francis Solano.

Chimes of Mission Bells

Tribute to Junipero Serra and the Mission Padres.

By Maria Antonia Field.

Read at the Crowning of the Serra Statue, Monterey, Nov. 23, 1913.

The fickle world ofttimes applauds the rise
Of men whose laurels are but vainly won,
Whose deeds their names could not immortalize
For their soul-toils were wrought for transient ends;
But heroes of the Cross, they truly great
Shall live, their halo shall no hand of fate

Have power to rob, albeit oblivious years
May veil the radiance of their glorious works,
Or slight their excellence, their light appears
But brighter, statelier in its splendor calm,
Or like the flowers that sleep through winter's snow
To bloom more fair, their lives' pure beams shall glow

With greater brilliance and sweetly gleam
As lodestars in the firmament of worth;
Such is the memory whose holy stream
Of noblest virtue, valor, truth and Faith,
Illumes our path and stirs our souls today,
Immortal Serra by whose tomb we pray!

What peerless aureole wreathes his saintly brow?
What stately monument doth bear his name?
Let this admiring thousands tell us now!
Let youthful lips pronounce his name with love!
Let California proudly sing his praise!
Let scions of fair Spain their voices raise,

And tell of him to whom so much we owe,
Tell of his interceding power with God,
His strong and lofty soul his children know,
His prayers where Carmel's River flows so clear;
O this his aureole, this his monument,
The lasting kind which ne'er will know descent.

Another lesson must the worldly learn,
From him who sought nor praise nor fame;
His birth, ten score agone, and still we turn
To him in reverence, his name is sweet
As vernal bloom, his life shows forth God's might,
Through him this soil received Faith's warm sunlight!

This beauteous land was strange, unknown and wild,
Spite all its treasures, lordly trees and flowers;
For tribes with pagan rites its wastes defiled,
Till came Spain's noble band of godly men,
Explorers true and zealous priests who gave
Their lives' best years, forgotten souls to save!

'Tis just we venerate each hallowed stone
Which rears the wond'rous "Temples of the West";
The tears, the toils, the nightly vigils lone;
The pilgrim-journeys of Saint Francis' sons,
The rescued souls by lustral waters cleansed,
The wealth of hospitality dispensed.

All this and more if but their walls could speak,
Would tell this day; and we in whose veins flows
The fervent blood of Spain, to us each streak
Of light which doth reveal a picture true
Of gentle friar and lovely vanished times
Is tender as the Angelus' sweet chimes.

Well may each Mission have a holy spell,
And Serra's name become a household word,
What marvels can each yellowed archive tell
Of him and of his martyr-spirit band.
O faithful, dauntless hearts! What brilliant sons
Of that great galaxy of Spain's brave sons!

We love their saintly lives to ponder o'er,
While childhood's fireside tales come back to us,
And memory unfolds her precious store,
The bygone glories of the Mission towns,
The grand old hymns sung at sweet Mary's shrines
The Spanish color rich as luscious wines

Of Mission vineyards, and the festive hours
So full of life yet innocent and good,
When blessings seemed to fall as welcome showers,
The Indian tribes were ruled with Christian love,
And shared the sons and daughters of Castile
Their loved Franciscan Fathers' patient zeal!

But still we love each altar and each cross
Of these dear fanes; e'en as departing rays
Of sun doth kiss the crags outlined with moss,
We love to linger by their altars' light.
But oh fair Carmel, she of Missions Queen
What guarding spirits hover here unseen!

Sweet Carmel, center of the hero-band,
What holy treasures hold thy sacred vaults?
Junipero and others! Here we stand
In awe of all thou hast been and art still!
Cruel times took glory, splendor, power
From Missions all, but not their priceless dower,

Religion, love and all we hold as dear,
No hand can tarnish and no might destroy,
And from each hallowed altar ruddy, clear,
Still burns the mystic lamp, for God is there!
The cross-crowned towers tell that all is not dead,
E'en though more splendid times have long since sped.

And like a glowing ember in the night
Our Lady's love has burned through every change;
'Tis thus the Missions ever saw the light
Through labors, ripened harvest-joys and wrongs;
Their noon-sun splendors of well won renown
Will shine their glorious heritage to crown.

O Saintly Serra we implore thy prayer,
Thy dauntless spirit sowed the "mustard-seed"
Which grew as if by miracle of wonder rare,
Upon this now rich land which thou did'st till,
O let they mantle on thy clients fall
Who on thy gracious aid do humbly call.

Chapter I.

Junipero Serra, Leader of the Heroic Band of Spanish Missionaries of
California. His Coming to San Fernando, Mexico, Thence to California.

Junipero Serra, whose name and labors may be termed a compendium of
Christian virtues, was born on November 24, 1713, in Petra, a village of
the picturesque Island of Majorca, on the northeastern coast of Spain,
and a part of the Province of fair Catalonia, one of the most valuable
and beautiful portions of Spain. This child, around whom our story
clusters was baptized on the day following his birth, and received the
names of Miguel José. His parents were poor people from a material
standpoint, but gifted with a rich heritage of the noblest, and
sublimest character; qualities which make the Spanish peasant so

From his tenderest youth, Miguel José evinced an ardent desire to enter
the priesthood and displayed a zealous missionary spirit. His pious
parents placed no obstacle in the way of their gentle boy's vocation,
and being too poor to pay for his education, the Church did it for them.
At the age of sixteen, Miguel José left his father's small estate and
began his studies in his native village, completing them at the
Franciscan College of Palma, the Capital of the Island of Majorca. He
made rapid progress, and a brilliant future opened before him, while his
virtuous qualities were noted by all with whom he came in contact. A
proof of his worth may be seen from the facts that he was ordained
before he attained his majority; also taught in different schools as
professor of theology and received the degree of doctor soon after his
ordination. The fame of his eloquent preaching and persuasive oratorical
powers spread not only throughout Spain but reached other European
countries. Still Junipero Serra (as he was known by his own choice after
an humble disciple of Saint Francis of Assisi, noted for his charity)
was not dazzled by his brilliant mental gifts, and his thirsting desire
to evangelize the heathen savage of the New World grew apace with his
fame. He declined the offer to become the Court preacher and other
ecclesiastical dignities, which he would have been entirely justified in
accepting, and practiced those virtues which clung to him with even more
perfect maturity throughout his life; heroic virtues which enabled him
to undertake wonderful things. In him too were noted those sweet simple
qualities invariably found in great and holy men and women, such as
gentleness, amiability, a tender affection for children and a love for
the beautiful in nature; sun, moon, stars, flowers, birds, the woods and
ocean, all found responsive chords within him. In a few brief lines we
have endeavored to convey an idea of Serra's character, let us now
follow his steps in company with the band of heroic workers who
accompanied him in his voyage across the dark Atlantic, and his
apostolic journeys through Mexico and California to "break the bread of
life" to the unfortunate heathen. Among the notable band of missionaries
was Father Francisco Paloú, life-long friend and co-laborer of Father
Junipero Serra.

But why did these heroes choose Mexico and California as the vineyards
of their labors? Why did they not go to Africa or other heathen shores?
Here is the answer: Spain and all Europe were filled with stories of the
New World since the discovery of America by Columbus in 1492, and
several other Spanish discoveries in later years, among which must be
remembered that in 1521, Hernando Cortes, one of the great Spanish
explorers of the sixteenth century, explored the hitherto unknown land
of Mexico, and as Spain always accompanied her conquests and
explorations with her missionaries to evangelize the heathens, at the
time that Father Junipero Serra set sail for the New World, which was in
1759, there were in Mexico an archbishopric and several missions
conducted by Spanish priests, among them a well established Franciscan
College in San Fernando, a settlement in the northern part of Mexico,
which the Spanish explorers and missionaries so decided to name after
Saint Ferdinand, a King of Spain, who lived in the thirteenth century.
And to this College, Father Junipero Serra and his companions came after
a perilous voyage of nearly one year; for the date of their arrival was
January 1, 1760; and here they began their labor! Of the nine years
which Junipero Serra toiled in Mexico, six were spent in Sierra Gorda,
some distance north of San Fernando, and one of the wildest and roughest
of those half explored regions. And what marvels attended the labors of
Serra and the other self-sacrificing sons of Saint Francis here! With
Junipero Serra at the helm, the good priests learned some of the Aztec
dialects in order to convert the savages. Then what followed? With the
greatest patience the missionaries acquitted themselves to the task of
teaching the classic, cultured language of Spain to these poor
aborigines, whose languages like those of the still cruder California
Indians, did not contain expressions for even the simplest words of
scripture or of the liturgy of the Church. And can we wonder at this?
But what were the astonishing results of the good priests' labors? They
were truly God-wonders! Daily were recorded numerous conversions, and at
the close of six years many Indian congregations of those regions could
be heard singing the ancient Latin hymns of the Church, and in poor but
intelligible Spanish supplying in their prayers and conversations what
was wanting in their dialects. It was while at Sierra Gorda that
Junipero Serra became afflicted with a painful sore which broke out on
his right leg and which never healed in all his eventful and laborious
career. Many historians allude to this sore as a "wound," but no record
is extant to indicate it as such, the most authentic conclusions being
that this sore was due to natural causes greatly augmented and brought
on by the hardships and climatic conditions he encountered in this
missionary field.

The average person would think Junipero Serra and his companions had
surely satiated their thirst for missionary labors during the nine long
toilsome years they spent in Mexico, far, far away from loving home,
affectionate kindred and the Old World culture to which they bade
farewell when the last glistening silhouette of the Spanish Coast
vanished from their view in 1759, but not so! Their pilgrimage was but
begun! The pilgrimage which was to blossom heavenly and earthly
blessings as beautiful and countless as the flowers which jeweled the
slopes and valleys they traversed. The monstrous undertaking begun so
gloriously, blessed with the benison of prayers, sacrifices, tears;
blessed later with superhuman success and crowned with an immortal halo
for endless days!

Here we will make a slight digression for the sake of our story. In
1548, just twenty-seven years after Cortes discovered the land of
Mexico, Cabrillo's expedition had sailed up the Coast of California, and
in 1602 Sebastian Vizcaino had made further discoveries accompanied by
two Carmelite priests, and landed on the shores of Monterey. Both of
these expeditions, however, were abandoned and California remained the
"mysterious vineyard," as it was called. But Vizcaino drew a map of
California placing upon it the harbor of Monterey, and wrote glowing
accounts of the beauty of the spot. On Point Lobos he planted a Cross,
and the Carmelite Fathers named that beautiful Valley, four miles from
Monterey, Carmelo, in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary, venerated under
the title of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. Of these facts we will have
occasion to speak of more fully later on in this work.

Years after these expeditions the good Jesuit Fathers established
several missions in Lower California, but were recalled to Spain by King
Carlos III and by this sovereign's request the Franciscan Fathers of the
College of San Fernando were commissioned to take the newly vacated
missions and accompany as missionaries the great and glorious enterprise
of Don Gaspar de Portolá, with Vizcaino's map as guide, to further
explore California and add it to the Crown of Castile and Leon.

The Father Guardian of the College of San Fernando, on receiving the
letter from King Carlos, immediately appointed Junipero Serra, whose
zeal and sanctity were so well known, as the Father President of the
band of missionaries to set out for California. Among the missionaries
who volunteered to evangelize California were Fathers Francisco Paloú,
Francisco de Lasuén and Juan Crespí.

Here we will introduce a few characters, not of the missionary band, but
who may well be termed faithful co-operators of their labors, men of
unimpeachable honor, whose names add luster to the pages of Spanish
annals. Don Jose Galvez, the Visitador General (general visitator) of
the Spanish possessions in Mexico, a man as pious and noble as he was
brilliant, managed the expedition of gallant Don Gaspar de Portolá and
the missionaries, and gave Junipero Serra and the brave officers and
soldiers much encouragement. This wonderfully managed and well equipped
expedition, on which hinged the future of California, was wisely divided
into two parts, one to go by sea, the other overland. The sea expedition
consisted of three ships the San Carlos, the San José, and the San
Antonio, the last named was a relief ship and was started after the
other two. The San Carlos and San José carried a large portion of the
troops, all of which received the Sacraments before embarking. On these
ships were also placed the Church ornaments, provisions, camping outfits
and cargoes of agricultural implements. Father Junipero Serra then
blessed the ships and placed them under the guidance of Saint Joseph,
whom the missionaries had chosen as the Patron Saint of California. Each
ship had two missionaries on board and among the crew were bakers, cooks
and blacksmiths; on the San Antonio went the surgeon, Don Pedro Prat.
Simultaneously with these ships started two land parties, one in advance
of the other in order to stop at La Paz in Lower California, to pick up
cattle and sheep wherewith to stock the new country, also to bring some
of the converted Indians of the mission in that region, to aid the
missionaries and soldiers by translating the speech of the Indians of
Alta or Higher California; for while the Indian dialects were numerous,
there was some similarity among them. This first land expedition was in
command of Captain Rivera y Moncada. The second land party was in
command of the newly appointed governor, Don Gaspar de Portolá, the
first governor of California, and wise indeed was the choice of this
good and excellent man! This second land party was doubly blessed with
the presence of Junipero Serra. Many were the dangers and hardships
encountered by these sterling men both by land and sea; and as the
repetition of what is noble never tires, we will again allude to the
painful sore on Junipero Serra's leg, which caused him such intense
suffering, that his continuation of the journey many times seemed
miraculous even before he reached Saint Xavier (the mission established
at La Paz). When his fellow missionary, Father Paloú advised him to
remain a little longer at Saint Xavier's until he would be in a better
condition to travel, his only answer was "let us speak no more on the
subject, I have placed my faith in God and trust to His Goodness to
plant the holy standard of the Cross not only at San Diego but even as
far as Monterey." And God overshadowed the enterprise undertaken in His
Name. The ship San José was never heard from, but its noble crew were
always considered martyrs who brought blessings on the rest of the
expedition. The San Carlos and the two land parties reached San Diego,
their first goal almost simultaneously. Here was chanted the first
Te Deum in California! Here Serra, head of the religious portion of the
expedition, and Portolá head of the civil and military, conferred with
each other on the course they were to follow. And here we will leave
these incomparable pioneers to celebrate the birthday of California,
July 1, 1769.

Chapter II

Brief Sketch of the Conquest of California and of the Founding of the
Missions. Hospitality of the Missions. Care and Benevolence of the
Missionaries Towards the Indians.

Father Junipero Serra and Don Gaspar de Portolá decided on the following
plan; that Junipero Serra with Fathers Francisco Paloú and Francisco de
Lasuén would remain in San Diego, where Serra was to establish his first
mission while Portolá with Fathers Crespí and Gomez, Captain Rivera y
Moncada, Lieutenant Fages and some of the Spanish dragoons and muleteers
started overland to explore the country, and in quest of the Harbor of
Monterey, carrying with them the map of Sebastian Vizcaino. This
expedition was to result in the memorable "March of Portolá," which
lasted about eight months. Missing the Harbor of Monterey on account of
an error in the reckoning of Vizcaino's map, the explorers marched as
far north as what is now San Francisco and discovered the Harbor that
bears that name; so named later by Junipero Serra in honor of St.
Francis of Assisi, the founder of the Franciscan Order. After continuing
a fruitless search for Monterey, the expedition returned to San Diego.
Junipero Serra was overjoyed at the unexpected discovery of the Harbor
of San Francisco, which Portolá and his companions so enthusiastically
extolled, and was not discouraged over their failure to find the Port of
Monterey, but hoped to make another trial to find that Port on which
their most laudable ambitions were centered. But here a sad difficulty
presented itself. Governor Portolá returned to San Diego with sad gaps
made into his ranks by sickness and hardship, but hopeful with the
expectation that the relief ship promised by Don José Galvez had
arrived, and that the San Diego Mission well established would be able
to give his forces a well deserved chance to recuperate. But what was
his dismay? The relief ship had not arrived, and Junipero Serra had
indeed founded a mission with the usual elaborate ceremonies of the
Church, but the untiring zeal and labors of himself and his companions
had not been blessed with a single convert. No neophyte could be counted
among the numerous natives of the place, who had even proved hostile at
times; and the mission too, was in the sorest need; Junipero Serra and
his companions ofttimes adding to their usual fasts and abstemiousness,
"that others might have more." Still the relief ship was delayed! Surely
this was not the fault of good Don José Galvez, but it might have met a
tragic fate; thus thought the discouraged land and sea forces; and
Governor Portolá was too good a soldier not to know that the best course
to follow was to start at once back to Mexico and abandon the glorious
dream, before starvation and death overtook everyone of them. But here
Junipero Serra interposed, and as if inspired pleaded with the Governor
for "one more day;" Portolá out of respect did grant just "one more day"
before ordering the whole expedition back.

Junipero Serra then repaired to the summit of the Presidio Hill and with
arms extended, prayed as if in ecstasy from sunrise until sunset,
"storming the heavens" that the relief ship might come, and the
conversion of the heathen of California be realized. O unquestionable
miracle! "More things are wrought by prayer, than this world ever
dreamed of!" As the last rays of sun kissed his venerable brow, from out
the gold and purple horizon, he sighted the top-most point of a mast,
which while he was still "pouring his soul" no longer in supplication
but in thanksgiving, grew into the unmistakable figure of the long
expected ship. But for that "one more day" what would California be now?
No converted Indians, no monumental missions, no exploration and
colonization no civilization! The ship had been delayed on account of
the rough voyage it encountered. But now relief, contentment, renewed
hope, renewed courage; and the Mission of San Diego was but the first of
the twenty-one which were to strew El Camino Real (the Royal Road,
literally, commonly called the King's Highway) of California. And
chivalrous Portolá, filled with even greater reverence for the humble
priest Junipero Serra, whom his lofty soul had always appreciated, once
more gathered his forces, and started anew in search of Monterey.
Junipero Serra left the Mission of San Diego in charge of two of the
good fathers and a small garrison as guards, and set out with Portolá on
his second expedition; and it was Serra whose very presence seemed to
draw the blessings of heaven, who pointed out to the Governor the error
on Vizcaino's map which caused him to miss the Port of Monterey.

This expedition was also divided into two parts, one to go overland the
other by sea. Father Serra went with the sea party which sailed on the
Paqueboat San Antonio. A number of Spanish dragoons from the fair
province of Catalonia, muleteers, and some of the convert Indians
recruited from the mission of La Paz were in the overland party.

On May 24th, 1770, the expedition reached Point Pinos on the Coast of
Monterey; after going south about six miles and encamping on a
picturesque spot on the shores of the Bay, the missionaries raised an
altar and Junipero Serra celebrated the first Mass on the shores of
Monterey on June 3rd, 1770. It is more than likely that the Carmelite
fathers who came here with Vizcaino had done so one hundred and sixty
eight years before, but as there is no official record of the fact, the
Mass celebrated on the improvised altar under the oak (which is
preserved in the premises of San Carlos Church, Monterey), is recorded
as the first. Mass over, Junipero Serra and Gaspar de Portolá exhorted
the Spanish soldiers to hold to the traditional faith and purity of the
Spanish race, and to kindness to the natives, calling them "weaker
brethren who should be christianized, not debauched." Then Junipero
Serra planted a Mission Cross and blessed the Spanish flag which Portolá
hoisted, taking possession of the land in the name of "His Most Catholic
Majesty King Carlos III, by right of discovery."[1] Junipero Serra also
blessed the sea and land.

As Monterey was from the first established as the civil, military and
religious headquarters of the Spanish kingdom in California, her
Presidio was known as el Presidio Real (the Royal Presidio), and the
present parish church of Monterey, which was built as a chapel for the
Presidio was la Capilla Real de San Carlos (the Royal Chapel of Saint

Junipero Serra found the Indians of Monterey and the surrounding country
very docile, while the Indians from Lower California soon learned their
dialect and acted as interpreters of the missionaries. The Cross which
Vizcaino had planted in 1602 was found decked with skins and shells. On
inquiry the Missionaries were told by the Indians that they had often
seen mysterious rays of light around it, and thinking that some god was
angry they were trying to propitiate him by means of those offerings.

As we have already noted Junipero Serra said his first, Mass in Monterey
on June 3rd, 1770, and two years later he recorded his first baptism.
From that date the Indians would come in dozens to present themselves
for instruction. Then the marvels that had attended Junipero Serra at
Sierra Gorda in Mexico, were repeated in Monterey. The naked savages
were clothed, many of them were beginning to learn Spanish and to sing
the Latin responses of the Mass and hymns both in Spanish and Latin,
playing such musical instruments as the cymbal and triangle, keeping
perfect time to every beat. The flocks and cattle were increasing and
the harvest fields were golden with grain. While some of the Indians
were taught to till the soil others were herdsmen, and some were taught
to work as artisans. Nearly fifty trades were taught the California
Indians under the supervision of the Missionaries. In 1771 Junipero
Serra founded the San Carlos Mission in the most entrancing location of
the Carmelo Valley that the nature loving Serra could have chosen; the
forests of oak, pine and cypress for which Monterey is noted to this
day, stretch with even greater beauty as we pierce farther into the
interior, while the fertility of the land drained by the beautiful
Carmelo River together with the commanding position of the spot, made
the site of the Mission ideal. And this Mission of the Carmelo Valley of
Monterey, was Junipero Serra's headquarters, here he lies buried, and
here was the center of that unequalled hospitality and pure society for
which every mission was noted. The Spanish Government made large grants
of land to the missions, and under the labor, care and excellent methods
of the missionaries, they became powerful and wealthy institutions, the
pride and blessing of New Spain. Fine stock, teeming grain fields and
luscious orchards graced every mission, and Mission San Carlos was no
exception, indeed it was one of the most prosperous and beautiful.

Fathers from the Mission at Carmelo, attended the Royal Chapel of San
Carlos in Monterey and continued to do so until long after the last Act
of Secularization in 1835 had been passed by the Mexican Government, and
San Carlos of Carmelo was left desolate with no priest to guard her own
altar light. But of this we shall, alas, have but too much reason to
speak later. Junipero Serra did not stop his arduous work by founding
beautiful San Carlos of Carmelo and consecrating the Royal Chapel of
Monterey; he was to christianize all California, for all California had
now been added to the Crown of Castile and Leon. Spain followed in
California the same policy which has distinguished her in her other
possessions such as Cuba, the Philippines and other colonies, steeped in
idolatry until the Spanish Missionary, whose zeal is proverbial, wrested
their countless inhabitants from the cymmerian gloom of paganism. Thus
as soon as San Carlos Mission was founded, the glorious march of El
Camino Real continued.

Mission San Antonio de Padua, the third mission, was established in July
1, 1771. The beauty of the spot and wonderful eagerness of the Indians
to receive baptism greatly touched Junipero Serra and the other two
Franciscan Fathers who accompanied him as well as some of the soldiers
who were in the party. To-day Mission San Antonio is almost in ruins,
but its very ruins are piles which speak of mystic beauty, and in the
days of mission glory San Antonio was one of the fairest of the

On returning to Carmelo, Junipero Serra filled the other missionaries
with joy over this latest conquest of souls, and sent messengers to
Fathers Soméra and Cambón whom he had left in charge of the Mission at
San Diego, to establish a mission in southern California, which they
would name San Gabriel. The two Fathers, with ten soldiers as guards,
started a march northward until they came to the present sight of San
Gabriel, which they saw immediately was a good location for a mission,
particularly as a beautiful stream flowed through the Valley, and
wherever possible the Fathers chose a spot where there was water for the
mission orchards and gardens.

Here we may add that the Fathers had a system of irrigation by means of
ditches, traces of which may be seen to this day in the sites where
stood many of the old mission orchards. The fruits from these good
Fathers gardens were the fairest and most luscious that California has
ever seen, none of our lovely grapes compare with theirs, and their
olives were larger and better than any of which California boasts

Although not deviating from our subject we have wandered from the thread
of our story in the foundation of Mission San Gabriel. One incident
contained in the records of this Mission may hardly be passed over in
silence. The good Franciscans and their brave little bodyguard found the
Indians in a very hostile mood, still they blessed a Mission Cross and
planted it; but the Indians increasing their threatening attitude, the
Fathers unfurled a large white banner bearing the image of the Blessed
Virgin Mary, placing the side of the banner with the image in full view
of the heathens. Priests and soldiers then knelt and implored the
intercession of the Redeemer's Immaculate Mother for their safety and
for the conversion of the Indians to the Faith of her Divine Son.
Immediately came the answer from Heaven! The Indians not only abandoned
every sign of hostility, but came forward towards the Fathers with every
sign of sincere submissiveness, and after due instruction were baptized.
For it must be remembered that the Church does not, and cannot force her
belief on anyone who does not willingly accept it; the poor savage is no
exception; instruction, kindness, prayers may always be employed, no
more. As in many cases the nature of the Indian was too elementary to be
moved at first by the lessons and exhortations of suffering and
self-denial of Our Saviour, and the bridling of the human passions; in
many instances the Fathers would first win the Indians' confidence by
giving them blankets, beads and such things as attracted them, then by
degrees unfolded the tenets of religion and mysteries of faith, to which
in most cases these erstwhile savages clung with firmness and gave many
edifying signs of true and sincere christianity. A band of white beads
around the head distinguished the christian Indians from the pagan.

The flocks, vineyards and orchards of Mission San Gabriel, as well as
the skill of its Indians, in time became famous throughout California,
and it was from here that Governor Felipe de Neve, third Governor of
California, started in 1781 with several of the Fathers and a company of
soldiers to found the present city of Los Angeles.

The fifth Mission, San Luis Obispo, was founded on September 1, 1772, by
Junipero Serra in person; the saintly Father making a pilgrimage there
for that purpose. Thus in the space of three years, five missions were
founded. A royal record of the zeal of the missionaries and of the
humanity of the Spanish Government and Authorities.

In 1774 the Spanish Viceroy of Mexico informed Junipero Serra that he
intended to establish a presidio in San Francisco "for the further
extension of Spanish and Christian power." Junipero Serra, on receipt of
this letter, selected Fathers Paloú and Cambón to accompany the
soldiers, and Lieutenant Juan de Ayala was ordered with his ship
stationed at Monterey to further explore the San Francisco Bay; Juan de
Anza, another brilliant officer, was entrusted with the establishment of
the new presidio; the site he chose being the identical one on which the
Presidio of San Francisco stands today. Lieutenant Juan de Ayala of the
Royal Navy of Spain, was the first to steer a ship through the Golden
Gate, and a strange coincidence was that his ship was the San Carlos
which had come to San Diego with a portion of the first Spanish pioneers
in 1769. With Lieutenant Ayala was Father Vincente de Santa Maria who,
with Fathers Paloú and Cambón, planted a Mission Cross and founded
Mission Nuestra Señora de los Dolores, which has withstood so many
ravages of time and change, of man and elements.

