Vanished Worlds, Enduring People
Miguel Venegas. Histoire naturelle et civile de la Californie. Paris: Durand, 1767. [view]
Venegas, a Mexican Jesuit whose order had been involved in missionary efforts in California for fifty years, was assigned the task of creating a general history of that area in the 1720s. For this project he was given access to Jesuit and secular documentation rich in details about California’s native peoples. He completed his work, “Empresas Apostólicas,” in 1739. However, it was not published until 1757, and then in a condensed version, as Noticia de la California. This French edition of his work contains Father Eusebius Francis Kino’s 1702 map, which shows that California was not an island, as some had contended.