In the very last year of the seventeenth century a ten-year-old boy in the city of Lucerne, Switzerland, announced to his parents that he wanted to become a Jesuit missionary and save souls in faraway lands. Philipp Segesser got his wish when he was sent to northwestern Mexico in 1731. For the next thirty years he carried on an active correspondence with his family and religious affiliates.
His letters home, translated and edited in this fascinating book, provide a frank and intimate view of missionary life on the remote northwestern frontier of New Spain. The editor's introduction sets the letters in biographical and historical context.