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THE MISSION AS A FRONTIER INSTITUTION IN THE
SPANISH-AMERICAN COLONIES

OF the missionsin Spanish America, particularlythose in Cali-
fornia,much has been written. But most of what has been pro-
duced consists of chroniclesof the deeds of the Fathers, polemic
discussions by sectarian partizans, or sentimentaleffusionswith
literary,edifying,or financialintent. They deal with the heroic
exploitsof individuals,withmootedquestionsof beliefand practice,
or with the romancethat hovers round the missionruins. All this
is very well, and not to be ridiculed,but it is none the less true
that littlehas been said of these missionsin their relationto the
general Spanish colonial policy, of which they were an integral
and a most importantpart. Father Engelhardt's learned books
are a notable exception,but his view is confinedclosely to Cali-
fornia,whereas the mission,in the Spanish colonies,was an almost
universalestablishment.
One of the marvels in the historyof the modernworld is the
way in which that little Iberian nation, Spain, when most of her
blood and treasurewere absorbed in European wars, with a hand-
ful of men took possession of the Caribbean archipelago,and by
rapid yet steadyadvance spreadherculture,herreligion,herlaw,and
her language over more than half of the two Americancontinents,
wheretheystillare dominantand stillare secure-in South America,
CentralAmerica,and a large fractionof North America, for fifty
million people in America to-day are tinged with Spanish blood,
stillspeak the Spanish language,still worshipat the altar set up by
the Catholickings,stilllive underlaws essentiallySpanish,and still
possess a culturelargelyinheritedfrom Spain.
These resultsare an index of thevigorand thevirilityof Spain's
frontierforces; they should give pause to those who glibly speak
of Spain's failureas a colonizingnation; and theysuggestthe im-
portance of a thoughtfulstudy of Spain's frontierinstitutions
and methods. ProfessorTurner has devotedhis life to a studyof
the Anglo-Americanfrontier, and richhas beenhis reward. Scarcely
less conspicuousin the historyof theWesternworldthantheadvance
of the Anglo-Americanfrontierhas been the spread olfSpanish cul-
ture,and forhimwho interprets, withTurner'sinsight,the methods
(42)

whoever undertakesto interpretthe forces by which Spain extended her rule. must give close attentionto the missions.I shall here devotemyattentionmoreespeciallyto themission'spolitical and social meaning.the presidial soldier.but it was the backwoods settlerwho hewed down the forest. In the French colonies the pioneers of pioneers were the fur-traderand the missionary. In respectto the native. They desired to convert him. All of these agents were important.or exploited. It was soon found that if the savage were to be converted. My point of view embracesall of New Spain -all of the Spanish colonies. the other in quest of souls to save.he must . indeed-but more particularlythe northernprovinces.held. In the Spanish coloniesthe men to whom fell the task of extending and holding the frontierswere the conquistador. Tak- ing forgrantedforthe momentits verycbvious religiousaspects. there was devised. In the English colonies the fur-traderblazed the way and opened new trails.but in my studyof frontier institutionsin general. her law.thereawaits a recognitionnot less markedor less deserved. which have been gathered mainly fromthe archivesof Mexico and Spain. Whoever essays this task. To serve these threepur- poses.or disciplined.for in that work theyconstituteda primaryagency. togethertheyextendedthe French domains.had three fundamentalpurposes. the encomiendasystem. and developed.and broughtthe savage tribesinto friendlyrelationswith the French government.will be betterunderstoodif it is consideredin its historicalrelations.and in my endeavor in particularto under- stand the methodsand forcesby which Spain's frontierswere ex- tended. and the missionary. The Missionin theSpanish-American Colonies 43 and the significanceof the Spanish-Americanfrontier. from Florida to Cali- fornia. Penetratingthe innermostwilds of the continent.to civilizehim.from Sinaloa to Texas. her language. unprintedfor the most part. The functionsof the mission.and to exploithim.fromthe politicalstandpoint. My conclusions are based on the study of documents. The centralinterestaround which the mission was built was the Indian.I have been more and more impressed with the importanceof the missionas a pioneeringagency. and her traditions.the Spanish sovereigns.and step by step drove back the Indian with whom he did not readily mingle. one in search of the beaver. and into profitablerelations with the French outposts.fromthe outset. out of the experienceof the early con- querors. Each of the colonizingnations in Americahad its peculiar frontierinstitutions and classes.over the frontiersof her vast Americanposses- sions.

To providethe spiritualinstruc- tionand to conductschools forthe natives-for Indian schoolswere actually prescribed and maintained-the encomenderoswere re- quired to support the necessary friars. and civilizewere forgotten. The pueblos were modelledon the Spanish towns. These nine thousand towns were encomi- endas of the king and some four thousand enconsenderos.and made to stay there.convert. Thus great monasterieswere establishedin the con- quered districts. and he sometimesfled to the woods.as a conditionof his grant. to provide for the protection. and it soon became a law that Indians must be congregatedin pueblos. or in encomienda. he must be kept in a fixed place of residence.by force if neces- sary.and exploit the Indian.but theylacked the autho.containingabout one and a half millionadult males. subject to tribute.came in great numbers.that in order properlyto convert. In I574 there were in the conquered districtsof Spanish America nearlynine thousand Indian towns. and the systemwas abused.mainly secular land- holders.the land and the people were distributedamong Spaniards.and the civilizationof the aborigines. begged for reform.by whom the instruction was given. duringthe early years of the conquest. It was designed for the conversionand the civilizationof the native.the natives were largely in the hands of the encomenderos. Philan- thropists. abuses were checked. who held themin trust. This improvement was made easier by the decreasingattractive- ness of encomiendas. The friars. This need was early reportedto the sovereignsby encomenderos and friars alike. It was soon dis- covered. Thus. representingsome five millionpeo- ple.44 H.especiallyabout being ex- ploited.and therightto exploitwas pervertedinto license. To provide such control.the conversion. sharingthe profitswiththe king. In returnhe was empoweredto exploittheirlabor. The encomiendasystemthen.but as schools in self- controlas well.rity of later days. Bolton be put under control.instruct. was strictlychargedby the sovereign.was benevolent. Practical slavery soon resulted.thoughslowly. The obligationsto protect. as well as for the exploitationof his labor.led by Las Casas.as he was called.and afterwardthe Jesuitpriests. The trustee.and the encomiendasys- tem became the black spot in the Spanish-Americancode.and encomiendaswere gradually.therefore. But the native had his own notions.by intention.abolished.as the conquestproceededto the outlyingdis- . E. But the fleshis weak.or encomendero.to preachand teach.and were designed not alone as a means of control.

