Talk:Spanish missions in California/Archive 1

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Archive 1 Archive 2

I have a question

This is very cool, but I have a question. This article seems to be about the missions in the present day US. What about the missions in present day Mexico? I can't find articles on them, so am trying to write them, eg Misión San Javier. Can anyone help? Moomintrollmania 00:19, 12 May 2005 (UTC)

Requested move

Spanish Missions of CaliforniaCalifornia mission, the previous title of the article. There was no discussion to move the article, and I think the simpler title is both non-ambigiuos, briefer, and more easily linked to. Gentgeen 00:05, 14 May 2005 (UTC)

The move was also part of dividing the original article into a series of more detailed articles (further discussion at article talk page)--Lordkinbote 06:26, May 14, 2005 (UTC)
  • Weak Oppose. Now if it were plural (like [California Mission|California Missions]), I might vote to support. No guarantee. Bastique
  • Oppose. Keep current title. Agree with Lordkinbote. BlankVerse 11:33, 14 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Comment I support California Missions --evrik (talk) 04:57, 22 November 2006 (UTC)


I know it looks like I moved this article, but I was cleaning up a cut and paste move. Having said that, in my opinion, the old title was better, and the article should be moved back to California mission. Gentgeen 00:01, 14 May 2005 (UTC)

    • Oppose. I don't know about all the voting, but someone mentioned Mexican missions above, so maybe it should be "Spanish missions of California" to contrast with "Spanish missions of Mexico [and/or, like, Guatemala]," but mostly I'm just here to say it should definitely be Spanish missions [LOWER CASE] of California, not Missions. jengod 02:13, May 14, 2005 (UTC)
  • Oppose. "Spanish Missions of..." puts the subject in the much broader context of Spanish Missions of México (a planned article) and Spanish Missions in Trinidad (an existing article) and is in keeping with current academic trends regarding this subject which is why the original one article was split into a series.--Lordkinbote 06:22, May 14, 2005 (UTC)

    • Oppose. I don't know about all the voting, but someone mentioned Mexican missions above, so maybe it should be "Spanish missions of California" to contrast with "Spanish missions of Mexico [and/or, like, Guatemala]," but mostly I'm just here to say it should definitely be Spanish missions [LOWER CASE] of California, not Missions. jengod 02:13, May 14, 2005 (UTC)
    • Oppose. The new title and article format is MUCH better and more specific than the original, and less ambiguous (review the initial talk page comments made by Moomintrollmania for instance). Renaming the article did not require prior discussion according to the Wikipedia guidlines as "The scope of the article has (clearly) been reduced, extended or otherwise changed". I applaud Lordkinbote's major contributions not only to the main article but to all of the sub-articles as well over the last few months. Efforts to improve Wikipedia such as these should be encouraged, not interfered with!--Pkuchinski 07:52, 14 May 2005 (UTC)
    • Oppose. I would be inclined to support Lordkinbote's move - his work on these and committment to the subject is considerable. I trust his judgement in moving it, it makes sense. Moomintrollmania 09:10, 14 May 2005 (UTC)


It was requested that this article be renamed but there was no consensus for it to be moved. violet/riga (t) 19:35, 18 May 2005 (UTC)

Baja missions

OK, I need help. this site lists these.

  1. Loreto, San Bruno site, San Javier, Ligui
  2. Mulege, San Jose Magdalena visita, La Presentacion visita
  3. San Jose de Comondu
  4. San Juan Bautista Londo visita, La Purisima, Guadalupe del Sur
  5. Pilar de la Paz, Los Dolores del Sur, Santiago, San Ignacio
  6. San Jose del Cabo, Todos Santos (Santa Rosa and Pilar), San Luis Gonzaga, Dolores-La Pasion
  7. San Pablo visita (Dolores del Norte), El Camino Real
  8. Santa Gertrudis, San Borja, Calamajue, Santa Maria de los Angeles
  9. San Fernando, San Juan de Dios visita
  10. El Rosario, Santo Domingo, San Vicente
  11. San Miguel, Santo Tomas
  12. San Pedro Martir
  13. Santa Catalina, Descanso, & Guadalupe del Norte

The problem is that different people use different names - the common names are sometimes very different, and some of the ones that should exist are no longer there... Moomintrollmania 08:20, 14 May 2005 (UTC)

You should be able to resolve most, if not all of these based on the latest changes to the article. Another interesting website regarding Colonial Mexico is at [1].

