Chapter 2: Early American Literature 1700-1800

Francisco Palou

© Paul P. Reuben
  October 15, 2016

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San Francisco Mission | Primary Works | Selected Bibliography 1980-Present | MLA Style Citation of this Web Page |

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"Fray Francisco Palou, diligent student, devout Christian, loyal disciple, tireless traveler, zealous missionary, firm defender of the faith, resourceful pioneer, successful mission builder, able administrator, and fair-minded historian of California."
- Herber E. Bolton, editor, Historical Memoirs of New California

(Source: California Missions)

San Francisco Mission: In 1776, Fr. Francisco Palou selected a site on San Francisco Bay to build the sixth mission. The first church was a wooden structure plastered with mud. It was called Mission Dolores. It got its name from a nearby stream and lake. Mission Dolores had problems with labor. The Indian helpers ran away from Dolores because they liked their freedom more than daily work. The mission was often called Mission San Francisco de Asissi. A new permanent church was built in 1782 and dedicated in 1791. The small church survived the earthquake and fire of 1906. As of today it is lovingly cared for as San Francisco's oldest building. This popular little church has a simple exterior. Outside, many examples of Indian art can still be seen at the mission today.

Primary Works

Francisco Palou's life and apostolic labors of the Venerable Father Junipero Serra, founder of the Franciscan missions of California. With an introduction and notes by George Wharton James. English translation by C. Scott Williams. Pasadena: G. W. James, 1913. F864 .S52

The founding of the first California missions under the spiritual guidance of the Venerable Padre Fray Junipero Serra; an historical account of the expeditions sent by land and sea in the year 1769, as told by Fray Francisco Palou, and hitherto unpublished letters of Serra, Palou and Galvez: the whole newly translated and arranged as a consecutive narrative, with the aid of Thomas W. Temple II, by Douglas S. Watson; to which is added the account of Serra's death inscribed by Fray Francisco Palou in the Book of the dead at Carmel mission. San Francisco: Nueva California press, 1934. F864 .S494

Life of Fray Junipero Serra; translated & annotated by Maynard J. Geiger. Washington: Academy of American Franciscan History, 1955. F864 .S4912

Palou, Francisco, et al. Anza's California expeditions. NY: Russell and Russell, 1966 , c1930. 5 vols. F864 .B68

Historical meMoirs of New California. Translated into English from the manuscript in the Archives of Mexico. Edited by Herbert Eugene Bolton. NY: Russell & Russell, 1966, c1926. 4 vols. F864 .P25

Selected Bibliography 1980-Present

Fogelquist, James. "The Discourse of Saints' Lives in Francisco Palóu's Vida de Junípero Serra." Americas Review 24 (Sprg-Sumr 1997): 227-48.

Nelson, Dana D. "Reading the Written Selves of Colonial America: Franklin, Occom, Equiano, and Palou/Serra." Resources for American Literary Study 19.2 (1993): 246-59.

MLA Style Citation of this Web Page

Reuben, Paul P. "Chapter 2: Francisco Palou." PAL: Perspectives in American Literature- A Research and Reference Guide. URL: (provide page date or date of your login).

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