Time of the Bells, 1769-1835

CHAPTER FIVE: Opening the Land

The news of the tragedy along the Colorado River struck fear to the hearts of the settlers along the coast, and the missionaries felt their holy work again was in jeopardy. As for San Diego, still considered a frontier, unable to support a large colony and its Christian Indians largely scattered and forced to live among the pagans, a strong feeling of danger persisted, but the will to survive and to progress would not die.

Gov. Felipe de Neve had begun the task of bringing some order to the affairs of California. When he arrived he found the presidios to be mere collections of huts surrounded by fences of sticks and inadequate as a defense against even the arrows and clubs of the Indians. He pushed construction work and by July of 1778, a wall of stone, 537 yards in circumference, 12 feet high and 4 feet thick, was completed at Monterey, while at San Diego stones were collected for foundations but little real progress made. The Mission of San Diego did complete a new adobe church, 90 feet long by 17 feet wide and high, and strengthened and roofed with pine timbers.

“At the end of this first decade of its history,” Bancroft writes, “the Spanish settlements in California consisted of three presidios, one pueblo, and eight missions. There were at these establishments besides the governor, two lieutenants, three sergeants, 14 corporals, about 140 soldiers, 30siruientes, 20 settlers, five master-mechanics, one surgeon, and three store-keepers, 16 Franciscan missionaries and about 3000 neophytes. The total population of Spanish and mixed blood was not far from 500. The annual expense to the royal treasury of keeping up these establishments was nearly $50,000, or some $10,000 more than was provided for by the regu­lation of 1773.”

San José had been laid out as the first pueblo, and Neve was anxious to get on with colonizing California instead of leaving all its development to the missionaries. He and Serra were not to see eye-to-eye on many things, particularly in the ever-present conflict between civil and religious authority. Neve thought that one missionary at each mission was enough and he directed his soldiers not to get friendly with the padres or to pay any attention to them. Serra commented bitterly that “my going around and confirming is interfering with his sleep.” Neve attempted to establish a policy of initiating self-government among the Indians and they were ordered to annually elect their own alcaldes and regidores to maintain order within their own ranks and villages. The fathers felt this was premature, the Indian tribes were still barbaric and hardly to be considered as “emerging people.” Serra cited cases where the system had failed to work. He recalled that “At the San Luis Mission, (San Luis Obispo) the alcalde kidnapped another man’s wife and took off with her, and it was quite some while before they arrested him. The Missionary Father followed the same course of action … and handed him over to the corporal. He was punished, but in so light a fashion that the corporal himself acknowledged that it was not in accordance with his crime…. At San Diego, I do not speak. They have had to put up with a great deal from their alcaldes, but fortunately the presidio is near. May God help them.”

In 1781, a new regulation, or reglamento, for the governing of California, and providing for its occupation and settlement, went into effect. It had been drawn by Neve and approved by the viceroy as well as the king. While the regulations seemed clear enough at the time, those pertaining to pueblo land titles were to contribute to legal disputes down to the present day. The colonists, or pobladores, were to be “gente de razón” or, as it were, civilized people. The Indians would have to come in another way and some provision for this eventuality was made. The pueblos must form a square and streets agreeable to the laws of Spain. Settlers were to be recruited from the older provinces and each was to be granted a house-lot and a tract of land for cultivation, with necessary livestock, implements and seed, all to be repaid within five years; they were to receive some annual cash from the government, to be repaid in clothing and other articles; to have use of community or government lands for pasturage and obtaining wood and water, and to be free from taxes or tithes for five years. Those already living in California, as well as discharged soldiers, were entitled to the same benefits except for cash and cattle. In return, the settlers were required to sell the surplus products of their lands to the presidios; each settler must keep himself, horse and musket in readiness for emergencies; they must take their land within the pueblo limits of four square leagues, according to Spanish law and custom, and should not try to monopolize the pueblo wealth by owning more than 50 animals of any one kind; must not encumber or mortgage their property, and must join the pueblo in tilling common land, from which com­munity expenses were to be met, and in constructing dams, canals, roads and streets, and necessary town buildings.

The families who were to begin the community life of San Diego, under Neve’s regulations, were to be granted two mares, two cows, two sheep, two goats, all to be breeding animals; a yoke of oxen or steers, a plough share or point, hoe, wooden spade with steel point, axe, sickle, wood knife, musket, leather shield, a cargo mule and two horses – all given under condition of repay­ment in horses and mules “fit to be given and received.” For the community at large there were to be mules corresponding to the total number of cattle owned by all inhabitants, a seed jackass, a common one, and three she asses and three sows, a forge, six crowbars, six iron spades or shovels and the necessary tools for carpenter and cast work.

