the missions of nueva california

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Purchase of this book includes free trial access to where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: III. SECULARIZATION. DEATH OF THE MISSIONS. 1830-1848. We come now to the closing scene in the life of the Missions of Nueva California: secularization,— that word fraught with so much meaning to the Padres. It is a painful subject to all who find an interest, even the slightest, in the history of the Missions, — painful not only to those in sympathy with the Fathers, hut to those, also, who may have the most violent prejudices against them; for no one, however bigoted he may be, can but regret the fatal struggle between the Church, as represented in Nueva California by the Missions, and the civil power, which, after a few years, ended in the annihilation of the former. And we feel this regret notwithstanding the fact that the Padres erred so greatly in their management of the Indians as to make secularization, when it came, a failure. When Portolii, with his company, set out from Mexico for the unknown country north of the frontier, it was with the distinct purpose of making a beginning toward future occupancy and settlement, as he had been commanded by the Spanish government. It was almost solely a political question with that power, and one that resolved itself into the alternative of occupying the new land, or standing idly by to see it eventually seized by some other power, probably Russia, as she was the one most menacing at the time. But the Indians, the natives of the new country, had to be considered; and as the friars of the College of San Fernandowere eager and anxious to undertake the work in this virgin soil, the task was given them to convert the Indians, by means of Missions to be established at various points, the government agreeing to appropriate an annual sum toward the maintenance of these religious establishments, and to provide a force of soldiers f...
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