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Old 04-17-2012, 02:14 PM  
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Father Serra's Legacy

In order to share what I've learned, I've started a new blog -

Father Serra's Legacy @ http://msgdaleday.blogspot.com/
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Old 04-17-2012, 03:29 PM  
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Cabby, great blog. I'd like to emphasize that the all too frequent notion that the "Spanish" came to what is today California and "enslaved" the native Americans is not supported by the numbers of soldados de cuera nor general settlers (pobladores). As the pointed out 1790 CA census reflects, numbers of actual soldiers were few. I believe 30 some at presidio Santa Barbara, 88, (as your blog points out) in San Diego and simular numbers in Monterey and San Francisco. They had soldados at each mission from these numbers. If my memory doesn't fail me, the most would have been at San Luis Rey in O'side. So, with four presidios total in Alta Ca, maximum soldados would be no more than 400 at any given time to enslave some 300K+ natives. There were many cases of mistreatment, yes, I am sure, but not the mass enslavement depicted but many.
Also the larger missions had assistencias too, SLR had three, San Gabriel had two, etc., etc.

Your blog is awesome.
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Old 04-21-2012, 08:34 PM  
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Well, I'm glad you enjoy the blog - as I hope others will.

You are, of course, welcome to be a Follower - just click on the Follow icon and sign up.

What is truly amazing is that the friars basically traveled throughout the wilds of California UNESCORTED or with a small escort of five soldados de cuera.

The number of friars killed by the Indians in California is TWO! Father Jayme at San Diego went out in front of a raging mob of Indians and called out to them to come in peace. He died with a smile on his face.

As you indicated, throughout the Spanish portion of California history, there were never more than 300 soldiers at any one time - not only including presidials [as the soldados de cuera were called, but 80 Catalonian Volunteers spread between the four presidios.

Only two friars were known to be cruel to their disciples and they were punished for it. The vast majority of problems came from soldiers lonely and without their families - or women.

And finally, there is this: The friars often disciplined themselves by baring their backs and using metal flails for what they saw as their sins. At the same time, their attitude toward the neophytes and disciples was that they were children that should be loved and disciplines when they failed to live by the religious rules. They were "spanked" as was the rule of the day - you know; Spare the rod and spoil the child." BUT, the rule was to put the violator in front of the congregation, explain what the failure was, then to spank them with a willow switch or light piece of rope. THERE WAS TO BE NO BLOOD SPILLED!

That was something the soldiers did not always follow and it caused severe problems between the friars and the soldiers.

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Old 04-21-2012, 08:35 PM  
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My latest blog post is - The California Missions - Where they are - and why.

Enjoy, comments, give me feedback.

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Old 04-22-2012, 05:55 PM  
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Before going to your post I would like to say that yes, you are correct, sir, and I might add that there were rivalry between the religious & military sides of the tri-headed colonial Spanish government. Check out the 15 points to Gov. Borica by Goicoechea.

The settlement of California was to claim title before the easterners came out and also the Russians were coming down from the norte. The mission system was to only last 10 yrs. One of the most neglected facts is that the Spanish, did not have the CITIZENSHIP to bring them in from Spain to settle the new world, it is for this reason that most were listed as mestizos, mulatos and Indios.

Off to look at the blog.
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Old 04-22-2012, 06:16 PM  
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About 500 yrs precolombian, a group of uto-aztecan speaking natives forced their way accross the desert and through the Californian natives, all the way to the coast. The group made a big pie shaped wedge severing the Ca population into two parts. The northern and southern groups speak similar languages although different dialects. This group would have included the gabrielinos, (tongvas) as well as the Capistranos.

The Chumash was the largest group, who's territory went from San Luis Obispo to Malibu. I was told the tale of how they came from their original home on the channel islands once. The old Chumash guy was very articulate as he told the story. He described a goddess, I believe, that became angry because the Chumash had become too many and were too noisy. They walked over the top of a rainbow that spanned from the island to the mainland over the water. They were warned not to look down, but many became afraid and did so. As they did they fell into the water and became dolphins. This was why the dolphins are brothers and sisters to them. (I do hope I remembered this correctly)

Also, another fact is that a tongva runaway from San Gabriel led the way for the famous "Juan Bautista de Anza" from presidio Tubac, Sonora (AZ) through the forboden desert to mission San Gabriel in exchange for amnesty. He was homesick.
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Old 04-24-2012, 03:44 PM  
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Today's post is about Mission Life
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Old 05-19-2012, 03:33 PM  
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Am posting about Father Serra's Life - shorter posts as someone complained about the long ones taking too long to read - and #1 and #2 are up for reading.

A truly amazing man!
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Old 05-21-2012, 01:55 PM  
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Part III of Father Serra's Life @ http://msgdaleday.blogspot.com
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Old 06-03-2012, 01:42 PM  
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More of Captain Rivera @ http://msgdaleday.blogspot.com

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