California, the Last Frontier

By Robert Durrenberger; G. Etzel Pearcy et al. | Go to book overview

3
Spanish California

"On the following Thursday ( September 28, 1542) . . . they discovered a closed and very good port which they named San Miguel. It is at 34 1/3 degrees. After anchoring, they went ashore where there were some people, all of whom fled except three, to whom presents were given. By signs they said that farther inland people like the Spaniards had passed, and they indicated great fear. That night they went ashore to fish with a net, and some Indians began to shoot arrows at them and wounded three.

The next morning they moved farther into the port, which is large, and brought back two boys who understood nothing by signs. They gave them shirts and sent them away.

The following morning three big Indians came to the ships and said by signs that people like us were going about in the interior, bearded, clothed, and armed like those on the ships. They made signs that they had crossbows and swords. They made gestures with the right arm as if lancing, ran about as if on horseback, and made signs that they were killing many Indians. For this reason they feared them. These people are well-built and big. They wear skins of animals. . ."1

THIS, the first contact between European and Indian, occurred when Cabrillo and his men made their landing at San Diego. That there was no formal claim of the territory for Spain may be attributed to the fact that Cabrillo had made a number of stops along the coast of Baja California as his ships worked their way northward.

____________________
1
From Henry R. Wagner, Spanish Voyages to the Northwest Coast of America, pp. 450-463.

-32-

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California, the Last Frontier
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page 1
  • Preface 3
  • Contents 5
  • 1 - California as a Distinct Region 7
  • 2 - Island California 20
  • 3 - Spanish California 32
  • 4 - The Golden State 43
  • 5 - One California -- or Many Californias? 59
  • 6 - Migrants and Migrations 77
  • 7 - Change and Growth 93
  • 8 - The California of Tomorrow 131
  • Study Guide 147
  • General References 153
  • Index 158
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