The county was formed on March 25, 1853, from a large portion of Contra Costa County and a smaller portion of Santa Clara County. Much of what is now considered an intensively urban region, with major cities, was developed as a trolley car suburb of San Francisco in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The historical progression from Native American tribal lands to Spanish, then Mexican ranches, then to farms, ranches, and orchards, then multiple city centers and suburbs, is shared with the adjacent and closely associated Contra Costa County. This detailed narrative gives an in-depth view of the county's history.
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Past and Present of Alameda County
JOSEPH E. BAKER
Past and Present of Alameda County, J. E. Baker
Jazzybee Verlag Jürgen Beck
86450 Altenmünster, Loschberg 9
CHAPTER I UNDER SPAIN AND MEXICO.. 1
CHAPTER II SPANISH AND MEXICAN LAND GRANTS. 18
CHAPTER III. THE AMERICAN SETTLERS. 30
CHAPTER IV THE WATER FRONT CONVEYANCE.. 44
CHAPTER V TRANSPORTATION.. 62
CHAPTER VI THE COUNTY BOARD.. 75
CHAPTER VII HARBOR, WEBSTER STREET BRIDGE, ETC. 102
CHAPTER VIII MILITARY AFFAIRS. 110
CHAPTER IX HEALTH AND DISEASE, MEDICINE, ETC. 124
CHAPTER X THE COURTS, BENCH AND BAR, ETC. 138
CHAPTER XI FARMING, FRUIT-GROWING, STOCK-RAISING, ETC. 158
CHAPTER XII POLITICS. 174
CHAPTER XIII WOMEN'S WORK, TEMPERANCE, PHILANTHROPY, SUFFRAGE, ETC. 226
CHAPTER XIV ART, LITERATURE, ETC. 241
CHAPTER XV AMUSEMENTS, LODGES, SOCIETIES, GAMES, ETC. 251
CHAPTER XVI EDUCATION.. 261
CHAPTER XVII RELIGION.. 282
CHAPTER XVIII. ALAMEDA.. 292
CHAPTER XIX BERKELEY.. 310
CHAPTER XX OAKLAND.. 322
CHAPTER XXI THE SMALLER CITIES AND TOWNS. 399
The discovery of the Bay of San Francisco was due to the determination of King Carlos III of Spain to occupy and colonize Alta California and was the joint work of both church and state. In this movement Jose de Galvez represented the state—a man of great energy and ability, the visitador-general of New Spain. He arrived at La Paz in July, 1768, and at once began an inspection of the peninsular missions and after supplying their wants and putting them in prosperous condition, he turned his attention to his principal duty—the colonization of Alta California, now known merely as California. The first movement was an expedition both by land and sea to San Diego and Monterey, and three ships were dispatched to carry to those points all the heavier articles, such as agricultural implements, church ornaments and the bulky provisions of all sorts for the soldiers and the priests after their arrival. The expedition by land drove cattle and horses to the two objective points. The expedition was divided into two detachments, one going in advance under the command of Captain Rivera y Moncada, who had been in the country many years, and the other under the command of Gov. Gaspar de Portola, who had recently arrived from Spain.
Captain Rivera first collected from the peninsular missions all the livestock and supplies that could be spared and conveyed them to Santa Maria, which then was the most northerly of the established missions. Large quantities of provisions were collected at La Paz, and Father Serra visited all the missions and secured much church furniture, sacred ornaments and vestments.
The first vessel sent northward on this expedition was the San Carlos, which sailed from La Paz, January 9, 1769, under the command of Vicente Vila. On board in addition to the crew were twenty-five Catalonian soldiers under the command of Lieutenant Fages, a surgeon Pedro Prat, a Franciscan friar, a baker, two blacksmiths, a cook and two tortilla makers. Galvez in a small vessel accompanied the San Carlos as far as Cape San Lucas, where he landed and fitted out the San Antonio for the same expedition. On February 15th, this vessel under the command of Juan Perez sailed from San Jose del Cabo and on it went two Franciscan friars—Juan Viscaino and Francisco Gomez. For this movement Captain Rivera y Moncada collected cattle and supplies at Velicata on the northern frontier. It was from this point on the frontier that Captain Rivera y Moncada with a squad of soldiers, a number of neophytes, three muleteers and Father Crespi, began the movement to San Diego on March 24, 1769. The second land expedition began its march from Loreto on March 9, 1769, and was commanded by Gov. Gaspar de Portola, who was joined at Santa Maria on May 5th by Father Serra, and in due time they reached the camp of the first expedition at Velicata, which had recently been vacated. Here Father Serra founded a mission and called it San Fernando and left Father Campa Cay in charge. One of the objects of the establishment of this mission was to provide a frontier post on the route between the peninsular missions and the proposed settlements and missions of Alta California. On May 15th, Portola marched northward along the trail marked out by Rivera. The San Antonio was the first vessel to arrive at San Diego, where it cast anchor April 11, 1769, after an unsuccessful voyage of twenty-four days. After a voyage of one hundred days the San Carlos reached San Diego bay, all her crew sick with the scurvy, with scarcely a person well enough to man a boat. All were taken ashore and kept under care in tents where fully half of the soldiers and nine of the sailors finally died. Previous to all this the Rivera detachment arrived, making the land journey from Velicata in fifty-one days. On July 1st, the second detachment of the land expedition arrived. All the four divisions of the expedition—the two vessels and the two land detachments—were now at San Diego. Of the 219 persons who had set out only 126 remained, all the others having died or deserted.
Upon taking a summary of the conditions it was found that neither of the vessels was equal to the voyage to Monterey, the next objective point; whereupon it was concluded to send the San Antonio back to San Bias for more sailors and supplies to man the San Carlos. She sailed on July 9th, reached her destination in twenty days, but during the voyage one-half of the crew died of scurvy.
With both vessels unable to proceed the entire responsibility of carrying out the mandates of the king rested upon the land expedition. Resolutely Governor Portola began to organize and prepare his forces for the overland march. He moved forward on July 14th with a total force of sixty-two persons, including himself, Fathers Crespi and Gomez, Captain Rivera y Moncada, Lieut. Pedro Fages, Engineer Miguel Constanso and soldiers, muleteers and Indian servants.
Two days after his departure Fathers Junipero, Viscaino and Parron founded the mission of San Diego.
The two detachments were united and marched northward in one body.