.In 1781, while Cornwallis was surrendering at Yorktown on the far-distant Atlantic seaboard, Neve was issuing his instructions on which was founded El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora, la Reina de los Angeles del Rio de Porciúncula. The early colonists, collected from among the idle and displaced of the frontier of Sinaloa and Sonora, were not a promising lot. As time went on, California became somewhat of a penal colony. It was prison or California, and many preferred prison. One governor commented that the future of the new pueblos might better be assured if the settlers were sent at least two million leagues away from California and kept there for 200 years. Serra was opposed to the founding of the early pueblos, or towns, on principle. The Franciscans felt colonization would result only in pressure against the unprepared Indians and their lands. All through Mexico the land grabbers had followed close on the heels of the missionaries. But thus was a civilization built. And this was the California to which Fages was returning as governor.

He left the Colorado and instead of taking the Anza route northward across the Borrego Desert and up through Coyote Canyon to San Gabriel and then down to San Diego, he challenged the great sierra. The coastal range shutting off San Diego from the overland route had long been a barrier to development. The mountains seem to rise with stark grandeur right out of the desert floor. Only the Indians had penetrated this vastness­ except for Fages himself. Ten years before he had wound up through the mountains from San Diego, in pursuit of deserters, and descended the sharp eastern slopes to the desert. He returned by the regular Anza route through Coyote Canyon. Now he turned to climb the sierra from the east with the assurance of a man who knew what he was about. He left the Anza trail at San Sebastián, now known as Harper’s Well, at the junction of the San Felipe and Carrizo Creeks, almost in the center of the vast, dry and forbidding desert that spreads out from the Colorado River to the coastal range. From this point across the desert and over the mountains to San Diego was a distance of nearly 150 miles, a route starting from below sea level, in the bed of a lost sea, and passing up through a 5000-foot pass in wooded, green and wet mountain areas, and then down gently sloping valleys to the freshness and fogs of the ocean shore. From San Sebastian he went south along the Carrizo wash, one of the dry beds that carry flash floods through the desert, and rounding the arid, rocky Fish Creek Mountains, followed it west as it entered the desert valleys that rise in a series of low but giant steps, through what is called the Carrizo Corridor, toward the base of the high Oriflamme Mountains that form part of the coastal range. They were following, as the explorers usually did, a well-worn Indian road. Capt. A. R. Johnson of the American Kearny Expedition passed over the same route in 1846, and reported “the constant seeing of pieces of pottery shows that Indians have traversed it time out of mind.”

In time this corridor was to become an historic route for American migrations westward, on the Sonora road from Mexico to Los Angeles, and then for the San Antonio-San Diego mail route and the Butterfield Stage route. From the dry-alkaline Carrizo they followed Vallecito Creek, passing Agua Caliente, “another spring on the slope of a little ridge,” and pushing on into Vallecito Valley, which Fages identified as San Felipe Viejo. The harshness of the desert below was softening a little here, with evidence of springs and considerable greenness, and the farsighted Fages could see its possible future importance. It had conditions requisite for establishing a mission, and he later was to propose that a garrison be located here. In American times it became a stopping place on the mail and stage routes to San Diego and Los Angeles.

From there Fages led his men up through a small, rocky pass, La Puerte Grade, on to another step, Mason Valley. They were drawing up along the base of the high Oriflamme Mountains and a point of decision. Here the Carrizo Corridor ends. And here two trails split away. Breaking off to the right, or east, from Mason Valley is Box Canyon, a small, narrow rock-erupted gulch. The Americans under Gen. Kearny broke a wagon trail through this canyon and into another series of flat, wide valleys slowly turning to the north and northwest. Blair Valley, Earthquake Valley and San Felipe Valley form a low-level route leading to Warner’s Hot Springs, in north central San Diego County. Here, again, one road led to San Diego and another to Los Angeles.

