National Park Service
Friars, Soldiers and Reformers


Jesuit Foundations

Gray Robes for Black

The Archreformer Backs Down

Tumacácori or Troy?

The Course of Empire

The Promise and Default of the Provincias Internas

The Challenge of a Reforming Bishop

A Quarrel Among Friars

"Corruption Has Come Among Us"

A Trampled Guarantee

Hanging On



The Challenge of a Reforming Bishop

I answered the questions they asked me about the state of the missions, the causes of their decadence, and the most suitable means of restoring old pueblos and advancing new conversions. They ordered me to draw up a plan of how they should arrange the missions. As a result of this document they have ordered me to reside at court until further notice.

Fray Antonio María de los Reyes to the
College of Querétaro,
Madrid, 1778

The restless spirit which animates Father fray Antonio did not permit him to abide in the college. Regularly one would hear him speak of reform, yet what he was advocating today already displeased him tomorrow.

Fray Francisco Antonio Barbastro, Defensa,


1783By the Treaty of Paris a line down the Mississippi divides the United States and Spanish Louisiana.
1784Death and burial of Fray Junípero Serra at Mission San Carlos.

The Empress of China out of New York sails round Cape Horn to Canton, opening the lucrative China trade.
1785U.S. Congress passes the basic Land Ordinance establishing survey and sale of Western lands.
1786Gov. Anza of New Mexico signs a lasting peace with the Comanches.

Pedro Vial sets out to blaze a trail from San Antonio in Texas to Santa Fe.
1787Minister of the Indies José de Gálvez dies in Spain.

A Constitutional Convention convenes in Philadelphia.
1788Spain's great reforming Bourbon Charles III is dead; well-intentioned but incompetent Charles IV ascends the throne. Francisco Goya, court painter.
1789President George Washington is inaugurated in New York City.

The Bastille stormed; Paris in the hands of the mob.
1792Pedro Vial opens a route across the plains from Santa Fe to Saint Louis.

Mary Wollstonecraft launches modern feminism with her Vindication of the Rights of Women.
1793The French execute Louis XVI and declare war against Great Britain, Holland, and Spain.
1794Nootka Convention: A weakened Spain acknowledges English claims in the Pacific Northwest.
1795By the Treaty of Greenville, Gen. Anthony Wayne dictates removal of the Indians from the Ohio country.

THE FAREWELL of Father Antonio de los Reyes to his brethren at the Querétaro college still stuck in their craw. He had told them that he was leaving for Spain "because in the college the ministry was corrupt. In Madrid he told the Very Reverend Father Commissary General of the Indies further things, as we shall see later on, placing the college in the worst possible light." [1]

It was no coincidence that the tall, fair-haired Fray Antonio had turned up in Madrid in 1776, the very year archreformer José de Gálvez took over the ministry of the Indies. At the first opportunity Gálvez summoned him to the royal palace at Aranjuez. Because the Franciscan's sweeping thoughts on reform coincided with his own, Gálvez assigned Reyes the task of mission rehabilitation in the Provincias Internas. The minister left no doubt that there would be ample reward for a job well done.

The friar wasted no time. By mid-September, 1776, he had submitted to Gálvez an all-embracing "Plan to dispose the spiritual administration of the pueblos and missions in the northern provinces of New Spain," which he humbly signed "The useless Fray Antonio de los Reyes." [2]

The crux of this latest scheme was administrative reorganization, dividing the Provincias Internas into several—the number finally agreed upon was four—Franciscan custodies. In much the same way as the General Command of the Provincias Internas aimed to bring uniform military administration to the frontier, so too these mission districts, based in the north, governed by a single set of regulations, and independent of the various provinces and colleges, would regularize missionary endeavor and correct the glaring abuses alleged by Reyes.

Again, as in 1772, Fray Antonio had damned the "disorderly and prejudicial" system inherited from the Jesuits and practiced by his brother Franciscans, this time indiscriminately extending his indictment to the entire frontier from Chihuahua to Alta California. As visitor general, José de Gálvez had instituted a program of mission reform. But no sooner had the visitor left the scene than unscrupulous persons perverted these wise measures.

Mission administration, alleged Reyes, had become an ungodly snarl. Six different Franciscan superiors of colleges and provinces and one Dominican, sitting hundreds of leagues from the frontier, simply could not cope with their distant, ill-supervised men in the field. Individual missionaries went their separate ways, which resulted in abuse and a confusing variety of method. They disputed with one another and with the secular clergy; they disobeyed their superiors; they burdened their Indians with excessive labor—all to the scandal of the faithful and the repugnance of the heathen.

During his five years at court Antonio de los Reyes devoted himself not only to the promotion of his plan for erecting custodies in the Provincias Internas, but also to another related reform, one in which he had an abiding personal interest. At least as early as 1717, a dozen years before Reyes was born, it had been seriously proposed that Sonora and "the Californias" be separated from the dioceses of Durango and Guadalajara and set up as the diocese of Sonora. José de Gálvez had revived the idea as a component of his grand design for the northwest, adding Sinaloa to the package. He had discussed it with Father Reyes. Invariably the friar demurred at the minister's suggestion that he, a humble son of Saint Francis, should become the first bishop of Sonora. At the same time he worked eagerly to bring it about. [3]

Rumors of Reyes' machinations at court reached the college of Querétaro with every mail, producing an unsettling effect. Fray Antonio, whom the superiors at Querétaro had reprimanded in 1772 for playing politics, now had the ear of the king's minister. Some Queretarans feared that he might destroy the college out of spite. Although he never once asked his former missionary brothers for their opinions about mission reform, he did write from Madrid in 1778 to assure them that the rumors were false, that he loved the college, that indeed he esteemed the colleges of New Spain more highly than any other religious communities in Spain or the empire. To those of them who knew Fray Antonio these words had a distinctly hollow ring. [4]

"We don't know what this thing of Father Reyes' is," wrote Fray Francisco Garcés from Tucson. "I don't suppose they would ever tear us away from the college—even though the missions may not be subject to its administration. Surely the colleges would always supply these mission fields with workers." [5] Whatever Reyes was up to, the friars of his college were not prepared to like it.

On May 7, 1779, His Holiness Pius VI created the diocese of Sonora. The Council of the Indies proposed three names for the new see. That of Antonio de los Reyes, candidate of José de Gálvez and of the king's confessor, appeared first, with a heavily embellished list of qualifications. Reyes, according to the biographical sketch, had labored five years in the missions of Texas and Nuevo Santander, had been Father President and vice prefect of the Pimería Alta missions for six years, and had reconnoitered the Gila and Colorado rivers twice—none of which was true. The reforming friar's total service "among heathens" actually amounted to only two years and ten months at Cucurpe on the upper Río San Miguel, a fact which never ceased to gall his missionary brethren. [6]

Word that Rome had approved the custodies pleased Father Reyes, and he set to work with Franciscan Commissary General Manuel de la Vega to draw up a set of governing statutes. [7] But the news he really waited for arrived by messenger from Gálvez on August 25, 1780. Displaying the blend of humility and confidence expected of a successful courtier, the grateful friar addressed his patron.