They carried one hundred packs of provisions which were deemed necessary to ration the expedition for six months and until the vessels could become refitted and could return with additional supplies. At the head marched the commander and the other officers accompanied by six Catalonian soldiers and a small band of friendly Indians provided with spades, axes, mattocks and crowbars to open the way when necessary. Then came the pack train divided into four detachments. In the rear were the other troops and friendly Indians and the horse herd and mule herd reserves, all under the command of Rivera. Necessarily the march was slow, because the trail had to be cleared and the country studied in reference to supplies of good water and available pastures. Multitudes of Indians appeared and accompanied them along stages of the march. As they advanced it was noted that the lands became more fertile and the landscape more pleasing and alluring. The Indians were affable and tractable. The Sierra y Santa Lucia was crossed with great difficulty. They reached the Point of Pines on October 1st, and at first thought they had reached the Port of Monterey. An investigation revealed their mistake, whereupon they resumed their march northward. Many were now sick with the scurvy and to add to the gravity of the situation the rains began and an epidemic of diarrhea broke out and spread to all without exception. When the outlook seemed darkest all suddenly began to get well and in a short time were restored to health, no doubt by an improvement in the water and other health conditions.
Bay of San Francisco was thus described by Constanso: "The last day of October the expedition by land came in sight of Port de los Reyes and the Farallones of the Port of San Francisco whose landmarks compared with those related by the log of the Pilot Cabrera Bueno were found exact. Thereupon it became of evident knowledge that the Port of Monterey had been left behind; there being few who stuck to the contrary opinion. Nevertheless the commandant resolved to send a detachment to reconnoiter the land as far as Port de los Reyes.
The scouts, who were commissioned for this purpose, found themselves obstructed by immense estuaries which run extraordinarily far back into the land and were obliged to make great detours to get around the heads of these.
Having arrived at the end of the first estuary and reconnoitered the land that would have to be followed to arrive at the Point de los Reyes, interrupted with new estuaries, scant pasturage and firewood and having recognized, besides this, the uncertainty of the news and the misapprehension the scouts had labored under, the commandant with the advice of his officers, resolved upon a retreat to the Point of Pines in hopes of finding the Port of Monterey and encountering in it the packet San Jose or the San Antonio whose succor already was necessary, since of the provisions which had been taken in San Diego no more remained than some few sacks of flour of which a short ration was issued to each individual daily."
It appears, then, that the Portola expedition reached Point Corral de Tierra on October 30, (1769) and formed a camp at Half Moon bay. Father Crespi named the headland to the westward Point Guardian Angel, but the sailors called it Punta de Almeja or Mussel Point. A preliminary exploration of that vicinity revealed to the advance observers of the expedition, from a high ridge, Point Reyes and part of the Bay of San Francisco and the Farralones out seaward. A counter-march having been decided upon, it was concluded that before doing so an exploration of the surrounding country should be made. Accordingly Sergeant Ortega, in command of a squad of soldiers, was sent out to the hills to the northeastward with instructions to return at the expiration of three days. In the meantime, while awaiting his return the hunters of the expedition were permitted to roam throughout the region in quest of game. On November 2nd, several of them returned with the report that they had discovered a vast and beautiful bay extending far inland, and on the 3rd, upon the return of the Ortega party, this important discovery was fully confirmed and was heralded with the discharge of musketry, the shouts of the expedition, the waving of flags and other evidences of satisfaction and joy.
The whole expedition prepared on the following day to advance and learn more of this discovery. Upon reaching the summit of the hills they saw before them the splendid bay which in their enthusiasm they compared with the Mediterranean sea. They endeavored to pass around the southern arm in order to reach Point Reyes and on the evening of November 6th struck camp on San Francisquito creek near Menlo Park. Advance couriers sent out reported that the bay extended far to the southeastward, and it was then decided that, owing to their exhausted condition, the sickness that prevailed and the depleted state of their supplies and ammunition, they should return to Point of Pines, which was accordingly done, the return march commencing November 11th. They reached that point on November 27th and remained there until December 9th searching for the harbor of Monterey and waiting for the return of the schooners with stores and reinforcements. Not meeting with success in either of these objects they finally, on December 9th, began their weary march for San Diego.
The expedition of Captain Bautista, consisting of Lieutenant Fages, Father Crespi, twelve soldiers and two servants, left Monterey on March 20, 1772, and the same day reached the Salinas river, which at that time was the Santa Delfina.
This is the first exploration of the region now comprised in the counties of Santa Clara, Alameda and Contra Costa. Father Crespi's description of it is full and interesting. According to it, the explorers reached the San Benito on the 21st, near the present city of Hollister. On the 22nd, after crossing the San Pascual plain into the San Francisco valley, they encamped a little to the north of the site now occupied by Gilroy. The next day they traveled to the northwest entering the so-called "Robles del Puerto de San Francisco" in Santa Clara valley, which Governor Portola's expedition visited in 1769. The plan of the present exploration was to get to San Francisco under Punta de Reyes.
Pursuing their march, they were on San Leandro bay on the 26th. On the 27th they climbed the hills of the present East Oakland to round "an estuary which extends about four or five leagues inland" to San Antonio creek and Lake Peralta (Merritt); thence they got to the ''mouth by which the two great estuaries communicate with the Ensenada de los Farallones." Tarrying on the site of the present Berkeley, and looking out through the entrance to the Bay of San Francisco, they saw three islands. The next day they "saw a round bay like a great lake"—San Pablo—and were prevented by the Strait of Carquinez from rounding it. On the 30th they got to Arroyo de las Nueces, near Pacheco, and following their march finally camped at a short distance from the bank of a river "the largest that has been discovered in New Spain." They called it San Francisco, but its modern name is the San Joaquin. But on reaching the San Joaquin, as they were without means, either to cross the great rivers, having no boats, or to go round them for lack of men and supplies, they concluded to march back to Monterey by a shorter route. Passing through the valleys which now bear the names of San Ramon and Amador, they entered that of Sunol, calling the latter Santa Coleta; thence approached the site where the mission San Jose was established later, and finally pitched their camp on the San Francisco de Paula stream, near the present Milpitas. After this they followed the same route they had come by the last march.
Alameda county was thus first explored by the Spaniards in 1772. The first spot settled in it by white men was the mission San Jose, begun on the 11th, and completed and dedicated on the 27th of June, 1797. The place was called by the Indians, Oroysom. The founder of the mission was Father Fernin Francisco de Lasuen, president of the Franciscan missionaries, in the presence of Fathers Isidoro Barcenilla and Agustin Merino, and of Sergt. Pedro Amador, and a detachment of soldiers from the San Francisco presidial company. Fathers Barcenilla and Merino were the first ministers, but the old records show that at the first baptism Father Magin Catala, of Santa Clara, officiated.
There is no evidence to show that any member of the Portola expedition set foot in what is now Alameda county. They had no boats with them on the trip to the bay and did not pass around the southern arm, but of course could easily see the eastern or Alameda county shore.
