Mission San Gabriel de Arcángel By Mihika Mehra 5/6/2013 Mrs. Gil
Founding History of Mission San Gabriel Mission San Gabriel was founded in San Gabriel on September 8th, 1771 by Father Serra. It was the fourth mission to be founded in California and was named for Gabriel, Holy Prince of Archangels. This mission is also called the “Queen of the Missions.”
Location of Mission San Gabriel Mission San Gabriel is located nine miles south from downtown Los Angeles, in the southern region of California. The address is: 427 S. Junipero Serra Drive San Gabriel, CA 91776.
Design and Layout of Mission San Gabriel This mission has very interesting features. It has a traditional quadrangle with soldiers’ barracks, neophyte* housing, warehouses, and other structures in the courtyard. Under the order of the missionaries, or people living in the mission, the mission was later rebuilt in Moorish style. *American Indians training to become Catholic.
Life on Mission San Gabriel Native American Life Missionary Life Friars and missionaries were frustrated. They had been trained to be priests, not farmers. They didn’t like managing the activities. An earthquake had hit the mission and damaged it. It took years to rebuild it, and the missionaries wanted it to be built in Moorish Style this time. They got their wish – the roof of Mission San Gabriel was in Moorish Style. They first came here when they were sixteen, then trained to be priests and baptized Native Americans. Some died, and never returned home to Spain. Every morning the neophytes would wake at sunrise to the sound of the six bells in the bell tower. Then, the big angelus bell would call them to church where the friars would lead an hour of prayers. After church came breakfast, atole, a hot cereal made of ground and roasted grain. After another bell, everyone went to work, even the neophytes. They were taught to grow many things in their fields, gardens, and orchards. They even built aqueducts to irrigate the fields. Mission San Gabriel became famous for producing wine. They built in the workshops, too. After lunch, a meat stew, they rested and then went back to work. At 5 pm, the bell rang for another hour of prayers and, after that, supper and bedtime at 8 pm. One thousand neophytes lived at the mission.
Mission Life Today Today, Mission San Gabriel has more buildings, a bell tower, and different museums that tell the history of California. The museum exhibits old books and Indian paintings and parchments. Over time, the mission has grown and changed by modeling. People still pray in the church, so Mission San Gabriel is still an active mission.
Take a Stand The mission system (1769- 1834) was when Russian hunters came to invade Spain to hunt for seals. The Spanish decided to hold a claim over California. Missions were built to hold the claim and to convert Native Americans into Christianity. The mission system was taking away all the Natives’ religions and treating them badly. The Natives were forced to speak Spanish, believe in different gods, and change their culture completely. • They were not allowed to speak their language. • They were not allowed believe in their gods. • They had to wear different clothes. Even though the Native Americans had made a deal, the missionaries were not keeping their side of the deal up. • They got punished or whipped for doing something wrong. • Sometimes the children got separated from their parents. • They did not like being treated cruelly. Spanish diseases were killing Native Americans. • They were not used to these diseases. • Being treated cruelly could’ve been a disease, too. • These diseases – chicken pox, measles, small pox – were passed on from friars and priests to Natives. This is why the mission system was a bad idea.
Bibliography • California Missions Resource Center. • California Missions Trail. • “I am Morning Dove.” California Studies Weekly Second Quarter 2012-2013: Week 12 • McGinty, Alice B. Mission San Gabriel de Arcángel New York: Power Press Kids,2000. • “The Mission Village.” California Studies Weekly Second Quarter 2012-2013: Week 12 • “Why were the missions closed down?” California Studies Weekly Second Quarter 2012-2013: Week 12
Interesting Facts Mission San Gabriel… • Raised cattle and sheep. • Had the largest vineyard in Spanish California. • Had six bells, including one angelus bell. • Had the most populous and wealthiest Indians in present-day Los Angeles. • Had a cattle brand.