CHAPTER V.EARLY SPANISH MISSIONS AND MISSIONARIES.
The Moquis—Franciscan Friars—Missions—Father Eusebio Francisco Kino—Nuestra Señora de los Dolores—Father Juan Maria de Salvatierra—Sobaipuris—Guevavi—Tumacacori—San Xavier del Bac—Pima Indians—Immaculate Conception—St. Andrew—San Pedro y San Pablo de Tubutama—Saric—Tucubabia—Santa Maria de Suamca—Cocospera—Casas Grandes—San Dionisio—Jesuits—Fr. Felipe Segesser—Fr. Juan Baptista Grasshoffer—Fr. Gaspar Steiger—Fr. Jose Carucho—Fr. Francisco Paver—Fr. Ignacio Keller—Fr. Jacob Sedelmair—Revolt of Pimas—Fr. Alonzo Espinosa—Fr. Ignacio Pfefferkorn—Fr. Jimeno—Fr. Pedro Rafael Diaz—Tucson—Santa Barbara—Buena Vista—Calabazas—Fr. Barera—Expulsion of Jesuits.
The first natives of Arizona to submit to Spanish authority were the Moquis, who occupied the territory which at that time was known as the province of Tusayan. These Indians had practically the same habits, customs and government as the Indians of Cibola. They were very intelligent and far advanced in civilization. Their houses were ordinarily three or four stories high, but some were seven stories. Of them, Casteñada says: ‘‘They cover their privy parts and all
As we shall see in the further progress of this work, they were great diplomats, intent upon preserving their independence as a tribe, bending their necks in submission to the religios when it was policy to do so, and renouncing the religion of the priests whenever a favorable opportunity presented itself. The records for eighty years after the expedition of Oñate, were destroyed by the revolution of the Pueblos, which occurred in 1680. During this time, the information which we have is only fragmentary, not only in reference to these Indians, but to those who inhabited the Gila, where the Franciscans were also endeavoring to bring the tribes under the control of the Church. As far as is known, there was never a permanent mission established among the Moquis, although priests were assigned to them from time to time, from whom they received religious instruction.
The missionary thought it his duty to accept the challenge and relied on the grace of God for the result of what he was about to try for His greater glory. Having prayed a short time on his knees before the cross, he applied it to the eyes of the boy, who, at once, was by it made able to see. Struck by the miracle, the Indians kept their word, and applied to the religios for instruction, and for admission to baptism, those who had remained as yet in the state of infidelity.’’
At intervals of every few years from 1700, there were visitas of Franciscan friars and military detachments, the first to attempt the spiritual reconquest, and the latter to force subjugation by threats of war, but nothing was effected, these proud chieftains maintaining their independence of Spanish or Christian control, which is preserved to a great extent up to this time.
To Father Kino, subsequently known as the Great Apostle to the Pimas, belongs the credit of establishing the first missions in Arizona. He was a Jesuit priest, and before accepting priestly orders, had acquired some reputation as a mathematician. He declined a professional chair in the college of Ingolstadt in Bavaria, because, believing that he had been restored to health from a dangerous sickness through the intervention of St. Francis Xavier, at the Throne of Grace, he determined to devote his life to the conversion of the heathen in America, adding Francisco to his name, which became Eusebio Francisco Quino, afterwards changed by the Spanish to Kino. The date of his birth is unknown, but is stated to have been somewhere about 1640. He was a native of Trent, in the Austrian Tyrol, and a near relative of Martin Martini, S. J., a notable missionary in Asia. He died in the year 1711, having devoted twenty-six years of his life to missionary work in Sonora and Arizona.
His first mission, that of Nuestra Señora de los Dolores, was founded on March 13th, 1687, near Ures, Sonora, Mexico, which mission thereafter, was the base from which his various expeditions into Sonora and elsewhere were started.
In 1690, Father Kino, who had established several other missions was visited by Father Juan Maria de Salvatierra, who had been sent by his superiors as visitador general. These two missionaries, says Francisco Velasco, were followed by Indians, asking to be instructed and admitted as members of the Catholic religion. Among them were the Sobahpuris, who lived on the San Pedro, and had come over a distance of 200 miles to ask the priests to follow them to the place called Guevavi, where they had their villages. Their petition was granted. The missionaries followed them and founded for their tribe a mission which was given the name of the place. This mission, now abandoned for a long time, was the first established on the soil of Arizona. It is in the same region that the missions of Tumacacuri and San Xavier del Bac were subsequently founded, along the course of the Santa Cruz River. According to the Rt. Rev. Thomas O'Gorman, the church of Guevavi and that of San Xavier del Bac would have been built by Father Kino in 1687.
In 1694 he was informed by some Indians from Bac of the Casas Grandes on the Gila, and went alone to examine them. This time he reached the Gila and said mass in the Casas Grandes, and he was, according to Dellenbaugh and other noted modern authorities, the first white man to view these ruins.