The seventh Mission was San Juan Capistrano, founded November 1, 1776,
by Father Lasuén. This Mission was also a very flourishing Mission, the
Indians were laborers in its construction, which lasted nearly fourteen

Mission Santa Clara was the eighth to be established. It was founded on
January 12, 1777. The original lines of this once beautiful Mission are
almost entirely changed but like all its sister missions it still
retains much of its dear old atmosphere, and can boast of the tomb of
Father Magin Catalá who died there in 1836 "in the odor of sanctity."
Mission Santa Clara was founded by Father Tomas de la Peña y Saradia;
and its history is fascinating and romantic. The Mission Cross which
Father de la Peña y Saradia planted here, is still standing.

The ninth Mission was San Buenaventura, founded also by Junipero Serra
in person, in company with Governor Felipe de Neve, on Easter Sunday of
March 31, 1783.

From San Buenaventura, Junipero Serra and Governor de Neve marched to
what is now Santa Barbara. Here the Indians were numerous and more
intelligent than any in California, where the Indians were far denser
than either the Incas of South America or the Aztecs of Mexico. Delays,
caused by military differences, retarded the foundation of Santa Barbara
Mission, which would have been the tenth, but Junipero Serra planted a
Mission Cross and selected the site on which it was destined to be
founded four years after his death. From here Serra returned to Carmelo;
his journeys from one Mission to another being always on foot.

And here we must pause: We have come in our narrative to that momentous
year in the history, not only of the missions, but of California. The
year when. Junipero Serra, true priest of God, christianizer, civilizer,
wonderful among wonderful pioneers, or as Governor Gaspar de Portolá had
spoken of him years before, "the humblest, bravest man of God I ever
knew," had done his work! Junipero Serra was ready for his throne in
Heaven, his crown awaited him, his rough Franciscan habit was to be
glorified. We have briefly glanced at his chief characteristics from his
boyhood in historic Spain, and must have gauged the measure of his
untiring and tried virtue from the time he landed in Mexico and San
Diego, on through the years he labored as the Apostle of California; to
these let us add just a few of the private practices of mortification
which he imposed on his innocent flesh, notwithstanding his age, his
physical infirmities, extraordinary labors and hardships in a new, half
explored country. Virtually they sound like a passage from the lives of
the Saints. His journeys were always on foot, although the old sore on
his leg remained like an instrument of torture throughout his life,
nothing being able to help him. El Camino Real, from San Francisco to
Monterey and from Monterey to San Diego, with its rough roads, was as
familiar to him who walked it with so much difficulty as it is to us who
enjoy it by comfortable travel on the railroad or pleasurable motor
trips; his fasts were austere and frequent, wine he never used, the
discipline was no stranger to him, a bed was not among his possessions,
on the bare floor or bench at most he would rest his sore missionary
body; yet he never imposed unnecessary penance on anyone, he was hard
only on himself, he was gentle and affectionate to a marked degree, his
faith, trust in Providence, humility and charity, were heroic. Of his
seventy-four years of life, fifty-four he had been a Franciscan Priest
and thirty-five he had devoted to missionary work, of which nine were
spent in Mexico and fourteen in California. His wonderful eloquence and
magnetic power for preaching which had won him honors in the Old World
even as a newly ordained priest, he had used and adapted for the
instruction of thousands of heathens of the New World; and now that
christianity and civilization were beginning to bud with springtime
loveliness like the Castilian roses he had planted in some of the
mission gardens, while the sun of Spanish glory was still in the
ascendency and no threatening omens of the fall of Spanish or Franciscan
power, or nightmares of the Acts of Secularization disturbed the
cloudless skies, while the Presidio Real of Monterey bore the arms of
the Spanish King and the Capilla Real do San Carlos was thronged with
gallant officers and brave men of the Royal Army and Navy of Castile and
Leon, and Our Lady seemed to smile blessings on her Valley of Carmelo,
before the beauteous dream, nay, realization of noble ambitions, had
vanished like a fair sun, God called His faithful Servant unto Himself,
in his cell at his beloved San Carlos Mission about 2:30 P. M. on August
28, 1784, according to the entry of Father Francisco Paloú, in the
archives of San Carlos Mission, preserved in San Carlos Church of
Monterey. And what a day this was! The archives here are full of
touching detail. Solemn salutes were fired from the ships stationed in
the Harbor of Monterey, and the grief of the people was inexpressible.
The Indians were inconsolable. The officers of the Royal Navy claimed
his sandals as a precious keepsake, and the Fathers could not restrain
the people from cutting pieces of his habit to carry away as souvenirs;
the Indians claimed his Franciscan cord and many cut locks of his silver
hair; his corpse had to be dressed twice on account of this pious
proceeding. In a plain redwood coffin his precious remains were laid in
a vault "on the gospel side of the altar within the sanctuary of San
Carlos Mission." O! holy grave, how many changes thou hast seen! O happy
Serra, from the dazzling splendors of God's light how often thou must
have prayed for thy work, thy people, thy neophytes! In God's
inscrutable Providence the good are ofttimes permitted to suffer, but
the same All Wise Hand can brush away with a single stroke, the wrong
done to His own, and His time seems near!

We will now resume the story of the foundation of the missions, for we
really stopped at the ninth. Junipero Serra's life-long friend, Father
Paloú was chosen temporary President of the Missions, for within a year
he retired to the Franciscan College of San Fernando, where he gave most
of his time to writing, and to him we are indebted for a complete and
accurate biography of Junipero Serra. After Father Paloú's resignation,
Father Francisco de Lasuén was appointed Father President of the
Missions. Father Lasuén was an arduous laborer and able priest of the
original heroic band of missionaries, and his first act was to establish
Mission Santa Barbara, where Junipero Serra had planted a Mission Cross
nearly four years previous. This was accomplished on December 4, 1787,
and of the twenty-one missions which were spoliated in later years,
Santa Barbara was the only one which tyrannical laws could never
dispossess of its lawful owners, hence to this day the Sons of Saint
Francis are there to guard the "altar light."

From Santa Barbara, Father Lasuén traveled north to Lompoc, and founded
Mission La Purisima Concepcion on December 8, 1787.

Mission de Nuestra Señora de in Soledad was founded in October of 1791.
The last Act of Secularization in 1835 fell very heavily on this lovely
Mission of which scarcely a trace remains today. This mission was noted
for its fine stock and luxuriant pastures.

On Christmas day of 1791 was founded the Mission of Santa Cruz. This
Mission never rivaled the other missions in wealth, but in later years
it was honored with a martyr. Here is the authentic story of Father
Quintana, whose martyr's death occurred here as late as 1817. Father
Quintana was a holy and zealous priest of this mission, who had carried
on the work of the conversion of the Indians most of whom were already
christian, but a small portion still remained heathen, and these were
very hostile. As was later discovered, while the good priest was reading
his breviary in his office, some of these hostile Indians entered, and
most cruelly murdered him, then taking his body into the mission orchard
placed it against a capulin tree (a tree much resembling the cherry tree
in fruit and form). On thus discovering the corpse the other Fathers
immediately sent a message to the surgeon of the Royal Presidio of
Monterey, who at the time was Don Manuel Quixano (step-father of the
writer's great grandmother). After holding an autopsy on the martyred
body, Dr. Quixano found that the saintly Father had been horribly and
cruelly murdered. The details are preserved in the Santa Cruz Mission
archives, but are not given to the public. The capulin tree which the
Indians made use of to make it appear that the Father's death was a
natural one, was at the time in full bloom, and in a few hours became a
dry lifeless trunk. A remarkable act of Providence indeed!

The fourteenth and fifteenth missions established were Mission San Jose
and beautiful Mission San Juan Bautista, founded respectively on June
11th and June 24th of the year 1797.

We have generously used words denoting beauty and prosperity in
describing the missions, but no less can be said of these mighty and
bountiful institutions, who, even in their regal ruins are California's
chief attraction to this day.

The sixteenth mission was San Miguel, founded by Fathers Francisco de
Lasuén and Buenaventura Sitjar, with very impressive and elaborate
ceremonials, on July 25th, 1797. The brilliant frescoing of this mission
was done in 1824 by the writer's great grandfather, Estéban Munrás, a
Spaniard from Barcelona, who had studied art in his native city, and who
was intimately connected with the early missionaries, especially those
of Monterey, where he resided. Estéban Munrás did the frescoing of San
Miguel Mission at the request of Father Juan Cabot, also a native of
Barcelona. Thus we see the undaunted steadfastness of these early
missionaries who, although California had already passed from Spanish to
Mexican rule, and mission power was beginning to wane, still were
zealous for the greater adornment of God's holy temples.

On September 8, 1797, Mission San Fernando, Rey de España was founded.
In June of the following year San Luis, Rey de Francia, fifty-four
Indian children being baptized on the day of its foundation. It was in
the patio (court yard) of this mission that the first pepper tree in
California was planted by Father Antonio Peyri.

On September 17, 1804, beautiful Santa Ynez Mission was founded. Here
Father Arroyo, a brilliant scholar, prepared a working grammar of the
language of the Indians of the San Juan region. In December, 1817, San
Rafael was founded, and made a splendid record of conversions. Not a
trace of this mission remains today.

The last mission was San Francisco Solano within the city limits of the
present town of Sonoma, and was founded as late as 1823, thus again is
shown the wonderful courage and zeal of the missionaries in the face of
obstacles, for at this date as we have already noted Spanish Mission
power had begun to wane, and while Mexico was unable to wipe out
entirely Spanish rule and influence for many years, still she had
already claimed California as her own. Many wealthy Russian traders
lived in the country about Sonoma, who showed themselves extremely
friendly to the missionaries, assisted at the ceremonies of the founding
of the mission and made generous contributions for its adornment.

And now our march of El Camino Real is ended; but let us take another
look at mission life. The plan of the missions was most wonderful,
situated in the most beautiful spots, the journey of one day from one
another, and the seats of learning and well earned prosperity in
California; their architecture was the best imitation of the Spanish
Gothic style which the Spanish laborers could build with the tools and
materials which were then possible to have in the New World. The only
share the Indians had in the building of the missions was in assisting
to carry beams, stone, making the beautiful red tiles found in every
mission roof, and the like, but the actual construction was done by
Spanish workmen under the supervision of the Fathers.

Besides the church proper, the missions consisted of groups of buildings
set aside for converted Indians and their families, a storehouse, a
guardhouse, a monastery and spacious quarters for guests. For at a
mission not only friends of the Fathers and persons of standing, but
every wayfarer whoever he might be "found warmth and plenty" as long as
he chose to remain under their blessed shelter. And so great was mission
hospitality that a pile of silver was laid in the bedroom of a guest to
be taken by him or left as he saw fit; of course no well bred guest who
was not in need would impose on the holy Fathers' generosity, but it was
their delicate way of assisting an unfortunate pilgrim who might be in
need. The missions too, were the centers of important gatherings and
peaceful rendezvous of persons of social standing, even after the first
two Acts of Secularization had been passed in after years. But these
noble entertainment's, wealth of luscious fruits, golden sheaves,
luxuriant pastures and fleecy lambs, were as the least gifts of these
matchless institutions, for we can never exaggerate the marvels wrought
for the betterment of the heathen natives, or the fairer fruits of the
countless heroic virtues practiced within these enclosures. The Indians
clung to the Fathers like little children to their parents, and from the
vices of paganism, under a healthy and kind rule drawn for them by the
wise Fathers, christian virtues took a deep root in at least a great
many of these poor "children of the soil" and so great was the care
exercised by the Fathers that nightly they would make a round of the
rooms allotted to every christian and neophyte Indian family to see that
order and decency reigned in each group; for we must remember these
souls were but recently rescued from the dark sins of heathenism.

Blessed temples! noble hospices! heroic priests! We are loathe to change
the scene, but winter's storms must come ere the laurel wreath crowns
the glorified brow! Still, we need not leave the "enchanted palace" yet,
vernal loveliness still charms the eyes and summer is just begun.

If it be but for one brief moment let us ruminate the glories, the
wealth, the beauty of mission joys, before the least cruel echoes of
Secularization are heard. The sun of Franciscan and Spanish glory is
still mounting the firmament higher and higher. The sky still wears Our
Lady's blue[2] and no penitential purple has appeared with the departing
rays of sunset, only the royal purple and gold which years before had
made the scene a fairylike setting for the heavenset relief ship to San
Diego and assured the noble enterprise of the exploration and
christianizing of California.

[1] Official title of the Kings of Spain.