Previous to 1775 no further attempt to explore the Bay of San Francisco or found a mission on its shores was made, but in that year Lieutenant Agala was ordered to make explorations there with the view of forming settlements. Rivera had examined the present site of San Francisco in 1769, as before narrated.
In 1775 the Mexican authorities sent from Sonora to California, via the Colorado river, an expedition of 200 settlers with the expectation of forming a settlement at San Francisco, but was defeated in this attempt by the envious Rivera, who on September 17, 1776, established the presidio at what is now Fort Point, San Francisco. In all about one hundred and fifty persons assembled there. A church was built and on October 9, 1776, the mission was duly dedicated on the Laguna de los Dolores.
While dealing with the march of Capt. Juan Bautista, of the Portola party, from Monterey, when seeking for San Francisco, Father Palou, California's first historian, makes mention of the region in which Alameda county is now located, in these words: "In the valley of San Jose, the party coming up by land, saw some animals which they took for cattle, though they could not imagine where they came from: and, supposing they were wild and would scatter the tame ones they were driving, the soldiers made after them and succeeded in killing three, which were so large that a mule could with difficulty carry one, being of the size of an ox, and with horns like those of a deer, but so long that their tips were eight feet apart. This was their first view of the elk. The soldiers made the observation that they could not run against the wind by reason of their monstrous antlers." It is but reasonable to suppose that the valley called San Jose by Father Palou is that portion of the country situated at its southern end, where was subsequently erected the mission bearing that name. It is not likely that the Santa Clara valley was meant, for that district was then called San Bernardino, and the pueblo of San Jose was not established until November 29, 1777. while the holy father speaks of the year 1773; besides it is known that a portion of Murray township was long called El Valle de San Jose, and the gentle slope in what is now the district of Washington Corners, the Mission and Harrisburg was not infrequently designated the San Jose valley. Palou goes on to remark that "after the presidio and before the mission was established (in San Francisco) an exploration of the interior was organized, as usual, by sea (the bay) and land. Point San Pablo was given as the rendezvous, but the Captain of the presidio (Moraga), who undertook in person to lead the land party, failed to appear there, having, with a desire to shorten the distance, entered a canon somewhere near the head of the bay, which took him over to the San Joaquin River. So he discovered that stream."
Thus it is plain that one party proceeded down the San Mateo side of the bay, crossed over to its eastern shore, where, coming to the spot where now stands the hamlet of Niles, and, following the rocky banks of the Alameda creek, ultimately came into the Livermore valley, crossing which they emerged into the wide expanse of territory through which flows the San Joaquin, which Moraga named in honor of his brother.
During the gubernatorial regime of Don Felipe de Neve, which commenced in December, 1774, and closed September, 1782, reports on the topography, character, and condition of Upper California, and what situations were most suitable for establishments, were frequently made to His Most Catholic Majesty, the King of Spain, through the Viceroy in Mexico. The country from north to south, from San Diego to San Francisco, was carefully examined and permission sought to locate two pueblos or towns, viz.: That tract of land, now Los Angeles, which lies contiguous to the river La Portincula, 126 miles from San Diego, and six from the mission of San Gabriel, and also that tract on the margin of the River Guadalupe, seventy-eight miles from the presidio of Monterey, forty-eight from that of San Francisco, and 21 ¼ miles from the mission of Santa Clara. The pueblo of San Jose became a subject to annual inundation, and, after protracted delays (during the administration of Don Diego de Borica, between the years 1794 and 1800), the village was moved to higher ground in 1797. To effect this relief as well as to establish another pueblo, to be called Branciforte, Borica dispatched Don Pedro de Allerni, with instructions to examine the country and report to him those sites that he thought most convenient for the purpose. This he duly transmitted, as follows: "Having examined the points set forth in the foregoing superior official communication, as well as those requiring me to set forth all that I might think necessary, I might reply as follows: The principal object and view of the whole matter may be reduced to the project formed by Don Jose Maria Beltram, and forwarded by the Royal Tribunal de Mentas to the Most Excellent Viceroy, in relation to the establishing of a villa, or poblacion; and its being necessary to remember that in order to attain the desired end an eye must be had to such favorable circumstances as are required to give the inhabitants of the same the necessary advantages, such as a plentiful supply of water, wood, irrigable and arable lands, forests, pastures, stone, lime or earth for adobes; and having been commissioned to this end for the examination which I made with the Senior Governor, Don Diego Borica, of the country, from the Mission of Santa Cruz, Arroyo del Pajaro, and the Mission of Santa Clara, to the place of the Alameda, and the country around the Presidio and the Fort of San Francisco, and the mission of the same name—after a careful and scrupulous examination of these places with the engineer extraordinary, Don Alberto de Candoba, I found that the place of the Alameda, although it contains a creek, still that it affords but little water, and that the channel is so deep that it is difficult to obtain water therefrom for irrigating the extensive plains of what appears to be good lands; but as the place is without fuel, timber, and pasturage, which cannot be obtained save at the distance of many leagues, it is clear that it is unsuitable for the project under consideration." It is reasonable to claim "the place of the Alameda'' as the Alameda creek of today, for its wooded banks when first seen by these explorers might easily have led them to suppose it an avenue or grove or graceful willows and silver-barked sycamores. But how it was that he found no water for irrigating purposes, no woods and no site for a village, is incomprehensible.
The present sites of Alameda and Oakland were densely covered with fine old oaks and the giant redwoods reared their tall heads to the sky in the hills near where now East Oakland stands. While Diego de Borcia was yet governor of Upper California, on June 11, 1797, the Mission de San Jose aptly termed "The Cradle of Alameda County" was established. It was founded at the expense of the Catholic King of Spain, Charles IV, and by order of the Marquis of Branciforte, Viceroy and General Governor of New Spain. The San Jose mission commenced on Sunday, 11th of June, 1797, the feast of the Most Holy Trinity. Father Lamen thus described the proceedings: "I, the undersigned, President of these Missions of New California, placed by His Majesty under the care of the apostolical college of the propaganda fide of St. Fernando de Mexico, blessed water, the place, and a big cross, and with great veneration we hoisted it. Immediately after we sang the litanies of the Saints and I celebrated the holy sacrifice of the mass and preached to the army and to the native Indians who were there, and we ended the ceremony singing solemnly the Te Deum.
