The year 2013 marked the tercentennial of Fr. Junípero Serra’s birth. That same year, historian Steven Hackel anointed Serra (1713-1784) California’s Founding Father, thereby echoing the glory attached to such American greats as John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton, and Thomas Jefferson. But Hackel also noted that Serra remains “America’s least understood founder,” with a legacy that is today decidedly “divisive … contentious and contested.”
This essay is based on a talk originally presented as an Antonine Tibesar O.F.M. Lecture supported by the Academy of American Franciscan History. The talk also served as the keynote to a 2013 conference titled Junípero Serra: Context and Representation, 1713 to 2013, at the Huntington Library. I thank Dr. Jeffrey Burns and Fr. Jack Clark Robinson O.F.M. for involving me with the Tibesar Lecture. I also thank the editorial staff of The Americas, specifically Ben Vinson III, Alexis A. Pozonsky, and Jill Ginsburg for their excellent input and patience with this manuscript. The tide is a bow to Maynard Geiger’s epic The Life and Times of Fray Junípero Serra, O.F.M. or, The Man Who Never Turned Back, 1713-1784, a Biography (Washington, D.C.: Academy of American Franciscan History, 1959). I also am beyond grateful to several friends and colleagues for comments on an earlier draft of this paper: Keith Ashley, Jeffrey Burns, Amy Turner Bushnell, Kathleen Deagan, Fr. Daniel Dwyer O.F.M., Lee Goodwin, Jake Ivey, Timothy Johnson, Matthew Liebmann, Kent Lightfoot, Mark Lycett, Rochelle Marinnan, Fr. Pat McCloskey O.F.M., Bonnie McEwan, Lee Panich, Fr. Jack Clark Robinson O.F.M., Diana Rosenthal, James Sandos, Tsim Schneider, Cordelia Snow, James Sandos, Lorann P. Thomas, and Dr. John Worth. As expected, such diverse feedback reflects multiple (and sometimes incompatible) perspectives. The opinions expressed in this essay remain stricdy my own.
1. Hackel, Steven W., Junípero Serra: California’s Founding Father (New York: Hill and Wang, 2013), cover flap.
2. Despite the imagery of trekking across Alta California, Francisco Palóu records only a single long-distance walk, albeit an impressive one—71 miles in two days at the age of 66. Cited by Orfalea, Gregory, Journey to the Sun: Junípero Serra’s Dream and the Founding of California (New York: Scribner, 2014), p. 292.
3. Ibid., p. xiv.
4. Costo, Rupert and Costo, Jeannette Henry, eds., The Missions of California: A Legacy of Genocide (San Francisco: Indian Historian Press, 1987); Sandos, James A., “Junipero Serra’s Canonization and the Historical Record,” American Historical Review 93:5 (December 1988), pp. 1253–1269 .
5. Key sources on Fr. Serra’s missionary activities in Alta California include Palóu, Francisco, Palóu’s Life of Fray Junipero Serra, Geiger, Maynard J., trans, and annot. (Washington, D.C.: Academy of American Franciscan History, 1955); Tibesar, Antonoine O.F.M., ed., Writings of Junípero Serra (Washington, D.C.: Academy of American Franciscan History, 1966); Geiger, , The Life and Times of Fray Junípero Serra, O.F.M.; Hackel, Steven W., Children of Coyote, Missionaries of Saint Francis: Indian-Spanish Relations in Colonial California, 1769–1850 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2005); Beebe, Rose Marie and Senkewicz, Robert M., “What They Brought: The Alta California Franciscan Missions before 1769,” in Alta California: Peoples in Motion, Identities in Formation, 1769–1850, Hackel, Steven W., ed. (San Marino: The Huntington Library, 2010), pp. 17–46 ; Beebe, and Senkewicz, , “Jumpero Serra and the Santa Bárbara Channel” in To Toil in that vineyard of the Lord”: Contemporary Scholarship on Junipero Serra, Beebe, and Senkewicz, , eds. (Berkeley: Academy of American Franciscan History, 2010), pp. 95–120 ; Senkewicz, , “The Representation of Junípero Serra in California History,” ibid., pp. 17–53 ; and Hackel, Steven W., “Junípero Serra’s California Sacramental Community,” ibid., pp. 75–94.
6. The term “medieval” is employed here judiciously, mindful of the admonition that “Serra was not medieval; some scholars who say so are anti-Catholic,” as quoted in Orfalea, Gregory, Journey to the Sun, pp. 27, 386, fn 27. Sandos, James A., Converting California: Indians and Franciscans in the Missions (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2004), pp. 38, 69 , has written of Serra’s “carefully cultivated medievalism” with a missionary philosophy rooted in “scholastic thought and medieval practice.” This usage appropriately situates Serra as a pre-Enlightenment figure opposed to the Bourbon reforms and the people who brought them to California. One must be cautious, however, to avoid reading “medieval” as a synonym for intolerant, close-minded, and dismissive of alternative points of view. As specifically applied to Serra, the term “medieval” refers to his reliance on St. Francis of Assisi, Duns Scotus, and Ramon Llull—each of whom was, in different ways, more broad-minded than some conventional uses of the term would suggest.
7. Beebe, Rose Marie and Senkewicz, Robert M., “Junípero Serra: From Mallorcan Preacher and Teacher to California Missionary,” in From La Florida to La California: The Genesis and Realization of Franciscan Evangelization in the Spanish Borderlands, Johnson, Timothy J. and Melville, Gert, eds. (Berkeley: Academy of American Franciscan History, 2013), pp. 341–352 .
8. Hackel, , Junípero Serra, pp. 18–19 .
9. Ibid, 21.
10. Some authorities speak of Serra “changing his name,” but prior to the Second Vatican Council (in the mid 1960s), the Franciscan tradition was for religious superiors to give the friar a new name; at most, the friar could suggest two or three possibilities. But (1) because two friar priests or friar brothers in a province could not have the same name, and (2) since friars were known only by their first names (that is “Father X” or “Brother X”), and (3) because the name selected had to be that of a saint who would serve as heavenly patron, there was in practice quite a variety of names. I am grateful to Fr. Jack Clark Robinson for clarifying this point to me.
