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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Gentile Recruitment and Population Movements in the San Francisco Bay Area Missions

  • Author(s): Jackson, Robert H
  • et al.

The objective here is not to discuss the causes of high mortality in the missions, but rather to present in descriptive narrative form an outline of population movements as related to gentile recruitment. A regional approach makes sense for both geographical and historical reasons. Over a period of seventy years the Franciscans established four missions in the San Francisco Bay area, and a fifth, originally an asistencia, later attained mission status. San Francisco (1776) and Santa Clara (1777) were both established during the initial phase of the colonization of San Francisco Bay by Anza. San Jose (1797) was established to secure the conversion of Costanoans living in the east bay. San Rafael (1817) and San Francisco Solano (1823) resulted from the recruitment efforts of San Francisco missionaries in the north bay and, in the case of San Rafael, from the need to find a healthier spot for sick Indians from San Francisco mission.

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