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Translation of extracts referred to in the “Brief History of the Pious Fund of the Californias,” and to be found on pages 187 to 221 of the record in the case of Alemany v. Mexico.

extracts from the work entitled “account of california, and of its temporal and spiritual conquest up to the present time, taken from the manuscript history, made in mexico in the year 1739, by father miguel venegas, of the society of jesus, and from other reports and accounts, ancient and modern, dedicated to the king our lord by the society of jesus of the supreme council of the inquisition, 1757.” madrid: press of the widow of manuel fern andes and the supreme council of the inquisition, 1757.

This work is commonly called Venegas’ California, by which title we have cited it. It is believed to have been compiled from Venegas’ MS., and original documents by Andres Marc Buriel.

[Page 350]

In the early part of the year 1697 Father Salva-Tierra, having been given permission by the superiors of the society to ask alms with which to undertake a work that the Kings with such increased expenses could not accomplish, arrived in Mexico from Tepotzotlán. He found in Mexico a good companion in Father Juan Ugarte, who was reading philosophy in the college. Father Ugarte was imbued also with the same desire for this undertaking. Among other qualities which made, him highly esteemed within and without the house, was a singular ability for dealing with temporal affairs and for bringing them to successful culmination.

The spiritual conquest of California could not be undertaken unless there should remain in Mexico an active and diligent agent (procurador) who would overcome any difficulties and look after the collecting and forwarding of continued support to those who were engaged in the work. Father Ugarte did this with zealous activity, thus aiding from Mexico the conquest which Father Salva-Tierra took up in California.

God rewards the constancy of His servants after having purified them, since in the remaining days of January Don Alonso Davalos, Count of Miravalles, and Don Matheo Fernandez de la Cruz, Marquis de Buena Vista, promised them about two thousand dollars, and, following their example, from other benefactors they collected about fifteen thousand—five (thousand) cash and ten (thousand) on promise. Don Pedro Gil de la Sierpe, treasurer of Acapulco, offered to lend a vessel for the transportation and to present them with a small launch. But as this did not assure the conquest, since it had no estate with annual incomes, the congregation of Our Lady of Sorrows of Mexico, founded in the College of San Pedro and San Pablo, gave eight thousand dollars for the establishment of a mission, to which was afterwards added two thousand more, because an annual income of five hundred dollars was deemed indispensable for each mission, since the location was remote and without supplies. In addition Don Juan Cavallero y Ozio, priest in the city of Queréto, agent of the Inquisition, a man of great wealth and of no less religious liberality, to which his famous pious works all over the Kingdom testify, offered twenty thousand dollars for the endowment of two other missions and promised Father Salva-Tierra that he would cash all drafts bearing his (Father Salva-Tierra’s) signature.

With such an auspicious beginning it now seemed necessary to ask authority from the viceroy, who at that time was His Excellency Don Joseph de Sarmiento y Valladares, Count of Montezuma, distinguished knight, whose memory should never be forgotten by New Spain and, much less, by the society. The father provincial, Juan de Palacios, addressed this officer by means of a carefully drawn-up memorial. There were great embarrassments in the royal assembly, but after some representation, and inasmuch as now nothing was asked of the King, and as, according to the royal accounts, which were examined, the expedition of Admiral Otondo had cost His Majesty two hundred and twenty-five thousand four hundred dollars, the authority was at last granted on the 5th of February, 1697—a special day for the society, because the feast of the three Japanese martyrs is celebrated on that day. The venerable Father Juan María Salva-Tierra received the despatches permitting him and Father Kino to enter California upon two conditions: First, that they should incur no cost or charge against the royal treasury without an express order of the King, and, second, [Page 351]that they should take possession of the country in the name of His Majesty. Their powers were construed to be, to take with them at their own cost soldiers, who should escort them; to elect their commander; to dismiss him or the soldiers upon making a report to the viceroy; that the soldiers be furnished with all necessaries and their services be rewarded as though rendered in active war, and, lastly, that the fathers should appoint justices in the new country for good government. (Part 3, sec. 1, Vol. 2, p. 11, etc.)

This apostolic Jesuit (Father Kino), who, as we remarked, had enthused Salvo-Tierra to undertake the enterprise in California, had endeavored, from Sonora, where, on account of physical disability, he was held pfisoner, to support the work by collecting alms and sending through the ports of Guaymas and Hiaqui furniture, milk animals, and supplies gathered in the mines and missions. But his great mind was not limited to the present time, nor to little things, nor was that of the venerable Salva-Tierra. Both hoped to conquer, and make subject to God and the King, the vast countries of America which border upon the Pacific, one of them spiritual conquests through the north of California, and the other across the American continent at least as far as the country along the frontier of the port of Monterey and Cape Mendocino, in case California was found not to be an island, Christianizing the intermediate countries. These great men could not execute all they had planned, nor have the Jesuits, who succeeded them in their missions and work; hitherto been able to accomplish it. (Part 3, sec. 5, vol. 2, p. 75.)

In this same year (1716) the venerable Father Salva-Tierra had, among; many trials, the consolation of seeing secured in the way he desired the donations made by different benefactors of the missions already founded and a better form of temporal government established. This affords us the opportunity of touching upon the spiritual and temporal branches of the policy inaugurated in California by Father Salva-Tierra, before we give an account of his death. Immediately upon his arrival in California, the venerable father saw that it was necessary to have in Mexico an agent (procurado), whose duty it should be to collect the incomes for the missions founded, alms and assistance contributed by benefactors—the goods, clothing, and provisions which should be bought for the fathers, soldiers, and seamen engaged in the “reduction,” and for the churches and Indians; that he should also be charged with the despatch of any business of the mission pending before the real audiencia or the viceroy; that he should look after the purchase, construction, and repair of vessels; and in a word, that he should watch over the temporal needs of so distant, so dangerous, and yet necessary an undertaking. Father Juan Ugar te was charged with this duty for the first few years, until he became a missionary. Father Alexander Romano, of the order of N. P. General, succeeded him as agent of California, representing Father Salva-Tierra, so that the latter had only to conduct the affairs of the missions. This was not only because there was needed an agent unhampered by any other occupation, but also in order that the funds of California should not in any way be mixed with others of the colleges or of the province; and that they should not be touched, confused, or employed for any other purpose than that desired by the benefactors. Father Romano carried on this work for eighteen years with great zeal—until, in 1719, he became provincial of New Spain. Father Joseph de Escheverría succeeded [Page 352]him for eleven years—until 1729—when he was appointed inspector of California. Brother Francisco Tompes then succeeded to the post and served with great activity and benefit to the mission until his death in May, 1750.

The sum allowed by the King for the missions of New Spain, not only for those administered by the Jesuits, but also by other sacred orders, is three hundred dollars annually, which may be used for support of the missionary and to meet his expenses with the Indians, unconverted as well as converted. This amount, which may seem excessive to the inexperienced in Europe, is, in fact, very little in America, especially with respect to remote missions, not only because of the lesser estimation in which silver is held for purposes of exchange and trade, but also because of the high price of European goods, and even more because of the difficulty and expense of transporting them, which at times do not arrive wholly undamaged. Because what must it cost to undertake a journey of four or five hundred or even more leagues through uninhabited country, for the most part, over rugged mountains for many leagues, it being necessary to carry all the food for themselves and for their pack horses on the road? The sum allotted each missionary was fixed at five hundred dollars annually, as in California the expenses were much increased because of its remoteness, the expense of transportation, loss of supplies, and barrenness of the land even for the supply of food; and, accordingly, those who desired to found a mission gave ten thousand dollars, the interest of which, placed at five per cent, yielded the necessary sum for the support of the missionary. All the missions of California are up to this time the foundations of private parties, and none depend upon the royal treasury; because, although His Majesty directed that new missions be founded on his account, this has not yet been done. The benefactors and founders did not turn over these donations to the society, but retained them, paying only the interest each year from the founding of the mission, until Father Juan María de Salva-Tierra, being provincial and on a visit to California, thought it would be better to invest the principals in country estates, not only because they would not be risked in the whirl of their owners’ trade (as happened in the case of Don Juan Bautista Lopez, founder of San Juan de Liguí, who lost his property, and with it that of that mission), but also because California being obliged for its maintenance to buy in New Spain cattle and provisions these could be supplied at less cost from the output of its own estates.

