Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 37.djvu/501

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485
MENTAL STRAIN.

sion, in which the Indian, as usual, was the sufferer. The vast mission herds and flocks melted away; the implements which were intended for the use of the Indian farmers were not, as a rule, forthcoming; and, of course, without domestic animals and without the means of tillage, the land was of no use. The Government, though possessing no claims whatever upon the mission property, made frequent demands upon it, and, as Bancroft states, the period from 1836 to 1842 was one of disaster in mission history. The downward path of the natives was rapid. Those who obtained property sold it and converted the proceeds into liquor and then resorted to stealing, to flight to the wild tribes, or to return to bondage under the guise of servants in the town or on the ranches. In the area between the Bay of San Francisco and Los Angeles there are to-day probably not one hundred Indians. Of the so-called mission Indians in San Bernardino and Los Angeles Counties, the last Indian report gives a population of four thousand three hundred and thirty. But very few of these are descendants of the mission Indians of Franciscan times.

Such, in brief outline, is the history of the mission Indians. They lived and died, and their few descendants now drag on a miserable existence in out-of-the-way places, so poor and barren as to be beyond the covetousness of the whites, or live dependent wards of the Government.


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MENTAL STRAIN.

By M. CHARLES RICHET.

A BOOK on mental over-pressure has been written by Madame Manacéine for the protection of the men who are to follow us. A continuance of the kind of life that is now led in the great centers of civilization will involve the risk of compromising the lot of future generations. We are going blindly, groping, toward a new humanity, to issue from us, of which we can not predict the character. This humanity is in danger of being a poor affair indeed, from whatever point of view we may regard the case, unless we conduct ourselves better. Madame Manacéine has undertaken to analyze the present conditions of existence, physiological and psychological; to exhibit us to ourselves as we are; to draw a balance-sheet of our mistakes in habits and education, for the avoidance of a threatened decay. We owe her thanks for her generous and patient attempt.

We have no right to be unconcerned about the future of mankind. We have an account to settle with the men of coming ages. We must be careful for them. They are worthy of our interest