The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 18, July 1914 - April, 1915 Page: 5
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Early Sentiment for Annexation of California
The whale fisheries.-In speaking of these early commercial
enterprises, it is also necessary to mention New England's interest
in the whale industry, which, like the northwest trade, gave her
also a first hand knowledge of California. Edmund; Burke's
tribute to the men of Nantucket and New Bedford was not mis-
placed ; and while the Revolutionary War put a temporary stop to
their voyages, no sooner was peace declared than they were again
"vexing strange seas" with their fisheries.
Shortly after 1800, these vessels, oily, ill-smelling, and often
sadly in need of repairs, began to touch at the California ports
for fresh supplies before beginning the long homeward voyage
around the Horn. As the North Pacific came to furnish a
more and more valuable hunting ground,1' these visits increased
in frequency and soon a regular trade was established with the
inhabitants of Monterey and San Francisco. This was largely
a system of barter, by which, in exchange for some four or five
hundred dollars worth of New England manufactured goods, car-
ried for the purpose, a returning whaler could secure sufficient
fresh provisions for its journey home.
Hiide and tallow trade.-A third form of commercial intercourse
between California and the United States, more direct than the
other two, was begun in 1822, after Mexico had achieved her
independence.1" In that year, owing chiefly to the representations
of William A. Gale, a former fur trader on the northwest coast,
the Boston firm of Bryant and Sturgis, with several business
companions, were induced to fit out a vessel to open up a new
line of trade with the Pacific, exchanging New England's abundant
hunt otter in California on shares. The Russians were to supply the
Indian hunters, and the Americans agreed to transport the skins and
furnish the Alaskan settlements with supplies. The venture was so profit-
able that other contracts of a similar nature were entered into, the 'agree-
ments lasting until 1815. The Winships were prominent in these deal-
ings. Bancroft, XIX, 63 et seq. For an effort of the Russian Govern-
ment to secure the official sanction of the United States to this arrange-
ment, see Greenhow, 275.
"The WVorks of Edmund Burke (Boston. Little and Brown. 1839),
1From 1816 to 1822 the industry brought in more than $6,000,000 to
Nantucket and New Bedford alone, and employed 129 vessels. Many
urged the occupancy of Oregon to supply these American vessels with a
port for refitting and provisioning. Annals of Congress, XL, 414 et seq.
"Bancroft, XIX, 475.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 18, July 1914 - April, 1915, periodical, 1915; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101064/m1/11/: accessed June 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.