EUSEBIO FRANCISCO KINO

“Father Kino”, as he was known, requested an agreement of the Royal Audience so that the Indians that he would convert to the Catholic faith, were not forced to have personal jobs in mines or haciendas (Mexican farms). With his request he was able to get the exceptional case that they would be exempt for 20 years. In 1678 he arrived to Northeast of the New Spain, and started a period of colonization of an immense territory that involves what is currently the states of : Sonora, Sinaloa, Arizona, and Upper and Lower California.

Father Kino built missions, introduced cattle and various modern ways of cultivation. His explorations of the coasts showed that Baja California was not an island, like some people seemed to believe. In 1700, sure that it was a peninsula; he informed it to the Company of Jesus and to Governor of Sonora. He baptized thousands of Indians and fought hostile tribes. As for royal cosmography, he made important astronomic observations. The restless life of this missionary, gave him the credit of being considered one of the constructors of Mexico.

In order to get resources for the missions, Father Kino wrote to the visiting priest, Antonio Leal, a very long letter where he talks about the goodness of this land which is very fertile, and a juicy region that has 5 missionaries with 5 priests, a lot of wheat and a lot of beans and corn, all kinds of vegetables are planted here; garden vegetables and fruit trees, like in Europe. There are vines for the wine of Castilla for the church masses; there are water mills, lands and roads, beautiful plains, gorgeous valleys, abundant grass and good wood for factories and mineral lands.

In these new nations almost all Indians are hard-workers, obedient, affable and very friendly, and in some remote parts there some barbarian and ignorant Indians because they haven’t seen a peaceful person in their whole lives. The temperature of these lands that start from 30 degrees is similar to that of Mexico City and to the best of Europe, without excessive heat or cold. With these conditions and these new conversions, land and sea commerce will be possible along with other close lands and remote provinces.

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