The Encyclopedia Americana (1920)/Junipero, Miguel José Serra
JUNIPERO, Miguel José Serra, mē-gĕl hō-sā' sĕr'rä hoo-nē'pā-rō, Spanish missionary in America: b. island of Majorca, 24 Nov. 1713; d. Monterey, Cal., 28 Aug. 1784. He became a member of the Franciscan order in 1729, in 1750 arrived In Mexico City as a missionary and in 1750-69 was active among the native tribes. In 1769 he went to the site of San Diego, Cal., where he founded a mission. He gathered about him a band of 16 of his order and these missionaries converted over 3,000 Indians, of whom Junipero himself is said to have baptized more than 1,000. He instructed the natives in the arts of civilization and the colonies which assembled about the mission stations constituted the first settlements in California. His headquarters were at Monterey, but he founded several other missions. Bret Harte incorrectly gives his name as Serro.