[2] Blue and white are the symbolical colors of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Chapter III

More About San Carlos Mission and Monterey

As we have seen in the preceding chapter, Monterey was the capital of
the Spanish Possessions in California, consequently San Carlos Mission
was the headquarters of Junipero Serra. And what was not San Carlos
Mission of Carmelo in the days of her glory! We are in a maze of thought
as to how to begin to tell her story. Of the beauty of the spot where
this mission was built we have already spoken, as well as of how the
golden valley of Carmelo came to be named. And here we may well exclaim
with that dear English Saint of the thirteenth century, Saint Simon
Stock, who invoked the Immaculate Virgin with the following beautiful

"Carmel's fair flower
Rod blossom laden
Smile on thy dower
Meek Mother--Maiden
None equals thee.
Give us a sign
Thou dost protect us
Mark us for thine
Guide and direct us
Star of the Sea."

A more perfect replica of the country surrounding the shrine of Our Lady
of Mount Carmel in Palestine would be hard to find, and the "Meek
Mother-Maiden" did give many a sign of her protection to her clients in
this new Carmel of the West. And it was at San Carlos Mission of
Carmelo, that the superiors of the different missions convened and gave
accounts of their work and numbers of baptisms etc. to the Father
President. And how glowing are the records of those accounts! Here on
festival days after the religious services were held social gatherings
and entertainment's of the purest yet merriest order. Marriages,
baptisms, all notable events had their share of attention. The
hospitality of the missions, the care and kindness shown to the Indians,
the numerous flocks, harvests and orchards which embellished them under
the wonderful management of the good Fathers, all existed in copious
measure at San Carlos.

The huge, beautiful bells of this mission the chimes of which were heard
clearly in Monterey were cracked during the years when the mission was
neglected but some of the pieces were later recast and as far as known
the present bells of the mission were made from them.

We cannot consider a sketch of this mission however brief, complete,
without giving due credit to the Very Reverend Angelo Casanova, parish
priest of Monterey from 1869 until the time of his death in 1893. This
zealous priest undertook the work of restoring the mission for a portion
of it was in ruins, and to-day there would be but little of San Carlos
to see and admire but for Father Casanova's timely work of restoration,
which he accomplished with some help of friends, but chiefly with his
own private fortune which he inherited. Many a time was Father Casanova
seen assisting the laborers with his own hands. And what a happy day it
was for Monterey when the first Mass was sung in the restored mission
after years of vandalism and neglect! The old statues which had escaped
the ravages of time were replaced in their niches, the sanctuary lamp
was re-lighted for the Sacramental Presence once more enthroned on His
altar and the organ pealed forth the ancient Latin hymns of the Church
once more. Another very significant event of this restoration was that
Father Casanova had the four bodies contained in the vaults of the
mission exhumed and placed on new vaults, built however near the
original spots "on the gospel side of the altar, within the sanctuary."
The four bodies are the remains of Fathers Junipero Serra, Juan Crespí,
Francisco de Lasuén and Julian Lopez. Another good outcome of this event
was that it exploded the utterly unfounded story that a Spanish ship had
carried away the remains of Junipero Serra to Spain. The vestments on
each body were found in a perfect state of preservation at the time this
work was done in 1882.

For years the saintly Serra's body was buried under a pile of debris,
but his "sepulchre has become glorious" in spite of all. And since the
restoration of this mission, the feast of Saint Charles Borromeo, (its
Patron Saint) has again been celebrated here every November the
twenty-fourth, and a relic of Saint Charles which Father Junipero Serra
brought from Spain, is as of old carried in procession. While this is of
course a Catholic festival, reverent visitors of various creeds attend
it. The mission is guarded by a care-taker, living in the premises of
what remains of the old mission orchard.

It was also due to Father Casanova, that Mrs. Leland Stanford donated,
in 1890, the Serra Monument[3] which crowns a slope just above the spot
where this wonderful missionary said his first Mass in Monterey.

We cannot give sufficient credit to Reverend Raymond Mestres, the
present parish priest of Monterey, and a Spaniard from the Province of
Catalonia, like Junipero Serra and many of the early missionaries. Father
Mestres has given time, energy and noble efforts unstintingly to
perpetuate the memory of Junipero Serra and to more fully restore not
only San Carlos Mission and San Carlos Church, but is encouraging a
movement to restore if possible all the California Missions according
to their traditional and historical plans; may his great enterprise be
blessed with all the radiance of crowning success!

We will have ample reason to speak more of Father Mestres' good work
elsewhere in this sketch, hence we will pass into Monterey itself.
Monterey was named after the Spanish Viceroy of Mexico, who at the time
of her discovery, was the Count of Monterey. As we have many times noted
this city was of royal birth. Unlike any of the other Presidios, her
Presidio was el Presidio Real, the chapel attached to it la Capilla
Real, and the ships which sailed the blue waters of her crescent bay
were the ships of the Royal Navy of Spain. No mission town was without
its glories, its fascinating history or delightful surroundings, but
Monterey was like a fair empress of them all. Yet no jealousy or
feelings of rivalry were felt for Monterey by her sister towns, nor was
her right to the sceptre ever contested. From the time that Sebastian
Vizcaino placed her on his map in 1602 and glowingly described her
beautiful harbor, noble forests and majestic hills, Spain focused her
attention on Monterey, and when her Port was at last found by Portolá,
and the stout old ship San Antonio under the command of Captain Juan
Perez entered her harbor on May 31st, 1770, without any discussion or
preamble she was made the capital of New Spain.

The news of her discovery and of Junipero Serra celebrating Mass on her
shores were sent with all possible haste to the Viceroy of the Spanish
possessions in Mexico and to good Don Jose Galvez, also a complete
statement of her discovery was drawn up and sent to the Court of Spain.
And how were these news received? Solemn masses of thanksgiving were
celebrated in some of the Spanish cathedrals, attended by many of the
highest religious, civil and military authorities, while congratulations
from every side poured into King Carlos and his Viceroy. And all this
exultation over the discovery of the lovely spot we all know and love so
well! Monterey, like a "pearl of great price" had been hard to find, but
like a "pearl of great price" was worth the quest. Beautiful Monterey
with her shores decked with Vizcainos Cross since 1602, Monterey with
her bay blue like a turquoise, matching the azure of heaven, Monterey
with her forests and flowers, with her Valley of Carmelo and glorious
sunsets, adding to natures charms, her historical and sacred atmosphere,
her landmarks and the improvements of man. No wonder thousands yearly
throng this gifted spot of God's earth!

As may be needless to say, Monterey, became the center of the social
life, beauty and culture of the mission towns. From Monterey,
inspiration flowed as from a fountain head. And even to this day she is
irresistible. Even to this day, in spite of the many sad scenes and
oblivious years which have stamped their trace upon her loveliness and
impaired her regal splendor, her charm is told by her landmarks and
crowned by her natural fortress of hills, her forests and flower robed
meadows, and lulled at evening by the murmur of the iridescent waters of
her bay reflecting the sunset splendors of the sky.

About 1810 Monterey was ravaged by buccaneers under Blütcher, who was
such a terror to many sea-port towns, these pirates sailed up the Pacific
Coast, and appeared in Monterey Bay in four large vessels arriving at
midnight. Before they could be driven out of the town they set fire to
some of the Spanish Presidio homes and carried away precious jewels and
silver belonging to the Spanish ladies, and provisions from the garrison.

The former Capilla Real de San Carlos is now the parish church of
Monterey, guarding like a fond mother all that remains of the massive
silver altar vessels and candelabras, paintings, statues, vestments,
manuscripts and archives of the pioneer missionaries of this mission.

Among the modern attractions of Monterey we must not fail to mention
Hotel Del Monte built and owned by the Pacific Improvement Company, and
the many beautiful drives constructed by the same, company. Mr. Frank
Powers was the founder of the flourishing settlement of
Carmel-by-the-Sea, a few minutes walk from San Carlos Mission and a
favorite resort of artists and literateurs. These with many others have
been no small contributors to the old Capital. Thus while we deplore
years of vandalism, and the thousands who have joined the "careless
throng" we can always turn to the pleasing contrast of sympathizers and
friends who are always, willing to give "honor to whom honor is due,"
and in doing so have spared neither purse nor efforts in aiding those
who under difficulties have guarded the flame of tradition and love of
the splendid past with its bright galaxy of "heroes, martyrs, saints."
True, the glowing embers often smouldered beneath a debris of neglect
and even harsh misrepresentation but were not and could not be
extinguished. And now faithful hearts may beat fast with holy joy for
the feeble light fanned by loving zephyrs has burst into a glowing
flame destined to diffuse its love and influence to all, regardless
of creed, race or station.

[3] The Very Reverend Angelo Casanova selected the writer of this sketch
and her brother, then little children to unveil this monument.

Chapter IV

California Under Spanish Rule

With the landing of Serra and Portolá at San Diego in 1769, began the
Spanish period of California. The chief events of this period are in a
pith, the following: The establishment of the missions, the
christianizing of the Indians and the exploration and colonization of
California. It is from the Spanish period that the history and standing
of California date. The ten Spanish Governors of California as well as
the officers of the Army and Navy were men of honor and ability, and the
record left by the Spanish settlers is one of which any country might be
proud. During the Spanish period the geographical lines of California
were settled and her harbors surveyed[4]. It was during this period that
most of the present cities of California were founded, Spain following
the plan of building the towns around the missions. The first Governor,
Don Gaspar de Portolá, was a great and good man as well as a brilliant
officer, gentle and reasonable in every respect, he was beloved by all;
to him California owes the discovery of San Francisco Bay, and the great
co-operation he gave to Junipero Serra, as well as his reverent esteem
for this saintly man has endeared his memory to every true Californian,
and immortalized his name in Spain. After a period of two years in
office Portolá went to Mexico, then under Spanish rule, and from there
returned to Spain.

Portolá was succeeded by Gov. Felipe de Barri, who after three years was
removed from office on account of infringing on the rights of the
missionaries and siding with Captain Rivera Y. Moncada who was a
somewhat arrogant man, who also on several occasions infringed on the
rights of the missionaries; but the faults of the latter have been very
exaggerated by some historians, namely, some declare that he was
ex-communicated from the church on account of insolence to the
missionaries, whereas there is no record of such a fact. Excepting their
officiousness and arrogance, Barri and Rivera were moral and able men.

Barri was succeeded by Felipe de Neve, a statesman, scholar and worthy
governor who at once declared himself the friend and protector of the
missionaries. It was Governor de Neve who drew up California's first
code of legislation dated from the "Royal Presidio of San Carlos at
Monterey" in June 1779. This code known as the "Reglamento" is regarded
by capable judges as a most remarkable and valuable document. It was
also Governor de Neve who founded the present city of Los Angeles, the
original name of which was Neustra Señora de los Angeles, later
shortened into Los Angeles. The towns of San Jose and Santa Clara also
owe their foundation to de Neve, who selected the location of these
cities around the mission sites. After eight years of office de Neve was
marked for higher honors, and was succeeded by Governor Pedro Fages.

Governor Fages was a good and energetic man, but better fitted for the
army than for the state; he was noted for his lofty principals of
morality. Fages resigned his office and returned to Spain; he was not a
tactful ruler, but like many others his name has suffered at the hands
of unscrupulous writers. Fages was succeeded in 1790 by Governor José
Antonio Romeú, a bright and able but very sickly man. Dr. Pablo Soler
the excellent physician and surgeon of the Province of California was
unable to help him; and Romeú died in Monterey in less than two years of

José de Arrillaga was the sixth governor. This governor was a finished
general, and placed the presidios of California on a solid basis; he was
painstaking and careful of detail. He resigned on account of private
business affairs but later returned as he was reappointed governor of

The seventh governor was Diego de Boríca. Around this Governor cluster
many beautiful pages of Spanish history in California; his was a
character as gentle, religious and home-loving as he was scholarly and
tactful. It was under Boríca's administration that the boundary lines of
Upper and Lower California were clearly defined. Boríca, however, was
not a man who courted public life or honors, and resigned his office,
returning to Spain with his charming wife and daughter who always longed
for their mother country.

Before leaving Boríca did a good service to Spain and California in
recommending the reappointment of José Joaquin Arrillaga. Arrillaga
continued to organize strong military defenses for California. He served
as Spanish Governor of California fourteen years, and first of all
declared himself on all occasions "a loyal son of the Church." He died
at Mission Soledad on July 25, 1813, and was buried there. The only
Spanish Governor to be buried in California.

The ninth Spanish Governor was José Dario Arguello, who was in office
one year, the interval between the death of Arrillaga and the advent of
Pablo Vicente de Solá the last Spanish Governor of California.

When Governor Solá took office in 1814, California had already bloomed
into a garden of beautiful men and women, many of them from the mother
country, others their children born in this distant province of Castile.
Also many Yankee, Russian and English trading ships came to California
then, and the Spanish presidios were the scenes of many brilliant dances
and entertainment's. These foreign vessels were always welcome; while
the Governors were careful that the power of Spain was not infringed
upon, perfect courtesy and friendliness was always maintained by both
Spaniards and visitors. Thus when Governor Solá arrived to take his
office he was given a royal welcome. Of course, it was in Monterey that
every governor took up his residence (at the Royal Presidio) and their
first act was to attend Solemn High Mass at the Royal Chapel of San
Carlos of Monterey. Solá was no exception to the rule; amid salutes from
the cannon of the Presidio and the cheers of loyal subjects, by the
Catalonian cavalry, and their officers in their gorgeous velvet
uniforms, gold swords and plumed hats, Solá proceeded to the Royal
Chapel where the Franciscan Fathers awaited him in their priestly
vestments. Three days of carnival followed, but on the second day
Governor Solá withdrew from the festivities, made the Stations of the
Cross[5] which the fathers had erected between Monterey and Carmelo, and
on reaching San Carlos of Carmelo was shown to the tombs of Junipero
Serra, Juan Crespí and Francisco de Laséun. Here the Governor knelt and
remained long in prayer.

In California Solá found a pleasing contrast from the conditions of
affairs he had seen during his sojourn in Mexico. In that country clouds
of revolt against Spanish rule were rapidly gathering. California he
found intensely loyal to the Crown. The neophytes and converted Indians
greatly touched his generous soul, and the beauty of the country
delighted him. Solá was in office eight years; his work was well done,
and if California was lost to Spain under his administration, no less
credit can be given to his ability and high principals of honor. Many
times did Solá quell disturbances from revolutionary vessels which
landed in Monterey from Mexico, and several attacks from pirates, and
many a noble act is recorded of this loyal governor as well as of the no
less loyal Spanish subjects of the Province. If the Mexican Government
supplanted Spanish rule and "laid desolate" much of the work done by
this brilliant period of California, we repeat it was due to no
treachery or cowardice of Solá and his compatriots as we shall see
elsewhere in this sketch. Spain came into possession of California with
honor, maintained it with honor, and after her three-fold honorable
policy of exploration, colonization and christianizing of its heathen
natives, left it with honor, but her monuments remained. If a few
political troubles and abuses existed, they pale before the light of the
myriad of great deeds and purposes, and where is the country or people
who are utterly flawless individually? No cruelties or uncleanness can
ever be proven against Spain or her people here. Spanish society and
refinement was the first which California saw; under Spain were
thousands of Indians rescued from savagery, and under Spain was
California made known to the world, as well as discovered. Under Spain
too were the first land grants made to her subjects in California.

Some historians and casual observers are inclined to blame Spain for not
having lent more aid to her loyal California colonies and enabled her
presidios to have more and better fortifications. But let us examine
these points more coolly. First of all this province was far away from
the mother country, means of travel and communication were then far
different from what they are now, and Spain was also busy with political
troubles at home; she had always sent her most representative men as
governors and officers, her settlers were no less worthy, most of them
coming here with no "empty purse" as adventurers, but were men of
education and standing in their country. The galaxy of saintly
missionaries is superfluous to mention, so above are they of the least
sting of reproach, and lastly so clean are the pages of Spanish history
in California that no serious student of whatever race or creed he or
she may be, can but deplore the calumnies that have at times been hurled
at this golden period of California history. It was from the Spanish
period of California that the present capital of the state dates having
been named Santisimo Sacramento (Most Holy Sacrament) in honor of the
Eucharistic Presence of the Altar. Thus we see the vein of piety of the
Spanish settlers who gave names of religious significance to so many of
the towns they founded, and even to their land grants. In fine these
sterling men were worthy compatriots of those giant men and women which
have appeared at different times in Spain. We refer to Saints, Ignatius
of Loyola, Francis Xavier, Dominic, Theresa of Jesus and a myriad
others, also to the fair array of kings and queens, poets, artists,
explorers, whose illustrious names would fill volumes.

When treading El Camino Real and kneeling by the sacred tombs of
Junipero Serra and his hero band of soul-conquerors we may well recall
that passage of the beautiful Hymn of the Knights of Columbus.

"Brothers we are treading
Where the saints have trod."

[4] Alberto de Cordoba, an excellent engineer, surveyed the Harbor of
San Francisco in 1813, at the request of Governor Boríca.

[5] A Catholic devotion in honor of Our Saviour's Passion.

Chapter V

California Passes From Spanish to Mexican Rule, Secularization of the

Amidst the beauty and glory of Spain's dominion in California, while the
gold emblazoned banners of Castile and Leon floated proudly under azure
skies, while the Spanish governors, officers and colonists were doing
honor and credit to their ancient race, and the saintly missionaries
were working marvels for the souls and bodies of the aborigines of the
land, while Spain was thus lending "her beauty and her chivalry" to
California; Mexico, forgetting her old debt to Spain, when she explored
her then heathen shores, had revolted against Spanish rule and set up an
empire of her own, making Augustin Iturbide, a man of half Indian blood
her Emperor. Immediately Mexico claimed California, as well as Texas,
Arizona and New Mexico as a portion of her empire, although the people
of California, with the exception of a handful of Mexicans, had never
shown the least desire of change of government, for the greatest number
of her settlers were Spaniards or their children who were intensely
loyal to the Crown of Spain. Here we will add that no person who held
any office of importance was any other than a Spaniard, or of purely
Spanish blood or parentage, hence missionaries, bishops, army and navy
officers, surgeons, etc. were all "children of Spain," the highest
decoration that a mixed blood could attain in the Spanish army of
California or of Mexico was that of Corporal or Sergeant. But when
Mexico gained her independence all these corporals and sergeants were
suddenly made generals by their country, Mexico; and here was clearly
seen "who was who" for all mixed bloods as well as those of purely
Indian birth, both in Mexico and California raffled around their
standard, the new Mexican flag; in this number we will only except many
of the Christian Indians, in California, who clung piteously to the
missions, and who had more of their share of suffering. This state of
affairs enabled the new Mexican authorities, exultant over their victory
in the gain of their independence, to send several war vessels to
Monterey late in 1822 and demand of Governor Solá, the surrender of
California in the name of Emperor Augustin Iturbide. As we have already
seen, nowhere in Spain's New World possessions was loyalty to the mother
country more intense than in California, and the people, army and navy
were loud in their demonstrations of opposition, and expressions of
willingness were offered to the governor to fight the intrusion of
Mexico to the end. But the comparative handful of soldiers of the
various garrisons, as well as the few ships which the Spanish could
muster in California were no match to the overwhelming forces from
Mexico, and Governor Solá considered it no cowardly act but rather his
conscience-bound duty to prevent a useless carnage, wisely preferring an
honorable surrender under the circumstances. The prudence of this
decision was soon seen in a clearer light by the people. It was thus
that the grand old flag of Spain was hurled from her state fifty-three
years after she had been hoisted amid the blessing of Junipero Serra,
the salutes of her proud ships and the loyal acclamations of Portolá and
her other gallant sons. Now Spanish rule was virtually ended in
California, but we repeat, not dishonorably. Spain's, work was well
done, her chief purpose gained, namely, the exploration and
christianizing of California.

As it took sometime for Mexico to mobilize her troops and settle her
rule in California, the Royal Presidio of Monterey was not immediately
emptied of its officers or of the Spanish families, whose positions
entitled them to a residence there, and who continued to live there
close on to 1824. Thus although the old familiar standard gave place to
Mexico's new red, white and green, the imprint of Spanish rule remained.

Indeed it was several years before Mexico could change the face of
California, and the Spanish element continued to rule social life at
least to a great extent through virtually all the Mexican period. The
Mexican society of the time certainly contained some excellent
exceptions, but as a general rule it was a sad contrast to that of the
preceding period, nor had the ten governors of this era the energy or
standing of the ever remembered Portolá, Boríca, de Neve, Arrillaga or
Solá. At times, the Mexican authorities treated Spaniards shabbily for
it is important to note that contrary to what many histories state,
Spaniards unanimously refused to take the Constitutional Oath of
Allegiance to Mexico, and withdrew as a consequence from all public
affairs, only inasmuch as their family interests or the good of the
community demanded their intervention. Thus we find no Spaniard as
Governor, General, or the like during this period. But here a curious
thing occurred. In later years when writers and historians of California
became numerous many Mexicans declared themselves Spaniards or classed
themselves as of purely Spanish descent, passing as such into some
histories, while at the same time they did not hesitate to "sting" the
Spanish name; and there are many California families who are referred to
as "Spanish" whose ancestors in the baptismal and marriage records of
the various mission archives are recorded as "neófita de la mission"
("neophyte of the mission") for the Spanish missionaries were most
accurate of details, and their records of marriages, baptisms and
funerals are like sketches of the persons concerned; parentage, birth
all are given in detail. Thus a child born of Spanish parents is
referred to as "de calidad Española" ("of Spanish quality") or if of
some other purely foreign extraction the same is mentioned. And
fortunate indeed, that this care of detail was had in the new country,
else how would much valuable knowledge be obtained?

During our narrative we do not wish to lose sight of the fact that we
have professed our work to be primarily a work of love, avoiding bitter
truth, which can do no good, and avoiding personalities, hence the
absence of names may be noted in this chapter, but it is invariably the
unpleasant duty of a writer to tell some unpleasant things in a
historical sketch, else how could justice be done to others, and how
straighten misunderstandings? We do not wish to merely cast aspersions
at the Mexican race or any other, for the gross and sordid not to say
sinful delight of doing so, but we wish to present to the reader plain
facts of this period of history. Here we will add that even as "there is
beauty in a blade of grass" there were and are good qualities and
virtues in many individual Mexicans, but we cannot but wonder at the
contrast of the two first periods of our state's history, and at the
difference so vast between two races and characters so often absurdly
confused. Here, we must mention perhaps the most deplorable incidents of
this period, incidents to which in spite of ourself we have so often
alluded, namely the Acts of Secularization of the missions. First, we
will mention that some writers accuse Spain of having passed an Act of
Secularization of Mission property in 1813, but such an assertion is
considered unfounded by good authorities, perhaps it had rise from the
fact that disturbances against Spanish rule were felt in Mexico as early
as that period and echoes of it reached the small Mexican faction of
California, causing much uneasiness to the missionaries. But three Acts
of Secularization of the missions were passed in the years 1826, 1829
and 1835. And what did not the good fathers with their neophytes and
converts suffer! And what did not the many loyal friends of these
beloved fathers not suffer with them through sympathy! Indeed no
Spaniard or his descendants can speak of those Acts without the crimson
of just indignation mounting to the cheek. But Spaniards were powerless
to check the lawlessness of the times. The missions were gradually but
slowly dispossessed of their lawful property, and all their wealth
confiscated, several times were many of the dear Spanish fathers
deported; they returned to Spain where a warm welcome awaited them, but
how sad to leave their missions reared by the most heroic labors of the
"martyr stuff" within them or their immediate predecessors, Serra,
Lasuén, Lopez, Dumetz, Crespí, Paloú, names "held in benediction;" and
what would become of their poor converted Indians who clung to them so
faithfully and whom they had raised to the plane of christian men and
women from nakedness, savagery and paganism! Besides the missionaries,
many other Spaniards, too, were put on a list of those to be deported,
among these there would not have been much resistance offered, as the
changes of the government were sad enough, but before the resolution was
carried out, while many of them were settling their affairs and
preparing to leave, a few of the better class of Mexicans interposed,
saying, "the Spaniards' are of greater value to the Province than any
harm which could ever come from their presence, it behooves us to let
them remain," so under the condition that they would not be interfered
with, and that no oath of allegiance to Mexico would be forced from
them, the Spanish families remained, and their presence indeed was of
"greater value" than for which credit has been given them. American,
English and Russian trading ships continued to make their appearance in
Monterey, to these were added French ships. Several mercantile
establishments existed, carried on chiefly by Spaniards and Englishmen,
and gay little social gatherings and dances still went on.

In 1823 Mexico overthrew her empire and established a republic. But
throughout this period, disturbances and guerrillas scarcely ever
ceased, while the gradual but sure devastation of the missions and the
behavior of the authorities towards the beloved padres heightened the
indignation of all noble-minded citizens and increased the unpopularity
of the governors and authorities, most of whom were so very different to
the Spanish governors, who at all times declared themselves "loyal sons
of mother Church" and of whom no record of the practice of the contrary
exists save a very few minor differences in defining the extent of
military and ecclesiastical power. Good Bishop Garcia Diego, Bishop of
California and worthy Prince of the Church was also a sufferer on
several occasions from the disrespect of the civil authorities of
Mexico, who even tried to prevent his landing in Monterey, the seat of
the diocese then. Let us repeat a few Mexican authorities were
exceptions of this type, but as we have said, these were few indeed, and
slowly Mexican power began to wane. United States, England and France
all stood in line for possession of California as soon as a ripe
opportunity presented itself. This plan was most welcome to the
Spaniards, who contrary to the statements of some prominent historians,
entertained no dislike for any of these nations. Spaniards, like some
others only wished that a happier and better government would supplant
the inactive yet turbulent government of Mexico, who had hurled the
Spanish flag from her position years before and despoiled the missions
of their wealth and glory. Thus United States Consul, Thomas Larkin was
always well received in the homes of the Spanish families and in turn
Mr. Larkin always referred to them in words of praise. Meantime, things
went from bad to worse, a change of government seemed inevitable. We
will soon see how this came about.

The only things for which Mexican rule in California was noted, was the
continuation of the making of large land grants, and an easy, careless
existence without the "hurry and flurry" of today; feasting, making
merry, and great parties in the "rancherias" where there were always
large "spreads;" it was during this period chiefly that the typical
Mexican dishes of tamales, enchiladas, and others which are still
relished in California were introduced in this province. In a word this
was the period of the sweet "mañana," where everyone seemed to have time
to enjoy the "dolce far niente" and exercised an open handed generosity
with regard to the "fleeting goods of earth."