I put some other info on your talk page.--Lordkinbote 20:30, May 15, 2005 (UTC)

  • To do: Need to confirm geographical order of misións in Baja California Norte, and locate the 5 visitas geographically.--Lordkinbote 00:47, May 19, 2005 (UTC)

interactions of the Missionaries and the neophytes

Not wanting to jump into something I don't understand, may I ask first? When I read this article I see a lack of emphasis upon and coverage of the people that the Missions were intended to serve. There is some historical data of the interactions of the Missionaries and the neophytes, is reporting that information a proper subject of this article? BruceHallman 05:33, 23 March 2006 (UTC)

See California mission clash of cultures which goes into more of the detail I think you are looking for.--Lordkinbote 07:11, 23 March 2006 (UTC)
I have seen that article, but my question is not about that article.
Essentially, I am asking about the sense of NPOV in this Spanish missions in California article. The lack of content about historical data of the quality of life in the Missions for the neophytes amounts to a skewed point of view. There is also a patriarchal slant, witness the the added benefit of giving Spain a toehold in the frontier land phrase in the first paragraph. Yes, benefit from Spain's point of view, but not exactly 'a benefit' for the Native Americans.
Mostly, I am asking about receptivity towards a re-edit of the article to make it more WP:NPOV, considering the view from the perspective of the neophyte, in contrast to the view of the Kingdom of Spain. Is was, in fact, a colonialization that resulted in the [perhaps untended, but never-the-less real] effective extinction of races of people. Those sound like harsh words, but the factuality is not in dispute. The articles use the words 'added benefit' in this context is non-NPOV to say the least. I advocate to strictly comply with WP:V and WP:NOR. For instant, there is good factual data about the mortality rates in Missions, could that data be included in this article about the Missions? BruceHallman 15:00, 23 March 2006 (UTC)
Your points are valid and in fact why "clash of cultures" was created in the first place as part of the California mission series; that article can definitely use expansion. One contentious issue today is the fact that many of the missions themselves still potray life in the missions as serene bastions of "civilization" where the native peoples willingly came to be converted to Christianity, when the historic record clearly indicates otherwise (see "Sociopolitical Aspects of the 1775 Revolt at Mission San Diego de Alcalá: an Ethnohistorical Approach" as just one example). NPOV does not, however, invalidate statements such as ...the added benefit of giving Spain a toehold in the frontier land... though I agree the counterargument is needed to balance the POV. I fail to see, however, where WP:V and WP:NOR apply here as there are ample references listed at the bottom of the article, and would welcome the addition of background info and sources for these articles.--Lordkinbote 15:49, 23 March 2006 (UTC)
I appreciate your objective attitude about this, and I also respect that 'benefit of Spain' is one POV.
I take you at your word regarding the intentions behind the origin of the "clash of cultures" page. Without regard to intentions, all articles deserve a NPOV, including this Spanish missions in California article; which seems presently to be lacking adequate point of view of the neophytes.
I described WP:V and WP:NOR only to assure that I believe that I must comply with those policies, and that if I comply with pertinent Wikipedia policies, I hope my edits will be tolerated. BruceHallman 20:04, 23 March 2006 (UTC)

3/23/06 rewrite

The recent rewrite is a significant improvement in the NPOV, thanks. I question whether the 'unintended' phrase applies to both the people running the Missions, and the people running the Presidios. Because, the impression I have, based on my reading history books is that the Missions used the Presidios to enforce the rules of the Missions, hand in hand. They cannot be viewed as separate entities. I suspect that some people in the interrelated system may not be well described as 'unintended'.

I also question the 300,000 versus 100,000 statistic, though on whole I welcome it, thanks. But, isn't it true that large parts of Alta California were not nearby to Missions. And, in the vicinity of the Missions I understand the native population decline statistics were much worse; especially when measured in childbirth rates and infant mortality.

Also, although European disease is commonly mentioned as a source of the decline, I recall at least one study that indicated that the Mission practice of cloistering women during their child bearing age also had huge impacts on population decline.