He asked the opinion of Father Ugarte, in whom he had much confidence because of his great virtue and intelligence. Father Ugarte praised and approved the plan. Having returned to Mexico to settle this matter, with the customary reflection and wisdom of the society, he submitted it to the provincial council. All the fathers, including Father Alexander Romano, agent of California, and shortly afterwards provincial, approved the plan. Only one adviser hesitated, doubting whether it was in conformity with the rule of the society to have missions endowed with productive estates or otherwise. One objection, however, could not prevail against the determined views of the others. Nevertheless, it sufficed for Father Juan María to hold the matter in abeyance until he could consult the father-general and receive his opinion from Rome. The father-general replied that it was not against the rule to hold missions endowed with estates, or in any other manner, [Page 353]since, in the eighth general congregation, by decree 27, thanks were directed to be given, in the name of the society, to Don Fernando Fuste, to Don Fernando Fustemberg, bishop, and Prince of Munstér and Paderborn, for the endowment which he made of fifteen missions in Japan, in Germany, and other places in the north; that these foundations should be regarded in the same way as those of the colleges (since, although the Jesuits can receive no salary, compensation, or alms for their ministrations, it is necessary that the society attend to providing food and clothing for them), and that for this purpose there may be estates and endowments in those places where alms can not be solicited for their support, as is done by the higher branches of the church, which are the houses of the professed in which endowments can not be made even for the churches.

This letter reached Father Salva-Tierra in the year 1716, and he forthwith directed Father Romano to collect the property and purchase country estates, which he should administer for the benefit of the mission. This was accomplished by the purchase in turn of the estates of Guadalùpe, in the valley of Acolmán or Oculma, Huasteca de Ovejas of Huapango, and of Arroyo-Sarco.

There was employed in the purchase of these estates all the principal of the seven missions already founded and in existence up to the death of Father Salva-Tierra; also, five thousand dollars bequeathed to California in the will of his excellency the viceroy, Duke of Abrantes and Linares; another four thousand dollars from a gentleman of Guadalajara, and a large part of the lesser alms contributed by different persons to the mission. (Part 3, sec. 11, vol. 2, pp. 230–236.)

On the 13th of November, 1744, an exhaustive cedula was despatched by King Philip V to his excellency the Count of Fuen-Clara, viceroy, and other cedulas to several private persons, requesting reports upon various important subjects. Father Christoval de Escobar y Llamas, provincial of Mexico, forwarded a very extensive report, signed on the 30th of November, 1745. This reached Madrid on the 9th of July, 1746, when our most virtuous monarch, Fernando VI, had ascended the throne. The King was animated with the same zeal and magnanimity as his glorious father. Upon the advice of the council, reported to His Majesty by his excellency the Marquis de la Ensenada, then secretary of state and of the Indian office, his royal mind being inclined to a favorable view, the King commanded the issuing of a cedula broader in its terms than the earlier one, which he ordered to be inserted, addressed to his excellency the present viceroy of New Spain. This decree it has seemed to me well to copy, because no document can more truly show the sovereign and august intentions and ardent zeal of both monarchs, the wisdom, circumspection, and foresight of their supreme council, and the broad views, prudence, religion, and energy of their ministers. It reads, then, as follows:

The King, to Bon Juan Francisco de Guemes y Horcasitas, lieutenant-general of my most royal armies, viceroy, governor, and captain-general of the province of New Spain, and president of my real audiencia there, residing in the City of Mexico:

On the 13th of November, 1744, a cedula of the following tenor was sent to the Count of Fuen-Clara, your predecessor in office.

[Here follows the royal cedula of King Fernando Triviño, printed in the Transcript at pp. 436–441.]

And now being informed that the aforesaid viceroy, Count of Fuen-Clara, has [Page 354]received the present decree, and that he had begun to collect information and to take the other necessary measures to facilitate the execution of its demands; and bearing in mind that upon your arrival, and with the indispensable occupations of entry into your government, it will not be possible to make much headway in the matter; and, finally, a full report having been received from Father Christoval de Escoval y Llamas, provincial of that province, of the Society of Jesus, written in that capital on the 30th of November, 1745, to carry out what was advised by the decree of even date with the one above inserted, which report contains information of the greatest importance, and sets forth the situation, climate, and conditions of the above referred to province of California, and the great difficulties which are encountered to congregate the natives into towns, because of the barrenness of the land in much of the province, and of even greater difficulties in founding Spanish posts, and of providing them and the converted Indians with all necessities, and suggests, at the same time, the means and expedients by which these difficulties and embarrassments may be overcome. All this having been taken into consideration by my council of the Indies with the foregoing information on the subject, and having considered the statement made by my attorney, laid before me on the 24th of August, of this year, I have determined to transmit to you a copy of the aforesaid report of the father provincial, and to direct and command you, as in fact do, that being advised perfectly of its contents, you take steps to inform yourself concerning persons that seem more suitable to attain the desired result, and that you consider and deliberate fully upon all the matters in the communication of the aforesaid father provincial; and that after considering the practicability or impracticability of the means and expedients proposed, you yourself shall determine, without awaiting further orders, upon the putting into effect of those measures that may seem most practicable for the accomplishment of the objects set forth in the decree, above inserted, so far as may be possible, and should there be no serious obstacle or danger, bearing in mind the condition of my royal treasury in your provinces, so that no exorbitant or unnecessary expenses may be incurred;a and you will report as often as opportunity may offer upon the progress that is being made in this very important affair, which at the same time concerns the propagation of our holy faith, my royal service, and the security and defense of the tribes already conquered and converted; and I especially charge you that, after conferring with the aforesaid persons, you seriously consider the advisability of completing the conversion of the Seris tribe, bordering upon the province of Sonora; that of the Pymos Altos, and that of the Papagos, taking care also to restrain and prevent the continued unfriendliness and hostilities of the Apache tribe; and, in the same manner, I direct you to use your authority with the new bishop of Durango in order that from this time he may approve the concessions which the same father provincial made to your predecessor of twenty-two missions, which are suitable for parishes for secular clergy, so far as may be advisable: This being my will.

Dated in Buen-Retiro, December 4, 1747.

I, the King.

By command of our lord the King:

Don Fernando Trivino.

(Part 3, sec. 21, vol. 2, pp. 500–520.)

extracts from the work entitled “history of california, posthumous work of the noble abbot don francisco saverio clavigero.” venice, 1789.

Besides this gift of the viceroy, there was another from the pious Marquis of Villapuente, who, desirous of the conversion of the heathen, contributed the capital for the foundation of a new mission in the port of “La Paz,” and wanted the same Father Bravo to be the founder. This man willingly took charge of this arduous and dangerous task, [Page 355]and having bought all that was necessary at that time for the colony he embarked from Acapulco, in the new boat borrowed from the viceroy, and reached Loreto. (Vol. 2, p. 19.)

We can not say in particular what Father Guillen had to do and suffer in the foundation of that mission and in the twenty-five years while he was in charge of it, but it is known that with indescribable sufferings he passed through the woods and congregated the scattered Indians in new populations, three of which were joined to the mission of St. Louis Gonzaga, which, at the cost of the most noble Mexican, Don Louis de Velasco, Count of St. James, was founded in 1747. It is known also that the territory of his mission was so large that it extended from one ocean to the other; there was not an Indian left who was not made a Christian, or at least a catechumen. The said sufferings being augmented by the great sterility of all that territory, except in a small area of Apate, in which a little corn was sown. This mission of the Señora Adorada served as a refuge to missionaries and neophytes during the rebellion of Perecui, in 1734, concerning which we shall presently speak. (Id., p. 42.)

At the close of the year 1706 it was very much desired to establish a mission in Kadakaaman, an inland place situated at the foot of the mountains at the 28th degree of latitude and distant about seventy miles to the north of the mission of Guadalupe, which was then the mission farthest north; but the scarcity of missionaries and the foundation of other missions that seemed more necessary delayed its establishment until 1728. Father Juan Bantista Luyando, a Mexican Jesuit,a not only gave a part of his fortune for the foundation of this mission, but asked permission of the superior to go in person to establish it. Finally being ordered to California, he set out from Loreto at the beginning of the year above named, accompanied by nine soldiers and arrived at Kadakaaman on January 20. (Id., p. 48.)

