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Chimes of Mission Bells; an historical sketch of California and her missions   By: (1885-)

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An Historical Sketch of California and Her Missions

By Maria Antonia Field

To the Revered Memory of Junipero Serra

And of My Great Grandparents Estéban and Catalina Munrás

This Book Is Affectionately Dedicated

Acknowledgment of Gratitude

In producing this book I wish to thank my Mother, who wrote for me in modern notation the music of the hymns of the Mission Fathers which are contained in this work, and gave me much welcome information; also Rev. Raymond M. Mestres, my zealous parish Priest, successor and compatriot of Junipero Serra and the Mission Padres, for valuable data, and for allowing me access to the early archives of San Carlos Mission and of the Mission Church of Monterey.

Maria Antonia Field Monterey, California, June 1, 1914


Translation of the Names of the Missions

Tribute to Junipero Serra and the Mission Padres

Chapter I Junipero Serra, Leader of the Heroic Band of Spanish Missionaries of California. His Coming to San Fernando, Mexico, Thence to California

Chapter II Brief Sketch of the Conquest of California and of the Founding of the Missions. Hospitality of the Missions. Care and Benevolence of the Missionaries Toward the Indians

Chapter III More About San Carlos Mission and Monterey

Chapter IV California Under Spanish Rule

Chapter V California Passes from Spanish to Mexican Rule. Secularization of the Missions

Chapter VI California Passes from Mexican to American Rule

Chapter VII Mission Anecdotes and Hymns

Chapter VIII Retrospection of the Work of the Spanish Missionaries, Explorers and Settlers and their place in California's Appreciation

Chapter IX Rev. Raymond M. Mestres Writes Historical Drama "Fray Junipero"

Appendix A Letter of Junipero Serra. The Meaning of California Missions. Dances of Early California Times


In presenting this modest volume to the public, I wish to call the attention of my readers to the following facts. Firstly, my humble work is a work of love love simple and unalloyed for the venerable Spanish Missionaries of California and for the noble sons and daughters of Spain who gave such a glorious beginning and impetus to our state. Being a direct descendant of pioneer Spaniards of Monterey, I take a particular interest in California's early history and development and as my family were staunch friends of the Missionary Fathers and in a position to know the state of affairs of those times, and to family tradition I have added authentic knowledge from reading the earliest archives of San Carlos Mission, as well as other historical references, I feel I can fearlessly vouch for the truthfulness of my little work. Secondly while fully appreciating the sympathy and interest of many charming and intellectual characters who grace California to day, it must be admitted that there is a sadly ignorant or misinformed number who scarcely seem to know who Spaniards and their descendants are, judging from the promiscuous way the term "Spanish" is used, and what is the result of this among many? Prejudice, and absurd misunderstanding of the golden days of Spanish California as well as of the Spanish race and character. It is far from being my wish to offend, but I wish to present correct historical facts. Thirdly there is no pretense to consider this brief sketch a complete or detailed history, but only a truthful outline of the heroic and chivalrous Mission days.

Maria Antonia Field.

Translation of the Names of the Missions.

1. San Diego. A Spanish form of Saint James, who is the Patron Saint of Spain.

2. San Carlos. Saint Charles. Mission San Carlos and the Royal Chapel of Monterey were so named in honor of Saint Charles the Patron Saint of King Carlos III under whose reign the mission was founded... Continue reading book >>

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