San Francisco History

The Annals of San Francisco

PART FIRST. Chapter X.

NO sooner had Stockton left Los Angeles for the north, than the Mexican chiefs, indignant and chafed with the knowledge of the smallness of the force before which they had fled so ingloriously, sought to retrieve their tarnished honor. Gen. Flores secretly rallied the fragments of his scattered troops, and suddenly, on the 23d of September, invested Los Angeles with a force overwhelmingly superior to that of the garrison. Capt. Gillespie, who was in command, was obliged to capitulate on the 30th, and was allowed to retire to Monterey. Lieut. Talbot, who had charge of Santa Barbara, was also compelled to evacuate that place, but without surrendering his arms. Intelligence of these successes, greatly exaggerated, was soon spread over the whole country, and almost the entire Mexican population of the southern portion of California rose in arms, to drive the invaders from their soil. Flores, who was chiefly instrumental in fomenting the insurrecrection, issued the following proclamation:—

Mexican Army, Section of Operations,
Angeles, October 1st, 1846.

“FELLOW-CITIZENS:—It is a month and a half that, by lamentable fatality, fruit of the cowardice and inability of the first authorities of the department, we behold ourselves subjugated and oppressed by an insignificant force of adventurers of the United States of America, and placing us in a worse condition than that of slaves.

“They are dictating to us despotic and arbitrary laws, and loading us with contributions and onerous burdens, which have for an object the ruin of our industry and agriculture, and to force us to abandon our property, to be possessed and divided among themselves.

“And shall we be capable to allow ourselves to be subjugated, and to accept, by our silence, the weighty chains of slavery? Shall we permit to be lost the soil inherited from our fathers, which cost them so much blood and so many sacrifices? Shall we make our families victims of the most barbarous slavery? Shall we wait to see our wives violated—our innocent children punished by the American whips—our property sacked—our temples profaned—and, lastly, to drag through an existence full of insult and shame? No! a thousand times no! Countrymen, first death!

“Who of you does not feel his heart beat with violence; who does not feel his blood boil, to contemplate our situation; and who will be the Mexican who will not feel indignant, and who will not rise to take up arms to destroy our oppressors? We believe there is not one so vile and cowardly. With such a motive the majority of the inhabitants of the districts, justly indignant against our tyrants, raise the cry of war, with arms in their hands, and of one accord swear to sustain the following articles:—

“1st. We, the inhabitants of the department of California, as members of the great Mexican nation, declare that it is, and has been, our wish to belong to her alone, free and in dependent.

“2d. Consequently the authorities intended and named by the invading forces of the United States are held null and void.

“3d. All the North Americans, being enemies of Mexico, we swear not to lay down our arms till they are expelled from the Mexican territory.

“4th. All Mexican citixens, from the age of fifteen to sixty, who do not take up arms to forward the present plan, are declared traitors, and under pain of death.

“5th. Every Mexican or foreigner who may directly or indirectly aid the enemies of Mexico will be punished in the same manner.

“6th. The property of the North Americans in the department, who may directly or indirectly have taken part with, or aided the enemies, shall be confiscated and used for the expenses of the war; and their persons shall be taken to the interior of the republic.

“7th. All those who may oppose the present plan will be punished with arms.

“8th. All the inhabitants of Santa Barbara, and the district of the north, will be invited immediately to adhere to the present plan.

Camp in Angeles, September 24th, 1846.”

[Signed by more than 300 persons.]