Again, thanks. BruceHallman 22:54, 23 March 2006 (UTC)

It was the intent of the Spanish crown to indoctrinate California's indigenous population in Spanish culture and religion, in somewhat the same fashion as the ancient Romans expanded their empire some 2,000 years before, as there were few Spanish citizens (particularly women) who would consent to pulling up stakes and settling in the New World (the justification for the "unintended" comment as a general statement). While it's probably safe to say the Catholics did not condone the attacks perpetrated by the Spanish military on the native peoples, it is also clear that they often turned a "blind eye" or lacked the political clout to prevent such actions.
The 300k/100k figures come from California: An Interpretive History if I remember correctly and seem to be the most widely-quoted figures, though "real" data is hard to come by and based mostly on extrapolation from mission records which were (of course) kept by the padres. The estimates don't (likely can't) take into consideration those who left the mission life and returned to their previous living arrangements. The friars also, it seems, accepted death as commonplace and only kept records of the passing of "converted souls."
FYI, Fr. Maynard Geiger and Fr. Francis Guest have written some good, objective analytical pieces on the mission system while under the control of the Franciscan order. An interesting parallel can be drawn between the Spanish mission system and Russia's attempts to colonize portions of North America (particularly, present-day Alaska). The Russians employed a more mercantilistic, and mercenary, approach, using as the Russian-American Company as their official colonizing agency. The effect on the native Alaskans was, in many respects, equally devastating. I imagine the same is true for virtually any empire-building effort (watch The Mission sometime).--Lordkinbote 01:08, 24 March 2006 (UTC)
That is an interesting comparison between the Northwest Coast and California; different particulars but with equally devastating results. Of course the NWC had the Russian area in the north, British area midcoast and American in the south. I have studied this somewhat[2] (and I'm more familiar with the British area). My opinion is that the central theme, at least initially, for these NWC domains was bilateral economic trade. The only Mission, obvious in my memory, was the one at Metlakatla, and that was dominant only several generations after initial contact. The biggest obvious difference was that Metlakatla was truly a pure religious motivation, without the intent of colonization, and the associated enforcement by military force. In other words, the Spanish Missions cannot be fairly viewed separate from the Presidios.
The three obvious causes of native devastation on the NWC were disease, warfare (internecine, and w/Europeans), and cultural upheaval (social, economic & class) resulting in disorientation, poverty and hardship. This might be pertinent to the California Missions, because changes in the social, economic, class conditions in the native cultures also occurred here. I recall reading, (trying to remember which author...) an analysis of the baptismal records for the San Francisco mission that identified patterns of alliances implied from the specific order that individual villages came in to be baptised. The pattern suggested that there was a prestige and competition as to which villages maneuvered to initially form alliances with the 'exotic powerful wealthy newcomers', in other words, cultural and economic motivations, as opposed to spiritual. For a neophyte, did being 'baptised' mean the same thing as it did for a Padre? Clearly not. BruceHallman 18:00, 24 March 2006 (UTC)

section 1.2

number of missions discussed here does not match the number of missions that are listed in the list below: 22 full missions plus 4 small ones for a total of 26. What is the right number? What are the missing names? Thanks Hmains 02:11, 25 July 2006 (UTC)

Actually, its 21 missions and 5 "sub-missions" (Santa Margarita, San Bernardino, Las Flores, Santa Ysabel, and Pala); 26 entries are listed in order in the article. Mission Nuestra Señora Reina de los Angeles is referenced, though it was never fully incorporated into the mission system and instead became a pueblo, one that grew into the City of Los Angeles.--Lordkinbote 03:00, 25 July 2006 (UTC)
I am curious what qualifies as a "sub-mission", does the 1786 chapel at San Pedro Valley qualify? (Mentioned in the fifth paragraph here. BruceHallman 14:48, 25 July 2006 (UTC)
It appears that this same installation (or perhaps another portion of the same property) is referred to as "THE HOSPICE (OUTPOST OF MISSION DOLORES)", California Historical Landmark #393 (it's currently listed in the article on Mission San Francisco de Asís). I've seen San Pedro referred to as an asistencia elsewhere, and as one of the functions was to convert and serve the local inhabitants it would qualify as such (as opposed to being an estancia or visita). I'm going to see what other information I can dig; in the meantime I've added it to the article as a separate entry.--Lordkinbote 21:54, 25 July 2006 (UTC)
Actually, historical landmark #393, located twenty miles away, was built about 15 years later than historical landmark #391 (site of The Mission outpost at San Pedro Valley). Indeed, I understand from reading research, that the Mission outpost at San Pedro Valley was intended to convert local inhabitants and to serve as a farm. The Mission outpost at San Pedro Valley, built in 1786 was only used a few years before measles killed most of the Indians who lived in the villiage Pruristac in San Pedro Valley. The 'Sanchez Adobe' was later built on that abandoned site in San Pedro Valley hence the name of historical site #391 "Sanchez Adobe". BruceHallman 22:21, 25 July 2006 (UTC)

Kill their parents claim.

