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Robert M. Senkewicz

Robert M. Senkewicz


I teach courses in early American history, concentrating on the colonial, revolutionary, and early national periods. I also teach courses on the history of California, the American Southwest, the Civil War, and a course in historical writing, designed for history majors and minors. 

I am the history department's pre-teaching advisor. In that capacity, I assist students who are interested in acquiring a single subject credential enabling them to teach history and social studies on the secondary level. If you're interested in this, or would like to talk about possibilities, please feel free to contact me by phone or e-mail.


Ph.D. Stanford University, 1974
M.A. Stanford University, 1970
B.A. Fordham University, 1969



Rose Marie Beebe and Robert M Senkewicz, Junípero Serra: California, Indians, and the Transformation of a Missionary (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2015)

"To Toil in That Vineyard of the Lord" : Contemporary Scholarship on Junípero Serra, ed.

Rose Marie Beebe and Robert M Senkewicz; Berkeley: Academy of American Franciscan History, 2010. 

Testimonios : Early California Through the Eyes of Women, 1815-1848, trans. and ed. Rose Marie Beebe and Robert M Senkewicz. Berkeley:  Heyday Books, and The Bancroft Library, 2006. 

Lands of Promise and Despair: Chronicles of Early California, 1535-1846, ed. By Rose Marie Beebe and Robert M. Senkewicz. Berkeley:  Heyday Books. 2001. 

Guia de los manuscritos concernientes a Baja California en la colecciones de la Biblioteca Bancroft (Guide to Manuscripts Concerning Baja California in the Collections of the Bancroft Library), compiled and edited by Rose Marie Beebe and Robert M. Senkewicz (2002). Berkeley: the Bancroft Library. 2002. 

The History of Alta California: A Memoir of Mexican California. By Antonio Maria Osio. Translated, edited, and annotated by Rose Marie Beebe and Robert M. Senkewicz. Madison: The University of Wisconsin Press, 1996. 

Winner of the Norman Neuerberg Prize for scholarship in early California History. Given by the Historical Society of Southern California, 2003. 

Vigilantes in Gold Rush San Francisco. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1985 


"The End of the 1824 Chumash Revolt in Alta California: Father Vicente Sarría's Account," The Americas LIII (October 1996), 273-283. 

"Religion and Non-Partisan Politics in Gold Rush San Francisco," Southern California Quarterly, LXI (Winter 1979), 351-378 

"The Inflation of an Overdone Business: Economic Origins of San Francisco Vigilantes," The Pacific Historian, XXIII (Fall 1979), 63-75

Chapters in Books of Collected Essays

"The Representation of Junípero Serra in California History," in Rose Marie Beebe and Robert M Senkewicz, eds. To Toil in That Vineyard of the Lord: Contemporary Scholarship on Junípero Serra. Berkeley: Academy of American Franciscan History, 2010, 17-52. 

"Junípero Serra and the Santa Bárbara Channel," in Rose Marie Beebe and Robert Senkewicz. Eds. To Toil in That Vineyard of the Lord: Contemporary Scholarship on Junípero Serra. Berkeley: Academy of American Franciscan History, 2010, 95-120. With Rose Marie Beebe. 

"What They Brought: the Alta California Franciscans Before 1769," in Steven W. Hackel, ed. Alta California : Peoples in Motion, Identities in Formation, 1769-1850. Berkeley: Published for Huntington-USC Institute on California and the West by University of California Press, Berkeley, California, and Huntington Library, San Marino, California, 2010, 17-46.  

"Uncertainty on the Mission Frontier: Missionary Recruitment and Institutional Stability in Alta California in the 1790s," in John F. Schwaller, ed., The Franciscan Experience in the Americas Berkeley: Academic of American Franciscan History, 301-328. With Rose Marie Beebe 

"The Study of History," in William T. Stancil (ed.), A Student's Guide to the Liberal Arts (Kansas City: Rockhurst University Press, 2002). 

"The California Missions in Fiction and Literature: A Preliminary Investigation" in The Proceedings of the Literary History of San Diego and Northern Baja California. San Diego and: The Congress of History of San Diego and Imperial Countries and The California Council for the Humanities, 2000. With Rose Marie Beebe. 

"The Teaching and Practice of History and the Recent General Congregations," in Martin R. Tripole, S.J. (ed.), Promise Renewed: Jesuit Education for a New Millennium (Chicago: Loyola Press, 1999), 169-176. 

"The Recovery of the First History of Alta California: Antonio Maria Osio's La historia de Alta California," in Erlinda Gonzales-Berry and Chuck Tatum (eds), Recovering the U.S. Hispanic Literary Heritage, Vol. II (Houston: Arte Publico Press, 1996), 168-184. With Rose Marie Beebe. 

"American and Catholic: The Premature Synthesis of the San Francisco Irish," in David J. Alvarez (ed.) An American Church (Moraga, CA: St. Mary's College Press, 1979), 141-151.


Because Rose Marie Beebe's and my book on Junípero Serra happens to be published shortly after Pope Francis announced Serra's canonization, Rose Marie and I have given a series of presentations on Serra and I also was engaged in writing the text for a video treatment of his life. 

The video I wrote and produced for the Academy of American Franciscan history is entitled "Introducing Junípero Serra: the Newest Saint."

Rose Marie and I gave a presentation during summer 2015 at an event sponsored by Ignatian Center and Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University. The presentation was entitled "Junípero Serra: the man behind the canonization controversy."

Rose Marie and I also gave a presentation at the Santa Clara University Library "book of the quarter" event in early fall of 2015 entitled "Junípero Serra: His Approach to the Native Peoples of the Californias." [Microsoft Silverlight required to view it] 

I also gave a talk on the canonization controversy itself in September, about a week before the Pope arrived in the United States. The talk was to a Santa Clara University faculty group.

Works In Progress

A critical edition and translation of the memoirs of Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo.