San Luis Rey de Francia by Brandon Hammond United States History Mr. Yakubovsky September, 2013 Hammond 1 California has a reputation for its many different Spanish missions, all of which are unique in their own way. Whether it’s who founded it, why it was founded, when it was founded, or how it declined, they are all different. San Luis Rey de Francia is a very unique Spanish Mission. San Luis Rey de Francia was founded by Fermin Francisco Lasuen. It was founded on June 13, 1798.

It was located in what now is present-day Oceanside, as named after King Luis IX of France, who led crusades to the Holy Land in the 13th century. The mission was founded to convert Native Americans to Christianity. San Luis Rey de Francia was the eighteenth mission of California. San Luis Rey de Francia was the ninth and last mission to be founded by Lasuen. Mission San Luis Rey de Francia is the 18th in a chain of 21 California Missions established by the Spanish Franciscans(www. sanluisrey. org). Father Antonio Peyri was assigned the task of administrator and served San Luis Rey for 34 years.

Father Peyri supervised the construction of the Mission from the very beginning. Along with other Franciscans, he taught the Native Americans about new ways of agriculture and crafts and introduced them to Christianity. Fifty-four Indians were baptized June 13, 1798, the day Mission San Luis Rey site was built(wmwmissioncalifornia. com). At an early date, the title “King of the Missions” was given to San Luis Rey de Francia. It was the largest of all the missions and once was built in the shape of a rectangle and its buildings were made of adobe.

The ission measured about five hundred yards square and covered about six acres of land. At one corner of the mission was the Mission church and cemetery. Mission farm and pasture lands extended as far as 15miles(wmwathanasius. com). Mission San Luis Rey raised livestock and produced 67,000 bushels of grain in a single year(www. sanluisrey. org). In 1818 San Luis Rey with its six mission ranches, Pala, Santa Margarita, San Jacinto, Santa Ysabel, Temecula and San Pedro, was in its “Golden Age”.

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At San Luis Rey, as at Mission San Diego, American troops, including a art of the Mormon battalion, were quartered at the close of the Mexican war, and animals had to be stabled in the church(www. sanluisrey. org). Before he went away Father Peyri planted certain seeds which had been given to him by a sailor who said that they only come from South America. They sprouted, and grew quickly into tall saplings, making the first “pepper trees” trees in California(www. sanluisrey. org). One of Father Peryi’s trees is still in the west side of the mission.

After the withdrawal of he troops San Luis Rey fell into decay the little village of the same name, famous for “poker bets and large drinks,” grew up nearby(www. missioncalifornia. com). In 1931 restoration of the mission buildings was begun, with the result that they are today. San Luis Rey de Francia was one of many missions founded by Father Peryi. San Luis Rey de Francia was founded for Christianity, but is still different from many other missions in California. Works Cited www. missioncalifornia. com www. sanluisrey. org www. athanasius. com www. sanluisreyparish. com www. sandiegohistory. com


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