I think that such an extreme claim should be subject to strong WP:V scrutiny. The passage from the Catholic Encyclopedia, which I am guessing is the source, is suspect of bias in my opinion. A few 'bias' flag phrases picked out of the passage: "The most obvious characteristic of this culture was its negative quality...", "all their arts were of the crudest development...", "Both mentally and physically they represented one of the lowest types on the continent. ", "In this and certain other detestable customs the coast tribes were like the California Indians generally, whom Powers characterizes, in their heathen condition, as perhaps the most licentious race existent." Hardly phrases one would expect to read from an objective source. Is there another more neutral source to back up the infanticide and parent killing claim? Lacking more neutral citation, perhaps we should remove those claims. BruceHallman 17:20, 13 August 2006 (UTC)

My thoughts on this mirror your own, though I haven't had the time to run this to ground. I'd support removing the text from the article until and unless some unimpeachable sourcing is provided.--Lord Kinbote 03:01, 14 August 2006 (UTC)
Moved here from article page, this section needs some WP:V work:
The ruin of the missions and the invasion of the Americans caused the natives to die by the thousands; however, the southern bands were protected by the desert environment and survived in greater numbers. Contributors to their decline were their original practices of infanticide and abortion which continued to be so prevalent that even the most strenuous efforts of the missionaries hardly succeeded in halting these practices. Among the Gallinomero, according to the Catholic Encyclopedia[3], aged parents were sometimes choked to death by their own children.
In the first clause, 'The ruin of the missions...' seems contrary to the research I have read, as drastic declines in native population occured at the time of the onset of the missions, and prior to the ruin of the missions, and the 'invasion of the Americans' attribution seems odd and vague, when did this invasion of Americans occur? (1840's?) The 'however, the southern bands...' clause seems like it may be original research, though it also seems quite plausible. The second sentence appears to be based on the Catholic Encyclopedia, which in my opinion, needs an second independent reference to confirm its crediblity BruceHallman 15:47, 14 August 2006 (UTC)

Chronology of intro

I guess I haven't been following my watchlist close enough, but the second paragraph of the introduction leads with the end of the missions!? Logically, the introduction should describe the beginning, middle and ending of the mission period (in that order).

Going back in article history, I see that the second paragraph used to read:

"Since 1493, the Kingdom of Spain had maintained a number of missions throughout Nueva España (New Spain, consisting of Mexico and portions of what today are the Southwestern United States) in order to facilitate colonization of these lands. In this context, the term "California" is used to refer to the territory that comprises Alta California (chiefly the current U.S. state of California) and the Mexican states of Baja California and Baja California Sur. It was not until the threat of invasion by Tsarist Russia in 1765, however, that the King felt such installations were necessary in Upper ("Alta") California. Between 1774 and 1791, the Crown sent forth a number of expeditions to explore the Pacific Northwest, but by 1819 chose to limit its "reach" to Northern California due to the costs involved in sustaining such remote outposts.

This did a pretty good job of describing the beginning of this mission period, I have no idea why it was edited out, and I propose putting it back in at the second paragraph location, any thoughts? Is that 1493 date correct? BruceHallman 15:57, 14 August 2006 (UTC)

Good catch, I've been too busy to pay a whole lot of attention to WP lately so this one went right by me. I've restored the deleted material.--Lord Kinbote 19:10, 14 August 2006 (UTC)
The introduction could probably use some editing for better 'flow' now. But, I just restored the 'second paragraph' deleted out on July 23 (now to a 'third paragraph' position) as it fills in the 'middle portion' of the chronology. The fourth paragraph serves a 'end of the period' chronology role. I am ambivalent about the 'lost their protectors' American period paragraphs at the end of the intro because it spans time subsequent to the 'mission period', but I am OK with it in or out.


