2024 Conference Paper Abstracts

41st Annual California Missions and Presidios Conference
Presented by California Missions Foundation
April 12-13, 2024
“Missions La Purisima and Santa Inés: Evangelization, Social Change and Conflict”

Damian Bacich
Anglophone Outsiders in 19th Century Californio Networks

My paper analyzes non-Hispanic immigrants' integration into Alta California social networks during the Rancho Era. I will take as my starting point two Anglophone men who established themselves in the region during the 1830s: James Alexander Forbes (1805-1881) and John Marsh (1799-1856). While both rose to prominence within the broader Spanish-Mexican community during their lifetimes, they did so in divergent ways and with quite different outcomes. I will examine how both figures engaged with Mexican social, family and commercial networks and what they reveal about how those networks functioned before and after U.S. annexation.

Rose Marie Beebe and Bob Senkewicz
A Californio Family in Transition: Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo and Francisca Benicia Carrillo de Vallejo, 1846-1888

The experiences of Mexicans who were living in California when it was annexed by the United States is a crucial element in our state's past. These Californios, as they called themselves, made California's identity diverse and multi-cultural from the moment it became part of the United States. The Vallejos were one of the most prominent of these Californio families.

This presentation considers the experiences of this family, using more than 180 letters that Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo and Francisca Benicia Carrillo de Vallejo exchanged with each other between 1846 and 1888, and the scores of letters that one or both of them exchanged with their children. These letters offer an intimate glimpse of the ways in which this family, and many Californio families like them, struggled to adapt to the political, social, and cultural changes that were occurring around them, especially when they found themselves strangers in the land in which they had been born. Individually, and as a couple, Mariano Guadalupe and Francisca Benicia found themselves faced with ever-changing--and at times conflicting--demands on their public and private lives. They struggled to maintain ownership of their property, to raise their children in an environment that they did not entirely understand, and to help each other maintain their dignity and social authority in a world they had not chosen.

Artur H. F. Barcelos
Profesor del Bacharelado em Arqueologia, Programa de Pós-Graduação em Geografia, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande FURG
Espacio y territorios indígenas en el Río del Plata colonial y la cartografía

En 1536 los españoles fundaron el Fuerte Nuestra Señora de los Buenos Aires, en la orilla sur del Río de la Plata. Al año siguiente, un grupo remontó el río Paraná y se adentró en el río Paraguay. En su margen izquierda fundó Nuestra Señora de la Asunción, entre los indígenas guaraníes. Esta sería la puerta de entrada, a partir de 1610, para que los misioneros de la Compañía de Jesús evangelizaran a los indígenas de la etnia guaraní. Fueron 150 años de convivencia que dieron como resultado treinta pueblos, llamados Reducciones. Esto significó un gran impacto en las prácticas de exploración y manejo espacial de los guaraníes. A la nueva vida en los asentamientos urbanos se sumó también una transformación económica, con la introducción de la ganadería y la explotación de la yerba mate a gran escala. Cuando estas misiones estaban ya estabilizadas, en principios dl siglo XVIII, los jesuitas empezaban a abrir otra frente en la California. En esta Misión, además de las dificultades en reducir pueblos semi-nómadas, tuvieron que explorar, describir y cartografiar la península. Los resultados en ambas misiones fueron distintos. Y la cartografía histórica ha sido una de las principales fuentes para comparar y interpretar estos procesos de larga duración.

Richard Carrico
After the Fire: The People, Events, and Aftermath of the 1775 Sacking of Mission San Diego de Alcalá

The sacking of Mission San Diego de Alcalá in November 1775 by Tipai warriors has been reasonably well documented. But what of the aftermath, the Spanish investigations, the interrogations of the assumed leaders, and the effect on Spanish-Kumeyaay relations? Using primary sources of the time, this presentation will provide more detail on the Tipai leaders themselves, the efforts of Rivera y Moncada to capture and punish the leaders, and the possible long-term effects on Spanish efforts at conversion and colonialism. Particular emphasis will be placed on the rebel and non-rebel Tipai villages and their post-revolt cooperation or non-cooperation.

Julia Costello
No Title

In 1991-1992, I conducted the research that identified and mapped the remains of Mission La Purisima Vieja in Lompoc. As part of this project, we commissioned artist Karen Foster to recreate a painting of what the facility would have looked like.  The resulting image (attached) was a collaboration of Edna Kimbro, Norm Neuerburg, Mike Glassow, and myself.  I believe it still hangs in Lompoc City Hall.

This is not a long presentation, perhaps 10 minutes, but I feel the information should become part of the mission's historical record.

