I have chosen to do my public field site on the Mission of San Gabriel for my research paper. The Mission of San Gabriel connects to historical events, starting with the Native Americans who lived in Los Angeles area, who were known as Gabrielino after the mission of San Gabriel. In 1774, Juan Bautista de Anna arrived and established a route from Mexico City to California. In 1779, the building of the San Gabriel Mission was build. By 1805 the building of the Mission was completed, however a tragedy happened in 1812 when an earthquake damaged the buildings.
Once again, the Mission of San Gabriel was rebuild in 1908, but once more another earthquake hit in 1987. Taking it back to history, when the Native Americans who once occupied most of what is now Los Angeles county, were one of the wealthiest, and one of the most powerful ethnic nationality, who lived in over 50 villages, before the Spanish arrived and wiped out almost all of the population. and New Mexico expanded, giving Santa Fe traders the opportunity to deal directly with Californian ranchers. In January of 1830, Armijo arrived with 60 men and mules to pack woolen goods.
Armijo arrived at San Gabriel Mission in California with his group unharmed, resulting of his men to rely on mule meat during their final days on the trail. In California, these men traded goods for horses and mules. The route was also used to trade horses with Chihuahua and St. Louis. With the Old Spanish Trail being born, there was finally a trade and a communication route was finally established between New Mexico and California. Separated by tough topography and climatic extremes, in 1829 a route was successfully opened, despise the separation of the two provinces of Mexico.
Following the success of Armijos expedition, the San Gabriel Church became known as a profitable trade. The Spanish Trail lapsed after the Trade between the U. S. War with Mexico ended in 1848, were there was no longer any need to link Santa Fe with Los Angeles by the difficult mule trail because other routes were opened. is an old cannon that was forgotten after the Mexican War in In the Mission there 1847 were it was found in a river flood in 1914. From 1778 to 1865 it was revealed that 6,000 Indians were interred in the cemetery called, “The Campo Santo. Many Indians died from holera and small pox epidemics of 1825.
There were about 18 million Native Americans living north of Mexico at the beginning of the European invasion. Before the arrival of the Europeans, American Indians were one hundred percent free of diseases. For example, when the European explorers and colonists arrived, the peace of the Native American got destroyed. The Indians were disease-free because of the lack of certain animals being eaten. European Diseases like smallpox, typhus, and measles were all harmful to the natives.
Other European diseases included malaria, yellow fever, chickenpox, whooping ough, scarlet fever, diphtheria, plague, typhoid fever, poliomyelitis, cholera, and trachoma. All of the diseases were introduced in the Americas by the Europeans. Hundreds of thousands of Indians died of European diseases during the first two centuries following contact. Smallpox killed the greatest number of Indians, followed by the influenza and the bubonic plague. Children resisted the smallpox virus better than teenagers and adults. Nearly all children came in contact with smallpox.
Smallpox became a childhood disease for the natives. When smallpox was introduce to the population, such as the Native Americans, the death rate was high, among adults and elders. It was like a circle, going around because when the disease hit them it wiped almost all natives away, and once recovered or would strike one more wiping all the population away not leaving allot of Native American alive. It first struck American Indians in the 1500s. It was not common for the Native people to encounter European diseases. The new European diseases easily followed trade routes, carried by both the traders and their goods.
No wonder the Europeans brought so many deadly diseases. The smallpox virus can live in cloth, especially cotton cloth, for many many years. The European diseases devastated many nations and consequently European explorers, particularly in the southeast and northeast. It led to finding empty villages and fields especially in North America which was populated by Indians. Before the Europeans arrived the Muskogee population was two hundred thousand. It decreased to about twenty thousand people by the time Europeans actually visited their villages.
Traditional Native American curing techniques were not effective against smallpox nd many of the other European diseases. When dealing with disease among most of the tribes there cures was the sweat bath which increased Indian mortality from diseases such as smallpox, measles, and chickenpox. This provided an opening for the Christian missionaries who were immune to the disease. Since Christians didn’t seem to die from smallpox, some Indians began to reason, that it was their religion that saved them. In conclusion, the Tongva Indians renamed Gabrielino by the Spanish, which were the original people of the Los Angeles Basin.
The Tongva arrived around 7,000 years ago and their ulture they had was wiped out by the arrival of the Spanish. There were an estimated 5,000 Tongva in the region when the first Spanish settlers arrived in 1781. The name they had was lost due to the cultural assimilation into Spanish and Mexican culture, so they came to be called Gabrielinos due to the association with the Mission San Gabriel. The Indians were brought to small villages and there they began the building of the Mission. The villages where cities from today’s century like El Monte, La Puente, Pomona, San Marino, Santa Fe Springs, and Santa Anita.
The Tribe has been indigenous to the Los Angeles Basin for 7,000 years. The Tongva were enslaved to build the San Gabriel Mission in the City of San Gabriel and the San Fernando Mission in the City of Los Angeles. However they were denied there treaty rights. According to the “gabrielinotribe. org,” “In 1950, under the Eisenhower policy of Assimilation of Native American Tribes, the Gabrielino-Tongva were effectively terminated. ” One of the languages they spoke was one of the Cupan languages. The natives lived in 50 villages, which meant that each held an average between fifty to two-hundred natives.
Before the Spanish arrived the total population was about 5,000. The Tongva were the people who canoed out to greet Spanish explorer Juan Rodriquez in 1952. They once inhabited all of Los Angeles County and northern parts of Orange County. Warfare was not frequent for the Tongva and robbery and murder was rare. The Tongva did not believe in evil spirits or in hell or the devil until Spanish missionaries introduced these ideas. Tongva communities and culture fell into a huge decrease with the arrival of the Mission de San Gabriel in 1771.
Many of he Tongva joined the mission like the Missions of San Fernando and San Juan Capistrano. Upon their conversions, they were compelled to abandon their villages and culture. It was their association with the Mission San Gabriel that gave the Tongva their Europeanized name Gabrielino. By the time the first American settlers arrival in the Los Angeles area in 1841, Tongva survivors were scattered and working at subsistence level on Mexican land grants. Disease further decimated the Tongva population. Today, it is estimated that a few hundred to a few thousand Tongva still live in California.