The missionaries found no other remedy to put a stop to these evils (uprisings) of which they were afraid except that of increasing the number of missions in that region. Their desires were seconded by the inexhaustible generosity of the pious Marquis of Villapuente and of his cousin, known by the name of Doña Rosa de la Peña. The marquis furnished the capital to found a mission near Cape San Lucas, and Dona Rosa the capital for another which should be established in the port of Palmas, where the one of Santiago was already situated. (Id., p. 69.)

Two things were needed to advance the missions to the northward, as the missionaries desired, namely, the capital to found them and the locations to establish them in, and there was no hope of the one or the other until God moved the mind of an illustrious and most noble benefactress. This was the Duchess of Gandia, Doña María Borja, who, having heard an old servant of hers, who had once been a soldier in California, speak of the sterility of that region, the poverty of the Indians there, and the apostolic labors of the missionaries, thought that she could not do anything more pleasing to God than to devote her fortune to the aid of these missions. She therefore ordered in her will that there be provided out of her ready money those large annuities which she left her servants during their lives, and that all [Page 356]the rest of her estate should go to the missions of California, together with the capitals of the above-mentioned annuities after the death of those who enjoyed them, and that a mission, consecrated to the honor of her beloved ancestor, St. Francis Borgia, be founded in said peninsula. The sum of money acquired from this legacy by these missions amounted, in 1767, to sixty thousand dollars, and a like amount ought to be obtained after the death of the pensioned servants, over and above some very large debts which there was hope of recovering. With such a large capital many missions could be founded in California, as in fact they would have been founded if the Jesuits had not been obliged in the above-mentioned year to abandon that peninsula. (Id., pp. 139, 140.)

Much more noteworthy was another renunciation made by the same Jesuits in the year following that of 1767. Doña Josefa de Arguelles y Miranda, a Mexican lady, not less pious than rich, devised to the missions of California and to the College of Guadalajara her large estate, which was valued, according to common opinion, at six hundred thousand dollars. A capital so large would have greatly assisted the progress of Christianity in said peninsula, except that the Jesuits, fearing to excessively provoke the enemies of their order (having already suffered so much from calumnies in Portugal, France, and other States in Europe), solemnly renounced said immense legacy in favor of the Government of Mexico. (Id., p. 170.)

The church and the houses of the missionary and soldiers which were built there were miserable huts of wood, covered with the leaves of the above-mentioned palms. This mission bore the name of Santa María, consecrating it to the mother of God in memory of the Duchess of Gandia, notable benefactress of those missions, at whose expense this was and the others were to be founded. This missionary, in order not to neglect any work which might prove to be to the advantage of his mission, cultivated a small field near the stream, and there sowed corn and cotton, both of which were in good condition in January, 1768, when the Jesuits were obliged to abandon these missions. (Id., p. 182.)

extracts from work entitled “account of american peninsula of california,” written by a priest of the society of jesus, who within the last year lived as such manheim, 1772.

[Clavigero, in his Storia della California, alludes to this work as written by the Rev. James Begert (Bägert), a German Jesuit, who spent seventeen years on the mission in California.]

At about this time lived Father Juan Maria Salvatierra, a Spanish Jesuit, who was formerly a missionary in Tarrahumara. He was virtually the head of all missions, and subsequently provincial of New Spain or of the Mexican Jesuit province. He was a man of known zeal for the salvation of souls, of great mind, and not without humility, meekness, patience, and gentleness, together with a healthy, strong body and splendid energy, of which he gave many evidences and which can be read in his biography.

While Salvatierra was performing his duty of visiting the missions, Father Kino often spoke to him concerning California. Both longed to go to that region and both asked for mission duty in California in order to make a beginning toward the conversion of the Californians. [Page 357]This honor, however, was destined by God to be given only to Father Salvatierra, who finally, after much opposition, as well from his superior as from the high council and viceroy of Mexico, and after many solicitations and presentations and after the lapse of considerable time, he received permission to go to California on condition, made by the viceroy, that the whole undertaking should be at the expense of the fathers, without expectation or hope of obtaining any assistance from the treasury. Salvatierra had practically nothing outside of several good friends, a great mind, and his trust in God. These did not forsake him, but on the contrary did him no little good in getting the assistance of benevolent people who desired to participate in such a holy work. Among others, a missionary priest from Queretaro, by the name of Juan Cavillero y Ozio, gave him not less than twenty thousand dollars, with additional promises that he would honor any drafts that Salvatierra should draw upon him and promptly pay the same. A rich man from Acapulco, named Gill de la Sierpe, loaned him, besides giving certain donations or alms, a small vessel, and presented him also with a boat (p. 198).

* * * * * * *

In the meantime—although innumerable dangers beset the missionaries, such as many shipwrecks, hard work, cares, hunger, and suffering, and also skirmishes with the Indians and uprisings of the Californians, because of all of which the entire mission was often upon the point of being destroyed and entirely annihilated—in the meantime, I say, they did not only fortify the two missions already established, named Loreto and St. Xavier, but they established thereafter eighteen other missions. The illustrious Philip V contributed much toward such establishments. Scarcely had he ascended the Spanish throne than he ordered his viceroy in Mexico to pay yearly to the missionaries in California, and also to others, six hundred florins for their maintenance; to furnish their churches with bells, vestments, and other necessary things; to supply a company of twenty-five soldiers; to prepare a ship with a pilot and eight sailors for the service of the missionaries, and to remit to them each year, for the permanent support of the missions, the sum of thirteen thousand dollars, or twenty-six thousand florins, the same to be taken out of the treasury of Guadalajara. These were the King’s commands. Many years passed, however, before these commands were executed. The report from Mexico of the nonexecution of these commands not reaching Madrid for many years, the same were accordingly repeated in the years 1705, 1708, and 1716, until finally in the year 1716 the order for the payment for the first time was obeyed, up to which time—that is, from the year 1697 to 1716—the poor California missions cost over three hundred thousand dollars—that is, six hundred thousand florins—which sum, although not so large in the New as in the Old World, was still not a small or paltry amount for Father Salvatierra and his coworkers to obtain through donations from generous and benevolent private individuals.

The generosity of rich pious Spaniards toward the poor Californians in America, inspired by love of God, was not fruitless of results in inducing others to contribute.

Besides these donations, the noble Marquis of Villapuente (whose coffers in Mexico for the Californian and similar missions, as also for other spiritual and corporal work of mercy, were always open) came into a large inheritance, with which, after making certain alms and [Page 358]donations, he furnished an entire regiment of soldiers for the service of his King in the long drawn out Spanish war of succession.

Father Salvatierra, who was in California at the moment in which his good friend Don Gill de la Sierpe was dying in Mexico, saw in a vision fifty innocent, nicely dressed children leading his good friend into heaven. He related this vision to those who were around him, and he soon thereafter received information from Mexico that his vision was true, and that on the very day and hour he had the vision the death of his good friend occurred. The children he had seen, however, were fifty pure, baptized young Californians, since there had been just so many converted and no more up to that time.

* * * * * * *

Of these fifteen missions established, the Marquis of Villapuente endowed six; the duchess of Gandia, from the House of Borja, two; the missionary priest, Juan Cavillero y Ozio, two; Don Arteaga, one; Luyando, a Jesuit from Mexico and a Californian missionary who took the money out of his inheritance, one; the Marquis Louis Peña, one; the Marquis Luis Velasco, one; and lastly, a certain brotherhood in Mexico, also one, which for the everlasting glory and heartfelt gratitude toward the magnanimous donors and benefactors shall be here recorded (p. 214).

income and management of the missions in california.

With the income out of which the missionaries and many Indians were nourished and clothed and likewise their churches maintained they were safe and sure from other accidents (the dangers of the sea excepted). This money provided them with necessaries which would otherwise have to be obtained by tilling the soil after much labor on the part of man and beast, upon which subject more will be said in the following fifth and sixth sections. Each mission had an endowment of one thousand florins each year, which was provided by those who had founded the same. This money was applied to the support of the missionaries.