In November, 1697, was undertaken the first formal exploration into Arizona of which any detailed account survives. Of this expedition, Bancroft says: ‘‘Lieutenant Cristobal Martin Bernal, with Alferez Francisco Acuma, a sergeant, and twenty soldiers, marched from Fronteras via Terrenate and Suamca, while Kino and Mange with ten servants came from Dolores. The two parties united at Quiburi, not far from the site of the modern Tombstone; Coro, a Sobaipuri chief, with thirty warriors, joined the expedition, and all marched down the Rio Quiburi, since called the San Pedro, to its junction with the Gila, now so called in the records for the first time, though, as we have seen, the Gila province of New Mexico, was named as early as 1630. Down the main river went the explorers to and a little beyond the Casa Grande, which is, for the first time, described and pictured by simple drawings in the diaries. From the Gila they returned southward up the river, since called the Santa Cruz, by way of Bac and Guevavi,
Space does not permit me to follow all the wanderings of this tireless explorer, who made altogether thirteen entradas into Arizona. Concerning the last expeditions of Father Kino into Arizona, and the Jesuit administration in Arizona, Engelhardt says: ‘‘
In April and May, 1700, Fr. Kino was again at Bac and laid the foundation of a large church, which the natives were eager to build, but respecting the further progress of which nothing is known. In September Fr. Kino was in the Yuma country, and gave the name of San Dionisio to a Yuma rancheria at the junction of the Gila with the Colorado. In 1701 Fr. Kino and Fr. Salvatierra again appeared at Bac and Tumacacori. Some time after the venerable explorer passed from Sonoita to the Gila and the Colorado and visited the Yumas in their rancherias. Early in 1702, Fr. Kino made his last trip to the Gila and Colorado, and this was also, as far as known, the last time he crossed the Arizona line. ‘‘There is no satisfactory evidence,’’ said Bancroft, ‘‘that Arizona had either a regular mission or a resident Jesuit priest before Kino's death in 1711. A few rumors of padres stationed there can be traced to no definite source; and the whole tenor of such records as exist is against them.’’
In 1731 there came a small re-enforcement of Jesuits; two of them were sent to the north and effected what may be regarded as the first Spanish settlement in southern Arizona. Fr. Felipe Segesser took charge of San Xavier del Bac, Fr. Juan Baptista Grasshoffer of San Miguel de Guevavi, which from this time may be regarded as regular missions, the other rancherias becoming visitas or missionary stations. It is probable that during the rest of the Jesuit period, the two missions were but rarely without priests. Fr. Grasshoffer died; Fr. Caspar Steiger was at Bac in 1773–1736; and in 1750 the missionaries were Fr. Jose Carucho at Guevavi, and Fr. Francisco Paver at San Xavier del Bac. In 1736–1737, Fr. Ignacio Keller of Suamca, in Sonora, made two trips to the Gila and visited the Casa Grande. He found that many of the rancherias of Kino's time had been broken up.
In 1743, Fr. Jacob Sedelmair of Tubutama reached the Gila and in the following year attempted to visit the Moquis in the north, but owing to the unwillingness of the Indians to guide him, he did not get beyond Bill Williams' Fork.
In 1750 occurred the second revolt of the Pima tribes, in which two missionaries at Caborca and Sonoita, were killed, as were about 100 Spaniards. Bac and Guevavi were plundered and abandoned, but the two Jesuits escaped to Suamca. Peace was restored in 1752 and the missions reoccupied in 1754.
During the remaining years of the Jesuit period, 1754–1767, the missions of the Pimeria Alta barely maintained a precarious existence. ‘‘A few neophytes were induced to remain faithful, but the natives lived for the most part as they pleased, not openly rebellious, nor disposed to molest the padres, so long as the latter attempted no control of their actions, and were willing to take their part in quarrels with settlers or soldiers. Missionary work was at a standstill.’’ Exactly how long the missions had been abandoned after the revolt of 1750 is not known, but in 1763 Fr. Alonzo Espinosa was in charge of Bac, as he was still at the time of the Jesuit expulsion in 1767. At Guevavi the missionaries were Fr. Ignacio Pfefferkorn in 1763, Fr. Jimeno in 1764, and Fr. Pedro Rafael Diaz in 1767. The rancheria of Tucson was a visita of Bac in these years, and a few Spanish settlers seem to have lived there; but in 1763 it was, like the mission, abandoned by all except a few sick and infirm Indians. There were also nearly 200 Spanish settlers at Guevavi, Santa Barbara, and Buenavista. The missionary stations at Tumacacori and Calabazas were composed of Pima and Papago neophytes; but the latter had run away in 1763. Respecting the expulsion of the devoted Jesuit Fathers by the Free Mason government
From the Spanish names on early maps, the conclusion has been drawn that, up to the Gila Valley, Arizona was covered with prosperous Spanish missions and settlements which had to be abandoned later in consequence of Apache raids; but the truth is, there was no Spanish occupation beyond a narrow region of the Santa Cruz valley, and even there were only the two missions Bac and Guevavi, with a few rancherias de visita under resident missionaries from 1732, or possibly 1720, and protected in their precarious existence by the Tubac presidio from 1752. The Spanish names of saints were simply those applied by Kino and his associates to the rancherias visited on their exploring tours, whose inhabitants, in some instances, were induced to make preparations for the reception of the missionaries promised, but who never came. It has also been the fashion to regard Tucson as a more or less prosperous town from a very early time. Some writers even date its foundation in the sixteenth century, though, as a matter of fact, it is not heard of as an Indian rancheria till the middle of the eighteenth century, and was not properly a Spanish settlement till the presidio was moved there in later years.