Spanish missions in Baja California

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The Spanish missions in Baja California were a large number of religious outposts established by Catholic religious orders, the Jesuits, the Franciscans and the Dominicans, between 1683 and 1834. The missionary goal was to spread the Christian doctrine among the Indigenous peoples living on the Baja California peninsula. The missions gave Spain a valuable toehold in the frontier land, and would also act as a deterrent to prevent pirates from using the peninsula of Las Californias as a jumping off point for contraband trade with mainland New Spain. Missionaries introduced European livestock, fruits, vegetables, and industry into the region. Indigenous peoples were severely impacted by the introduction of European diseases such as smallpox and measles; furthermore, the expulsion of the Jesuits from the Spanish Empire in 1767 ripped the social fabric of the peninsula, although Franciscans were sent to replace them. In 1769, the Franciscans moved to Upper California, leaving Dominicans in charge of Baja California. By 1800 indigenous numbers were a fraction of what they had been before the arrival of the Spanish, yet even today many people living in Baja California are of indigenous heritage.

All missions in Mexico were secularized by the Mexican secularization act of 1833 by 1834 and the last of the missionaries departed in 1840. Under secularization, native mission congregations lost their communal rights to the lands which they had farmed since baptism. Some of the mission churches survive and are still in use.[1]


Misión de Nuestra Señora de Loreto Conchó was the second mission established on the Baja California Peninsula
Mission San José del Cabo, the southernmost mission established on the Baja California Peninsula

As early as the voyages of Christopher Columbus, the Kingdom of Spain sought to establish missions to convert pagans to Catholicism in Nueva España (New Spain). New Spain consisted of the Caribbean, Mexico, and portions of what is now the Southwestern United States. To facilitate colonization, the Catholic Church awarded these lands to Spain.

In addition to the presidio (royal fort) and pueblo (town), the misión was one of three major agencies employed by the Spanish crown to extend its borders and consolidate its colonial territories. Asistencias ("sub-missions" or "contributing chapels") were small-scale missions that regularly conducted Catholic religious services on days of obligation, but lacked a resident priest. Smaller sites called visitas ("visiting chapels") also lacked a resident priest, and were often attended only sporadically. Since 1493, the Crown of Spain had maintained missions throughout Nueva España.

Between 1683 and 1685, Eusebio Kino established a mission at San Bruno, but he did not have enough political or financial support to sustain the community, and returned to the mainland where he established Mission Dolores on the opposite side of the Gulf of California among the Pima. In 1696, the Pious Fund for the Californias was founded at Jesuit headquarters in Mexico City, the idea being that this endowment could produce enough revenue every year to give the critical financial support to a second missionary effort, which was undertaken by Juan Maria Salvatierra in 1697 starting with Mission Loreto. For every 10,000 Spanish dollars donated to the fund by wealthy merchants, the Jesuit living an austere life in the Peninsula would receive 500 Spanish dollars which was used to support himself, but also to import tools and cloth for native congregants and decorations for the church. Aside from this 500 Spanish dollar annual income, each frontier mission aimed to be self-supporting.[2] Supplies came at times from the mainland, either from sister missions in Sonora via Guaymas or from merchants in Tepic near the port of Matanchel, which the Jesuits used. The Manila galleon stopped regularly at Cabo San Lucas 1734 to 1767, and was a more inexpensive source of supply. Ignacio Tirsch, a Jesuit friar of the 1760s, drew a picture of such a Manila galleon trading at Mission San Jose del Cabo.Scroll down to pictures

To sustain a mission, the padres needed colonists or converted Indigenous Americans, called neophytes, to cultivate crops and tend livestock in the volume needed to support a fair-sized establishment.   Scarcity of imported materials and lack of skilled laborers compelled the Fathers to employ simple building materials and methods. Although the Spanish hierarchy considered the missions temporary ventures, individual settlement development was not based simply on "priestly whim."  The founding of a mission followed longstanding rules and procedures. In Jesuit times, a donor for an additional 10,000 Spanish dollars was a prerequisite.  In addition, the paperwork involved required months, sometimes years of correspondence, and demanded the attention of virtually every level of the bureaucracy. Once empowered to erect a mission in a given area, the men assigned to it chose a specific site that featured a good water supply, proximity to a population of indigenous peoples, and arable land. The padres, their military escort and often converted mainland indigenous people or mestizos initially fashioned defendable shelters, from which a base was established and the mission could grow.