The personal note Your Excellency sent me dated yesterday stating that the king had named me to the new bishopric of Sonora would fill me with terror if I thought only of myself. But considering that God has disposed it I resign myself to His most holy will, convinced that He wishes for a bishop in those remote provinces a poor friar of Saint Francis who journeyed to them only for the object and reward that the Gospel promises. Thus I trust that in His divine goodness He will grant me the necessary strength and aid. [8]

Toward the end of 1781 as he made ready to sail from Cádiz back to America with his retinue, Bishop-elect fray Antonio de los Reyes fretted about a cloud on the horizon. "What troubles me," he reported to José de Gálvez, "is the knowledge relayed to me by certain friends that the provincials and certain missionaries bitterly resent the organization of the missions and being deprived of control over the annual stipends." Furthermore, the provincial of Jalisco was reported on the verge of recalling his men from Sonora and Coahuila in protest. If Gálvez would care to quash this opposition with a royal cedula, Bishop Antonio would be much obliged. Gálvez did. [9]

After a smooth summer crossing and a couple of months as guest of the college of San Fernando in Mexico City, Reyes was formally consecrated bishop in Tacubaya where the archbishop had a summer place. The next day, September 16, 1782, he wrote to Commandant General Teodoro de Croix. He was eager to begin his trip to the frontier. But as usual he had a problem. Veteran missionaries, it seemed, had been telling the twenty-six friar recruits he had brought from Spain horror stories of life in the missions. "Almost all . . . are faint-hearted and terrified by the persuasions of these lying impostors." Some wanted to turn back already. But he had convinced them, he told Croix, that the commandant general was setting the frontier right. [10]

In November, Fray Antonio de los Reyes, "Bishop of Sonora, Sinaloa, and the Californias, member of His Majesty's Council, Apostolic and Royal Delegate for the reform of missions and the erection of four custodies which His Majesty has ordered instituted for now in the Provincias Internas of New Spain," and company arrived at the college of Querétaro. The atmosphere was extremely tense. He had been away less than seven years and had come back a bishop. He was no longer their equal.

Fray Antonio de los Reyes
Fray Antonio de los Reyes, first bishop of Sonora. From Villa, Bodas de Plata

To put the superiors at ease "and to offer proof of his love and veneration for this apostolic college," Bishop Antonio formally expressed his desire "to live and die a son of this holy college." He also wanted the college to fill its quota of sixteen missionaries for the Sonora custody.

Father Guardian Esteban de Salazar and the ten-man discretory asked to see the bishop's credentials. He deigned to comply, presenting four documents—the royal cedula authorizing him to found the custodies, Commissary General Vega's endorsement, both originals, as well as the brief of Pius VI and the statutes, both printed copies. In turn Bishop Antonio expected the friars' prompt obedience. [11] But they refused. The printed documents were in no sense originals, "not legally corrected, or attested, subscribed, or signed by any notary public, or sealed with the seal of any person appointed by an ecclesiastical office."

The Queretarans had resolved to make a stand. Since Bishop Antonio's authority in the matter of custodies patently contradicted the basic statutes of the college, as set forth in the brief Ecclesiae Catholicae of Innocent XI, they could not possibly render obedience without seeing the original documents. By papal authority the Father Guardian enjoyed "entire, spiritual, and ordinary jurisdiction" over missionaries in the field. The superiors had no intention of meekly surrendering it.

Restraining himself, Reyes certified that the originals were in Spain in the files of the Council of the Indies. Again the superiors of the college refused. Because the case was "irregular" they suggested recourse to the courts. [12] They chose Father Guardian Salazar and ex-professor fray Joseph Antonio Bernad to submit a preliminary opinion to Reyes. The bishop blew up.

According to a partial Queretaran, Reyes took the friars' opinion in his hands and,

in the presence of the two named Reverend Fathers, tore the papers into little pieces, saying with great petulance that he did not need the consent of provinces and colleges to initiate the custodies, and that when he reached Sonora, in conjunction with the Caballero de Croix, commandant of the Provincias Internas, he would order by holy obedience whatever was conducive to the fulfillment of his commission, and it would be obeyed! [13]

Diminutive, fifty-seven-year-old Fray Sebastián Flores, ex-guardian of the college, agreed to go with Bishop Antonio. Perhaps as first superior of the custody of San Carlos de Sonora he could exercise some restraint on the reforming bishop. In mid-December, just before Reyes departed the college for his diocese, he appealed to Viceroy Martín de Mayorga requesting an increase in travel funds. Mules, horses, everything was scarce and expensive. [14]

Too little revenue and the undying opposition of his fellow Franciscans hung like twin palls over the new bishop. While he, "most perplexed and distressed," sat at Álamos surrounded by baggage and recruits without means to continue his journey toward Arizpe, [15] the three missionary colleges—Santa Cruz de Querétaro, San Fernando de México, and Guadalupe de Zacatecas—joined forces to discredit his reforms. By setting up custodies, the friars asserted in an appeal to the viceroy, "conversions will be rendered helpless instead of aided, and the mission spirit destroyed rather than promoted."

They did not doubt Reyes' honor or his zeal. But if only he had let the colleges know what he was about, they might have dissuaded him and avoided the awkward situation in which they now found themselves. Their one desire was to serve God and king by exposing the folly of the plan. Turning Reyes' own reports against him, the friars asked some biting questions. Given the disruptive effect of Indian hostilities, the chronic poverty of the frontier, and the nature of mission Indians, how was a whole network of formal friaries—each with cells, offices, and staff of religious—to be built? Where was the money coming from? And so many qualified missionaries?

They flatly denied Reyes' allegations. Through commissaries and presidents in the field close supervision had been maintained. Subordinates had not rebelled against their superiors. The colleges had taken great pains to assure uniformity in catechism, routine, and treatment of Indians. They were not misusing Indians as personal servants. Nor was it true that any of the colleges or provinces had threatened to abandon its missions in protest. They were deeply concerned. They could hardly believe that all their missions would be taken from them at the suggestion of a single individual. [16]

How dare they? Reyes roared from Álamos. With their "pack of lying suppositions and insulting statements" the colleges were attempting to obscure the need for reform and their own miserable failure. Who could believe that Indians lived happily in pueblos where they were "obliged by force and the whip to the daily labor they term 'for the community'?" The viceroy could tell the superiors and all the members of the colleges that they had better obey royal orders or else. "And finally," wrote Bishop Antonio in the third person, "he asks due and rightful satisfaction for the damage they have wrought to his personal honor and episcopal dignity by ordering them to retract their entire false and injurious representation." [17]

From where he stood at Tumacácori, Fray Baltazar Carrillo could not tell how the rantings of Reyes would affect him. The bishop, hot, irritable, and unwell, stayed put in Álamos all that summer of 1783. When Father President Barbastro sent around an episcopal decree requesting answers to five questions, the Queretaran missionaries in Pimería Alta responded tersely.

Carrillo answered from Tumacácori on October 3. First, his mission had one visita, San Cayetano de Calabazas, six leagues distant, where there were fourteen families, six widowers, and one widow. At Tumacácori there were twenty-eight families, two widowers, three widows, as well as three families of gente de razón. [18] Second, yes, he had the necessary faculties for spiritual administration; yes, the Indians complied with the precepts of the Church. They prayed the rosary, came to prayer, and heard the word of God Sundays and feast days. Third, his quarters, the churches, and the sacristies were decent and supplied with the necessities. Fourth, his Indians always obeyed him and rendered what service was needed. They did all the work for the community "but when and how they choose, since they are not the most obedient to their justicias." Fifth, there was no way, without tapping the royal treasury, to maintain two priests at Tumacácori. Without the king's annual stipend he himself could not subsist. [19]

When Antonio, Bishop of Sonora, learned that Teodoro de Croix had been promoted to the viceroyalty of Peru he hastened north for a summit meeting with the outgoing commandant general "suffering many indignities" en route. But he arrived too late. He had instead to deal with Croix's successor, ex-California governor Felipe de Neve, who failed even to provide a suitable welcome. It was pathetic.