I removed these sentences for fact and POV checking:

"Along with religion, the Europeans brought with them diseases that the indigenous peoples had never been exposed to, and consequently had no immunity against. By 1767, epidemics of measles, plague, smallpox, typhus, and venereal diseases had decimated the native population. Out of an initial population of as many as 50,000, only some 5,000 are thought to have survived. " BruceHallman 16:05, 28 September 2006 (UTC)

For NPOV, it should start "Along with the Catholic religion..." as certainly indigenous religions preexisted the European contact. Also, I was reading the Milliken book over the weekend, and there does not appear to be historical evidence of widespread mortality from "epidemics of measles", plague, smallpox or typhus in California circa 1775-1833, Baja probably was similar. There is historical data about mortality and the drop in population, especially from a drop in the reproductivity rate, still births, infant mortality, nutritional issues and syphilis. BruceHallman 16:05, 28 September 2006 (UTC)

Not all the items listed were missions

There should be a portion where the churches like Rancho Las Flores and La Placita are broken out, as they weren't actual missions. --evrik (talk) 23:23, 17 November 2006 (UTC)

This hinges on the definition of "mission". The article states: "The Spanish Missions in California (more simply referred to as the "California Missions") comprise a series of religious outposts established by Spanish Catholic on the Franciscan Order between 1769 and 1823 to spread the Christian doctrine among the local Native Americans. " It seems to me, that any Catholic church seeking to indoctrinate California Indians could be called a 'mission'. BruceHallman 23:41, 19 November 2006 (UTC)

I have to look for the official defintion, but there are only 21 alata Califonia missions. --evrik (talk) 23:58, 19 November 2006 (UTC)

I didn't know there was an official definition. Official by which authority? BruceHallman 19:27, 20 November 2006 (UTC)
All of the listed settlements were either missions or asistencias ("satellite" or "sub" missions, sometimes referred to as "contributing chapels" — small-scale missions that regularly conducted Divine service on days of obligation but lacked a resident priest) with the exception of Mission Nuestra Señora Reina de los Angeles, which was intended to be a sub-mission to San Gabriel.--Lord Kinbote 18:51, 20 November 2006 (UTC)
  • There are only 21 buildings considered missions.

This is the list in chronologic order:

  1. Mission San Diego de Alcala (1769)
  2. Mission San Carlos Borroméo de Carmelo (1770)
  3. Mission San Antonio de Padua (1771)
  4. Mission San Gabriel Arcángel (1771)
  5. Mission San Luis Obispo (1772)
  6. Mission San Francisco de Asís (1776)
  7. Mission San Juan Capistrano (1776)
  8. Mission Santa Clara de Asís (1777)
  9. Mission San Buenaventura (1782)
  10. Mission Santa Barbara (1786)
  11. Mission La Purisíma Concepción (1787)
  12. Mission Santa Cruz (1791)
  13. Mission Nuestra Señora de la Soledad (1791)
  14. Mission San José (1797)
  15. Mission San Juan Bautista (1797)
  16. Mission San Miguel de Arcángel (1797)
  17. Mission San Fernando Rey de España (1797)
  18. Mission San Luis Rey de Francia (1798)
  19. Mission Santa Inés (1804)
  20. Mission San Rafael Arcángel (1817)
  21. Mission San Francisco de Solano (1823)
As a reference look at:
--evrik (talk) 19:39, 20 November 2006 (UTC)
I can read the list; what about the definition of asistencia above do you not understand? These facilities are as important to the overall comprehension of the mission system and its goals and therefore merit inclusion.--Lord Kinbote 20:00, 20 November 2006 (UTC)

There are only 21 missions. Include them in the article, but the rest were never called missions. Never. Call them iglesia, church, whatever, but they were never missions. --evrik (talk) 20:07, 20 November 2006 (UTC)

And you are citing what authority on the above?--Lord Kinbote 00:11, 21 November 2006 (UTC)
  • There are many ... how many more do you want?

The California Missions Foundation is dedicated to the preservation, protection and maintenance of California's 21 historic missions.


Is there a distinction between mission and Mission? The question probably boils down to whether we define a mission based on a functional criteria (did it serve a missionary function), or a Mission based on a nominal criteria (its name or title). Personally, I favor the functional criteria. If the establishment served the function of a mission, it was a mission. BruceHallman 22:01, 21 November 2006 (UTC)

