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Monday, December 13, 2010

Cultures in California

Some time ago I wrote a bit about difficulty some Californian Indians had in dealing with some Spaniards, Russians, and Frenchmen. Most of these Europeans were more understanding than the Americans, but still a considerable problem. For example, most of them could't tell a Cahuilla from a Mojave.

As I remember, the focus was on diplomacy and ignorance. There is really little more to write. In 1821 a noble of the Cocomaricopa arrived at San Gabriel mission. His people had been in contact with Europeans and had learned how to impress them. He came from a rancheria called "Avitucupaiba" six days from Tucson. He had been told by Cahuillas of Spanish settlements at San Diego where he could trade for cotton and beads. In the course of the conversations, powers at San Gabriel learned from the Cocomaricopa that it would take only 15 to 20 days to get a letter to Tucson from San Gabriel. Important information because the Spanish saw it as an opportunity for improving their communication with Mexico and Madrid.

At about the same time Emperor Iturbide, who had assumed control of Mexico, decided to send Reverend Augustin Fernandez de San Vincente, a high churchman from Durango, to inspect California in order to find out the extent of foreign activities in California and of the loyalty of the Caliornios.

Diplomacy not spying.

Iturbides envoy, Fernandez along with Padre Mariano Payeras, president of the California missions, inspected Russian settlements at Fort Ross and Bodega Bay.

Do you remember a post about happenings at Fort Ross?

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