The O'odham and the Franciscans
In May 1768, after ten months of confinement, fifty Sonoran Jesuits sailed south from the sun-bleached port of Guaymas. After a hellish voyage down the Pacific coast, they landed at San Blas and were forced-marched across Mexico from Tepic to Vera Cruz. Those who survived were shipped to house imprisonment in Spain. Nearly two centuries of evangelization on the northwestern frontier came to an abrupt end as the ultramontane Society of Jesus fell victim to European intrigue, Enlightenment ideas, and the triumph of mercantile capitalism embodied in the Spanish crown's Bourbon Reforms.
José de Gálvez and his fellow architects of the new colonial order then toyed with the idea of turning all missions into secular parishes once and for all. The realities of ethnic politics and ecclesiastical resources soon intruded. The reformers had to concede that there were not enough secular priests to transform thousands of Indian neophytes into tithe-paying parishioners. They arm-twisted the oldest missionary order on the frontierthe Order of Friars Minor, or Franciscansinto taking over the missions of Sonora and the Pimería Alta. Baja CaliforniaKino's dream and Salvatierra's bone-dry realitybecame the responsibility of the Dominicans.
But even though the reformers could not dispense with missionaries, they severely curtailed their power. Initially, Spanish officials only granted the Franciscans spiritual control over the missions. Civil commissioners (comisarios) took over the temporal management of mission fields, herds, and storehouses. Moreover, Viceroy Marqúez de Croix gave mission Indians more autonomy as well. "Under no circumstances are Indians to be deprived of civil intercourse, communication, commerce or residence with Spaniards," he instructed, "no less the possession in individual and private domain of their property, goods, and the fruits of their labor" (quoted in Kessell 1976:17). The old utopian vision of self-sufficient missions isolated from Spanish vices was crumbling. In its place rose a new visionKing Charles III's blueprint for a streamlined empire where ecclesiastical privileges were subordinated to royal power and the forces of production were freed from medieval constraints like the corporate control of land.
The transition proved chaotic. Civil commissioners administered the missions for more than a year before the Franciscans arrived. The economic state of the missions therefore depended upon the scruples of the Spanish settlers appointed to those offices. In Guevavi, Captain Juan Bautista de Anza of Tubac had to intervene after Comisario Andrés Grijalva handed over the keys to the granaries to the O'odham and told them "they were the absolute owners of the missions' goods and that as such they might dispose of them as they saw fit." "In just a few days they must have consumed at Tumacácori more than fifty fanegas [more than 4100 pounds, probably of wheat] without accounting for it," Anza reported. "The same thing was happening with the horses, cattle, etc. Everything would have been finished off within a few days. For this reason on my own initiative I have taken back the keys, leaving out enough provisions for their normal needs...until such time as the comisario appears, when I shall warn him not to proceed in such a disorganized state" (quoted in Kessell 1970:189-90).
By the time Franciscans entered the Upper Santa Cruz Valley a year later, Guevavithe Jesuit cabecerawas dying a lingering death. At its height during the Jesuit period, about 300 O'odham families farmed the floodplain of the Santa Cruz at Guevavi and its visitas of Calabasas, Sonoita, and Tumacácori. When the Franciscan grayrobes replaced Jesuit blackrobes, only 62 to 71 families remained (Kessell 1976:38).
The first friar was Juan Chrisóstomo Gil de Bernabé, a tall, eloquent Aragonese who epitomized late-eighteenth-century Franciscan fervor at its most exalted and penitential. Soon after he was ordained, Gil forsake the relative comforts of the Franciscan convento in Zaragosa and confined himself in the mountaintop monastery of Monlora. Then, in 1762, he answered the call to mission in the Americas, surviving a shipwreck on the Yucatán peninsula to preach home missionsCatholic revival meetingsin the countryside around the Franciscan apostolic college of Querétaro.
Five years later, Gil volunteered for the Sonoran missions along with his frequent traveling companion, the much earthier Francisco Garcés. Gil's stay at Guevavi nearly killed him. In the spring of 1771, half paralyzed, he had to be carried south to the hot springs near Aconchi in the Sonora River Valley (Kessell 1976). His zealsoaring and self-scourgingwon him a martyr's death two years later, when he tried to establish the mission of Carrizal on the salt flats east of modern Bahía de Kino. The Seri Indians proved even more resistant to his message than the O'odham (Kessell 1975; Sheridan 1999).
By then, Gil's former mission of Guevavi had withered to nine families (Kessell 1970). O'odham abandoned it completely in 1775. Tumacácori now served as the cabecera. This was not the older settlement of the same name east of the river, however, but a new reducción west of the Santa Cruz. The new cabecera contained O'odham from the earlier village, O'odham displaced from nearby Tubac after the presidio was established there in 1752, and Tohono O'odham from the western deserts. A 1774 census revealed a population of 236 Indians and 19 Spaniards. Calabasas was its only visita, with an amalgamated population of 138 living in three separate rancheríasthe inhabitants of Calabasas and refugees from Guevavi and Sonoita (Kessell 1976). Apaches had driven the O'odham from Soamca in 1768, and they did the same to the remnants of Sonoita and Guevavi the following decade. "The Indian is so attached and so passionately devoted to his land and his country," one Franciscan noted, "that to take him from the place of his birtheven if it is no more than the shade of a mesquiteis to take his life or at the least his most cherished possession" (quoted in Kessell 1976:89). But Apache expansionism took a terrible toll. O'odham in the Upper Santa Cruz Valley were like an intermittent stream drying up during a prolonged drought. Pools remained, but the flow that may have routed Hohokam elites in the fifteenth century was not even a trickle 300 years later.
Meanwhile, the debate over missions continued to rage. Juan Bautista de Anza, born and bred on the frontier and a Basque criollo raised to rever the Jesuits, sided firmly with the Bourbon reformers. Captain of Tubac presidio since 1760, Anza argued that mission Indians should not have to work three days a week at mission tasks. On the contrary, they should till their own fields and dispose of their own produce. "When they have real property, we shall be free of uprisings or fears of them," he contended (quoted in Kessell 1976:85).
Despite these polemics, however, the realities of frontier life encouraged cooperation among the presidio and mission. Anza allowed civilian and mission livestock to run with the presidial horseherd under presidial guard. At times the combined herd numbered more than a thousand animals. Even though the Marqués de Rubí criticized Anza for this practice when he visited Tubac on his inspection of the northern presidios, it undoubtedly reduced the losses to mission and civilian herds. 
