Slike strani
[ocr errors][ocr errors]

Mexican Governors Of California.

From To

Pablo Vicente de Sola 1822 1823

Luis Argiiello 1823 1825

Jose Maria Echeandia 1825 1831

Manuel Victoria 1831 1832

PioPico -\... 1832 1833

Jose Figueroa 1833 1835

Jose Castro 1835 1836

Nicholas Gutierrez 1836 ....

Mariano Chico 1836 ....

Nicholas Gutierrez 1836 ....

Juan B. Alvarado 1836 1842

Manuel Micheltorena 1842 1845

Pio Pico 1845 1846


The Bear-Flag War, and What Led to it.

Population in 1841 —Immigrants of that Year—Unpleasantness with a Grizzly Bear—After 1841, Immigration Increases —Thomas O. Larkin's Estimate of the Population in 1846—What Captain Weber Says of the Intention of Foreigners in California in 1841—A Lone Star State to be Carved out of California under Certain Circumstances— Where the Division Line was to be Drawn—Serious Departure from the General Policy—Attempt to Organize to Prevent its Recurrence—An Apparently Harmless Document, behind which Lurked Treason—Why it Failed to Accomplish the Result—Weber Appointed by Castro to Command the North Frontier—J. Alex. Forbes Appointed British Vice-Consul—Dispatches for Fremont and the United States Consul—Fremont Enters California—He Visits Monterey, and Asks General Castro for Permission to Recruit in the San Joaquin Valley—The Request Granted—A Singular Move on the part of Fremont—He Makes toward Monterey—Is Accused of having Stolen Horses—Is Ordered to Leave the Territory—He Fortifies himself and Defies the Authorities of California—What Followed—Important Official Documents—Fremont Abandons Camp and Retreats to the North—He helps Massacre some Indians, and then Passes over the Line into Oregon—Lieutenant Gillespie Overtakes him, with Secret Dispatches—The Night Tragedy at Klamath Lake—The Oregon Road Party Finds Fremont's Camp—Fremont Returns to California, and the Bear-Flag War is Inaugurated on the 10th of June, 1846, on the Banks of the Cosumnes River—Sonoma Taken and the Bear Flag Hoisted on the 14th of June—The Organization—The Prisoners Sent to Sutter's Fort—Young Fowler and Cowie Sent to Procure Powder, and Never Return—Their Tragic Fate—Lieutenant Ford Defeats de la Torre—Fremont Joins the Revolutionists—He Orders Three Persons Shot, in Retaliation—Torre Leaves the Upper Country with his Forces—Castro's Movements—Fremont Becomes the Head of the Revolution—End of the Bear-Flag War.

In 1841, M. De Mofras estimated the population of California, not including the mission or wild Indians, as 5,000, and gives their nationality as

Americans 3^

English, Scotch and Irish 300

Other foreigners 90

European Spaniards ^



Half-breeds, about 4,000

Total population, other than Indians 5,000

De Mofras' object in writing of, and giving statistics in regard to, the Pacific coast, was to show the French how they could acquire California as a province; and he distributes that 5,000 population over the country as follows :—

San Diego, Presidio of 1,300

Monterey, Presidio of 1,000

Santa Barbara, Presidio of 800

San Francisco, Presidio of 800

Scattered through the Territory 1,100

Total 5,000

He says, in his report to the French government, that there were, in 1841, large numbers of immigrants coming from the United States over the plains to the Pacific coast. Most of them were on their way to localities further north, but there were two companies that reached this State ; one of them by the Santa Fe route, under charge of William Workman, arrived at Los Angeles about November. Among that company were :—

William Workman, died in 1876 Los Angeles.

John Roland"

Benito D. Wilson"

Albert G. Toomes Tehama Co.

William Knight, died in 1849 Yolo Co.

William Gordan, died October 3, 1876"

Thomas Lindsay, killed in March, 1845, by Indians, at Stockton; William Moore, Wade Hampton, Dr. Gamble, Isaac Givens, Hiram Taylor, Colonel McClure, Charles Givens, Frederick Bachelor, Dr. Meade, Mr. Teabo, and Mr. Picknian.

The other of the two companies, under charge of J. B. Bartelson, came by the way of Humboldt river into the San Joaquin valley, and arrived at Dr. Marsh's residence November 4, when they disbanded. The following are the names of all of that company :—

Names Remarks.

Captain J. B. Bartelson Captain of the party; returned to

Missouri; is now dead.

John Bid well Lives at Chico.

Joseph B. Chiles Still alive.

Josiah Behlen Lives at San Jose and San Francisco.

Charles M. Weber Stockton; died in 1881.

Chas. Hopper Lives in Napa county.

Henry Huber Lives in San Francisco.

Mitchell Nye Had a ranch at Marysville; probably

now alive.

Green McMahon Lives in Solano county.

Nelson McMahon Died in New York.

Talbot H. Greene Returned East.

Ambrose Walton Returned East.

John McDonel Returned East.

George Henshaw Returned East.

Robert Ryckman Returned East.

Wm. Betty or Belty Returned East, via Santa Fe.

Charles Flugge Returned East.

Gwin Patton Returned East; died in Missouri.

Benjamin Kelsey Was, within a few years, in Santa

Barbara county, or at Clear lake,

Lake county.

Andrew Kelsey Killed by Indians at Clear lake.

James John or Littlejohn Went to Oregon.

Henry Brolasky Went to Callao.

James Dowson Drowned in Columbia river.

Major Walton Drowned in Sacramento river.

George Shortwell Accidentally shot on the way out.

John Swartz Died in California.

Grove Cook Died in California.

D. W. Chandler Went to Sandwich Islands.

Nicholas Dawson Dead.

Thomas Jones Dead.

Robert H. Thomas Died in Tehama county, March 26, 1878.

Elias Barnet In Polk valley, Napa county.

James P. Springer

John Rowland

Among the list of those arriving in 1841 are the names of several who became prominent in California history. One of these, Green McMahon, in May, 1846, had an encounter with a grizzly bear. McMahon was not armed, but he is inclined to think the bear was, and says he is not satisfied yet that it was not the beginning of the Bear-Flag war, that culminated in the Americans taking Sonoma, about four weeks later. Before the wounds that he had received in the fight were healed, he joined the Bear- Flag party, and eventually marched with Fremont to the south. It was of such material the little army was composed that made California a part of the United American States.

After 1841, immigration materially increased, not only from the United States, but from other countries. Although it had taken seventy-two years for one thousand persons to come from abroad and settle here, yet in 1846, only five years later, Thomas O. Larkin, the American consul, estimated the foreign population to be eight thousand, divided as follows :—

Americans 2,000

Other foreigners, favorable to the United States 3,000

"foreigners, neutral or opposed to the United States 3,000

Captain C. M. Weber, who was a member of one of those companies of 1841, informed us, in 1879, that upon his arrival in California he learned of two things that caused him to remain here. The first was, that the Graham Rifles, having assisted Governor Alvarado in a state quarrel, that had resulted in the seizure by the governor of the foreigners in 1840, had taught them not to interfere in matters of state when lacking the power to control. It had, in consequence, come to be generally understood that they were to let state or national differences among the natives alone, that they were to adopt the policy of non-intervention in revolutions or disturbances between the Californium and their government, and that such was to continue to be their policy until the time should come when numbers would make their wishes irresistible. The second included their hopes for the future, that caused such an increase of immigration in the five years succeeding 1841. The first was a policy to be pursued, as time sped on its way, while preparation was being made for a great event. The second was to be that event, and the event to be achieved was the wresting of California, or a part of it, from Mexico, and erecting therein an independent "lone star state," to eventually become an additional gem in the crown of Columbia. We would not like to have the reader misunderstand the situation at that time, or the attitude assumed by Americans or those from other countries. They did not come here as filibusters or conspirators; but being not of those who are the privileged class in England, in France, in Russia, or the nations of the old world, they consequently all, as well as the Americans, felt an instinctive leaning towards a government that recognized civil equality, and had within itself sufficient strength and firmness to insure protection and an absence of public commotion. They saw no way to achieve such a result, except by a separation from Mexico, the country of endless change, and then imitating or joining the United States, a nation possessed of both liberty and stability. Their predilections were necessarily in favor of such separation from Mexico, in favor of such imitation of the land where liberty dwelt, and in favor eventually, if permitted, of becoming a part thereof. Having such feelings, they were talked among themselves, and thus it came to be understood generally that at some time they would unite in producing that result, in harmony and with co-operation of the native Californians, if possible, without their assistance, and in hostility to them, if necessary. The plan of operations was indefinite, and, as far as perfected, was known but to a few—to Sutter, to Dr. Marsh, to Captain Weber, to Graham, and such as those—and by them considered as a matter for the future, to be laid away until events and increased population should warrant its being brought to the front. In the meantime they were to avoid creating a party in the country hostile to themselves, by their non-interference in state matters, and increase the foreign population by inducing immigration from other countries.

One part of the general plan was to seize the northern portion of the territory, in case the whole of Alta California, because ot unfriendliness of the natives, could not be segregated from Mexico. The division line, north of which was to become a "lone star state," was to be the San Joaquin river, the San Francisco, San Pablo and Suisun bays. The reason for selecting this as the line of division was because it gave a water boundary, and, on the east side of the Sacramento, an Indian line of frontier defense, in the person of Jose Jesus, the chief whose tribe lived on the up-country side of the San Joaquin river. This latter was an important consideration, as he was a chief who had gained, in his forays and combats with the native Californian and Spaniard, a name that carried terror alike to the hearts of both. A knowledge of these facts was the principal inducement that caused Captain Weber to locate his grant north of the San Joaquin, that, should it become eventually necessary for a separation upon this line, his land would lie within the boundaries of the new state.

A serious departure from the policy that had induced Weber to remain in the country was forced upon him in the manner previously stated in this work, at the time he prevented Micheltorena from

« PrejšnjaNaprej »