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The craftsman
Vol. V, No. 4 (January 1904)

James, George Wharton
The Franciscan mission builders of California,   pp. 321-335 PDF (4.7 MB)

Page 333

guished firm of architects has submitted a
plan showing the new buildings on a front
line with the old Mission. It is probable,
however, that the additional buildings will
be thrown back, in order that the church
favade may not be impaired in effect. If
erected as the architects have suggested, in
line with the church fagade, the result would
be to decrease the importance of the main
structure. As this would be an unfortunate
condition, Padre Mestris is resolved to lose
space by retreating the new buildings, as he
can thereby retain the charm and dignity of
the old Mission.
   I have thus, in a hasty, and in my judg-
ment-inadequate manner, given to the
readers of The Craftsman a glance into the
mere existence of these Mission structures.
Later articles will, I trust, enlarge the hori-
   In conclusion, let me ask a few moments
in which to make reply to those who igno-
rantly reproach the work of those wise and
devoted priests.
   It is often asked by those who would
resent classification with superficial think-
ers: "What good did the Mission Fathers
accomplish? Their aim, perhaps, was high,
but what actual work did they perform?
Where are the Indians? How were they
benefited?"  And these questions are as
often carelessly answered as thoughtlessly
asked. It is contended that the uselessness
of the work of the Mission Fathers is clearly
shown by the rapid abasement of the Indians
into the frightful mire of sensuality and
intemperance, as soon as restraining hands
were removed from them.
  According to the most conservative esti-
mates, there must have been many thousand
Santa Barbara: rear view

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