This proclamation, thus numerously signed, indicated a spirit of the most decisive hostility, and a consciousness of strength, which, considering the small force of the American commander-in-chief was calculated to alarm him, with the insufficiency of his means to cope with an enemy so superior in numbers. It was now apparent that the work of conquest would have to be repeated, and the most prompt and energetic measures were adopted for that purpose. Stockton proceeded at once to San Francisco, and despatched the frigate Savannah for San Pedro, to reinforce the American garrison at that place. Fremont, then at Sacramento, was ordered to San Francisco, with what force could be collected, and about the 12th of October sailed, with one hundred and sixty volunteers, for Santa Barbara, where he was directed to procure horses, and subsequently to move simultaneously with Stockton upon the enemy at Los Angeles. The Savannah did not arrive at San Pedro till after the defeat and surrender of Talbot and Gillespie. Her crew, however, about three hundred and twenty, though poorly armed, were landed, and under Captain Mervine, attacked a large body of mounted Californians about twelve miles from San Pedro. After a severe engagement, they were repulsed, and retreated with the loss of five killed and six wounded. Several subsequent skirmishes took place, but with no material results.

As soon as Com. Stockton had completed his arrangements for the security of the north, he proceeded in the frigate Congress to the seat of war. Upon his arrival at San Pedro, about the 23d of October, he landed his crew in the face of the enemy, who were in force to the number of eight hundred men. They seemed, however, indisposed for an encounter, and retired into the interior. And in order to give time to Fremont to mount his men and co-operate in the contemplated campaign, as well as on account of the greater security of the anchorage and protection from the storms which prevailed at this season on the coast, and from the impossibility of procuring animals either for food or transportation, (the enemy having driven them all into the interior,) Stockton re-embarked his men and sailed for San Diego. In attempting to enter that harbor, the Congress grounded after crossing the bar, and in such a way that it was necessary to support her with spars. While thus engaged, the Californians attacked the town; but in despite of the necessity of employing a part of his force about the frigate, the commodore landed with the remainder, and after a short encounter, defeated the enemy. The condition of San Diego was miserable in the extreme, and neither horses nor cattle could be obtained in the neighborhood. The enemy were in great force at San Bernardo, thirty miles distant, from whence detachments repeatedly visited San Diego, keeping up for many days their desultory attacks. A party of Americans were despatched down the coast in pursuit of cattle, a supply of which they fortunately met and drove into camp.

Immediately after landing at San Diego, Stockton commenced energetic preparations for a march on Los Angeles. His men were daily disciplined according to the tactics adopted, and whatever time could be spared was employed in building a fort, and making saddles, shoes, and other equipments. Information was received from Fremont that he could not procure horses at Santa Barbara, and that he had gone to Monterey for that purpose. Capt. Gibson had obtained a few horses, but they were poor and worn down with severe marches, requiring rest before they could be fit for service. Capt. Hensley, however, who had been sent on an expedition to the south, after much arduous service, returned with five hundred head of cattle and one hundred and forty horses. While preparations were progressing for the march on Los Angeles, a messenger arrived about the 3d of December, with a letter from General Kearny, apprising Com. Stockton of his approach, and expressing a desire to open a communication, but without disclosing his actual situation. On the same evening, Captain Gillespie was despatched with a force of thirty-five men to meet Kearny. On the 6th of December, another messenger arrived, bringing information of the defeat and perilous situation of General Kearny at San Pasqual. On his way from New Mexico, with a considerable force, while a few days from Santa Fé, Kearny met Carson, the courier sent by Com. Stockton, with despatches to the Government, giving information of the conquest of California, and the establishment there of a civil government. Considering, therefore, the work of subjugation of that territory completed, Kearny turned back the greater part of his troops, and proceeded on his way toward California, taking Carson as his guide. At, or near San Pasqual, he was intercepted by the Californians, and defeated, with the loss of eighteen men killed and as many wounded, and one of his two howitzers. He took refuge on a rocky eminence, closely invested by the enemy. All his ammunition and nearly all his provisions were exhausted. Under cover of night he despatched couriers, who with much difficulty eluded the vigilance of the foe and reached San Diego. On learning these facts, Stockton was about to proceed in person with all his force to the relief of Kearny; but subsequent messengers brought intelligence that the strength of the enemy was much less than had been represented. He therefore despatched Lieut. Gray, with two hundred and fifty men, upon whose approach toward San Pasqual, the besiegers abandoned the field, and left the relief party to return unmolested with Kearny and his dragoons.

