AKA Eusebio Francesco Kino
Birthplace: Segno, Italy
Location of death: Magdalena, Mexico
Cause of death: Illness
Remains: Buried, Magdalena Plaza, Magdalena, Mexico
Religion: Roman Catholic
Race or Ethnicity: White
Occupation: Religion, Explorer, Cartographer
Executive summary: Jesuit missionary to Mexico
Missionary and mapmaker Eusebio Kino (sometimes spelled Chini, Kuhn, or Kuhne) was born in Italy, studied in Germany, and joined the Jesuit order in 1665. He had wanted to be sent as a missionary to Asia, but was instead sent to New Spain (now Mexico), where he established almost two dozen missions and vistas. During his long tenure in the Americas, he baptized about 40,000 natives into Christianity, taught European farming techniques to the Pima Indians, and became an outspoken critic of the Spaniards' practice of using Sonoran Indians as slave labor in silver mines. He became conversant in several of the natives' languages, including the Apaches, Pimas, Quiquimas, and Yumas, and encouraged the natives to leave their settlements and come to larger towns and cities, where missions were established. When natives relocated, they were generally given plots of land to farm, and were encouraged to contribute to the missions' work.
A tireless explorer, Kino drew the first maps of Sinaloa and Sonora, led the Atondo expedition to Baja California of 1683, and made numerous expeditions across northern Mexico, California, and Arizona. He was the first mapmaker to correctly deduce that Baja California is a peninsula, not an island. He was, by most accounts, popular among the natives, but he was the last of the Jesuit missionaries to be remembered kindly. Subsequent Jesuit missions were seen as increasingly concerned with economic domination and lacking Kino's spirituality, leading to the Jesuits' expulsion from New Spain by order of the Spanish Crown in 1767, half a century after Kino's death.
High School: Ala School, Ala, Italy
University: University of Fribourg (1665)
University: University of Ingolstadt
Ordained 12-Jun-1677 (Jesuit)
Author of books:
Libra Astronómica y Filosófica (Book of Astronomy and Philosophy) (1690)
Exposición Astrónomica de el Cometa (Astronomical Exposure of A Comet) (1681)
Favores Celestiales (Kino’s Historical Memoir of Pimería Alta) (1708)
Kino's Biography of Francisco Javier Saeta, S.J. (1971, posthumous)
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