By the wish, indeed by the command, of Philip V, there was ordered to be given to each of the Californian missionaries, and also to others who in the vineyard of the Lord under Spanish dominion in America worked as missionaries, six hundred florins yearly out of the royal treasury. These offers, however, were not accepted, partly because it was not sure that the money would be received, because for many years under like circumstances the King’s orders for money had not been paid; partly because it did not appear to be sufficient, considering the unproductiveness of the land in the Californias and its remoteness from Mexico, where the money that was donated had to be spent in obtaining everything needed for the support of the missions, such as food, clothing, etc., and partly, also, because there was always a number of benevolent people who would offer one thousand florins to establish missions, and probably, also, because it was foreseen that for some time to come California would contribute very little to the royal treasury, while on the other hand the expenses incurred on account of ships and soldiers were already very large, and in the future would undoubtedly grow larger.

[Page 359]

Therefore it will be seen that all the missions in California from 1697 to 1768 were not supported by the Catholic King, but by donations from private individuals. These, nevertheless, gave for every new mission either twenty thousand florins cash or as much in property as would produce yearly an income of one thousand florins.

extract from the work published under the title of “documentos para la historia de mexico,”a fourth series, mexico, 1857, published by vincente garcia torres, no. 3 san juan de letran street.

[From the Informe, on the “Condition of the missions of California” by Rev. Padre Presidente Fr. Francisco Paloú, addressed to “Rev. Padre Guardian Fr. Rafael Verger,” in response to his letter of inquiry of June 1, 1671 (1771).]

Very Reverend Father Friar Rafael Verger, my true father guardian (p. 137):

* * * * * * *

With reference to the last point, that I inform you of all that would be advisable for the spiritual and temporal advancement of the missions, there is much to say in addition to what I have intimated to your reverence in this; but since much, or the greater part thereof, I have written by Father Ramos, I will not here repeat it. But indeed I can not do less than to repeat that you should try to procure from his excellency the restraint of the governor, that he should not interfere with that which does not belong to him, and that the civilization, education, and improvement of these poor neophytes be left to us, because otherwise the Government is about to make it public, and then it will be impossible to repair the damage.

Nor can I do less, considering the great poverty of the Indians of these missions, than to point out to you the advisability that from the funds of these missions they be supplied annually with clothing to cover their nakedness, since here the means are lacking and most of the missions will never be able to meet these expenses, and it is a source of much distress to the missionaries to see them naked and to have not even a rag to give them. In order that this petition may show not only the need, which is actual (and to which everyone can testify, especially those who have been in these parts), also that, without the least expenditure from the royal treasury, his excellency can do this service to these poor creatures, since there are fine properties for the purpose which belong to these missions, I obtained an unsigned paper giving account of these lands, and in order that they may be useful to this end I have not failed to copy it and to insert it in this report in order that your reverence may know of it. I do not know positively whence came the paper; but I judge, with some foundation, that it came from those belonging to the faculty of the College of San Andres of that city at the time of the expulsion of the fathers, where, since that was the principal office of the agent of California, the papers which give an account of the whole matter should be found.

[Page 360]

List of the pious works founded by various subjects for the spiritual conquest of California.

1698. Don Juan Caballero founded the first mission; he gave for the purpose the sum of $10,000.00
1699. The same person founded the second 10,000.00
1700. Don Nicolas Arteaga founded the third with the same amount 10,000.00
1702. Several subjects, through the Jesuit Father José Vidal, founded the fourth. 7,000.00
1704. The Marquis de Villapuente founded the fifth with the sum of 10,000.00
1709. The same person founded the sixth with 10,000.00
1713. The same person founded the seventh with 10,000.00
1718. His Excellency Don Juan Ruiz de Velasco founded the eighth with 10,000.00
1719. The Marquis de Villapuente founded the ninth with 10,000.00
1725. The Jesuit Father Juan María Luyando founded the tenth with 10,000.00
1731. Doña María Rosa de la Peña endowed one of those founded by the Marquis de Villapuente with 10,000.00
1746. The Marquis de Villapuente founded the eleventh with 10,000.00
1747. Her excellency Doña María de Borja, duchess of Gandia, named in her will as her heirs the missions of California, and there only appears as having been received 62,000.00
Total in alms 170,000.00

Properties and funds found at the time of the expulsion of the Jesuit fathers.

In money which was found in the office of the agent of California at the time of the expulsion $92,000.00
For the goods which were found in the warehouse of said agency, valued by Spanish and Mexican merchants at 27,255.06
Goods found in the warehouse of Loreto, according to the prices at which they were charged and sold 79,377.03
Total amount from goods and moneys 199,033.01

Loans made through the general agency of California of the funds of the missions and evidenced by their respective instruments.

To the college of San Ildefonso de Puebla, at 3½ per cent $22,000.00
To the college of San Ignacio de Puebla, with interest at 4 per cent 5,000.00
To the college of San Pedro and San Pablo of Mexico, without stating the interest 29,100.00
To the college of San Ildefonso of Puebla, at 3 per cent 23,000.00
To the college of San Gerónimo of Mexico, at 3 per cent 38,500.00
To the college of San Ildefonso de Puebla, at 3 per cent 9,000.00
Total amount of loans 126,600.00

General summary.

Total in alms $179.000.00
Total in goods and moneys. 199,033.01
Total in loans 126,600.00
Grand total 504,633.01

Besides these capitals there are the estates called “Ibarro,” whose manager reports that in ordinary years they produce from rents $20,000 over and above all expenses, to which amount should also be added the proceeds of the estates of Arroyo-sarco: so far the payer.

With reference to this paper I am informed that said estates Ibarra and Arroyo-sarco, of which it speaks in conclusion, were purchased by the alms of benefactors in order to obviate the difficulty which was at first experienced of intrusting $10,000 to any private individual in [Page 361]order that he might pay over the five hundred dollars interest for the salary of the missionary father, which private individual was accustomed to fail and the investment lost, and they found themselves obliged to seek another benefactor or to abandon the mission, as is related in the history of Father Venegas. That this might not be repeated, they decided to purchase these estates and operate them, and what they produced went to pay the annual salaries, and what remained over and above this enabled them to send supplies to the poor missions, as is shown in the mission books which they kept. From which I infer that at the time of the expulsion of the Jesuit Fathers there remained only the said estates, with the stock in hand and loans amounting to $325,633 and 1 real. From these large amounts as well as from the proceeds of the estates see if annual donations of clothes for these poor Indians could not be made. I do not speak only for those already converted, but for those yet to be converted in the north of California as far as Monterey, and by this means they might be attracted to our holy Catholic faith, which was the purpose of the benefactors. I trust that your reverence will avail yourself of every possible means to accomplish this as well as everything else conducive to the spiritual and temporal advancement of these old missions as well as the new ones, that from God you may receive the reward, as I ask Him in my poor prayers and in the holy sacrifice of the mass, and that he will spare your life many years with good health, and preserve you in His holy grace.

From this mission of your reverence of Our Lady of Loreto of California on the 12th day of February, 1772.

My reverend father superior.

The humble servant of your reverence kisses your hand.

Fray Francisco Paloú.

[Vol. 6, pp. 174–179.]

divisions of the missions of california between the dominicans and franciscans—extent of the territory known by the name of california.

The Reverend Father Iriarte presented the royal cedula to His Excellency Don Antonio María Bucareli y Ursua, viceroy of this New Spain, and, in view thereof and of the fact that the reverend father superior of my college had formerly proposed to relinquish control of some of the old missions, observing that new ones were being founded, and so great an extent of territory populated by heathen had been opened in San Diego and Monterey that the college could not take charge of so many, as I have already explained at the meeting of the prelates.

His excellency called a meeting of the war and treasury board on the twenty-first of March, 1772, by which it was determined that the reverend father superior of the Franciscans and the vicar general of the Dominicans should convene and settle between themselves the division of the missions in accordance with the above-cited cedula of His Majesty, and they agreed on what is set forth in the concordat, which the royal board, together with his excellency the viceroy approved, of which the father superior sent me a copy, from which the following is an extract:

[Page 362]

copy of the concordat.