But Fages had other ideas. He turned directly west up the steep­ walled Oriflamme Canyon, and then “winding from hilltop to hill­top,” reached the summit of the Cuyamaca Mountains. This route later became the road of the Jackass Mail from San Antonio. Hero Eugene Rensch, tracing the route in an article in the California Historical Society Journal, says that:

“The trail Fages and his men followed on their ascent from the mouth of the canyon, 2500 feet in elevation, into Cuyamaca Valley, 2100 feet above, may still be traced along the ridge just south of a fork which enters Oriflamme Canyon from the northwest. It is deeply worn and is marked by stones piled one atop the other in Indian fashion; on one of the lower mesitas, or hilltops, old campsites are visible, with their grinding holes, broken pottery and scored earth.”

The Spaniards accepted the rigors of the desert with little com­plaint. Many of them, as well as their fathers and grandfathers, had been born on the northern frontiers of New Spain. Most of this is a vast dry country known as the Sonora Desert which surrounds the Gulf of California, extending from northwest Mexico into southern Arizona, southeastern California, and down along the eastern side of the peninsula. The Colorado basin was known to the Spaniards as “La Palma de la Mano de Dios,” or the “Hollow of God’s Hand.” Only the silt delta built up by the flow of the Colorado River keeps the waters of the gulf from flooding the Imperial and Coachella Valleys. The lowest point in the Colorado is the Salton Sea, 273 feet below sea level.

Going through the heavy sands or over the baked ground of the Carrizo Corridor, as the explorers did so many years ago, the overwhelming silence seems to accentuate the desert’s harshness. Distances become uncertain, as the dry, rocky hills fade into the haze of the horizon. Here and there are patches of green, indicat­ing the presence of water seeping up from underground lakes fed by the streams which in rainy periods course down from the coastal mountains and sink through the sands. Harper’s Well is more than 100 feet below sea level. The route into the Corridor, along Carrizo Creek Wash, is between 300 and 400 feet above sea level; the first step, the Carrizo Valley, is about 800 feet above sea level; the second step, Vallecito Valley, about 1500 feet, and the third step, Mason Valley, about 2000, lifting at its end to 2500 feet. The east entrance of the Corridor is wide; the west end is closed by the Oriflamme Mountains. There are only narrow paths of escape. The Oriflamme Mountains themselves form a gigantic mass, cut here and there by sharp canyons, and covered with small granite rocks seemingly crushed and powdered by time. In the early morning the mountains light up in the flame of the sun’s direct rays; as the day wears on, they grow cold and desolate, and in the evening, as the marcher approaches, they seem to grow in size and loom up with a forbidding darkness. Always luring the explorers on in their long marches across the deserts toward the mountains, would be the cuts or clefts indicating possible passage ways. The deserts and their mountains with their changing moods appear beautiful to the visitor in a car or jeep. But Fr. Pedro Font, speaking for those who had to find a way across them, described the great hills of rocks as “the sweepings of the world.”

Rensch believes the summit of the trail was reached southeast of Cuyamaca Lake, high in wooded country, and from there they started south through the carpeted valleys that flow easily down the wide mountain slopes toward the coast, going through Green Valley, Descanso Valley, across Little Descanso, and then into Viejas Valley, turning north just east of Alpine to reach the San Diego River. The rough map of the Fages route, drawn a year earlier by Josef Velásquez, a soldier, and the wording in the Fages’ diary, indicate, however, that they may have followed a more westerly route and approached the San Diego River from the north. The mountain areas were criss-crossed with Indian roads or trails. At the river, at the mouth of Conejos Creek, they saw the village of the Great Capitán, or El Capitán Grande, now covered by the waters of El Capitan Reservoir. They went down the San Diego River to El Monte Park and then southward into El Cajon Valley, which the Spaniards knew as Rancho Santa Monica, a grazing ground for cattle of the San Diego Mission. They arrived at the mission on April 20, 1782, after making the journey of 150 miles in seven days.

The mountains had been conquered. Fages records that the next morning at the mission –

“We heard Mass in the mission, and setting out from there after midday, arrived at the presidio of San Diego two leagues away, at about four in the afternoon, and halted there. The lieutenant in command, Don José de Zúñiga, and his Ensign Velásquez, came about a half league to meet us. This royal presidio is in good condition as is the troop. They are building a little church in the center, and round the presidio a mud wall.”

Official interest in this overland route to San Diego was kept alive for many years and San Diego was now tied directly to the Anza trail by the Fages trail. But the massacre on the Colorado all but closed the land approach to California for as long as Spanish rule continued. The reopening of these routes was to come with the advance of the Americans.

