The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 19, July 1915 - April, 1916

The Southwestern Historical Quarterly

Halbinsel Californien: mit einem zweifachen Anhang falscher
Nachrichten. Geschrieben von einem Priester der Gesellschaft
Jesu, welcher lang darinn diese letztere Jahre gelebt hat. Mit
erlaubnis der Oberen. Manheim 1772.'
There are a number of conflicting opinions concerning Baegert
and the Nachrichten. We find that in Bancroft's mind there was
uncertainty as to whether Baegert ever was in Lower California.2
In this respect, it is sufficient to note that Baegert himself men-
tions in the text that he lived in California under 25 degrees, and
12 leagues distant from the Pacific coast, opposite the Bay of Mag-
dalena. These descriptions lead to the conclusion that Baegert
was at the Mission of San Ignacio. Moreover, there was no rea-
son for Baegert to make an untrue assertion in this regard.
In the Biblioteca Hispano-Americana Septentrional of Beristain
y Souza there is a note to the effect that the Nachrichten was
printed in Monaco. Medina, in his Biblioteca Hispano-Americana,
corrects the statement and points out that the book bears the in-
scription of Manheim. Medina, moreover, states that the Nach-
richten is a translation of Venegas' Noticia de la California.3 This
opinion he bases upon the catalogue of the British Museum, which,
in fact, says nothing to that effect, but gives merely the title of
the book.
That the Nachrichten is not a translation is shown by the con-
tents, by the arrangement, and particularly by the criticisms of
the Noticia in the Nachrichten. Baegert accuses the author of
the Noticia of having given by far too favorable, and, in many in-
stances, utterly incorrect accounts of the country, its productions,
and its inhabitants. In another place Venegas mentions fishing
nets made of a pita plant. According to Baegert no such plant
exists in California, and the word "pita" only signifies the thread
twisted from the aloe. In refuting Venegas, Baegert hardly ever
refers to the original Spanish work, nor mentions the name of its
author, but attacks the French translation, published in Paris,
1Account of the American Peninsula of California; with a two-fold
Appendix of false Reports. Written by a Priest of the Society of Jesus,
who recently has lived there for many years. Published with the Per-
mission of the Superiors. Manheim, 1772.
2Bancroft, North Mexicans States, I, 469. See also page 478, where
Bancroft makes the positive assertion that Baegert was in California.
'Andrs Burriel is the real author of the Noticia.

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 19, July 1915 - April, 1916. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101067/. Accessed July 22, 2014.