The Spanish Missions in Baja California comprise a series of religious outposts established by Spanish Catholic religious orders, the Jesuits, the Franciscans and the Dominicans, between 1683 and 1834 to spread the Christian doctrine among the local natives. The missions gave Spain a valuable toehold in the frontier land, and introduced European livestock, fruits, vegetables, and industry into the region. Eventually, a network of settlements was established wherein each of the installations was no more than a long day's ride by horse or boat (or three days on foot) from another.
As early as the voyages of Christopher Columbus, the Kingdom of Spain sought to establish missions to convert pagans to Catholicism in Nueva España (New Spain). New Spain consisted of the Caribbean, Mexico, and portions of what is now the Southwestern United States). To facilitate colonization, the Catholic Church awarded these lands to Spain.
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—George Gordon Noel Byron (17881824)
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—Joseph Heller (b. 1923)
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—Rutherford Birchard Hayes (18221893)