Your Excellency: Friar Rafael Verger, present superior of the college of propaganda fide of San Fernando, of Mexico, and Friar Juan Podro de Iriarte, minister of the Holy Order of Preachers (the Dominicans) and head of the mission, which, by order of His Majesty (whom God preserve), he brought to this Kingdom for the Peninsula of California, obeying the superior decree of your excellency of the 1st of the month of April of the present year of 1872, in which you order them to divide between them the missions of the Peninsula of California for their respective missionaries, in accordance with the royal cedula, dated in Madrid on the eighth of April, of 1770, say that, having deliberated and considered in frequent conferences upon the matter, that it is the most powerful will of our sovereign and Catholic Monarch that the reverend Dominican Fathers, with their minister, the above-mentioned Friar Juan Pedro Iriarte, should enter the said peninsula of the Californias, because he so ordered it in his royal cedula of November 4, 1768, and afterwards in the above-mentioned one of April 8, 1770, in which, after having ordered and commanded concerning said division, he concludes repeating the same order notwithstanding the observations opposed by His Excellency the Marquis of Croix, predecessor of your excellency, and of the general inspector, Don Jose de Galvez, not deeming it well for his royal service that one order and much less one convent or college should occupy a peninsula of so great an area, and at the same time bearing in mind that this college alone has now under its charge not only the whole peninsula, but also all the territory discovered from the port of San Diego to that of San Francisco, which is about two hundred leagues distant, and bearing in mind that this division ought to be, in accordance with the royal cedula, with fixed boundaries for each order with the idea of a total separation and independence of action, so that in this way one will not conflict with the other, and to thus avoid the dissensions which might otherwise result, and likewise considering that the whole body of the peninsula, on account of the conformation of its surface, does not permit of a variation in the boundary lines; it only has one frontier, which is that of San Fernando Villacata, because the place called San Juan de Dios, which was once thought suitable for another boundary, upon word of Captain Don Fernando Rivera y Moncada, who has stated many times that it is not large enough for one ranch, in which also many fathers of this college agree, all of which we submit with due respect to your excellency, so that time as well as the proceeds of the pious endowments may not be uselessly spent. Bearing in mind all that has been said, and desiring to fulfil exactly the sovereign will of our Catholic Monarch, they have agreed to the following division:

That the Dominican Fathers take charge of the old missions which said order has in California, and the so-called frontier of San Fernando Villacata, following up its new conversions in this direction until they reach the boundaries of the mission of San Diego in that port, placing their last mission on the stream of San Juan Bautistaj the boundary of which shall be five leagues farther on, along a line coming out of the Sierra Madre, and ending before reaching the shore, and whence it may turn to the east with a slight deviation to the northeast, so that it ought to come out at the junction of the Gulf of California and the Colorado River, following thereafter the course [Page 363]which your excellency indicated in the royal order, and if in the intermediate territory between the Colorado and said San Diego another boundary shall be designated running north or northeast, they can also take the territory thus cut off in charge without prejudice to another order; and that the Franciscan Fathers maintain those (missions) which they occupy and continuing from said port of San Diego, in the direction of Monterey, to the port of San Francisco, and farther on.

In this way, your excellency, it will be accomplished that the long coast of southern California and mainland which follows it will not be under the charge of one order alone, which seems to be the principal intention of our Sovereign, and that the two orders of Dominican and Franciscan Fathers have in it their separate fields, and we do not consider it unjust that the college of San Fernando shall give up said missions, because it would otherwise be impossible to carry out the intention of His Majesty on account of which the father superior makes this division of them, hoping that with the efficacious aid your excellency has given the new settlements of the said port of San Diego and Monterey can subsist, and that care also will be taken that a suitable herd of cattle and sheep be transported for each of the new missions, as I pray to your excellency in the statement which I present under date of October 26, 1771, that this conquest being of such importance and consequence as His Majesty states in said royal cedula, you will not withdraw your powerful assistance until it is accomplished, even in the case (which God forbid) of some misfortune having happened in said port of San Diego or in any of the other missions. Therefore, they humbly beg that your excellency approve the said agreement and at the same time order that it have its proper effect, giving to each an authorized copy with the resolution of your excellency in which they will be favored, etc.

  • Friar Rafael Verger, Superior.
  • Friar Juan Pedro de Iriarte, Vicar-General.


Let it be transmitted to the office of my superior government in charge of Don José Gorraez, so that, together with the other prior proceedings, it may be presented to the board ordered to meet on Thursday, the 30th instant. Bucareli.

[A translation of the following junta and decreto will be found at pp. 426–429 of the Transcript, pars. 9 and 10.]

The foregoing agrees with its original, which I transmitted to the office of the secretary of his excellency, viceroy of this Kingdom, Don Antonio Maria, to whom I respectfully submit, and in order that the reverend father superior of the college of propaganda fide of San Francisco of this court may be notified; in accordance with the command of the superior decree above set forth I issue this in Mexico on May 12, 1772.

José de Gorraez.

(Id., pp. 186–195.)

[Page 364]

comment upon the pious fund of the missions.

Before proceeding I can not do less (although briefly) than invite attention to the remarks of Don Fernando Mangino, the director general of church revenues relating to the Pious Fund, which were brought to light upon the departure and expulsion of the Jesuits, inasmuch as in the twenty-eighth chapter of the first part there appears a report which he made to the reverend father superior of our college of San Fernando concerning the funds which he found, sending him a copy of an anonymous paper which came into my possession while I was in California, and which appears in its proper place in this volume. Upon comparing it (the paper) with the statement of his excellency, the director, I find some discrepancies, and in order that the two papers may not seem inconsistent to anyone reading them state the facts bearing on subject.

The anonymous paper reads as follows:

That the total amount in charity given by the benefactors to guarantee the salaries of the missionary fathers is $178,000.

And the director, although he does not state the amount of alms, says that they are included in the estates and in the sums loaned by the Pious Fund to different colleges. According to the reports of the director and the anonymous paper, the loans amount to $126,600, which through the investments of the Jesuit fathers yielded annually $4,078, together with the $1,000 yielded from the $20,000 which was received as a legacy after the expulsion of the fathers, and invested at 5 per cent brought the annual interest up to $5,078, in addition to the $15,618 produced from the cultivation of the estates, it is clearly seen that the Pious Fund has a net income every year of twenty thousand six hundred and ninety-six dollars, five reals, eight grains, with the obligation of paying each of the salaries of the twenty-six Dominican missionaries of old California, which, at the rate of three hundred and fifty dollars each, amounts to $9,100, as well as the salaries of the fathers in charge of the five missions of Monterey at $800 per annum and the double rations of the ten missionaries and three other assistants, which cost every year $5,771, 3 reals, and 6 grains. Upon deducting these sums from the net income it is seen that (except for any accident or other extraordinary expense which may occur) there remain $5,817, 2 reals, and 2 grains, and out of this it seems to be necessary to pay the officers who manage the fund. As he states, there is only paid to him as director $600, to the accountant $300, and to a secretary $100, amounting to $1,000 yearly.

Again, the director says, that at the expulsion of the fathers there was found in money the sum of $92,000, while in the anonymous paper the amount is placed at $400 more in favor of the pious work. Without doubt it will be found that at the time of drawing up the paper there was this additional sum, and that before delivering it to the control of said director it was expended in the needs of the missions or in. settling some outstanding account.

Thirdly. He says that an invoice of goods was found which appraised them at $27,250, 6 reals, which agrees with the statement in the anonymous paper, and which were sold at an advance of their valuation. Thus there was placed in the treasury $28,220, 5 reals. This, together with the ready money, amounts to $120,220, 5 reals. This sum, together with the proceeds from the estates during the period of [Page 365]almost six years which had elapsed since the expulsion (amounting, according to the statement of the director, to $110,312, 3 reals, 5 grains), brings the funds up to $230,533, 5 grains.

From this Pious Fund, since the expulsion of the fathers, there has been paid, in transporting the missionaries to California and for their daily supplies and salaries, $78,211, 4 reals, 3 grains.

There has also been paid, says the director, by order of the decree of their excellencies, the viceroys Marquis de Croix and Señor Bucareli, the sum of $136,184, 3 reals, 9½ grains for the purposes expressed therein—to fit out the warehouse of the city of Loreto for the department of San Bias, costs of the expeditions on land and sea on account of harbors of San Diego and Monterey, and for the Indians of California.

For these latter I do not know whether there has been anything more distributed than the clothing received at Loreto in the year 1767, which, according to the invoice sent me by the inspector-general, was valued at $8,500, as is stated in Part I, Chapter XV, and therefore all the remaining sum was employed for the purposes stated in the said decrees.

