A Heritage of Loving Service: The Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet in Tucson
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by Sister Thomas Marie McMahon, C.S.J., B.A.

Arizona - Spain's Colonial Outpost

During the seventeenth century the Catholic Revival made itself strikingly felt in two widely separated spheres of activity which at the time, though seemingly poles apart, were to converge within the following two centuries in the planting and maintai ning of our Holy Faith in what was to become the state of Arizona. These were the enthusiastic response being made by young European missionaries to the call for zealous laborers for the missions of the New World and the changed attitude which began to animate the Church in Europe in regard to active work of religious women.

Christopher Columbus' epoch-making discovery of the New World had focused the attention of Europe on America. Immediately was set in motion Spain's colossal empire-building project. Within a comparatively brief period of time Spanish colonies dotted the coasts of South America, Central America, and even the southern extremities of North America, while throughout these sections explorers consistently, although often rashly, penetrated the interior in attempts to gain possession of fabulous cities of gold, fountains of youth, and similar chimeras. Whether the Spanish settlements were made by conquest or gained by peaceful means, the conquistador was invariably followed by the missionary carrying the cross of Christ. Thus, from the very beginning, the Spanish ideal was displayed not only in empire-building but also in zeal for the spread of the Faith.

Since we are concerned with the implantation and the cultivation of the Faith in the present state of Arizona, we shall confine our study to the activity of the Spanish missionaries in that territory. Although no permanent Spanish mission nor settleme nt was established until 1700, as early as 1536 we find Antonio de Mendoza, Viceroy of Mexico, evincing a sudden interest and

enthusiasm in regard to this northern territory.1 His curiosity as to the possibility of finding "another Mexico" there had been provoked by the story of Cabeza de Vaca and his companions. In the course of their wanderings, after having been ship wrecked off the Texas coast, they maintained that they had been repeatedly told by various tribes about wealthy, permanent settlements far to the north remarkable for their gold and precious stones.2 These were the famous "Seven Cities of Cibola" which were to enkindle the imagination and whet the desires of Spanish conquistadors for almost a decade.

Although the fabulous "Seven Cities" proved to be little more than mud and stone pueblos erected on high eminences, completely bereft of any kind of wealth, the expedition which Mendoza had so hopefully and expensively outfitted and placed under the ca pable Francisco Vasquez Coronado was not without far-reaching results.

While it is true that the expedition did not realize the golden dream of its members and promoters, it cannot be called a failure. And though Coronado did not gain wealth, lie won enduring fame. His contribution to history and to geographical know ledge was notable. Through his great exploring expedition, a large area of the American West was first made known to white men. All subsequent development is predicated on that initial discovery.3

This apparently fruitless conquest of Arizona and the Southwest was to be followed in the remaining years of the sixteenth century by explorations undertaken by two other Spanish Cavaliers, neither of whom was able to establish a permanent settlement or colony in Arizona. Antonio Espejo and his company crossed the Arizona line in 1582 and spent almost a year exploring the region, noting its natural resources--particularly its possibilities for silver mining--and becoming acquainted with the various tr ibes who inhabited it. His elaborate plans for establishing a permanent settlement were rejected by the authorities.4 Don Juan de Onate, who in 1595 had received the commission from the King to conquer and settle New Mexico, was the first expl orer to cross the state of Arizona from east to west. His merciless treatment of the Indians in the region imbued them with an undying suspicion of the Spaniard, and it was this mistrust which was responsible in part for the treachery the missionaries of ten experienced from the native.

On each of these three early attempts to establish a permanent settlement in Arizona, the military leaders, hungry for earthly fame and wealth, had been accompanied by missionaries burning with zeal for a conquest which was the direct antithesis of the former's worldly ambition. Many of the early Arizona missionaries won the martyr's crown in their attempts to help the darkened souls they had come to save. It would seem that their blood had not been shed in vain since it was a Jesuit missionary, Father Eusebio Francisco Kino, who a full century later, established the first permanent Spanish settlement in Arizona. He stands out as the greatest figure in early Arizona history.

