Entries of interest:
Section: “Histoire – Decouverte” (French)
• Photo of Fernando standing in front of “Hedge of Cacti near the Mission” comes directly after the introductory note to his
mother, facing the first page of “Histoire – Decouverte.”
• Colored sketch of “La Mission de San Diego de Alcala 1852.”
• Colored sketch of Indians gathered by riverside.
• Black and white sketch of “Ruines de la Mission S. Diego 1912.”
Section: “Flora De La Vallée” (some in French)
• Entries that have descriptive notes in English and French: Columbine (Aquilegia truncata); Blue eyed grass (Sisyrinchium
bellum); California live oak (Quercus agrifolia); California laurel (Oreodaphne Californica); Madroña (Arbutus menziesii);
(Opuntia augustata); (Opuntia occidentalis).
Section: “Les Oiseaux de la Vallée” (some in French)
• Only the first bird is colored and labeled: “Famille Icteridae, Meadow Lark, Sturnella Magna.”
Section: “History – Discovery ” (English translation)
• Translation of letter to his mother.
• Description of the first mission built in California: “Here was the beginning of the city of San Diego, called by the Indians
Cosoy and Old Town by the moderns.” (page 3)
• Description of an incident in which two Indian converts fled the mission after a feast day and were accused of stealing
food. There is a parenthetical note that is only in the English essay: “(why should they have stolen food, during every celebration
they always had double rations of everything etc. it is not plausible perhaps they had a sister and some soldier!!!!).” (page
• Description of a night-time walk Fernando took up to the Mission. While thinking on all this history he envisioned the building
in his imagination as it had been before. This corresponds to the first illustration in the French essay. (page 7)
• Description of the rebuilding of the Mission after its destruction, as well as the building of a reservoir on the river.
The French essay has a more detailed description of the layout of the building, the whitewashed clay exterior, and tiles Fernando
found buried in the ground (pages 10-11)
• Fernando responds to some historians’ claim that the treatment of Indians was akin to slavery: “But in the case of the Missions
in California I do not think the Padre could have allowed such a thing they were too small number and the soldiers in the
Mission were under the orders of the Franciscans, who without doubt were men of intelligence and education far superior to
those Spanish Conquistadors.” (page 15)