The Explorers, 1492-1774

TRANSLATION: Palou’s Historical Memoirs of New California


This is a collection of memoirs of Old California, for the time when its missions were administered by the missionaries of the Regular Observance of Our Seraphic Father of San Fernando de Mexico; and of the missions which these missionaries founded in the new establishments of San Diego and Monterey.

It was written by the least, because the most unworthy, of these missionaries, one who, having been in Old California from the time when it was taken charge of by that College until it was delivered to the reverend fathers of the Sacred Order of Our Cherubic Father Santo Domingo, afterward went up to the missions of Monterey with other missionaries of the same College of San Fernando. This material labor, which follows the trails marked out for me by the apostolic ministry, has no other purpose than to note down whatever has happened and may happen while God may give me life and health to labor [in this new vineyard of the Lord etc.].

Translated by Herbert Eugene Bolton in “Historical Memoirs of New California” by Fray Francisco Palou, O.F.M., XCV.