  • I think the issue on this page has been resolved withe the creation of this section Spanish_missions_in_California#Asistencias_in_geographical_order.2C_north_to_south. In truth, the common usage of the term mission in California referes to the 21 missions. The rest were either churches or asistencias (sub-missions). There is a great deal of literature out there about this. I'm satisfied with the set up of the article as it is right now. --evrik (talk) 04:42, 22 November 2006 (UTC)
I am not satisfied. Could someone please answer my question: Is there a distinction between mission and Mission? BruceHallman 16:24, 22 November 2006 (UTC)
Bruce, take a look at Mission (station) which I believe defines mission; this is the function that Nuestra Señora Reina de los Angeles served when it was originally founded, and before it became a parish church. Mission is part of an official designation and a proper name when combined with (for example) San Diego de Alcalá to arrive at Mission San Diego de Alcalá.--Lord Kinbote 19:07, 22 November 2006 (UTC)
I have trouble understanding 'official designation', without knowing who is the 'official'. Hopefully, Wikipedia can try to sort out the reality of the history of the missions from the myths and the conventional wisdom about the history of the missions. Although I get the concept of WP:V, I hope (wish?) that the simple fact that 21 keeps getting repeated (true or not) doesn't trump an empirical defintion. BruceHallman 20:01, 22 November 2006 (UTC)
Leffingwell does a good job of documenting most of the names as founded (likely based on the church records); the next time I am in Santa Barbara I plan on spending some time at the mission archives to try and resolve the few outstanding "question marks." Engelhardt's many works also substantiate these issues, though they are often difficult to gain access to due to their age and scarcity.--Lord Kinbote 20:29, 22 November 2006 (UTC)

Tribal names

Any thoughts on whether the tribal names in the tables of each mission are correct? For example, for Mission San Diego de Alcala, it's listed as Diegueno, not Kumeyaay, but the link is to Kumeyaay. The term Diegueno (like Juaneno, etc.) is the term the Spanish gave to associate with the closest mission. Should it be changed to Kumeyaay, or Kumeyaay/Diegueno? Any thoughts? --Anietor 05:36, 15 June 2007 (UTC)

  • They're supposed to be the Spanish names; no reason both Spanish and native names couldn't be included, I guess. Mdhennessey 05:55, 15 June 2007 (UTC)

I have no problem with using Spanish names. But out of curiousity, why are they "supposed to be" the Spanish names? --Anietor 06:10, 15 June 2007 (UTC)

I may have read the infobox criteria incorrectly. Mdhennessey 06:37, 15 June 2007 (UTC)

Well, I see you've started putting both names in. That second line for "Spanish name" was already there, so makes sense to use it. I think it looks pretty good! --Anietor 06:16, 15 June 2007 (UTC)

Thanks, you had a good idea so I thought I'd act on it right away! Mdhennessey 06:37, 15 June 2007 (UTC)

Why the prehistory of the native American peoples?

Is it really appropriate here to have a paragraph on the prehistory of the native peoples of America? It seems to me it makes as much sense as presenting the prehistoric origins of the Spanish people who colonized the area. (talk) 10:47, 20 March 2008 (UTC)Stephen Kosciesza