11. The extra vow, not yet accepted in Rome, almost elevated Mary to the level of Christ: “the mother of God and quite simply—perfect … for a man fated to live among men, it was more than the normal nod toward the feminine.” Orfalea, Journey to the Sun, p. 24.
12. Haas, Lisbeth, “‘Raise your sword and I will eat you’: Luiseño Scholar Pablo Tac, ca. 1841,” in Alta California: Peoples in Motion, Hackel, Steven W., ed., p. 81.
13. Sandos, Converting California, p. 50.
14. Cusato, Michael F., “From the Conversion of Heart to the Conversion of Souls: Franciscan Mission and Missiology in the Early Thirteenth Century,” in From La Florida to La California, Johnson, and Melville, , eds., pp. 1–22 .
15. The most important statement on Serra’s religious background and “theo-vision” is provided by Fr.Chinnici, Joseph P. O.F.M., “Theo-history and the California Frontier,” Boletín: The Journal of the California Mission Studies Association 21:2 (2004), pp. 55–63 .
16. Remarking the dearth of Franciscan theological attention that has rendered “Serra’s mission story completely voiceless,” Chinnici argues for a fuller understanding of Franciscans like Serra that requires “taking into account the full range of their endeavors and the full depths of their motivations … we need to explore much more directly the theo-history connected with their tradition, their education, their symbols, and their religious practices.” (pp. 59, 61, 62). For further discussion of Serra’s “vision,” see Sandos, Converting California, p. 79.
17. Hackel, Junípero Serra, p. 43; Geiger, Life and Times of Fray Junípero Serra, pp. 1–28.
18. Both quotes are from Chinninci, “Theo-History and the California Frontier,” p. 61.
19. Fedwea, Marilyn H., María de Agreda: Mystical Lady in Blue (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press). The mystical experiences of Maria de Jesús de Agreda convinced many priests to become missionaries. See Kessell, John L., Kiva, Cross, and Crown: The Pecos Indians and New Mexico 1540–1840, (Washington, D.C.: National Park Service, 1979); Hackel, , Junípero Serra, p. 58 ; and Sandos, , Converting California, p. 38.
20. Chinnici, “Theo-history and the California Frontier,” p. 60.
21. Geiger, Life and Times of Fray Junípero Serra, Vol. 1, p. 115; Sandos, Converting California, p. 191, n12.
22. Because Serra’s father may have been cuestas (a Mallorcan Catholic who had converted from Judaism—or perhaps Islam), it has been suggested that Junípero might have had “to prove himself more Catholic than the Catholic, which could be one explanation—though only one—for his later missionary zeal.” Orfalea, Journey to the Sun, p. 7.
23. All quotes in this paragraph come from Hackel, Junípero Serra, p. 9.
24. The first two quotes in this paragraph come from Gert Melville, “Medieval Understandings of Foreign Cultures as Conditions for the Early Modern Takeover of America,” in From La Florida to La California, Johnson and Melville, eds., pp. 47–60.
25. Johnson, Timothy J., “Introduction,” in From La Florida to La California, Johnson, and Melville, , eds., pp. ix–xvi.
26. “Under the bell” is used throughout the Franciscan mission system to denote a life within a mission, following the regimen and discipline laid out by the padres. See Hackel, Junípero Serra, pp. 95, 115, 267 n48.
27. Ibid., pp. 99–100, 110–111.
28. Ibid., p. 102.
29. For more on the destruction of this mission, see Hämäläinen, Pekka, The Comanche Empire. (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2008); Gilmore, Kathleen, A Documentary and Archaeological Investigation of Presidio de San Luis de las Amarillas and Mission Santa Cruz de San Sabá (Austin: Texas State Building Commission, 1967); and Weber, David J., The Spanish Frontier in North America (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1992), pp. 188–191.
30. During their long wait, Palóu complained about the stereotype regarding Mallorcans’ supposed “instability of character.” Orfalea, , Journey to the Sun, p. 50–51.
31. Hackel, Junípero Serra, p. 158.
32. Ibid., p. 180.
33. Mallorcans accounted for 11 percent (16 of 142) of the Franciscan missionaries serving in the California missions. Orfalea, Journey to the Sun, p. 251.
34. Hackel, Junípero Serra, p. 209.
35. Beebe and Senkewicz, “Junípero Serra and the Santa Bárbara Channel,” p. 98; Hackel, Junípero Serra, p. 199.
36. Jackson, Robert H. and Castillo, Edward, Indians, Franciscans, and Spanish Colonization: The Impact of the Mission System on California Indians (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press 1995), pp. 73–86 ; Lightfoot, Kent G., Indians, Missionaries, and Merchants: The Legacy of Colonial Encounters on the California Frontiers (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2005), chapt. 4; Castillo, Edward, “The Native Response to Colonization of Alta California,” in Columbian Consequences, Vol. 1, Archaeological and Historical Perspectives on the Spanish Borderlands West, Thomas, David Hurst, ed. (Washington D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1989), pp. 377–394.
37. Beebe, and Senkewicz, , “Junípero Serra and the Santa Bárbara Channel,” p. 109.
38. All quotes in this paragraph are from Hackel, Junípero Serra, pp. 187, 195–196. See also Orfalea, Journey to the Sun, pp. 252–255.
39. Orfalea, Journey to the Sun, pp. 95–97.
40. Crespi, Juan, A Description of Distant Roads: Original Journals of the First Expedition into California, 1769–1770, Brown, Alan K., ed. and trans. (San Diego: San Diego State University Press, 2001).