At the same time I appointed for the first missionaries Rev. Fr. Ysidoro Barcenilla and Rev. Augustine Merino, A. M." Thus was the Mission San Jose established, ten miles to the north of the pueblo of that name and forty to the east of San Francisco, on a plateau indenting the Contra Costa hills and facing the southern extremity of the Bay of San Francisco. Behind it were the beautiful Calaveras and Sunol valleys; Mission Peak rose immediately in its rear like a giant sentinel indexing its location; while, in its vicinity, Nature had abundantly supplied every want. The first building erected was a chapel, a small adobe edifice which was enlarged by' seven varas in the second year of its existence. A wall forty-seven varas long, four high and six wide, thatched with tules, was constructed, water flumes laid, and, being in the presidial jurisdiction of San Francisco, soldiers were sent from there to keep guard over it, and bring" the natives in for purposes of education.
In the establishment of missions the three agencies brought to bear were the military, the civil, and the religious, being each represented by the presidio or garrison; the pueblo—the town or civic community, and the mission—the church, which played the most prominent part. Says one writer: "The Spaniards had then, what we are lacking today—a complete municipal system.
Theirs was derived from the Romans—the Roman civil law, and the Gothic, Spanish and Mexican laws. Municipal communities were never incorporated into artificial powers, with a common seal and perpetual succession, as with us under English and American laws; consequently, under the former, communities in towns held their lands in common; when thirty families had located on a spot, the pueblo or town was a fact. They were not incorporated, because the law did not make it a necessity, a general law or custom having established the system. The right to organize a local government, by the election of an alcalde or mayor, and a town council, which was known as an ayuntamiento, was patent.
The instant the poblacion was formed, it became thereby entitled to four leagues of land and the pobladors, citizens, held it in pro indivisa. The title was a governmental right."
The missions were designed for the civilization and conversion of the Indians.
The latter were instructed in the mysteries of religion (so far as they could comprehend them) and the arts of peace. Instruction of the savage in agriculture and manufactures, as well as in prayers and elementary education, was the padre's business. The soldiers protected them from the hostility of the intractable natives, hunted down the latter and brought them within the confines of the mission to labor and for their salvation. The missions were usually quadrilateral buildings, two stories high, inclosing a court yard ornamented with fountains and trees, the whole consisting of the church, fathers' apartments, store houses, barracks, etc. The quadrilateral sides were about six hundred feet in length, one of which was partly occupied by the church. Within the quadrangle and corresponding with the second story was a gallery running around the entire structure and opening upon the workshops, store rooms and other apartments.
The entire management of each establishment was under the care of two missionaries, the elder attended to the interior and the younger to the exterior administration. One portion of the building, which was called the monastery, was inhabited by the young Indian girls. There, under the care of approved matrons, they were carefully trained and instructed in those branches necessary for their condition in life. They were not permitted to leave till of an age to be married and this with the view of preserving their morality. In the schools those who exhibited more talent than their companions were taught vocal and instrumental music, the latter consisting of the flute, horn, and violin. In the mechanical departments, too, the most apt were promoted to the position of foremen. The better to preserve the morals of all, none of the whites, except those absolutely necessary, were employed at the mission.
It will be observed that out of the 74,621 converts received into the missions the large number of 47,925 had succumbed to disease.
Of what nature was this plague it is hard to establish; the missionaries themselves could assign no cause. Syphilis, measles, and small-pox carried off numbers. But these diseases were generated, in all probability, by a sudden change in their lives from a free, wandering existence, to a state of settled quietude.
Two years after Mexico was formed into a republic, the Government authorities began to interfere with the rights of the fathers and the existing state of affairs. In 1826 instructions were forwarded by the Federal Government to the authorities of California for the liberation of the Indians. This was followed, a few years later (1833-34), by another act of the Legislature, ordering the whole of the missions to be secularized and the religious to withdraw. The object assigned by the authors of the measure was the execution of the original plan formed by the Government. The missions, it was alleged, were never intended to be permanent establishments; they were to give way, in the course of some years, to the regular ecclesiastical system, when the people would be formed into parishes, attended by a secular clergy. Between these pretexts may probably have been an understanding between the Government at Mexico and the leading men in California, that in the change the Supreme Government might absorb the pious fund, under the belief that it was no longer necessary for missionary purposes, and thus had reverted to the State as an escheat, while the civil authorities in California could use the local wealth of the missions, by the rapid and sure process of administering the temporalities. These laws (the secularization laws), whose purpose was to convert the missionary establishments into Indian pueblos, their churches into parish churches, and to elevate the Christianized Indians to the rank of citizens, were, however, executed in such a manner that the so-called secularization of the missions resulted only in their plunder and complete ruin, and in the demoralization and dispersion of the Christianized Indians.
Immediately upon receipt of the decree, the then acting Governor of California, Don Jose Figueroa, commenced carrying out its provisions, to which end he prepared certain provisional rules, and in accordance therewith the alteration in the missionary system was begun. Within a very few years the exertions of the fathers were entirely destroyed. The lands which hitherto had teemed with abundance, were handed over to the Indians, to be by them neglected and permitted to return to their primitive wildness, and the thousands of cattle were divided among the people and the administrators for the personal benefit of either.
In 1829, when Amador was major domo at the Mission San Jose, about one thousand Indians resided there. Of these about seven hundred died of smallpox that year and the cholera four years later took the remainder. They were found dead by the dozen around the springs and rancherias. The Spanish soldiers at the missions were kept, among other reasons, for the purpose of capturing and bringing to the missions the Indians to be Christianized, baptized and saved, because it was believed that all who died out of Christ were lost.
Many of them resisted and were killed in the efforts to Christianize and civilize the remainder. Amador participated in many of these expeditions and othersfor the recovery of stolen property. He claimed that he himself killed no less than two hundred of the natives in these various expeditions. He bore fourteen wounds from his conflicts with them. In 1875, there resided at the Mission San Jose an Indian who remembered well the building of the first mission structure there in 1797.
In 1797 a party of thirty soldiers crossed the bay from San Francisco in rafts and had a fight with the Cuchillones, who were kindred or allies of the Sacalanes. The latter became exasperated and threatened San Jose. Sergt.
Pedro Amador, who went sometime after to ascertain the cause of this disturbance, found the Sacalanes disposed to annihilate the neophytes, and even the soldiers if they interfered. He was accordingly directed to take twenty-five men and fall upon their rancheria. The tribe refused to surrender deserters and dug pits so that the horses could not enter. The soldiers dismounted and attacked them with sword and lance. In this fight, which occurred on the 15th of July, two soldiers were wounded, and seven hostiles killed. The Cuchillones.
being also attacked, fled. Amador returned to San Jose with a considerable number of deserters and several gentiles. Some of the captives were sentenced to receive from twenty-five to seventy-five lashes, and to hard labor with shackles on for a couple of months in the presidio. The runaway neophytes at the investigation made it appear that they had been forced by hunger, and harsh treatment at the hands of the missionaries, to desert. This allegation was declared to be positively untrue, by the then president, Father Lasuen, who claimed that the real cause of the natives' flight had been an epidemic which had broken out among them.