Richly attired, he rode a poor horse. The people knew he was approaching, this first bishop of Sonora, whose immense diocese embraced the whole northwest including Sinaloa and both Californias. As he reached the first houses of humble Arizpe, he dismounted for a procession to the church. For lack of funds and decent accommodations he had left most of his retinue behind in Álamos. Only the Indians of Arizpe came out that Tuesday, September 23, 1783, to meet him and walk with him to the plaza. "The few Spaniards, including the commandant general and his subaltern chiefs, watched from their houses the official entrance of a bishop into their city, which probably is without precedent in the entire New World." [20]

After a prayer in the church the bishop entered Neve's quarters and talked with him for two hours in private. They held a series of formal sessions during the succeeding days, after which Reyes issued a prepared statement of "Measures agreed upon by the Bishop and the Commandant General." All clergy in charge of missions were to submit statements setting forth mission temporalities; Indians and other parishioners must pitch in on a set schedule to rebuild churches and cultivate the land; pueblo government should be regularized with the election of two alcaldes and two regidores; the hordes of vagabonds must settle down, those who refused should be hunted as public enemies and hanged from trees like highwaymen; alcaldes mayores must stop using Indian forced labor; and taverns must be banned from Indian communities. But first the bishop, with the commandant general's support, must lay the foundation for mission reform—the Custodia de San Carlos de Sonora. [21]

Despite Neve's apathy, Bishop Antonio forged ahead. He labeled Arizpe a hole, most inappropriate for the seat of the custody, and departed for Ures. There he summoned representatives of the friars, including Fray Antonio Ahumada, superior of the contingent from the Franciscan province of Jalisco, and Father President Barbastro, strong-willed leader of the Queretarans in Pimería Alta.

They convened October 23, 1783, bluerobes and gray. The bishop read them the king's orders and those of their commissary general in Madrid. As authorized he then presided over the election of his candidate, Fray Sebastián Flores, as first custodio. The two missionary superiors, Ahumada and Barbastro, along with two others, both Reyes partisans who had accompanied the bishop from Spain, made up the definitory, or council.

At Reyes' suggestion the new officers selected Banámichi, some fifty miles up the Sonora Valley from Ures, as the principal house or headquarters of the custody. Because there were no funds to build the stipulated network of hospicios, or friaries, and their dependent anexos, Flores and the others went through the motions of designating nine of the missions temporary hospicios and the others anexos. On paper San Xavier del Bac became a hospicio and Tumacácori its anexo. But only on paper.

Within several days the definitory directed to the "vicars" of the hospices and the missionaries of the anexos a ten-point set of instructions. The influence of Bishop Antonio had shown forth conspicuously. After providing that a copy of the printed statutes for the custodies be placed in every hospice and anexo, the new rules went on to forbid any Spanish or gente de razón family to live in the missions, even if employed by the missionaries. To curtail the use of mission conventos as inns by everyone and his dog, the friars were admonished to admit only the most upright guests.

The next two provisions aimed at alleged Indian vagrancy and sloth. Until the commandant general took corrective measures, the friars must persuade their wards to remain in their pueblos. If the natives saw to their work for the community and tended their own milpas as well, they would be allowed at certain times to go in a group with one of their justicias to seek employment in the mining camps. Community work in the missions was to be divided into three parts, or shifts, of native males each putting in two days a week without excuse.

Before expending mission livestock, produce, or other effects for church upkeep and the like, missionaries should consult with the vicars of their hospices and with the Father Custodian. They must keep accurate accounts, noting for example exactly what they spent to clothe their Indians. All the friars incorporated in the custody must comply with the statute on Masses. Upon the death of one of them Mass was to be sung for nine days in every hospice and mission. The custody would apply five hundred Masses. Every Sunday and major feast day the friars were to celebrate and to preach, "condemning vices and proclaiming virtues, as our Holy Rule requires." Daily, both mornings and afternoons, they or their compañeros should be present at the church door for catechism of the children, making every effort to round up all the unmarried persons as well. Such were the new definitory's first instructions. [22]

Once he had launched his pet project, Bishop Antonio rode on south to Álamos to begin his first general visitation of the diocese. Francisco Antonio Barbastro, eleven years a missionary in Pimería Alta and president since 1777, rode in the opposite direction, back to Tubutama, with a scowl on his ruddy face. A year earlier Reyes had tried to woo Barbastro, writing that he looked forward to working with him as a partner in mission reform. After their meeting at Ures, there was no hope of collaboration. The two men stood poles apart—Reyes, the crusading reformer, wielding the power of his office, royal cedulas, and papal briefs; and Barbastro, the conservative ex-Father President, loyal to the college, determined to vindicate his Querétaro brethren and abort the unworkable custody. [23]

Father Barbastro had taken his presidency of the Pimería Alta missions to heart. Conscientious almost to a fault, he truly believed that he and his friars had done notably well in the face of extremely trying circumstances. [24] He hated the way Reyes had vilified the college and its missionaries to promote himself and his ill-conceived reforms. "It is the height of audacity," Barbastro thought, "to malign one's brothers so foully."

Reyes had accused the college of sending young and immature missionaries to Sonora, religiosos mozos, boy friars, as he put it. Among the youngest, Barbastro pointed out, were Father Juan Sarobe, courageous envoy to the Seri rebels of the Cerro Prieto, and Fathers Juan Díaz and Francisco Garcés, selfless missionaries to the heathen. That Reyes had allegedly called Garcés un muchacho con su pun tita y picante" infuriated Barbastro. If the bishop-to-be had stayed at Cucurpe as he should have, Barbastro reckoned, the college would not have had to replace him with a younger man. [25]

What did Reyes really know about mission administration anyway? From Tubutama in a statement addressed to Commandant General Neve, Father Barbastro answered his own question. Reyes had served at one mission for less than three years, having traveled in Sonora "no more than the road from Guaymas to Cucurpe and from Cucurpe to the Real de los Álamos." Yet on the basis of this limited experience—a theme Barbastro returned to time and again—Reyes had proposed to reorganize all "the missions of California, Monterey, Sonora, Pimería Alta and Baja, Sinaloa, Nueva Cantabria, Parral, Chihuahua, and New Mexico." [26]

For lack of men and monies, the friars did not initiate the central hospice at rundown Banámichi. Custodian Sebastián Flores simply stayed at Ures and took to his bed "oppressed more by the sickness of the custody," alleged Barbastro, "than by his disorder." Flores' prompt death and the election on March 16, 1784, of Barbastro as presiding vice custodian drew the battlelines more clearly. For the next three years as the frustrated reforming bishop and his uncompromising opponent sought to discredit each other, the inchoate custody of San Carlos barely survived. The clergy of Sonora, partisans of one or the other, pitched in where they could, prayed for better times, and hung on. [27]

Although the developments in Arizpe, Ures, and Banámichi had little practical effect on his daily round at Tumacácori, Fray Baltazar Carrillo was worried. That his mission was subject on paper to San Xavier del Bac and he himself to "Vicar" Juan Bautista Velderrain meant nothing. What did bother him and the others was the severance of their ties with the college of Querétaro.

No longer considered missionaries of the college, the friars in Pimería Alta found themselves cut adrift, both spiritually and materially. The impoverished trial custody offered them nothing comparable, no viable religious community, no aid. No longer could they look forward to retirement at the college. Even the old and infirm among them had been told to remain at their posts until replaced. But no replacements came. No friar in his right mind wanted to join the custody. The college insisted that it was bound to supply initially only eight missionaries to the custody, one for each of its missions, not sixteen as Bishop Reyes had asserted. For those eight the prospect of dying alone at their missions without benefit of the sacraments had never weighed so heavy. [28]

The custody—to the limited extent it functioned—became a parasite of the missions. Instead of benefits the friars received assessments. Bishop Reyes had attracted no wealthy benefactors to support the central hospice at Banámichi. The Indians had nothing of worth to give as alms. The only source was mission funds.