Anza also managed the irrigation systems of Tubac and Tumacácori together. During times when water was scarce in the Santa Cruz, all water was diverted onto the fields of the O'odham at Tumacácori for one week and onto the fields of the Tubaqueños the following week (Dobyns 1959). This was common practice along streams in the Sonoran Desert, where flow often slowed to a trickle during the parched "foresummer" of April, May, and early June. Water judges (jueces de agua) in the municipio of Cucurpe, Sonora, still enforce such diversions today (Sheridan 1988).
If the presidio had remained in Tubac, Tubac might have overwhelmed Tumacácori. In 1775, however, Comandante Inspector Hugo O'Conorone of the Catholic "Wild Geese" who fled occupied Ireland to fight for England's enemiesordered the presidio to be moved to Tucson forty miles downstream. Anza had already bled away twenty soldiers from the garrison for his expedition to California early in 1774. In order to protect the new land route he blazed between Sonora and Alta California, the rest of the presidio rode north sometime in 1776. Many settlers followed suit, seeking the protection of their neighbors and kinsmen. Tubac's population dropped to forty families, or about 150 people (Dobyns 1959).
Those that remained complained bitterly about the loss of the garrison. In October 1777, the Apaches ran off all their horses and cattle. In November, the raiders even had the temerity to pasture their stolen horses near the beleaguered pueblo for three days while they stripped its fields of maize. At the same time, O'odham and non-Indian settlers at Tumacácori were diverting more upstream water onto their own fields, making it difficult for the Tubaquenos to irrigate their spring and summer corn crops (Dobyns 1959). In response to their complaints, Captain Pedro Allande, the new commander of the Tucson presidio, instructed them to return to Anza's systemone week of water for Tumacácori, one week for Tubacduring the dry season. He also stationed a small detachment of soldiers in Tubac to protect both the pueblo and mission (Dobyns 1959).
But even though Tubac lost its garrison, there was now a permanent community of Spaniards, coyotes (of Indian and Spanish blood), mulattoes, Yaquis, and Opatas living in O'odham territory. The San Luis Valleythat great bend of the Santa Cruz between Guevavi on the west and Soamca on the easthad long been dominated by Spanish ranchers. Tubac provided an even stronger nucleus of non-Indian settlement. Tubaqueños and O'odham at Tumacácori shared the same irrigation water and herded their livestock together. Soldiers and settlers also served as godparents for O'odham children when they were baptized in the mission church. The power of the santosthe Catholic saintswas growing as fewer and fewer people listened to the Creation Story and the triumph of Siuuhu during the four cold nights of the winter solstice. Cultural differences blurred between O'odham and non-O'odham as Spanish Sonora leapfrogged north along the Santa Cruz.
The goal of most missionaries, both Jesuit and Franciscan, was to isolate their neophytes from the corrupting influences of Spanish frontier society. Antonio de los Reyes, the conniving Franciscan reformer who became the first Bishop of Sonora, promulgated a set of instructions that forbade Spaniards and gente de razón from living in mission communities even if they worked for the missionaries. Missionaries were instructed to keep their Indians from leaving the missions and to make sure that all males worked for the missions two days a week in three shifts. Then, and only then, would they be allowed to depart for the mining camps in groups led by one of their justicias (Kessell 1976). 
The militarization of the frontier eviscerated these desperate measures to recover mission autonomy. O'odham from the Upper Santa Cruz Valley had fought as allies and auxiliaries of Spanish soldiers and militia for nearly a century. In 1782, however, Teodoro de Croix, the first comandante general of the newly formed provincias internas, created a formal company of O'odham soldiers and assigned it to Mission San Ignacio. Known as the Compañía de Pimas or Compañía de San Rafael de Buenavista,  the company consisted of eighty soldiers and four officers. In 1783, sixty-seven of the soldiers were Pimas Altos while four were Pimas Bajos, six were Opatas. and three were Yaquis. The four officers were Spaniards. Sixteen of the O'odham were from O'odham communities along the Santa Cruz, including Tumacácori and its visita of Calabasas (Kessell 1976).
Paid 137 pesos a year, less than half (290 pesos) what a non-Indian soldier made, these Indian soldiers reported to their commanders, not their missionaries. Along with the Opata companies at Bavispe and Bacoachi, they were professional soldiers, not auxiliaries, even though they at first fought on foot and carried bows and arrows. Reassigned to Tubac in 1787, the O'odham received regular wages and reoccupied the old presidio. Eventually they were issued firearms as well. The military became an attractive alternative to mission life and an avenue of upward mobility. In 1818, the O'odham lieutenant of the Tubac presidio even married his commander's daughter, a Spanish woman named Manuela Soto (Officer 1987). Class and race still mattered on the frontier, but the professionalization of the military weakened ethnic boundaries in communities like Tubac where O'odham, Spaniards, coyotes, mulattoes, Yaquis, and Opatas lived side by side.
Indian presidiosBavispe (1779), Buenavista/Tubac (1782), and Bacoachi (1784)were only one in a series of innovations that represented a major change in northern New Spain's philosophy of conquest. Reyes pontificated that the Apaches could be conquered by more missionaries, not more soldiers. "The reduction of Indians and the possession of these kingdoms is the business of ministers of the Gospel," he blustered (quoted in Kessell 1976:160). Spanish officials disagreed. "By the 1760s, when the marqués de Rubí made his tour of inspection, the military had become the dominant institution on the frontier," historian David Weber observes, "and war rather than 'pacification' had become the prevailing mode of subduing intractable nomads" (Weber 1992:214). Except for Alta California, where the Spaniards did not have to face mounted enemies like the Apaches or Comanches, the military, not the missionaries, hammered out the policies that determined Spanish-Indian relations for the rest of the colonial period.
