Tuesday, September 04, 2018

Exploring The American Southwest

A statue of Father Eusebio Francisco Kino in Tucson, Arizona.  

From Desert USA:

Jesuit missionary Father Eusebio Francisco Kino was one of the early Spanish explorers of the deserts of the American Southwest. In addition to establishing a number of missions in the New World, he proved that Lower California was a peninsula, the Baja Peninsula -- not an island as had previously been believed.

Eusebio Kino was born in Segno, in the Val di Non, a valley in Tirol (now in Italy), on Aug. 10, 1645. He distinguished himself in the study of mathematics, cartography, and astronomy in Germany and taught mathematics for a time at the University of Ingolstadt. He became a member of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) in 1665. His work as a missionary began in 1678, and he was assigned to Spain's colony in Mexico.

Kino arrived in Mexico City in the spring of 1681. After an abortive mission to Baja California in 1683, he began his longtime mission to the Pima Indians in Pimeria Alta, a district comprising present-day southern Arizona and the northern portion of Sonora State in Mexico.

In 1687, Father Kino established his first mission among the rural Indians of Sonora at Nuestra Senora de los Dolores. It became the headquarters for his explorations, as well as for the founding of other missions, including San Xavier del Bac (1700) near Tucson, Guevavi, and Tumacacori (now a U.S. National Monument).

San Jose de Tumacacori Mission

In 1691, Father Kino made the first of about 40 expeditions into Arizona. In 1694, he was the first European to visit the Hohokam ruins of Casa Grande (now a national monument). He is also said to have explored the sources of the Rio Grande, the Colorado and Gila rivers. His explorations of the area around the mouth of the Colorado River in 1701 convinced him that Baja California was a peninsula, not an island. His 1705 map was the standard reference for the southwestern desert region for more than a century.

Father Kino helped the Pima Indians diversify their agriculture and aided them in their constant wars with the Apaches, while opposing Indian enslavement in the silver mines of northern Mexico. His Favores celestiales (1708) was translated into English as the two-volume Kino's Historical Memoir of PimerĂ­a Alta in 1919 (reissued 1948).

Father Eusebio Kino died at Mission Magdalena in Sonora on March 15, 1711.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2017: Celebrate Like A Cat
2016: Cargnegiea Gigantea
2015: Celebrating Labor Day By Not Laboring
2014: A Taco Garage Worth Pulling Into
2013: Who?
2012: You Can’t Ask For A More Convenient Setup
2011: The Thoughts In My Mind About This Guy, Are Criminal
2010: The Queen Of High Society
2009: An Icy Glare For The Heat Miser
2008: Jazz Funeral On Decatur
2007: Keeping The Homeland Secure One Dog At A Time
2006: Reputation Is Everything
2005: ”_________________”

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