As the official relations of Com. Stockton and Gen. Kearny have been the subject of much discussion, it is proper we should say in what light we consider them. Gen. Kearny was directed by instructions from the Secretary of War to invade California with a prescribed force, and “should he conquer it,” to establish a civil government there. On his way, learning that the objects of the expedition had been accomplished by Com. Stockton, as above related, he turned back his troops, proceeded with a small party, was attacked and defeated by the enemy, and relieved from imminent danger by the detachment sent by Stockton. Arrived at San Diego, he consented, according to the testimony of all then present, to act under Stockton, then on the eve of a movement against Los Angeles. The following lucid statement of the reception of Kearny by Stockton, and of their relative positions in that movement, we extract from the official letter of the commodore to the Secretary of the Navy, made subsequent to the court martial which tried Col. Fremont, and dated February 18th, 1848:—

“On their arrival, General Kearny, his officers, and men, were received by all the garrison in the kindest and most respectful manner. So far as my observation extended, no civility or attention was omitted. Having sent with Captain Gillespie every horse that was fit for use to General Kearny, I was without one for my own accommodation. I was therefore compelled on foot to advance and receive the general, whom I conducted to my own quarters, until others more agreeable to him could be prepared. The arrival of General Kearny was to me a source of gratification: although it was my decided opinion, which as yet I have seen no reason to change, that under the circumstances that existed I was entitled to retain the position in which I was placed, of commander-in-chief: yet in consideration of his high standing in the army, his long experience as a soldier, the importance of military science and skill in the movements that were to be made in the interior of the country, I immediately determined to yield all personal feelings of ambition, and to place in his hands the supreme authority. In accordance with this determination I tendered to General Kearny the position of commander-in-chief, and offered to accompany him as his aid.

“This proposition was on more than one occasion renewed, and with all sincerity and singleness of purpose. The responsibility of moving from San Diego, and leaving the safety of the ships deprived of so large and efficient a portion of their crews, was of itself a momentous one. This, however, in the discharge of duty I felt no inclination to shrink from. But the fate of the territory itself might depend upon the issue of a battle to be fought on shore against an army organized to encounter us. The nature of the service, and the importance of the stake, it seemed to me appertained rather to a general in the army than a captain in the navy. Whatever ambition I might feel for distinction, either on my own account, or on that of the gallant officers and men under my command, was voluntarily and deliberately offered as a sacrifice to a paramount sense of duty. The offers thus made were, however, on every occasion positively and distinctly declined by General Kearny, who on his side offered to accompany me in the capacity of my aid, and tendered to afford me the aid of his head and hand. A few days before I expected to take up the line of march, I addressed a note to the general, expressing a wish that he would accompany me. In his reply, he repeated the language which he had before employed—that he would so accompany me, and afford me the aid of his head and hand. Accordingly, on the morning of our departure he appeared upon the ground. After the troops had been paraded, and there nearly ready to commence the march, as I was about to mount my horse, General Kearny approached me, and inquired, who was to command the troops. I replied, Lieutenant Rowan was to have command. On his expressing a wish that he should himself command them, I replied that he should have the command. The different officers were at once convened, and informed that General Kearny had volunteered to command the troops, and that I had given him the appointment, reserving my own position as commander-in-chief. This arrangement having been made, we proceeded on the march.”

Gen. Kearny himself on examination before the court martial, testified on the fourteenth day of the trial, in relation to the expedition to Los Angeles,—” Under Commodore Stockton’s directions every arrangement for the expedition was made. I had nothing whatever to do with it.” Col. Fremont, in his defence, says,—” Both Gen. Kearny and the officers under him received and obeyed the orders of Com. Stockton, in some instances in opposition to those first given by Gen. Kearny, both on the march and in the battles.” Lieutenants Gray, Minor and Emory testified to the same effect. From this, and much other corroborating evidence, it is historically true that whatever of responsibility or credit belongs to the movement upon Los Angeles, at this time, must be attributed to Com. Stockton. He originated the expedition, provided the means for its prosecution, conducted it as commander-in-chief and is fairly entitled to the praise due for its success.

