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Mexican-American War

California missions spotlight: San Rafael was a military stronghold during Mexican-American war

California missions spotlight: San Rafael was a military stronghold during Mexican-American war

San Rafael Arcángel

20th mission

1817

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San Rafael, designed to be a hospital, was among the last missions built and the first to close. The idea was to serve ailing neophytes (as the padres called baptized converts and laborers) from San Francisco. It began with four Franciscans and about 250 Coast Miwok Indians and quadrupled in population, adding farm and ranch operations before secularization in 1834. In 1846, as the Mexican-American War heated up, Gen. John C....

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