The Sacalanes continued their hostile attitude for a long time, and the presidio had often to deal condign punishment. In 1880, the sergeant with some armed men attacked them, slaying a chief and destroying all their bows and arrows, besides capturing a number of runaway neophytes.—(Amador's report on the affair of 1800 is in Provincial Records, MS., VI, and also in Prov. State Pap., MS., XVI and XVII.) It is generally supposed that the Contra Costa region which included Alameda county was originally inhabited by four tribes of Indians, called Juchiyunes, Acalanes, Bolgones, and Carquinez, who were all in all a degraded race. Doctor Marsh described them as stoutly built and heavy limbed, as hairy as Esau, and with long heavy beards. They had short, broad faces, wide mouths, thick lips, broad noses and extremely low foreheads, the hair of the head in some cases nearly meeting the eyebrows, while a few had that peculiar conformation of the eye so remarkable in the Chinese and Tartar races, and entirely different from the common American Indian or the Polynesian. He states further: The general expression of these Indians has nothing of the proud and lofty bearing or the haughtiness and ferocity so often seen east of the mountains. It is more commonly indicative of timidity and stupidity. The men and children are absolutely and entirely naked, and the dress of the women is the least possible or conceivable remove from nudity. Their food varies with the season. In February and March they live on grass, and herbage, clover and wild pea vine are among the best kind of their pasturage. I have often seen hundreds of them grazing together in a meadow like so many cattle. They are very poor hunters of the larger animals but very skillful in making and managing nets for fish and they also collect in their season great quantities of the seed of various grasses, which are particularly abundant. Acorns are another principal article of food which are larger, more abundant and of better quality than I have seen elsewhere. The Californian is not more different from the tribes east of the mountains in his physical than in his moral and intellectual qualities. They are easily domesticated, not averse to labor, have a natural aptitude to learn mechanical trades, and I believe, universally a fondness for music and a facility in acquiring it. They are not nearly so much addicted to intoxication as is common to other Indians. I was for some years of the opinion that they were of an entirely different race from those east of the mountains, and they certainly have but little similarity. The only thing that caused me to think differently is that they have the same moccasin game that is so common on the Mississippi, and what is more remarkable, they accompany it by singing precisely the same tune. The diversity of language among them is very great. It is seldom an Indian can understand another who lives fifty miles distant; within the limits of California are at least a hundred dialects, apparently entirely dissimilar. Few or no white persons have taken any pains to learn them, as there are individuals in all the tribes which have communication with the settlements who speak Spanish. The children when taught young are most easily domesticated, and manifest a great aptitude to learn whatever is taught them; when taken into Spanish families and treated with kindness, in a few months they learn the language and habits of their masters. When they come to maturity they show no disposition to return to their savage state. The mind of the wild Indian of whatever age appears to be a tabula rasa, on which no impressions, except those of mere animal nature, have been made, and ready to receive any impress whatever.
They submit to flagellation with more humility than the negroes. Nothing more is necessary for their complete subjugation but kindness in the beginning, and a little well-timed severity when manifestly deserved. It is common for the white man to ask the Indian, when the latter has committed any fault, how many lashes he thinks he deserves. The Indian, with a simplicity and humility almost inconceivable, replies ten or twenty, according to his opinion of the magnitude of the offense. The white man then orders another Indian to inflict the punishment, which is received without the least sign of resentment or discontent. This I have myself witnessed or I could hardly have believed it. Throughout all California the Indians are the principal laborers; without them the business of the country could hardly be carried on.
For disease their great "cure-all' was the sweat-bath, which was taken in the "sweat-house," an institution that was to be found in every rancheria. A fire being lighted in the center of the temescal (the term applied to the native sweat-houses by the Franciscan Fathers) the patient is taken within and kept in a high state of perspiration for several hours; he then rushes out and plunges into the convenient stream on the bank of which the structure is always raised— a remedy whether more potent to kill or cure is left to the decision of the reader.
The following graphic description of the experiences of a gentleman in a temescal, is given to the reader as a truthfully told adventure: "A sweat-house is of the shape of an inverted bowl and is generally about forty feet in diameter at the bottom and is built of strong poles and branches of trees, covered with earth to prevent the escape of heat. There is a small hole near the ground, large enough for Diggers to creep in, one at a time, and another at the top to give out the smoke. When a dance is to be held, a large fire is kindled in the center of the edifice, and the crowd assembles, the white spectators crawling in and seating themselves anywhere out of the way. The apertures, both above and below, are then closed and the dancers take their positions. Four and twenty squaws, en dishabille, on one side of the fire, and as many hombres, in puris naturalibus, on the other. Simultaneously with the commencement of the dancing, which is a kind of shuffling hobble-de-hoy, the 'music' bursts forth. Such screaming, shrieking, yelling and roaring, was never before heard since the foundation of the world. A thousand crosscut saws, filed by steam power—a multitude of tom-cats, lashed together and flung over a clothes-line—innumerable pigs under a gate—all combined would produce a heavenly melody compared with it. Yet this uproar, deafening as it is, might possibly be endured, but another sense soon comes to be saluted. Here are at least forty thousand combined in one grand overwhelming stench, and yet every particular odor distinctly definable. Round about the roaring fire the Indians go capering, jumping and screaming with the perspiration streaming from every pore. The spectators look on until the air grows thick and heavy, and a sense of oppressing suffocation overcomes them, when they make a simultaneous rush at the door for self-protection. Judge their astonishment, terror, and dismay to find it fastened securely—bolted and barred on the outside. They rush frantically around the walls in hope to discover some weak point through which they may find egress, but the house seems to have been constructed purposely to frustrate such attempts.
More furious than caged lions, they rush boldly against the sides, but the stout poles resist every onset. There is no alternative but to sit down, in hopes that the troop of naked fiends will soon cease from sheer exhaustion. The uproar but increases in fury, the fire waxes hotter, and they seem to be preparing for fresh exhibition of their powers. See that wild Indian, a newly-elected captain, as with gleaming eyes, blazing face and complexion like that of a boiled lobster, he tosses his arms wildly aloft as in pursuit of imaginary devils while rivers of perspiration roll down his naked frame. Was ever the human body thrown into such contortions before? Another effort of that kind and his whole vertebral column must certainly come down with a crash! Another such convulsion, and his limbs will surely be torn asunder, and the disjoined members fly to the four points of the compass! Can the human frame endure this much longer? The heat is equal to that of a bake-oven. The reeking atmosphere has become almost palpable, and the victimized audience are absolutely gasping for life. The whole system is sinking into utter insensibility, and all hope of relief has departed, when suddenly with a grand triumphal crash the uproar ceases and the Indians vanish through an aperture opened for that purpose. The half-dead victims of their own curiosity dash through it like an arrow and in a moment more are drawing in whole bucketfuls of the cold, frosty air, every inhalation of which cuts the lungs like a knife, and thrills the system like an electric shock. They are in time to see the Indians plunge headlong into the ice-cold water of a neighboring stream, and crawl out and sink down on the banks, utterly exhausted. This is the last act of the drama, the grand climax, and the fandango is over."
