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Pimería Alta Missions Report With Manuscript Map-1693

146. ROJAS, Antonio de & Adam Gilg. Mission o Rectorado de N. P. San Francisco Xavier en la Provincia de Sonora. Ay en este Rectorado diez partidos parte antiguos, y parte nuevos, y en ellos diez Padres Missioneros, que son P. Visitador Juan Muñoz de Burgos, P. Antonio de Roxas, P. [erased], P. Pedro de Castellanes, P. Adan Gilg, P. Marcos Antonio Kappus, P. Eusubio Franco. Kino, P. Juan Bapta. Bazli, Pe Agustin de Campos, y P. Daniel Ianuske. Manuscript signed, in Spanish, being a report concerning the Jesuit missions in the central area of Sonora, Mexico, signed and dated San Miguel de los Ures, December 28, 1693. [3] pp., folio on laid paper. With accompanying manuscript map entitled: Mission del Rectorado de S. Francisco Xavier (20 x 30 cm) by Adam Gilg, also on laid paper. Fine, legible hand. Apparently unpublished.  The report is watermarked with two pendant circles beneath a cross surmounted by a crown and flanked by two creatures, probably griffons or lions.  The upper circle contains the letters TM, and the lower circle the number 4.  The map is watermarked by three pendant circles surmounted by a cross.  The top circle contains a cardinal's hat; the second the letters AC(?); the third I2.

     Not in Ernest J. Burrus, La Obra cartográfica de la Provincia Mexicana de la Compañia de Jesús (Madrid, 1967); Kino and the Cartography of Northwestern New Spain (Tucson, 1965). An important report and map detailing Jesuit efforts to Christianize the area, which consisted of the Pimas and Eudebes tribes, in present-day Sonora, Mexico. Rojas first reviews eight new establishments, giving their assigned missionaries and the facts concerning each one, before enumerating the older establishments and commenting briefly on them. Distances between the missions and the surrounding areas are usually commented on specifically, probably as adjunct information to the accompanying map. The Dolores mission, where Father Kino was located and which he founded, is included in the discussion of the new establishments. Usually each missionary’s field of endeavor is surrounded by a dotted line. Because Eusebio Kino was the main actor in this area, the report was probably authorized by him, and the map, although not by him, is redolent with his techniques and attention to detail.

     The map is early and important documentation of this area of Sonora, preceding Kino’s maps by several years, and is more detailed since it shows a smaller area than Kino’s larger maps. It is likely, however, that Kino knew of this map since he and Gilg were friends and participated together in missionary endeavors both here and elsewhere. It shows the missions named in the report along with their assigned priests and other villages in the area. Also shown are major streams and crude depictions of mountain ranges. The information shown on this map was apparently incorporated by Kino in his famous depictions of the area on his 1701 map (published in 1705) and his 1702 map (published in 1726). The area depicted is that along the Rio Sonora in the so-called Pimería Alta, named after the main tribe inhabiting the area, from about 28.5-31.5 degrees north latitude, and from the Gulf of California inland to the east for an undetermined distance, although it is probably the area between about 110-112 degrees west longitude. A landmass shown in the Gulf of California near present-day Bahia Kino is today’s Isla Tiburón, which Kino named Isla de los Seris, as here, after the tribe who inhabited that area of Sonora. The entire Pimería, of which this map shows a detail, stretched from northern Sonora into southern Nevada. In 1692, Gilg had also drawn a similar map depicting Seri territory and wrote a famous, oft-published letter about the tribe, which the 1692 map accompanied.

     Adam Gilg (1653-ca. 1729) was a Czech priest who entered the Jesuit order in 1670 and was sent to New Spain in 1687, where he was dispatched in 1688 to this area to assist Kino in his work with the Seri and Pima tribes. He was apparently assigned mainly to Santa María del Pópolo, as indicated here, although he did serve at other stations in the area. He compiled two different dictionaries of indigenous languages. In 1699, he went with Kino to explore near the Gila and Colorado rivers and in 1705 visited lower California, where he worked at Loreto for a time. Another priest mentioned in this document, Daniel Januske, was a fellow Czech and also a friend of and assistant to Kino.

      Antonio de Rojas (1658-1719), in the documents here, said to be the Rector of the mission at Ures, was born at Pachuca and entered the Jesuit order when he was fifteen. He was a missionary in this area 1683-1698, after which he held a variety of posts elsewhere in Mexico.

     Kino (1645-1711) spent the better part of his career in the Pimería Alta, where he arrived in 1687 and built his famous headquarters mission, Nuestra Señora de los Dolores, the first of about twenty such structures, all today totally gone. He organized numerous missions and explored and mapped the entire territory. At the time this report and map were produced, the area was the farthest outpost of Spanish civilization in northwestern Mexico, and all the missionaries mentioned herein are true pioneers. Kino, known as the Father of the Spanish Southwest, was perhaps the most charismatic and visionary of the early missionaries. He was a true Renaissance man of the Spanish Southwest and Borderlands: missionary, statesman, astronomer, agriculturist, architect, expert linguist, teacher, trail-blazing explorer (leader of the first overland expedition across Baja California), cartographer and geographer (proving California was not an island and creator of maps of the Pacific coast showing California was accessible overland), among the greatest equestrians ever, a pioneer cattleman (introduced stock and good stockraising methods), and a strong, intelligent, and compassionate human being. See Thrapp, Encyclopedia of Frontier Biography.

     This report and map are previously unknown and unpublished documents relating to Kino’s activities in this region and the organization of his missionary endeavors. ($6,000-12,000)

Sold. Hammer: $7,000.00; Price Realized: $8,225.00

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