Dmitry Zavalishin, a Decembrist, wrote about his 1824 visit to Alta California:
The second, Padre José Altamira, was more a politician and soldier than a monk or missionary. He always carried, like all lay Spaniards, a knife or dagger under the leather which was wrapped around the calves of their legs and which was substituted for boot tops, since they wore shoes, not boots.
The cowhide calf sheathes are well attested for soldiers, perhaps less so for priests. Zavalishin may have exaggerated, but was it in fact common for the Spanish population of California to carry a dagger on the leg?