Gone. Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? 12:30, 20 March 2008 (UTC)
This information is pertinent from an anthropological standpoint toward understanding the effects that the Spanish occupation had on the indigenous population; in some of the more developed articles the specific culture of the local peoples is dicussed. If you can cite information from published sources as to why this is not relevant to the topic then I suggest you do so before simply reverting the article to a previous flawed version. Mdhennessey (talk) 18:04, 20 March 2008 (UTC)
A discussion of the culture of the local peoples AT THE TIME OF THE MISSIONS or shortly before, might very well be relevant towards that understanding you raise. The prehistoric origins of the people--tens of thousands of years earlier, and by what now-geologically-defunct means--provides no such understanding. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:36, 21 March 2008 (UTC) (talk) 03:48, 21 March 2008 (UTC)Stephen Kosciesza
What does your little anthropology lesson have to do with the rest of the article? If you're trying to make some kind of point, you're not doing it very well. It's a standalone statement with no stated connection to the rest of the article. Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? 21:10, 20 March 2008 (UTC)
OK, now there IS a cited reference that connects the section to "to the rest of the article." And again, if you intend to remove information from these articles in the future I ask that you do so based only on publiished sources (per WP guidelines), as you so far have provided none. Mdhennessey (talk) 21:23, 20 March 2008 (UTC)
I see your emendation here, and the reference you cite. Unless you're prepared to develop this little thesis (which should probably have a separate article), your statement still seems one thrown in and barely related to the article. I suspect two things: first, you need to show as widely as possible that you know this point you're making, and second, you have a--probably subconscious--agenda. It sounds like you wish to prove with scientific certainty that the arrival of Christian Europeans was the biggest catastrophe imaginable for the native peoples of California. But a mere statement that these people arrived by what land bridge, from where, how many thousands of years ago, does nothing towards that agenda. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:45, 21 March 2008 (UTC) (talk) 03:48, 21 March 2008 (UTC)Stephen Kosciesza
I don't need a "published source" to justify removal of anything, you have to provide a published source that supports a reason for keeping it. So far, I'm not seeing it. But I'll let the original questioner weigh into this one before doing anything else with it. Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? 21:30, 20 March 2008 (UTC)
I disagree and view continued removal of this material as vandalism, plus I question what point you are trying to make in this regard, especially given the fact that both you and the original anon poster have virtually zero edits toward this article save for the deletion of this section. And by the way, phrases such as "your little anthropology lesson" not only reveal an appalling lack of knowledge regarding the subject, they also border on incivility. Mdhennessey (talk) 21:43, 20 March 2008 (UTC)
I'm not sure how the phrase reveals an "appalling lack of knowledge on the subject." I am sure of what his point is: your paragraph has such remote, tenuous, far-fetched relevance to the article as to be virtually irrelevant. It just seems a mere tangent--designed to show the world how much you know, and/or to promote your agenda. (talk) 03:52, 21 March 2008 (UTC)Stephen Kosciesza
By the way, if by "original anon poster" you mean me, I've signed these comments with my real name--so I'm hardly anon. And I haven't removed anything; I've only commented, with the fairly obvious observation that your paragraph adds nothing to the subject of the article. (talk) 04:03, 21 March 2008 (UTC)Stephen Kosciesza
You own it now. Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? 23:01, 20 March 2008 (UTC)
Thank you! Mdhennessey (talk) 23:08, 20 March 2008 (UTC)
Ownership is against the rules. Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? 23:21, 20 March 2008 (UTC)
I had taken your previous comment as a good-faith indication on your part that this issue was resolved. Thanks for clarifying your position. Mdhennessey (talk) 02:49, 21 March 2008 (UTC)
You are quick to cite rules when they serve your purpose, and quick to ignore those that might go against your agenda on these pages. Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? 19:01, 21 March 2008 (UTC)
OK, original questioner here. As I suggested before, it seems to me that the prehistoric origins of the indigenous peoples have no more relevance to the subject of this article than would the prehistoric origins of the Spanish settlers. It sounds like someone just wants to try to stick this information in, at as many places as he can. The place for a paragraph--or two, or three, or twenty--on the origins of the native peoples of the Americas is an article on the origins of the native peoples of the Americas.
Another parallel here. Suppose someone, noting that adobe was used in building these missions, might discuss adobe--or might discuss the geology of the minerals that make up adobe. Certainly, the relevance of that would be stretching reason to the breaking point. The paragraph, which has found its way into every one of the articles on individual Spanish missions in California (and other articles, too), really does not belong here. I'm not taking issue with the content of the paragraph (although I understand there are other theories). It just doesn't make sense to have it here. (talk) 03:32, 21 March 2008 (UTC)Stephen Kosciesza

Virtually all of the Precontact section belongs in some other article. You have not discussed the ethnic prehistory of the Spanish settlers. You have not elaborated on how the Spanish themselves came to the Catholicism they brought to the New World. You have not discussed how the Spanish made their voyages. A few brief comments on who the native peoples were AT THE TIME OF THE MISSIONS might be relevant. Such a detailed discussion, going back to land bridges 13,000 years ago, is not. (talk) 04:22, 21 March 2008 (UTC)Stephen Kosciesza