Rubí's solution, embodied in the Regulations of 1772, was a uniform line of presidios100 miles apartstretching from Louisiana to Sonora along the 30th parallel. Hugo O'Conor rode 10,000 miles to turn Rubí's blueprint into reality. He moved presidios forward like chess pawns, particularly in Sonora: Tubac to Tucson, Fronteras to San Bernardino, Terrenate to an exposed and isolated position on the west bank of the San Pedro River. But the Apaches refused to fight a European war, slipping through this supposedly impregnable cordon of defense with impunity. In less than a decade, Teodoro de Croix returned San Bernardino to Fronteras and pulled Terrenate back to Las Nutrias a few miles southeast of its original location. The hard lessons learned by the Sonora Expedition against the Seris and Lower Pimas in the late 1760s had to be learned again by Croix. European military tactics did not work on the northern frontier. To defeat guerrilla enemies, you had to wage a guerrilla war (Weber 1992; Sheridan 1999).
War with England forced Spanish officials to adopt some French innovations as well. French traders in Louisiana had mastered the art of diplomacy and trade with the sophisticated Indian nations of the Southeast and the Caddoan peoples of Texas. Learning from these teachers, Spanish officials like Viceroy Bernardo de Gálvez, who had served as acting governor of Louisiana, developed a three-pronged strategy articulated in his famous Instructions of 1786. Coordinated offensives were to be mounted against the Indian enemies of the provincias internas, particularly the Apaches. At the same time, however, alliances were to be forged whenever possible. "The vanquishment of the heathen consists in obliging them to destroy one another," Gálvez noted with characteristic realpolitik cynicism.
Juan Bautista de Anza, governor of New Mexico from 1777 to 1787, was perhaps the most successful practitioner of this second prong. He negotiated peace treaties with the Comanches and Navajos while preserving alliances with the Utes and Jicarilla Apaches. That put enormous pressure on the Western, Chiricahua, Mescalero, and Lipan Apaches. By the 1790s, several thousand Apaches had settled in establecimientos de paz, or Apache peace camps, near presidios like Janos, Fronteras, and Tucson. There they received weekly rations of meat, corn, tobacco, and brown sugar in return for not raiding Spanish settlements (Weber 1992; Griffen 1988; Officer 1987). Institutionalized briberythe third prong of Gálvez's peace policyfllled hungry bellies and gave Apaches an alternative to constant war. Although Apache raiding did not completely come to an end, a new era of relative peace and prosperity reignedone negotiated by the State, not the Church. Missions no longer were instruments of expansion. Instead, their primary purpose for the rest of the colonial period was to maintain what historian Cynthia Radding (1997, 1998) calls the "colonial pact" between mission Indians and the Spanish empire.
According to Radding, "The colonial pact signifies the political ties between the Spanish Crown and Indian communities through which the communities asserted certain basic claims to their livelihood and to a degree of local autonomy for their internal governance. Indigenous community leaders understood this relationship as being regulated by a reciprocal arrangement through which Indians provided labor for Spanish enterprises and auxiliary warriors for military defense in return for protection from enslavement and the loss of village lands" (Radding 1998:52-53). The corporate control of those lands, including floodplain milpas (irrigated fields), side-canyon temporales (runoff fields), and upland pastures, was the foundation of the colonial pact (Sheridan 1988). Without their corporate land base, Indian communities would wither away.
After the Compañía de Pimas was stationed there in 1787, Tubac once again flourished. The few remaining O'odham families at Calabasas, on the other hand, abandoned their visita and moved north to Tumacácori. As a result, Tumacácori and Tubac relied upon one another even more than they did when Anza commanded Tubac's non-Indian presidio. Father Baltazar Carrillo, Tumacácori's missionary, ministered to both communities. Tubac's payroll of 13,098 pesos provided Tumacácori's largest market for produce and livestock. O'odham from Tumacácori enlisted in the Compañía de Pimas while Indian soldiers from the presidial company married women from the mission. Meanwhile, more Spaniards and gente de razón settled along the Santa Cruz near both mission and presidio. Ties of compadrazgothe relationship between godparents and parents of a child receiving a sacrament, particularly baptismwove the communities together and pulled the O'odham deeper into the Hispanic world.
Tubac's second incarnation also set in motion the slow but inexorable commodification of land along the river. One of the goals of the Regulations of 1772 was to encourage civilian settlement around presidios. Vecinos who agreed to serve as militia and provide their own horses and weapons were to be given town lots and farmland (Moorhead 1975). In 1789, twenty-eight-year-old Toribio Otero applied for such a grantthe earliest land grant in Arizona. He received a town lot in Tubac and four plots along the Santa Cruz north of the pueblo. Otero was the brother of Ignacia Otero de Villaescusa, wife of Lieutenant Pedro Sebastián de Villaescusa, the first commander of the Compañía de Pimas. Otero's descendants retained control over the grant until the 1940s, long after the Spanish empire had crumbled and Arizona had become a part of the United States (Dobyns 1959; Officer 1987).
Unlike later Mexican land grants in Arizona, Otero's grant entailed restrictions and responsibilities. Otero had to reside on the grant four years before he received full title. During that period, he could neither alienate nor mortgage the land, nor could he ever sell it to the Church. He also had to build a house within two years and plant fruit trees or other useful plants on the grant. And, as stipulated in the Regulations of 1772, he had to maintain his own horses and weapons and serve in the militia when called to arms (Dobyns 1959). Otero's grant was a pact between him and the frontier society he was moving into, one designed to attract permanent settlers, stimulate agricultural production, create a civilian militia capable of defending its own community, and limit the economic power of the Church. Land had not yet been completely shorn of community obligations in the late eighteenth century.
Despite these restrictions and responsibilities, however, Otero's grant was more than a grant of usufruct, or use-rights. In 1804, a drought reduced flow in the Santa Cruz, forcing Otero to move downstream where water was more abundant. After he vacated his fields, several other vecinos from Tubac received permission from Tubac's commander, Manuel de León, to cultivate Otero's land. Three years later, Otero petitioned Alejo García Conde, intendant-governor of the Intendancy of Arispe,  for the return of his fields. If the present users were allowed to keep them, he asked that he be reimbursed for his improvements, including the diversion dam and network of acequias that brought water to his fields (Dobyns 1959).
García Conde ordered León to inform him of the situation. León responded that Otero had loaned part of his fields to another vecino during the drought. When the drought broke and flow in the river increased, León allowed another settler to farm Otero's land. Fields were to be tilled, not left vacant. But León also told the settler that Otero retained title, thereby confirming that Otero did indeed own the land. León recommended that Otero be paid for his improvements, implying that the vecinos currently cultivating the land not be evicted. Otero was living in Arispe at the time, where he taught school. His standing as a vecino in Tubac was therefore compromised, at least temporarily. Land was still a community resource, one that could be redistributed to other members of the community if the present occupier let it lie fallow or left the community. That ancient Iberian principle had not yet been obliterated by private property rights (Vassberg 1974, 1984).