On the 23d of December, general orders were issued, as follows:—

“GENERAL ORDERS.—The forces composed of Capt. Tilghman’s Company of Artillery, a detachment of the 1st Regiment of Dragoons, Companies A and B of California Battalion of Mounted Riflemen, and a detachment of sailors and marines from the frigates Congress and Savannah, and the ship Portsmouth, will take up the line of march for the Ciudad de los Angeles on Monday morning, the 28th inst., at 10 A. M.

“By order of the Commander-in-Chief
Brevet Captain and Adjutant.
San Diego, 23d December, 1846.”

On the 29th the march commenced. The distance to be travelled between San Diego and Los Angeles was one hundred and forty-five miles, the track lying through deep sands and over steep and rugged ascents. The entire force consisted of five hundred and forty sailors and marines, and sixty of Kearny’s dragoons, and six pieces of artillery. The men, for the most part, were poorly clothed, their shoes generally being made by themselves of canvas. Stockton, in his despatch of February 5th, 1847, to the Secretary of the Navy, says,—” We came to San Diego with the Congress alone—her resources being almost exhausted in a previous campaign. The town was besieged by the insurgents, and there were no stores or provisions of any kind in it, and we were reduced to one fourth allowance of bread. We had to build a fort—to mount our artillery,—to make saddles, bridles, and harness: we had, in truth, to make an army, with all its necessary appendages, out of the mechanics and sailors of this ship, and to take our horses and beef cattle from the enemy.” Captain Turner, of the dragoons, declined using the homes, in their feeble condition, preferring to proceed without them, and those taken along for purposes of draught were so miserable that they daily became disabled, which devolved much hard work on the men, in dragging the guns and the carts heavily laden with provisions and ammunition. “Their route,” says a writer already quoted, “lay through a rugged country, drenched with the winter rains, and bristling with the lances of the enemy. Through this the commodore led his seamen and marines, sharing himself, with the general at his side, all the hardships of the common sailors. The stern engagements with the enemy derive their heroic features from the contrast existing in the condition of the two. The Californians were well mounted, and whirled their flying artillery to the most convenient positions. Our troops were on foot, mired to the ankle, and with no resources except in their own indomitable resolution and courage. Their exploits may be cast in the shadow by the clouds which roll up from the plains of Mexico, but they are realities here, which impress themselves with a force which reaches the very foundations of social order.”

The enemy were frequently seen during the march, and the utmost vigilance was constantly necessary, to prevent a surprise. The celebrated Kit Carson had been selected to command a small corps of scouts, and to act as spies and skirmishers, which duty was performed in a most efficient manner. On the 3d of January, at San Luís del Rey, Stockton despatched a messenger to apprise Fremont of his advance, and to caution him against the hazard of an action until a junction of their forces had taken place. This messenger, however, did not reach Fremont until the 9th January. Lieut. Selden, of the navy, was also sent with a small vessel to the maritime defile of Rincon, to protect that pass through which Fremont was expected to march. While advancing, propositions were received from Flores to negotiate, which were rejected in the most peremptory terms. The bearers were informed that no communication would be held with Flores, he having forfeited his honor as a soldier, by breaking his parole. They were likewise assured that Flores and every Mexican who had broken his parole, if caught, would immediately be shot.

On the evening of January 7th, the whole force of the enemy being not far distant, the commodore despatched a confidential emissary to ascertain, under cover of night, their exact position and strength. They were formed between the invading army and the Rio San Gabriel, apparently waiting to give battle, and were estimated at from one thousand to twelve hundred men, composed almost wholly of cavalry. On the morning of the 8th, Stockton ordered all the guns of his men to be fired and re-loaded, and passing through their ranks, reminded them that it was the anniversary of the battle of New Orleans. They were then formed in a square, with the baggage and cattle in the centre. On approaching the river, the enemy were observed prepared for their reception, and strongly posted on the opposite heights. The banks commanding the ford (which was occupied by the artillery of the Californians), were about fifty yards from the river, quite steep, and about fifty feet high. When within a quarter of a mile of the ford, the men were formed in line, and orders given that not a gun should be fired until the crossing was effected.The enemy, however, kept up a perpetual and brisk fire, though with little effect. In the act of crossing, the water being about four feet deep, word was sent by Kearny to the commander-in-chief that the bed of the river consisted of quicksand and could not be passed with the guns. Stockton instantly repaired to the head of the column, seized the ropes, and with his own hands assisted to drag over the artillery. The passage effected, the troops were again formed for battle. The commodore took charge of the artillery, and pointed his guns with such precision that the enemy were soon compelled to abandon theirs; when he sent Lieut. Gray with orders to Kearny to charge up the bank and seize them, while he prepared to receive a charge which was about being made on his flank. Before Kearny could reach the summit of the ascent, the Californians returning, withdrew their guns, making but a feeble stand against the general. The greater part of their force, after making a circuit of some hundred yards, descending to the level of the river, attacked Stockton on his left flank; but they were so warmly received that they retreated upon the hill, the commodore following, charging up the declivity with his artillery, in the very face of the enemy. On his reaching the heights, the latter were seen at a short distance, drawn up in battle array, with their artillery in front. The Americans were now ordered to lie down, while their leader ran out his guns, and poured upon the adversary a well-directed fire, he himself aiming each piece as fast as it was loaded, with such fatal effect, that the enemy were repeatedly driven from their guns. Several ineffectual attempts were made by them to charge; but the steady front, cool courage, and well aimed rifles of the assailants repelled their attacks. Dispersed in every direction on the heights, a portion of their right wing wheeled upon the rear of the American forces, and attacked Capt. Gillespie, encumbered with his baggage and cattle, who received them so warmly that they fled across the river. Their main body retreated before the assailants, until reaching a ravine, they renewed a brisk fire, when Stockton again took charge of the guns, and by his well-directed shots, drove them from their position. They then rapidly fled, carrying off their killed and wounded, the numbers of which could not be ascertained. The Americans lost two killed and nine wounded.

On the 9th, Stockton pursued the retiring foe in the direction of Los Angeles, and after a march of six miles came up with them on the Plains of the Mesa. They were well posted, with a ravine to the left of their line, which masked their artillery. When about six hundred yards distant they opened a fire on the advancing column. Preparations for a charge were visible in their ranks, and they were observed to be joined by a strong reinforcement. Stockton formed his whole force in square, with the baggage, horses and oxen in the centre, and gave imperative commands to his men not to fire a shot until he gave the signal, which he said would not be until he could see the eyes of the enemy. The Californians made a gallant charge. It is said by those who witnessed it, to have been a brilliant spectacle. Gayly caparisoned, with banners flying, mounted on fleet and splendid horses, they bounded on, spurring to the top of their speed, on the small but compact square into which the American force was compressed. The very earth appeared to tremble beneath their thundering hoofs—and nothing seemed capable of resisting such cavalry. But inspired with the cool courage and dauntless  heroism of their leader, his men patiently awaited the result. The signal was at length given, and a deadly fire, directed according to orders at the horses, was poured into the ranks of the advancing foe, which emptied many saddles and threw them into complete confusion. Retreating a few hundred yards, they again formed, and despatching a part of their force to the rear, they attacked simultaneously three sides of the square. Orders were renewed to reserve fire until the enemy’s near approach, and with the same decisive results,—their ranks breaking up and retreating in disorder. A third time, having rallied, they returned to the charge, but once more their ranks were thinned by the deadly aim of the assailed; and despairing of their ability to cope with men so cool, unflinching and resolute, confused and discomfited, they scattered and fled in every direction.

On the 10th of January, at the head of his advanced guard, on the broadest and principal road leading into Los Angeles, the Commodore, with banners waving, marched into the city. He directed Captain Gillespie to raise the same flag which he was compelled to strike on the previous September.

A few days after these events, Fremont, without knowledge of Stockton’s movements and success, encountered Gen. Flores and Andreas Pico and their disheartened remnant of followers, who in humble terms sued for peace. Not knowing that the commander-in-chief had refused to treat with them, Fremont entered into negotiations, and finally agreed upon articles by which they stipulated to surrender their arms, including the gun captured at San Pasqual from Gen. Kearny, and cease from all further resistance. These articles it was thought desirable to approve, as they were considered a final pacification in the territory between the contending parties, and as clemency on the part of the conqueror was more likely to insure that result than the sanguinary exercise of inexorable justice.

The following general order must close our narrative of the military operations of Com. Stockton in California. We have extended it far beyond the limits originally contemplated; but as the history of these events is closely connected with the subsequent prosperity of the country, and the present condition of San Francisco, we have thought best to give it in all its interesting details.

Head-quarters, Ciudad de los Angeles,
January 11th, 1847.

“The COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF congratulates the officers and men of the southern division of the United States forces in California on the brilliant victories obtained by them over the enemy on the 8th and 9th instants, and on once more taking possession of Ciudad de los Angeles.

“He takes the earliest moment to commend their gallantry and good conduct, both in the battle fought on the 8th, on the banks of the Rio San Gabriel, and on the 9th inst., on the Plains of the Mesa.

“The steady courage of the troops in forcing their passage across the Rio San Gabriel, where officers and men were alike employed in dragging the guns through the water, against the galling fire of the enemy, without exchanging a shot, and their gallant charge up the banks against the enemy’s cavalry, has perhaps never been surpassed; and the cool determination with which in the battle of the 9th they repulsed the charge of cavalry made by the enemy at the same time on their front and rear, has extorted the admiration of the enemy, and deserves the best thanks of their countrymen.

Governor and Commander-in-Chief of the
Territory of California.”

Commodore Stockton, in pursuance of instructions which he had communicated to the Government in September, now appointed Col. Fremont governor of the territory, and Wm. H. Russell, secretary. It is painful to relate that unfortunate disputes arose as to the right of Fremont to the high dignity of governor. General Kearny produced a commission appointing himself to the office. His pretensions, however, were opposed both by Stockton and Fremont, who contended that a new train of circumstances had arisen since the produced commission had been granted. The instructions to General Kearny from the war department, (“ should he conquer the country,”) Com. Stockton considered as anticipated by himself; and of course the resulting action prescribed by those instructions contingently, (“to form a civil government,”) as devolving on himself, the real conqueror of the territory. In these views of Stockton, the Government entirely acquiesced,—so far as respected the approval in mass of his whole conduct,—the secretary of the navy specially thanking him for anticipating the wishes of the Government. It is not a little singular, that although the validity of Stockton’s acts was thus sanctioned, yet Col. Fremont, for obedience to his orders, was tried by court martial, and convicted of disobedience to the orders of Gen. Kearny. His sentence was suspension from the service; but the President, in consideration of his many services and mitigating circumstances, was pleased to remit the punishment, and ordered him to be restored to his former rank. But Fremont, being of opinion that he had done no wrong, refused to accept this clemency, and accordingly resigned his commission, and retired from the American military service. Whatever may have been the merits of this case, it is certain that Fremont showed himself a true hero, in his efforts to overthrow the Mexican power in California, and is deserving of the gratitude of American settlers in that territory. As an adventurous, persevering and talented explorer, who has laid open practicable and easy paths to a great country that had long been closed against the boldest pioneers, he deserves the approbation of the civilized world.