The chain of missions which he successfully instituted and developed in this area are a concrete example of the use that Spain made of the mission and the missionary as a frontier agency for settling and holding the borderlands. The encomienda system had been used rather successfully among the more civilized tribes of South America and Mexico.5 Its primary purpose had been to civilize and Christianize the Indian. At the same time, the encomendero, or trustee had the privilege of using him as a laborer. In the course of time this privilege had degenerated into placing the native in a position of virtual slavery. Such exploitation was frowned upon and even forbidden by the Spanish sovereigns, while at the same time the Indian's civilization and conversion were insisted upon.6

The encomienda as a practical means of civilizing and controlling the wilder tribes of the northern Spanish borderlands was completely out of the question. The encomienda and encomiendero were supplanted by the mission and the missionary. Consequently, we witness Spain using the mission as a vital means of holding these northern lands which stretched over such a wide area.

The missionary was often hampered in his desire to spread the faith in certain areas of the borderlands by the very fact that the Spanish crown so definitely wished to use the mission primarily as a political and social institution and secondarily as a religious agency. Permission to work in a proposed area would often be denied and support refused if it did not fit in with a current emergency. If it seemed expedient to hold a certain section against possible encroachment by a rival power, full support from the government would be given to the foundation of a mission, its protection being insured by the erection of a presidio nearby where a number of Spanish soldiers would be garrisoned to help hold the frontier.7 This spasmodic support and neglect by the Spanish government was no new experience for Father Kino, who after spending approximately seven veers in fervent, untiring labor among the Indians of Lower California, was ordered to abandon the missions there and turn his attention to the borderlands on the north.8 Here lay the

... Virgin territory of Pimeria Alta, a region which comprised what is now northern Sonora and southern Arizona. At that day it was all included in the district of Sonora, to which it belonged until 1853, when the norther n portion was cut off by the Gadsden Purchase.9

Pimeria Alta or Land of the Upper Pima Indians and its people were destined to be the recipients of all the gifts of mind and body with which Almighty God had blessed this intrepid missionary during the remaining twenty-five years of his life.

Although the royal order forced the Jesuits to abandon the California Missions the heart of Kino always reserved a special place for these beloved children among whom he had labored and to whom he had given so much of himself. In setting out for Pimeria Alta in 1687 he determined to return in person or to send one of his colleagues to these abandoned children. "It was he who, five years later, fired the soul of his friend Salvatierra with the desire and the purpose to renew missionary effort on the California peninsula."10

Since one of the chief obstacles to be met with in the conversion of Indians was their fear of forced employment in the mines, Kino determined to spare his Pima neophytes from this curse. Before setting out for Pimeria Alta he sought after and received from the Royal Audiencia the provision which would protect his Indian converts. His account of this Royal provision is as follows:

I have agreed to issue the present cedula by which I order and command my viceroy of Nueva Espana and the presidents and judges of my Royal Audiences of Mexico, Guadalajara, and Guatemala, and the governors of Nueva Biscaya, that as soon as they shall receive this my cedula they shall exercise especial care and application to the end that all the tribes of heathen Indians which may be found in the district and -jurisdiction comprised in the government of each audiencia and government district, may be reduced and converted to our holy Catholic Faith, each one providing, in so far as concerns him, that from now on their reduction and conversion be undertaken with the mildest and most effective means that can be employed and contrived, entrusting it to the ecclesiastics most satisfactory to them and of the virtue and spirit required for so very important a matter, giving to them for the purpose the assistance, favor, and aid that mail necessary, and encouraging them in it in the best manner possible and promising in my name to all new converts that during the first twenty years of their reduction their will not be required to give tribute or to serve on estates or in mines since this is one of the reasons why they refuse to be co nverted. And I charge my ministers to notify me at once of the receipt of this dispatch, of what may be done in virtue thereof, and of the condition which this matter may be assuming, so that upon receipt of this information the orders most important for its continuation may be given, because I desire that all time possible be gained in a matter of such importance and so serviceable to God and to me. Done at Buen Retiro May 14, 1686.
I, the King11