García Conde tried to accommodate both custom and the new order. He recognized Otero's title but stated that the present cultivators could remain as long as they paid Otero for the improvements. Apparently, the other vecinos did not do so, because Otero and his heirs remained in possession of the grant. And even though the Otero grant was considerably smaller than later grants, it signified a new era in the occupation of the Upper Santa Cruz Valley. Other members of the frontier elite like the Romeros and Juan Bautista de Anza had established ranchos in the watershed but Otero was the first to receive formal title to his land. Legalism began to challenge custom. The ascendancy of private property championed by the Bourbon reforms was already rearranging the political and legal landscape in Sonora (Radding 1997; Río 1996).  Now those reforms were embedding themselves in the rich alluvial soil of the Santa Cruz floodplain.
To protect themselves, the O'odham of Tumacácori decided to seek a grant of their own. In 1806, Governor Juan Legarra and four other O'odham from Tumacácori traveled to Arispe to present their petition to García Conde.  There they acquired the services of an attorney, Ignacio Díaz del Carpio, who drew up the petition itself Díaz del Carpio stated that the "original instruments" allotting the lands of the mission had been lost. Consequently, neither the "limits" within which the original allotments had been made nor the mission's "legitimate and true holdings and boundaries" were known. 
The petition requested a fundo legal, the standard grant of municipal property that customarily comprised four square leagues or their equivalent depending upon the nature of the terrain.  In this case, the petition asked for four square leagues "of land most useful for the sowing of our fields." It also requested an estancia, or stock ranch, comprising "Guevavi and the lands pertaining to it" because it was "most suited and best accommodates our needs to maintain the livestock of our mission of Tumacácori and to achieve there the preservation and, better yet, the increase of those animals that are multiplying considerably." The petition went on to establish both a legal and moral claim to Guevavi by pointing out that it was one and the same missionGuevavi used to be the cabecera of Tumacácoriand that Legarra was the "actual governor, one of the native sons of that same ancient pueblo of Guevavi." The O'odham delegation asked that a place called la Boca del Potrero be included in the "enunciated sitios" of the estancia as well.
The O'odham concluded by imploring García Conde to grant their requests for the just relief and improvement of the "community of natives of our republic" (común de naturales de nuestra república).  In this case, común referred not just to a community of people but a corporate community that persisted through time and held land and other resources in common (Wolf 1955, 1957, Menegus Bornemann 1980, Netting 1976, Sheridan 1988). República signified the commonwealth of Tumacácori itself, implying that the community was politically and geographically distinct and self-governing.
García Conde granted the petition on December 17, 1806, and directed Manuel de León to conduct the survey. He instructed León to "measure for those natives one league to each wind or four in whatever direction accommodates the best and most useful lands adjoining their pueblo without prejudice to third parties." He also told León to survey "una estancia de ganado mayor"a stock ranch of large livestockencompassing "at most two sitios in the place that best suits those natives." 
Two days before Christmas, Father Narciso Gutiérrez wrote another petition to León on behalf of Legarra and the "natives of the community" (hijos del común). This second petition stated that the mission of Tumacácori, "through the rancho of Guevavi, borders the rancho of the Romeros,  whose boundary markers still exist beyond Yerba Buena, where a corral that used to hold the stock rounded up by our mission also stands. Along Potrero [Creek], the measurements reached to the point of the cienega."  Gutiérrez went on to say that those sitios had been purchased "in past years with money from the common fund of the mission and its natives." The papers of those transactions had been in the possession of Don Manuel Carrera  but could no longer be found. The mission community had not pressed its claims in the past but needed to do so now because its "goods" (bienes)in this case, livestockwere increasing. Gutiérrez implored León to "take the sworn statements of the Romeros, Apodacas, Baes, and other old settlers (vecinos antiguos) who know about what we have presented to you at the request of the governor and the natives of this mission of Tumacácori." 
León immediately honored their request. On December 24, seventy-year-old Juan Nepomuceno Apodaca, a resident of Santa Cruz who had an interest in the rancho of Buenavista, testified at Tubac. Apodaca confirmed the boundaries in Gutiérrez's petition. On the south the mission bordered the rancho of Buenavista, "known as the rancho of the Romeros." "In the direction of Potrero, the boundary markers were placed above the large cienega, and to the east, the boundary markers were placed in the ravine (cajón) of Sonoita on a very flat mesa." León asked Apodaca how he had acquired this knowledge. Apodaca responded that he had witnessed mission roundups, listened to the missionaries, and heard about it from the now deceased Manuel de la Carrera. Carrera had been "juez" for many years and held "the necessary documents" in his home concerning "not only the lands of the mission but also those of the interested parties, those of the Romeros, Santa Barbara, and other sitios found not only in the direction of Guevavi but also in the Potrero valley." 
On January 7, 1807, León interviewed the second witness, Juan Bautista Romero, sergeant of the Tubac presidio. Romero stated that from an early age, his now deceased father had carried him around and showed him the borders between the mission and the rancho of Buenavista. Romero affirmed that the boundary markers of the mission stood above the place called Yerba Buena.
The third and final witness was eighty-year-old Pedro Baes, who appeared before León on January 9. Baes lived at the presidio of Tucson but had grown up on the rancho of the Romeros. He remembered the roundups that the mission used to hold along the boundaries of Yerba Buena. He remembered the Romeros riding in those roundups to gather their cows. Corporal Eugenio of the presidio of Tucson, whom Baes raised, learned how to read from the titles to those lands. Baes, who had been born at a time when Spanish ranchers were resettling the loop of the Santa Cruz in the 1720swho had seen the arrival of the German Jesuits in the 1730s and who had survived the O'odham rebellion of 1751 and the intensification of Apache raids in the 1760sremembered more details than either of the other two witnesses. The mission lands extended up Potrero Canyon to a place called El Pajarito above the large cienega. They extended up Sonoita Creek to a flat ridge. Fallen-down piles of rocks marked where one rancho began and another ended. In his mind's eye, the old frontiersman conjured up the geography of southern Arizona's first open range.