The director concludes by stating that at that day, July 19, 1773, there was in the funds’ treasury, net, $26,137, 11½ grains, from which the officers of the colleges of Pueblo and Querétero had to be paid $4,782, 4 reals, 9 grains for a bill of clothing for the employees of the estates, and this account settled there would remain $21,354, 4 reals, 2½ grains. Added to this $8,783, 1 real, 2 grains, which the colleges owed the fund as interest, and which when collected will bring the account up to $30,037, 5 reals, 4½ grains, from which sum, according to the decision of his excellency in the royal assembly, there must be paid promptly for the first time $10,000 and the annual salaries of all the missionaries in new as well as in old California.

In the said anonymous paper it is stated that the valuation of the invoice of goods found in the warehouse of Loreto of the Californias was fixed at $79,307, 3 reals.

And the reason that the director does not give account of this is undoubtedly because it did not come under his control; but it is evident that these goods and effects were received by the governor, D. Gaspar de Portola, who was so commissioned, and from which the soldiers of the peninsula were being paid at the time of the arrival of the inspector-general, when the control of the warehouse was handed over to Don Francisco Trillo y Bermudez, who was named commissioner of warehouses, and who was continuing in the same manner to pay the soldiers from the goods and effects and supplying the missions from the amount due them on account of the warehouse of Loreto, and against the same goods the said Commissioner Trillo made out a bill amounting to about $20,000 for the department of southern California in order to put in operation another warehouse for that department.

Of all this the director was ignorant, who, if he had known it, would have reported it to his excellency, so that the said sums might be returned to the Pious Fund, since they made up the deficiency due on account of the salary of the soldiers, which, during those years, had not been paid, as he says in his report that he has asked that the sums taken from the fund by orders of other departments, chargeable by right with such expenses, be repaid.

On account of what has been said, it seems to me that the said papers, viz, the unsigned paper and that of the director-general, coincide. (Id., pp. 597–601.)

[Page 366]

[For the substance of the extract from the work entitled “History of the Society of Jesus in Spain,” which Father Franqisco Javier Alegre was writing at the time of the expulsion (three volumes, Mexico, J. M. Lara, 1842), see Transcript, page 109, where a translation from the French is given.]

extracts from the membrete of the viceroy, count revilla-gigedo, dated april 12, 1793, contained in the work entitled “supplement to the history of the three centuries of mexico,” by father andres cavo; presented to lic. carlos maria bustamente, the author continuing the work.” volume 3, p. 112 et seq.

[The sections are numbered as in the original.]

pious fund of the missions.

Missions were erected and maintained with the funds which the zeal and apostolic labors of the above-mentioned fathers of the Society of Jesus acquired for the spiritual conquest of the Indians of California, the principal benefactors and founders of those pious funds being the Marquis of Villapuente and the Marquis de las Torres de Rada.
Although the remote territories of New Spain, known by the name of the outlying or western territories of California, have not been occupied with other organized establishments than the above-mentioned fifteen missions and the garrison of Loreto, all the territory lying along the coast of the continent as far north as explored is comprehended and considered under the Spanish dominion, and exploration has already been made as far as the forty-third degree of latitude, where the river called “Los Reyes” is found.
From this time missions began to be built adjoining the new garrisons of San Diego and Monterey, the expense being borne by the pious funds which the Jesuits had left invested at the time of their expulsion, and it was thought to be possible that the department of San Bias should be paid from the proceeds of the contiguous salt mines (which had already begun to be administered on account of the royal treasury), and with other means of lesser consideration.
This advantage has never been attained; the expenses of the department of San Bias have been continually increased, and those expenses caused by its establishment and the conquests of Sonora and the Californias were of necessity a. considerable drain upon the royal treasury from 1768 to 1771, notwithstanding that the large donations collected and the pious funds of the missions went towards defraying these heavy expenses.
I repeat, then, my opinion that, setting aside all costly and difficult projects, we necessarily confine our expenses to preventing the encroachments of the English establishments and of any other foreign power upon our peninsula of the Californias, by speedily occupying, as we have already determined on, the port of Bodega and if necessary the Columbia River, putting in a condition of good defense these two important places and the posts of San Francisco, Monterey, San Diego, and even that of Loreto, which garrison the above-mentioned peninsula, removing as soon as possible the seat of government (departamento) from San Bias to Acapulco, and looking to the preservation [Page 367]and encouragement of the Pious Funds and of the salt mines of Zapotillo, so that the royal treasury may not be burdened with future payment of missionaries of the Californias and that the net proceeds from salt may help to defray the expenses of the department of marine.
These five points are the ones that I shall submit and recommend, first of all giving due consideration to the design of foreign powers upon the coast lands in northwestern America, to the advantages of fur trade, and to good reasons for preventing illegal trade which the English may conduct in the Spanish harbors of the Pacific.
The fourth proposition of this communication should be regarded as incidental to the second and the fifth as incidental to the third, because the latter is directed towards the encouragement of the salt mines at San Bias, the proceeds from which are to be used for the expenses of the seat of government (departamento), and that the greatest care may be taken that the Pious Funds of the missions of California are not dissipated, entailing a new burden upon the treasury.
If these funds are preserved they will be sufficient to support the present missions; but since the expulsion of the Jesuits who administered the estates, the receipts, which were employed for the purpose of pious works have begun to diminish.
For this reason it seemed more advisable to take away from the department of church affairs the care of the said estates, placing them, by virtue of a royal order, in the charge of the former custodian of the royal treasury; but upon the death of the minister a greater falling off was noticed in the funds.
There were many claimants for this vacant trust, but my predecessor, Don Manuel Antonio Flores, thought that it would be safer to place the charge under the care and joint responsibility of two ministers of the above-mentioned treasury.
So he settled it, reporting to His Majesty, by copy of the despatch, No. 159, of the 27th of January, 1789; but, later, in a despatch of the 27th of the following March, No. 178, it was shown that far from this measure having produced a good result, the funds were speedily going to destruction, and that such disaster could only be prevented by an active, intelligent, and zealous general manager, who would frequently visit the estates, who would know how to increase the output, selling it with discretion, who would keep a watch upon the conduct of the local managers, who should be engaged in no other employment or work, and who should receive appropriate compensation.
These despatches he addressed to the Marquis of Bajamar, as I did by No. 22, of the 26th of November of the same year, 1789, concurring in the view of my predecessor concerning the confiding of the estate to a general manager of the Californias; because I had observed, among other important things in this administration, that improvements upon the estate known as Arroyozarco having been estimated at four or five thousand dollars, there had been expended upon it, without completing it, more than forty thousand.
Later, by a despatch, No. 202, of the 30th of November, 1790, I transmitted a copy of a report upon the matter, made with a view to carrying out the royal order of May 20, 1781, which ordered the sale of the country estates of the Pious Funds and the placing of their proceeds at assured interest.
These provisions were not put into effect because the treasurer, D. Francisco de Sales Carillo, interposed a lengthy protest, arguing that the Pious Funds would deteriorate more if the country estates should be sold, and that properly cared for those estates known as Ibarra would bring in forty thousand dollars annually, and that of the Arroyozarco four or five thousand.
Upon these flattering expectations the sale of the estates was suspended; and the solicitor of the royal treasury having been heard, and upon the consulting vote of the royal council the viceroy, Don Matias de Galvez, made a report to His Majesty, by despatch No. 670, of April 27, 1784, whereupon it was decided by a royal order of the 14th of December, 1785, to approve the recommendations of Carrillo until its results could be observed.
They (the results) were very evident; as, far from there being shown an annual net income of forty thousand dollars from the estates of Ibarra, it yielded, in the five years from 1784 to 1788 (when Carrillo died) thirty thousand one hundred and twenty-three dollars, there being lost on the estate of Arroyozarco in the five-year period from 1785 to 1789 one thousand three hundred and twenty-four dollars.
For these reasons the solicitor of the royal treasury requested, the counsellor-general approved, and I directed accordingly, that the country estates of the Pious Funds of the missions of California should be placed at public auction, knocking them down to the best bidder or bidders, upon the express condition of receiving for them a perpetual annuity, without requiring any payment on account of the principal; but securing the annuity by proper guarantees, and in the same manner the value of the cattle and other live stock.
I thus stated it in my said letter No. 202, proposing, also, that in the case the suggested sale of the haciendas could not be favorably accomplished they be put under the charge of a general manager of the qualifications recommended by my predecessor, even though his salary should cost three times the amount that the administrators of this treasury receive for the management and care of the Pious Funds, which they can not free from debt, because the more engrossing requirements of their employments prevent them entirely from making the visits and personal investigations of the country property, whose decline is every day becoming more apparent, since the expenses were already $98,800, and more than one hundred and forty thousand dollars were still necessary in order that the improvements of the Arroyozarco might be completed, as the engineer Don Miguel Costanzó had calculated.
This estate has suffered most on account of its crops being worthless and the large expenditures required to continue it in operation, it having become necessary to rent it, contracting thereby other interminable expenditures on account of the insufficiency of the bondsmen of the tenants, now dead, and on account of the frequent complaints and discontentment of the “colonos” or under tenants of the same estate.
Of these latter events the Marquis de Bajamar also gave account in letter No. 283, of July 26, 1791, repeating the proposition that the properties be sold, which was taken note of by my predecessor and myself, and asking that I be advised as promptly as possible of the supreme determinations of His Majesty, in order to guard against the general funds of the treasury being burdened with a considerable part [Page 369]of the expenses caused by the California missions, when they can not be supported by the Pious Fund.
Their rural properties are valued at $526,700; its invested capital or irregular deposits amount to $188,500, and all amount to the large sum of $711,500, whose annual interest, regulated at 5 per cent, should be $35,575; so that it would be paying each year a little more than $22,000 on account of salaries of the missionaries. There should also be a surplus every year of from $12,000 to $13,000, to go towards the expenses of new missions and the equipments and journeys on land or sea of the same missionaries.
These two last items, not being of frequent occurrence or very costly, would average yearly about $2,000 or $3,000, which, deducted from what has been considered as a surplus, the remainder would go towards increasing the Pious Fund, and as properties of greater value they could be securely invested, so that the present expenses could not only be paid, but also those which would be incurred in the future by reason of the spiritual conquest or suppression of the heathen Indians, but all of these desirable conditions will disappear if the rural properties are allowed to decrease.
The proposed sale of the properties can be obviated and likewise the suggestion of placing them in the charge of an intelligent, honest, and zealous general manager, although in my opinion it would be better to sell them under the conditions proposed by the solicitor of the royal treasury, whose resolutions are and will have to be definitely suspended until your excellency advises me of His Majesty’s wishes or of the course of action I am to pursue in accordance with his royal pleasure.