Construction of the iglesia (church) constituted the focus of the settlement, and created the center of the community. The majority of mission sanctuaries were oriented on a roughly east–west axis to take the best advantage of the sun's position for interior illumination. The workshops, kitchens, living quarters, storerooms, and other ancillary chambers were usually grouped in the form of a quadrangle, inside which religious celebrations and other events often took place.

The Native Americans[edit]

Locations of the indigenous peoples of the Baja California Peninsula, highlighting the Guaycura people
Misión Santa Gertrudis.

Indian peoples encountered by the Spanish missionaries in Baja California (from north to south) were the Kumeyaay, Cocopah, Pai Pai,[3] Kiliwa,[4] Cochimi, Monqui, Guaycura, and Pericu.[5] The Kumeyaay and Cocapah practiced limited agriculture, but the majority of the Baja Californians were nomadic or semi-nomadic hunter-gatherers who eked out a living under difficult desert conditions and scarcity of fresh water.

In a policy followed throughout much of Latin America called reductions, the missionaries concentrated the Indians at or near the mission for religious instruction and training to become sedentary farmers and stock herders. Their goal was to create a self-sufficient theocracy in which the missionary, usually supported by Spanish soldiers and laymen, attempted to rule over every facet of the Indian's religious and secular lives.[6] The Indigenous peoples were housed often by gender, forcibly converted to Catholicism and acculturated to the Spanish Empire within the confines of the mission. Recalcitrant indigenous peoples often ran away or revolted, and many missions maintained a precarious existence during the colonial era. Use of firearms, corporal punishment in the form of whippings and religious ritual and psychological punishments were all methods employed by the missionaries to maintain and expand control.[7] There were instances of armed resistance by the Indians against the missions, notably the Pericue revolt of 1734-1737, and Indians at the missions frequently ran away to escape the religious and labor regime forced on them by the missionaries or sabotaged the missionary's efforts by passive resistance.[8]

At the time of first contact with the Spanish, the Native Americans living in Baja California may have numbered as many as 60,000. By 1762, their numbers had fallen to 21,000 and by 1800 to 5,900. The primary reason for the decline was recurrent epidemics of European diseases, primarily smallpox, measles, and typhus. The spread of disease was facilitated by the missionary's practice of congregating the population near the mission. Endemic Syphilis resulted in higher child mortality and a reduced birth rate. By the early 19th century, the tribes of Baja California were culturally extinct, except for the Kumeyaay, Cocopah, and Pai Pai.[9]

Missions in Baja California[edit]

Baja California and the location of the Missions, highlighting the location of Mission Loreto
Misión San Francisco Javier de Viggé-Biaundó.

Fortún Jiménez de Bertadoña discovered the Baja California Peninsula in early 1534. However, it was Hernán Cortés who recognized the peninsula as the "Island of California" in May 1535, and is therefore officially credited with the discovery. In January 1683, the Spanish government chartered an expedition consisting of three ships to transport a contingent of 200 men to the southern tip of Baja California. Under the command of the governor of Sinaloa, Isidoro de Atondo y Antillón, and accompanied by Jesuit priest Eusebio Francisco Kino, the ships made landfall in La Paz. The landing party was eventually forced to abandon its initial settlement due to the hostile response on the part of the natives. The missionaries attempted to establish a settlement near present-day Loreto, which they named Misión San Bruno but failed for lack of supplies.[10] Kino went on to establish a number of missions in the Pimería Alta, now located in southern Arizona, USA and Sonora, Mexico.