Chapter VI

California Passes From Mexican to American Rule

The year 1846 found the Mexican government in California struggling with
a poor exchequer and some of its leaders in an unfriendly mood towards
one another on account of petty differences, while France, England and
United States waited eagerly for an opportunity to seize California, nor
may their desire be termed dishonest since a change of government each
day seemed more inevitable.

Americans had often been treated with hostility and not given their
lawful rights under the existing form of government in California. Just
about this time United States Consul, Thomas O. Larkin had been sent to
Monterey and Captain John Fremont to Northern California, the latter
presumably to survey the country of the Rocky Mountains and the Pacific
Coast in the interests of travel, but the real reason of the presence of
these gentlemen in California was thought to be, that they should keep a
close watch on the turn of affairs.

When circumstances shaped themselves for the worst, a party of Americans
at Sonoma headed by Captain Ezekiel Merritt gave the first signal of
uprising which led to the establishment of the Bear Flag Republic of
California. These men applied to Captain Fremont for help, but as
Fremont was an officer in the United States army, he could not
personally take a hand in the affair without authority from the United
States Government, but left his men free to join Captain Merritt's
ranks, and many did so. Under Captain Merritt the Americans captured
horses and arms from a Mexican regiment on the march for Sonoma, also
the garrison of Sonoma; encouraged by this William B. Ide, one of
Merritt's chief advisers and successor issued a Proclamation which
launched the Bear Flag Republic into its existence of twenty-four days.
This Proclamation was a praiseworthy document, stating the grievances of
the American settlers, namely unfriendliness and threats of expulsion,
also declaring the justice of overthrowing a government which had
confiscated mission property calling upon the assistance of peace-loving
citizens of California and promising not to molest persons who had not
taken up arms. The Bear Flag of the Republic of California was then
designed by a Mr. William Todd and hoisted in Sonoma on June 14, 1846,
also in Monterey. The American flag could not be hoisted because the
actions of this party of Americans had virtually been unauthorized, and
they would have been responsible to the United States for so doing,
however, it was their intention to turn over their conquests to the
United States as soon as possible. But the Mexican military authorities
regarded the actions of these Americans as a gross hostility, and from
all sides prepared to attack them. The position of this plucky little
band now became very perilous, and again they laid their cause and
dangers before Fremont, who was in his camp on the American River. Now
the Captain did not hesitate in his decision and with a small mounted
force began action on the field. Fremont was a man of many commendable
qualities, possessed of bright mentality, unwavering and extremely loyal
to the American cause, but he had his failings, among them being that on
several occasions he took advantage of the tangled state of affairs, to
seize upon personal property considered without the range of his lawful
power to take, hence the dislike that exists for him among many old
California residents; still it was the "Pathfinder" as he was called,
who with Commodore Robert Stockton, Lieutenant Archibald Giliespie in
command at Los Angeles, General Stephen Kearny and some others fought
the brief battles which terminated in the raising of the American flag
at the Custom House of Monterey on July 7, 1846, thus was California
admitted into the Union as a territory. By a treaty of peace which
followed the Mexican War, California was ceded to the United States for
the sum of $15,000,000 in 1848. Among Monterey's landmarks Colton Hall
is pointed out as the place where representative men from various parts
of California convened and framed the first American Constitution for
the State, September 3, 1849. On November third of the same year the
first election was held, with the result that Peter H. Burnett was
elected Governor, John McDougall, Lieutenant-Governor, and Edward
Gilbert and John Wright first Congressmen from California. From Monterey
the State Capital was removed to San José, where John Fremont and
William Gwin were appointed senators, and it was they who pressed the
Government to admit California as a state, with the result that
California was admitted as such on September 9, 1850. Major Robert
Selden Garnett, U. S. A. designed the state seal.

In 1854 the capital was removed to Sacramento from Benicia which held it
one year, San José having held it two years as, also Vallejo.

The discovery of gold in 1849 brought on a mad rush of all classes of
people into California and acts of lawlessness and violence became
numerous and frequent; for the purpose of checking these disorders the
"Committee of Vigilance" was formed in San Francisco in 1851. This
committee was composed of responsible men and much good came of it but
like in so many enterprises of the kind, many abuses were committed and
many innocent persons were unjustly punished.

As soon as affairs became settled and order established, American rule
in California became marked by progress and order, the discovery of gold
brought on a wonderful increase in population and more towns and cities
sprung throughout the state.

Much indeed could be said of the present, but as our story is only a
brief sketch intended to deal chiefly with the beloved old missions and
missionaries, and unravel if but a few of the tangled skeins of
misrepresentation cast about the older history of the state which is
more wrapt in mystery, with warm gratitude for what the present is and
for what the future will bring, we will return to the traces of the good
fathers whose missions are still the wonders of California, with them we
can still hear the chimes of mission bells.

Chapter VII

Mission Anecdotes and Hymns

Told of Father Vicente Sarría

Father Vicente Sarría, a venerable and saintly missionary in charge of
Mission Nuestra Señora de la Soledad at the time the first two acts of
Secularization were passed, was one of the keenest sufferers from the
injustices of the times, undergoing untold labors and hardships, which
in no small degree contributed to his death in 1833, which found him at
his post of duty at the mission. Father Sarría's reputation for sanctity
was well known throughout California, particularly in Monterey and
Soledad, and after his death it was no strange thing to hear both from
Caucasian and Indian such an ejaculation as "alma de nuestro Padre
Sarría, ayudanos con tu intercesion" (soul of our Father Sarría help us
by your intercession). Of course this pious demonstration was not public
because for many wise reasons, the church forbids the public veneration
or invocation of a saint until the required process of canonization has
authorized it, however, the allowable private invocation was freely
practiced as it has been done in the case of other saintly missionaries,
namely, Junipero Serra, Magin Catalá and others. And the following sweet
legend is told of Padre Sarría. As the Indian carriers lowered the
humble redwood coffin which contained the Father's precious remains into
the mission vaults, the edifice was filled with an exquisite fragrance
as of roses, and this story told with all earnestness was given much
credence about the mission towns. While not authenticated by infallible
investigation, may not this incident be classed at least as a
probability by the spiritual minded? For is it not in the power of the
God of the beautiful in nature to proclaim thus His appreciation for the
heroic charity of one of His servants, especially to strengthen the
faith of the sorely tried convert Indians who clung so lovingly to the
mission in the days of its trials?

Father Junipero Serra's Promise

One beautiful summer day while walking about the San Carlos Mission
Garden, Junipero Serra pondered over the wonderful progress of
California both in the spiritual and material order; filled with joy the
good priest blessed the land, and made a solemn promise to celebrate one
hundred masses for the future peace and prosperity of California,
moreover he promised to begin the fulfillment of his promise on the
following November, twenty-fourth, feast of Saint Charles, the patron
saint of the mission. Soon after, the venerable Serra was overtaken by
his last illness and went to his reward before November, the
twenty-fourth. But every year on the eve of the feast of Saint Charles
just before midnight a ghostly procession wended its way to San Carlos
Mission, for all the missionaries, Spaniards, or their descendants who
had ever lived in California would arise from their graves and with them
all the Christian Indians of the mission towns joined the "ghostly
throng" to San Carlos where Junipero Serra would arise from his tomb and
celebrate mass while the spirits sang their ancient hymns, after which
all the scene vanished like silver fumes of smoke, and this continued
for one hundred years. This most unlikely legend has been told in
beautiful Spanish and English poetry, and for all its unlikelihood has
found its way with its weird charm into many homes.

A True Story

Somewhere in the eighteen fifties a non-catholic of very irreligious
character, made targets of the eyes of a statue of Saint Benedict,
belonging to San Carlos Mission, taking advantage of the neglected
condition of the place at the time. A few days after this proceeding the
man was struck blind. This incident is no legend, but within the
remembrance of many old residents of Monterey. The unfortunate man later
acknowledged that his calamity was a direct visitation of Almighty God
for his gross and intentional irreverence to the image of a saint. The
writer refrains from giving the name of this man who has long ere this
passed to the "Great Beyond" but many Montereyans, who will read this
sketch will know it.

Countless stories and legends of mission times are told and written
without the least foundation for veracity, for example the story of "The
Lost Pearls of Loretto;" others are founded on facts but distorted
beyond recognition. Still this is not startling in a land as full of
sentiment and romance as California, where so many writers, (most of
them "New-comers") have given vent to their poetical imaginations, and
it is not hard to believe that the eventful history of the state
contained many authentic stories, and legends with some ground of truth.

Hymn to the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary[6].

"Para dar vida mortál
A Un Dios Autor de la vida
Sois Maria concebída
Sin pecádo originál."

"Para humillar la serpiénte
Que con su mortál venéno
Dejó todo el mundo lléno
De su aliento pestilénte
Que marcó à todo viviénte
Con el sello mas fatál
Sois Maria concebida
Sin pecado originál."

"Como Estér la mas amada
Del mas generoso Asuéro
Gracia recibes priméro
Que estés del crimen manchada
Pues para no ser contáda
En la indignacion reál
Sois Maria concebida
Sin pecádo originál."

"Ciudad fuérte y mas hermósa
Que de Asírio acometida
No logrará vérte herída
Su saeta ponzoñosa
Pues para ser victoriosa
De su poder infernál
Sois Maria concebida
Sin pecado originál."

"Luna lléna de esplandor
Sin ser nunca eclipsáda
Porque fuiste iluminada
De un sol de poder, y amor
Pues por no ver el horror
De un eclipse criminál
Sois Maria concebida
Sin pecado originál."

"Mujer heróica y valiente
Que con divino valor
Pisas gloriósa el furor
De la engañósa serpiente
Pues por no temer el diente
De aqeste monstro infernál
Sois Maria concebida
Sin pecado originál."

"Virgen que de nuestro suélo
Subes vestida de estrellas
Mas bela que las mas bellas
A ser la gloria del ciélo
Pues para tan alto vuélo
Con un favor sin iguál
Sois Maria concebida
Sin pecado originál."

"Patrona la mas amada
De nuestro suélo Español
Nuestro mas luciente sol
En la noche desgraciada
Pues para ser proclamada
Con el voto mas cordiál
Sois Maria concebida
Sin pecado originál."

"Concede en fin Madre amada
A tus hijos este dia
La mas cristiána alegria
Y la muerte deseada
Para que seas cantada
En la patria celestial
Sois Maria concebida
Sin pecado originál."

[6] This beautiful hymn is found in many ancient Spanish books of

Chapter VIII

Retrospection of the work of the Spanish Missionaries, Explorers and
Settlers and their place in California's Appreciation

We have followed the venerable band of missionaries from their homes in
Spain, where fired with zeal for the conversion of the savage heathen of
the New World they set out for the comparatively newly discovered land
of Mexico, where Spain had already a few establishments and churches, an
archbishopric in the city of Mexico, and the Franciscan Fathers a well
equipped monastery and mission at San Fernando in the northern part of
the country. We have seen the Spanish Franciscans' zeal in the land of
the Aztec, and we have also seen the noble cooperation given them by the
government and civil authorities of Catholic Spain. We have traced the
missionaries' steps, followed by gallant Portolá, and his fellow
officers and men, and have sympathized and rejoiced with them in their
hardships and joys. We have no doubt, often marveled at the stupendous
work of the Sons of Saint Francis in the conversion of the unenlightened
heathen, and have seen the Indian tribes turn from the worship of idols
to the altar of the one true God.

Let us now give a brief glance at the work so nobly done by the immortal
heroes which Catholic Spain sent to these shores. Many a time, winter
blasts of misunderstanding and wrong have been cast upon them, and many
a time have noble sympathizers fought just battles with prejudice in
their behalf, with the blessed result that the thickest clouds of errors
and "threadbare calumnies" have almost entirely disappeared, and with
them the remaining mists of wrong are fast vanishing at the powerful
approach of truth's sun, so that in relating the glories of that legion
of splendid characters whose names are so tenderly clasped about the
fondest memories of mission times, we shall not forget their friends and
champions of later years.

But first let us see what the brave Spanish pioneers did for California.
We will begin with the missionaries. To them we owe the conversion of
the heathen and savage Indians, which work was super-human in itself,
and which contrary to the statements of libelers, the fathers
accomplished with heroic patience and charity, teaching the Indians
besides religion, useful trades, civilizing them, and taking such
conscientious care of them that they made a nightly round of their
quarters, not with whip in hand to punish imaginary misdemeanor, but to
see that the spiritual and temporal welfare of their converts and
neophytes, was guarded, and so great was the attachment of the Indians
to the fathers that if a father was called on business from one mission
to another, the Indians would follow him a long distance weeping. Very
few of the Indians were taught the art of reading, not because the
fathers were in any way unwilling to teach it, but because for this one
art most of the Indians showed no desire or willingness to learn, yet
this has given the ever ready, unscrupulous writer food for saying that
"the fathers endeavored to keep the Indians in ignorance" and the
healthy rule of the fathers with its hours of prayer, labor, instruction
and recreation for the Indian families in the mission quarters, has been
distorted by erroneous histories, and statements have been made by some
writers to the effect that "the Indians were treated harshly and
oppressed." Whereas under what nation were Indians or unenlightened
natives christianized, allowed to remain in their lands or treated with
more humanity than under Spain or her missionaries, wherever they
explored and wherever they went?