Having secured the Royal Provision, Kino proceeded from Guadalajara to Cucurpe, the most extreme northern frontier mission and Spanish outpost. Fifteen miles farther up the San Miguel river was the Indian village of Cosari where he founded the mis sion Nuestra Senora de los Dolores which was destined to be the mother mission of Pimeria Alta, and Kino's headquarters as rector of these missions for the remainder of his life.12 A colossal task lay before him in this vast, uncultivated, desert land inhabited by tribes still in the lower levels of civilization. Earle Forrest describes the area thus:

Old Arizona was a harsh, cruel land at best, barren and forbidding, where life was one continual fight against the desert and the Apache Indians; but in defiance of both the desert and Apaches those brave result padres established their missions among the more peaceable Piman tribes. Although they conquered the desert, those priests of old never succeeded in converting the fierce Apache warriors, and the Spanish soldiers were unable to hold them in check. Year after year the missions were raided and the priests and their neophytes murdered; but in spite of all this, more came from the far Southland of Mexico and even from Spain across the sea to offer themselves as martyrs on the Apache blood altar, mainly hoping to convert those desert warr iors to the cross.13

These facts concerning the land and its inhabitants only serve to accentuate the Herculean task which lay before Kino as he neared Cosari that March day in 1687. Upon arrival he immediately began his priestly work of baptizing the infants and instructing the older people.

Since the most practicable means of civilizing the nomadic tribes of the Pimeria was the use of the mission, Kino soon utilized it by organizing his neophytes on a system of community labor and goods under his direct supervision.14 To attract the natives living at a distance he would send gifts and greetings and invitations to embrace Christianity. His real task lay in turning the Indians whom he had baptized into true Christians and loyal Spanish subjects. This section of New Spain's frontier was secu re only so far as it had adopted the ways and habits of civilized life.15 Through his endeavors a chain of settlements was set up on the San Miguel, Altar, Santa Cruz, and San Pedro Rivers. Here the natives received not only religious instruct ions but were taught also how to plant and tend their crops. In his Memoir of Pimeria Alta Kino speaks of "good fields and good harvests of wheat, maize, beans, watermelons, and pumpkins, and have given me cattle, sheep, and goats in abundance in various good districts of the interior near and remote."16 Although cattle are not native to North America, the farseeing Father Kino introduced stock-raising into Arizona from the small outfit with which he was supplied by the older missions. So confident was he in the continued prosperity and growth of these ranches that we find him in February, 1702, begging permission of his Father General in Rome, Father Tyrso Gonzalez, to open missions in Upper California.

For the temporal support of these new conversions I have prepared a ranch with a thousand head of cattle, and seven droves of mares, and with quite a number of horses and mules, and with sheep and goats for the new missions that may be founded; since, thanks to the Lord, four new missionary Fathers have come recently to take charge of four new missions in this Pimeria and I have given to their Reverences about seven hundred head of cattle, without touching the one thousand mentioned above. I have other lots, larger and smaller, at little ranches on the road from here overland to the Californias -- a circumstance that always makes the Journey to the Californias much easier for us. And before long, with the favor of Heaven, we shall send cattle by land and have ranches in California itself, and already there is on this side a ranch with live stock and horses, and fields of wheat and corn, etc., and with a decent church; and, with the grace of God, since the site is agreeable and well located for the Journey to California and to the Quiquimas which is the first nation, we shall soon start to build in this Pimeria a church and a large house... 17

As soon as Father Kino had won over a tribe by gifts and acts of friendship, he would begin instructing them in the truths of the Catholic faith. Soon he would be able to persuade them to have a mission erected in their village which would be k ept in communication with and supported by an older, well-established one until it became self-sustaining.18 When it was well-stocked with cattle, when its farm yielded abundant crops and a dwelling had been erected for the resident priest, his next thought would be for the erection of a church -- a fitting place for the worship of God. Father Kino tells us in his own words of how the foundation of the great church of San Xavier del Bac was laid:

On the twenty-eighth we began the foundation of a very large and capacious church and house of San Xavier del Bac, all the many people working with much pleasure and zeal, some in digging for the foundations, others in hauling many and very good sto nes of tezontle from a little hill which was about a quarter of a league away. For the mortar of these foundations it was not necessary to haul water because by means of the irrigation ditches we very easily conducted the water where we wished. A nd that house with its great court and garden nearby, will be able to have throughout the year all the water it may need; running to any place or workroom one may please, and one of the greatest and best fields in all Nueva Biscaya.19