Father Carrillo and his fellow missionaries still drew their sínodos, the annual government subsidies, three hundred and fifty pesos per mission, paid at the Arizpe treasury. In the past they had sent them along with the proceeds from an occasional special sermon and a few pledged Masses to Mexico City. There the college's procurador had seen to the purchase and shipping of church furnishings, personal effects, cloth to dress the Indians, and whatever else the friars ordered. [29]

After Reyes instituted the custody, the college quit handling mission supply. Although the friars' attorney in Arizpe, don Manuel Fernández de la Carrera, continued to collect the sínodos for them, they now had to supply themselves. Some, inept in matters of finance, promptly ran up large debts. Father Velderrain of San Xavier borrowed seven thousand pesos from businessman Antonio Herreros—the equivalent of twenty years' sínodos—on his mission's wheat futures. Call it a hospicio or whatever, Velderrain intended to build a truly monumental church, one that would awe neophyte and heathen alike. The custody be hanged. [30]

While the friars of Pimería Alta sustained themselves, Bishop Reyes kept disparaging their efforts. In his general report to the king of September 15, 1784, he alleged that their pueblos "at the time of the [Jesuit] expulsion were the ones that numbered the most Indian families—but at present they are almost deserted." He listed Father Carrillo's mission as Guevavi, with three visitas, then pointed out that "because of the continuous assaults of the Apaches and poor administration, the two pueblos of Guevavi and Sonoita have been lost; only Tumacácori and Calabazas remain." At Tumacácori, according to the bishop's figures, there lived twenty-one married couples and sixty-six others of all ages and sexes; at Calabazas, eighteen married couples and fifty-four others. [31]

Reyes told the king that Tumacácori's missionary could not understand Piman and only a few of his charges knew Spanish. The churches were "of adobe with roofs of straw and earth." Like the other missionaries, some of whom the bishop categorized as young and others as negligent, Carrillo followed the lead of Barbastro, ignoring the custody. He administered Tumacácori as before "by the old principles and abuses."

Plainly the bishop of Sonora meant to put the missionaries firmly under his thumb. He closed his report with fourteen suggestions, half of which dealt directly with the missions. Among them: there should be two missionaries permission governed by a definite set of regulations and subject to the bishop; the faculties enjoyed by missionaries must be clearly stated and brought into line with the Laws of the Indies; missionaries must be made accountable for their management of temporalities. Never one to bid low, the new bishop asked for an additional thirty or forty secular priests and fifty to sixty friars! If all his suggestions for reforming the diocese were implemented, if frontier pueblos and missions were properly situated and administered, Reyes averred that even the Apache menace would evaporate.

Bishop Antonio had a knack for alienating people, even potential allies. He flayed the frontier military. The Apaches were not so formidable. Rather, God was using them to punish the vices and sins Reyes sought to reform. If through the bishop of Sonora these vices and sins were overcome, the Apaches could be checked even without the military. "I am firmly convinced," he wrote to Gálvez,

and it is very easy to prove with hard facts, that these Indians are neither so valiant nor so numerous a tribe as they say and exaggerate. The negligence of our captains and soldiers is the true cause of the valor attributed to the Apaches and of the advantages they gain over our military; in addition to which the imaginary line of presidios, the millions spent, the useless war and campaigns we have waged against them, the many soldiers they have killed, and the innumerable pueblos and the territory we have lost is enough to open our eyes. The reduction of Indians and the possession of these kingdoms is the business of ministers of the Gospel. [32]

The Apache menace did not evaporate. The gruesome, sun-shriveled Apache heads staring from atop the stockade and wall of the Tucson presidio testified mutely to the continuing hostilities. Captain Pedro de Allande, stern advocate of aggressive warfare, displayed the grisly trophies "in honor of the military might of His Majesty . . . causing terror among the barbarians and an agreeable vista to this most affectionate and humble vassal of His Majesty." [33]

Allande, now in his mid-forties, was no armchair officer. He got out and killed Apaches himself. His heroic defense of the presidio with only twenty men on May 1, 1782, against a horde of five to six hundred Apaches he had fully documented and appended to his service record. Don Pedro was a campaigner for all seasons. In the freezing rain, wind, and snow of early January, 1784, he led the charge on two Apache rancherías huddled together near the Río Gila. His column of troopers, settlers, and Pima auxiliaries struck down five braves—"one by his [Allande's] own hand"—and four women, captured two dozen women and children, restored a Christian girl and several horses, and took all the booty they had. Nine more severed heads appeared on the wall. [34]

When the Apaches ran off Tumacácori stock or killed a mission Indian in the fields, Fray Baltazar Carrillo sent word fifty miles north to Allande. [35] The proposed presidio of San Rafael de Buenavista, not half as far to the south of Tumacácori, had never materialized. There was talk of regarrisoning Tubac, perhaps with the newly created Pima Indian infantry company named for San Rafael de Buenavista but temporarily stationed at mission San Ignacio. To Father Carrillo that seemed fair enough, considering the number of recruits taken from his mission, most with their families. He kept track of them and of the company's movements through Fray Pedro de Arriquibar, missionary at San Ignacio and chaplain to the fighting Indians.

Modeled on the Ópata presidio of Bavispe, first formal all-Indian company on the Sonora frontier, [36] the Pimas of San Rafael de Buenavista began drawing three reales a day on July 1, 1782. [37] That amounted annually to 137 pesos per Indian, or less than half the 290-peso salary of a regular presidial soldier. The risks were no less. They may have been greater. The Apaches seemed to lay especially for these Indian foot soldiers.

Once in April, 1783, and again in January, 1785, Pima troops of the San Rafael company, hot on the Apaches' trail, marched into disastrous ambushes sprung by the enemy. In the first action, which raged six hours, sixteen of sixty Pimas perished. The company's two non-Indian sergeants, who held off "more than four hundred afoot and on horseback" while their ammunition lasted, also died. On the second occasion, the Pimas fought their way out at the heavy cost of eighteen dead. [38] Still there seemed to be no shortage of recruits.

Late in November, 1783, Adjutant Inspector Roque de Medina reviewed the Indian garrison at its camp near San Ignacio. Always called the Compañía de Pimas or Pimas Altos, the full eighty-man troop on that date included four Pimas Bajos, six Ópatas, and three Yaquis. All were present except one, who was in jail at Altar. Their officers and noncoms were Spaniards.

Thirty-nine-year-old Lieutenant Pedro Sebastián de Villaescusa commanded. He had come up through the ranks of the infantry of Granada in Spain. As first ensign of the Sonora presidio of Santa Cruz he had seen plenty of action against Apaches. His second-in-command, Ensign Nicolás de la Errán, was from the Basque country of Spain and only a year younger. He had served in the regular army only four years, at Fronteras and San Carlos de Buenavista, but he knew some Piman and the Indians respected him. The two sergeants who had replaced those killed, Joseph Benito Espinosa and Bernardino Camargo, had fifteen years' frontier experience between them.

Some of the recruits were from the mission of Tumacácori. Just how many Inspector Medina did not say. Perhaps a quota had been set for each of the missions that stood to receive protection from the company. Certainly Miguel Antonio Bohórquez and Joseph Legarra had joined from Tumacácori. Evidently others had too. The service record of Ensign Errán stated that "he assisted Commandant Pedro Villaescusa in recruiting the Company of Pimas of San Rafael de Buenavista. Coming from Calabazas with sixteen recruits, most of them with their families, he encountered eighteen of the enemy at Palmillas, repulsed them, and took the meat they were carrying off." [39]

The Pimas of San Rafael fought afoot with bow and arrow. Most of them had fifty arrows in their quivers. Only those who had been gambling with their arrows and lost had fewer. Inspector Medina warned their officers about that. Each recruit had been issued a machete, but "they do not know how to wield them," complained Medina, "and they mistreat them by using them for purposes other than those for which they were intended." The inspector thought they could use some muskets or light carbines. Discipline was lacking, but as these Indians were instructed in Spanish, Medina expected that to improve. They had "no sign" of uniforms, yet most went decently covered. [40]

They campaigned by themselves or in support of the other garrisons. In March of 1784 Lieutenant Villaescusa with twenty of his Pimas and twenty presidials from Altar flushed Apaches out of the Sierra de San Cayetano almost within sight of Tumacácori. Six months later, under the general command of Captain Allande, the Pimas of San Rafael and the Ópatas of Bavispe joined detachments from Tucson, Santa Cruz, and Fronteras in a rugged, largely fruitless march through the basin-and-range country east of the San Pedro Valley. When an unnamed sickness swept the ranks Allande disbanded the force prematurely. Too weak to make it home, the ailing Indian foot soldiers were put on horses and mules. [41]