After taking Baes' testimony, León was ready to reconfirm that geography and enshrine its imaginary lines in new documents. León found no landowners who would be affected by Tumacácori's petition in any direction other than the presidio of Tubac, a league to the north. He therefore appointed his surveying crew, summoned Legarra and the other Indians of Tumacácori, and began to measure off the grant on January 14, 1807. The measuring instrument was "a well-twisted and waxed cord of sisal (istle)" fifty varas castellanas usuales long, each vara consisting of four palmos (ca. 8-1/4 inches).  One hundred lengths of this cord equalled a league (5,000 varas). Attached to two poles of "very hard wood," the cord is what the surveying party stretched across the landscapethrough mesquite bosques and up and down arroyos and hillsas they laid out Tumacácori's mission lands. 
Legarra and the other Indians of the mission selected the cross in the mission's cemetery as the central point of the fundo legal. The documents do not mention whether this was a symbolic or a pragmatic choice. Catholics might have interpreted it as expressing the community of the living and the dead, even though the Hispanic residents of Tumacácori probably viewed the cemetery with ambivalencea place where family members rested but where the dead held sway (Griffith 1992).
O'odham ideas about death were even more complex. They buried their deadexcept for those killed by enemies, who were cremated to destroy enemy magicand offered them food and water. But they also exhorted them to "Go! Do not come back. Your place is not here any longer. Your place is with the dead. Do not trouble us" (Underhill 1939:189). Escorted by ancestors who took the shape of owls, the dead were supposed to travel through a gap to the east until they reached the town of the dead. But ghosts could return as owls and call for relatives to join them. The O'odham tore down the brush dwellings (kis) of the deceased to discourage ghosts from returning. They also considered cemeteries dangerous places. Anthropologist James Griffith notes that most O'odham cemeteries "are located outside the villages, with at least a potential source of running water separating them from human habitations. Even more than in the case of Mexican cemeteries, the dead are there, a real presence" (Griffith 1992:123). Designating an abode of the dead as the center of a living community's land base may have been an ambivalent act, or a decision made for the O'odham by their missionary.
Whatever its cultural significance, the cemetery cross was never intended to be the center of a standard "pueblo league" grant. Rather than measuring a linear league in each of the four cardinal directions, the surveying party accommodated the desires of the O'odham by marking off nearly four linear leagues along the Santa Cruz River, where the Indians could cultivate fertile stretches of floodplain land. This adjustment had apparently been authorized by Juan Claudio de Pineda, governor of Sinaloa y Sonora from 1763 to 1770. With the establishment of the nearby presidio of Tubac, the O'odham of Tumacácori no longer could farm the floodplain of the Santa Cruz for a full league north of their mission. Pineda therefore gave them permission "to make up the difference in the direction that best suited them." 
With that in mind, the surveying party began by establishing the northern boundary of the grant, the only direction in which there was an existing settlement. Because Tubac was just a league away, the surveying party measured fifty rather than 100 cord lengths downstream (north), erecting a pile of rocks at an elevated point (divisadero) in the valley between two big cottonwoods and a trail leading to a flat along the river. Then they returned to the cemetery and marked off 332 cord-lengths to the south, which brought them to the arroyo (cañada) right next to the "sitio called Calabasas." Only eighteen of the 400 allotted cord-lengths remained, so the surveyors "scrupulously" marked off seven cord-lengths to the eastfrom the riverbed, not the crosswhich brought them to the foot of a hill in the middle of a mesquite grove. To the west, they measured eleven cord-lengths, erecting the fourth boundary marker on a flat ridge at a place called Mesquite Seco.
That concluded the survey of the "fundo legal y tierra de pan llevar," a phrase that meant irrigated lands (Radding 1997:176). According to León, the survey included all lands that could be sown (tierras de sembradura) along that stretch of the Santa Cruz.  The O'odham had maximized floodplain, and minimized "unproductive" (infructíferas) acreage above the floodplain. The survey could have given them a fundo legal of four square leagues (17,264 acres). Instead they selected a narrow ten-mile strip of the river with its bends and pockets of rich alluvial soil.
Next came the estancia. León asked his crew if they wanted to resume the next day, but they decided to press on. Legarra and the other O'odham wanted the stock ranch to encompass Guevavi to the south and the mouth of Potrero Creek to the north. They also wanted the estancia contiguous with the fundo legal.  León therefore commanded the surveying party to measure eighty cord-lengths from the cairn marking the southern boundary of the fundo legal near Calabasas. The spot they reachedfour-fifths of a league from the fundo legal's cairnbecame the center of the estancia. Then, as daylight waned, the surveying party marked off another fifty-five cord-lengths upstream (south). There, beyond the "ancient pueblo or mission of Guevavi" on a mesa that sloped down to a dry ford on the river, León ordered his crew to pile up the estancia's southern boundary marker as the short January day came to an end. 
They continued the next morning. Returning to the center of the estancia, the survey party headed east for twenty-seven cord-lengths until they came to a rugged hill called San Cayetano. The hill's escarpment was too steep to scale, so León ordered the crew to place the boundary marker at its base. The O'odham requested that the remaining thirty-eight cord lengthsthe linear length of each sitio de ganado mayor was 100 cord-lengths, or one leaguebe marked off in the direction of Potrero Creek to the west. León obliged. The final boundary marker of the survey was erected "on the slope of the highest hill overlooking Potrero." That concluded the survey of "both the tierras de pan llevar as well as the two sitios for the stock ranch." León dispatched the original documents of the survey to García Conde in Arispe that same day. 
But Legarra and the O'odham of Tumacácori had laid claim to more than the fundo legal and estancia. Their lawyer in Arispe, Ignacio Diaz del Carpio, presented a final petition: "for the lands to the south of the ancient pueblo of Guevavi that border the rancho of the Romeros beyond the place of Yerba Buena, and in the direction of the north and valley of Potrero to the point above the cienega grande, as well as in the direction of the east to the ravine of Sonoita." The petition went on to say, "These sitios and lands belong to us through legal, public, and juridical purchase. And from the original or ancestral owners, since the time of the ex-Jesuits, our mission of Tumacácori, with its fund (fondo), has possessed them." "All the respective instruments of sale and transfer" had been in the possession of Manuel Fernández de la Carrera, who held power of attorney, but after he died, the Indians of Tumacácori had not been able to find the documents.  Legarra and the other O'odham officials declared that they urgently needed those lands because their livestock (bienes de campo) were steadily increasing and the estancia surveyed by León was not big enough to sustain them.