What was San Diego like, when Fages returned as governor of California, after so long an absence? Lt. Ortega had been made commander of the new presidio at Santa Barbara and Lt. Zúñiga had been named as his successor at San Diego. The garrison by regulation was to consist of five corporals, 46 soldiers, a sergeant and a lieutenant. The presidio of San Diego was the command post of a military district embracing the missions of San Diego, San Juan Capistrano and San Gabriel, and each was to have a guard of six, with four to be on guard at the new pueblo of Los Angeles. This left 24 soldiers at the San Diego presidio. There were also a carpenter, a blacksmith, and a few servants.

The presidio district, over which San Diego was given command in 1780 and which was made effective the next year, embraced most of the present area of Southern California and part of Mexico, extending north to Santa Monica and San Gabriel, northeast through the San Bernardino Mountains to the Mojave Desert, east to the Colorado River, and south to Palóu’s Marker. This was a marker placed by Fr. Palóu in the mountains 50 miles southeast of San Diego to mark the dividing line between Franciscan juris­diction in New California and Dominican authority in Old Cali­fornia. Almost eight million persons now live in this area. The military force reported it had 44 swords, 48 lances, 49 muskets, 11 pistols, 47 leather jackets, 49 leather shields, 52 saddles, 50 horses, and 107 mules. It wasn’t much, as Bancroft says:

“Respecting the presidio buildings … the records are silent … but I suppose that the palisades were at least replaced by an adobe wall enclosing the necessary buildings, public and private. Here on the hill lived about 125 persons, men, women and children. Each year in summer or early autumn one of the transport vessels entered the harbor and landed a year’s supplies at the embarcadero several miles down the bay, to be brought up by the presidio mules. Every week or two, small parties of soldier couriers arrived from Loreto in the south, or Monterey in the north … with items of news for all. Each day of festival a friar came over from the mission to say Mass and otherwise care for the spiritual interests of the soldiers and their families; and thus the time dragged on from day to day from year to year with hardly a ripple on the sea of monotony.”

There is some evidence the presidio was enclosed only on two or three sides until at least 1792.

In the early years of the 1780’s considerable progress was made at the mission. Frs. Lasuén and Figuer sent a lengthy report to the Fr. President saying that 671 Indians now belonged to the mission, the new church was 84 feet long and 15 feet wide, and had adobe walls three feet thick; the library had been enriched, and church goods included four linen surplices for the altar boys and a black stole for burials. By 1783 Fr. Lasuén reported that new structures included a granary, a refectory, guest rooms, a harness room, a kitchen and a pantry, and these buildings and the soldiers’ quarters occupied three wings of a quadrangle. Each wing measured about 155 feet in length. The fourth side was closed by an adobe wall 11 feet high. Outside the quadrangle there was a tank for tanning hides. Mission records listed 966 baptisms, 232 marriages and 216 deaths.

A year after Fages’ arrival at San Diego, Serra came down by ship from Carmel and remained for a month. His work was nearing an end. He had won most of his battles, but had paid the penalty. He was tired and troubled by pains in his chest. It was to be his last visit to the “mother mission.”

With the Indians quiet, for a time, the only excitement was provided by Fages’ domestic troubles. The governor brought his wife, Doña Eulalia de Callis, and his son, Pedro, up from Mexico, and she, being born of high position in Spain, was welcomed with respect and the joyous ringing of bells wherever she went on her long journey northward. She was the first lady of position to settle in California. There has been some historical suspicion that Fages’ numerous promotions were due, in part at least, to the influence of her family. She was shocked at the almost naked condition of the Indians, gave her clothes to them until warned she wouldn’t be able to replace any, and after giving birth to a daughter, started a campaign to induce her husband to return to Mexico. Their quarrels became a topic of widespread interest, particularly when the governor was banished from her bedroom for three months, and then later accused by her of showing more than platonic interest in an Indian maid servant. The friars intervened in the battle, and siding with Fages, after due investigation into her charges, ordered her into silence. When called away on guberna­torial duties, Fages insisted that his wife retire to San Carlos Mis­sion, and wait his return, and when she at first refused, he broke down the door to their home and said he would tie her up and carry her there. She gave in, but her conduct at the mission, where she interrupted church services and flouted the authority of the friars, led to a threat to have her flogged and chained. Though she had said she would see him in el infierno, or hell, before she would go back to him, she finally subsided and eventually they were re­united in their home. The last we know of the matter is an official plea which she sent to the Royal Audiencia, asking her husband’s removal as governor on the grounds the climate was injurious to his health, and of his efforts to prevent the document from being forwarded to Spain. The noble commander, known as “The Bear,” evidently had been overmatched.

