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Imperial press and farmer. (Imperial, San Diego County, Cal.) 1901-1903, April 26, 1902, Image 2

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Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn92070142/1902-04-26/ed-1/seq-2/

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BURNED AT THE STAKE.
WAS THE PADRE BURNED AT A STAKE AT THE OLD
RUINS ON NEW RIVER WEST OF IMPERIAL?
a hw weeks Bince the Press gave
an account of tin- Bnding of the re
mains of a burned stake near which
was found beads and othei evidences
that anes ai;n poOSibl) a priest might
have been burned at the stake at this
place The facts were published, and
the possible Inferences from those
facts were given. There was no posl
ti\. evidence found that such a crime
had been commit ted no ci idem ,■ at
leaSt thai WOUid he admitted as such
in any court of justice in the United
States, although possibly it might be
admitted hy the courts of France. The
Press does not knon that a priest
« i thUB bUltled, and din not sa\ that
such was tin- case, only gave facts
which weir fails and then gave in
feiem es that wei e plausible.
However, a correspondent of the
I. os Angeles Herald takes us to task
for publishing such nonsence. We
:l\.' herewith the corrcspi indent S let
ter iii full as follows:
ESditor Herald Bverj move made
b] tin- early pioneers of this section
ni.iK i.aki: LOOKING NORTH FROM THE Hi. IK I.AKK BOULEVARD [MPERIAL, SETTLEMENTS, SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
has been well recorded, in tiu> year
i ... Father Garcia came down the
Oila River with a company of bpanisb
soldiers, and when he reached the
Colorado River, at a point where Yuma
now stands, he established a mission
on the silf of the present Indian
school He established another at
San Pablo, which is east of Yunia
aboul eighteen miles, at a point now-
Known as Gils City, Coronado passed
up the Colorado Kiver one hundred
yearfl before Father (iareia, but Cor
onado left few notes.
l came to the Colorado River the
year Arizona came into existence, and
have bought everything in the way of
books that related to this Be< i lon
Since ist;:; i have been steamboatlng
on the Colorado, and it makes me
angn to Bee such errors in history
as have been published in books that
have happened under mj observation.
in the > «':i r isti.'i Dr. Lewis Case \\;is
;i passenger with me From Port
Mohave to the mouth of the Colorado
KiviT Ho w;is then engaged In his
torlcal research, and traveled through
Mexico and Spain io gel facts about
tin- countrj hereabout, i.ast year 1
saw his book advertised and Beni to
New York and got it There are two
volumes, entitled "On the Trail ol the
Spanish Pioneer." if the man at im
P«>riai should read these two volumes
h^ will write no more or his pre
historic finds.
J. A. MELLON
Had it not been for this corn
spondent probably the Incident might
never have been referred io again.
hut inasmuch as the QUestiO . has been
IMPERIAL PRESS
i aa i<> tin- reasonableness nf the
Inferences reached, lel us turn to Ban
i r. .us hlaton of the North Mexican
siatis. Vol. i. which is a part <>r Han
crofl - Works, Vol. XV. and on page
682, i i s.'i| w e liii'l ih<- following
reference to operations in thl
linn of country about 130 years ago:
■ ihe extension of Bpanlsh occu
pation northward to the regions of the
Olla and Colorado was an important
topic <>f consideration during this
period. The wandering of Padre Oar
ccs, a worthy successor of Kino, In
1771. ami earlier have been noticed.
Oarces found the natives verj well
disposed, and i>oth be and nis asso
ciates of Aha I'iiiiciia were eager
to found new missions; bui the gOV
ernmeni was slow to make the nee
essary explorations and furnish mili
tary support; indeed it was regarded
as imprudent to found new missions
until the old ones could he better
protected, the padres maintaining
meanwhile that a northern presidio
wouiii he the best means of restrain
ing the Apaches, and affording the
desired protection, In 1774, however,
Captain Juan Hautista An/a was sent
to open a route hy land to Aita Call
fornia and thus the desired explora
tion was effected.
"An/a left Zubac in January with
thirty-four men. Padres waives and
Juan Dlas Berving as chaplains. They
proceeded by way of Bonoita to the
(iiia, and thence to San Gabriel, re
turning by tht> same route to Zubac
in May. On the reception of An/as
report, made by him in person at
Mexico, a new expedition was devised
to accomplish two objects, the found-
Ing of San Francisco in California
and of missions in the Colorado re
gion. An/a was made l.ieutenant-
Colonel, recruited in Sonora and Sin
alo.i a tone of soldier-colonists for
California over two hundred persons
in all, and marched from Zubac in
October, 1 77.".. for the north. There
Were twentj the men. including the
cnaplain, Padre Pedro Font, to re
turn; ami besides. Fathers Octrees
and Tomas Eixarcn with six ser
vants and interpreters, who were to
remain on the Colorado during An/.a's
absence in the northwest. Padre
Kivnvh stationed himself on the Call
fornia side k^( the river near the
Qila'a month, and labored among the
natives to prepare them for mission
life from December to May. when he
returned with An/a to Hoiv;u-itas.
Meanwhile the Indefatigable Qarcea
had wandered off on his endless ex
plorations anil was not to be found on
the return of the expedition He went
.low n the mouth of the Colorado and