At this stage in the process, something curious happened. García Conde sent the petition and related documents to asesor Alonso Tresierra y Cano for a legal opinion. Tresierra recommended that the petition be granted. According to Tresierra, however, the Indians of Tumacácori claimed the "land occupied by the abandoned pueblo of Calabasas."  No mention was made of Guevavi. Kessell (1976) believes that Tresierra either confused Calabasas with Guevavi or that the documents were altered by later claimantsperhaps agents of Manuel María Gándarawho wanted the Calabasas lands.
Whether by mistake or subterfuge, Calabasas, not Guevavi, wormed its way into García Conde's decree. On March 31, García Conde granted the Indians of Tumacácori the lands they claimed to have purchased as well as the fundo legal and estancia surveyed by León. Those lands were to be "fully enjoyed and freely possessed according to their discretion and desire for their own advantage, in common and individually, and for the decent maintenance of the church."  Nevertheless, there were restrictions and stipulations. None of the lands could be alienated. On the contrary, they were to be "always recognized, respected, and maintained by the same republic and community of natives for their requisite affairs alone." Moreover, if "the Indians of the same nation" ever repopulated "the ancient and deserted pueblo de visita of that mission named Calabasas," its lands were to be restored.
García Conde reiterated and expanded upon those stipulations in his official notice of the decree. "To the community (comunidad) of Indians of the pueblo of Tumacácori, located in the district of the Pimería Alta and the jurisdiction of the military barracks of Tubac, I concede, grant, and award to same natives, their children, heirs, and successors the indicated cultivated lands and lands for livestock with all their entrances, exits, usufructs, uses, right-of-ways, woodlands, pasture lands, waters, watering places and other [resources] corresponding to and encompassed within their measurements, demarcation, and boundaries." Then he enumerated the three stipulations. First, the grant was made with the understanding that it affected no other interested party. If anyone else had a claim, it had to be presented "in due time and in the proper manner." Second, if the abandoned pueblo of Calabasas was ever repopulated and reestablished, its fundo legal and estancia had to be restored. Finally, if the grant were ever abandoned for a period of "three complete and successive years," the grant lands could be awarded to the person who denounced them.  Possession was clearly tied to production. Title was not a legal abstraction but an active process. The lands had to be inhabited, crops had to be cultivated, stock had to be raised.
And so they were. Despite Napoleon's invasion of Spain in 1808 and the outbreak of the wars for Mexican independence in 1810, Tumacácori flourished. In 1814, 147 Indians and people of mixed race inhabited the mission. Its treasury contained 5,654 pesos while its herd totaled 5,000 cattle, 2,700 sheep and goats, and 750 horses and mules. Downstream, Mission San Xavier ran 8,797 head of cattle. Stockraising in the Santa Cruz Valley had never been more extensive (Kessell 1976:228).
Religious instruction, on the other hand, languished. Fray Juan Bautista de Cevallos, the comisario prefecto who conducted an inspection of the missions in 1814, reported that only two missionaries in the Pimería Alta understood the O'odham language. For their part, few O'odham spoke Spanish or knew much about Catholic doctrine, but they were fluent in the "superstitions of heathendom" (quoted in Kessell 1976:229).  More than a century of contact with Jesuits and Franciscans had transformed O'odham fields and provided them with animals to graze the uplands. By 1818, they were raising 150 fanegas of wheat but no maize (Kessell 1976:237). But their philosophical principles and religious beliefs remained largely O'odham, not Roman Catholic. The missionaries won their bellies but not their souls.
Cevallo's successor, Father Joseph Pérez, confirmed his pessimism. Of the O'odham at San Ignacio, Campos' old headquarters, Pérez wrote:
Pérez was describing a process of both compartmentalization and resistance. By the early 1800s, O'odham in the Santa Cruz Valley realized that violent rebellion was no longer an option. There were too many Spaniards and gente de razón to drive away or kill. The old dreams of restoring a prehispanic past no longer resonated and another uprising like the 1751 revolt would have been suicidal. Instead, the O'odham employed what political scientist James Scott calls the "everyday forms of peasant resistance...foot dragging, dissimulation, false compliance, pilfering, feigned ignorance, slander, arson, sabotage, and so forth" (Scott 1985:29). Many O'odham understood more Spanish than they let on. By erecting a linguistic barrier between themselves and the Franciscans, they could avoid work or commit small acts of sabotage under the guise of linguistic misunderstanding. Above all, they could protect domains of their culture from Franciscan intrusion. The O'odham carefully hoarded their "symbolic capital" of ritual knowledgemuch of which they believed was instrumental rather than symbolicwhile at the same type manipulating the mission system to preserve their land base.
Religious ceremoniesfor curing, to promote growth and renewalwere among the domains they shielded most carefully. "It is reasonably clear that the success of de facto resistance is often directly proportional to the symbolic conformity with which it is masked," Scott (1985:33) observes. Instead of rejecting the forms of worship the missionaries imposed, the O'odham carefully separated their rituals and systems of belief from the Catholicism they made a "false show" of embracing. The "gatherings they hold in the caves of the hills" must have included the saguaro wine ceremony to call the summer rains. The ollas Pérez and other missionaries tried to find and break would have contained the fermented syrup of saguaro fruit gathered in June when the fruits ripen. Rather than fermenting the syrup in the communal roundhouses (o:las ki: or váhki) they constructed before the Jesuits or Franciscans suppressed their ceremonies, however, the O'odham hid the ollas in caves and performed the saguaro wine feast far from prying eyes. To borrow a central metaphor from Scott, the "full transcript" of O'odham religious belief and practice was hiddendiscursively, behind dissimulation and feigned ignorance, and spatially, in isolated canyons and caves (Scott 1985, 1990).
