The Missions of California and the Old Southwest

In musing over the history of the old Missions, the mind is led to inquire as to the benefits that have been conferred upon mankind by the labors, triumphs and defeat of the padres during their brief sojourn in the Southwest.  Through their work was confined to a few heathen tribes, its pure and unselfish purpose and beneficent results cannot be questioned, for these are attested in the annals of those days.  The fact that great and lasting benefits are evident in that they affected favorably his earthly and provided for his immoral, welfare. Moreover, that which promotes the progress of one portion of mankind works ultimately for the benefit of the entire race.  The wonderful amelioration of the moral and social lives of wild men living in a western wilderness, which was effected by the padres during a short period of sixty-odd years in California, is known throughout the world, and millions of family of man have both rejoiced and mourned over the bright career of the Fathers and its fateful ending.  Regret for the fate of the Missions is almost universal.  The philanthropic American givers over the defeat of pious efforts and a grand purpose, that serving, would have elevated the Indian races and preserved them from extinction.  All who read and reflect, if they have an instinctive sense of right and of love for humanity, must deplore the passing of the Missions; for their spiritual power and influence not only reclaimed the savage, but still lived after their suppression, to prepare the way for the civilization which came later under American sovereignty.  What more could be said for those heroes who sacrificed themselves that the pariahs of the unexplored region might be saved.  May honor and glory ever rest upon the names of the old padres of the Missions of California and the Old Southwest.

Chicago, January 1, 1907

The Missions Of California And The Old Southwest, by Jessie S. Hildrup A. C. McClurg & Co., 1912

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