41. Beebe and Senkewicz, “Junípero Serra and the Santa Barbara Channel,” p. 102.
42. Ibid., p. 105; Fletcher, Richard, The Barbarian Conversion: From Paganism to Christianity (New York, H. Holt and Co., 1998). For more on Serra’s ability to work with California Indian leaders, see Sandos, James A. and Sandos, Patricia B., “Chisli, Canuch, and Junípero Serra: Indian Responses to Mission San Diego, 1769–1788,” in “To Toil in that vineyard of the Lord”: Beebe, and Senkewicz, , eds., pp. 53–57 . See also the excellent study of pre-contact Indian social organization in the San Francisco Bay area by Milliken, Randall, A Time of Little Choice: The Disintegration of Tribal Culture in the San Francisco Bay Area 1769–1810 (Menlo Park, Calif.: Ballena Press, 1995), pp. 13–30.
43. Hackel, Junípero Serra, pp. 77, 237–238.
44. The problems in “bilocating” Serra, of course, are manifest. Not only were the Florida and New Mexico missions established two centuries earlier than any in Alta California, but both systems had played out before Serra was born. The Pueblo Southwest and the Mississippian Southeast were never known to communicate with each other, and they were dissimilar in their basic organization: St. Augustine’s seaside presidio was underwritten by defense funds of the royal treasury in Mexico City, whereas landlocked Santa Fe was obliged to rely on the encomienda. The intent here is to view sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Florida and New Mexico as Serra might have, from conflicting vantage points—his body remaining in the Europe and North America of the eighteenth century while his mind inhabited the late Middle Ages. See also Deeds, Susan, “Pushing the Borders of Latin American Mission History,” Latin American Research Review 39:2 (June 2004), pp. 211–220 ; and Luzbetak, Louis J., “If Junípero Serra Were Alive: Missiological-Anthropological Theory Today,” The Americas 41:4 (April 1985), pp. 512–519 . Spatial constraints also prohibit bilocating Serra in this article to the missions of Texas, where considerable relevant research is taking place; for instance, Wade, Mariah F., Missions, Missionaries, and Native Americans: Long Term Processes and Daily Practices (Gainesville, University of Florida Press, 2008); Waker, Tamra L. and Hester, Thomas R., “‘Countless Heathens’: Native Americans and the Spanish Missions of Southern Texas and Northeastern Coahuila,” in Indigenous Landscapes and Spanish Missions: New Perspectives from Archaeology and Ethnohistory, Panich, Lee M. and Schneider, Tsim D., eds. (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 2014), pp. 93–113.
45. Riley, Carroll L., The Kachina and the Cross: Indians and Spaniards in the Early Southwest (Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 1999), pp. 86–87 ; Lycett, Mark T., “Toward a Historical Ecology of the Mission in Seventeenth-Century New Mexico,” in Indigenous Landscapes and Spanish Missions, Panich, and Schneider, , eds., pp. 172–190 ; Spielmann, Katherine A., Clark, Tiffany, Hawkey, Diane, Rainey, Katharine, and Fish, Suzanne K., “… Being Weary, They Had Rebelled”: Pueblo Subsistence and Labor Under Spanish Colonialism,” Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 28:1 (March 2009), pp. 102–125.
46. Kessell, John, Spain in the Southwest; A Narrative History of Colonial New Mexico, Arizona, Texas, and California (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2002), p. 103 ; Flint, Richard and Flint, Shirley Cushing, “María de Jesús de Ágreda” (Santa Fe: New Mexico State Record Center and Archives, 2012), http://www.newmexicohistory.org/filedetails.php?fileID=485, accessed June 15, 2014 ; The Memorial of Fray Alonso de Benavides, 1630, Mrs.Ayer, Edward E., trans, and ed. (Chicago: R.R. Donnelley and Sons Company, 1916 ; reprinted by Horn and Wallace Publishers, Albuquerque, 1965); Hickerson, Nancy Parrott, The Jumanos: Hunters and Traders of the South Plains (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1994); Hodge, Frederick W., Fray Alonso de Benavides’ Revised Memorial of 1634, Hammond, George P. and Rey, Agapito, trans, and eds. (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1945); Kessell, , Spain in the Southwest: A Narrative History of Colonial New Mexico, Arizona, Texas, and California (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2002); Morrow, Baker H, ed. and trans., A Harvest of Reluctant Souls: The Memorial of Fray Alonso de Benavides, 1630 (Niwot: University Press of Colorado, 1996).
47. Hackel, Junípero Serra, p. 58.
48. Weber, The Spanish Frontier in North America, p. 4.
49. Thomas, David Hurst, “War and Peace on the Franciscan Frontier,” in From La Florida to La California, Johnson, and Melville, , eds., pp. 105–130 ; Thomas, D. H., “Honor and Hierarchies: Long-term Trajectory in the Pueblo and Mississippian Worlds,” in Native and Spanish New Worlds: Sixteenth-Century Entradas in the American Southwest and Southeast, Mathers, Clay, Mitchem, Jeffrey M., and Haecker, Charles M., eds. (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 2013), pp. 251–273.
50. McGuire, Randall H. and Saitta, Dean J., “‘Although They Have Petty Captains, They Obey Them Badly’: The Dialectics of Prehispanic Western Pueblo Social Organization,” American Antiquity 61:2 (1996), pp. 197–217 , quoting Bolton, Herbert, Spanish Explorations in the Southwest, 1542–1706 (New York: Barnes and Noble, 1916).
51. “To the extent that the Pueblos are governed at all,” cautions John A. Ware, “they are governed by hierarchies of priests—members of secret sodalities who exercise authority over the ritual, and in many communities, the mundane aspects of everyday life.” Ware, , “Descent Group and Sodality: Alternative Pueblo Social Histories,” in Traditions, Transitions, and Technologies: Themes in Southwestern Archaeology, Schlanger, Sarah H., ed. (Boulder: University of Colorado Press, 2002), pp. 94–112 (quoted from p. 94). See also Whiteley, Peter M., Deliberate Acts: Changing Hopi Culture through the Oraibi Split (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1988); and Brandt, Elizabeth, “Egalitarianism, Hierarchy, and Centralization in the Pueblos,” in The Ancient Southwestern Community, Wills, W. H. and Leonard, Robert D., eds. (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico, 1994), pp. 9–23.
