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Kino’s Historical Memoir of Pimería Alta

A Contemporary Account of the Beginnings of California, Sonora, and Arizona, by Father Eusebio Francisco Kino, S. J., Pioneer Missionary Explorer, Cartographer, and Ranchman, 1683-1711
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Eusebio Francisco Kino
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The hope was justified by the merit of the work. Indeed, the rediscovery and the publication of this long lost manuscript, Whose very existence has been disputed, puts on a new basis the early history of a large part of our Southwest. The problem of the biographer of Father Kino will be to tell much in little, so many and long continued were his activities. He was great not only as mission ary and church builder, but also as explorer and ranch man. By Kino or directly under his supervision mis sions were founded on both sides of the sonora-ari zona boundary, on the Magdalena, Altar, sono-ita, and Santa Cruz Rivers. The occupation of California by the Jesuits was the direct result of Kino's former resi dence there and of his persistent efforts in its behalf, for it was from Kino that Salvatierra, founder of the permanent California missions, got his inspiration for that work. [v0]. To Kino is due the credit for first traversing in detail and accurately mapping the whole of Pimeria Alta, the name then applied to southern Arizona and northern Sonora. Considered quantitatively alone, his work of exploration was astounding. During his twenty-four years of residence at the mission of Do lores, between 1687 and 1711, he made more than fifty journeys inland, an average of more than two per year. These journeys varied from a hundred to nearly a thou sand miles in length. They were all made either on foot or on horseback, chiefly the latter. In the course of them he crossed and recrossed repeatedly and at varying angles all of the two hundred miles of country between the Magdalena and the Gila and the two hun dred and fifty miles between the San Pedro and the Col orado. When he first opened them nearly all his trails were either absolutely untrod by civilized man or had been altogether forgotten. They were made through countries inhabited by unknown tribes who might but fortunately did not offer him personal violence, though they sometimes proved too threatening for the nerve of his companions. One of his routes was over a forbid ding, waterless waste, which has since become the graveyard of scores of travelers who have died of thirst because they lacked Father Kino's pioneering skill. I refer to the Camino del Diablo, or Devil's Highway, from Sonoita to the Gila. In the prosecution of these journeys Kino's energy and hardihood were almost be yond belief.

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