This mission is the only one of the early Spanish missions of Arizona still in operation. Since it has the peculiar distinction of being one of the earliest residences of the Sisters of St. Joseph in Arizona we shall spend some time studying its history since its erection in 1700. A reliable authority on the missions and pueblos of the Southwest has this to say of it:

San Xavier del Bac on the Papago Indian reservation, nine miles south Of Tucson, is the only one of the Arizona missions, either north or south, which stands today just as it appeared in the days of its greatest glory. This survivor of the days of the padres in that desert land is the best preserved, the finest and most interesting of all the Spanish missions left in North America. California, with all its splendor has nothing that can equal it, and the missions of New Mexico are dwarfed in comparison. Surrounded by a picturesque Papago Indian village of adobe huts and grass wickiups, the white domes and towers of San Xavier rise above the mesquite and sage to guide the desert weary traveller just as in the days of the Jesuit and Franciscan Fathers.20

Father Kino's diary, Celestial Favors, contains no further information about the construction of San Xavier than that cited above. There is no way of determining how much of it was completed during his time. Historians have agreed until recently that the familiar San Xavier del Bac is the one planned and constructed under Kino's direction. Contemporary Franciscan historians, however, have disputed this fact and have conclusively proved that the present mission is Franciscan in origin and is found in an entirely different spot than the one described by Kino. The present location of San Xavier mission is several hundred feet above the river bed which is over a mile away. Kino's observation that the water from the river would flow into each room cannot refer to this mission since now no water can be led to the lowest point in the present buildings.21 Father Marion Habig, O.F.M. claims there are more authoritative manuscripts on this matter than those mentioned by Bancroft.22 He quotes a passage from a letter of Father Antonio de los Reyes written in 1772, four years after the arrival of the Franciscans, which describes San Xavier as it appeared at that time. It is hard to match this word picture with our popular conception of th e "White Dove of the Desert."

The Pueblo of San Xavier del Bac is situated on level ground, abounding in water and good soil, where the Indians cultivate some small fields of wheat and corn and other grain; the church is of medium size, adorned with two reredos of linen having gilt frames. The sacristy has four chances, two of them not being worth keeping, a censer, a dish and cruets with a spoon, all of silver, four vestments of various colors and other ornaments for the altar and divine service, all very poor.23

Father Habig further claims that the Franciscans were the first to use kiln burned brick in constructing their buildings, the same as that used in San Xavier mission, and it was they who had taught the Indians this craft. He cites an exempt from a report of Father Barbastro, the superior of the Franciscan missions in Pimeria Alta, in which it is stated among other things that the mission San Xavier del Bac was constructed by the mission fathers within the period from 1768 to 1783.24

In all the pueblos and missions of Pimeria Alta there are very worthy churches; and the sacristies are provided with all the vestments and sacred vessels. In every mission all the ecclesiastical functions are celebrated with the order and th e rites which our holy Mother, the church, prescribes in the rest of Christendom. During the time that my holy college has had charge of these missions, the missionaries have introduced into them the use of mortar and brick, which was unknown to the Indi ans; and holding in one hand a sword to fight the enemy and in the other a trowel, with these materials they have erected from the foundations the churches at Pitiqui, San Ignacio, Saric, and Tubutama, adorning them with most beautiful vaults and this being something never seen before, not only in Pimeria, but in all Sonora, causes admiration and excites one to praise God. All have been embellished, and lastly we hope to see completed this year the church which has been built in the mission o San Xavie r del Bac, the last Christian pueblo lying to the north, which before all the others can compare with the most beautiful of Mexico and in this country must in justice be styled marvelous.25