"Harsh, oppressive, endeavoring to keep the Indians in ignorance," if
such actions mean all that these saintly missionaries accomplished, if
they mean their leaving refinement, christianity, fond home and kindred
in distant Spain to brave untold hardships, nay, martyrdom, to rescue
souls from paganism, and if such conduct as "harshness, oppression,
endeavoring to keep the Indians in ignorance" could be compatible with
the practice of heroic virtue and acts of mortification of mind and body
which to the spiritual man or woman appear beyond words of admiration,
to the scoffer and frivolous (but for this latter class we are not
writing) foolish and impossible. The missions too, with their honest
wealth and industry were California's first centers of enlightenment and
refinement. The Spanish missionaries were scholars as well as religious,
and their institutions were California's cradles of literature, music
and learning hand in hand with religion. To these early fathers we owe
the first paintings and statues brought to California, while their well
equipped missions, even contained medicine chests and medical books, to
them we also owe the first architecture in the building of the missions,
the first agricultural implements, even the first system of irrigation,
in the state; to these we may add the first stock of sheep, cattle,
horses, the first fruits, vineyards and teeming grain fields, yes, even
the first roses of California were brought here by them, and it was from
the missions that Dr. Robert Semple borrowed the printing type,
wherewith he printed the first newspaper in California, which appeared
in Monterey in 1846, making the letter "w" by joining two vs as the
Spanish alphabet contains twenty-five letters, "w" excepted.

And if the Spanish missionaries did so much what did the Spanish civil
and military authorities and settlers do? To Spanish explorers we owe
the discovery and exploration of California, as well as of South
America, Mexico and other portions of the New World, including the
Pacific Ocean; indeed is it not to Spain and her good Queen Isabella the
Catholic, to whom we really owe the discovery of America by Columbus?
But not to deviate from Spain's work in California, it was the early
Spanish governors who first framed laws and drew up a constitution in
California, and it was they who made the first land grants, it was by
Spanish explorers too that the first maps of California were drawn,
under Spanish rule were many of the present towns and cities founded,
from Spain came the first dawn of refinement and civilization, the first
army and navy, the first artists, musicians, physicians and skilled
workmen, in fine the first white child born in California was born of
Spanish parents settled in Monterey. And what was the record of Spain's
dominion in California? Setting aside unfounded calumnies as absurd as
the one which claims that Philip II passed a law sentencing to death any
foreigner who set foot on Spain's dominions in the New World, relegating
such lies to where they belong, Spain's rule in her New World
possessions, including California was marked by humanity as well as
energy. Cortes, Pizzaro, Vizcaino, Coronado, Menendez, Ponce de Leon,
Cabeza de Vaca, Balboa, as well as the later "pathfinders" governors and
viceroys of Catholic Spain, were men of honor, and sobriety to whose
names no "butcheries and cruelties" may be justly attached.

Perhaps one of the best proofs of Catholic Spanish humanity is the fact
of the preservation of the aborigines of the land wherever Spanish
conquests were made. Take for example, the statistics of the last census
of Mexico which reveal that of a population of 15,000,000 souls
7,000,000 are pure Indian 5,000,000 mestizos or of mixed Indian and
foreign extraction and only 3,000,000 foreigners or of Mexican birth but
of purely foreign extraction. Take, California, Arizona, New Mexico and
other former Spanish possessions of whom the same may be said in
proportion. In these places no Indian reservations are seen as where the
Puritans held sway. If Spain were guilty of the cruelties so falsely
imputed to her, Mexico in particular would be a Spanish or
Latin-American Republic, as it is, she may hardly be termed as such. But
Catholic Spain acted as explorer, civilizer and with her venerable
missionaries sponsor to the conversion of the heathen tribes of her New
World colonies, leaving in them the traces of her enlightenment and
christianity, yes, leaving them monuments of her humanity!

On the absurd and ludicrous application of the term "Spanish" in our
midst to many persons who have no claim to it by either birth or descent
we will not dwell, as we would not cheapen our sketch by stooping to
discuss such ignorance or insult our intelligent readers by writing on
such foolishness, we will only ask their permission to say that many
so-called intelligent people have no conception of the Spanish type,
race or character, but these we will leave "a la luna de Valencia" as an
ancient Spanish saying would express such cases. The California families
of Spanish descent are comparatively few, this being noted especially by
Spanish visitors to California.

But what of Spanish generosity at home, when the missionaries were
toiling for souls in the New World? Many a pious Spaniard in Spain and
in Mexico subscribed immense sums for the missions of California, both
for the Jesuit and the Franciscan missions. Thus we find the pious
Marquis de Villa Puente subscribing $200,000 for "missions, vessels and
other necessities of California." The Duchess of Gandía subscribed
$60,000 for the same purpose in 1767 and many others followed the same
example until the "Pius Fund of the Missions of California" amounted to
over two million dollars. At the time of the Secularization of the
Missions, the Mexican Government confiscated a large remaining portion
of this "Pious Fund." In 1853 the Spanish Archbishop Alemany, then
Bishop of Monterey and successor of Bishop Diego from whom the "Pious
Fund" had been taken, started a litigation which was continued in turn
by his worthy successor Archbishop Patrick Riordan of the archdiocese of
San Francisco, with the good result that Mexico was made to pay the sum
of $43,050 in Mexican currency annually as the interest at six per cent
on the sum of $1,460,682 of the "Pious Fund" which the national treasury
of Mexico had appropriated on the promise of Mexico to act as trustee of
the fund and pay an interest of six per cent which it had failed to pay
since its appropriation at the time of the Mexican regime in California.
Moreover, Mexico had agreed to pay this interest to the object intended
by the donors of the fund, namely, "to the church, for the conversion of
the natives of California, for the establishment, maintenance and
extension of the Catholic Church, her faith and worship, in said country
of Upper and Lower California." The litigation was won through the
intervention of the United States Government which Archbishop Riordan
invoked through his counsel, and decided by arbitrators under the Hague
Convention in 1899. The first payment was made on February 2, 1903.

Perhaps it is not amiss to quote here a small portion of the speech
delivered in Washington, D. C. by Hon. Joseph Scott of Los Angeles on
the occasion of a banquet following the unveiling ceremonies of the
memorial erected in honor of Christopher Columbus by Act of Congress.
Among the speakers present at the banquet were Ex-President William Taft
(then president), Cardinal Gibbons, Speaker Champ Clark, Ex-speaker
Joseph Cannon, Congressman Underwood, Judge Victor Dowling of the
Supreme Court of New York and many other notable men of the nation.

"It affords me unbounded pleasure to have an opportunity to deliver an
expression, feeble though it be, of the sentiments of the Knights of
Columbus of the great West, and particularly of California, regarding
the significance of this great day. Mr. John Barrett of the Pan-American
Union has already given you food for sober thought in the parallel he
has drawn of the marvelous activity and resourcefulness of the
Latin-American republics. Possibly I may be permitted at this time to
inject a suggestion that, despite the remarks of the previous speaker
about Boston as the modern Athens and the seat of universal learning,
"Modern Athens" has nothing in common with the memories aroused by
contemplation of the events which we celebrate today. It may be well to
tell our friends from New England that before the so-called Anglo-Saxon
had set foot as a colonist upon the American soil, the followers of
Columbus had penetrated into the heart of Kansas and gone down as far as
Buenos Ayres. I want to lay stress upon the fact that we have not noted
too emphatically today that it was the great Spanish race, with its
strong and sterling faith, which accomplished this wonderful mission of
civilization. Too long have we endured the stress of so-called history
written by Prescott and others, some of whom ought to have been put in
the Ananias club before they were born. For nearly three centuries the
Spanish race, with its indomitable faith, pursued almost alone its
mission of civilization and evangelization of the aborigines of America.
Before the Pilgrim Fathers had landed on Plymouth Rock, the Catholic
Spaniard had acquired a knowledge of the Indian language sufficient to
enable him to translate the Bible into the Aztec Indian language, so
that the new Indian neophyte could read the story of "God's greatest
Book" in his mother tongue."

The Courage of Catholic Spain

I wish to advise those of you who speak now of a burden of four days and
nights in luxurious Pullman cars to step out on the soil of California
as though you had performed a deed of heroism, that a Spanish soldier,
Cabeza de Vaca, with the courage of primitive Christianity, walked from
Florida to the Gulf of California, though it took him seven years to
accomplish his task; and the wonderfully brave Friar Marcos de Niza
pioneered his way on foot thirteen hundred miles into the heart of
Arizona through deserts and hordes of Apaches, in his efforts to plant
the cross of civilization among the children of the new world. Nay, the
Grand Canyon of Arizona, now one of the greatest natural wonders of the
world, was seen by a young Spanish lieutenant and his twenty soldiers
three hundred years before the Anglo-Saxon took a glimpse at its
wonderful and awe-inspiring beauty. These and other similar facts are
attested by the report of the Bureau of Ethnology of Washington, as well
as by many other reliable authorities, including that singularly gifted
and scholarly student of Spanish history and folk lore, Charles F.
Lummis of Los Angeles, himself a Puritan on both sides of his house for
several generations back. It was the fortitude of this Spanish race,
coupled by its strong devotion to the faith which you and I profess,
which enabled them to solve the Indian problem as it has never been
attempted since. While under our present system of the government of
this United States, the Indian has been an outcast and a derelict to be
robbed and cheated by his white brother, yet on the other hand the
Spanish missionary brought into the life of the simple native of the
new world the wholesome light of Christianity, which made him recognize
in the Red Man the same soul which was made in the image and likeness of
the common Creator of us all. In that spirit of brotherhood and charity
he obtained the confidence and good will of the Indians, almost without
exception, throughout the length and breadth of the countries that he
explored. And while his path was beset with dangers from the grim forces
of nature, and occasionally the crown of martyrdom was given to him by
an unthinking hand of those he was coming to evangelize, yet he faltered
not in his footsteps.

Today the memory of Columbus may be coupled with and attributed, on our
part, to the splendid heroism and Christian fortitude of the great
Spanish race which continued the work of Columbus with all that it
entailed for the betterment of humanity."

In compliance with our promise not to forget the friends of the
missionaries and of their compatriots, of today, we will first speak of
California's wonderful enthusiasm in the celebration of the Bi-centenary
of Junipero Serra's birth. Of the privileged thousands who visited
Monterey on November 23, 1913 and made a pilgrimage to Serra's tomb at
San Carlos Mission, how many will efface that sight from their minds in
years to come? But this awe-inspiring sight to which Reverend Raymond
Mestres and the Franciscan Fathers of San Francisco, contributed so
much, and in which the Third Order of Saint Francis so prominently
participated will be yearly renewed. Ecclesiastical and civil
authorities, towns and cities, individuals, all had the "right spirit."
The accounts of the press were glowing. Mr. Frank Powers of
Carmel-by-the-Sea was California's representative at the celebration
which Spain did not fail to hold in honor of her illustrious son; and
Mr. Powers indeed proved a worthy representative, returning to
California with renewed enthusiasm for the saintly Serra, and his
lectures have been listened to with keen delight. And can any praise
seem superfluous for California's apostles in particular for the saintly
Serra? At the civil exercises, held in Monterey on the occasion of the
celebration we are speaking of, Senator Reginaldo del Valle, of Los
Angeles, Mr. Michael Williams and Mr. Charles Phillips of San Francisco
each paid exquisite tributes to our hero whom the opening lines of Mr.
Phillips' beautiful ode described as:

"A young boy dreaming by the Spanish main:
Knee-high in waving grain
He halts at eve and dreams,
Where green Majorca fronts the cycling sea,
And far worlds ceaselessly
Beckon with passing sail and swinging tide,
And plunging galleons ride
Home from adventure, or away, away
To silken bright Cathay,
Or where dark India her golden treasure yields;
A young boy dreaming in his father's fields,
Who plucks a lily from the bending wheat
And stands with veiléd gaze and searching eyes
Pale with some great emprise,
Beyond the homing waters of his isle,
Beyond Majorca's skies;--
And dreams and dreams the while!"

"And they who love him wonderingly ask:
"What lad is this of ours
Who dreams away the hours,
And when the windy night-tide running sings,
So strangely seems
Converse to hold with far compelling things?
Or what these spirit-smiling ecstasies,"
They reverent cry,
"That halt him at his task
And hold him trancéd in bright reveries?
Is this our lad, indeed,
Who with such Heaven-given grace--
Ay, with the light of Heaven on his face!--
Makes question of the very world about?"