In its early day the whole military force in Upper California did not number more than from two hundred to three hundred men, divided between the four presidios of San Diego, Santa Barbara, Monterey, and San Francisco, while there were but two towns or pueblos, Los Angeles and San Jose, the latter of which was established, November 29, 1777. Another was subsequently started in the neighborhood of Santa Cruz, which was named Branciforte, after a Spanish viceroy. It may be conjectured that the garrisons were not maintained in a very effective condition.
Such a supposition would follow the disuse of arms and the long absence of an enemy. The cannon of the presidio at San Francisco were grey with mold, and women and children were to be seen snugly located within the military lines.
The soldiers of the San Francisco district were divided into three cantonments -—one at the presidio, one at Santa Clara mission and one at Mission San Jose.
Following is a list of the soldiers connected with the presidio in the year 1790, which has been copied from the Spanish archives in San Francisco. Here will be found the names, position, nativity, color, race, age, etc., of the soldiers, as well as those of their wives, when married: Don Josef Arguello, Commandante, age 39; Don Ramon Laro de la Neda, Alferez de Campo, age 34; «Pedro Amador, Sergeant. Spaniard from Guadalaxara, age 51, wife, Ramona Noriega, Spanish, age 30, seven children; Nicolas Galindo, mestizo, Durango, 42; Majio Chavoya, City of Mexico, 34, wife, a Bernal; Miguel Pacheco, 30, wife, a Sanchez; Luis Maria Peralta, Spaniard, Sonora, 32, wife, Maria Loretta Alviso, 19; Justa Altamarino, mulatto, Sonor, 45; Ygnacio Limaxes, Sonora, 49, wife, Maria Gertruda Rivas, Spaniard, 38; Ygnacio Soto, 41, wife, Barbara Espinoza; Juan Bernal, mestizo, Sonora, 53, wife, Maxima I. de Soto; Jph. Maria Martinez, Sonora, 35, wife, Maria Garcia, mulatto, 18; Salvador Iguera, L. C, 38, wife, Alexa Marinda, Sonora, 38; Nicolas Berryessa, mestizo, 25, wife, Maria Gertrudis Peralta, 24; Pedro Peralta, Sonora, 26, wife, Maria Carmen Grisalva, 19; Ygnacio Pacheco, Sonora, 30, wife, Maria Dolores Cantua, mestizo, age 16; Francisco Bernal, Sinaloa, 27, wife, Maria Petrona, Indian, 29; Bartolo Pacheco, Sonora, 25, wife, Maria Francisco Soto, 18; Apolinario Bernal, Sonora, 25; Joaquin Bernal, Sonora, 28, wife, Josefa Sanchez, 21; Josef Aceva, Durango, 26; Manuel Boranda, Guadalaxara, 40, wife, Gertrudis Higuera, 13; Francisco Valencia, Sonora, 22, wife, Maria Victoria Higuera, 15; Josef Antonio Sanchez, Guadalaxara, 39, wife, Maria Dolora Moxales, 34; Josef Ortez, Guadalaxara, 23; Josef Aguil, Guadalaxara, 22, wife, Concellaria Remixa, 14; Alexandro Avisto, Durango, 23; Juan Josef Higuera, Sonora, 20; Francisco Flores, Guadalaxara, 20; Josef Maria Castilla, Guadalaxara, 19; Ygnacio Higuera, Sonora, wife, Maria Micaelo Borjorques, 28; Ramon Linare, Sonora, 19; Josef Miguel, Saens, Sonora, 18; Carto Serviente, San Diego, Indian, 60; Augustin Xirviento, L. C., 20; Nicolas Presidairo, Indian, 40; Gabriel Peralta, invalid, Sonora; Manuel Vutron, invalid, Indian; Ramon Borjorques, invalid, 98; Francisco Romero, invalid, 52.
A recapitulation shows that the inmates of the presidio consisted altogether of 144 persons, including men, women and children, soldiers and civilians. There were thirty-eight soldiers and three laborers; of these one was a European other than Spanish, seventy-eight Spaniards, five Indians, two mulattoes, and forty-four of other castes. An inventory of the rich men of the presidio, bearing date 1793, was discovered some years since, showing that Pedro Amador was the proprietor of thirteen head of stock and fifty-two sheep; Nicolas Galindo, ten head of stock; Luis Peralta, two head of stock; Manuel Boranda, three head of stock; Juan Bernal, twenty-three head of stock and 246 sheep; Salvador Youere, three head of stock; Aleso Miranda, fifteen head of stock; Pedro Peralta, two head of stock; Francisco Bernal, sixteen head of stock; Bartol Pacheco, seven head of stock; Joaquin Bernal, eight head of stock; Francisco Valencia, two head of stock; Berancia Galindo, six head of stock; Hermenes Sal (who appears to have been a secretary, or something besides a soldier), five head of stock and three mares. The total amount of stock owned by these men was 115 cattle, 298 sheep and seventeen mares—the parent stem apparently from which sprang the hundreds of thousands of head of stock which afterwards roamed over the Californian mountains and valleys.
The native Californians were for the most part a half-caste race between the white Castilian and the native Indian, very few of the natives retaining the pure blood of the old Castile; they were consequently of all shades of color and development—the women especially a handsome and comely people. Their wants were few and easily supplied; they were contented and happy; the women were virtuous and great devotees to their church and religion, while the men in their normal condition were kind and hospitable, but when excited they became rash, fearless and cruel, with no dread for either knife or pistol. Their generosity was great, everything they had being at the disposal of a friend or even a stranger, while socially they loved pleasure, spending most of their time in music and dancing; indeed such was their passion for the latter that their horses were trained to cavort in time to the tones of the guitar. When not sleeping, eating or dancing the men passed most of their time in the saddle and naturally were very expert equestrians. Horse-racing was with them a daily occurrence, not for the gain which it might bring, but for the amusement to be derived therefrom; and to throw a dollar upon the ground, ride at full gallop and pick it up, was a feat that almost any of them could perform. Horses and cattle gave them their chief occupation. They could use the riata or lasso with the utmost dexterity; whenever thrown at a bullock, horseman or bear it rarely missed its mark.