in the seventeenthand eighteenthcen- turies.with increasingem- phasis. In South America the outstanding examples were the Jesuit missions in Paraguay. then.as cub- tigers in a sack. in Florida.Coahuila. The wildertribes encounteredlater-the Chichimecos. and Lower California. and were worthexploiting. Texas.as they were called-were hostile. had no fixedvillages. would not stand still to be exploited.the designbeingto check the evils of exploitation.not onlythe old work of conversion.were accustomedto labor. . however.and were hardly worth the candle.were unused to labor. forbadethe old-timeabuses of exploitation.had few crops. Sonora. Colonists were no longer so eager for encomiendas.and civilization.the place of the discreditedencomendero was largelytakenby the missionary.but as strongly as beforeadheredto the ideal of conversionand civilization.therefore. but everywhereon the northernfrontierthey played their part- in Sinaloa. on the expanding frontiersof Spanish America. If there were twenty-onemissions in Cali- fornia. Moreover.therewere as manyin Texas. New Mexico. The Missionin {he Spanish-American Colonies 45 tricts. and twice as many in New Mexico. Nuevo Leon.which were as uncomfortableburdens.sometimes. and Nuevo Santander. The double capacityin whichthey servedwas made easier and morenaturalby the close unionbetween Churchand State in Spanish America. Under these conditions. On the northernfrontier.consciouslyor unconsciously.the last of Spain's conquests. servingboth Churchand State. the sovereigns.and thatof the encomiendaby the mission.wherethe king exercisedthe real patronato. among the rovingtribes. in Chihuahua. missions became well-nighuniversal.and at the same time to realize the ideal of conversion.protection.and were willingto escape the obligationto protectand civilizethe wild tribes. Here. At one time the California missions had over thirtythousandIndians under instruction. more in Florida. had had a steady food supplyand fixed homes.or upon him was thrust.but a centuryand a half earlier the missionsof Florida and New Mexico each had an equal number. Conspicuous in North America were the great Franciscan establishmentsin Alta California.and where the viceroyswere sometimesarchbishops as well.and to him was en- trusted. and Arizona.was a larger openingfor the missionary. Not here alone.The semi-civilizedIndiansof centralMexico and Peru had been fairlydocile.but a largerand largerelementof responsibilityand control. These missionariesbecame a veritablecorps of Indian agents.

however.was a struggle overseculariza- tion. thetheoryof the law.and as viewedby themselves. His religioustaskwas beside thesoldier.Fromthestandpoint of the Church.almostwithoutfail. the missionary was expectedto moveon.afterwithdraw- ingfromFlorida.workedespecially in Sinaloa. urgedthe fulfillment of theten-year law.and Peru.theirfunction was to cease.theywerepoliticaland civi- lizingagentsof a verypositivesort.Havingdonethis. But the missionaries always knew the danger. The result. LowerCalifornia.and they alwaysresistedsecularization untiltheirworkwas finished.suchas occurredin California. On the northern frontier.and the commonmissionlands distributed among the Indians. Design- edlyin part. who entered Coahuila.amongthebarbariantribes.and Dominicans. Bolton The missionary workon the northern frontierof New Spain was conductedchieflyby Franciscans. theywere intendedto be tem- porary. The northeastern fieldfellchieflyto the Franciscans. who.or garrisons. and the " boomers"have alway!surgedtheopeningof our Indianreserva- tions.Sooner or later. in theoutpostsof civilization.and incidentally in part.NuevoLeon. To theNorthwest cametheJesuits. withinten years each missionmustbe turnedover to the secularclergy.a longerperiod of tutelagewas alwaysfoundnecessary.Sonora.in theCity of Mexico.46 H.and as suchtheyconstituted a vitalfeatureof Spain'spioneering system. theirlands were secure fromthe land- grabber.and Florida. themis- In sionarywas expectedto moveon to another. the" sooners".Chihuahua.Jesuits.and it is as pioneer agenciesthattheymustbe studied. werechar- anddesignedly acteristically frontier institutions.As soonas his workwas finished on one frontier.or thesocialstandpoint.CentralAmerica. This is truewhethertheybe considered fromthereligious. The missions.justas the" squatters ".therefore. E. As religiousinstitutionstheyweredesignedto introduce theFaith amongtheheathen.like thepresidios. and Arizona.entreinfieles. then. thepolitical. But themissionaries werenot alone religiousagents. But thislaw had beenbased on experience withthe moreadvancedtribesof Mexico.Texas.withthedisappearance of frontierconditions.So longas theIndianswere underthe missionaries. New Mexico.The lan4-grabber always. theirprincipalwork . To Lower Californiacame the Dominicans. In I767 theJesuitswereexpelled fromall SpanishAmerica.and theirplaces takenby the other orders.NuevoSantander. to Alta Cali- forniatheFranciscansof theCollegeof San Fernando. Being designedfor the frontier.