then up to the Mojave region From
this point he made a trip westward
to San Gabriel, and another east
ward to the Ifoqul towns. Returning
to the Mojaves in July he slowly
di-. ended the Colorado and found his
way to San Javier del Bac, in Septem
her. 177' i.
•H; friars bad .-c .■ ted Bites for the
proposed missions on the west bank
of the Colorado: and I'alma. a native
chieftan, had accompanied Anza to
Mexico to beg for missionaries. The
\ icei dj i.i\ ored t M • ■ project, as did
General Croix a little later, and i tt< r
long delays two new establishments,
Cdncepcton and San Pedro j Ban
Pablo were founded in 1780 under
Padres Garces, Juan Antonio Bar
reneche, Juan Dlai and .atala .Moreno
with twenty soldiers and a like num
ber of settlers. In July, 1/81, tho
missions were destroyed by the re
volting Vuinas; all the trials were
killed; and only three or four men
saved their lives. At the same time
Captain Rivera y Moncada encamped
on the east bank with cattle and
horses for California was Killed with
sixteen men. This disaster created
the greatest excitement both in Bonora
and California; and a large military
force was sent against the Tumas.
A few of the latter were killed but
there was no attempt to re-establish
the missions or to guard the route."
It would appear from this account
that there were two missions estab
lished; one evidently on the Califor
nia hank of t lie Colorado near the
mouth of the Glla and one at some
other point probably on the route to
California. The writer lias not
searched Bancroft's History enough
as yet to ascertain where these two
missions were located — if indeed, it
tells at all — but it is not unreasonable
to assume that the other one might
have been located at the ruins on New
River west of Imperial and that one
or more of the three padres who were
killed were burned at the stake at
this point. Of course we do not know
that such was the case. It Is a matter
of record, however, that three priests
were killed hy the Yuina Indians
about 125 years ago, and it is not a
wild presumption to BUggest that one
might have been killed at the ruins
west of Imperial, although as yet
we find no definite history that says
that such was the case.
We have not at hand the two vol
umes referred to hy the Herald cor
respondent. Those volumes may giv c
all the data obtainable regarding the
early history of this country; ami still
it is a matter of history that history
itself is incomplete and new dis
coveries are daily being made that
add materially to the history of the
world. Possibly historians do not as
yet know all that is to Tie known re
garding the early history of this here
tofore terra Incognita.
In volume Will of Bancroft's
Works, page 263, is a map of a portion
of the Pacific Coast extending from
the iiiilf of California to a point above
San Francisco. This map was made
in I T T » i . It shows the course traveled
bj Anza and his company in lsT.">
from the Colorado River to San Fran-
CISCO. Anza crossed the Colorado
River near the mouth of the (Jila.
and then traveled in a southwesterly
direction to a place called Bants Olaya
in Lower California and thence in a
northwesterly direction along the
western border of the valley passing
Carrlsal (probably Carrlso creek),
San Sebastian. San Gregorio, Santa
Catalina to San Carlos Pass, or what
is now known as San Gorgonio Pass
This line of travel passed by or near
to the ruins on New River. Anza
returned a few months later over the
same route only not going as far south
as Santa Olaya. probably passing along
near the sand dunes where the old
Butterfield stage line was located
five years later.
We give this data for what it is
worth. The ruins on New River are
the remains of Improvements made
probably a hundred or more years ago,
the exact history of Wuich may never
he told. 1.. M. H.
.Men never go to heaven by joining
the preacher.
The Purpose of the Desert.
The Rev. Thomas Slicer, of the All
Souls' Unitarian Church of New York,
in one of his sermons presented a
view of the great arid region which
was doubt less new to the majority of
his congregation. Dr. Slicer said:
"Men thought God had forgotten the
Creai American Desert that stretches
for six hundred miles across this coun
try, because God only made buffalo
grass grow on it for n little while,
and a few evanescent (lowers, and
they said, 'God hardly cares even for
the great herds of buffalo and antelope
that graze a little while, then move
on and lind new pasture." And then
they found out that what Cod wanted
to provoke man to was to pour the
water over the desert, to make groat
irrigating canals; as in the message
.mst delivered to Congress by the
President of the United states, he
pleads with the people anu Congress
to make provision for the regenera
tion of arid tracts that they may be
come homesteads of the people. What
is needed? The downfall from on
high that tills the rivers until they
brim, that waters the fields until they
are green, that they may he homes of
blessed household life. All that God
meant by the desert was to challenge
man to make it blossom and be fruit
ful; and when He was able to get men
of intelligence enough to make great
irrigating canals and flood the surface
of the fields with water, it was Just as
good soil as anybody need have to
grow anything that the climate would
support. That is the doctrine of spec
ial providences that ts practical."

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