While New California was still in the throes of growth, time was beginning to take its toll in Old California. Governor Arrillaga made an inspection of the peninsula and reported he found hunger and desolation everywhere. Pablo Martinez, in his “History of Baja California,” writes that a “terrible drought had ruined the crops and there was no food except meat, and this at very high prices due to the taxes that were charged. The mining industry had been completely paralyzed and for the greater part the colonists had left the region.” Antigua California was sinking back into pre-conquest conditions, from which it has not yet fully emerged. Since taking over the Baja missions from the Fran­ciscans, who had got them from the Jesuits, the Dominicans had added three more, El Rosario, in 1774; Santo Domingo, in 1775; and San Vicente, in 1780, all on the Pacific trail to San Diego. There were now 21 missions in the peninsula. In a report on the situation, after an inspection trip, the haughty, crusty Fages made the following observations:

“All the Indians of California are lazy, incompetent and stupid. Their sole aspiration is to steal. The women do some spinning and weaving under the guidance of the missionaries. The cereals that they raise scarcely serve for the maintenance of the inhabitants. Pearl diving is the principal source of wealth, but does not prosper for lack of manpower. If the Indians should be given the earth he would not be capable of cultivating it, lazy as he is.”

Now, as to the general conditions of the older mission establish­ments, particularly those in the south of the peninsula, Fages had this to say:

“The frequent change of missions is prejudicial to the progress of their interests; but the principal cause of ruin is the lack of water. The moving of natives from the missions of the north to the south has proved to be useless, because even though the Indians may have identical customs, they contract venereal diseases and die…. The missions of San José, Santiago, Todos Santos, San Javier, Loreto, Comondú, Cadegomo, Guadalupe and Mulege are on the way to total extinction…. There are missions among those named that go for months or years with no more than a few baptisms … in all there are three times as many adults who die as there are babies born.”

It had been a long time since the Jesuits broke the and ground of Baja California and step by step built the little thin chain of missions which provided the Franciscan ladder to New California. The Jesuits were expelled and the Franciscans soon willingly gave up the Baja missions to the Dominicans. The Dominicans lacked the pioneering drive of the Jesuits and the practical, work-a-day philosophy of the Franciscans. Their work was of the mind more than of the hand.

What was happening in Old California was to foreshadow the fate of the missions in New California.

This period saw several other explorations of San Diego County. The Spaniards began to chart the harbors they had claimed and to push explorations of the forbidding mountain ranges. Don Juan Pantoja y Arriaza, pilot on La Princesa, ferrying supplies between San Blas and the California ports, charted San Francisco Bay and the Santa Barbara channel, as well as San Diego Bay. His map and report, dated 1782, contains some place names appearing in history for the first time: Punta de La Loma de San Diego and Bajos de Zlihiga, or Zuniga Shoal, named after the new commandant at San Diego. Punta de los Muertos, or Dead Man’s Point, is shown at the foot of San Diego’s Market Street. It is not known for certain whether he referred to the burial place of the victim of scurvy from his own ship and the accompanying La Favorita, or perhaps the burial place of the scores who died on the original Serra-Portolá expedition. The first is the more accepted and more likely. Ships of the Serra-Portolá expedition anchored nearer where the San Diego River discharged into the bay and camp was made on a hillock. The dead were buried nearby.

The charts made by Pantoja were to show up in strange hands, French, English and American, in a new era of trade and explora­tion. The early efforts of Spain to keep all things secret didn’t seem to be very binding on later seafaring men.

The mountains behind San Diego were challenged again, this time from the west by Velásquez, who it will be remembered drew the first rough crude map showing the Carrizo Corridor through which Fages had come, though he identified it as Arroyo de San Sebastián. The map shows two rivers, the San Diego and the Sweetwater, the latter identified as Arroyo de la caballada, or the watering place for livestock. Between the two rivers, but nearer the Sweetwater, he shows what evidently was another well-­travelled Indian road, Camino de Tevama. This led up into the high mountain timber and pasturage. Two years later he broke trail for Fages in a new crossing of the sierra, this time in search of a more southerly crossing that might open a trail to the Colorado below the territory of the feared Yumas.