extracts from the work of m. duflot de mofras, entitled “exploration of the territory of oregon and the californias,” etc. work published by order of the king: paris, 1847.

What is remarkable in the foundations of these missions is that they cost the Government no sacrifice. At the beginning of the settlement of Lower California the viceroys furnished some aid. Philip V allowed them during the first years of his reign thirteen thousand dollars, but in 1735 the Jesuits, having received large donations, knew so well how to employ them that not only were they able to provide for the needs of their missions, but to buy some new lands. In 1767 a lady of Guadalajara, Dona Josef a de Miranda, left by her will, to the College of the Society of that city, a legacy of more than one hundred thousand dollars, which the Jesuits, being already the objects of the calumnies of all Europe, had the delicacy to refuse.

The properties of the Pious Fund with their successive gains are composed today of:

The estates (haciendas) of San Pedro, Torreon, Rincon, Las Golondrinas, including many mines, buildings, and immense herds and lands of more than five hundred square leagues, all situated in the new Kingdom of Leon, or the province of Tamaulipas. These properties were freely given to the society by the Marquis of Villapuente, high chancellor of New Spain, and by his wife, the Marchioness of Torres, on the 8th of June, 1735.a

[Page 370]

Other legacies enriched the Society of Jesus with large properties, existing near San Luis de Potosí, Guanajuato, and Guadalajara.

The estate known by the name of the “hacienda of Ciénega del Pastor,” which is situated near the last-named city, notwithstanding its state of dilapidation and its poor administration, is still rented annually for more than twenty-four thousand dollars. Another estate belonging to the society, the hacienda de Chalco, is part of the Pious Fund, which possesses, besides, a very large number of houses and other real estate situated in the cities, particularly in Mexico.

In 1827 the Government forcibly took the sum of eighteen thousand dollars in specie, deposited in the mint at the capital, and which resulted from the sale of the Arroyo Zarco, a property belonging to the society. The Pious Fund was also despoiled of immense estates by the Congress of Jalisco, and we have already said that President Santa Anna had sold as a whole the Pious Fund to the house of Barrio and to Messrs. Rubio Brothers.

Under the Spanish Government the income amounted to nearly fifty thousand dollars, which served to pay the salary (sinodo) of the friars, fifteen Dominicans, at six hundred dollars, and forty Franciscans, at four hundred dollars. This total of twenty-five thousand dollars being deducted, the remainder was employed in buying clothes, machines, implements, vestments, and ornaments for religious worship. The Royal Government repaid to the agent of the missions in Mexico the value of the supplies furnished to the soldiers in the presidios. The agent converted this money into supplies, which he sent overland, at his expense, to the port of San Bias, and from there twice a year vessels took them free of charge to the several ports of California.

During the flourishing reign of Charles III the port and arsenal of San Bias became of great importance. An intelligent agent, sent by the Spanish Government, went to teach the religious to raise and market hemp, and as many of the mission lands united conditions favorable to the cultivation of this plant, the friars applied themselves with a good deal of success, so that they began every year to send large quantities of rope to San Bias. The value of these products was punctually paid to the agent of the missions in Mexico by the royal treasury.

For twenty years this valuable branch of industry has remained inactive, and in all the ports on the western coast of Mexico ships can only procure, often at a very high price, cordage coming from Europe or the United States.

From 1811 to 1818, and after 1823 to January, 1831, the missionaries ceased to fulfil regularly their appointments, on account of the political troubles which during these periods agitated Spain and Mexico, so that, in adding to the sums due the Franciscans of Upper California alone, and these amounted to one hundred and ninety-two thousand dollars, the seventy-eight thousand dollars forcibly confiscated from the religious, the two hundred and seventy-two thousand dollars of which the missions of Upper California were despoiled for supplies furnished the troops of the presidios, and the revenues from the estates of the Pious Fund during more than ten years, a total of more than one million dollars would be obtained, of which the Mexican Government has despoiled the association of missions in defiance of the intentions of the testators.a

[Page 371]

On the 25th of May, 1832, the Congress of Mexico rendered a decree by which the executive power was charged to rent for seven years the estates of the Pious Fund, causing the proceeds to be paid into the national treasury. A second decree of Congress of the 19th of September, 1836, ordered that the Pious Fund be placed at the disposition of the new bishop of California and of his successors, to the end that these prelates to whom the administration was entrusted might employ it to the development of the missions or analogous enterprises, respecting, always, the will of the founders.

On the 8th of February, 1842, General Santa Anna, provisional president, acting by virtue of his discretionary power, withdrew from the bishop of California, notwithstanding his protestations, the administration of the Pious Fund, and, by a decree of the twenty-first of the same month, gave charge of it to General Valencia, chief of staff of the army.a

For those who knew the county, the word administrate had a very plain signification. This was before the actual sale, the last blow aimed at the organization created by the Jesuits. Nevertheless, to be just, we add that up to the present the few Franciscans who remain in California have received the assistance of four hundred dollars annually, in merchandise, quoted at exorbitant prices. (Vol. 1, pp. 266, 271.)

Last account of the goods of the Pious Fund which the sale of the properties el Torreon, Huerta de Santa Cruz, Rio Chico, Baño de Atotonilco, Juana Gonzales, Labor de la Natividad, Hacienda del Maguey, y Estancia de Organos produced, all which properties belonged to the civilization and conversion of the heathen, and which account was last given to the viceroy and is to be found in the report made by the royal junta of auctions. The treasury, which only held these sums in deposit, disposed of them and owes them up to now.