When he made his rounds again in November of 1785, Inspector Medina found the Pimas of San Rafael de Buenavista temporarily bivouacked as reinforcements at the presidio of San Carlos de Buenavista on the Río Yaqui, two hundred and twenty miles south of San Ignacio, "to contain and punish the rebellious Indians of the Seri nation." They were, noted Medina, as disciplined as one could expect of Pimas, since few spoke Spanish. They still had no uniforms and dressed as they chose. "As a rule when they go into battle they are stripped from the waist up." They had given up the heavy, clumsy machete for light shield and lance. They still used bow and arrow. Finally they had been issued firearms, inferior surplus muskets and carbines with flimsy "French-style" locks. But the Pimas loved to shoot. And after watching a display of target practice, Medina concluded that they had become surprisingly good marksmen. [42]

In April, 1786, the old campaigner Jacobo Ugarte y Loyola took over as commandant general of the Provincias Internas. He knew Sonora well. As military governor of the province from 1779 to 1782 he had ridden the frontier for Teodoro de Croix. He had recommended new presidios at San Miguel de Bavispe, an existing Ópata village, and at San Rafael de Buenavista, an abandoned estancia. To man the sites he had authorized two money-saving infantry companies of Indians, one of Ópatas, the other of Pimas. The Ópatas had from the start operated from Bavispe; the Pimas from the mission of San Ignacio and elsewhere. But by 1787 Ugarte had moved the Compañía de Pimas Altos de San Rafael de Buenavista to Tubac where they had begun patching up the old deactivated presidio. The move, according to Ugarte, was "temporary." [43] They stayed half a century.

When Bernardo, Conde de Gálvez, succeeded his father as viceroy of New Spain in 1785, he brought to the office an unprecedented firsthand knowledge of the northern frontier. In recognition of that fact—and because don Bernardo was José de Gálvez' nephew—the king placed him over the commandant general, even in military matters. Drawing on his experiences as comandante de armas of the Apache frontier before Hugo O'Conor, a post he had assumed at the age of twenty-two, and as governor-general of Louisiana during the American Revolution, Viceroy Gálvez composed for Ugarte y Loyola a 216-paragraph Instrucción dated August 26, 1786. With the Reglamento of 1772 it became the fundamental charter of the Provincias Internas. [44]

A combination of the mailed fist and the olive branch, Bernardo de Gálvez' instructions regarding the hostiles were a model of synthesis. The harsh spirit of relentless warfare, personified by Captain Allande, and the friendly persuasion invoked by the royal order of 1779—both clearly spelled out and vigorously applied—gave the Indians a choice. If they continued to raid they could be sure of retaliation from presidial patrols constantly in the field. If on the other hand they made peace they would be given land to settle, rations, gifts, even inferior guns and liquor, which Gálvez had seen work to control tribes in Louisiana. Every effort would be made to win allies and turn tribe on tribe, band on band, brother on brother.

Had the Spanish military in the Provincias Internas been uniformly strong enough to exterminate the raiders and culturally castrate the allies, the choice for the Indian would have been clearly one of evils. But it was never so clear. If pressured by presidials, other Indians, drought, or epidemic, the hostile could sue for peace and accept handouts. Sometimes he did become a pitiful, sodden hanger-on at a presidio, dependent for his dole of maize and liquor and enough black powder to fire his poor musket once in a while. More often he came and went as it suited him. The important difference was that he did not have to raid. Even though peace did not descend all at once, from the late 1780s for a quarter-century, war on the Sonora frontier wound down. [45]

To Baltazar Carrillo at Tumacácori the decline in hostilities may not have been so apparent. No one could blame him for being skeptical. He had heard about the bands of Apaches mansos, the tame ones, settling down in peace camps near the presidios. In September of 1786 some Chiricahuas had come in and made camp in the shadow of the Ópata presidio of Bacoachi, ninety miles southeast of Tumacácori. [46] On October 1 some other Apaches showed up at his visita of Calabazas "without weapons, saying that they came in peace and to see what lands might suit them to settle down."

It was a trick. When the visiting Apaches noticed the careless disregard of the Calabazas Indians working their fields they jumped them, killing two and wounding one. Again a rider made for Tucson—the Pimas of San Rafael had not yet moved in at Tubac. Captain Pablo Romero, who had in just replaced the ailing Allande, readied a column posthaste and set off October 2. On the fifth in the Sierra de la Arizona he threw his fifty-man force against a larger body of Apaches. "Our troops and their commander fought with such gallantry that they drove them to abandon their ranchería, killing four, seized their booty, and pursued them, wounding many, until men and horses were exhausted." [47] Nevertheless, very soon after, Calabazas lay deserted.

To the south Bishop Reyes and Vice Custodian Barbastro struggled on. Reyes had not returned to dismal Arizpe, the designated see of his new diocese, but had chosen instead to reside in Álamos below the Río Mayo two hundred and fifty miles farther south. From there he attempted to put the sprawling diocese in order by episcopal edict. A staunch proponent of primary education, the bishop had provided for an elementary school at Potam for children of the Yaqui nation. He had forbidden the use of fireworks and skyrockets in the pueblos of the diocese. And on December 15, 1784, he had decreed the expulsion from Indian pueblos of "all mulattos, negros, and other castes" so as to avoid "their union with the natives," an edict denounced by the general command.

The reforming bishop had lamented the death in August, 1784, of Commandant General Felipe de Neve, whom he considered an ally. Acting Commandant General Joseph Antonio Rengel, who feared the ill effects of expelling negros and mixbloods from Indian pueblos in Sonora, had strenuously opposed Reyes' edict. The bishop tried to intimidate him.

I must tell Your Lordship that it is most painful and agonizing for a prelate who has not ceased to provide the general command with every indication of harmony, respect, and the peace that inspires the sacred character of his dignity to see himself accused of excesses of authority that, in the opinion of the asesor, could cause harmful restlessness and riots and lamentable consequences that would be difficult to remedy during the present critical state of these pueblos and provinces. [48]

Even more painful and agonizing to the new bishop were the reports of Vice Custodio Barbastro's disruptive opposition to mission reform. Reyes complained to the king, to Minister of the Indies José de Gálvez, and to Viceroys Matías and Bernardo de Gálvez. As a result another royal order forbidding opposition to the custodies had come through channels from Madrid to Mexico City to the Provincias Internas. The commandant general was supposed to bring Barbastro into line. Even that, the bishop protested, did not suffice. [49]

In an acrimonious letter to Viceroy Bernardo de Gálvez, Reyes deplored "the tumultuous discord, scandals, and fatal consequences that threaten because of the pernicious despotism of the newly created vice custodio." The bishop had requested escorts and government aid so that he could go to the missions himself and restore peace among the friars, but the commandant general had not replied. Father Barbastro continued to foment schism while right-minded friars, according to Reyes, pleaded for help from their bishop. The vice custodio,

considering himself absolute and independent, declared himself against the subsistence of the custody and the good religious who wanted to live in accord with the new statutes; he condemned the instructions and measures his predecessor prescribed for this purpose; he split the missionaries into two factions; he dispossessed vicars; he granted licenses to six religious to retire from the missions; and finally with false reports he has sought to get his prelate and commissary general of the Indies to declare null and void the elections I held under the initial instructions by virtue of the faculties that Very Reverend Father delegated to me by his commissions.

At last Reyes had summoned his adversary to a conference at Camoa on the Río Mayo. It was to be a showdown.