Velásquez kept a journal of the exploratory trip dated April 27, 1785, San Diego, and it starts as follows:

“Journal which I composed by order of the governor, Don Pedro Fages, from the notes which His Lordship has made personally from the frontier, across the sierra, ranging from the mouth of the Colorado River to the Gulf of California, passing through the lands of the Indian nations, Camillares, Cucupaes, Guipecamaes, Cajuenes and Yumas, noting this and the return, crossing the aforesaid sierra up to arrival at this presidio.”

They went south down the lower bay along the Mission High­way, or El Camino Real, connecting the missions of New and Old California, for two leagues, which could be anything from six to 10 miles, and after coming to a brook, went upstream heading east. In three days of marching east, following stream beds, they came to a “very beautiful plain with grass and water and a warm spring besides.” The Velásquez journal is difficult to follow, as he seemed more interested in incidents than geography, though the plain, which to them meant a valley, could have been no place other than Jacumba Valley. Jacumba has the only hot springs in that section of the county and was the site of an Indian rancheria. Meeting some Indians there, they inquired as to the best route over the mountains:

“I asked them where there was a good road to cross the sierra and go down to the river. They answered that there were three routes: one to the north, one to the east and another to the southeast. The first went over many hills and the horses couldn’t make the descents. The second was better although it was rocky. The third was somewhat good but waterless. Having noted this it seemed to me more appropriate to try the second and keep nearer our course.”

At the summit of the mountains they climbed a ridge from where they could see “the flats or plains through which the Colo­rado runs.” They went down a long gulch through which they thought they could pass in a few hours but “there were so many boxed-in curves that night closed in upon us. . . In it we went down to the plain without finding water.” There the road divided and they took the one to the northeast to avoid getting bogged down in the estuaries of the Colorado River. They went a consider­able distance into Baja California, encountering heavily-wooded areas along the estuaries of the Colorado, sighting the sand dunes which stretch away to the little hills along the river which were the sites of the pueblos destroyed by the Yumas, and meeting bands of as many as 500 Indians. They were unable to find Santa Olaya, where Anza had watered, but Velásquez scouting ahead, did find a lagoon of good water. The journal reads:

“On the banks of this water, stood a rancheria which the Yumas were assaulting. Although I didn’t see any dead there, I did indeed see the trace where they went out fighting, and at the distance of a shotgun shot, I began to see dead men. I saw these only along the road and on the sides of the hummocks. I saw seven bodies besides these seen by men herding the train. There were many buzzards about.

“These Yumas were mounted, and, according to their tracks, there were over twenty charging and killing up to the foot of the sierra which the horses couldn’t climb. Those who escaped, according to the trace I saw when I climbed the hill, ran, spilling their grain and throwing away their weapons.”

Velásquez hastened to tell Fages what he had learned, and Fages decided it was time to take leave of that region, and building frequent bonfires, so that other sections of his force and pack train could follow as quickly and directly as possible, they picked up the old Anza trail that led from Santa Rosa of the Flat Rocks, or Yuha Wells, near the U.S.-Mexican border in Imperial Valley, and headed for Harper’s Well, or San Sebastián. From there they fol­lowed the Fages trail to Valle de San Felipe and then up Oriflamme Canyon to Cuyamaca Valley, and the Indian rancheria of Cuna­mac. On the way they had a brush with Indians, losing three of their horses, having one of their men wounded, and in turn, shoot­ing to death the chief of the attackers, and learning that these same Indians had slain the deserting soldier whom Velásquez had sought on his first trip into the mountains two years before.

Fages had found that conditions hadn’t changed very much at San Diego. Conversion was slow and uncertain, and even the ma­jority of those accepting Christianity had to continue living in pagan rancherias, and more frequently than not, they became backsliders. Fages noted that, “The missionaries, having to deny their neophytes the provisions whilst the Indians were increasing the acreage, stormed Heaven with ceaseless petitions for rains, whenever their field needed them, until they succeeded. Thus it is since 1779, that some good harvests have been gathered.”

But as for the Indians themselves, as good Christian prospects, Fages sadly lamented:

“Indeed, this tribe, which among those discovered is the most numerous, is also the most restless, stubborn, haughty, warlike, and hostile toward us, absolutely opposed to all rational subjection and full of the spirit of independence. The truth is that by the indefatigable tolerance and prudence of the missionaries together with their constant gentleness and other apostolic traits and supported by corresponding and opportune solicitude of the government, the Indians have been kept quiet, peaceful, and subdued for seven or eight years. Nevertheless, it must not be overlooked that a considerable armed force must needs be at hand in sufficient numbers to repress their natural and crusty pride.”