Japanese Memorial – Terminal Island – Jesuits – Dominicans


Today on our way to the USCG Base on Terminal Island, to obtain our Retired ID cards we stopped to view the Japanese Memorial.










For some reason, the older one gets, the more interesting history becomes.  The one thing to remember is that one can’t attempt to look at history of yesteryear, through the eyes of today.  Take for example the internment of the Japanese, as a direct result of the bombing of Pearl Harbor during WWII.

In 1942 the Japanese people (Pacific coast) in the US were given just 48 hours to pack it up and leave from their homes on Terminal Island.  And although there is no such connection almost 200 years earlier, the Jesuits in Mexico (New Spain) found themselves in a similar situation – once the signed decree reached New Spain, the Jesuits had just 24 hours to pack up and leave.  The King fearing for his crown from the highly educated Jesuits signed the decree that forcibly removed them from Mexico – 200 years of history for the Jesuits, wiped out.

“Of the 678 Jesuits expelled from Mexico, 75% were Mexican-born.”

In late June 1767, Spanish soldiers removed the Jesuits from their 16 missions and 32 stations in Mexico. No Jesuit, no matter how old or ill, could be exempted from the king’s decree. Many died on the trek along the cactus-studded trail to the eastern port of Veracruz, where overloaded ships awaited them.

There were protests in Mexico at the exile of so many Jesuit members of elite families. But the Jesuits themselves obeyed the order. Since the Jesuits had owned extensive landed estates in Mexico — which supported both their evangelization of indigenous people’s and their education mission to criollo elites — the properties became a source of wealth for the crown.

Due to the isolation of the Spanish missions in Baja California, the decree for expulsion did not arrive in Baja California until June 1767, as in the rest of New Spain:  The decree arrived on November 30th.

Jesuits from the 14 missions left from Loreto, Baja California on February 3, 1768. The Jesuit missions in Baja California were then turned over to the Franciscans.

So the future missions in Alta California — which would otherwise have become Jesuit institutions — were founded by Franciscans.

The next order of business is to find out what happened to the Franciscans as they seem to also have been replaced by – the Dominicans!

“Almost overnight in the mission towns of Sonora and Arizona, the “black robes” (as the Jesuits were often known) disappeared and the “gray robes” (Franciscans) replaced them.”

And the rest us as they say, is just history.

About trawlercat

Retired and now moving on from the cruising life jeeps, adventure bike, gardening, and travel. Always in search of the next great adventure!
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