San Xavier remained the Franciscan headquarters of Pimeria Alta until their expulsion at the time of the fall of the colonial government in 1821.26From thence until after the Gadsden purchase when Arizona became a part of the Dioces e of Santa Fe, San Xavier was left to the mercy of the Apaches and to the desert elements its only defenders being the faithful members of the Papago tribe whose chief hid the sacred vessels and vestments to save them from desecration. These faithful Indians during almost a half century passed on to their children the rudiments of the Faith which had been so lovingly and laboriously imparted to them by the Spanish padres. San Xavier alone of all the missions of Sonora and Pimeria Alta escaped complete annihilation from these disastrous years of revolution, secularization, and confiscation.27 When Father Machebeuf as Bishop Lamy's vicar visited San Xavier in 1858, he urged the inhabitants to repair the damages done so that the church could be used for services on the priest's infrequent visits.28 On September 2, 1873, three Sisters of Saint Joseph at the earnest solicitation of the Most Reverend J.B. Salpointe, Bishop of Tucson, were assigned to work among the Papago Indians at San Xavier. The Federal Government repaired three rooms in the mission to be used as classrooms, but the Sisters had to make their living quarters in the Mission ruins. A more complete account of this phase of the mission's history will be given when the pioneer years of the Sisters of St. Joseph in Arizona are considered. In 1906 Bishop Granjon started the work of restoring San Xavier with the aid of the mission Indians. He made every possible effort to recover the perfection of the original. Today this mission is the most beautiful in North America.

San Xavier, though Franciscan in its development, was certainly Jesuit in its origin. No better patron could have been chosen for it by its founder than the "Apostle of the Indies" whose burning zeal and love for souls found its counterpart in the Christ-like spirit which animated Kino. He personally baptized four thousand, five hundred Indians. "Of Pimeria Alta, he was not only Apostle, but also explorer, ethnologist, cartographer, defender, cattle king and historian."29 He dreamed of establishing a land route between Arizona and Lower California.30 The chain of missions along this route with their accompanying presidios would be a bulwark against the savage Apaches, and a means of saving thousands of souls whom he could not reach for want of sufficient mission stations and priests. Because the Spanish monarchy gave its financial and military backing to that part of the frontier which was currently in greatest danger, Kino's great dream came to naught since all such aid was being concentrated in Texas which was in danger, while Arizona and California were enjoying a period of comparative peace.31 This frustration filled Kino's last days with sorrow and disappointment as he thought of the souls that would be lost because of the machinations of Spain's colonial policy. Death found this "cattle-king" padre literally in the saddle as he was visiting "one of the missions which he had founded, across the mountains from Dolores."32

For twenty years after the death of Kino the dearth of missionaries assigned to this territory made it impossible to continue the works so carefully instituted by him and his companions, and the Arizona missions lay deserted.33 Royal attention was again directed to the Pimeria by a series of terrible raids perpetrated by the Apaches. In 1731 a new band of Jesuits began the restoration.34 "By 1742 seven headquarters--Dolores, San Ignacio, Tubutuma, Caborca, Suamca, Guevavi, and San Xavier del Bac- -had been reestabhshed."35 A temporary mining rush in 1736 had also directed attention to this area. However, interest waned with the exhaustion of the mines, and another decade of comparative quiet ensued which was broken by the terrible Pima uprising in 1751. This rebellion was accompanied not only with "loss of human life, the destruction of property, and the expenditures of vast sums of money to subjugate the Indians, but attempts to place responsibility for the uprisings often led to unfortunate quarrels between the civil and ecclesiastical authorities."36 The Pimeria had been free from serious internal Indian trouble since 1695. Although the revolt was supposed to be a demonstration of the Indians' resentment against the tyranny of the Padres, it was in reality the work of a certain Luis, an Indian upon whom the Spaniards had bestowed the title "Captain-General of the Pimas of the Mountains." Becoming filled with the importance of his position and visualizing how his prestige would be enhanced if he rather than the mission fathers, controlled the mission, Luis worked the Piman tribes into open rebellion "driving the Spaniards from southern Arizona. Padres Francisco Xavier Saeta, Enrique Ruhen, and Tomas Tello, stationed at Sonoita, Arizona and Caborca, Sonora, were murdered together with about one hundred Spaniards. Both Guevavi and San Xavier were plundered, but the priest escaped to Suamca, Sonora."37 The Jesuit missionaries returned to Arizona the following year, and a presidio was set up at Tubac during the same year for the suppression of any similar uprisings.

