The Presidio Of
San Diego, For Example, Was In Charge Of The Missions Of San Diego,
San Gabriel, San Juan Capistrano, And San Luis Rey.
there were garrisons with extensive jurisdiction at Santa Barbara,
Monterey, and San Francisco.
The Indians in the immediate vicinity of a mission were attached
thereto by a sort of gentle enslavement. They were provided special
quarters, were carefully looked after by the priests, their religious
education fostered, and their innate laziness conquered by specific
requirements of labor in agriculture, cattle raising, and simple
handicrafts. It was an arrangement which worked well for both parties
concerned. The slavery of the Indians was not unlike the obligation
of children to their parents; they were comfortable, well behaved,
and for the most part contented with the rule of the friars, who,
on their side, began to accumulate considerable wealth from the
well-directed efforts of their charges.
The supposition was that in the course of years the Indians might
become so habituated to thrift and industry as to be released from
supervision and safely left to their own devices. But that happy
consummation had not occurred when, in 1826, Mexico succeeded in
separating herself from the mother country and began her career as an
independent republic, of which California was a part. Nevertheless,
the greed of politicians suddenly wrought the change which was to
have come as the slow development of years. By governmental decree,
the Indians were declared free of obligation to the friars; the latter
were stripped of their temporal powers, their funds seized under the
guise of a loan, and their establishments often subjected to what was
little short of pillage.
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Page 7 of 618
Words from 1573 to 1850