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ST. PETERSBURG (continued):-
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The Tsien-Men Gate
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CALCUTTA, AND THE CITIES OF THE GANGES :-
House in the European Quarter .
The Mausoleum of Akbar, Sikundra .
Porch of the Frauenkirche
ST. PETERSBU'RG :-
The Arms of St. Petersburg .
California-Sir Francis Drake-The Spanish Galleons—The Franciscan Missions-Indians Converted and Dying - The
Russians and the Hudson's Bay Company-Conquest by the United States-Discovery of Gold-The Great Immigration
Race-Earthquakes-Oakland- The Mountains--Golden Gate Park - The Cliff
BOUT midway between Central America and Alaska, and
on a line drawn from the Sandwich Islands to Quebec (nearly equi-distant from either of those points), there is a notable break in the American coast-line of the Pacific. A deep and narrow strait cuts through the ironbound shore, and gives entrance to a spacious gulf, whose waters penetrate for many leagues into a rich and beautiful country, prolific in grain, wine, and gold, and blessed with a climate of wonderful serenity. The peninsula formed
by this gulf on the east and the Pacific Ocean on the ATURAL BRIDGE, FARALLONE ISLANDS. west is nearly forty miles long, with an average width
of above twelve miles; and on its northern point, where it narrows to four miles across, and is bounded by the ocean, the strait, and the gulf, stands the city of San Francisco, the chief port of the western coast of the Americas, the metropolis of the State of California, and a city of nearly a quarter of a million of inhabitants.
The name California, which has for several decades been heard so much throughout the world, was invented by an obscure Spanish romance-writer, and appeared in his semichivalric story (written about the time Cortez conquered the Mexican Empire), as applied to an imaginary land on the north-west of the Aztec dominions. The term was soon affixed to the great mountainous peninsula whose rugged shores front the Pacific; and the present American State subsequently received the name of Upper California. But many silent years passed away before this mysterious realm was visited by Christian men. Cabrillo's caravels crept timidly up the coast in 1542; and in 1579 that gallant mariner of Bideford town, Sir Francis Drake, with his ships laden deep under the plundered treasures of Mexican and Peruvian fleets and cities, cast anchor in a harbour near the Bay of San Francisco. There are people who believe that the present name of the city is but a Spanish and Catholic modification of Sir Francis's Bay, commemorating the name and the explorations of the valiant English sailor. Nearly twenty years later the Spanish galley San Augustin, sailing from Manilla to examine the route of the treasure-galleons, was wrecked on this coast; and its pilot, by strange chance saved from the sea and the savages, conducted a naval expedition from Acapulco to the disastrous shore.
At the close of the long and desperate wars between England and France, in 1763, the former Power remained in control of the great French colonies in Asia and America— Pondicherry and Canada—and her navigators were everywhere exploring more distant seas, to establish new centres of British power. Spain, suddenly aroused to a fear lest these intrepid sea-kings should seize upon the neglected coast of California, made haste to send religious colonies there, hoping to found new cities and provinces, which should avert the imagined danger. From the prayerful cloisters of San Fernando, groups of ascetic Franciscan monks, the Methodists of Catholicism, moved forward into the unknown land, attended by little bands of soldiers, and founded the Missions, primarily intended for the Christianisation of the heathen tribes, and after that to be the nuclei of new Spanish cities. Chief among these dark-robed evangelists were Junipero Serra and Padre Palou, from Majorca, in the Mediterranean-grim, patient, and self-abnegating heroes of the Cross. From the first-founded Mission, San Diego, a band of monks and soldiers marched northward for several days, in 1769, until they discovered the Golden Gate and the Bay. Palou thus recorded what he considered the miracle of the event : “As soon as I read this news, I attributed their failure to find the harbour of Monterey to a Divine disposal that they should continue their course until they should arrive at the port of San Francisco, for the reason that I am about to state: When the venerable father, Friar Junípero, was consulting with the illustrious inspector-general, about the first three Missions which we directed him to found in his New California, seeing the names and the patrons which he had assigned to them, he said to him, 'Señor, and is there no Mission for our Father ?' [St. Francis], to which Galvez replied, 'If St. Francis desires a Mission, let him see that his port is found, and it will be placed there. The expedition
THE MISSION AND THE INDIANS.
went up, arrived at the port of Monterey, stopped and planted the cross, without any of the party recognising it; went up forty leagues farther, found the port of our Father St. Francis, and recognised it immediately by its agreement with the marks they had. In consideration of these facts, what shall we say but that our Father wished to have a Mission at his port?
In 1775 the San Carlos, under command of Lieutenant Ayala, sailed into the Bay of San Francisco, and remained there forty days, exploring the delightful shores and streams, and the vast and fruitful solitudes which surrounded the inland sea.
