This State Of Affairs Had Scarcely Begun At
The Time Of The Author's Visit To California; Still, As He Points Out
In Chapter XXI, The Decline Of The Missions Had Already Set In.
The final blow to their power and usefulness came, however, with
the upheaval accompanying the Mexican war and the acquisition of
California by the United States.
Although this country returned
all mission buildings to the control of the Church, their reason
for being had vanished; they were sold, or destroyed, or feebly
maintained on funds insufficient to forestall dilapidation.
Fortunately the Franciscan friars had built for beauty as well as for
use; the architecture which they devised in skillful adaptation of
their native Spanish type displayed originality and picturesque charm.
Hence, of late years, Californians have come to feel a worthy pride
in the monuments of the early history of their state, and have taken
steps to preserve such of them as survive. No less than twenty-one
are today the goal of the traveller.
The reader who is interested in pursuing the subject thus outlined
will find its satisfactory treatment in George Wharton James's
_In and out of the old Missions of California,_ a book that combines
agreeable reading with excellent illustrations.
The author's life is fully and sympathetically treated in
Charles Francis Adams's Richard Henry Dana. Boston, 1890.
The most exhaustive history of California and the Pacific coast in
general is H. H. Bancroft's History of the Pacific States of North
America. San Francisco, 1882-1888.
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