But Barbastro stalled. Making a false show of compliance, alleged Reyes, the vice custodian dispatched his secretary to curry favor in Arizpe with Intendant-Governor Pedro Corbalán and in Chihuahua with Commandant General Rengel. The troubled bishop countered by suspending the insubordinate friar's authority to say Mass in the diocese. He had heard that Barbastro and a companion dared celebrate at Banámichi "a Mass of thanksgiving and victory over the bishop of Sonora." Because of this "and other affronts to my dignity" and because of "the undeserved favor the vice custodio has gained with the chiefs and government of these provinces," Bishop Reyes had laid his case before the high court of Guadalajara. [50]

Barbastro was not intimidated. He appealed directly to the bishop's patron in Spain, Minister of the Indies José de Gálvez. He insisted that he had been trying "with much loss of sleep" to put the paper custody on its feet. He had moved to Banámichi, summoned the members of the definitory, and on December 4, 1784, set in motion a religious community at the custody's headquarters. Sending word to all the clergy, he enjoined them to follow suit and observe scrupulously the statutes of the custody. Then, anticipating a grateful reply, he informed the bishop. Instead, "he answered me in certain terms exceedingly offensive to my person and defamatory of my conduct, as Your Excellency will see when this government reports all to the Supreme Council of the Indies."

Next Reyes had broken up the community at Banámichi. He had ordered Fathers Roque Monares and Francisco Jurado, his two pawns on the definitory, to leave, which they did. Keeping his calm, Barbastro had requested an explanation from Fray Andrés Crespo of Ures, where the two had gone. Instead he received from Crespo, another Reyes partisan, an incredibly disrespectful rebuff. As far as the vice custodio was concerned, the three friars were in open rebellion against his authority. Still, "not a loud word issued from my mouth." When the concerned superior sent his secretary with an appeal to the commandant general—vice patron of the church in the Provincias Internas—Bishop Reyes had charged the vice custodio to appear before him "to advise me how I should behave in the ministry!"

Convinced that Reyes was in the wrong but hoping to avoid further scandal, Barbastro had started south from Banámichi, hoping all the while that this act of compliance would cause the bishop to reconsider. It did not. At Onavas, where the vice custodio wrote the bishop that he had reached the limit of his jurisdiction and could proceed no farther without authorization from his Father Commissary General, Reyes had him arrested. Protesting that his immunity had been violated, the vice custodio was forced to resume his via dolorosa to the episcopal residence in Álamos.

Face to face, Reyes sought to humble Barbastro, subjecting him to an intense grilling. From whom had he secured travel funds for his secretary and escorts? What business did he have in Arizpe? Had he not been guilty of inciting schism? But the vice custodian did not break, and the bishop let him go. Why, Barbastro asked himself, had Reyes sent Father Jurado, the rebel friar, to Guadalajara, Mexico City, and Spain? "I deduce no other purpose than to defame me before everyone in the realm." [51]

Beneath the hurt and indignation Barbastro felt as Reyes let fly his arrows at the college, the missions, and him; beneath Reyes' reforming zeal, the two men were locked in a struggle as old as the Spanish presence in America—who was to prevail, the secular hierarchy of bishops and parish priests or the powerful New World regular clergy? Again and again they returned to the theme. Alleged affronts to his episcopal dignity sent Reyes into a rage. Just as fervently Barbastro proclaimed that "the Lord Bishop of Sonora is not my superior!"

Barbastro won, but only over Reyes' dead body. The weight of law and tradition lay with the vice custodio. The king had delegated the new bishop to set up the custody. When he had done that, his direct authority over its administration ceased. The custodio's superior was in fact the Franciscan commissary general in Madrid, not the bishop of Sonora. Therefore, asserted Barbastro, the episcopal interdiction against him applied only in the secular parishes of the diocese, not in the missions; the bishop could only consult him, not order him; and the bishop had intervened illegally in the affairs of the custody. [52]

As long as Fray Antonio, first bishop of Sonora, breathed, he conceded nothing. But he was sorely tired. During the night of February 26, 1787, a malign fever descended upon him. Despite "all the medicines available in this country," about noon on March 6 the prelate died. Two days later they buried him at Álamos. [53]

Now the voices in favor of a return to pre-Reyes normalcy rang out in chorus. As the bureaucrats considered the fate of the custody, the deaths of several key persons—Commissary General fray Manuel de la Vega, Viceroy Bernardo de Gálvez, Minister of the Indies José de Gálvez, even the enlightened despot Charles III himself—helped decide the outcome. Writing to Father Barbastro from Madrid, Fray Manuel María Trujillo, the new commissary general, declared that the custody was now without friends. "All confess that it cannot last." He urged Barbastro to prepare a detailed report to the king and to solicit supporting statements from everyone who counted. Then, in the commissary's words, "I am convinced that we will deliver a death blow to that contrived custody." [54]

Bishop Joseph Joaquin Granados
Bishop Joseph Joaquin Granados. From Villa, Bodas de Plata

The missionary needed no prodding. Compiling all his previous arguments, Barbastro laid the custody low in his lengthy report of July 9, 1788. A year later Commandant General Ugarte y Loyola and the new bishop of Sonora, Fray Joseph Joaquín Granados—a less ambitious Franciscan than his predecessor—endorsed Barbastro's condemnation. Finally, on August 17, 1791, Charles IV decreed an end to the sad custody and, for the time being, a restoration of the old order. Tumacácori was no longer an anexo, even on paper. [55]

After nearly a decade as governor of New Mexico, Colonel Juan Bautista de Anza came home to Arizpe early in 1788. Commandant General Ugarte, at headquarters in Chihuahua, had named the touted Indian fighter comandante de armas for Sonora. The viceroy made him captain of Tucson as well, and as such he began drawing the 2,400-peso annual salary on October 1. Anza had hoped for something better, another governorship or some position of comparable status. That fall it was decided that he should serve in Spain. Unfortunately he did not live that long. [56]

Colonel Anza noted some changes in the presidial line. His old deserted post at Tubac, for one, had been regarrisoned in 1787 by the eighty-man Pima Indian company of San Rafael de Buenavista. Commandant General Ugarte, observing Teodoro de Croix's canon of placing presidios near the settlements they were meant to protect, had also provided a permanent home for the oft-moved "presidio of Santa Cruz, formerly of Terrenate." After a careful survey by Captain Manuel de Echeagaray early in 1787, Ugarte relocated the garrison on the abandoned site of mission Santa María Soamca. In so doing he inadvertently named a river.

During the winter of 1775-1776 the Terrenate garrison had moved north to Santa Cruz de Quíburi, near today's Fairbank, Arizona. All but consumed by Apaches, the bloodied troop in 1780 had retreated on orders from Croix to a place known as Las Nutrias, just east of dilapidated Terrenate. About the only thing they brought back from the north was the name Santa Cruz. Seven years later when they transferred from makeshift quarters at Las Nutrias to Santa María Soamca they still considered themselves the compañía de Santa Cruz. Although Fray Juan Santiesteban of Cocóspera in 1788 referred to the new presidio of Santa María," the name Santa Cruz prevailed. The river flowing past the presidio and bending north to water Tumacácori, Tubac, and Tucson thus became the Santa Cruz. [57]

As military chief in Sonora, Colonel Anza presided during 1788 over the Apache war and peace. An acting viceroy, Manuel Antonio Flores, who still enjoyed his predecessor's authority over the commandant general, had dictated a tougher policy. Only Apaches who surrendered of their own free will were to be granted peace with material benefits. All others, including those who gave up under duress, must be treated as prisoners of war, that is enslaved and sometimes deported.

Anza planned a large offensive operation with a twin purpose. Led by Captain Echeagaray of Santa Cruz, four hundred presidials from Sonora and Nueva Vizcaya joined forces in September to harry the Apaches out of the basin-and-range country of the upper Gila, especially those renegade Chiricahuas who had fled the peace camp at Bacoachi, and at the same time to explore a route to New Mexico via the Sierra de Mogollón and the Río de San Francisco. Thanks to his Chiricahua scouts, Captain Echeagaray succeeded admirably well. He reconnoitered as far as the mountain passes leading to the New Mexico pueblo of Zuñi, and he ran up a bodycount of 54 Apaches dead, 125 captured, and 55 enlisted—against the viceroy's orders—as friends and allies. [58]

A month after the elated, fifty-two-year-old Anza reported Echeagaray's successes to the commandant general, he was dead. On December 20, 1788, the day after his sudden demise, the body of Colonel Juan Bautista de Anza the younger, Sonora's most illustrious soldier of the century, was laid to rest in the church at Arizpe. [59]

The reoccupation of Tubac in 1787 by the Pimas of San Rafael and the nearly concurrent abandonment of Calabazas, Tumacácori' s last visita, made life safer for the fifty-four-year-old Father Baltazar Carrillo. Instead of two small and vulnerable mission pueblos—Tumacácori and Calabazas—ten miles apart on different sides of the river, he now ministered to two larger congregations—Tumacácori and Tubac—one a mission, the other a presidio, both predominantly Piman, on the same bank of the river less than three miles apart. One by one the mission's visitas, Guevavi, Sonoita, and Calabazas, had fallen away.

