In this lesson, students practice sourcing to better understand Spanish treatment of Native Americans in Alta California under the mission system.
Students first examine two 19th-century paintings and consider how the source and context influenced their depiction of life in the missions. Then, students read through an excerpt from a book written by an American novelist, a newspaper letter written by a Scottish-born citizen of Mexico, the account of a French naval officer, and an excerpt from a interview with a Native American born at the San Luis Rey mission to further investigate Spanish treatment of Native Americans under the mission system.
Image: Painting of the San Francisco Presidio depicted by artist Louis Choris, ca. 1815. From the Calisphere Digital Library.