In 1767 came a stunning blow to the Society not only in the Spanish colonies but in the entire Spanish empire. Charles III, the reigning king, a true child of the so-called Eighteenth Century Enlightenment, in his program of reform which called for the subordination of the Church to the state, decided that the Jesuits must be expelled from all Spanish lands. They were charged with high treason and without an hour's warning on February 27, 1767, Charles III signed the decree which would banish them from Spain and its colonies.38 It was not until June 24 that it was published in Mexico City.39 The missions, colleges, and churches of the Society in New Spain were left destitute, and this move "precipitated a disasterous wave of secularization which dealt a heavy blow to the work of evangelization in New Spain."40

The Jesuit mission fields in New Spain were turned over to the Franciscans who proved themselves worthy successors to the heroic Sons of St. Ignatius. In March, 1768, fourteen priests were sent from the Franciscan college at Queretaro, Mexico to Sonora, and the "Kino of the Franciscans", Padre Francisco Garces, was placed in charge of the Arizona missions with San Xavier del Bac as his headquarters.41 Although the Jesuits in Arizona had had two large missions with eleven visitas in a thriving condition, they were forced to abandon them. Padre Garces found that in the short period which had elapsed before the Franciscans came much damage had been done and he was able to reopen only six of the eleven visitas.42 Before the end of the very first year at San Xavier this mission, the last frontier of New Spain, situated as it was at the point most exposed to the savage Apaches, was almost wiped out by a series of raids which continued intermittently until 1772. In spite of this inaus picious beginning, Garces plunged into the work before him and gained the friendship and trust of the Pima tribes.

Padre Garces was the most beloved of all the priests during all the years of mission work in southern Arizona. Armed with only his faith in God he wandered from tribe to tribe, winning the love and devotion of the Indians who referred to him affectionately as their "old man", although lie was young in years.43

The Franciscans were conspicuous in their efforts to encourage the Indians to abandon the make-shift huts and hovels which were their homes and to adopt the more civilized adobe house. In every mission and visita there was a veritable building boom during the Franciscan era.

Not only did the missionaries with the aid of Indians build the church but also adobe houses for the Indians and adobe walls around the pueblos of Cocospera, Tumacacori, San Xavier, Tucson, Saric, Tubutamna, Ati, and Oquitoa. At Tubutama, Picic, San Ignacio, Saric and Tucson were erected churches of brick with vaults, according to the Cronica Arricivita, while at Tumacacori, Cocospera, and Calabazas the churches were renovated and roofed.44

Emulating the exploring zeal of their Jesuit predecessors, the Franciscans were not content merely to rebuild the abandoned missions and continue the work of civilizing the tribes located in their vicinities. An extensive program of explorations into the northern interior for the conversion of the Gila tribes was inaugurated with Padre Garces as the leading light.45 This study was not permit a comprehensive coverage of those expeditions. Let one suffice--it was the success with which Garce s effected a trip from San Xavier to the lands beyond the Colorado River which convinced Captain Juan de Anza that it would be possible to establish overland connections between Sonora and Monterey. This land route was in line with Spain's plan for occup ying California. The attempts to occupy the region by sea having failed because of the lack of nearby bases of supply, it had been judged necessary to try the more difficult method of controlling a land route between Mexico and California through Arizona . With Garces as guide, Captain Anza traversed the road mapped out by him, and in the following years was ordered by the authorities in Mexico to lead a soldier colony to San Francisco Bay. The year 1776 (familiar to all patriotic Americans because it marked the beginning of the fight for independence by the Anglo-American colonists on the eastern shores of this great continent) witnessed the foundation of the greatest port city, on our western sea coast by a small group of Spanish-American pioneers.