Inform me what is the state of the proceedings in the estate of Dona Francisco de Paula Arguelles, who left large properties for the purpose of founding pious works, in which were included the missions of California and of China; who is charged with this administration; to what sum the annual receipts into the treasury amount, and if there are any sums derived from this source in it. D. May 25, 1816. Rubric. Ministers of the general treasury.

[No. 3067.]

Your Excellency: An account of the proceedings concerning the estate of Señora Dona Josef a de Paula Arguelles is not to be found in this general treasury, nor was it ever deposited in it, except only that the quantities which were deposited by the attorneys and administrators of the estates, which consisted of several rural properties and two urban properties in this capital, were received. The Marquis of Santa Cruz de Ynguanzo, who was the administrator in the year 1804, made the last deposit of eighteen thousand dollars on the 9th of February of that year, but without any explanation to this treasury that we know of. In April of the last year the above-mentioned estates were sold, the price obtained being four hundred and thirteen thousand seven hundred and thirteen dollars two reals nine grains, of which amount [Page 372]there were placed in the treasury ten thousand dollars to the account of the pious work of the “Niños del Carro” of Manila, according to the disposition of the testatrix, and four hundred and three thousand seven hundred and thirteen dollars two reals nine grains to the account of the missions of the Californias and of the Philippines, half to each, following out the tenor of her will. In the years 1805, 1806, and 1807 nothing appears to have been deposited by the Marquis of Santa Cruz de Ynguanzo, nor since the time that he has been administrator of the estates of Don Juan Antonio Ayerdi. The greatest part of said goods was sold at the auction of December 15, 1808, as follows:

The hacienda of Torreon, Huerta de Santa Cruz, and Baña de Atotonilco, Rio Chico, Juana Gonzales, and Labor de la Natividad, to Doña Josefa Gonzales Guerra, who deposited on various dates one hundred and eighty-eight thousand dollars. The haciendas of Maguey and Estancia de Organos were knocked down to Don Fermin Antonio de Apecechea, who also, upon different dates, deposited one hundred and eleven thousand three hundred and fifty dollars, five reals, six grains, over and above fifteen thousand seven hundred and two dollars, seven reals, and nine grains of interest from the time that he made no payment on the principal. The hacienda of Ciénega and the urban properties appear to have remained unsold, concerning which the said Ayerdi, now handling what ought to be deposited on account of their products, could give an explanation. This same individual is the attorney for the heir of Señora Argüelles, who is interested to the extent of a one-fourth part in the estate left by her will, and to whom twenty thousand three undred and thirty-seven dollars, five reals, four and one-half grains remain owing, on account of the fourth part of the properties sold, and out of which he has received fifty-four thousand five hundred dollars. In the treasury there ought to be left two hundred and fifty-nine thousand five hundred and fifty-three dollars, five reals, three grains; of which twenty thousand three hundred and thirty-seven dollars, five reals, four and one-half grains belong to the heir, and to the missions of California and Manila and the Philippines, half to each, two hundred and thirty-nine thousand two hundred and fifteen dollars, seven reals, ten and one-half grains, which is as much as we can tell your excellency in compliance with your superior order of the 25th instant. God guard your excellency many years. Mexico, May 25, 1816. To His Excellency José Montér, Antonio Batres, His Excellency Don Felix Maria Calleja. In the margin. Mexico, June 12, 1816. To the attorney of the royal treasury for the service of the Government of Count del Valle. Wherever the proceedings concerning the estate of Marchioness de Paula Argüelles may exist, considering the desire of the attorney Don Juan Antonio de Ayerdi, in which he asks permission to leave this capital, without designating any time, in order that he may move in the premises, and concerning the last, state if the stay of Ayerdi is necessary here. Rubric.

report made by the general board of the pious fund through don fernando mangino to the viceroy, marquis de croix, relative to the general agency of the missions of california.

Sec. 62. Since the agency of the missions of the Californias was situated in the College of San Andrés, of this capital, which the Society of Jesus occupied at the time of the expulsion of its members, his excellency [Page 373]the viceroy, Marquis of Croix, instructed Don José Basarte that simultaneously with the taking possession of the properties of the college he should likewise assume control of those belonging to the Pious Fund, and in order that I may be able to relate to your highness systematically the condition in which they were found, that in which they were at the end of last year—1776—and the other circumstances which I have promised to add in this third part, I have thought it well and conducive to greater clearness to do it in the following tables:

Funds and goods on hand.

In the office of the agency there was found in cash $92,400.0.0
In golds and effects sold previously by the depositario general, Don Eugenio Daza 28,626.5.0
The silver ore sent by the missions of California to the city of Guadalajara, 100 marks, 6½ oz., which converted into money in this capital leaves net, after paying the duty thereon. 954.4.6
Amounting to 121,881.1.6

Note.—With a portion of this sum an attempt was made to establish the house of refuge or rest for old and decrepit missionaries, as was ordered by the Marquis de Villapuente, one of the founders, in his last will. This result, however, was never attained.

pious fund of the californias—matters which appear in the report which the secretary of interior and exterior presented to the chambers in 1830.

The Pious Fund of the Californias has suffered a very deplorable fate, notwithstanding that it is very valuable, not only on account of the value of its estates, but also on account of its capital invested. The former do not produce as much as they should, on account of the want of ready money necessary for their cultivation; nor do the latter produce any important revenues, because they are partly loaned to persons guaranteeing to pay annuities, many of whom fail to pay; and partly to the public treasury, which does not pay either, nor can it do so at present, on account of its well-known distresses. Thus it is that for many years past there have been very considerable arrearages in the payment of the salaries to the missionaries, so that the amounts which are now owing them on this account form a very large sum, which, according to the most recent accounts that exist in the department in my charge, can not be less than one hundred and thirty thousand dollars.

The document No. 3, prepared in view of the last examined and approved accounts, up to the year 1827, gives a clear and detailed idea of the properties belonging to the fund, the successive falling off of the proceeds of the principal estate in which it has an interest being shown therein.

It is clear that those territories, concerning whose economic and political importance there is no doubt, find themselves very much neglected in their civil and religious administration, and it is the more so because their advance in every branch involves no expense upon the national treasury. The Pious Fund belonging to these territories would be sufficient of itself to completely fulfill these important ends, if its proceeds were put to use, and in order to attain this object, the Government proposes to concentrate upon this point the special attention which it merits, at least in so far as returns can be expected from [Page 374]the country properties, which are very susceptible of improvement. Never, however, will these proceeds to the extent that they can be turned into cash suffice of themselves alone for the endowment of the missions and other uses for which they were intended. In order to fulfill this completely, it would be necessary to add to them the properties of the missions of the Philippines, which certainly can not be applied to a purpose more analogous, nor more in conformity with the original will of the founders.

Document No. 3 (número 3), Transcript, page 220, is a recital of some of the capitals of the Pious Fund, which up to 1827 was invested as there indicated.

The next table shows the yearly proceeds and expenses of the hacienda Ciénega del Pastor for the years therein indicated. Then follows a list of some of the amounts due the Pious Fund of California by the national treasury, together with their unpaid interest, until the year 1842. This corresponds in the main with the inventory presented by Don Pedro Ramirez.

  1. In the paper entitled “Establecimento y progresos de las missiones de la Antigua California, dispuestos por un religioso del santo evangelio de México,” which forms the fifth volume of the “Documentos para la historia de México, cuarta serie,” the receipt of the foregoing cedula is mentioned as follows:

    “On the 3d of November, 1744, a royal cedula arrived which was very honorable to California, and in terms which would have been very useful, if they could have been carried out without expense to the royal treasury, for which reasons its execution was suspended.”

  2. Of a very noble family, and descended from the first gentleman who established the Jesuits in Mexico.
  3. Each volume commences with a certificate of the correctness of the copies contained in it. That at the commencement of volume 6, from which these extracts are made, is as follows: “This volume is a faithful copy of its original. Mexico, Dec. 3, 1792. Fr. Francisco Garcia Figueroa.” Who or what he was or for what purpose the papers were certified I am unaware.—J. T. D.
  4. Archives of the royal notary, Don Pedro del Valle, in Mexico, to-day in possession of Don Ramon Villalobos.
  5. Report presented to Congress in January, 1831, by Don Lucas Alaman, minister of state.
  6. Sec: “Diario del Gobiernio de la Republica Mexicana,” Nos. 8 and 21, of February, 1842.