But not all of their outward acceptance of Catholicism may have been a "false show." Tohono O'odham Catholicism encompasses several "ways" (himdag)"God way" (Jios himdag, Jios deriving from the Spanish word for God, Dios), "Saint way" (Santo himdag), and "Devil way" (Jiawul himdag, from the Spanish diablo).  Anthropologist Donald Bahr (1988:133) believes this O'odham "folk Christianization" emerged between 1850 and 1900 after the missionaries departed and much of the Papagueria became part of the United States. But even if Bahr is correct, the Tohono O'odham would have engendered this "self-Christianization" out of elements apprehended in the missions of the Pimería Alta: belief in the power of saints, particularly the reclining statue of San Francisco in Magdalena; incorporation of the Devil and the association of devils with ranches and mines;  devotion to rituals tied to the Christian calendar that include both praying (often the rosary) and feasts. These feasts are perhaps the most enduring examples of the Columbian Exchange. All the important foods, particularly beef and wheat flour, originated elsewhere. Native foods like corn, tepary beans, cholla buds, or mesquite pods are nowhere to be found (Bahr 1988).
Bahr argues that the O'odham initially paganized Christianity and then Christianized their paganism.  Undoubtedly there were supple minds in the missions reinterpreting foreign supernaturals, rituals, and even healing practices into uniquely O'odham conceptions of the universe and the power that pervades it. Today the O'odham compartmentalize diseases into "staying sicknesses" (ká:cim múmkidag) and "wandering sicknesses" ('óimmeddam múmkidag). Staying sicknesses are caused by dangerous objects whose "ways" and "strengths" harm only O'odham. Only O'odham shamans can diagnose them and only O'odham curers can cure them. The Devil, or devils, is one such class of dangerous objects. The Devil way is a system of curing sicknesses caused by devils through songs taught by particular devils during dreams.  The O'odham appropriated a major Christian supernatural, pluralized him, localized him in the landscape, and incorporated him into their traditional system of healing.
Wandering sicknesses like chickenpox, measles, and whooping cough, on the other hand, are caused by germs and can be treated by Western medicine (Bahr et al 1974). Neither the O'odham or the Spaniards knew about "germs" in the eighteenth or early nineteenth centuries, yet the new and terrifying epidemics of smallpox, measles, and influenza that "wandered" from one community to another were apparently never categorized as "staying sicknesses." O'odham shamans and curers were powerless against them, so many O'odham turned to the missionaries and their new sources of supernatural power to protect themselves from these scourges. Such compartmentalization is evident in their reply to Pérez: "that the Spaniards have their way of curing and the Indians theirs, as they learned from their ancestors."
It is therefore ironic that the most monumental Catholic sacred structure in the upper Santa Cruz Valley was erected at a time when the O'odham had learned to selectively hold Catholicism at bay. Fray Narciso Gutiérrez, who resided at Tumacácori from 1794 until his death in 1820, wanted to build a church as splendid as Fray Velderrain's Mission San Xavier to the north. He laid out its foundations in 1802. He even brought in craftsmen and laborers, swelling Tumacácori's population by seventy percent. Like San Xavier, San José de Tumacácori would be cruciformthe church itself a symbol of Christ's crucifixion, the central sacrifice of the faithwith two transepts spreading east and west just below the sanctuary. And it would be oriented north-south, with the convento stretching like a wing to the east. Roofed by domes and a barrel vault and constructed of fired brick, Gutiérrez's Tumacácori would be another architectural triumph proclaiming Franciscan organizational ability and religious zeal.
The historiography of the Pimería Alta bestows far more attention and adulation on the Jesuits than their Franciscan successors. Kino has become, deservedly so, a regional culture hero. He is commemorated in statues and the traditions of rural people who attribute many agrarian innovations to him. His bones lie on display in a rotunda on the Magdalena plaza across from the region's most powerful supernatural, San Francisco (St. Francis Xavier), the reclining statue of a Jesuit saint. But nearly all the tangible symbols of missionary endeavorthe magnificent churches of San Xavier or Tubutama, the brooding ruins of Cocósperaare Franciscan, not Jesuit, creations. The black-robed padres wrote architectural prose, not poetry, out of the materials at handbaked dirt bricks fashioned in wooden molds, ceilings of carrizo or saguaro ribs, rough-hewn mesquite vigas supporting earthen roofsthe width of their churches determined by the size of local trees. There were no master craftsmen to instruct the O'odham in the theory and practice of domes or vaults. Instead, everything was rectangles and right anglesfrontier utilitarianism arising from an unschooled labor pool and a chronic shortage of funds. Simple decorations might grace the facades, but the only real flourishes came from the exquisite statuary, the gold and silver ornaments, the oil paintings set in gilt retablos imported from the workshops of central Mexico or Spain.
By the late eighteenth century, however, Apache hostilities diminished and the Franciscans had more opportunity to elaborate their ecclesiastical spaces. Bac and Tubutama were the first, then Caborca. Gutiérrez, in contrast, could never cobble together enough money to turn his vision into reality. Part of the problem was prosperity. Herds along the Santa Cruz multiplied from the San Luis Valley to the Tucson Basin, glutting the regional market. Within five years, the price of a cow plummeted from ten to three and a half pesos. Gutiérrez tried to compensate by encouraging the O'odham of Tumacácori to weave woolen blankets and serapes and to raise more wheat. He even managed to lay the foundations of his church with river boulders cemented with mud mortar. But once the wars for independence erupted, missionaries no longer received their annual stipend and royalist forces demanded forced loans. Gutiérrez died on December 13, 1820, alone, without benefit of sacraments, knowing his church was an empty shell (Kessell 1976).
His successors quickly scaled the vision down. The flrstFray Juan Bautista Estelricenlisted master builder Félix Antonio Bustamente of Zacatecas and expunged the two vaulted transepts, sacrificing the cruciform design. Estelric also took a hard look at mission finances. Tumacácori's fields did not produce enough wheat to feed the 121 Indians and 75 gente de razón living there, so its only liquid assets were livestock, particularly its 5,500 head of cattle. Luckily, this was an era of expansion, as members of the community (parcioneros; shareholders) in Santa Cruz and powerful families like the Elías González petitioned the Spanish crown and the Mexican government for grants of land in southeastern Arizona (Hadley and Sheridan 1995; Officer 1997). Lieutenant Ignacio Pérez, whose family owned the mines at Cananea, had just applied for an estate encompassing 73,000 acres in the San Bernardino Valley. Hungry for stock, Pérez, who was related to the Elías González, agreed to buy 4,000 cattle from Estelric at 3 pesos a head: 4,000 pesos when the cattle were delivered, two thousand pesos six months later, and the balance within a year and a half. Suddenly funding for completion of the church seemed at hand (Kessell 1976).