In order to safeguard the Sonora-Monterey land route the frontier of New Spain was advanced to the junction of the Gila and Colorado where two missions were founded among the Yuma tribes with Father Garces in charge of one of them. Instead of presidios to guard them, ten Spanish families were settled near each mission. From the beginning misunderstanding and distrust had marked the relationship between the red and white man, which hostility culminated in a rebellion in 1781. Four priests, among them Father Garces, and most of the Spanish settlers were murdered. No further attempt was made to establish Spanish settlement on the Gila and Colorado, the authorities deeming it wiser to close the land route through that region and temporarily to abandon the idea of subjugating the Yumas.46

It might be apropos to note here that no successful approach to the civilization of the Yuma was accomplished for more than a century. During these years they showed their resentment toward the whites by plundering, murdering, and rendering travel thr ough their lands almost impossible. When the United States gained possession of the territory in 1848 these conditions still existed. In order to protect the overland travel and keep the Indians in check, a military fort was erected near the junction of the Gila and Colorado rivers, the very site of one of the ill-fated missions. The establishment of this fort served its purpose of keeping the Indians in check, but it failed miserably as a civilizing agency. Desiring to remedy this evil the Government decided to withdraw the soldiers and to convert the fort into a government school. But it proved just as unsuccessful because of the unfortunate but obvious fact that they who were placed in charge had not the sympathy nor the faith which would prompt them to look to the soul of the Indian and not merely to his immediate subjugation. As a last resort the government, remembering the civilizing technique of the Spanish padres decided to turn to the Religious of the Catholic Church. Consequently, in 1886, the Commissioner of Indian Affairs offered the management of this unpromising school among completely pagan people to the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet who knowing its history, accepted with much misgiving but with great trust in God.

To return to the Arizona of 1781 after this digression -- having decided to ignore for a time the Yuma tribes, attention instead was concentrated on the Apaches who again were wreaking havoc on the Spanish settlements and missions of Arizona. By strengthening the existing presidios and by inaugurating a policy toward the Apaches which included the promulgating of peace treaties which by gifts and ration it .vas to their interest to observe, a golden era of Pimeria history dawned, relatively speaking. This was to continue from about 1790 to 1820 and to witness a renewed interest in the mines, progressive building ventures enlarged stock ranches, and great progress and prosperity in the missions of the region.47 Toward the end of this period , which also marked the end of Spanish rule because of the successful Mexican Revolution, the Apaches again started their fearful depredations. Where all had been peace and prosperity now was ruin and abandonment. Bancroft lays the blame for the change at the door of government which had from 1811 forward begun to abandon her policy of the maintenance of a strong military force combined with a conciliatory attitude.41 The presidios ,which had been well-disciplined and well-paid began to be ne glected and poorly garrisoned. Supplies were irregularly doled out to the Apaches. Since war and thievery were the most familiar means the Apache had at his disposal for making a living he now resorted to both. Disaster, desolation, destruction marked the closing years of Arizona's history as New Spain's northern outpost.

In this resume of Arizona's colonial period there are several facts which should have been noted from the data here assembled. The Mission was the peculiar frontier institution chosen by the Spaniards to hold her borderlands against foreign foes and hostile native tribes. Governmental support which followed this choice brought about a conflict between the royal agencies and the missionaries who were often hampered in their evangelical ambitions because of royal orders for the concentration of efforts elsewhere. The Spanish ideal of Christianizing, civilizing, and assimilating the native as opposed to the English ideal of exterminating him can clearly be observed in Arizona's mission story. From the very beginning this process proceeded under the cloud of Apache terror. It was this reason primarily that kept Spain's northern frontier stationary so long. It is also the reason that Arizona's missions and settlements at the end of the colonial period were in a state of destruction and abandonment, mu te evidence of terrors recently experienced from this enemy. The brightest spot in Arizona's story, marked as it is by lights and shadows, is the ideal which brought to this and region its great agents of civilization, the Jesuit and Franciscan missionaries, and the marvels accomplished because of their devotion to that ideal. Among the names illustrious for what they have contributed to the foundation and advancement of America none should be more renowned than they who spilled their blood on the "rim of Christendom" that the souls for whom then, yearned might be saved and that the seeds of the Christian civilization now enjoyed throughout the Southwest might be planted.


