The Journeys of Francisco Garces | 1955, 1957, 2011
Francisco Garces, Diario del Padre Fray Francisco Garces, 1775, 1776
They conducted themselves with me most beautifully; by no means were they thievish or troublesome, but rather quite considerate. They all carried a crook besides their weapons.
Feb. 27. I observed the position of Santo Angel, and found it in 34 31’. Thereafter I went six leagues northwest and northeast, though for the most part northeast. I halted where there was grass, but no water.
Feb. 28. I went seven leagues northnortheast and arrived at the Jamajab 33 nation, having passed over a sierra that runs to the northwest and ends on the Rio Colorado. Having continued further, the rancherias of the Jamajab I saw were on the opposite bank of the river; these I called (Rancherias) de la Pasion, without crossing to the other side. Here came soon all the Jamajabs, because the captain who was accompanying me hastened on to inform them of my arrival. Those who came to see me that day remained to sleep in this place, so that I could speak to them to my satisfaction on all subjects. To all that I set forth to them they replied that it was good; and added that license was given me to remain here to baptize them, because they knew that thus would result all sorts of good things. I can say with entire truth that these Indians have great advantages over the Yumas and the rest of the nations of the Rio Colorado; they are less molestful, and none are thieves; they seem valiant, and nowhere have I been better served. I showed them the picture of the Virgin; it pleased them much, but they did not like to look at that of the lost soul. As I am the first Espanol who has been in their land they celebrated it beyond bounds (sobre manera) by their great desire to become acquainted with them (Espanoles); and considering them to be very valiant, they manifested extraordinary joy at being now friends of a people so valorous.
Feb. 29. I tarried here, because there came successively many persons, and among them three captains, of whom one said that he was the head chief (el principal) of the nation, against whose will was naught determined; that he had come in order that I should tell him that which there was for him to do; that I should know him for what he was when I should see him do out of the goodness of his heart all that which I might propose; and finally he said that he would be baptized and married to a woman, adding other good things of like tenor. This is the captain general of them all (que ay), and he lives in the center of this nation. The female sex (el mugerio) is the most comely on the river; the male (la gente) very healthy and robust. The women wear petticoats of the style and cut that the Yumas (wear). The men go entirely naked, and in a country so cold this is well worthy of compassion. These say that they are very strong; and so I found them to be, especially in enduring hunger and thirst. It is evident that this nation goes on increasing, for I saw many lusty young fellows (gandules), and many more boys; the contrary is experienced in the other nations of the river. There came together to visit me about 20 hundred souls. Abound here certain blankets that they possess and weave of furs of rabbits and otters brought from the west and northwest, with the people of which parts they keep firm friendship. They have been also intimate friends of the Yumas. Their language is different; but through constant communication they understand well enough the Yuma. They talk rapidly and with great haughtiness (arrogancia). I have not heard any Indian who talked more, or with less embarrassment, than their captain general. The enemies that they have are, on the northeast the Yabipais Cuercomaches; on the east the Jaguallapais; and on the south the Jalchedunes. During the harangues that they make they give smart slaps with the palms on the thighs. Manifesting to these people the desires that I had to go to see the padres that were living near the sea, they agreed and offered soon to accompany me, saying that already they had informations of them and knew the way. But as now I had few provisions, I determined to depart immediately (quanto antes); and told them that on the return we would see them again (de espacio). I left here the greater part of my baggage and the interpreter that I had sent with the Indian girls (Inditas) that I had rescued; and in company with the Indian Sevastian and the Jamajabs I departed from this place.
Mar. 1. I went three leagues northwest, accompanied by the principal captain of the Jamajabs; and having turned aside from the fields of wheat I arrived at the ranchrias where was his house, and which I named (Rancherias) de Santa Isabel.
Mar. 2. I tarried at request of the captain in order to satisfy others who desired to see me. This day visited me another captain with his people, and two Indians of the Chemebet nation.
Mar. 5. I proceeded three leagues on the course northwest with some turns to the westnorthwest. I observed this locality to be in 35 01’, and I named it San Pedro de los Jamajabs. In this situation and in that below there are good mesas for the foundation of missions, and though they are near the river they are free from inundation.
Mar. 4, on which was made the observation noted on the 3rd day. I departed, accompanied by three Jamajab Indians and by Sevastian, on a course southwest, and in two leagues and a half arrived at some wells [which I named Pozos de San Casimiro. There is some grass.