and always. and scarcelyneeds. The Franciscanmissionsof New Spain in the eighteenth centuryhad four principalmeans of support. ten Fernandinos in the Sierra Gorda. and thatto all these and otherservicestheyfrequentlyand justly made claim.con- sideredthe workof the missionas endinghere.fromthe standpointof both State and Church. six Jaliscans in Nayarit. The Missionin theSpanish-American Colonies 47 was to spread the Faith. If the Indian were to become eithera worthyChristianor a desirablesubject. for example. In I758.nor as philanthropists. They served not alone to Christianizethe frontier. The annual stipends of the missionaries(the sTnodos) were usually paid by the govern- ment.as school-masters. the firsttask of the missionary. Since theyservedthe State.that. The missions.last. But neitherthe State nor the Church-nor the missionaryhimself-in Spanish dominions. seventeen Zacatecans in Nuevo Santander.and since it was the acknowledgedduty of the State to extend the Faith.demonstrating.and greatlyto their credit.printed and unprinted.when theyasked for governmentaid. the missionswere designedto be not only Christianseminaries. It is a patent fact.were agencies of the State as well as of the Church. To doubtthis is to confess completeand disqualifyingignoranceof the great mass of existing missionary correspondence.as geographers. that they "came not as scientists.was to convertthe heathen.and civilizingit. that they were maintainedto a very considerableextent by the royal treasury.incidentallyfromtheirown standpointand designedly from that of the government. eleven Zacatecans in Texas. Hence.so fraughtwithunmistakableproofsof the religiouszeal and devotion of the vast majorityof the missionaries. six Jaliscans in Coahuila.then.but also to aid in extending.holding. the treasuryof New Spain was annually paying sinodos for twelve Queretaran friars in Coahuila and Texas.as Engel- hardt says. five . The task of giving the disciplinewas likewise turnedover to the missionary.and on the northernmostfrontierwere usually $450 for each missionary. It is quite true. eager to uplift the people in a worldlysense. But it is equally true. the missionswere supportedby the State. Since Chris- tianitywas the basic elementof European civilization.but in addition were outpostsfor the controland trainingschools for the civilizingof the frontier. These stnodosvaried in amountaccordingto the remoteness of the missions. first.to the exclusionor neglectof the religiousduties pointedout by Christ". twenty-twoZacatecans in Nuevo Leon and Nueva Vizcaya.they were all these and more.he must be disciplinedin the rudimentsof civilizedlife.

But not a penny of this belonged to the missionaries. Bolton San Diegans in Sierra Gorda.it is just as plain thatthe amountof governmentaid. depend- encies of New Spain.however. who offered$I50.begun in I697. E. grew by a varietyof giftsto such an amountthatthe missionsof Lower Californiawere largelysupportedby the increase alone.the royaltreasurypaid the wages (sueldos) of the missionguards. Besides the sinodos. In the foundingof new missions the older establishmentswere expected to give aid. This reportdid not includethe Provincia de Campeche or the Yslas de Barlovento. in all. Other appropriationswere made for missionariesin the Marianas and the Philippine Islands. vest- ments.at an average of about 350 pesos each. and. and if able they did respond in liberal measure. In addition. or Pious Fund. and became the principalmeans of supportof the new Franciscan missions of Alta California. With the expulsion of the Jesuitsin 1767 the fund was taken over by the government. the Indians of the missions were expected soon to become self-supporting.for which sep- arate reportshad been asked. and thirty-four friars of the Pro- vincia del Santo Evangelio in New Mexico.besides being devoted in part to secular purposes. by detachingfromthe near-by presidios fromtwo to half a dozen or more soldiers for each mis- sion. and other expenses of the founding.to pay for bells. continuedto be paid fromothersources.48 H. the governmentregularly furnishedthe missionarieswithmilitaryprotection. This latterfund.and in cases of emergencyit frequentlymade special grants forbuilding or other purposes.the royal treasuryusually made an initialgrant (ayuda de costa) of $iooo to each mission.tools. or. Even in Alta California. of California. later Conde de Regla.or alms. I23 friars.and gave otherfinancialaid. and from the royal treasurygen- erallyelsewhere. . These governmentsubsidies did not preclude private gifts. The classic examples of private endowments on the northernfrontierwere the giftsof Don Pedro de Terreros. and the Jesuit Fondo Piadoso. from the Pious Fund in California.in manycases theydid acquire large wealth throughstock-raisingand agriculturalpursuits. And then there were endowments. which were often sought and secured.and the annual sinodos.0oo to found Apache mis- sions in Coahuila and Texas. and the ease withwhichit was secured. While it is thus true that the missionswere supportedto a very considerabledegreeby the royaltreasury.or salaries. Finally. indeed.

On this point Father Engel- hardt correctlyremarks: who generallyofferedto undergoany hardships The missionaries. and had even appealed to the government foraid in cultivatingit. . it is true-and then missionarieswere sent to help hold the countryfor the crown. The importanceof political necessity in loosening the royal purse-strings is seen at everyturnin the historyof Spanish North America. The men who presumedto guide the destiniesof Spain then.and the missionswere with- drawn.who had been with Vizcaino eighteenyears before. The Missionin theSpanish-American Colonies 49 depended largelyupon the extentto which political ends could be combinedwith religiouspurposes. and praised the workof the padres-without hypocrisyno doubt-the royalpocket- book was not readily opened to found new missions unless there was an importantpoliticalas well as a religiousobject to be gained.and. . and. But all to no purpose till the Russian Bear began to amble or to threatento amble down the PacificCoast. AM. a hundredothersechoed this admonition. While the monarchs ever used pious phrases.appearto have been enlistedmerelyfor thepurposeof securingtheterritoryfortheSpanishking. Then for anotherdecade Father Hidalgo appealed in vain for funds and permissionto re-establishthe missions.to aid in restrainingthe French. Since the time of Viz- caino the missionarieshad clamored for aid and for permissionto found missionsat San Diego and Monterey. and funds were provided for missions in eastern Texas. . [and] the Spanishgovernment wouldnothave sentshipsand troopsto the north- westif theRussianshad notcreptdownthePacificcoast. The French dangerpassed for the moment. till La Salle planteda French colony at Matagorda Bay. " I do not know what securityHis Majesty can have in his con- science for delayingso long to send ministersof the Gospel to this realm of California'. XXIII. in orderto converttheIndians. Knowing the strengthof a political appeal. Denis. VOL. Striking examples of this fact are found in the historiesof Texas and California. intruded himselfinto Coahuila. agent of the French governor of Louisiana. Then moneywas forthcoming-partly fromthe con- fiscatedPious Fund. The case was the same for California. duringthe next centuryand a half. The missionariesof the northernfrontier had long had their eyes on the "Kingdom of the Texas" as a promisingfieldof labor. In I620 Father As- cension. REV.wrote. But when St.-4. the Spanish governmentat once gave liberal supportfor the refoundingof the missions. Then the royal treasurywas opened. But in vain. the friars always made use of it in their requests for permissionand aid. HIST..