52. Dozier, Edward P., Hano, a Tewa Indian Community in Arizona (New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, Inc., 1996).
53. Merrill, William L., “Indigenous Societies, Missions, and the Colonial System in Northern New-Spain,” in The Arts of the Missions of Northern New Spain, 1600–1821, Bargellini, Clara and Komanecky, Michael K., eds. (Mexico: Antiguo Colegio de San Ildefonso, 2009), pp.122–153.
54. Riley, Kachina and the Cross, pp. 21–65.
55. See Brooks, James F., “Women, Men, and Cycles of Evangelism in the Southwest Borderlands, A.D. 750–1750,” American Historical Review 118:3 (June 2013), pp. 738–764 .
56. Ibid., p. 756.
57. Repeated representations of the Virgin Mary in rock art are associated with refugee pueblos dating from the post-Revolt era in the Rio Grande area. Liebmann, Matthew J., “Signs of Power and Resistance: The (Re)Creation of Christian Imagery and Identities in the Pueblo Revolt Era,” in Archaeologies of the Pueblo Revolt, Preucel, R. W., ed. (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2002), pp. 132–144 ; Liebmann, , Revolt: An Archaeological History of Pueblo Resistance and Revitalization in 17th-century New Mexico (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 2012), pp. 136–142.
58. Mills, Barbara J. and Walker, William H., Memory Work: Archaeologies of Material Practices (Santa Fe: SAR Press, 2008), p. 22 .
59. Joyce, Rosemary A. and Lopiparo, Jeanne, “PostScript: Doing Agency in Archaeology,” Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory 12:4 (December 2005), p. 368 .
60. I am grateful to Fr. Jack Clark Robinson for clarification on this point.
61. Smith, Watson, “Prehistoric Kivas of Antelope Mesa, Northeastern Arizona,” Papers of the Peabody Museum of American Archaeology and Ethnology 39:1 (1972), pp. 76, 75 ; Courlander, Harold, The Fourth World of the Hops (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1971), p. 160.
62. Weber, The Spanish Frontier, pp. 10–11.
63. Ivey, James E., “Convento Kivas in the Missions of New Mexico,” New Mexico Historical Review 73:2 (1998), pp. 121–152.
64. See for instance Kessell, John L., Kiva, Cross, and Crown: The Pecos Indians and New Mexico 1540–1840 (Washington, D.C.: National Park Service, 1979), pp. 121, 129–30, 148 n40, n41; and Ivey, “Convento Kivas,” pp. 123–124.
65. Weber, David J., ed., What Caused the Pueblo Revolt? (Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 1999), p. v . See also Morris, Jim, After The Tear Eighty: The Demise of Franciscan Power in Spanish New Mexico (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press in cooperation with the Academy of American Franciscan History, 2000). Concentrating on the post-Revolt era, Norris argues that Franciscan authority broke down due to inadequate language training, the friars’ inability to adapt to the difficulties of life on the frontier, frequent transfers among the southwestern missions, and the overall willingness of friars in the region to accept indigenous Pueblo practices. See also Deeds, “Pushing the Borders,” p. 215.
66. Hackett, C. W. and Shelby, C. C., eds. and trans., Revolt of the Pueblo Indians of New Mexico, and Otermin’s Attempted Reconquest, 1680–1682, 2 vols. (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1942).
67. Liebmann, Revolt, p. 29.
68. Sando, Joe S. and Agoyo, Herman, eds., Po’pay: Leader of the First American Revolution (Santa Fe: Clear Light, 2005).
69. Riley, Kachina and the Cross, pp. 222–224.
70. See for instance Liebmann, Revolt; Wilcox, Mike V., The Pueblo Revolt and the Mythology of Conquest: An Indigenous Archaeology of the Pueblo Revolt of 1680 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2009); Preucel, Robert W., ed., Archaeologies of the Pueblo Revolt .
71. Sheridan, Thomas E., Koyiyumptewa, Stewart B., and Kuwanwisiwma, Leigh, “Abusive Guests: Historical Trauma and Hopi Oral Traditions about the Tota’tsi (17th Century Franciscan Missionaries),” paper presented at the Pan-Borderlands Perspective: Adaptation, Negotiation and Resistance Conference held at Flagler College, St. Augustine, Fl., March 13–15, 2014.
72. Hackel, Junípero Serra, p. 214. There is also the overarching issue of whether Serra’s Alta California missions were actually missions (in the technical sense), or whether they had become doctrinas under the control of secular (rather than Franciscan) authority; Hackel, Junípero Serra, pp. 214–215. See also Hackel, Children of Coyote, pp. 228–271.
73. Swanton, John R., “Early History of the Creek Indians and Their Neighbors,” Bureau of American Ethnology Bulletin 73 (1922), Smithsonian Institution Libraries, p. 84 ; Jones, Grant D., “The Ethnohistory of the Guale Coast through 1684,” in The Anthropology of St. Catherines Island. 1. Natural and Cultural History, Thomas, David Hurst, Jones, Grant D., Durham, Roger S., and Larsen, Clark Spencer, eds., Anthropological Papers of the American Museum of Natural History 55:2 (1978), pp. 178–210 ; Worth, John, “Spanish Missions and the Persistence of Chiefly Power,” in The Transformation of the Southeastern Indians, 1540–1760, Ethridge, Robbie and Hudson, Charles, eds. (Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 2002), pp. 39–64 ; Worth, , “Catalysts of Assimilation: The Role of Franciscan Missionaries in the Colonial System of Spanish Florida, in From La Florida to La California, Johnson, and Melville, , eds., pp. 131–142 ; Worth, . “Inventing Florida: Constructing a Colonial Society in an Indigenous Landscape,” in Native and Spanish New Worlds: Sixteenth-century Entradas in the American Southwest and Southeast, Mathers, Clay, Mitchem, Jeffrey M., and Haecker, Charles M., eds. (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 2013), pp. 198–204 ; Thomas, “Honor and Hierarchies.”
