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Newspaper Page Text
347 THE INDIAN ADVOCATE
Trades and Crafts in the Old Spanish Missions. Looking back at tlio work accomplished by the fsithers of the old Spanish missions, one is d'-eply impressed with the extensive and rapid progress that ihey made, as well as by the wide learning which they were enabled to transmit to the races about them. The wilderness was conquered in weeks. Great trees were torn from the mountain-tops to aid in building spacious halls and corridors which have withstood the tide of more than a hundred years. Agriculture and mining flourished side by side with manufacture and trades of all descriptions and kinds, Religious and other training was speedily introduced. An unlettered, unenlightened foreign people wer subdued and taught all the arts of the enlightened, well-schooled people of European countries. And all this was done in a miraculously short time. More than that, the work accomplished by these pioneers of Western civilization, as shown by the relics from their workshops now in existence, is of superior quality to that which may be found in many factories of the present day. Each priest that came to this country was a master mechanic; he knew something of all trades and much of many. He taught the Indians, and as soon as one became proficient, he in turn communicated his knowledge to the others. By so doing there was spread among the people the greatest amount of learning in the shortest space of time. The Indians, like the Chinese, were apt in imitation. They picked up the trades easily and were flattered into perfect workmanship by becoming so soon the instructors of their fellows. This time has been called "The Golden Age of California."