While doing research on my historical novel about 18th Century California, I came across an amazing book written in the latter part of that century by a Jesuit priest who had spent 17 years serving in an isolated mission in Baja California.
Observations in Lower California by Johann Jakob Baegert, S.J. Published in 1772 and available online @ http://publishing.cdlib.org/ucpresse...doc.view=print
is an amazing work giving a first-hand account of what life was like. As an example he indicates the problem with the language of the people who lived there. In many families the husband spoke one language, the wife another. He even describes the rocks and plants – or lack of them.
This is an amazing work and is giving me great insight into what my main character, Captain Don Fernando de Rivera has to contend with.