74. Hudson, Charles, The Southeastern Indians (Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1976), pp. 17, 23 ; Thomas, , “Honor and Hierarchies.”
75. Hudson, The Southeastern Indians, pp. 223, 233.
76. Bushnell, Amy Turner, “Situado and Sabana: Spain’s Support System for the Presidio and Mission Provinces of Florida,” in Anthropological Papers of the American Museum of Natural History 74 (1994), p. 28 ; Worth, “Catalysts of Assimilation.”
77. In a somewhat parallel evaluation, James Saeger notes that the socioeconomic and political power of largely non-sedentary Guaycuruan caciques was enhanced through affiliation with the eighteenth-century Jesuit missions of the Gran Chaco and the material advantages available through them. Saeger, The Chaco Mission frontier: The Guaycuruan Experience (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 2000).
78. See Bushnell, Amy Turner, “‘These people are not conquered like those of New Spain’: Florida’s Reciprocal Colonial Compact,” Florida Historical Quarterly, special issue: 500 Years of Florida History—The Seventeenth Century, 92:3 (Winter 2014), pp. 524–553 . Bushnell notes that “Spanish and Indian religions had little in common besides their mutual mistrust,” but that “Spanish and Indian magic were not as far apart as one might think and could even be interpreted as competing systems of sorcery.” Bushnell also juxtaposes traditional Mississippian ballgames played to honor Nicoguadca (god of thunder and rain) against the account of Fr. Antonio Sedeño, a Jesuit brought to Spanish Florida by Menéndez, who swore that he had calmed the sea using a relic and trailing in the water an Agnus Dei. Antonio Sedeño, letter to Francis Borgia, Santa Elena, translated in Rubén Vargas Ugarte, Historical Records and Studies 25: 59–148 (New York: U.S. Catholic Historical Society, 1935), pp. 112–116. I am grateful to Amy Bushnell and John Worth for their recent clarifications on these point.
79. The 1630 memorial of Fray Francisco Alonso de Jesús discusses the council house and the seating arrangement by rank. See John H. Hann, “1630 Memorial of Francisco Alonso de Jesús, on Spanish Florida’s Missions and Natives, The Americas 50:1 (1993), pp. 85–105. See also Shapiro, Gary N. and Hann, John H., “The Documentary Image of the Council Houses of Spanish Florida Tested by Excavations at the Mission of San Luis de Talimali,” Columbian Consequences, Vol. 2, Archaeological and Historical Perspectives on the Spanish Borderlands East, Thomas, David Hurst, ed. (Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1990), pp. 511–526 ; McEwan, Bonnie G., “The Historical Archaeology of Seventeenth-Century La Florida,” Florida Historical Quarterly 92:3 (2014), pp. 491–523 ; and McEwan, , “Colonialism on the Spanish Florida Frontier: Mission San Luis, 1656–1704,” Florida Historical Quarterly 92:3 (2014), pp. 591–625.
80. Fray Jesús presents the ballgame in a favorable light. See Hann, , “1630 Memorial; and Amy Turner Bushnell, “That Demonic Game”: The Campaign to Stop Indian Pelota Playing in Spanish Florida, 1675–1684, The Americas 35:1 (1978), pp. 1–19 .
81. Although Fray Gerónimo de Oré was not in La Florida at the time, his remarkable Martyrs of Georgia (1619) chronicled the details of this bloody revolt against the Spanish and long remained the authoritative voice on the 1597 unrest.
82. Pearsall, Sarah M. S., “‘Having Many Wives’ in Two American Rebellions: The Politics of Households and the Radically Conservative,” American Historical Review 118:4 (October 2013), pp. 1000–1028.
83. See Lanning, John Tate, The Spanish Missions of Georgia (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1935 ); Gannon, Michael V., The Cross in the Sand: The Early Catholic Church in Florida, 1513–1870 (Gainesville: University of Florida Press, 1965); and Hoffman, Paul E., Florida’s Frontiers (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2002).
84. Francis, J. Michael and Kole, Kathleen M., “Murder and Martyrdom in Spanish Florida: Don Juan and the Guale Uprising of 1597,” in Anthropological Papers of the American Museum of Natural History 95 (2011). See also Thomas, , “Honor and Hierarchies”; Worth, “Catalysts of Assimilation,” and “War and Peace”; and Pearsall, , “‘Having Many Wives.’”
85. The subject most commonly depicted in archaeologically recovered veneras and assemblages of devotional medals from Mission Santa Catalina de Guale is the Virgin in the form of the Immaculate Conception. See Thomas, David Hurst, “Saints and Soldiers at Santa Catalina: Hispanic Designs for Colonial America,” in The Recovery of Meaning in Historical Archaeology, Leone, Mark P. and Potter, Parker B. Jr., eds. (Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1988), pp. 73–140 . I am grateful to Amy Turner Bushnell for suggestions employed here.
86. Johnson, Timothy J., “Fray Francisco Pareja and the Cultures of Confession,” paper presented at the Florida in Pan-Borderlands Perspective: Adaptation, Negotiation, and Resistance Conference, March 13–15, 2014 .
87. Hann, , “1630 Memorial,” quoted as translated in Johnson, , “Fray Francisco Pareja and the Cultures of Confession,” p. 3 .
88. Ethridge, Robbie, “Creating the Shatter Zone: The Indian Slave Trader and the Collapse of the Mississippian World,” in Light on the Path: The Anthropology and History of the Southeastern Indians, Pluckhahn, Thomas J. and Ethridge, Robbie, eds. (Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2006), pp. 207–218 .
