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The Indian advocate. ([Sacred Heart, Okla.]) 1???-1910, October 01, 1903, Image 5

Image and text provided by Oklahoma Historical Society

Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/45043535/1903-10-01/ed-1/seq-5/

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THE INDIAN ADVOCATE. 294
his missions in California will forever be the only correct way
to bring about permanent success among the Indians. It is
to the disgrace and shame of modern governments that we
have to chronicle the destiuction of these missions caused by
unprincipled rulers of the Mexican republic, and by money
and land-grabbing sharks of Mexico, those of the United
States following suit when California was annexed to Uncle
Sam's domain.
Father JuniperoSerra O. F. M. was commissioned to under
take the christianizing of the California Indians in the year
1767. He was born on the island of Majorca, Spain. He came
to Mexico as a Franciscan friar and belonged to the Monas
tery and College of San Fernando Mexico. Historians say that
he was a learned and holy man, a most eloquent preacher, a
prudent manager; as charitable and benevolent to others, as
he was severe to himself in fasting, vigils and mortifications.
When Father Junipero set out for the California mission-work
twelve Franciscan friars and four secular priests accompanied
him. He divided his men into two parties: one to go by sea,
and the other to travel on land from Lower to Upper Califor
nia. The government of Mexico was at that time in the hands
of the Spanish dynasty. The governor of Mecico, a Spanish
official, was the ruler who recalled the Jesuits and who also,
in their places sent the Franciscans. He furnished the ne
cessary means, taken from the pious land, for the undertaking.
The Friars were not only responsible to the ecclesiastical
authorities, but were also expected to give an account of their
actions to the secular rulers. For their protection a small
number of soldiers went along with them This protection
given by the soldiers to the missionary Fathers was not always
a protection but rather an encumbrance. However the esta
blishment of the missions and the civilizing and christiani
zing of the Indians was most uccessful. Father Junipero
had the forts for the soldiers erected in a place some distance

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