The Jesuit priest Juan María de Salvatierra eventually managed to establish the first permanent Spanish settlement in Baja California, the Misión Nuestra Señora de Loreto Conchó. Founded on October 19, 1697, the mission become the religious center of the peninsula and administrative capital of Las Californias. From there, other Jesuits went out to establish other settlements throughout the lower two-thirds of the peninsula, founding 17 missions and several visitas (sub-missions) between 1697 and 1767.[11]

Unlike the mainland settlements that were designed to be self-sustaining enterprises, the remote and harsh conditions on the peninsula made it all but impossible to build and maintain these missions without ongoing assistance from the mainland. Supply lines from across the Gulf of California, including from the missions and ranches of Padre Eusebio Kino on the mainland to the Port of Guaymas, played a crucial role in keeping the Baja California mission system intact.

During the sixty years that the Jesuits were permitted to work among the natives of California, 56 members of the Society of Jesus came to the Baja California peninsula, of whom 16 died at their posts (two as martyrs). Fifteen priests and one lay brother survived the hardships, only to be subjected to enforcement of the decree launched against the Society by King Carlos III of Spain.[12] It was rumored that the Jesuit priests had amassed a fortune on the peninsula and were becoming very powerful. On February 3, 1768 the King ordered the Jesuits forcibly expelled from the Americas and returned to the home country. Gaspar de Portolà was appointed Governor of Las Californias, with orders to supervise the Jesuit expulsion and oversee the installation of replacement Franciscan priests.[13]

The Franciscans, under the leadership of Fray Junípero Serra, took charge of the missions and closed or consolidated several of the existing installations. A total of 39 Friars Minor toiled on the peninsula during the five years and five months of Franciscan rule. Four of them died, 10 were transferred to new northern missions, and the remainder returned to Europe.[14]

Governor Portolà was put in command of an expedition to travel north and establish new settlements at San Diego and Monterey. Serra went along as leader of the missionaries, to establish missions in those places.[15] On the way north, Serra founded Misión San Fernando Rey de España de Velicatá. Francisco Palóu was left in charge of the existing missions, and founded the Visita de la Presentación in 1769.

Representatives of the Dominican order arrived in 1772, and by 1800, had established nine more missions in northern Baja, all the while continuing with the administration of the former Jesuit missions. The peninsula was divided into two separate entities in 1804, with the southern one having the seat of government established in the Port of Loreto. In 1810, Mexico sought to end Spanish colonial rule, gaining her independence in 1821, after which Mexican President Guadalupe Victoria named Lt. Col. José María Echeandía governor of Baja California Sur and divided it into four separate municipios (municipalities). The capital was moved to La Paz in 1830, after Loreto was partially destroyed by heavy rains. In 1833, after Baja California was designated as a federal territory, the governor formally put an end to the mission system by converting the missions into parish churches.

Mission administration[edit]

System Father-Presidentes[edit]

The "Father-Presidente" was the head of the Catholic missions in Alta and Baja California. He was appointed by the College of San Fernando de Mexico until 1812, when the position became known as the "Commissary Prefect" who was appointed by the Commissary General of the Indies (a Franciscan residing in Spain). Beginning in 1831, separate individuals were elected to oversee Upper and Lower California.[16]

Mission headquarters[edit]

† The Rev. Payeras and the Rev. Durán remained at their resident missions during their terms as Father-Presidente, therefore those settlements became the de facto headquarters (until 1833, when all mission records were permanently relocated to Santa Barbara).[17][notes 1][18]

Mission locations[edit]

There were 30 missions and 11 visitas in Baja California stretching the entire length of the Baja California Peninsula. From Playas de Rosarito through to the southernmost mission in San José del Cabo, the missions were:

List of missions in Baja California and Baja California Sur, north to south
Name Image Location Date founded Order Notes
Misión El Descanso (San Miguel la Nueva) Playas de Rosarito
32°12′19″N 116°54′19″W / 32.20528°N 116.90528°W / 32.20528; -116.90528 (Misión El Descanso (San Miguel la Nueva))
1810 (1810) Dominicans The mission was relocated 600 m (2,000 ft) northeast in 1830, with only the foundations remaining at the original site. The second site was abandoned in 1834. In ruins.[19][20]
Misión San Miguel Arcángel de la Frontera La Misión
32°05′39″N 116°51′16″W / 32.09417°N 116.85444°W / 32.09417; -116.85444 (Misión San Miguel Arcángel de la Frontera)
28 March 1787 (1787-03-28) Dominicans Abandoned in 1834. In ruins.[19]
Misión de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe del Norte Valle de Guadalupe
32°05′31″N 116°34′27″W / 32.09194°N 116.57417°W / 32.09194; -116.57417 (Misión de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe del Norte)
June 1834 (1834-06) Dominicans Abandoned in 1840. In ruins.[19]
Misión Santa Catarina Virgen y Mártir Santa Catarina
31°39′37″N 115°49′16″W / 31.66028°N 115.82111°W / 31.66028; -115.82111 (Misión Santa Catarina Virgen y Mártir)
12 November 1797 (1797-11-12) Dominicans Abandoned in 1840. Nonextant.[19]
Misión Santo Tomás de Aquino Santo Tomás
31°33′30″N 116°24′49″W / 31.55833°N 116.41361°W / 31.55833; -116.41361 (Misión Santo Tomás de Aquino)
24 April 1791 (1791-04-24) Dominicans Relocated twice in 1794 and 1799. Abandoned in 1849. First and third sites in ruins. Second site nonextant.[19]
Misión San Vicente Ferrer San Vicente
31°16′13″N 116°11′08″W / 31.27028°N 116.18556°W / 31.27028; -116.18556 (Misión San Vicente Ferrer)
August 1780 (1780-08) Dominicans In ruins[19]
Misión San Pedro Mártir de Verona Ensenada Municipality
30°47′24″N 115°28′21″W / 30.79000°N 115.47250°W / 30.79000; -115.47250 (Misión San Pedro Mártir de Verona)
27 April 1794 (1794-04-27) Dominicans Abandoned in 1811. In ruins.[19]
Misión Santo Domingo de la Frontera near Vicente Guerrero
30°46′15″N 115°56′14″W / 30.77083°N 115.93722°W / 30.77083; -115.93722 (Misión Santo Domingo de la Frontera)
1775 (1775) Dominicans Relocated in 1798. Abandoned in 1839. Both sites in ruins.[19]
Misión Nuestra Señora del Santísimo Rosario de Viñadaco El Rosario
30°02′29″N 115°44′20″W / 30.04139°N 115.73889°W / 30.04139; -115.73889 (Misión Nuestra Señora del Santísimo Rosario de Viñadaco)
1774 (1774) Dominicans The mission was relocated 2.4 km (1.5 mi) to the southwest in 1802 and abandoned in 1832. Both sites are in ruins.[19]
Misión San Fernando Rey de España de Velicatá San Quintín Municipality
29°58′16″N 115°14′12″W / 29.97111°N 115.23667°W / 29.97111; -115.23667 (Misión San Fernando Rey de España de Velicatá)
14 May 1769 (1769-05-14) Franciscans Abandoned in 1818. In ruins.[19]
Misión Santa María de los Ángeles near Cataviña