The riata in the hand of a Californian was a more dangerous weapon than gun or pistol, while, to catch a wild cow with it, throw her and tie her without dismounting was most common and to go through the same performance with a bear was not considered extraordinary. Their only articles of export were hides and tallow, the value of the former being about one dollar and a half in cash, or two in goods, and the latter three cents per pound in barter. Young heifers of two years old, for breeding purposes were worth three dollars; a fat steer, delivered to the purchaser, brought fifty cents more, while it was considered neither trespass nor larceny to kill a beaver, use the flesh and hang the hide and tallow on a tree, secure from the coyotes where it could be found by the owner.
Lands outside of the towns were only valuable for grazing purposes. For this use every citizen of good character having cattle could for the asking and by paying a fee to the officials and a tax upon the paper upon which it was written, get a grant for a grazing tract of from one to eleven square leagues of land. These domains were called ranchos, the only improvements on them being usually a house and a corral. They were never enclosed; they were never surveyed, but extended from one well defined land mark to another and whether they contained two or three leagues more or less was regarded as a matter of no consequence, for the land itself was of no value to the government. It was not necessary for a man to keep his cattle on his own land. They were ear-marked and branded when young and these established their ownership. The stock roamed whithersoever they wished, the ranchero sometimes finding his animals fifty or sixty miles away from his ground. About the middle of March commenced the rodeo season, which was fixed in advance by the ranchero who would send notice to his neighbors around when all with their vaqueros would attend and participate. The rodeo was the gathering in one locality of all the cattle on the rancho. When this was accomplished the next operation was for each ranchero present to part out from the general herd all animals bearing his brand and ear-mark and take them off to his own rancho. In doing this they were allowed to take all calves that followed their mothers; what was left in the rodeo belonging to the owner of the rancho, who had them marked as his property. On some of the ranchos the number of calves branded and marked each year appears enormous. Joaquin Bernal, who owned the Santa Teresa Rancho, in the Santa Clara valley, branded not less than five thousand head yearly. In this work a great many horses were employed.
Fifty head were a small number for a ranchero to own, while they frequently had from five to six hundred trained animals, principally geldings, for the mares were kept exclusively for breeding purposes. The latter were worth a dollar and half per head; the price of saddle horses was from two dollars and fifty cents to twelve dollars.
By the time the rodeo season was over, about the middle of May, the matanza, or killing season commenced. The number of cattle slaughtered each year was commensurate with the number of calves marked and the amount of herbage for the year, for no more could be kept alive than the pasture on the rancho could support. After the butchering the hides were taken off and dried; the tallow fit for market was put into bags made from hides; the fattest portions of the meat were made into soap, while some of the best was cut, pulled into thin shreds, dried in the sun and the remainder thrown to the buzzards and the dogs, a number of which were kept—young dogs were never destroyed—to clean up after a matanza. Three or four hundred of these curs were to be found on a rancho and it was no infrequent occurrence to see a ranchero come into town with a string of them at his horse's heels.
The habitations of these people were fashioned of large, sun-dried bricks made of that black loam known to settlers in the golden state as adobe soil, mixed with straw, measuring about eighteen inches square and three in thickness, these being cemented with mud, plastered within with the same substance and whitewashed when finished. The rafters and joists were of rough timber with the bark simply peeled off and placed in the requisite position, the thatch being of rushes or chaparral, fastened down with thongs of bullocks' hide. When completed these dwellings stood the brunt and wear of many decades of years. The furniture consisted of a few cooking utensils, a crude bench or two, sometimes a table and the never failing red camphor-wood trunk. This chest contained the extra clothes of the women—the men wore theirs on their backs—and when a visit of more than a day's duration was made the box was taken along. They were cleanly in their persons and clothing; the general dress being for females a common calico gown of plain colors; blue grounds with small figures being most fancied. The fashionable ball dress of the young ladies was a scarlet flannel petticoat covered with a white lawn skirt, a combination of tone in color which is not surpassed by the modern gala costume. Bonnets there were none, the head-dress consisting of a long, narrow shawl or scarf. So graceful was their dancing that it was the admiration of all strangers; but as much cannot be said for that of the men for the more noise they made the better it suited them. The dress of the men was a cotton shirt, cotton drawers, calzonaros, sash, scrape and hat. The calzonaros took the place of pantaloons in the modern costume, and differed from these by being open down the sides or rather the seams on the sides were not sewed as in pantaloons but were laced together from the waistband to the hips by means of a ribbon run through eyelets; thence they were fastened with large silver bellybuttons. In wearing them they were left open from the knee down. The best of these garments were made of broadcloth, the inside and outside seams being faced with cotton velvet. The scrape was a blanket with a hole through the center through which the head was inserted, the remainder hanging to the knees before and behind. These cloaks were invariably of brilliant colors and varied in price from four to one hundred dollars. The calzonaros were held in their place by a pink sash worn around the waist while the scrape served as a coat by day and a covering by night.
The principal articles of food were beef and beans, in the cooking and preparing of which they were unsurpassed; while they cultivated, to a certain extent, maize, melons and pumpkins. The bread used was the tortilla, a wafer in the shape of the Jewish unleavened bread, which was, when not made of wheaten flour, baked from corn. When prepared of the last-named meal it was first boiled in a weak lye made of wood ashes and then by hand ground into a paste between two stones; this process completed, a small portion of the dough was taken out and by dexterously throwing it up from the back of one hand to that of the other the shape was formed, when it was placed upon a flat iron and baked over the fire. The mill in which their grain was ground was made of two stones as nearly round as possible of about thirty inches in diameter and each being dressed on one side to a smooth surface.
The government of the native Californian was as primitive as himself. There were neither law-books nor lawyers, while laws were mostly to be found in the traditions of the people. The head officer in each village was the alcalde, in whom was vested the judicial function, who received on the enactment of a new law a manuscript copy they called a bando, upon obtaining which a person was sent around beating a snare drum, which was a signal for the assemblage of the people at the alcalde's office where the act was read, promulgated and forthwith had the force of law. When a citizen had cause of action against another requiring the aid of court he went to the alcalde and verbally stated his complaint in his own way and asked that the defendant be sent for, who was at once summoned by an officer simply saying that he was wanted by the alcalde. The defendant made his appearance without loss of time, and, if in the same village, the plaintiff was generally in waiting. The alcalde commenced by stating the complaint against him, and asked what he had to say about it. This brought about an altercation between the parties and nine times out of ten the justice could get at the facts in this wise and announce judgment immediately, the whole suit not occupying two hours from its beginning. In more important cases three "good men" would be called in to act as co-justices, while the testimony of witnesses had seldom to be resorted to.
