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Secularization of the California Missions 1833


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97.     [CALIFORNIA MISSIONS]. MEXICO (Republic). LAWS. PIOUS FUND. Ley y reglamento aprobado de la junta directiva y económica del fondo piadoso de Californias. Mexico: Imprenta de Galván à cargo de Mariano Arevalo, 1833. [1-2] 3-20 pp. 8vo (20.5 x 13.1 cm), original plain white paper wrappers, original stitching. One small repair to title (touching one letter, but no loss), otherwise very fine.

     First edition. Barrett, Baja California 1474: “One of the earlier official documents relating to the Pious Fund of the Californias.” Cowan I, p. 179. Cowan II, p. 491. Howell 50, California 192. W. Michael Mathes (The Daniel G. Volkmann Jr. Collection of Rare Californiana 140): "The transfer of the fund to the Mexican government upon secularization of the California missions not only initiated their rapid decline and abandonment of the Indian population, but subjected the fund to manipulation and corruption." Palau 137279: “Se considera muy interesante. Datos sobre la explotación de las fincas rústicas de California y de los intereses de los productores.” Sabin 40897. Streeter Sale 2466. Weber, California Missions, p. 63.

     By these regulations secularizing the great wealth of the California missions, Mexican authorities sought to replace the old monastico-missionary regime in California with civil colonies like those proposed by Híjar and Padrés. From 1848 to 1967 the Pious Fund was the subject of lengthy negotiations between the United States and Mexico because of the latter’s failure to make payments as agreed. In 1967 a settlement of over $700,000 was paid by Mexico to the U.S. government, to be turned over to the Archdiocese of San Francisco.


Sold. Hammer: $500.00; Price Realized: $600.00

Auction 22 Abstracts

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