and in making the frontiersafe for settlers. Bolton as a rule ever since. not an island.the part played by Kino in pacifyingthe revolt of the Pimas in i695. and theyhad littlemeans to supportreligiousprojects unless theyserved both politicaland religiousends.or as chroniclers of expeditionsled by others.into districtswhere the soldier was not welcome. In this last.Father Engelhardti8 too hard on the Spanish monarchs.50 H. and the expedi- tion of Fathers Dominguez and Escalante. the fortyor more journeys of Father Kino across the deserts of Sonora. The unattendedmissionarycould sometimesgo unmolested. They were trulydesirousof spreadingthe Faith.of two thousand miles or more. the expeditionsof Father Larios.and theirserviceswere thus consciouslyutilizedby the government.cared not forthe successof Religionor the wel- fareof its ministers exceptin so far as bothcouldbe used to promote politicalschemes.into Coahuila. Hence it is thatthe best of the diaries of early explorationin the Southwest-and. indeed. over the untrodtrails. who was sent by Viceroy Mendoza to seek the rumored"Seven Cities" in New Mexico.and New Mexico. California. I think. E. But theywere terribly "hard up". As illustrationsof this kind of frontierservice on the part of the missionarieswe have but to recallthe example of Friar Marcos.theywereoftenthemostusefulof ex- plorers and diplomaticagents. sent by the governorsof Texas to the hostile northerntribes.or as peace emissariesto hostiletribes. as most men had thought. in most of America-were writtenby the missionaries. Their pious professionswere not pure hypocrisy.while by their education and theirtrained habits of thoughtthey were the class 'bestfittedto recordwhat theysaw and to reportwhat should be done. seekinga betterroute to California. unattended. the lone travelsof Father Garces.by the partyled by Fray Agustin Rodri- guez. pathfinders for an equal distancein and about the Great Basin betweenthe Rockies and the Sierras.and withoutarousingsuspicionand hos- tility.under the viceroy'spatronage. and his demonstrationthat California was a peninsula. For this reason theywere oftensentalone to explorenew frontiers. This explainswhythe governmentwas more willingto supportmissionswhen the frontierneeded defendingthan at other . The value of the missionariesas frontieragentswas thus clearly recognized. The missions served also as a means of defense to the kingys dominions.In the firstplace. the diplomaticerrandsof Fathers Cala- horra and Ramirez. the rediscoveryof that province.in Arizona.

throughhis influenceover the natives.the authoritiesof Sonora protested. When a Spanish expeditionwas organized to attackthe Apaches. When he was assigned to California. he was a bettermeans of protectionto the provincethan a whole companyof soldiers. at San Antonio.but for near-by settlers. Texas. in the eighteenth century.as in the cases. forwhichpurposesjuntas de guerra y haciendaare held. Father Kino was reliedupon by the militaryleaders of Sonora to obtain the aid of the Pimas.on thegroundthat. his beloved neophytes. Every well-builtmission was ranged round a great court or patio.in companywith Salvatierra.not alone for padres and neophytes. When the Pimas put the Apaches to flight. Presidiosare erectedand missionsfoundedin tierrafirmewhen- fromthehostilities everit is necessaryto defendconquereddistricts and invasionsof warlike.against the hostile Apaches and Comanches. In I740 President Santa Ana wrote that Mission Valero.it was Kino to whom they sent the count of the enemy's dead. charged the expenses for presidios and missionsboth to the same account. Nearly everyarmythatwas led fromSan Antonio.as evidencewithwhichto vindicatehis Pima friends. or Royal Fisc.too. Kino was sent ahead to arouse and enlistthe Pima allies. on the same occasion it was Kino who re- ceived the thanksof citizensand officialsof the province. officialcasually re- marked.or " War Fund ".and to plant and extendour Holy Faith.it was Kino who rode a hundredmiles or more to count the scalps of the vanquishedfoe.too.Texas. of Texas and California. who foughtside by side with the Spaniards. The Missionin theSpanish-American Colonies 51 times. In a reportfor New Spain made in I758 a treasury. protectedon all sides by the buildings.deterredthem from molestingthe interiorsettlements.barbariantribes. It is indeed truethatappropriationsformissionswere usuallymade and thatpermissionto foundmissionswas usuallygiven in councils of war and finance.and. already cited.containeda strongcontingentof missionIndians. It is significant. when doutbtwas expressedas to what the Pimas had accomplished.that the Real Hacienda. In hostile countriesthese build- ings were themselvesenclosedwithinmassive protectingwalls. recorded by notcheson a pole. The missionaries counteractedforeign influenceamong their neophytes. was better able to withstanda siege than any .whose walls were sometimeseight feet thick. in this connection.the Ramo de Guerra. and secured theiraid in holdingback more distanttribes. in defense of the Sonora settlements. The very mission plants were even built and often served as fortresses.