All of this is specious reasoning at best. The origins of the California natives, and how they lived prior to European contact, is highly pertinent to the topic of the missions (and given only minimal treatment in these articles), and is the subject of much scholarly research and writing. And to suggest that "A few brief comments on who the native peoples were AT THE TIME OF THE MISSIONS might be relevant" is absolutely ludicrous and demonstrates a serious lack of understanding of the subject matter. I can only assume that it is you, who have a total of ZERO edits to these articles prior to this attempt to remove the section in question, are the one with the agenda. I suggest that you read up on this subject and bring verifiable source material in support of your opinions to bear on this discussion. Mdhennessey (talk) 07:22, 21 March 2008 (UTC)
If it is relevant at all, you haven't shown it in your paragraph. As it stands, it's a completely unconnected statement just stuck in. It seems to me, it's up to you to explain yourself. You're right, by the way, I have not edited these articles, or hardly any at all (mainly, I've made grammar and usage fixes). That should not stand as a qualification or disqualification to ask the question, "What does this have to do with the subject of the article?" To suggest that it does is only an ad hominem argument (presumably because you can't come up with a valid one). Maybe you're just so much wiser than anybody else, but if you have a thing to say, you need to say it. If your paragraph is relevant to the article, then show us how.
Let me make another analogy. Someone fills an article with unsourced statements that also seem farfetched. Someone else asks, hey, are you sure about all this--where did you get it? The original writer protests, if we think he's wrong, provide sources to prove it.
No! It's up to the original writer to provide the sources.
To discuss the lives of the indigenous peoples, and their own beliefs and religious practices and traditions at the time of the establishment of the missions, and then to discuss how the missions affected them would be relevant. Crossing the land bridge 13,000 years ago, and archaeological evidence of those times, has zero relevance. (talk) 14:05, 21 March 2008 (UTC)Stephen Kosciesza
Your analogy is pointless; the articles are not filled with unsourced statements, and just because you don't like the source or happen to personally agree with the conclusion doesn't make it farfetched. If you know of opposing sources that would merit the removal of the material, you haven't cited them. You speak of having an agenda, and I believe you are the one with the agenda (concious or otherwise); that you state, "It sounds like you wish to prove with scientific certainty that the arrival of Christian Europeans was the biggest catastrophe imaginable for the native peoples of California" speaks volumes. I am proving nothing, merely citing material that is well-documented and from a wide variety of sources, all to ensure that the article is as neutral as possible. You are the one on the soapbox, and I am rightly suspicious when someone out of the blue trolls through over 2 dozen articles to try to impart their own viewpoint, using "it seems to me" as the basis for their argument. The subject of the missions has as much to do with anthropology and archaeology as they do with history and architecture, and there is no basis for artificially limiting the treatment of these articles to any one particular field of study. The missions didn't spring to life overnight or exist in a vacuum, and some discussion regarding the natives' existence prior to the Spaniards' arrival is merited. Mdhennessey (talk) 16:10, 21 March 2008 (UTC)
You're so blinded by your own agenda that you have to misconstrue my analogy. I didn't say your statements are unsourced. Here is the analogy laid out.
HYPOTHETICAL CASE: Someone fills an article with unsourced statements that seem farfetched. I say, show us some evidence for these statements, and the person answers, show evidence that they're wrong. No, the burden's on him to show evidence.
CASE AT HAND: You insert into a dozen or 15 articles the same paragraph that, for the most part, seems to have next to nothing to do with the articles. I say, show us how this is relevant, and you want me to provide evidence that it isn't.

You say "The missions didn't spring to life overnight or exist in a vacuum, and some discussion regarding the natives' existence prior to the Spaniards' arrival is merited." I think I've said something like that several times myself. It should be obvious that that doesn't include 13,000 year-old pre-history of migrations of peoples across land bridges during the ice age. Your one statement that MIGHT be relevant, comparing the effects of the arrival of the Spaniards with 13,000 years of climatic change, is so broad as to be an ASSESSMENT of (maybe) substantial evidence. It also seems rather incredible, to the point that one might wonder if that assessment represents wishful thinking--to "prove" one's preconceived notions at any cost--rather than to draw objective conclusions from the facts. (talk) 17:42, 21 March 2008 (UTC)Stephen Kosciesza

If you don't agree with the way I interpret your analogies then I suggest you stop making them; they are not germane to the discussion at hand in the first place. And though you feel that "comparing the effects of the arrival of the Spaniards with 13,000 years of climatic change" is an "assessment" it is one made by a noted source (the "evidence for these statements" you refer to) and is highly relevant to the topic. If there is a "point" I am trying to make here, it's that well-sourced information need not be removed due to ignorance. All you have injected into the discussion thusfar are your own notions, without verifiable references as counter arguments; I suggest that the more appropriate place for these opinions would be a blog, and not an encyclopedia article. Wikipedia is not a soapbox. Mdhennessey (talk) 18:01, 21 March 2008 (UTC)
Your continual insistence on posting this irrelevant stuff is, in fact a violation of the soapbox rules that are trying to stand on. Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? 18:45, 21 March 2008 (UTC)
Maybe, in order for that paragraph to make some contextual sense, you should also have a paragraph on the previous 13,000 years worth of Spanish history. Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? 18:59, 21 March 2008 (UTC)

Ya, listen up kids. I don't really go around editing wikipedia articles, but i was checking the Mission San Carlos Borromeo page and the whole prehistory thing is ridiculous. I read what little of your petty arguing i could stand, but honestly theres no way that shit belongs unless you want to go into the prehistory of building churches ya jackass. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 23:59, 1 April, 2006 (UTC)