This was the first vessel to enter the Golden Gate, the pioneer keel of myriads which were destined to bring hither a new nation. On June 27th, 1776, while the British Colonies on the Atlantic coast were in full war against England, a little Spanish expedition, marching from Monterey, founded San Francisco. There were two monks, seven laymen, and seventeen dragoons, with their families. As soon as the buildings were ready, the friars celebrated mass and chanted a Te Deum, while salvoes of artillery saluted the new civic daughter of Spain. The Indians of the San Francisco region burst into tears and wailings when they saw the Spanish explorers, as if some dark prophetic vision of their approaching dispersion and extinction had appeared before them. In commemoration of this mystery, Don Portalá named the harbour near by Llorones, meaning “The Cry-babies.” The new ecclesiastico-military establishment was entitled the Mission de los Dolores de Nuestro Padre San Francisco, which was familiarly shortened into Mission Dolores.
In the morning hours of its existence, San Francisco was composed of two sectionsthe Mission, with the church and its Indian village, and the Presidio, or garrison, existing only for the protection of the monks. Hundreds of red-skinned converts were made, some attracted by the peace and plenty of the new establishment, and others torn from their distant hill-fastnesses by military expeditions, and led in as captives. Education seems not to have been thought of; but at sunrise every day there was an imposing service of mass, which all the Indians were careful to attend. The natives came to be regarded as wards, owning the Mission and country, of which the friars, who lived simply and dressed meanly, were but the guardians. The etiquette of the establishments decreed that when a monk met an Indian, he should say, “Love God, my son ;” and the other should answer, “Love God, father.”
The power of the clergy was absolute and despotic, but mildness and charity ruled its exercise ; and the aborigines were never so happy and well-provided as when under their care. In 1813 upwards of 1,200 Indians dwelt at Mission Dolores, and they owned 14,000 head of domestic animals. Objectionable as some of their methods undoubtedly were, the Franciscans reached a higher measure of success than has rewarded any of the other religious and philanthropic organisations which have tried to civilise the native Californians. The race was doomed, and the deaths far exceeded the births in number, year after year, as if Providence had decreed that these children of nature, narrow in capacity and slow to learn, were to be swept from the land, in order that the new civilisation might have free course. League by league the Indians retired to and through the mountains, before the advance of the white shepherds and cow-boys; and these in turn were slowly pushed back by the settlements of the wheat-farmers, by the vineyards of the south and the orchards of the north. An enthusiastic Californian sees in the final economic result a horticulture which combines the energy of New England with the scientific training of Europe, on a soil as fertile as that of Egypt, and in a climate as genial as that of Italy. But little sympathy is expended on the victims of this conquest, the Canaanites of this land of Israel.
There were twenty-one Missions on the California coast, each about forty miles from another. When these great and beneficent establishments were secularised by the Mexican Government, in 1835, the Indians, left without the care of the monks, strayed abroad, and fell into three classes :-idle and dissolute beggars, hard-worked servants, and wild savages of the hill-country. The tribes of the San Francisco peninsula have quite dis
. appeared. There were five thousand Spanish-Mexicans in the territory, mostly ex-soldiers of the garrisons, who called themselves gente de razon, “people of reason.” To these gentlemen a large part of the domain was granted, in the form of ranchos, or rural estates. An attempt was made to replace the Missions by pueblos, or towns, in which the Indians were to have full citizenship; but the unhappy aborigines, the “people without reason," had no leaders and no capabilities, and their condition could not be ameliorated.
For nearly sixty years Mission Dolores enjoyed the blessings of peace, ignorance, and faith. Two or three miles distant, near a little cove, the Indian converts used to gather large quantities of mint, a natural growth which they esteemed so highly that they named the locality Yerba Buena (Good Herb). But there were deep waters off shore, withal, and good anchorage; and the reverend monks would have been wiser if they had led their flocks beyond the Cordilleras, rather than to have remained near this dangerous harbour. In 1835, therefore, the inevitable Englishman appeared upon the scene, pitching his tent at Yerba Buena; raising two Russian vessels which had sunk in the Bay, and in their holds thereafter bringing the products of the towns on the inland waters to this point, where they were loaded on the ships of New York, Boston, and Russian America. A year later, this enterprising Anglican, Richardson, was joined by an American, Leese, who opened a small trading-house here, and the settlement soon reached the dignity of fourteen inhabitants. A road was opened to the Mission Dolores, and the dark-faced Spaniards used to ride down in their broad-wheeled carretas, occasionally, to see what these busy aliens were doing.
The Russians had for long maintained a trading-post at Fort Ross, by virtue of an arrangement made between the Czar and the King of Spain. But the Mexican Republic, when it became free from Spanish rule, endeavoured to drive out the Russians, and without success. Finally, when the sea-otters became scarce about Fort Ross, the intruding Muscovites retired to the frozen shores of Alaska; and the Hudson's Bay Company, that powerful corporation of British traders, established stations in California, the chief of which was at Yerba Buena. In those days the two grog-shops, the chief public buildings of the hamlet, were kept by Escalante, a Manilla man, and Moreno, a Lascar; and under their lowly roofs the unconscious founders of the metropolis used to assemble nightly. In 1842, Sir George Simpson, the Governor of the Hudson's Bay Company, visited Yerba Buena, and admired “the miniature Mediterranean” of its bay. His agents had driven out the American merchants by a sharp and honest competition, and British interests were predominant along the coast. Alexander Forbes, the historian