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Life in a California Mission: Monterey in 1786 Paperback – April 1, 1989
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The timing for my reading came on the heels of the Pope's announcement of the elevation to sainthood of Father Junipero Serra. This book was recommended by a colleague who described the material as an objective and firsthand account. La Perouse's segment is definitely an eyewitness account. It was mostly objective because La Perouse was a French count conducting a worldwide scientific expedition with two ships under his command for his homeland. The place is Monterey at the presidio and mission. The dates are September 12 through 22, 1786, two years after Serra died.
There are accounts of the mistreatment of the native California Indians (all ages and genders) such as imprisonment, enslavement, corporal punishment with whips and chains and restraints with shackles and stocks. Most of La Perouses's journal entries were factual accounts. He also presented the friars in a generally favorable light. The conflicted accounts display a hypocritical culture, some of which has carried on to contemporary religious culture. For example, a supposedly enlightened church would elevate to sainthood a man who violated basic human rights in the name of God and forced conversion of faith was the norm.