It is my understanding that in Alta California, priests and natives in Missions earned no cash salary, but Spanish army officials would have. From the governor down to a junior soldier, what did they earn?

The answer will be somewhat loose: I read that they went unpaid during the entire decade of the Mexican War of Independence.

  • 1
    Unpaid is a bit disingenuous, as no-one can go without food, and particularly water, in a semi-arid climate for ten years. So clearly they were supplied with the necessities of life, or would have rapidly died. – Pieter Geerkens Nov 26 '16 at 18:35
  • Don't assume that local production could not meet their needs. During the war period when no supply ships arrived, the Mission system supplied the Presidios, and trade continued with visiting ships. I don't think anyone starved to death. – Aaron Brick Nov 26 '16 at 20:22
  • The answer is simply "lot." Before the Hoover Dam life and living was really good out that way. Silver, gold...absolutely massive land holdings in some cases. At first settlers from the East were quite welcome out that way as we provided an enormous amount of security and freedom from "imperial entanglements." Everything changed with the end of the US Civil War. The US Army suddenly appeared in force and moved very aggrressively to secure present day Los Angeles. All of Mexico descended into chaos with the Western USA not much better although the Comanche were wiped out. – Doctor Zhivago Nov 26 '16 at 20:54
  • @AaronBrick: If you are being fed, supplied with fluids and a warm place to sleep at night, then you are NOT UNPAID. – Pieter Geerkens Nov 27 '16 at 3:02
  • @PieterGeerkens: first sentence of the question says "cash salary". – Aaron Brick Nov 27 '16 at 4:55

According to Martha Ortega Soto, Alta California, una frontera olvidada del noroeste de México 1769-1846, in 1773 the commander earned 4000 pesos per year, the captain 3000, a sergeant 450, a corporal 400, and a soldier 300, but payment was made mostly in goods -including horses, guns, equipment, food, contribution for reparations and pensions/insurances-. I guess that only the officials -and maybe the master artisans that served at the presidios: carpenters, smiths, etc...- were really well paid for their jobs.

  • Nice. A longer list of 1772 rates is also given in "Upper California" by Zephyrin Engelhardt. – Aaron Brick Nov 30 '16 at 2:11

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