In the case of Calabazas the Apaches may not have been entirely to blame. On April 3, 1786—the last date he mentioned the visita in the Tumacácori books—Carrillo had recorded the death without sacraments of one José Yturbe. The body was buried at Calabazas where Yturbe had gone "the day before in order that their doctors (médicos) might cure him." Years later Carrillo's successor alluded to the flight of persons baptized at Calabazas. Evidently "heathenish ways" still prevailed in the visita beyond the friar's view.

Perhaps Father Carrillo did not lament the abandonment of Calabazas soon after the Apache ruse of October 1, 1786. The few families not previously recruited for the San Rafael company, not killed or driven away by Apaches or epidemics, not run away on their own to the Papaguería, moved in with relatives at Tumacácori and Tubac. [60] When they felt safe they would return to farm their old fields and graze stock in the hills nearby, but then they would call the place a "rancho."

Again Tumacácori and Tubac drew together. Carrillo, at once missionary and chaplain, served all as spiritual father. As they became godparents and compadres, mission and presidio families merged socially. Some were already related. Tumacácori Indians continued to enlist in the Tubac company for the standard ten-year hitch. Economics, too, brought them together. The presidial payroll of 13,098 pesos annually—only two-thirds of what it had been before 1776—and commodities available at Tubac generated trade. And again, to Fray Baltazar's consternation, the gambling, drinking, and wenching increased. [61]

As acting C.O., Ensign Nicolás de la Errán set the Pima soldiers to restoring roofs, patching walls and corrals, and clearing overgrown fields. Evidently it was he, not Lieutenant Pedro Villaescusa, who led the San Rafael company to Tubac. When Villaescusa wrote late in the spring of 1788 requesting a certificate of his son's baptism, Father Carrillo copied the original entry from the book begun at San Ignacio by Arriquibar. Errán notarized the document, signing himself "Veteran Ensign and present commander of the company of Pimas of San Rafael de Buenavista stationed at the old presidio of Tubac, Civil Magistrate of it and its district." A year later he would receive the royal commission promoting him to lieutenant and commander of the Indian garrison. [62]

Errán had induced civilians to settle at Tubac, a practice encouraged by the government. If a settlement grew up around the presidio, one day its citizens would be numerous enough to protect themselves, the garrison could move, and the process would begin anew, or so the theory went.

Most prominent among the settlers was don Toribio de Otero, twenty-eight years old and literate. Lieutenant Errán granted Otero a town lot and four farming lots north of the presidio near the river ford. The 1789 grant included the usual stipulations that the grantee maintain horses and weapons for militia duty, that he build his house on the land within two years, that he live on it for four years to become eligible for final title, that he plant fruit trees, and that he never sell to the Church. [63]

Don Ramón García Herreros, another literate Tubac settler, a bachelor, appeared before Father Carrillo at Tumacácori on April 5, 1792, with Lieutenant Errán and Toribio Otero. He wanted to get married. But first he had to have the proper legal testimony that he was free and unattached. The friar heard the sworn statements. Both Errán and Otero claimed to have known García Herreros for more than ten years. As far as they knew he had taken no vow of chastity, no religious vow; he was neither related to his intended in any way nor was he bound to marry another. But there was one impediment. Both witnesses had heard that because of it don Ramón could not marry without a dispensation from the bishop, a simple formality. Concluding the declarations, Carrillo disclosed the impediment, "having known carnally an aunt of the intended, though long before he considered marrying said intended, etc." With that the friar gave the document to don Ramón, accepted a fee he called alms, and bid the hopeful bachelor well. [64]

Even after his death, Bishop Reyes' legacy hung over the missions of Sonora. When a copy of his damning general report of September 15, 1784, was rediscovered five years later in the viceregal archives, the fiscal suggested to Acting Viceroy Flores that it be sent to don Pedro Garrido y Durán, interim intendant of Sonora, for his comment. Garrido submitted that the missions "do not present in all the horrible spectacle that that Most Illustrious Prelate tried to make out," but he preferred that the intendant-designate, don Enrique Grimarest, report in full. [65] Grimarest did so from Arizpe on August 16, 1790, addressing himself to a new viceroy, the second Conde de Revillagigedo.

Although the Jesuits had done it illegally and despotically, wrote Grimarest affirming the old José de Gálvez government line, they had made the missions of Sinaloa and Sonora prosper. After their expulsion the Sinaloa and Yaqui River establishments had been turned over to the secular clergy, those of Pimería Alta to the Querétaro college, and the rest to friars of the Jalisco province. Because of disjointed administration, the damage wrought by the floods of 1770, and a shortage of priests, most all the missions were in sad shape, with the notable exception of the eight in Pimería Alta.

The Queretaran Fathers have known how to keep those natives in good order and diligent, their churches in ordinary decency, and their respective properties properly managed. It seems to me, therefore, that it would be inadvisable to make a change. If indeed those missions have not prospered more, it has doubtless been because of the continual hostility of the Apache.

Those eight missions, Grimarest advised, should continue as before the nominal custody, with the friars in temporal as well as spiritual control. Father Barbastro should again be named president. [66]

The viceroy had Intendant Grimarest's report put in a bulging file labeled missions. The king had decreed back in 1784 that a detailed description of the ex-Jesuit missions in particular, and all the missions of New Spain in general, be prepared by Revillagigedo's predecessors. [67] They had done no more than amass documents, some cogent, others rambling and incomplete, and many out of date. Revillagigedo intended to comply with the royal order as best he could. To further clarify the situation in Sonora he sent copies of the Grimarest report to Bishop Granados and to the new commandant general, Pedro de Nava, for their commentary. Both upheld the intendant. Both praised the Queretarans of Pimería Alta and endorsed Father Barbastro for president. [68]

When the Conde de Revillagigedo finally put his signature to an admittedly prolix "Informe sobre las misiones" on December 27, 1793, he had reached a conclusion that would not have been acceptable a few years earlier. While the enlightened despot Charles III and José de Gálvez still lived, he would not have dared. But times had changed. King Louis' head had rolled in France. Surviving royalty wanted to hear of law and order, not of enlightened reforms tainted by the French connection. The missions of northwestern New Spain, concluded Revillagigedo, had been much better off under the Jesuits. He said nothing of illegality or despotism.

In Sonora the cumulative effect of the expulsion, the rape of mission property by the interim commissaries, the premature secularization of some missions, and the Custodia de San Carlos had been devastating. Pimería Alta, where the Querétaro friars had striven to maintain law and order in their missions, was an exception. Revillagigedo thought that the Queretarans should continue their administration "always" and that the college should be granted "frequent and opportune assistance in the form of religious from that peninsula [Spain] endowed with virtue, knowledge, and true apostolic spirit." Father Barbastro could not have phrased it more aptly himself. [69]

Though he still had eighteen months or so to serve, Father President Barbastro composed his swan song late in 1793. It came in response to an order from Viceroy Revillagigedo asking for a full report on the missions of Sonora. Barbastro had written much during his career, including the historical compendium relied upon so heavily by Father Arricivita in the chronicle of the college just published in 1792, but this, the president claimed, "is the first time that I have picked up my pen to report on the missions, missionaries, sínodos, [numbers of] married couples, souls, etc." for the government. In the past such detailed information had been asked for only by his superiors within the order. Now the government was asking. Here was his chance to set straight the record so arrantly distorted by Reyes. He would make the most of it.

