History of California

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1824 Feb 21 - Jun

Chumash Revolt

Mission Santa Inés, Mission Dr

The Chumash revolt of 1824 was an uprising of the Chumash Native Americans against the Spanish and Mexican presence in their ancestral lands. The rebellion began in 3 of the California Missions in Alta California: Mission Santa Inés, Mission Santa Barbara, and Mission La Purisima, and spread to the surrounding villages. All three missions are located in present-day Santa Barbara County, California. The Chumash revolt was the largest organized resistance movement to occur during the Spanish and Mexican periods in California.

The Chumash planned a coordinated rebellion at all three missions. Due to an incident with a soldier at Mission Santa Inés on Saturday, February 21, the rebellion began early. Most of the Santa Inés mission complex was burned down. The Chumash withdrew from Mission Santa Inés upon the arrival of military reinforcements, then attacked Mission La Purisima from inside, forced the garrison to surrender, and allowed the garrison, their families, and the mission priest to depart for Santa Inés in peace. The next day, the Chumash of Mission Santa Barbara captured the mission from within without bloodshed, repelled a military attack on the mission, and then retreated from the mission to the hills. The Chumash continued to occupy Mission La Purisima until a Mexican military unit attacked people on March 16 and forced them to surrender. Two military expeditions were sent after the Chumash in the hills; the first in April 1824 did not find an enemy to fight and returned, while the second, in June, negotiated with the Chumash and convinced a majority to return to the missions by June 28. In total, the rebellion involved as many as three hundred Mexican soldiers, six Franciscan missionaries, and two thousand Chumash and Yokuts Natives of all ages and genders.