of the advantagesof obtainingtheirfriendship.we have but to recall Escobar.the missionariesserved as most active promoters. They sent home reportsof the outlyingtribes.ammunition. She laid claim to the lion's share of the two Americas.of the wealth and attractions of the country.but also teachers and disciplinarians.as "pro- moters" of the unoccupied districts.near at home.but her population was small and littleof it could be spared to people the New World. Bolton of the threepresidiosof the province. of the frontier.or with the co-operationof the secular authority.who foundtemporaldiscipline indispensableto the best workof Christianization. equalled in humanitarian principlesby that of no othercountry. Frequently. Not only were the missionariesconsciouslyutilized as political agents to hold the-frontierbut they often served. or even to Spain. but she had peculiar difficultiesto contendwith.indeed.where their expert opinions often furnishedthe primarybasis of a decision to occupy a new outpost. they were called to Mexico.directlyor indirectly.and of the opportunitiesto extend the king's do- minion. At the same time the mission of San Jose (Texas) was called " a castle" which more thanonce had been proofagainstthe Apaches.and three cannon. To the extent that this work succeeded it became possible to people the frontierwith civilized natives. Kino of Lower California. Thus consciously or unconsciously. And this is the keynote myof theme.but for theircivilization as well. her colonial policy. Such an ideal called not only for the subjugationand controlof the natives.one mighteven call them " boosters". equipped with muskets.perhaps.withor withoutsecular initiative.52 H. This of course was only a relativeexcellence. This desirewas quitein harmony withthe religiousaims of the friafs. Hidalgo.and Serra of Alta California. Twenty-twoyears later the same missionwas surroundedby a wall.more significantly still. and over the gate was a tower. .and to theirelevationto at least a limited citizenship. Benavides. To bringthis end about the rulers of Spain again made use of the religiousand humanitarian zeal of the missionaries.theyhelped to civilize it. Massanet. E. on their own motion. of the danger of foreignincursions. Spain possessed high ideals. to sit in the royal councils. and Santa Ana of Texas. Lacking Spaniards to colonize the frontier. As examples of this.she would colonize it with the aborigines. On the other hand.and thus to supplythelack of colonists.choos- ing them to be to the Indians not only preachers.and Ayeta of New Mexico.looked to the pres- ervationof the natives. But the missionarieshelped not only to extend and hold and promotethe frontier.

for example-the essence of the missionwas the discipline.Neve urged that the friars should ministerto the Indians in their native rancherias. It was on this questionthat Father Serra splitwith GovernorNeve regardingthe Santa Barbara Indians in California. as well as to hold the frontieragainst savages and foreigners. Pensacola.Apa- lache.by forceif necessary.such as the Pueblo Indians of New Mexico. Janos. El Paso.fromSan Agustinto San Francisco. Rio Grande. Altar. or garrisons. To helpin recovering runaways-for the Indians frequentlydid abscond-special detach- ments of soldiers were furnished. and San Francisco-a line more than twice as long as the Rhine- Danube frontierheld by the Romans. and industrial. San Antonio.and to affordprotectionfor missionaries and missionIndians.and this was placed largelyin the hands of the missionaries. could be in- structedin theirnative towns. The centralfeatureof every successfulmissionwas the Indian village.and without more soldiersthan were available it was impossibleto controlthem. Santa Barbara. Los Adaes. La Bahia.each mission was usually provided with twoor moresoldiersfromthenearestpresidio. The settledtribes. To assist the missionariesin theirwork of discipliningand in- structingthe neophytes. Fron- teras. stretcheda long and slenderline of presidios-San Agustin. The reason why the missionsof easternTexas failed was thatthe Indians refusedto settlein pueblos. religious. and kept there. But the missionariespro- testedthatby this arrangementthe Indians could not be disciplined. The need of more was oftenurged.Terrenate. The rule was two friarsfor each mis- sion.whichit afforded.and insteadthe Indians were con- gregatedin great pueblos at San Buenaventuraand Santa Barbara.across the continent.Tubac.or pueblo. San Juan Bautista.as it had been to the encomienda. To save ex- pense for soldiers. The impressionis often given thatthe missionariesobjectedto the presenceof soldiersat the mis- .social. As a symbolof force. The plan was givenup therefore.San Diego. Santa Fe.presidios. Monterey. the pueblo was essentialto the mission. Discipline called for control. San Sab'a.moral. but in manyinstancestherewas only one. Thus.were establishednear by. And thus. or the Pimas of Arizona. The very physical arrangementof the mission was determinedwith a view to discipline. fromwhom Spain learnedher lesson in frontierdefense.but wanderingand scatteredtribes must be assembled and establishedin pueblos. Colonies The Missionin theSpanish-American 53 Hence it is thatin the Spanish system-as distinguishedfromthe French.

and thatsince the presidials were largely half-breeds-mestizoes or mulattoes-and oftenjailbirds at that.is valid. of Father Luis Jaymeat San Diego (Alta California). Having been subdued . of Father Garces and his threecompanionsat Yuma. still in manuscript. In a reportmade in I772. What theydid object to was unsuitablesoldiers. fortheIndians.and Santiestebanin Texas.of Tlascala. Silva. Withoutthempueblosare frequently abandoned.now to carrynewsto the nearestpresidioin case of trouble.nd of the twenty- one Franciscans in the single uprising in New Mexico in i68o.now to encouragethem. for this insures the perma- nenceof the latterin the missions. on the Colorado. of Father Saeta in Sonora.are morestrongly appealed of theswordthanby thevoice of fivemissionaries. Bol/on sions.and to keep an eye on the missionIndians. E.whileif theydo fleeit is easier to recoverthemby means of 'their relativesthan throughstrangers.it was the customto place in each new missionthreeIndian familiesfromthe older missions. It is true. the native city of Mexico made famous by Prescott.that immoral or insubordinatesoldierswere deemeda nuisance.indeed.and as an example to new converts.beingchildrenof fear. After a time the families might returnto their homes. But these martyrdoms were only occasional.54 H. What gives thesemissionstheirpermanency is the aid whichthey receivefromthe Catholicarms. of Fathers Ganzabal. a. to by theglistening Soldiersare necessaryto defendthe Indians fromthe enemy." Notable among the Indians utilized as teachersand colonistsin the northernmissionswere the Tlascaltecans. As Father Romualdo remarked: "It is all the betterif these families be related to the new.and complaintof itsinadequacywas constantlymade.and the principalbusi- ness of the soldierswas to assist the missionariesin discipliningand civilizingthe savages.he wrote. and outside interferencein the selectionand controlof the guard. But in gen- eral militaryaid was demanded. For the spiritual and temporalprogressof themissionstwo soldiersare needed. That pro- tectionwas indeednecessaryis shownby the martyrdom of mission- aries on nearly every frontier-of Father Segura and his entire band of Jesuitsin Virginiain I570. It is seen everyday thatin missionswherethereare no soldiersthereis no suc- cess. On this point the testimonyof Fray Romualdo Cartagena. This is the testimonyof missionariesthemselves. As teachers.but as a rule the case was quite the contrary.forthe Indianscannotbe trusted.and ministersare murderedby the barbarians.guardian of the College of Santa Cruz de Queretaro. of Fathers Carranco and Tamaral in Lower California.especiallyin new conversions.this type was all too common. Terreros.

