This Day in Quechan History – July 17, 1781

Axot oovaak, pipa Kwatsan?  Out of frustration with the usurpations by Spanish colonists,  the Quechan and their allies, beginning on July 17, 1781, attacked and within two days destroyed two Spanish missions established within Quechan territory, Mission La Purísima Concepcion and Mission San Pedro y San Pablo de Bicuner.  After 230 years, historical markers at each site serve as reminders of Quechan tenacity of spirit.

Here is the text inscribed on each of the markers:

California State Historical Landmark #350 – Mission La Purísima Concepcion:

“In October 1780, Father Francisco Garcés and companions began Mission La Purísima Concepción. The mission/pueblo site was inadequately supported. Colonists ignored Indian rights, usurped the best lands, and destroyed Indian crops. Completely frustrated and disappointed, the Quechans (Yumas) and their allies destroyed Concepción on July 17-19, 1781.”

California State Historical Landmark #921 – Mission San Pedro y San Pablo de Bicuner:

“To protect the Anza Trail where it forded the Colorado River, the Spanish founded a pueblo and mission nearby on January 7, 1781. Threatened with the loss of their land, the Quechans (Yumas) attacked this strategic settlement on July 17, 1781. The Quechan victory closed this crossing and seriously crippled future communications between upper California and Mexico.”

Although 230 years have passed, the need for vigilance remains, as we are subject to incursions upon our territory and soveriegnty every day.



  1. krfan1120 says:

    You present quite interesting facts about our ancestors, DJ BGS. Thank you for educating us.

    We should be celebrating these dates with song, dance, and food as they represent the Kwatsan Stonghold.
    Proud to be Quechan.

    Thanks again.

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