The California missions are home to fascinating stories and interesting facts. The following is a list 50 things you might not know about the missions– but there are many more to discover. Pirate Raid In 1818, a French privateer named Hippolyte Bouchard (known in Spanish as Hipólito Bouchard), led a series of raids along the coast of Alta California. Bouchard […]
In this second part of the interview we learn about what studying economic history can reveal about the past. In particular, we learn about California’s early connections to the Far East, and how competition over the fur trade created some unusual rivalries and alliances. Highlights of Part 2: Franciscan views of money and morality. The […]
The story of land ownership in modern California begins with the practice of Spanish land grants. Beginning in the 18th century, Spain allowed farming and ranching by private individuals in California. In the 19th century the Mexican government continued and expanded the program. Land Laws in Spain The laws and customs about who could own […]
The California Frontier Podcast is back! Our first season was short — interviews with journalist and travel writer Maggie Espinosa about her pilgrimage to all 21 of the Spanish missions in California, and with Greg Bernal Smestad about his quest to preserve the Californio traditions pass on to him by his grandmother. Both were very […]
Native Americans came to the California missions for a variety of reasons. Some of these were: protection from their enemies, access to stable food sources, attraction to Spanish culture and religion, fear of Spanish weapons and a desire to stay together with their clans and kin. Were Native Americans Forced to Enter the California Missions? […]
The Chumash are a widespread group of California native people who lived along the southern California coast and the Santa Barbara Channel Islands.
Not long ago I was invited to attend a gathering at a trendy Mexican restaurant in downtown San José, California. As I walked inside, I noticed an eclectic group of professionals, from teachers to engineers, journalists to professors. The bond that united everyone present was a passion for the history of a very influential corner […]
In the 1830’s, a young man named Pablo Tac wrote about his experiences growing up at Mission San Luis Rey. It is one of the only firsthand accounts written by a Native American who lived at a mission.
Juana Briones lived in Spanish, Mexican and U.S. California and she left her mark on all three. Now she is receiving the attention she deserves.
There were probably as many as 21 Salinan villages in the extending just south of Mission La Soledad to the north of San Luis Obispo.
Chumash is the name given to the original inhabitants of the central coast of California, from Morro Bay to Malibu, and three of the Channel Islands.
Other names: Obispeño, Ventureño, Barbareño, Purisimeño, Yneseño, Canalino Home region: San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties, as well as the Channel Islands, east to Castaic and Mt. Pinos. Mission affiliations: San Luis Obispo de Tolosa, San Buenaventura, Santa Bárbara, La Purísima Concepción, Santa Inés Historical background: Chumash is the name given to a number of […]
Many words used to describe people and objects in Alta California are unfamiliar to us today.
Between 1769 and 1823 Spanish missionaries founded 21 missions up and down the coast of Alta California (today’s state of California). These missions were meant to continue the chain of missions extending north from the southern tip of Baja California. Below is a list of mission facts:
At the very beginning of the Spanish occupation of Alta California and until 1777, the governors were military commanders. Until 1804, governors were in charge of overseeing the province of Las Californias, both Baja and Alta California.
Friends often ask me where they should begin in learning about the California missions. There are are so many books about the California missions out there — some of which I’ll review later — that it is hard to know where to start. Below are a few books that have helped me. All of these […]
Between 1769 and 1823 Spanish missionaries founded 21 missions up and down the coast of Alta California (today’s state of California). These missions were meant to continue the chain of missions extending north from the southern tip of Baja California.