California Missions





California Genealogy and History Archives


Missions of California

Transcribed by Kim Buck. Thank you!



With 35 Illustrations from Photographs (not included)

 CHICAGO, A.C. McClurg & Co.,  1912


In musing over the history of the old Missions, the mind is led to inquire as to the benefits that have been conferred upon mankind by the labors, triumphs, and defeat of the padres during their brief sojourn in the Southwest. Though their work was confined to a few heathen tribes, in its pure and unselfish purpose and beneficent results cannot be questioned, for these are attested in the annals of those days. The fact that great and lasting benefits were thus bestowed upon the Indian is conclusively established by reference to his primitive life, and to his subsequent condition under the care and tutelage of the Missions. The degree and importance of such benefits are evident in that they affected favorably his earthly, and provided for his immortal, welfare. Moreover, that which promotes the progress of one portion of mankind works ultimately for the benefit of the entire race. The wonderful amelioration of the moral and social lives of the wild men living in a Western wilderness, which was effected by the Padres during a short period of sixty-odd years in California, is known throughout the world, and millions of the family of man have both rejoiced and mourned over the bright career of the Fathers and its fateful ending. Regret for the sad fate of the Missions is almost universal. The philanthropic American grievers over the defeat of pious efforts and a grand purpose, that surviving, would have elevated the Indian races and preserved them from extinction. All who read and reflect, if they have an instinctive sense of right and of love for humanity, must deplore the passing of the Missions; for their spiritual power and  influence not only reclaimed the savage, but still lived after their suppression, to prepare the way for the civilization which came later under American sovereignty. What more could be said for those heroes who sacrificed themselves that the pariahs of an unexplored region might be saved? May honor and glory ever rest upon the names of the old padres of the Missions of California and the old Southwest!                                                                                                                                                                   J. S. H.

Chicago, January 1, 1907


Chapter Page
I California and Its Early Inhabitants 13
II First Attempts to Christianize the Natives 18
III The Franciscans 20
IV The Advent of Junipero Serra 23
V The First Missionary Expeditions 26
VI The Indians of the Missions 28
VII The Padres as Agriculturists 30
VIII The Wealth of the Missions 32
IX San Diego 34
X San Carlos Borremeo 38
XI San Antonio De Padua 40
XII San Gabriel, Arcangel 42
XIII San Luis Obispo De Tolosa 45
XIV San Francisco De Asis 48
XV San Juan Capistrano 49
XVI Santa Clara 51
XVII San Buenaventura 55
XVIII Santa Barbara 57
XIX La Purisima Concepcion 60
XX Santa Cruz 62
XXI La Soledad 63
XXII San Jose 65
XXIII San Juan, Bautista 67
XXIV San Miguel 68
XXV San Fernando, Rey De Espagna 69
XXVI San Luis, Rey De Francia 71
XXVII San Jose De Guadalupe 74
XXVIII Santa Inez 75
XXIX San Rafael, Arcangel 76
XXX Chapels 77
XXXI The Missions of Lower California 79
XXXII The Missions of Texas 91
XXXIII The Missions of New Mexico 96
XXXIV The Missions of Arizona 99

Downfall of the Missions 1882

From: Illustrated History of PLUMAS, LASSEN & SIERRA Counties with CALIFORNIA from 1513 to 1850, Farriss & Smith , 1882, San Francisco. Transcribed by Sally Kaleta.


Some Mission pictures from various books. (click for larger view)
concepcion-la-purisima-de-acuna-mission-texas.jpg (72259 bytes) Concepcion La Purisima De Acuna Mission, Texas la-purisima-concepcion-mission.jpg (79086 bytes) La Purisima Concepcion Mission
la-soledad-mission-ruins.jpg (78646 bytes) La Soledad Mission Ruins san-antonio-de-padua-mission.jpg (68292 bytes) San Antonio De Padua Mission
san-buenaventura-mission.jpg (65265 bytes) San Buenaventura Mission san-carlos-mission-1.jpg (72520 bytes) San Carlos Mission 1
san-carlos-mission-2.jpg (81777 bytes) San Carlos Mission 2 san-carlos-mission-3.jpg (69345 bytes) San Carlos Mission 3
san-diego-mission.jpg (87891 bytes) San Diego Mission san-fernando-mission.jpg (61762 bytes) San Fernando Mission
san-jose-de-acuayo-mission-texas.jpg (67729 bytes) San Jose De Acuayo Mission Texas san-juan-bautista-mission-1.jpg (79934 bytes) San Juan Bautista Mission 1
san-juan-bautista-mission-2.jpg (60935 bytes) San Juan Bautista Mission 2 san-juan-capistrano-mission-1.jpg (64593 bytes) San Juan Capistrano Mission 1
san-juan-capistrano-mission-2.jpg (72394 bytes) San Juan Capistrano Mission 2 san-luis-obispo-mission.jpg (75784 bytes) San Luis Obispo Mission
san-luis-rey-mission.jpg (67259 bytes) San Luis Rey Mission san-miguel-mission.jpg (77837 bytes) San Miguel Mission
santa-barbara-mission.jpg (70882 bytes) Santa Barbara Mission santa-barbara-mission-sacred-garden.jpg (85237 bytes) Santa Barbara Mission Sacred Garden
santa-clara-mission.jpg (67584 bytes) Santa Clara Mission santa-inez-mission.jpg (72763 bytes) Santa Inez Mission
san-xavier-mission-arizona.jpg (70301 bytes) San Xavier Mission Arizona