89. Sandos, , Converting California, pp. xiv–xv ; Hackel, , “Junípero’s California Sacramental Community.”
90. I am grateful to James Sandos and Steven Hackel for their input on this issue.
91. See also Hackel, Children of Coyote, pp. 228–271; and Hackel, Junípero Serra, pp 220–223.
92. Sandos, “Junípero Serra’s Canonization and the Historical Record.”
93. Sandos, Converting California, p. 108.
94. Ibid., p. xv.
95. All quotes in this paragraph are taken from Chinnici, “Theo-history and the California Frontier,” p. 62. Chinnici continues: “Would not this viewpoint, more truly centered in Franciscan theo-history, modify the description of the baptized Indian as a ‘spiritual debt peon’ and existing in the state of ‘spiritual debt peonage’ [Sandos, 2004:108]. Would not this ‘theo-historical’ explanation of Serra’s deeper view make a better bridge between the knowledge-power which the natives discovered in the padres, its attraction, and the human agency of the Indians themselves? Would it not also change the interpretation of freedom to become freedom for and not freedom from?”
96. Weber, David I. “Bourbons and Bárbaros: Center and Periphery in the Reshaping of Spanish Indian Policy,” in Negotiated Empires: Centers and Peripheries in the Amerieas, 1500–1820, Daniels, Christine and Kennedy, Michael V., eds. (New York: Routledge, 2002), pp. 79–103 ; Sandos, , Converting California, pp. xiv–xv ; Hackel, , “Junípero’s California Sacramental Community,” pp. 75–93.
97. All quotes in this paragraph come from Bushnell, “These people are not conquered,” p. 530.
98. By contrast, caciques rising in rebellion against Spanish authority (church and state being defined as inseparable) were judged to be guilty of breach of contract. “He could be deposed, stripped of his inherited privileges, and sent into exile. To be restored, he must undergo ritual humiliation … those who followed his lead forfeited the status of Christians conquered by the gospel and entered the ranks of nations conquered by the sword, subject to forced labor.” Bushnell, “These people are not conquered,” p. 531.
99. Ibid. See also Bushnell, Amy Turner, “Ruling the Republic of Indians in Seventeenth-Century Florida,” in Powhatan’s Mantle: Indians in the Colonial Southeast, Waselkov, Gregory A., Wood, Peter H., and Hadley, Tom, eds. (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2006), pp. 195–213.
100. Thomas, “Honor and Hierarchies.”
101. Worth, John, “Spanish Missions and the Persistence of Chiefly Power,” in The Transformation of the Southeastern Indians, 1540–1760, Ethridge, and Hudson, , eds., p. 55.
102. Worth, John, “Inventing Florida: Constructing a Colonial Society in an Indigenous Landscape,” in Native and Imperial Transformations, Mathers, , Mitchem, , and Haecker, , eds., pp. 189–201.
103. Ramenofsky, Ann F. and Kulisheck, Jeremy, “Regarding Sixteenth-Century Native Population Change in the Northern Southwest,” in Native and Imperial Transformations, Mathers, , Mitchem, , and Haecker, , eds., pp. 123–139.
104. Hurtado, Albert L., “Fantasy Heritage: California’s Historical Identities and the Professional Empire of Herbert E. Bolton,” in Alta California, Hackel, Steven W., ed. (San Marino: The Huntington Library, 2010), pp. 197–214.
105. Thomas, David Hurst, “Harvesting Ramona’s Garden: Life in California’s Mythical Mission Past,” in Columbian Consequences, Vol. 3, The Spanish Borderlands in Pan-American Perspective, Thomas, D. H., ed. (Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1991), pp. 119–157.
106. “The kindhearted industrious Franciscans, led by the saintly Serra, had brought civilization and temporary affluence to the docile and grateful California Indians. The greatest ranchos soon covered the land; they were lavish in their hospitality and were peopled by brightly dressed caballeros and beautiful, fine-tempered senoritas. Everyone took it easy in that Arcadia, and there was nothing of the push and shove of modern commercial life. The above houses were cool and comfortable; the tinkling guitars and the lovely mission bells brought music to a quiet land; and everywhere courtesy, generosity, and lightheartedness reigned supreme.” Walker, Franklin, A Literary History of Southern California (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1950), pp. 121–123.
107. “The mission myth baptized boosterism. The new Franciscans were the members of the chamber of commerce; the workers of Southern California were the Indians—needing tutelage and occasional chastisement, but capable of productivity when carefully supervised. As in the mission days, Southern California was being put to good use in the Lord’s name. A better order—productive, stable, conservative, and pious—was in the making.” Starr, Kevin, Inventing the Dream: California through the Progressive Era (New York: Oxford University Press, 1985), p. 89.
108. Kimbro, Edna E. and Costello, Julia G. with Ball, Tewy, The California Missions: History, Art, and Preservation (Los Angeles: The Getty Conservation Institute, 2009), p. 2.
109. Thomas, “Harvesting Ramona’s Garden,” p. 143.
110. Sir Harry Downie, not unlike his idol Junípero Serra, has provided a complex legacy. To be sure, he worked tirelessly to recover important items purloined after the missions were abandoned, and he was rigorous when it came to historical accuracy in architecture. But because “Downie favored architectural rather than the archaeological traditions of restoration” (Kimbro and Costello, The California Missions, p. 80), he felt it appropriate to strip mission structures at Carmel and Mission San Antonio to their foundations, then build up from there. At Nuestra Señora de la Soledad, Downie bulldozed the church walls down to their foundations, as a guide to their reconstruction. “In the 1980s professional archaeological excavations were carried out … not only demonstrating the wealth of artifacts and historical information still present in undisturbed portions of the ruins but also documenting the extensive destruction that had taken place in the preceding decades by misguided enthusiasts.” Kimbro and Costello, The California Missions, p. 221.
