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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.