To no one's surprise the Barbastro apologia, which did not reach Revillagigedo until after he had already submitted his general mission report of 1793, vigorously defended the old method. The missionary must be unquestioned temporal and spiritual father to his mission children—his authority must not be challenged. At Tubutama in Pimería Alta, Barbastro had accomplished much with only a few disciplined Indians. At more populous, secularized Aconchi in Pimería Baja, where he had resided by permission of the bishop for the past half dozen years, and where his authority was limited to spiritual matters, he could hardly get an Indian to give him the time of day.

So what are we to say? This gaping disparity observed between these two missions, Tubutama and Aconchi, is it a matter of ministers? . .. No, for I conduct myself at Aconchi as I conducted myself at Tubutama; I am the same person here as I was there. It is precisely a matter of these Indians [of Aconchi] being given over to the perverse desires of the heart and of their administration under the new system, and those [of Tubutama] under the old.

It was not the Indians' fault, according to Barbastro. They showed more ability and learned more readily than the rest of the populace of Sonora. Therefore the onus was on the system. Despite the disadvantages of the more remote and vulnerable missions of Pimería Alta, the Queretarans, adhering to the traditional authoritarian system, had plainly achieved a record to be proud of. [70]

At Tumacácori Father Carrillo had less to brag about than the others. In no way had his mission prospered. Barbastro with seven families and itinerant Pápagos had built a fine church at Tubutama, thirty by six varas, of fired brick and mortar—a building innovation of the Franciscans in Pimería Alta—"with transept, dome, very tall tower, most harmonious facade, and adorned with silver lamp and eleven statues."

The builder-friar Velderrain had died at San Xavier spitting blood in 1790—Carrillo had reached him too late to administer the sacraments—but his replacement, Fray Juan Bautista Llorens, carried forward construction of a church "that everyone says is a wonder." Even at Sáric and Cocóspera, consistently shown on censuses with fewer residents than Tumacácori, new churches dominated the plazas. "I persist," Barbastro had written in 1792, "in the determination that in our missions all the churches be built with vaults." Yet at Tumacácori the "very cramped and flimsy" little adobe structure, inherited from the Jesuits a quarter-century before, continued to crumble. [71]

San Xavier del Bac
San Xavier del Bac. A sketch by H. M. T. Powell, 1849. Courtesy the Bancroft Library

Carrillo simply got by. He built no church. He set aside no construction fund. He lost Calabazas. For every two persons he baptized, he buried three. In fifteen years at Tumacácori, he apparently never learned Piman. But neither for that matter did most of the others. Father Barbastro recalled sending Francisco Garcés and Juan Díaz through the eight missions so that the Indians might hear preaching and might confess in their own language. More recently, in 1791, he had used Fray Francisco Moyano, one of the most promising friars who had come with Bishop Reyes, in the same capacity. [72] If Barbastro had not been so short of men, he would have sent a compañero to Tumacácori. He hated the thought of a lone friar settling into a lax routine without a religious brother to pull him up.

A close inspection of the Tumacácori books would have shown that Baltazar Carrillo baptized 96 persons, buried 164, and married 60 couples during his fifteen-year tenure. Sometimes in writing an entry he supplied racial or tribal designations; just as often he did not. A more detailed format prescribed in 1778 required him to use surnames even in the case of Indians. One would never have known from the 1787 baptismal entry for María Rita that her parents, Lorenzo Crespo and María Cartagena, were Pápagos if Carrillo had not happened to say so in a 1785 entry. Indians took or were given the surnames of neighbors, compadres, missionaries, or prominent officials. When on April 7, 1787, he needed a name for a fifteen-year-old Pápago boy, Baltazar Carrillo gave the lad his own. He never distinguished between Pimas and Pápagos. In fact he never used the word Pima. With the exception of an occasional Yaqui or Yuma, Carrillo called his charges Pápagos [73]

A successor, who seemed to stretch the point by including the offspring of some Christian Indians, claimed that Carrillo had baptized forty heathens, mostly Pápagos [74] He had reaped his biggest harvest on March 10, 1781, when he administered the saving water to nine. It was an extremely important point with the friars. So long as they could show that their missions were conversiones vivas, that they were actively attracting heathens, they could stave off the secular clergy. Conversion of the natives was strictly the business of missionaries.

The Queretaran friars were enjoined by their college to make "a demonstration of special rejoicing" when an adult received baptism or a baptized child died and its tiny soul was saved. Of the 164 persons Father Carrillo laid to rest, 35 had died between birth and age two, 29 from two to fifteen, and the remaining 100 from sixteen to eighty. Only once, on February 9, 1788, did the friar accord the honor of burial inside the small Tumacácori church, to two-month-old Andrés Durán, son of long-time gente de razón residents Juan Antonio Durán and María Guadalupe Ramírez. Infant mortality ran high. Of the newborn babies he baptized, fewer than one in three lived to the age of two years, only about half of these to adulthood.

Some families fared worse. In less than one year Indians Cristóbal Median and Juana Peciña lost José Dolores, four months (September 10, 1788); Juana de Dios, two years (October 2, 1788); María, five years (December 20, 1788); and Simón, six days (August 5, 1789). [75] Clusters of burials occurred in 1781, the late 1780s, and in 1793-1794. Carrillo identified the cause of only the first—a virulent smallpox epidemic. From the number of times—about one in three—that Tumacácori's missionary noted adults dying with out the last rites of the Church because no one notified him, it would appear that many of his wards could not have cared less about the final disposition of their souls, at least from the Christian point of view. What, he must have asked himself a hundred times, did he have to do to convince them?

Plainly Baltazar Carrillo needed help. In April, 1793, he lay on his bunk so ill that he could not even administer the sacraments to a man dying right in the pueblo. The friar recovered, but he was now sixty years old. Father President Barbastro recognized the problem, and when finally the college sent him some men, he assigned one as compañero to Carrillo.

Not yet thirty, Fray Narciso Gutiérrez rode into Tumacácori on July 10, 1794. For more than a year he worked with the old missionary, not always cheerfully. Then on the morning of October 10, 1795, he listened to Baltazar Carrillo's final confession. That afternoon he administered extreme unction. There was no time for viaticum. By three o'clock the veteran missionary was dead.

Next day, a Sunday, Father Gutiérrez presided at the funeral. A grave had been dug inside the crumbling church just at the top of the steps in the center before the main altar. [76] Though there is no record of who attended the service, surely the congregation that day included Lieutenant Errán, Toribio Otero, Ramón García Herreros and his wife, Father Llorens from San Xavier del Bac, and an assortment of mission Indians, Pima soldiers, and settlers. Some of them had known Padre Carrillo for half a generation.

The long ministry of Baltazar Carrillo had bridged two eras. When he took over mission Cucurpe from the complaining Fray Antonio de los Reyes in 1771, Viceroy Marqués de Croix and Visitor General José de Gálvez were actively imposing the reforms of enlightened despotism. The year Carrillo had moved north to Pimería Alta, Gálvez decreed the General Command of the Provincias Internas. At Tumacácori the friar had heard the first reports of the Yuma massacre. He had followed from a distance the rise and fall of Bishop Antonio of Sonora. He had seen the Custodia de San Carlos come, exist without grace, and die. José de Gálvez—titled in his last years the Marqués de Sonora—Charles III, and the era had died too.

The 1790s presaged another era, an era of revolution. No longer did the weighty pedestal of tradition uphold the absolute right of kings and bishops to impose or not to impose reforms from on high. The United States, born of a revolution in the previous decades, survived to broadcast the virtues of democracy. Napoleon washed up on the bloody tide of a revolution in France. The year Baltazar Carrillo died at Tumacácori the French strongman dictated a humbling peace to a corrupt Spanish monarchy. Even within the college of Querétaro the dawning revolutionary era brought change and dissension.

The young religious who buried Carrillo would live through the turmoil of revolutions and constitutions, to the very eve of a reactionary Mexican independence.

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