111. The stabilization and preservation issues involved here are complex and there is no doubt that selective restoration has enhanced the visual impact of California’s missions—long performing “a critical role in introducing the public to the importance of historic research and authenticity.” Kimbro and Costello, The California Missions, p. 81. See also Thomas, “Harvesting Ramona’s Garden,” pp 135–145. Despite sometimes drastic reconstructions, some contemporary mission sites continue to present themselves as bona fide heirlooms of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. But over the last couple of decades, standards of truth in advertising have set in, most notably at Missions La Purísima Concepción de María Santísima and San Francisco Solano (both operated by the state of California), where visitors are confronted by impossible-to-overlook signs and exhibits documenting the extensive restorations and reconstructions that have taken place. At Mission San Carlos Borromeo del Rio Carmelo, the relatively new Harry Downie Museum, located in the forecourt of the basilica, does the same thing, documenting Downie’s extensive work at the site and laying out the future renovations under consideration.
112. To late nineteenth-century America, the vast Southwest was little more than a largely vacant desert between the great states of Texas and California. The major Anglo demographic influx to the American Southwest occurred only with the massive migrations to the Sunbelt decades later. Those badly outnumbered Anglos who did percolate into the turn-of-the-century Southwest found Hispanic and Native American populations fully entrenched and not intending to move on. Typically, the mission ruins had been stabilized but not reconstructed or romanticized. Any Anglo incentive to conjure up an instant and mythical southwestern mission past was stifled by the realities at hand. See Thomas, , “Harvesting Ramona’s Garden,” pp. 139–141 ; and Ivey, James E. and Thomas, David Hurst, “The Feeling of Working Completely in the Dark: The Uncertain Foundations of Southwestern Mission Archaeology,” in Current Views on the American Southwest, Cordell, Linda S. and Fowler, Don D., eds. (Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 2005), pp. 205–219.
113. Whereas the American West remains home to substantial populations of Native Americans, many of whom remain at least nominally Catholic, Hispanicized American Indians virtually disappeared from La Florida in the seventeenth century. By the 1750s, only two small villages of Christianized Indians remained outside St. Augustine. When the Spaniards turned over rule to the British in 1763, the 83 surviving Native American converts fled Florida for Cuba. The people of Georgia’s Spanish missions left no descendants to keep the traditions alive. And although the physical presence of mission ruins kept the heritage alive in the American West, the architectural mission remains in La Florida disappeared. The combination of flimsy construction, periodic fires, hurricanes, and British military superiority effectively erased all surface evidence of the sixteenth-and seventeenth-century Spanish mission presence from the landscape of the Deep South. With both architectural visibility and historical continuity lacking, only the barest outlines can be found today (from archaeological and documentary sources) of the extensive Spanish mission system that operated in the American Southeast. See Thomas, David Hurst, “Saints and Soldiers at Santa Catalina”; and Thomas, , St. Catherines: An Island in Time, 2nd ed. (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2011).
114. The quote is a composite from Bancroft, Hubert Howe, History of California, 7 vols. (San Francisco: The History Co., 1884–1890), p. 35 ; and Senkewicz, Robert M., “The Representation of Junípero Serra in California History,” in “To Toil in that vineyard of the Lord,” Beebe, and Senkewicz, , eds., p. 23.
115. Thomas, David Hurst, “The Spanish Borderlands in Cubist Perspective” in Columbian Consequences, Vol. 1, Thomas, D. H., ed., pp. 1–14 ; Thomas, D. H., “Cubist Perspectives on the Spanish Borderlands: Past, Present, and Future,” in Columbian Consequences, Vol. 3, The Spanish Borderlands in Pan-American Perspective, Thomas, D. H., ed. (Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1991), pp. xiii–xx . See also Lightfoot, Kent G., “A Cubist Perspective of Indigenous Landscapes and Spanish Missions,” in Indigenous Landscapes and Spanish Missions, Panich, and Schneider, , eds., pp. 191–208 . A “cubist” approach employs an analogy grounded in art history. Since the Renaissance, painters have labored to perfect techniques for reducing three-dimensional visual reality to their artificial two-dimensional medium. Traditionally, schooled artists called on various illusionist devices including perspective, foreshortening, the use of color, and modeling to convince their viewers that reality could be comprehended by a spectator viewing a scene from a fixed position. The cubists rejected this time-honored perspective, enlarging their spectator’s vision to include multiple, simultaneous views of the subjects—as if one could translocate—and allowing viewers to move instantaneously from point to point, and up and down. In place of the familiar Renaissance vantage point, cubists substituted the radical notion that perspective could be shifted at will. In the cubist epistemology, heads, noses, and eyes could be depicted concurrently in profile and full-face view. Because the final statement still transpired within a two-dimensional plane, cubists infused their subjects with an analytic form showing front, side, and even multiple views at once.
116. Thomas, “The Spanish Borderlands in Cubist Perspective,” p. 7.
117. Weber, David J., “Blood of Martyrs, Blood of Indians: Toward a More Balanced view of Spanish Missions in Seventeenth Century North America,” in Columbian Consequences, Vol. 2, Archaeological and Historical Perspectives, Thomas, D. H., ed., pp. 429—448 . See also Sandos, , Converting California, p. xiii . For a comprehensive listing of sources written from the Christophilic-triumphalist perspective, see Sandos, , Converting California, p. 185 n2.
118. Palóu, Francisco and Geiger, Maynard J., Palóu’s Life of Pray Junípero Serra (Washington, D.C.: Academy of American Franciscan History, 1955). See also Hackel, Junípero Serra, p. 237.
119. Bolton, Herbert E., “The Mission as a Frontier Institution in the Spanish-American Colonies,” American Historical Review 23:1 (1917), pp. 42–61.
120. DeNevi, Don and Maholy, Noel Francis, Junípero Serra: The Illustrated Story of the Franciscan Founder of California’s Missions (San Francisco: Harper and Row, 1985), p. 216.
121. Bolton, “The Mission as a Frontier Institution,” p. 61.
122. Bolton, Herbert E., The Spanish Borderlands: A Chronicle of Old Florida and the Southwest (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1921), pp. 281–282.