1 Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca, THE JOURNEY OF ALVAR NUNEZ CABEZA DE VACA, trans. Fanny Bandelier (New York: Allerton Book Co., 1922), 198

2 Ibid., vi

3 L. F. Hafen and C. Rister, WESTERN AMERICA (New York: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1941), 12

4 Benjamin M. Read, ILLUSTRATED HISTORY OF NEW MEXICO (Santa Fe: New Mexican Printing Company, 1912), 189

5 Herbert E. Bolton, WIDER HORIZONS OF AMERICAN HISTORY (New York: Appleton Century Co., 1939) 107

6 Herbert E. Bolton, THE SPANISH BORDERLANDS (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1921) 180.

7 Herbert E. Bolton, WIDER HORIZONS OF AMERICAN HISTORY (New York: Appleton Century Company, 1939), 281

8 Frank C. Lockwood, WITH PADRE KINO ON THE TRAIL (Tucson: University of Arizona, 1934), 59


10 Lockwood, op. cit., 60

11 Kino, Eusebio Francisco, KINO'S HISTORICAL MEMOIR OF PIMERIA ALTA, trans. Herbert E. Bolton (Cleveland: Arthur H. Clark Co., 1919), 108-109


13 Earle R. Forrest, MISSIONS AND PUEBLOS OF THE OLD SOUTHWEST (Cleveland: The Arthur H. Clark Co., 1929) 230

14 Pimeria Alta was occupied by divisions of the Pima nation: Pimas, Sabaipuris, Papagos, Yumans-- (Yumas, Cocomaricopas, Cocopas, and Quiquimas).

15 John F. Bannon, S.J., Pioneer Jesuit Missionaries on the Pacific Slope of New Spain, GREATER AMERICA (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1945),188


17 Lockwood, op. cit., 120. One of two letters sent from the mission at Dolores to the Father General of the Jesuit Society at Rome. They were sent to Mr. Lockwood by Rev. Felix A. Rossetti, S.J. from the college archives in Germany.



20 Forrest, op. cit., 248

21 Mark Bucher, San Xavier del Bac, THE HISPANIC AMERICAN FUSTORICAL REVIEW, (JANUARY, 1936), 93

22 Bancroft's sources are: CRONICA of Father Arrecivito, Reports of Father Antonio de los Reyes in 1772, Viceroy's report of 1793, and one of Bishop Reyes in 1784.

23 Marion A. Habig, The Builders of San Xavier del Bac, THE SOUTHWESTERN HISTORFCAL QUARTERLY, Vol., XLI (1937),164

24 Ibid., 165

25 Copy of a report of Father Barbastro addressed to Viceroy Conde de Revillagigedo and dated, Aconchi, December 1, 1793. It is in the Archivo General, Mexico City, PROVINCIAS INTERNAS, Tomo. 33, fol. 529-543. The copy used belongs to the Bancroft L ibrary, University of California.


27 Forrest, op. cit., 252

28 W. J. Howlett, LIFE OF THE RIGHT REVEREND JOSEPH P. MACHEBEUF, D.D. (Pueblo: The Franklin Press Co., 1908), 251

29 Bolton, WIDER HORIZONS, 155

30 It was Father Kino who established the fact that Lower California is a peninsula and not an island as had been popularly believed.


32 Ibid., 201

33 Hubert H. Bancroft, HISTORY OF ARIZONA AND MEXICO (San Francisco: The History Co., 1889), 352

34 This group was made up of a number of German Jesuits among whom were several famous missionaries: Keler, Sedelmayr, Steiger, Grashofer, and Paver.

35 John F. Bannon, S.I. A Spanish Frontier Problem: The Apaches, THE HISTORICAL BULLETIN, May, 1934, 138

36 Russell C. Ewing, Investigations into the Causes of the Pima Uprising of 1751, MID-AMERICA, April, 1941, 138

37 Forrest, op. cit, 234

38 Geoffrey Brun, THE ENLIGHTENED DESPOTS (New York: Henry Holt and Co., 1929), 77

39 Gerald J. Geary, THE SECULARIZATION OF THE CALIFORNIA MISSIONS (Washington: The Catholic University of America, 1934), 32

40 Ibid., 32

41 Forrest, op. cit., 239

42 Clem Hallenbeck, SPANISH MISSIONS OF THE OLD SOUTHWEST (New York: Doubleday Page & Co., 1926), 38

43 Forrest, op. cit., 251

44 Habig, op. cit., 162

45 Bancroft, op. cit., 386

46 Ibid., 397

47 Ibid., 401

48 Ibid., 402

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