just as the natives lacked the concepts. Aside fromthe fundamentalculturalconceptsinvolvedin Chris- tianity. as theyhad been the most obstinatefoes of the "Triple Alliance".this religiousinstructionin itselfinvolveda most important means of assimilation. among the Wichita Indians of Texas and Oklahoma.and in the colleges and seminariesprofessorshipswere establishedto teach them.the Indian languages lacked the termsin which properly to convey the meaning of the Christiandoctrine. furthernorth. and Sonora.through in- dustrialtraining. the Tlascaltecans became the most trusted supporters of the Spaniards. Every missionwas.based on long experience.with these people as a nucleus. in the firstplace.by means of rudimentary teachingin arts and letters. In Saltillo a large colony of Tlascaltecans was establishedby Urdifiola at the end of the sixteenthcentury. The Missionin theSpanish-American Colonies 55 by Cortes. At one timea hundredfamiliesof Tlascalte- cans were ordered sent to Pensacola. To help in civilizingthe mission Indians of Jalisco. and.on the upper Red River. a Christianseminary. Religious instruction. and twenty years afterward it was suggested that a settlement. This was pre-eminently true of the . But it was found that. be establishedfar to the north.and became the mothercolony from which numerousoffshootswere planted at the new missions and villages furthernorth. when San Luis Potosi had been conquered. of southernSonora.of the elementarysort suited to the occasion. on some frontiersthere were so many dialects that it was impossible for the friarsto learn them. the Opatas.and administeredwith much practicalsense and regard for local conditions. the Tarascans of Michoac'anwere utilized. Discipline and the elementsof European civilizationwere im- parted at the missions throughreligious instruction.Serra broughtmissionIndians fromthe Peninsula.coloniesof Tlascaltecanswere set to teach the more barbarousnativesof that districtboth loyalty to the Spaniards and the elementsof civilization. were sent into Arizona as teachers of the Pimas. in Texas. Thus. Sinaloa. By the laws of the Indies the missionaries were enjoined to instructthe neophytesin theirnative tongues. two years later a littleband of themwere sent to the San Sab'a mission in westernTexas to assist in civilizingthe Apaches. was impartedby a definite routine.and. theybecame a regular factorin the extensionof Spanish rule over the northcountry. to help in civilizingthe Indians of California. after playing an importantpart in the conquestof the Valley of Mexico.de- signed to give religious discipline. among more advanced natives. in I755 they figuredin the plans for a missionarycolonyon the TrinityRiver. Moreover.

has often been noted. Althoughthey mingle and understandeach otherto someextent.in Spanish.commonly called mador. was typicalof all the Franciscan missions. An old Indian. The very act of going to church.whichin thesemissionsaggregate more than two hundred. in I767.and a choir of fromfour to six [native] men and women. as follows: Every day at sunrisethe bells call the Indians to Mass.with the minister.who were the chiefconsideration.requiringall childrenand unmarried personsto go to thechurch.and sincethe Fathersare occu- pied withministering to thespiritualand temporalneedsof theIndians...56 H.go throughthe whole pueblo. In the case of children. later Bishop Reyes.where therewere over two hundreddia- lects. and in recovering thosewho flee. and there are no schoolsin whichto learnthem. And thus incidentallya long step toward assimilationwas accomplished..becauseof thelack of termsin whichto explainmattersof Faith. howeverlightly.and was not essentially different fromthatof the otherorders.theFatherscan hardlybe heldblame- worthyfornotlearningthenativelanguages.and the best informed say the same. withtheirpoorclothesclean.for we all know the importanceof language in the fusing of races and cultures.due to this teachingof the nativechildrenat the missions.they repeatin concert. and is concludedwithsayingthe rosaryand chantingthesalve or the alavado. The routineof religious disciplineestablishedby the Francis- cans in the missionstakenover fromthe Jesuitsin Sonora. At sunsetthis exerciseis repeatedat the door of the church. It was describedby Father Reyes.women. on the northernfrontierinstructionwas usually given in Spanish. On thesedays[FatherReyescontinues]Mass is chantedwithharps. There was virtuethen as now in putting on one's " Sunday clothes".and directly as soon as the Indians learned the language of the friars.this was quickly done. The firmnessof the hold of the Spanish language upon any land touchedby Spain.and two fiscales. It was partly. The mnador and thefiscalesare charged. On this pointFatherOrtizwrotein I745: The ministerswho have learnedsome languageof the Indiansof these missionsassert that it is impossibleto composea catechismin theiridiom.and all washedand combed. For these reasons. Bolton lower Rio Grande region. the prayersand the Creed.or even largely. involved a lesson in the amenitiesof civilization...and childrento be present at Mass. And sincetheyare new to us. to take part in the devotionand silenceof the Mass.on Sundaysand feast days. .thereare twentylanguagesused commonly by the greaternumberof thetribes. more than twentyof which were quite distinct. throughinterpreters at first.then. There are as interpreters manylanguagesas thereare tribes. E. violins [all playedby the natives].to takecare to requireall men. This over.. In Lent all have been requiredto go to Mass daily.

