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authorities, the ports of California began to be the resort of foreigners, principally whalers and traders from the United States. The trade in which they engaged, that of exchanging manufactured goods for the provisions, hide and tallow furnished by the natives, was at first irregular, but as it increased, it became more systematic, and mercantile houses were established in the principal ports. The Mexican government became dissatisfied with this state of things, and ordered the governor of Upper California to enforce the laws which prohibited foreigners from entering or residing in the territories of Mexico without a special permission from the authorities. Accordingly, in 1828, a number of American citizens were seized at San Diego, and kept in confinement until 1830. In that year, an insurrection broke out, headed by General Solis, and the captured Americans were of some assistance in suppressing it, and, in consideration of their services, they were permitted to leave the territory.

The Mexican government strove to prevent the evils expected to flow from the presence of numbers of foreigners in California, by establishing colonies of their own citizens in the territory. A number of persons were sent out from Mexico, to settle on the lands of the missions, but they never reached their destination. The administration which originated the scheme was overthrown, and the new authorities. ordered the settlers to be driven back to Mexico. In 1836, the federal system was abolished by the Mexican government, and a new constitution adopted, which destroyed all state rights, and established a central power. This was strenuously resisted in California. The people rose, and drove the Mexican

officers from the country, declaring that they would remain independent until the federal constitution was restored. The general government issued strong proclamations against the Californians, and sent an expedition to re-establish its authority. But General Urrea, by whom the expedition was commanded, declared in favor of the federalists, and the inhabitants governed themselves until July, 1837, when they swore allegiance to the new constitution.

Things went on quietly in California until 1842. In that year, Commodore Jones, while cruising in the Pacific, received information which led him to believe that Mexico had declared war against the United States. He determined to strike a blow at the supposed enemy, and, accordingly, he appeared before Monterey, on the 19th of October, 1842, with the frigate United States and the sloop-of-war Cyane. He demanded the surrender of all the castles, posts, and military places, on penalty, if refused, of the visitation of the horrors of war. The people were astonished. A council decided that no defence could be made, and every thing was surrendered at once to the unexpected Americans. The flag of the United States was hoisted, and the commodore issued a proclamation to the Californians, inviting them to submit to the government of the United States, which would protect them in the exercise of their rights. The proclamation was scarcely issued, before the commodore became aware of the peaceable relations existing between the United States and Mexico, and he accordingly restored the possession of Monterey to the authorities, and retired with his forces to his ships, just twenty-four hours after the surrender. This affair irritated the inhabitants considerably, and, no

doubt, tended to increase the ill-feeling before existing between Mexico and the people of the United States.



WAR was declared by Mexico against the United States, in May, 1846. The same month, orders were transmitted to Commodore Sloat, commanding the Pacific squadron, instructing him to protect the interests of the citizens of the United States near his station, and to employ his forces to the best advantage in operations directed against the Mexican territory on the Pacific. The fleet under Commodore Sloat was the largest the Americans ever sent to that quarter, and the men were anxious to commence active operations. Soon after receiving his first orders, the commodore was again instructed to take and keep possession of Upper California; or, at least, of the principal ports.

On the 8th of June, Commodore Sloat left Mazatlan, in the flag-ship Savannah, and on the 2d of July, reached Monterey, in Upper California. There he found the Cyane and Levant, and learned that the Portsmouth was at San Francisco, as previously arranged. On the morning of the 7th, Captain Mervine was sent to demand the surrender of Monterey. The Mexican commandant replied that he was not authorized to surrender the place, but referred Com

modore Sloat to the commanding-general of California. A force of two hundred and fifty marines and seamen was immediately landed, under Captain Mervine, and they marched to the custom-house. There they hoisted the American flag amid cheers and a salute of twenty-one guns. The proclamation of Commodore Sloat was then read and posted about the town.


After taking possession of Monterey, Commodore Sloat despatched a courier to the commanding-general of California, summoning him to surrender every thing under his control in the country, and assuring him of protection if he should comply. The general refused, and said he would defend the country as long as he could reckon on a single person to join his cause. summons to surrender was also sent to the governor of Santa Barbara, but no answer was returned. Orders were despatched to Commander Montgomery, in the Portsmouth, at San Francisco, directing him to take possession of the Bay of San Francisco, and hoist the flag of the United States at Yerba Buena.

On the 9th of July, the day after the receipt of his orders, Montgomery landed at Yerba Buena with seventy seamen and marines, and hoisted the American flag in the public square, amid the cheers of the people. A proclamation was then posted to the flag staff, and Montgomery addressed the people. The greater part of the seamen and marines then returned to the ship, leaving Lieutenant H. B. Watson with a small guard, formally installed as military occupant of the post. Thirty-two of the male residents of Yerba Buena were enrolled as a volunteer corps, choosing their own officers. Lieutenant Missroon was despatched with a small party of these volunteers to reconnoitre the Presidio and fort. He returned the

same day, and reported that the Presidio had been abandoned, and that the fort, seven miles from the town, was dilapidated and mounted only a few old pieces of cannon. The flag of the United States had been displayed from its ramparts. On the 11th, Montgomery informed Commodore Sloat that the flag of the United States was then flying at Yerba Buena, Sutter's Fort, on the Sacramento, Bodega, on the coast, and Sonoma. The inhabitants of these places appeared to be satisfied with the protection afforded them by the Americans.

On the 13th of July, Commodore Sloat sent a flag to the foreigners of the pueblo of San Jose, about seventy miles from Monterey, in the interior, and appointed a justice of the peace in place of the alcaldes. On the 15th, Commodore Stockton arrived at Monterey, in the frigate Congress; and Commodore Sloat being in bad health, the command devolved upon Stockton, and Sloat returned home. The operations of Commodore Stockton, from the 23d of July to the 28th of August, 1846, have been rapidly sketched by himself in his despatches to the secretary of the navy. From these we condense a short account.

On the 23d of July, the commodore organized the "California Battalion of Mounted Riflemen." Captain Fremont was appointed major, and Lieutenant Gillespie captain of the battalion. The next day, they were embarked on board the sloop-of-war Cyane, Commander Dupont, and sailed from Monterey for San Diego, in order to land south of the Mexican force, consisting of 500 men, under General Castro, well fortified at a place three miles from the city. A few days afterwards, Commodore Stockton sailed in the Congress for San Pedro, thirty miles from Monte

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