29°43′54″N 114°32′50″W / 29.73167°N 114.54722°W / 29.73167; -114.54722 (Misión Santa María de los Ángeles)
1767 (1767) Jesuits The mission was demoted to the status of visita in 1769. Abandoned in 1818. In ruins.
Misión San Francisco Borja de Adac San Quintín Municipality
28°44′40″N 113°45′15″W / 28.74444°N 113.75417°W / 28.74444; -113.75417 (Misión San Francisco Borja de Adac)
1762 (1762) Jesuits The mission church dates to 1801. Abandoned in 1818.[21]
Misión Santa Gertrudis San Quintín Municipality
28°03′04″N 113°05′07″W / 28.05111°N 113.08528°W / 28.05111; -113.08528 (Misión Santa Gertrudis)
1752 (1752) Jesuits Abandoned in 1822. Restoration in 1997 substantially altered its historical character.[21]
Misión San Ignacio Kadakaamán San Ignacio
27°17′02″N 112°53′55″W / 27.28389°N 112.89861°W / 27.28389; -112.89861 (Misión San Ignacio Kadakaamán)
1728 (1728) Jesuits The mission church dates to 1786. Abandoned in 1840[21]
Misión Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe de Huasinapi Mulegé Municipality
26°55′09″N 112°24′21″W / 26.91917°N 112.40583°W / 26.91917; -112.40583 (Misión Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe de Huasinapi)
1720 (1720) Jesuits Abandoned in 1795. In ruins.[21][22]
Misión Santa Rosalía de Mulegé Mulegé Municipality
26°53′07″N 111°59′09″W / 26.88528°N 111.98583°W / 26.88528; -111.98583 (Misión Santa Rosalía de Mulegé)
1705 (1705) Jesuits The mission church dates to 1766. Abandoned in 1828. Restored.[21]
Misión San Bruno Loreto Municipality
26°13′58″N 111°23′54″W / 26.23278°N 111.39833°W / 26.23278; -111.39833 (Misión San Bruno)
7 October 1684 (1684-10-07) Jesuits First Spanish mission on the Baja California peninsula. Abandoned in 1685. In ruins.
Misión La Purísima Concepción de Cadegomó La Purísima
26°11′26″N 112°04′23″W / 26.19056°N 112.07306°W / 26.19056; -112.07306 (Misión La Purísima Concepción de Cadegomó)
1720 (1720) Jesuits The mission was relocated 16 km (9.9 mi) to the southeast in 1735 and abandoned in 1822. Both sites in ruins.[21][23]
Misión San José de Comondú near San José de Comondú
26°03′35″N 111°49′20″W / 26.05972°N 111.82222°W / 26.05972; -111.82222 (Misión San José de Comondú)
1709 (1709) Jesuits The mission was relocated 29 km (18 mi) southwest to the Visita de San Miguel in 1736. The mission was then relocated 2.7 km (1.7 mi) northeast to the site of Visita de San Ignacio in 1737. Abandoned in 1827. In ruins.[21]
Misión de Nuestra Señora de Loreto Conchó Loreto
26°00′37″N 111°20′36″W / 26.01028°N 111.34333°W / 26.01028; -111.34333 (Misión de Nuestra Señora de Loreto Conchó)
25 October 1697 (1697-10-25) Jesuits First successful Spanish mission on the Baja California peninsula. The mission church dates to 1774. Abandoned in 1829.[21]
Misión San Francisco Javier de Viggé-Biaundó San Javier
25°51′37″N 111°32′37″W / 25.86028°N 111.54361°W / 25.86028; -111.54361 (Misión San Francisco Javier de Viggé-Biaundó)
1699 (1699) Jesuits The mission church dates to 1758. Abandoned in 1817.[21]
Misión San Juan Bautista Malibat (Liguí) Liguí
25°44′22″N 111°15′51″W / 25.73944°N 111.26417°W / 25.73944; -111.26417 (Misión San Juan Bautista Malibat (Liguí))
November 1705 (1705-11) Jesuits Abandoned in 1721. Nonextant; buried beneath an arroyo between 2001 and 2017.[21]
Misión Nuestra Señora de los Dolores del Sur Apaté La Paz Municipality
25°03′19″N 110°53′03″W / 25.05528°N 110.88417°W / 25.05528; -110.88417 (Misión Nuestra Señora de los Dolores del Sur Apaté)
1721 (1721) Jesuits The mission was relocated to the Visita de La Pasión in 1741. Abandoned in 1741. In ruins.[21][24]
Misión San Luis Gonzaga Chiriyaqui Comondú Municipality
24°54′29″N 111°17′27″W / 24.90806°N 111.29083°W / 24.90806; -111.29083 (Misión San Luis Gonzaga Chiriyaqui)
1721 (1721) Jesuits The mission church dates to the 1750s. Abandoned in 1768.[21][25]
Misión Nuestra Señora de los Dolores del Sur Chillá (La Pasión) La Paz Municipality
24°53′14″N 111°01′50″W / 24.88722°N 111.03056°W / 24.88722; -111.03056 (Misión Nuestra Señora de los Dolores del Sur Chillá (La Pasión))
1741 (1741) Jesuits The Visita de La Pasión was elevated to the status of mission in 1741. Abandoned in 1768. In ruins.[21][24]
Misión de Nuestra Señora del Pilar de La Paz Airapí La Paz
24°09′42″N 110°18′47″W / 24.16167°N 110.31306°W / 24.16167; -110.31306 (Misión de Nuestra Señora del Pilar de La Paz Airapí)
1720 (1720) Jesuits Relocated to Todos Santos and abandoned in 1748. Nonextant.[21][26]
Misión Santiago el Apóstol Aiñiní (Las Coras) Santiago
23°28′32″N 109°43′02″W / 23.47556°N 109.71722°W / 23.47556; -109.71722 (Misión Santiago el Apóstol Aiñiní (Las Coras))
1724 (1724) Jesuits Abandoned in 1795. Only stone foundations remain (private).[21]
Misión Santa Rosa de las Palmas (Todos Santos) Todos Santos
23°27′37″N 110°13′08″W / 23.46028°N 110.21889°W / 23.46028; -110.21889 (Misión Santa Rosa de las Palmas (Todos Santos))
1733 (1733) Jesuits The Visita de Todos Santos was elevated to the status of mission. Abandoned in 1748. Nonextant; site occupied by a playground.[21][27]
Misión Nuestra Señora del Pilar de la Paz Todos Santos
23°26′59″N 110°13′31″W / 23.44972°N 110.22528°W / 23.44972; -110.22528 (Misión Nuestra Señora del Pilar de la Paz)
1748 (1748) Jesuits The mission relocated from La Paz to Todos Santos in 1748, about 1.3 km (0.81 mi) southwest of Misión Santa Rosa de las Palmas. Relocated again in 1825, the site of which is occupied by a church. The final site was abandoned in 1840.[21]
Misión Estero de las Palmas de San José del Cabo Añuití San José del Cabo
23°03′44″N 109°41′45″W / 23.06222°N 109.69583°W / 23.06222; -109.69583 (Misión Estero de las Palmas de San José del Cabo Añuití)
1730 (1730) Jesuits The original mission was destroyed during the 1734 Pericú Revolt and relocated twice in 1735 and 1753. Abandoned in 1840.[21]

Visita locations[edit]

Visitas were branch missions that allowed the priests to extend their reach into the native population at a modest cost.

List of visitas in Baja California and Baja California Sur, north to south
Name Location Date founded Order Notes
Visita de San Telmo San Telmo
30°58′05″N 116°05′31″W / 30.96806°N 116.09194°W / 30.96806; -116.09194 (Visita de San Telmo)
1798 (1798) Dominicans Visita of Misión Santo Domingo de la Frontera.
Visita de San Isidoro near Vicente Guerrero
30°45′55″N 115°32′50″W / 30.76528°N 115.54722°W / 30.76528; -115.54722 (Visita de San Isidoro)
Dominicans Visita of Misión San Pedro Mártir de Verona. In ruins.[21]
Visita de San Juan de Dios San Quintín Municipality
30°10′58″N 115°10′05″W / 30.18278°N 115.16806°W / 30.18278; -115.16806 (Visita San Juan de Dios)
1769 (1769) Franciscans Visita of Misión San Fernando Rey de España de Velicatá. Only stone foundations remain.[21][28]
Visita de Calamajué (Calamyget) San Quintín Municipality
29°25′16″N 114°11′42″W / 29.42111°N 114.19500°W / 29.42111; -114.19500 (Visita de Calamajué)
October 1766 (1766-10) Jesuits Visita of Misión San Francisco Borja. The visita was abandoned in 1767. Only eroded fountaions remain.[21]
Visita de Santa Ana San Quintín Municipality
28°41′25″N 113°49′14″W / 28.69028°N 113.82056°W / 28.69028; -113.82056 (Visita de Santa Ana)
Jesuits Visita of Misión San Francisco Borja de Adac. In ruins.[29]
Visita de San Pablo Mulegé Municipality
27°42′08″N 113°08′42″W / 27.70222°N 113.14500°W / 27.70222; -113.14500 (Visita de San Pablo)
Jesuits Visita of Misión Nuestra Señora de los Dolores del Sur Chillá. In ruins.[29]
Visita de San José de Magdalena near San José Magdalena
27°03′30″N 112°10′07″W / 27.05833°N 112.16861°W / 27.05833; -112.16861 (Visita de San José de Magdalena)
1774 (1774) Dominicans Visita of Misión Santa Rosalía de Mulegé. Abandoned in 1828. In ruins.[29]
Visita de San Juan Bautista Londó Loreto Municipality
26°13′31″N 111°28′25″W / 26.22528°N 111.47361°W / 26.22528; -111.47361 (Visita de San Juan Bautista Londó)
1699 (1699) Jesuits Visita of Misión de Nuestra Señora de Loreto Conchó. The visita was abandoned in 1750, the ruins of which date to 1705.[29]
Visita de la Presentación Loreto Municipality
25°43′45″N 111°32′37″W / 25.72917°N 111.54361°W / 25.72917; -111.54361 (Visita de la Presentación)
1769 (1769) Franciscans Visista of Misión San Francisco Javier de Viggé-Biaundó. Abandoned in 1817. In ruins.[29]
Visita de Angel de la Guarda (El Zalato) La Paz Municipality
23°53′28″N 110°10′15″W / 23.89111°N 110.17083°W / 23.89111; -110.17083 (Visita de Angel de la Guarda (El Zalato))
1721 (1721) Jesuits Visita of Misión de Nuestra Señora del Pilar de La Paz Airapí. In ruins.[29]
Visita de San Jacinto Los Cabos Municipality
23°14′34″N 110°04′38″W / 23.24278°N 110.07722°W / 23.24278; -110.07722 (Visita de San Jacinto)
Jesuits Visita of Misión Santa Rosa de las Palmas (Todos Santos). In ruins.[29]

In chronological order[edit]

Jesuit Establishments (1684–1767)[edit]

Franciscan Establishments (1768–1773)[edit]

Dominican Establishments (1774–1834)[edit]

See also[edit]

On Spanish Missions in neighboring regions:

On general missionary history:

On colonial Spanish American history:


  1. ^ In 1833 Figueroa replaced the padres at all of the settlements north of Mission San Antonio de Padua with Mexican-born Franciscan priests from the College of Guadalupe de Zacatecas. In response, Father-Presidente Narciso Durán transferred the headquarters of the Alta California Mission System to Mission Santa Bárbara, where they remained until 1846.


  1. ^ Burckhalter, David, Sedgwick, Mina, and Fontana, Bernard L. (2013), Baja California Missions, Tucson: University of Arizona Press, p.27. Downloaded from Project MUSE.
  2. ^ Duggan, M.C. (2023) "Redes de comercio de contrabando en el golfo de California entre 1665 y 1701 como motor de la expansión jesuita" in Guillermina del Valle Pavon, ed., Contrabando y Redes de Negocios: Hispanoamerica en el comercio globa, 1610-1814. Mexico City: Instituto Jose Luis Mora, pp. 75-126.Duggan Redes
  3. ^ Winter, Werner. 1967. "The Identity of the Paipai (Akwa'ala)." In Studies in Southwestern Ethnolinguistics: Meaning and History in the Language of the American Southwest, edited by Dell H. Hymes and William E. Bittle, pp. 371–378. Mouton, The Hague.
  4. ^ Meigs, Peveril, "The Kiliwa Indians of Lower California". Iberoamerica No. 15. University of California, Berkeley.
  5. ^ Schmal, John P., Indigenous Baja,, accessed 1 Apr 2016
  6. ^ Burckhalter, David, Sedgwick, Mina, and Fontana, Bernard L. (2013), Baja California Missions, Tucson: University of Arizona Press, p. 7. Downloaded from Project MUSE.
  7. ^ Jackson, Robert H., 1981, Epidemic Disease and Population Decline in the Baja California Missions, 1697-1834. Southern California Quarterly 63:308-346. Downloaded from JSTOR.
  8. ^ Jackson, Robert H. (1986), "Patterns of Demographic Change in the Missions of Southern Baja California", Journal of California and Great Basin Anthropology, Vol. 8, NO. 2, pp. 173-279. Downloaded from JSTOR.
  9. ^ Jackson, Robert H. (1981), "Epidemic Disease and Population Decline in the Baja California Missions, 1697-1834", Southern California Quarterly, Vol. 63, No. 4, pp 308-341. Downloaded from JSTOR.
  10. ^ Burckhalter et al, p. 17; Bolton, 1936
  11. ^ Crosby, Harry W. (1994), Antigua California, Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, pp. 20-26, p.179
  12. ^ Robert Michael Van Handel, "The Jesuit and Franciscan Missions in Baja California." M.A. thesis. University of California, Santa Barbara, 1991.
  13. ^ Engelhardt, pp. 275-77
  14. ^ Robert Michael Van Handel, "The Jesuit and Franciscan Missions in Baja California." M.A. thesis. University of California, Santa Barbara, 1991.
  15. ^ Engelhardt, pp. 3-18
  16. ^ Ruscin, p. 196
  17. ^ Yenne, pp. 18–19
  18. ^ Yenne, p. 186
  19. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "The Spanish Missions of Baja California, Part 2: The Franciscan and Dominican Missions 1769-1849". Viva Baja. 2022. Retrieved 2022-05-03.
  20. ^ "MISSIONS". Retrieved 2022-05-10.
  21. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u "The Spanish Missions of Baja California, Part 1: The Jesuit Missions 1697-1767 – Viva Baja". Retrieved 2022-05-03.
  22. ^ (Guadalupe) accessed Jan 2017
  23. ^ (La Purísima) accessed Jan 2017
  24. ^ a b "The Spanish Missions on the California Peninsula: #9, Nuestra Señora de los Dolores (1721-1741 at Apaté, 1741-1768 at La Pasión de Chillá)". Discover Baja Travel Club. 2014-08-10. Retrieved 2022-05-02.
  25. ^ (San Luis Gonzaga) accessed Jan 2017)
  26. ^ (Cathedral built on Jesuit mission site) accessed Jan 2017
  27. ^ (Santa Rosa de las Palmas) accessed Jan 2017
  28. ^ "San Juan de Dios". (in Spanish). Retrieved 2022-05-10.
  29. ^ a b c d e f g "The Spanish Missions of Baja California, Part 3: Mission Visitas". Viva Baja. 2022. Retrieved 2020-05-03.

Further reading[edit]

  • Bolton, Herbert Eugene. 1936. Rim of Christendom. Macmillan, New York.
  • Burrus, Ernest J. 1954. Kino Reports to Headquarters: Correspondence of Eusebio F. Kino, S.J., from New Spain with Rome. Instituto Historicum S.J., Rome.
  • Burrus, Ernest J. 1965. Kino Writes to the Duchess. Jesuit Historical Institute, Rome.
  • Mathes, W. Michael. 1969. First from the Gulf to the Pacific: The Diary of the Kino-Atondo Peninsular Expedition, December 14, 1684-January 13, 1685. Dawson's Book Shop, Los Angeles.
  • Engelhardt, Zephyrin, O.F.M. Missions and Missionaries, Volume One|San Francisco: The James H. Barry Co., 1908.
  • Jackson, Robert H. "Epidemic Disease and Population Decline in the Baja California Missions, 1697-1834" Southern California Quarterly 63:308-346|
  • Mathes, W. Michael. 1974. Californiana III: documentos para la historia de la transformación colonizadora de California, 1679-1686. José Porrúa Turanzas, Madrid.
  • Van Handel, Robert Michael. "The Jesuit and Franciscan Missions in Baja California." M.A. thesis. University of California, Santa Barbara, 1991.
  • Vernon, Edward W. 2002. Las Misiones Antiguas: The Spanish Missions of Baja California, 1683-1855. Viejo Press, Santa Barbara, California.

External links[edit]