as in California.how- ever [and he mighthave added..and goats. As an absolutely necessarymeansto win the souls of the savages.sometimes managed more than 2000 Indians. In the principalpueblos.tend cattle. these unworldlymen acceptedthe disagreeable task of conductinghuge farms. Train- ing in the care of fields and stock not only made the neophytes self-supporting. If the missionwas a Christianseminary. and weave.trades. On the Day of Santa Maria the rosaryis sung throughthe pueblo.and the difficulties of makingthemconfess.and warehouses. there were irrigatingditches.to the war spirit. mechanics. .it was scarcelyless an industrialtrainingschool. tannery.at the head missions(cabeceras). Father Engelhardtwrites: It mustbe remembered thatthefriarscameto Californiaas messen- gers of Christ. teach. it was by no means the larger part. of which the largest.and of administering communion.build.sheep.diversions. the men to fell the forest.had been engagedin suchpursuits. run the forge.havingan eye on the livestockand herders. had abandoned themforthe higheroccupationof the priestof God.no doubt. The Missionin theSpanish-American Colonies 57 On Palm Sunday. In the firstyearsit seemedimpossible to us missionariesto vanquishthe rude- ness of the Indians.or stockbreeders.and supervisethosevery arts.cattle. They contributed.and thus to the de- fense of the provinceagainst the Apaches.make ditches.and mak- ing endsmeetgenerally. censusesare made to ascertainwhat ones have compliedwiththe Church. and grain fields. Each fullydeveloped missionwas a great industrialschool.was evident from the very nature of the mission plant. Those who. But becausetheyhave attempted to prohibitsuperstitious balls and the scalp dance. On otherocca- sions theyare permitted to have balls. spin. The civilizingfunctionof the typicalSpanish mission. and theyhad no desireto be furtherentangledin worldlybusiness.beforetheycould expectto make any headwaywith thetruthsof salvation.But latelyall the youngmen and some of the old have confessed. They were not farmers. In California.who desireto let the Indians continuetheseexcesses.wherethe missionarieshad charge of the temporalitiesas well as of the spir- itualities.manyattendthesacraments on feastdays.. and on the ranges roamedthousandsof horses.wherethe mission- aries reside.the missionaries have encountered strongoppositionfrom the [secular] superiorsof the province.vegetablegardens..quitegenerally]themessengers of the Gospel had to introduce. blacksmithshop.tan leather.and the particularobject of the minister'spride and care.wine-press.and innocentgames. sew. AfterEaster. There were weaving rooms. The womenwere taughtto cook. and occupations.perhaps.teachingand supervising variousme- chanicaltrades. but affordedthe disciplinenecessaryfor the rudi- mentsof civilizedlife. that feast is observedwithan image and processions. While the church was ever the centre of the establishment.and shear sheep.

The missionariestransplantedto the frontiersand made known to the natives almost every conceivabledomesticplant and animal of Europe.maize. and write.and teachingthe Indians.for sugar. but on nearly every frontierof Spanish America.civilized under the patient disciplineof the missionaries.and withthe favorof Heaven. and goats in abundance' all being the productof the care and labor of the natives.all impartedby "the great industryof the Religious who convertedthem". play musical instruments. of wheat.servingfifty-odd pueblos. of the sheep and goat ranches.and of the shops. beans. By requiringthe Indians to work threedays a week at communitytasks. it sometimesbecame possible to dispense withthis service. of the economicinterestsof the In- dians-and where the Indians had a well-establishednative agri- culture. who served as mayor domos of the fields. Kino wrote in 17I0 of the Jesuitmissionsof Sonora and Arizona. as Benavides puts it. from irrigated fields. and goats.beforelong.even among the most backward tribes. In the older missions.bastardchickpeas(garabanzas).Texas.lentils. And when the custodian. "all the trades and polite deportment".but.he was able to reportfourteenmonasteries. afterthreedecades of effortby the friarsin that province.chickpeas.58 H. once naked savages who lived on cactus apples and cotton-tailrabbits. Bolton Even in New Mexico. .each withits school.and the great stock ranchesthat were tended.where the Indians were all taughtnot only to sing.of the cattle and horse herds.had become so skilled and trustworthy that "without the aid of the Spaniards they harvest. There are manyCastilianfruittrees.and in themvineyardsfor wine for the Masses. wherethe missionarieswere not in charge of the temporalities-thatis.assisted by soldierguards and importedIndian teach- ers.as at San Antonio. and opened fieldsand gardens for the cultivationof a vast varietyof food plants. and cotton in plenty.by erstwhilebarbarians.it was reported in I772.sheep. read. The resultsof this industrialtrainingat the missions were to be seen in the imposingstructuresthatwere built. There are cattle. E. In controlling.supervising.the friarswere charged with their instructionin the arts and crafts. where.as well as withtheirreligiouseducation.and Castilian corn for sugar. etc. the Indians. not in our Southwest alone.cattle. the friars were assisted by the soldier guards. . frijoles. There are orchards.Father Benavides-later Bishop of Goa-wrote in I630. Thereare alreadythrifty and abundantfields.beans.sheep. and fieldsof sweetcane forsyrupand panocha. . the Jesuitsin Pimeria Alta-to give a particular illustration-establishedat all the missions flourishingranches of horses.the fertilefarms that were tilled.maize.