But Estelric's relations with Pérez and the Elías González family quickly deteriorated. Pérez delayed his second payment, prompting an angry letter from Estelric. Soon afterward, Estelric's superiors removed him from Tumacácori because of his flagrant affair with a local woman. Construction halted once again as the scandal swirled (Kessell 1976).
Estelric's successorpragmatic Fray Ramón Liberóscompleted the project. First he put pressure on Pérez to pay his debt. When Pérez stalled, Liberós appealed to Rafael Elías González, who agreed to guarantee the balance. Then he simplified the church even further. A dome crowned the sanctuary but Liberós eliminated the brick vault over the nave. Instead, its roof would be flat and made of wood and mud. Moreover, sun-dried adobes replaced fired bricks as the walls rose, with bricks being used only to cap the walls or to serve as decorations. Finally, Liberós abandoned plans for the second of twin bell towers. San José de Tumacácori would never rival San Xavier.
Two years after Gutiérrez died, however, Liberós dug up his remains from the dilapidated Jesuit church and interred them and those of another priest beneath the floor of the new sanctuary on the Gospel side. Tumacácori was not finished but stars no longer glittered overhead. The ambiguous icon had finally materialized into a living church.
What the O'odham thought of the icon remains unknown. It probably impressed them with its high ceiling and its thick walls, the dark interior illuminated by candles flickering off the images of virgins, saints, and Christs. But their sacred spaces were outdoorsshrines like the Children's Shrine near Ge Aji (Santa Rosa), where four children were sacrificed to keep the world from flooding, or features of the landscape like Baboquivari Peak (waw kiwulk; 'constricted hill'), where I'itoi, creator of the O'odham, lives in a cave. Before the arrival of the missionaries, the O'odham had no public architecture other than communal roundhouses where adult males held their nightly councils. They carried out their important ceremonies like the saguaro wine feast or the wi:gida with its masked dancers under the desert sky.  The platform mounds of the Salt and Gila valleys were distant cultural memories revived during the annual telling of the creation storystructures attributed to people their ancestors conquered, not their ancestors themselves.
The O'odham were a non-hierarchical people confronting a religion of profound hierarchy, and that hierarchy was embodied in every architectural feature and image in San José de Tumacácori. Roman Catholicism bounded its sacred space within walls and towers and domes. And even though medieval Catholicism embraced processions and other rituals outside churches, those rituals culminated within the church itself, drawing the community of faithful into the consecrated interior. Once inside, the congregation stood or knelt in the nave. The priest, on the other hand, presided in the sanctuary, which was set off from the nave by an arch and often raised. Finally, over the altar, was the tabernacle where the consecrated hoststhe body of Christwere kept. Churches were therefore loci of tremendous supernatural power arranged both horizontally and vertically in a series of levels and domains that metaphorically stretched from earth to heaven and back again. As Lefebvre notes, monumental buildings like Mission Tumacácori "mask the will to power and the arbitrariness of power beneath signs and surfaces which claim to express collective will and collective thought" (Lefebvre 1991:143).
Supernatural power was much more democratic among the O'odham. There were ritual practitionersmen and women who could diagnose and cure disease, divine the location of enemies, or control the weatherbut no priests. "The northern Piman view of reality, very similar to the world view of other cultures of the American Southwest, conceived of life as an organic whole with no strict separation of the spiritual and the material," observes linguistic anthropologist David Shaul. "Whereas Christianity had transcendental dualism (stressing a separation of the material and the spiritual), Native American cultures, in general, integrated what had been polar opposites for Europeans since the time of the ancient Greeks. From the Europeans' dualism, itself from the mind/body dichotomy, comes the problem of good and evil; the mind or soul is potentially good, the body (and material world) is evil. In most of the Greater Southwest, however, native cultures did not make such a strict separation of the spiritual and material, and the separation of 'good' and 'evil' is not polarized" (Shaul n.d.:103).
Power was not conceived of in moralistic terms, nor did it flow from supernatural figures like God or the Devil. Instead, it was, in the words of anthropologist Ruth Underhill, "impersonal, a great unknown force pervading the earth. It can be harnessed (to use a modern illustration) like an electric current, and used for anything, good or bad. Like the current, it is dangerous to him who uses it if he is not wise" (Underhill 1976 :13-14). The O'odham employed ritual, and ritual practitioners, to maintain and restore balance and well-beingin individuals, in communities, throughout the universe.
In his unpublished analysis of doctrinas (religious materials) translated into O'odham by Jesuit and Franciscan missionaries, Shaul argues that the restoration of balance, not redemption from sin, remained central to the O'odham as they confronted Catholic ritual. In a sense, the O'odham language acculturated Christian concepts, not vice versa. For example, doctrinas prepared in Nevome, the dialect of the Pima Bajo in south-central Sonora, and Altar Piman, the dialect of O'odham living along the Río Altar in northwestern Sonora, express the concept of 'sin' as "not good deeds" or "ruined deeds" which produce "sadness," not guilt. 'Blessedness,' the opposite of 'sin,' is translated as "good-hearted" or "to feel good about oneself" (Shaul n.d.: 123-134). According to Shaul, "'Sin' results from the momentary upsetting of one's balance; balance was presumably restored by ritual mechanics (saying the rosary, confessing, attending mass, etc.)" (Shaul n.d.:134). The eschatological struggle between good and evilfundamental to Christian theologywas not part of the O'odham worldview and did not become so despite more than a century of missionary evangelism.
In all probability, then, the O'odham took what they wanted from their new church just as they did from the missionaries themselves. The images of the saints became sources of power with their own 'way.' Rituals like the rosary became new forms of oratory and song to maintain or restore well-being. Meanwhile, established rituals and ceremonies continued to be carried out, even if they had to be conducted outside the spaces controlled by missionaries.
Whatever their interpretation of San José de Tumacácori, the O'odham of the mission had less than a generation to enjoy it. Hispanic settlers were crowding in around them, carving up and acquiring legal title to more and more of the upper Santa Cruz Valley. And as financial support for the missions, presidios, and Apache peace program withered after Mexico won its independence from Spain, the Western and Chiricahua Apaches intensified their raids on O'odham as well as Mexican settlements and herds. By the 1840s, Tumacácori would no longer be an O'odham community, and the Tumacácori land grant would no longer belong to O'odham hijos del pueblo. The mission dream was dying, and the ascendancy of private property was at hand.
Last Updated: 12-Mar-2007