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Eusebio Kino - 1645-1711

Arizona

Eusebius Francis Kuhn KUHN, or KINO, Eusebius Francis, missionary, born in Trent, Austria, about 1650; died in Magdalena, Sonora, in 1711. He entered the Society of Jesus at an early period, and after completing his studies was appointed professor of mathematics in the University of Ingoldstadt, but resigned and went to Mexico as a missionary. He not only devoted himself to the conversion of the Indians, but to bettering their social condition. Receiving permission to preach in Sonora, he set out from Mexico, 20 October, 1686, and met on the way Father Salvatierra. Together they formed the project of converting and subjecting to Spain all the inhabitants from Mexico to Oregon. Father Kuhn was to undertake the territory of Sonora and the Pima country, which embraced most of the present territory of Arizona. After entering Sonora he learned the different dialects of the inhabitants, and formed vocabularies and elementary works for the use of his assistants and successors. He is said to have baptized with his own hand over 48,000 of the natives, and caused them to adopt civilized life. He was constantly thwarted in his efforts by the cruelty of the Spaniards, and his denunciations of the violence and oppression with which the Indians were treated at length moved the Mexican council. Regulations were made for the protection of the Indians; but they were never observed, and he often saw his converts dragged from their homes and compelled to work in the mines. He entered Arizona, 13 March, 1687, built chapels everywhere, made peace between hostile tribes, "and," says Clavigero in the "Storia della California," "if he could have obtained additional missionaries and not been hampered by constant impediments, calumnies, and false reports, he would then have easily converted all the tribes between Sonora and the rivers Gila and Colorado." In 1698 he set out on a tour of inspection of his mission stations, and traveled on foot a thousand miles through a rugged country inhabited only by savages. He made several such journeys during the subsequent years of his ministry, and between 1693 and 1697 founded the missions of Santa Maria Somanca, Gueravi, Cocospera, San Cayetano, and San Xavier del Bac. The last was the largest rancheria in Arizona, having 176 houses and 803 Indians. He founded fourteen missions, most of which were abandoned after his death. He wrote "Explicacion astronómica del Cometa que se vió en todo el orbe en 1680 y 1681" (Mexico, 1681); "Mapa del paso por tierra á la California," published by Reverend L. Gobicu (1706)" and several manuscript works, which he deposited with the Jesuits in Mexico, and which were used by Reverend Miguel Venegas in his "Historia de California."

Edited Appletons Encyclopedia by John Looby, Copyright © 2001 StanKlos.comTM

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