whichis alreadymanufactured in abundance. At Mission San Antonio the workshop contained four looms. The pueblo of San An- toniowas typicalof all.wool.and goats. At the fourQueretaranmissionstherewere now grazing4897 head of cattle.mustard. sayales. Of those of the four Queretaranmissionswe have the fullestdescrip- tion of the pueblo at Mission San Antonio de Valero.producing muchtallow. lettuce.or monas- tery. closely connected with the church and monastery.usually all under a commonroof and rangedrounda patio. and windows. and veryfatsheep.sheep. peaches. Each mission had its . An illustrationof some of the more moderatematerialresults is to be had in the followingdescriptionof the four Queretaran missionsin Texas. refectory. and about i6oo horses.firearms.witharchedporticoes.having2262 head of cattle and 4000 sheep and goats.suet.each mission had its convento. Other temporalmeans [he continues]are the plentifulranches. An importantpart of each missionwas the workshop.mulesas well as horses. offices. apples.and all sortsof gardenstuff. At San Antoniode Valero the convento was a two-storystructurefiftyvaras square with two patios and with arched cloistersabove and below. Of the fourmissionsSan Francisco raised the most stock.and granary. pots.onions. There was a plaza throughwhichran a water-ditch.and other domesticutensils.kitchen.horses.and each missionhad fromthirty-seven to fiftyyoke of workingoxen. and over the gate was a tower.and equipped with three cannon. rebozos.etc.and packanimals.for here the neophytesnot only helped to supplytheireconomicneeds. whichare alreadystockedwithcattle.apricots.fortransporta- tionand commerce. chests. Besides the church.terlingas. kettles.mint. It consisted of seven rows of houses builtof stone.anise. Agriculturaland stock-raisingactivitieshad increasedsince I745. cards.pomegranates.porter'slodge.etc. but got an importantpart of theirtrainingfor civilizedlife.quinces. grownwithwillowsand fruittrees. The pueblo was surroundedby a wall. spindles. based on an officialreportmade in I762.withem- brasures.doors. to supplywater in case of a siege by the enemy.metates.garlic. and other commonfabricsof wool and cotton. and two store-roomswith cotton.000 sheep and goats.etc. At Concepcionand San Francisco therewere threelooms each. or pueblo.manydrovesof mares.and ammuni- tion..oranges.workshops. The others were similar.mulberries.such as cabbage. Withinthe plaza was a curbed well.and soap. The Missionin theSpanish-American Colonies 59 such as figs. The neophytesof each mission lived in an Indian village.I2. The houses were furnishedwith high beds. frezadas. At each of these four missionsthe Indians manufacturedmantas.pears.pepper.includingcells forthe friars.

or alcalde-as representativeof the king. elementaryand limited.ooo bushelsof grain. The militaryofficers had theirown insignia.whichseems to have been of native rather than of Spanish origin. and inflictedminorpunishments.it is true. In these fieldsmaize.captain.garden.and subalterns.and blacksmithing.62.3I. much of the task of controllingthe Indians was effected throughIndian officersthemselves.some distanceaway. Thereafterthe civil officerswere chosen by a form of native election.but germane and potential nevertheless.separate benches were placed in the churchesfor the governbr. but in mag- nitude the establishmentsdescribedare not to be compared with those in Paraguay or even in California.6o H. and tools forcar- pentry.who by law constituteda cabildo. where the stock was kept. The military officerswere a captain or a teniente.and were ap- pointedby the secular head.alcaldes.with stone dams. formallyor- ganized the pueblo.farmingimplements.ooo horses. The laws of the Indies even prescribedand themissionsprovided a school for self-government.whose dutywas to care forthe community houses -a sortof freehostelry.shop. chile.open to all travellers.and harvestedI23.or council. captain. with civil and militaryofficers.alcalde. sheep.ooo cattle. occupied by the familiesof the overseers.wisdom dictatedthat use should be made of the existingIn- dian organization. Indian overseers kept the laborers at their work and.where. and carts.and in the huertasa large varietyof gardentruck. Of course it was the directing . the necessarycorrals.fencedin and wateredby good irrigatingditches. to give them prestige. or by a native captain-generalsubject to approvalby the secularhead. beans. and cotton were raised in abundance.masonry.natives of prestige being given the important offices. In Sonora therewas a topil.OOO hogs. Bolton ranch. The Indians had theirown jail. on the eve of the destructionof the missions. The civil officerswere usually a governor. appointedthe native officers. indeed.loom.and 32I. E.with one or more stone houses.When the missionwas foundedthe secular head of the district-governor. This was effectedby or- ganizing the Indians of the missionsinto a pueblo.Each mission had well-tilled fields.modelledupon the Spanish administration.and ap- proved by the secular head of the jurisdiction. and alguacil. This pictureof the Texas missionsis interesting.and goats.wine-press.and where correspondingskill and industrywere shown by the neophytesin orchard.and.and forge. prescribedby the minister.000 missionIndians at twenty- one missionsherded396.in I834. and council. and gave title to the four-leaguegrant of land. In constitutingthe native govern- ment.under the supervisionof the missionary.

then.the missions received the royal support.on one side or the other. the grandparents. But in addition.and was a step towardself-government. It was not self-government any more thanis studentgovernment in a primaryschool.but it cer- tainlywas not so intended.and it succeeded in varyingdegrees.and to some degree.in the rudimentsof Euro- pean crafts. But it was a means of control.and in California.which help to explain how two missionariesand three or four soldiers could make an orderlytown out of two or three thousand savages recentlyassembled fromdivers and some- timesmutuallyhostiletribes. In these ways. Sometimes.repre- senta twentieth-century ideal. the missionariesspread the Faith.so characteristicof the Anglo-Americanfrontier.defendedthemand the interiorsettlements.of agriculture. and disciplinedthem in good manners. extra-legally. . the missions were a force which made for the preservation of the Indians.moreover. and as such learned the elementsof Spanish civilization. In the English colonies the only good Indians were dead Indians. This pueblo governmentwas establishedamong the more ad- vanced tribeseverywhere. For these reasons.More- over.and by it still govern themselves. It has been called a farce. And.it was stronglyop- posed by the missionaries. in some places even in California. In the Spanish colonies it was thoughtworthwhile to improvethe natives for this life as well as forthe next. at some generation removed. Nevertheless.were once missionIndians.or secretsociety.in a large proportionof cases.it must not be forgottenthat of the millionsof half-castesliving south of us. BOLTON.promotedtheiroccupation. As theirfirstand primarytask. HERBERT E. It was often a cause for conflictof jurisdiction. I am told.It is one of the things. They were a conspicuous feature of Spain's frontiering genius. Perhaps the missionsdid not. where the natives were of the most barbarous.they failed. as opposed to theirdestruction. designedlyor incidentally. So deeplywas it impressedupon the Indians of New Mexico that some of them yet maintain their Spanish pueblo organization.they ex- plored the frontiers. as well as for unfeignedreligious motives. the descendantsof the missionIndians still keep up the pueblo or- ganizationas a sort of fraternity.did the missionsserve as frontieragencies of Spain.and even of self-government. The Missionin theSpanish-American Colonies 6i force of the padres and the restrainingforce of the near-bypre- sidio whichfurnishedthe ultimatepressure. as has every human institution. taught the Indians the Spanish language.in everyrespect.