History of San Diego, 1542-1908


1769. July 16. Mission founded by Father President Junípero Serra. Also present: Fathers Hernando Parron and Juan Viscaino.
1770. Fathers Juan Crespí and Francisco Gomez had been at San Diego but departed with the land expedition for Monterey on July 14th. They returned January 24, 1770, and all five priests were pres­ent until February 11th, when Viscaino went south by land to Velicatá with Rivera. On April 17th, Serra and Crespí sailed for Monterey with Portolá (left at San Diego, Parron and Gomez, the former in charge).
1771. April. The San Antonio came up from Mexico with ten friars and left some of them at San Diego, among them Pedro Benito Cambon, Francisco Dumetz, and Father Somera. Same ship took Gomez to Monterey. Dumetz was in charge. In July, the San Antonio arrived with six friars from the north, and Cambon and Dumetz went overland to Mexico.
1772. May. Crespí came from the north and Dumetz returned with Father Tomás de la Peña to take Cambon’s place. Sept. 27th, Crespí and Dumetz left for San Carlos and two friars, Usson and Figuer, came from Mexico.
1773. August 30. Father Francisco Palou arrived overland from Mexico, with Fathers Pedro Benito Cambon, Gregorio Amurrio, Fermin Francisco Lasuen, Juan Prestamero, Vicente Fuster, José Antonio Murguía, and Miguel de la Campa y Cos, assigned to different missions. September 5. Paterna, Lasuen and Prestamero departed. October 26. Palou, Murguía, and de la Peña departed. This left at San Diego Luis Jáume, Vicente Fuster, and Gregorio Amurrio as supernumerary.
1774. March 3. Serra came by sea from Mexico. With him came Father Pablo Mugártegui, who remained for a time, but later went north. April 6. Father Serra departed for Monterey, by land.
1775. November 5. Destruction of the Mission, Fathers Luis Jáume and Vicente Fuster in charge; the former killed, as related. At the Presidio, Fathers Lasuen and Amurrio.
1776. July 11. Serra arrived by sea. from Monterey to arrange for re­building the mission. October 17. Three friars, Foster, Lasuen, and probably Santa María, occupied the new mission. December. Serra departed the last days of the year, for the north, with Amurrio, and never returned.
1777. Juan Figuer came and served to December 18, 1784, when he died and was buried in the church.
1785. For about a year after Figuer’s death, Lasuen served alone. In November, 1785, he went to San Carlos and his place at San Die­go was taken by Juan Mariner (arrived 1785). With him was associated Juan Antonio García Riboo (arrived 1783), till Octo­ber, 1786, then Hilario Torrens (arrived 1786). Mariner and Tor­rens served till the last years of the century. Torrens left Cal­ifornia at the end of 1798, and died in 1799; Mariner died at the Mission, January 29, 1800.
1800. Their successors were José Panella (arrived June, 1797), and José Barona (arrived May, 1798). Pedro de San José Estévan was supernumerary, April, 1796, to July, 1797. Panella was accused of cruelty to the neophytes and was reprimanded by President Lasuen. He left the country in 1803. Barona remained as minister throughout the decade (1800-1810). Panella was replaced for about a year after 1803 by Mariano Payeras, and then José Bernardo Sauchez took the place in 1804. Pedro de la Cueva, from Mission San José, was here for a short time in 1806, and José Pedro Panto came in September, 1810.
1810. Father Sanchez continued to serve until the spring of 1820, when he was succeeded by Vicente Pascual Oliva. Panto died in 1812, and Fernando Martin took his place.

“Panto,” says Bancroft, “was a rigorous disciplinarian and severe in his punishments. One evening in November, 1811, his soup was poisoned, causing vomiting. His cook, Nazario, was arrested and admitted having put the ‘yerba,’ powdered cuchasquelaai, in the soup with a view to escape the Father’s in­tolerable floggings, having received in succession fifty, twenty-­five, twenty-four, and twenty-five lashes in the twenty-four hours preceding his attempted revenge. There is much reason to sup­pose that the friar’s death on June 30th of the next year was attributable to the poisoning.”

The new Mission Church was dedicated November 12, 1813 (this is the building whose ruins yet remain). The blessing was pronounced by José Barona, of San Juan. The first sermon was by Geronimo Boscana, of San Luís, the second by the Dominican Tomás Abumada, of San Miguel, and Lieutenant Ruiz acted as sponsor.

1820. Father Martinez served for a time in 1827.
1830. Fathers Oliva and Martin continued in charge. Martin died Oc­tober 19, 1838. He was a native of Robledillo, Spain, born May 26, 1770. He was a Franciscan, and arrived at San Diego July 6, 1811. He was regarded as an exemplary frey. He was one of the few missionaries who took the oath of allegiance to Mexico.
1840. Oliva remained alone, and was the last missionary to occupy the mission, till August, 1846. Upon the secularization of the mis­sions in 1835, José Joaquin Ortega was placed in charge as major domo or administrator, and 1840 he was replaced by Juan M. Osuna. Others served at different times. Some Indians lingered at the place, and in 1848 Philip Crosthwaite leased the Mission. Oliva went first to San Luis Rey, then to San Juan Capistrano, where he died in January, 1848.


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Main Page
Author’s Foreword
Introduction: The Historical Pre-Eminence of San Diego

PART ONE:   Period of Discovery and Mission Rule

  1. The Spanish Explorers
  2. Beginning of the Mission Epoch
  3. The Taming of the Indian
  4. The Day of Mission Greatness
  5. The End of Franciscan Rule
    Priests of San Diego Mission

PART TWO:   When Old Town Was San Diego

  1. Life on Presidio Hill Under the Spanish Flag
    List of Spanish and Mexican commandants
  2. Beginnings of Agriculture and Commerce
    List of Ranchos in San Diego County
  3. Political Life in Mexican Days
  4. Early Homes, Visitors and Families
  5. Pleasant Memories of Social Life
  6. Prominent Spanish Families
  7. The Indians’ Relations With the Settlers
    List of Mission Indian Lands
  8. San Diego in the Mexican War
  9. Public Affairs After the War
  10. Accounts of Early Visitors and Settlers
  11. Annals of the Close of Old San Diego
  12. American Families of the Early Time
  13. The Journalism of Old San Diego
  14. Abortive Attempt to Establish New San Diego

PART THREE:   The Horton Period

  1. The Founder of the Modern City
  2. Horton’s Own Story
  3. Early Railroad Efforts, Including the Texas and Pacific
  4. San Diego’s First Boom
  5. Some Aspects of Social Life

PART FOUR:   Period of “The Great Boom”

  1. Coming of the Santa Fe
  2. Phenomena of the The Great Boom
  3. Growth of Public Utilities
  4. Water Development

PART FIVE:   The Last Two Decades

  1. Local Annals, After the Boom
  2. Political Affairs and Municipal Campaigns
  3. Later Journalism and Literature [new material in second edition]
  4. The Disaster to the Bennington
  5. The Twentieth Century Days
  6. John D. Spreckels Solves the Railroad Problem

PART SIX:   Institutions of Civic Life

  1. Churches and Religious Life
  2. Schools and Education
  3. Records of the Bench and Bar
  4. Growth of the Medical Profession
  5. The Public Library
  6. Story of the City Parks
  7. The Chamber of Commerce
  8. Banks and Banking
  9. Secret, Fraternal and Other Societies
  10. Account of the Fire Department

PART SEVEN:   Miscellaneous Topics

  1. History of the San Diego Climate
  2. San Diego Bay, Harbor and River
  3. Governmental Activities
  4. The Suburbs of San Diego

Political Roster, City of San Diego
Political Roster, San Diego County