In the mean time, General Kearny applied to Commodore Shubrick (who arrived in California on the 22d of January, 1847, and as senior in commission, superseded Commodore Stockton in command of the squadron,) to place him in the chief command. But under the instructions to Com. Sloat of 12th July, 1846, which devolved on the naval commander the conquest and civil government of California, Shubrick did not consider himself authorized to accede to his wishes. Soon after, however, other instructions, dated 9th November, 1846, having been received by Com. Shubrick, Kearny was recognized as governor, and acted as such until he relinquished the command to Colonel Mason, upon his departure for Washington. These instructions Kearny did not communicate to Fremont. Thus there were two acting governors at the same time in California, and Fremont, without any knowledge of his authority being annulled by the instructions of the 9th November, subjected himself in the performance of what he considered his duties, to charges of disobedience to his superior officer. He was ordered to surrender the howitzer lost by Kearny at San Pasqual, at this time in possession of the California battalion, to the Mormon regiment under Col. Cooke. This could not have been done without the hazard of a revolt, and therefore was declined by Fremont.

Before narrating the further steps adopted by the Americans, when they had thus taken military possession of the country, we may give a brief notice of the various governors and other public officers who were connected with California, subsequently to the Mexican declaration of independence. The list is somewhat a long one for so short a period; and illustrates the feeble hold which Mexico had upon the political affections of so remote and neglected a province:—

Sola was the last Californian governor under the Spanish flag and the first under the Mexican. In 1823 he was ordered to Mexico, and Don Luis Antonio Argüello was named governor, with all the powers of his predecessor, and remained so until the arrival of Echeandia, in the beginning of 1825. Echeandia had command until the arrival of Victoria, in 1830. Victoria continued in power until the winter of 1832, when the Californians revolted, and sent him away. At that time Pio Pico was the senior member of the territorial department, and by law became governor pro tempore. Echeandia, meanwhile, had remained among his friends at San Diego, probably expecting some speedy change in political affairs; and, when Victoria was about to leave, he took the military command. Both he and Pico continued in office till the arrival of Figueroa in 1833. Figueroa died in 1835; and, during his last illness, delivered over the civil command to Don José Castro, and the military to Don Nicolas Gutierrez, Castro being at that time senior member of the department. These remained in office until the arrival of Chico, in 1836. The same year Chico was sent away by the Junta department. Previous to his departure he left the military and civil command with Gutierrez, he having been formerly his second.

On the 6th of November, 1836, the Californians, assisted by foreigners under Captain Graham, an American, and Captain Coppinger, an Englishman, revolted against Gutierrez; and the latter was forced to leave the country, with all his officers, except those who took part in favor of the natives, and wished to remain. Don Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo played an important rôle in this revolution, and became commander of the forces; while his nephew, Don Juan Bautista Alvarado, was made civil governor. These positions they held until the arrival of Micheltorena, in 1842. Early in 1845, Micheltorena was sent away by the Californians, after forming a sort of treaty with them (he being desirous to proceed to Mexico), leaving José Castro with the military command. Pio Pico, who was again the senior member of the Junta department, then became governor. These two continued in power, as military and civil heads respectively, until the Americans took possession of the country. Sola, Argüello, Echeandria, Victoria, Figueroa, Chico and Micheltorena, all had the united civil and military authority.

In 1843, Mr. Thomas O. Larkin was appointed the first, as he happened to be the last American consul in California. That gentleman also held various other official and important appointments from the United States Government up to the year 1848, when peace was declared, and the country became American. In 1845, Mr. Larkin, who resided at Monterey, the nominal Mexican capital of the province, named Mr. William A. Leidesdorff the United States vice-consul, at the port of San Francisco. Mr. James A. Forbes received the appointment of the first British consul in 1844, or 1845. The first French consul, Don Luis Gasquet, arrived in California, via Mexico, about the 10th of May, 1845, and left some time in 1847. He remained a considerable time in the country after he delivered the consulate over to M. Movenhaut.

Source: Frank Soulé, John H. Gihon, M.D., and James Nisbet. The Annals of San Francisco. 1855: San Francisco.

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