Robert H. Jackson
Frontier Missions and the Apostolic Colleges in Mexico: History and Architectural Patrimony

Abstract: In 1622, the Papacy created the propaganda fide in Rome to promote evangelization of non-Christians. One initiative of the propaganda fide  was the organization of apostolic colleges to reinvigorate Franciscan evangelization. The apostolic colleges established in Spanish America had several functions. One was to train members for service as missionaries. A second was to administer missions established on the frontiers. A third was to tend to the spiritual needs of urban-folk, and conduct "Popular Missions"  to test the doctrinal knowledge and correctness of people who were already Catholics. The Franciscans established five apostolic colleges in Mexico, and four administered frontier missions. They were Santa Cruz in Queretaro, Guadalupe in Zacatecas, San Fernando in Mexico City, San Francisco in Pachuca established by the reformed franciscanos descalzos from the Provinceof San Diego, and San Jose de Gracia in Orizaba, Veracruz. This proposed paper will discuss the history of four of the apostolic colleges, and their relationship to frontier missions including those in California.

Martha McGettigan
Beyond the Bells and The Music: The Spirituality of Colonial California

Spain sent Herná Cortés to Nueva España to bring a new culture. By 1776, the North American continent had then two powerful European Empires – Spain and England on opposite shores.  1n 1776, Spain’s presence was in place for two and a half of centuries. Spain administered and claimed three quarters of the continent.  This enormous territory contained 4-5 million people and the entire culture was Catholic. When Spain then sent citizens to expand with the Anza’s 2nd Expedition 1775/1776 the 230 immigrants, came as Catholics. The traditions of ceremonies, music, decorations, and what brought they believed in we examine. Understanding what the people of Nueva España, Mexico and California as Catholics. this paper is brought the ideas of the culture and who are Catholics and who will bring to the culture “Beyond the Bells and The Music, The Spirituality, Of Colonial California.”

Rubén G Mendoza, PhD, RPA
THE ADOBE FRONTIER: Ancestral Pueblos, Spanish Colonials, and the American: Architectural Legacies of Alta California and Nuevo Mexico

Between the 1820s and 1880s, early American colonists gradually occupied spaces identified at that time with the Viceroyalty of New Spain (1769-1824), and subsequently, the Mexican Republic of 1824-1848. The culmination of the US-Mexican War brought with it the opening of the Puerto de Monterey to American settlers, and with it the acceleration of impactful influences from the eastern seaboard. The Californios were otherwise quick to adapt to the onslaught of cultural introductions from the east that had been held in abeyance during the Viceroyalty. By contrast, while the Spanish colonization of New Mexico saw the founding of Santa Fe in 1610, the Hispanic advance progressed at the cost of the ancestral Pueblo peoples and their traditions. Even so, the opening of the 1,000-mile Santa Fe Trail from Franklin, Missouri, to Santa Fe in 1822 saw the wholesale transformation and Americanization of Santa Fe and the Adobe Frontier. Through the lens of an architectural history documenting this era, this presentation will explore the American imprint on the architectural traditions of both Monterey, California, and Santa Fe, New Mexico. In so doing, we will explore the diffusion of the New England Style in California through the Monterey Colonial tradition of the 1840s, and the Territorial and Pueblo Revival Styles of Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Eric Plunkett
St. Junípero Serra and the Founding of Mission San Juan Capistrano (1770 - 1784)

This talk seeks to tell the story of St. Junípero Serra's five visits to the San Juan Capistrano area: twice passing through on his way to other colonial outposts, once as a founding missionary of Mission San Juan Capistrano, and twice more to administer the Sacrament of Confirmation. His visits correspond more generally with the story arc of missionization and colonial intrusion into the lives of the indigenous peoples of California during his lifetime. While Serra's missionizing efforts on the fringes of the Spanish frontier were consistent with his eighteenth-century Catholic worldview, his time in the Capistrano area illuminates the compelling stories of the interactions between the Acjachemen people and the Spanish colonists who together started the mission we know today.

Russell K. Skowronek, Department of Anthropology, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (attending)
Richard E. Johnson, Independent Scholar COTBONS Project
Brandi Reger, Independent Scholar COTBONS Project
The Copper on the Borderlands of New Spain (COTBONS) Project: Evidence from California

Copper vessels have been the subject of archaeological enquiry for those studying French colonial America for more than six decades.  Their findings have no application for the Spanish borderlands. To rectify this shortcoming in 2017 the COTBONS Project was initiated at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley.  Over the past seven years hundreds of copper vessels and vessel fragments from archaeological and museum collections in Arizona, California, Florida, New Mexico, and Texas were analyzed with pXRF and had their form documented. In California, materials from Missions San Diego, San Juan Capistrano, San Gabriel, San Buenaventura, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Santa Ines, San Miguel, San Juan Bautista, San Antonio, Carmel, Santa Clara, and San Jose as well as from sites on the Channel Islands are now part of the larger COTBONS database.  In 2020 the COTBONS team presented its findings at the California Missions Conference relating to baptismal fonts. In this presentation, the other copper and copper alloy sheet metal evidence from these California sites is contextualized within the framework of the larger project.