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In a report written in February, 1702, Father Picolo, in fervid and poetic language tells of the anding of himself and Salvatierra and depicts their nission as it appeared to them in their spirit of exiltation and sacrifice. They had taken, he wrote, * as the guiding star of our voyage that star of the sea, the most devoted image of the Lady of Loreto, which led us without mishap to the desired port." Vnd on landing they had set up the image "as decently as the country and our poverty would permit" and had placed the "undertaking in her lands" that she, like a "beneficent sun," might sanish the pagan night blinding the Indians with ie shadows of death. Satan had not watched the :oming of the padres unmoved at the prospect >f losing "his ancient and peaceful possession" of leathen souls.
Vs he blinded their understandings, they could not lomprehend the words of the light which, with reiplendent rays, spoke the language of heaven for their welfare, while we, upon hearing a language which we lad not known, could not in ours, which they had not leard, make known to them the high purpose, for them so advantageous, which had taken us to their lands. \.nd although we had gone to their shores solely to seek the precious pearls of their souls, to nurture them srith the heavenly dew of the Divine Word, and to give them their luster in Christ, showing them the celestial shell Mary, who conceived for their good, with the gentle dew of heaven, the perfect pearl of first luster, Christ, they thought we came like others who at other times, sometimes not without injury to their people, had landed on their shores in search of the many and rich pearls which were produced in the countless fisheries of their coast. With this opinion quickened at the instigation of the Devil, . . . they attacked out little guard . . . with such fury and so thick s shower of arrows and stones that if the Lady had not constituted an army to resist it . . . our purpose would have been frustrated. With this glorious triumph their pride was humbled. . . . Some of them came to our camp.... Then through easy intercourse with them we devoted all our efforts to learning their language.1
Salvatierra followed the same plan which Kino and his associates employed in establishing their work. He sent a padre, or went himself, to visit a tribe, to make gifts and to talk of religion, until the Indians were won over and were willing to have a mission erected in their village. Each new mission was placed within easy communication of one already established from which supplies could be drawn until the new mission was able to support itself. Some fifteen missions were ultimately established in Salvatierra's domain by separate
'Bolton, Kino's Historical Memoir, vol. n, pp. 47-49.
endowment made through the charity and zeal of some rich Catholic who sought by this means his own grace and the benefit of the heathen. Two were endowed with ten thousand pesos each by a “priest commissioner of the court of the Holy Office of the Inquisition,” another by certain members of a Jesuit college in Mexico; but the greater part of the Pious Fund was contributed by nonclericals. Patiently Salvatierra and his assistants went on their chosen task, erecting missions, gathering the Indians in pueblos under trustworthy native alcaldes, teaching them agriculture, stock raising, saddlery, and shoemaking, improving on the native fashion of weaving, and - for the beautifying of the church services and for their own innocent entertainment - instructing them in music and singing. In the midst of his work Salvatierra was called to Mexico to serve as provincial of New Spain, but at the expiration of his term he returned and continued his work till 1717. For twenty years the history of Lower California had been little more than his own biography. After Salvatierra's death more liberal aid was provided, and new missions were established both in the south and the north.
Before their expulsion the Jesuits had founded
missions and opened trails throughout almost the entire length of the peninsula. ie**" The lives of such men as Bono and Salvatierra and of some of their associates who met martyrdom at the hands of their flocks — are the undimmkg gold of one side of the shield. It was for what lie professed to see on the reverse side of that shield that Carlos III, in 1767, banished the Jesuits from his dominions. For a year or two the Franciscans occupied the former Jesuit field; but, when a new advance north was made, the Peninsula was assigned to the Dominicans and Alta California to the Franciscans.
The work of the Jesuits in Lower California had opened the way for the colonization of Alta California. The preparations for settlement were made at Loreto and other mission towns, from which the land expeditions started; and the ships from Mes ico were overhauled and stocked in seaports on the Peninsula. Thus the first stages of the northward journey of the founders of California were made through a province where peaceable natives and a chain of missions and mission farms reduced the hazards of the march.
* IN the sixteenth century Spain, as we have seen,
had thrust up into the North the two outposts of Florida and New Mexico. In time foreign intrusion made it necessary to occupy the intervening : region called Texas, which embraced a goodly slice of what is now Louisiana. While Spain was busy farther south, other nations were encroaching on her northern claims. /By 1670 England had planted strong centers of colonization all the way from Jamaica to New England, and had erected trading posts on Hudson Bay. French traders from Canada, meanwhile, had been pushing up the St. Lawrence to the Great Lakes and branching north and south through the wilderness. At the same time French and English buccaneers from the West Indies were marauding the Florida settlements and the coast towns of Mexico. English,
French, and Spanish territorial claims and frontier 207