La Misión de San Luis, Rey de Francia
This is another from our ongoing study of Missions in California. We were pleasantly surprised when we asked if we could take pictures inside AND with a tripod. The answer was, “Of course, and please sign our Guest Book”. No Tripod Police here! The shot is from the back of the Mission, you may recall an earlier image of Madonna ans Candles from an adjacent alcove.
An early account of life at the Mission was written by one of its Native American converts, Luiseno Pablo Tac, in his work Indian Life and Customs at Mission San Luis Rey: A Record of California Mission Life by Pablo Tac, An Indian Neophyte (written circa 1835 in Rome, later edited and translated in 1958 by Minna Hewes and Gordon Hewes). In his book, Tac lamented the rapid population decline of the Luiseno, of his people: On June 13, 1798 the mission was found or built:
In Quechla not long ago there were 5,000 souls, with all their neighboring lands. Through a sickness that came to California 2,000 souls died, and 3,000 were left.
The Mission-born, Franciscan-educated Tac noted that his people initially attempted to bar the Spaniards from invading their Southern California lands.
When the foreigners approached, “…the chief stood up…and met them,” demanding, “…what are you looking for? Leave our Country!”
Pablo Tac went on to describe the preferential conditions and treatment the padres received:
In the mission of San Luis Rey de Francia the Fernandiño father is like a king. He has his pages, alcaldes, majordomos, musicians, soldiers, gardens, ranchos, livestock…. www.kerstenbeck.com