One of the sweetest features of this day was that hereafter by a decree
of Governor Hiram Johnson, who also did not fail to send a
representative to Monterey in the person of Judge Griffin, November the
twenty-fourth was declared a state holiday. May Serra day long be
welcomed by loyal Californians! We cannot close this chapter after
speaking of the bright constellation of the past which appeared in
California skies so many years ago, and whose traces we so cherish,
without saying a few words about that worthiest of worthy movements to
restore the dear old missions of El Camino Real according to their
traditional lines, here again Reverend Father Mestres of Monterey
deserves the greatest credit in this enterprise, and the Knights of
Columbus of the California councils have proved themselves great helpers
in the plan. King Alfonso, his minister, Señor Juan Riaño, the Marquis
de la Vega y Inclan who will be King Alfonso's representative at the
Panama-Pacific Exposition of 1915, are hearty supporters and sponsors of
this movement, and with cooperation from faithful friends and the
sanction of the Bishop of the diocese of Monterey and Los Angeles, we
have no doubt that these glorious landmarks, some of which have alas too
long been allowed to go to "wreck and ruin" while others are still more
or less neglected, after the cruel years which extinguished their
sanctuary lamps, left their altars bare and their belfries silent save
for the hooting of the night owls, will ere long be in the proper repair
to hand down with pride to posterity; and to further repair these holy
temples and place them under their historical and original plans the
most fitting priests to whom we could entrust them (at least wherever
the necessary satisfactory arrangements are possible) are Spanish
priests, compatriots of their founders, this too would serve to continue
and strengthen the old friendly relations between Spain and California,
and as whatever Spanish priests would take charge of the missions, would
be scholarly men speaking both English and Spanish, the English speaking
congregations would be well served. About three of the old missions are
under Spanish priests now. Let us then not cease our efforts until every
mission cross gleams gloriously in the radiance of the California sun,
until the devotional chimes of mission bells peal forth again from every
silent belfry, until the altar light beams again before each tabernacle
enclosing the Eucharistic Presence, until the empty niches contain again
the images which decked them as of yore, until each tomb of sainted
missionary is restored, until mass is again daily said within these
consecrated walls, and finally until San Carlos of Carmelo is again a
worthier Carmel, "for the greater honor and glory of God" and the
praises of His Virgin Mother once more are sung about this smiling
valley where the Christian Indian children gathered the beautiful wild
flowers of the blooming meadows to adorn the hallowed shrines, ere
chimed the Angelus at evenings mellow glow.

Chapter IX

Reverend Raymond M. Mestres of Monterey Writes Historical Drama--"Fray

Beautiful among beautiful historical dramas is the mission play "Fray
Junipero" written by Reverend Raymond Mestres, pastor of San Carlos
Church (Capilla Real de San Carlos) of Monterey. Many men and women have
undertaken to write about mission times, but we may safely assert that
this good priest so unassuming in what he does, is above all qualified
to handle this subject, being first of all a religious, a native of
Barcelona, the Metropolis of the Province of Catalonia, which can claim
Junipero Serra and so many of the early Spanish missionaries, explorers
and settlers, and being too an artist and scholar in every way
acquainted with the history of the missions, having made it a special
study during his twenty-seven years of residence (as a priest) in four
mission towns of California, twenty-one of which have been spent in that
chief of mission towns, Monterey.

Unbiased, careful of detail and true to history, while not wanting in
artistic setting "Fray Junipero" carries the audience in Act I back to
the College of Fernando, when Junipero Serra received his commission to
come to California as Father President of the Missionaries who were to
christianize that "mysterious vineyard." Act II is a typical picture of
California Indian Life. Act III depicts the landing of Serra and Portolá
on the shores of Monterey, the taking possession of the land in the name
of King Carlos III and the celebration of Junipero Serra's first Mass in
Monterey; all facts are taken from the archives preserved in San Carlos
Church, consequently historically authentic. Act IV pictures a piquant
fiesta scene with Spanish dancing, the scene being laid in the Carmel
Valley on the occasion of the baptism of the first white child born in
Monterey. This child was born of Spanish parents, Pasqual and Terésa
Segura and in baptism received the name of Carlos. According to the
records this baptism occurred in May 18, 1782, the ceremony being
performed by Fray Junipero Serra just two years before his death. With
very slight changes in the names this incident is taken from the
archives of San Carlos Mission. Act V represents Fray Junipero Serra
receiving the last Sacraments, his death and the grief of the people.

In writing "Fray Junipero" Reverend Raymond Mestres intended it to
commemorate the Bicentenary of our hero's birth, and was presented for
the first time in Monterey on August 28th, 1913 by local talent. This
will be an annual event at Monterey on the same date, August 28th, which
is the anniversary of Fray Junipero Serra's death. In spite of poor
advertisement the first production of this drama was a decided success.
It was intended to be played three nights, but by request a fourth night
was added.

As this sketch goes to press, the rehearsing of the second year of the
production of "Fray Junipero" begins with great improvement in the
staging, and a greater promise of success as it is now much more widely

May an ancient Spanish Nativity Play for Christmastide, which Reverend
Raymond Mestres intends to translate into English, and which contains
glorious music, and a history of mission times, which this scholarly
pastor of San Carlos Church has in store, soon delight Californians and
California's yearly tide of tens of thousand visitors.


Letter of Junipero Serra[7].

"Long live Jesus, Mary and Joseph!

"R. P. Fr. Miguel de Petra.

"My dearest nephew, brother and Sir.

"It was not for want of love that I did not answer some of your letters.
For it was not merely bodily that I left my beloved country. I could
have been communicating with many persons by letters and friends, both
in and outside our order, but, if our minds were constantly intent upon
what we once left, what would be the use of leaving it?

"I wrote a long letter to your reverence after your religious
profession. Besides, your reverence heard of me through the Padre Lector
Verger, who is at present our guardian. I received your letter when I
was among the Gentiles over three hundred leagues away from any
Christian settlement. There is my life and there, I hope, God helping,
to die. When this hour comes, some member of our province will take care
to notify our brethren that they may pray for me, and then, your
reverence will know it. What else does your reverence desire? Your
reverence lives among saints, and, therefore I do not deem you in need
of my advice and counsel, which indeed would be the only justifiable
motive for my writing.

"Let us improve and make good use of our time, let us walk worthy of the
vocation in which we were called, let us work out our spiritual
salvation, with fear and trembling, and that of our brethren, with the
most ardent charity and zeal, and let all glory be to our great God. In
connection with this, I took great pleasure in learning that your
reverence was preaching a mission at Ivisa when Padre Commissary Verger
passed through there. The time given to this apostolic ministry with the
blessing of your superiors, preaching in your words and deeds, hearing
confessions with love and patience, I believe, will be the best and most
fruitful you ever spent.

"Though a lukewarm, bad and an unprofitable servant, I remember every
day in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, my only and most dear sister
Juana, your mother, her children, and specially my Capuchin. I hope all
of you do the same for me that the Lord may secure me from all dangers
among these naked and barbarous peoples. Let this be our mutual
correspondence, and let God do the rest.

"And that I may give your reverence some news of my destination, I beg
your reverence to look on the maps of America. You will see in the
shores of the South Sea, most improperly called Pacific, the Peninsula
of California [Lower California]. I was there for a year in the capacity
of President of the Missions already founded by the exiled Jesuit
Fathers. Then followed north along the same coast and just a little
before what is called Cabo Mendosino, you will find in some maps, the
title or name the Port of Monte Rey.

"There your uncle lives, among those poor people. There I went with the
first Christians in 1770. There I sang the first Mass and there I have
been in company with Fr. Juan Crespi until the latter part of August.
Then I left for this college in order to transact some very important
business with the Most Excellent Lord Viceroy concerning the maintenance
and increase of those Christian settlements and the establishment of
those already proposed and planned, or that may be planned.

"Thanks to God, I have been kindly received and given close attention by
His Excellency and he has granted me whatever I have asked of him; so,
God helping, I hope for a quick and very extensive expansion and
spreading of our Holy Faith and of the domains of our Catholic King.

"In addition to one Mission where we spread Christianity in California
[Lower California] which I called San Fernando de Vellixata, there are
five already founded in that far off land; Monterey which said Padre
Crespi and I administer, San Antonio de Padua, twenty-five leagues
distant, with Padre President, Fr. Miguel Pieras and Fr. Buenaventura
Sitjar; that of San Luis Obispo, twenty-five leagues farther away, where
I placed two religious members of the Province of Catalonia, Padre
Juncosa and Padre Cavallier, that of San Gabriel, seventy leagues
farther away towards California [Lower California], for which I
appointed one father from the Province of Los Angeles and another from
that of Andalucia; and finally that of San Diego, which is the nearest
to California [Lower California] though over one hundred leagues
distant, and I appointed as ministers Padre Fr. Francisco Dumetz and
Padre Fr. Luis Jaume. They are all working with earnestness and abundant
fruit in their respective fields of labor.

"When in 1769 I left California [Lower California], I appointed Padre
Paloú President of the Missions there and I have not seen him since; but
now these missions, formerly in charge of the Fathers of the Society of
Jesus, are being turned over to the Dominican Fathers. So said Padre
Paloú with others, will come to us in order to found the Missions of San
Buenaventura, Santa Clara and San Francisco for which missions I have
already there the ornaments, the sacred vessels, utensils and other
necessary things.

"The number of Christians in those places, where the name of Jesus had
never been spoken, though there are some in all the Missions, still up
to the present, is not very great; because while we have been very busy
building our poor houses, little churches, teaching some children to be
interpreters, and providing other necessary things, our efforts could
not equal our ardent desires.

"Now that things are going, and His Excellency has given, upon my
request, various things of which we stood in the greatest need, I hope
in God, we shall reap abundant fruits from our humble work. And I say
that our work is so-so, such as it is, because, if I told you all we are
doing, it might seem a great thing, when in reality, upon a closer view,
it would seem very insignificant.

"In spite of the cold, which is very intense in California, the lack of
victuals, the poverty of our houses, I have been enjoying very good
health, thanks be to God! But this trip to Mexico has been very hard on
me. From the hardships of the journey, I arrived in the City of
Guadalajara burning with fever. I was so sick and in such danger that
the last Sacraments were administered to me a few days after.

"As soon as the continual fever became intermittent, I continued my
journey, and arrived in the city of Queretaro, again, so weak and sick,
that fearing for my life, they administered to me the last Sacraments of
the Church. Yet soon after I experienced a change for the better and
finally I reached this Holy College on February 6th of this present
year. I remained, however, for a long time exhausted, weak and without
any ambition or appetite.

"But now, blessed be God! I am restored and brought back to health, I am
transacting the business for which I came, and feel ready to set out on
my journey back to that vineyard of the Lord.

"During my sickness in Queretaro, I was nursed with remarkable charity
and diligence, by Padre Procurador Fr. Alexandro Llaneras, and soon
after I arrived here, in this College of San Fernando, we heard of his
death. He died of a serious fever. Death found him well prepared with
all the Sacraments, assisted by Holy Communion, equipped with patience
and entire conformity to the will of God, thus preaching to all with his
example. I beg your reverence to pray for him.

"It is only once a year that we can receive letters from and send them
to, this College. And if we can only once a year receive and write a
letter, is it surprising that we are so slow to write to those living in
another world? However, if with the help of God, I safely arrive in
California, I may drop you a letter telling at least of my arrival,
should there be nothing of more importance to communicate to your
reverence. Meanwhile, I send my best regards to your mother, my dearest
sister, to my niece, and to all our brethren. Remember me to my beloved
Dr. Onofre Verd, and to the other pupils of mine, friends and neighbors
and acquaintances, specially to Fr. Rector de Selva, Dr. Jayme Font, and
finally to all, not without the request that they pray to God, that His
Divine Majesty deign, through His infinite mercy, to make me fit and
worthy minister of His Divine Word, and grant me a holy and happy death.

"From this Apostolic College de Propaganda Fide of San Fernando, Mexico,
August 4, 1773.

"May God keep your reverence for many years;
"Most affectionate uncle, brother and servant.

"Fr. Junipero Serra."

[7] This letter was written by Junipero Serra soon after his arrival at
the College of San Fernando, Mexico, on a business trip he made there
four years after his coming to California. The letter was written to his
nephew, also a priest, in Petra, Spain.

The Meaning of California Missions

By Right Rev. Bishop Conaty, of Los Angeles

In the mission celebrations which occur in California from time to time,
there are two views which men take--the this-world-view and the
other-world-view. In either view the missions stand out gloriously. In
the first, the builders, who were the padres, are beheld as practical
men possessing fine artistic sense and creative genius. From the
memories of old Spain and the elemental materials at hand, the forests,
the soil and sunlight, they made the original picture-building which
artists since have loved to paint, and poets loved to praise. From this
same viewpoint the mission builders are seen as philanthropists who
selected human materials as gross as the mud from which they made the
adobe brick, and from these built up a civilization that was more
wonderful than all the mission-edifices which remain as monuments to
their altruistic efforts.

But there is another view of the missions which must appeal especially
to Catholics. Indeed it is natural to the farther-seeing Catholic eye.
It is the other-world-view. It is the vision of souls. It is seen to
have been the motive of every action of the master-builder padres. It is
the reason for their exile here, the purpose of their sufferings, the
object of their labor, the burden of their prayer, the spirit of their
vocation, the poetry, art, architecture and music of their souls. The
one aim in life was the salvation of souls.

--The Monitor.

Dances of Early California Times.

The Spanish dances of early California times were the Contradanza,
Quadrillas Españolas, Varsoviana, Jota Aragonesa, Bamba, Jarabe, Son,
Zamacueca, and Fandango.

With the exception of the first three, which are round dances, the
dances are danced by two persons; the steps are very fancy, and for some
castanets are used. It was customary after each change of step for the
gentleman to recite a pretty little stanza complimentary to the lady,
who in turn responded her refined appreciation also in verse, sometimes
merely witty or comical rhymes were used. The music is very pleasing and


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