123. Englehardt, Zephyrin, author of more than a dozen influential books on the California missions found that “all accounts agree in representing the natives of California as among the most stupid, brutish, filthy, lazy and improvident of all the aborigines in America.” Englehardt, The Missions and Missionaries of California, 2nd ed., Vol. 2, Upper California, Part 1 (Old Mission, Santa Barbara, Calif.: published by the author, 1930), p. 245 . Francis Guest echoed this sentiment, calling the California Indian lifeways “haphazard, irresponsible, brutish, benighted, and barbaric.” Guest, “The Indian Policy under Fermín Francisco de Lasuén, California’s Second Father President, California Historical Society Quarterly 45:3 (1966), pp. 195–224.
124. Bannon, John Francis, The Spanish Borderlands Frontier, 1513–1821 (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1974), chapt. 8.
125. Weber, David J., “John Francis Bannon and the Historiography of the Spanish Borderlands. Journal of the Southwest 29:4 (1987), pp. 331–363.
126. Morgado, Martin J., Junípero Serra’s Legacy (Pacific Grove, Calif.: Mount Carmel Press, 1987), p. 145.
127. Sandos, Converting California, pp. xiii, 154.
128. Cook, Sherburne R, “California’s First Medical Survey: Report of Surgeon-General José Bénites,” California and Western Medicine 45: 4 (1936), pp. 353–355 . See also the posthumous publication by Cook, , The Conflict between the California Indian and White Civilization (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1976); Sandos, , “Serra’s Canonization and the Historical Record,” pp. 1257–1258 ; and Sandos, Converting California, p. 202 n5.
129. McWilliams, Carey, Southern California Country: An Island in the Sun (New York: Duel, Sloan & Pearce, 1946), p. 29 . See also Sandos, , “Serra, Canonization, and the California Indian Controversy,” p. 1267 ; and Fogel, Daniel, Junípero Serra, the Vatican, and Enslavement Theology (San Francisco: ISM Press, 1988).
130. Hackel, Junípero Serra, front cover flap.
131. In the winter of 1969, The Indians of All Tribes (people from many Indian nations including Native California, Tlingit, Iroquois, Blackfoot, Chippewa, and Navajo) occupied the former prison on Alcatraz Island, in the middle of San Francisco Bay. They demanded return of “The Rock” to native people and requested sufficient federal funds to construct, maintain, and operate an Indian cultural complex and a university. This highly public protest was backed by many non-Indians including Jane Fonda, Marlon Brando, and the rock group Creedence Clearwater Revival. Benjamin Bratt, Jon Plutte, James M. Fortier, and Mike Yearling, Alcatraz Is Not an Island (Berkeley: distributed by Berkeley Media LLC, 2002), video. The 19-month occupation brought national attention to California Indians, spawning the birth of the American Indian Historical Society, a San Francisco-based group headed by Rupert Costo (Cahuilla) and Jeannette Costo (Cherokee). Their journal, The Indian Historian, injected a scholarly tone, presenting contributions from a number of prominent historians and anthropologists and stating the editorial goal to “correct the record, to write history as it should be written … [and] to report honestly the immense contributions to modern society made by the American Indian.”
132. Deloria, Vine Jr., Custer Died for Tour Sins: An Indian Manifesto (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1969).
133. Costo, and Costo, , The Missions of California, p. xi . See also Sandos, , “Junípero Serra’s Canonization and the Historical Record,” p. 1267 ; and Sandos, , Converting California, pp. xiii, 154, 174–175.
134. Sandos, Converting California, p. 184.
135. Setting Serra’s achievements in the present tense raises some thorny epistemological issues. Few modern Franciscans would feel comfortable in accepting all eighteenth-century mission experiences as examples for their own lives. Were friars required to take every example from every saint as model, their record would be filled with many virtuous features, but would also reflect a hodgepodge of misogyny, homophobia, anti-Semitism, anorexia, masochism, and racism. I am grateful to Fr. Daniel Dwyer for clarifying this point for me.
136. Alta California: Peoples in Motion, Steven W. Hackel, ed.; Hackel, Children of Coyote.
137. Hackel, , “Introduction,” in Alta California: Peoples in Motion, Hackel, , ed., pp. 1–14.
138. Hackel, Junípero Serra, p. 242.
139. I am grateful to Fr. Pat McCloskey for the phrase and for his insights on its larger implications.
140. Worth, John E., The Timucuan Chiefdoms of Spanish Florida, Vol. 1: Assimilation (Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 1998); p. 124.
141. Sahlins, Marshall, Islands of History (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1985), p. 61 .
142. For example Lightfoot, Kent, Indians, Missionaries, and Merchants, pp. 18–19 ; Panich, Lee, “Archaeo-logies of Persistence: Reconsidering the Legacies of Colonialism in Native North America,” American Antiquity 78:1 (January 2013), pp. 105–122 ; and Schneider, Tsim D. and Panich, Lee M., “Native Agency at the Margins of Empire,” in Indigenous Landscapes and Spanish Missions, Panich, and Schneider, , eds., pp. 5–22.
143. Schneider and Panich “Native Agency at the Margins of Empire,” pp. 5–24.
144. All quotes in this paragraph are taken from Liebmann, Matthew and Murphy, Melissa S., “Rethinking the Archaeology of ‘Rebels, Backsliders, and Idolaters,’” in Enduring Conquests: Rethinking the Archaeology of Resistance to Spanish Colonialism in the Americas, Liebmann, and Murphy, , eds. (Santa Fe, N.M.: School for Advanced Research Press, 2014), pp. 3–18.
145. Quotes are taken, respectively, from Bannon, The Spanish Borderlands Frontier, chapt. 8 heading; Meskell, Lynn, Archaeologies of Social Life: Age, Sex, Class, Etcetera in Ancient Egypt (Oxford, U.K.: Oxford University Press, 1999), p. 4 ; and Tringham, Ruth E., “Households with Faces: The Challenge of Gender in Prehistoric Architectural Remains,” in Engendering Archaeology: Women and Prehistory, Gero, Joan M. and Conkey, Margaret W., eds. (Oxford, U.K.: Blackwell, 1991), p. 94.
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