They were all Roman Catholics and their priests of the Franciscan order.
They were great church-goers, yet Sunday was not the only day set apart for their devotions. Nearly every day in the calendar was devoted to the memory of some saint, while those dedicated to the principal ones were observed as holidays; so that Sunday did not constitute more than half the time which they consecrated to religious exercises, many of which were so much in contrast to those of the present day that they deserve a short description. The front door of their churches was always open and every person passing whether on foot or on horseback, did so hat in hand; any forget fulness on this score caused the unceremonious removal of the sombrero. During the holding of services within, it was customary to station a number of men without, who at appointed intervals interrupted the proceedings with the ringing of bells, the firing of pistols and the shooting of muskets, sustaining a noise resembling the irregular fire of a company of infantry. In every church was kept a number of pictures of their saints and a triumphal arch profusely decorated with artificial flowers; while on a holiday devoted to any particular saint, after the performance of mass, a picture of the saint, deposited in the arch, would be carried out of the church on the shoulders of four men, followed by the whole congregation in double file with the priest at the head, book in hand. The procession would march all round the town (if in one), and at every few rods would kneel on the ground while the priest read a prayer or performed some religious ceremony. After the circuit of the town had been made the train returned to the church, entering it in the same order as that in which they had departed. With the termination of these exercises, horse-racing, cockfighting, gambling, dancing and a general merrymaking completed the work of the day. A favorite amusement of these festivals was for thirty or forty men on horseback, generally two, but sometimes three on one horse, with their guitars to parade the towns, their horses capering and keeping time to the music, accompanied with songs by the whole company, in this manner visiting, playing and singing at the places of business and principal residences; and it was considered no breach of decorum for men on horses to enter stores and dwellings.
There was one vice that was common to nearly all of these people and which eventually caused their ruin, namely, a love of gambling. Their favorite game was monte, probably the first of all banking games. So passionately were they addicted to this that on Sunday around the church while the women were inside and the priest at the altar, crowds of men would have their blankets spread upon the ground with their cards and money, playing their favorite game of monte. They entertained no idea that it was a sin, nor that it was anything derogatory to their characters as good Christians. Mention should be made of their bull and bear fights. Sunday, or some prominent holiday, was invariably the day chosen for holding these, to prepare for which a large corral was erected in front of the church, for they were witnessed by priest and laymen alike. In the afternoon, after divine service two or three good bulls (if a bull-fight only) would be caught and put in the enclosure, when the combat commenced. If there is anything that will make a wild bull furious it is the sight of a red blanket. Surrounded by the entire population, the fighters entered the arena, each with one of these in one hand and a knife in the other, the first of which they would flaunt before the furious beast, but guardedly keeping it between the animal and himself. Infuriated beyond degree, with flashing eye and head held down the bull would dash at his enemy, who, with a dexterous side spring would evade the onslaught, leaving the animal to strike the blanket and as he passed would inflict a slash with his knife. Whenever by his quickness he could stick his knife into the bull's neck just back of the horns, thereby wounding the spinal cord, the bull fell a corpse and the victor received the plaudits of the admiring throng. The interest taken in these exhibitions was intense; and what though a man was killed, had his ribs broken, was thrown over the fence or tossed on the roof of a house; it only added zest to the sport; it was of no moment; the play went on. It was a national amusement. When a grizzly bear could be procured, then the fight, instead of being between man and bull, was between bull and bear. Both were taken into the corral, each being made fast to either end of a rope of sufficient length to permit of free action and left alone until they chose to open the ball. The first motion was usually made by the bull endeavoring to part company with the bear, who thus received the first "knock-down." On finding that he could not get clear of bruin, he then charged him, but was met half-way. If the bear could catch the bull by the nose, he held him at a disadvantage, but he more frequently found that he had literally taken the bull by the horns, when the fight became intensely interesting and was kept up until one or the other was killed, or both refused to renew the combat. The bull, unless his horns were clipped, was generally victorious.
The custom of bull and bear fighting was kept up by the native Californians, as a money-making institution from the Americans, until the year 1854, when the legislature interposed by "An Act to prevent Noisy and Barbarous Amusements on the Sabbath."
Father Barcenilla served in San Jose until 1802, and left California in 1804.
Father Merino continued there until obliged by ill health to retire in 1800, his successor being Father Luis Gily Tabada, who was succeeded by Pedro de la Cueva in 1804. Father Jose Antonio Uria had served in San Jose since 1799.
Both he and Cueva left it in 1806. The latter served until 1825. Duran continued there alone—besides being from 1825 to 1827 president of all the missions—until 1833! he then went off to Santa Barbara, where he remained until his death in 1846. Duran's successor was Father Jose Maria de Jesus Gonzalez, from 1833 to 1842. The next minister was Padre Miguel Muro, 1842-5, who probably left the country in 1845. Padre Lorenzo Quijas officiated in 1843-4, and Jose de J. M. Gutierrez in 1845. 1846-7 Jose M. Suarez del Rael had charge of the ex-mission as well as Santa Clara.
In 1850 more than half of Alameda county's population consisted of Digger Indians. Several thousand lived within a radius of a few miles of Mission San Jose. The Livermore, Sunol, Moraga and other valleys were almost entirely peopled by them. Many of their children were Mexican half-breeds, from which mixture came the most villainous desperadoes the county ever knew. The brutish, sottish nature of the Digger, blent with the cruel, cunning, thievish Mexican, formed a race of criminals unredeemed by scarcely a commendable quality. The advent of the Americans soon put an end to their depredations, though a few remained as sly as a grizzly bear and as cowardly as a coyote. The few remaining Diggers in the end relapsed into the same state in which the Spaniards originally found them. A Digger rancheria in Alameda county in early days had few characteristics worth recalling. A few earth and brush tents were their homes. They were built near fresh water and near the oaks, the latter furnishing the acorns which constituted their steady diet. Their religion consisted in their efforts to escape annihilation by grizzly bears and mutilation by horned cattle. Their only ceremony was the sweat dance—a wild, naked orgy of sweating and drinking by both men and women. As late as 1865 rancherias of the Diggers were to be seen in the San Leandro, San Lorenzo, Dry Creek, Alameda, Sunol and Calaveras canyons. The half-breeds made a pretense of planting beans and corn. The men were occasionally herdsmen, but generally proved inefficient and untrustworthy. The squaws were the lowest type of human femininity. Their only virtues were that they bore few children to perpetuate the miserable race and died young.
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