Monday, February 24, 2014

Manuscript Monday – Jesuits and Franciscans

The stories of California and Mexico—past, present, and future—are inextricably linked. They are also global stories. For this first installment of “Manuscript Monday” we present an eighteenth-century manuscript letter to the Viceroy Marquis de Croix from the Franciscan college in Mexico City. The letter was penned around 1767, the year King Charles III expelled the Jesuits from Spain and Spanish America, radically changing the course of religious history in the New World, including California. 

Representación del Colegio [Apostólico de Propaganda Fide de San Fernando] al Virrey, MS Vault 151, courtesy, California Historical Society, MS Vault_151[a], MS Vault_151[b].
 In this letter the Franciscans thank the Viceroy for entrusting them with the missionization of California, but also emphasize the urgent need for more priests and warn that a single missionary living alone among the neophytes is an exceedingly dangerous thing (“una cosa sumamente peligrosa”).

To learn more about mission life and indigenous cultures in California, please join us this Thursday evening for a conversation between Professor Lisbeth Haas and Archivist of the Archives of the Archdiocese of San Francisco Jeffrey Burns about Haas' new book, Saints and Citizens: Indigenous Histories of Colonial Missions and Mexican California.

Marie Silva
Archivist & Manuscripts Librarian

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