The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 18, July 1914 - April, 1915 Page: 7
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Early Sentiment for Annexation of California
who would welcome the security and kindly treatment of a foreign
Exactly how far Shaler aimed to excite an apprehension of
Russia's dealings in the Pacific, and how far he desired to em-
phasize the desirability of California as an object for American
annexation, does not appear. Probably, however, when he wrote,
"The conquest of this country would be absolutely nothing; it
would fall without an effort to the most inconsiderable force,"
he had both purposes in mind, and thus made himself the pioneer
of a not inconsiderable body of later writers who advocated
annexation to forestall foreign interference.
However this may be, Shaler's warning against the Russians
was well founded.15 The hunters of the Russian-American com-
pany had long been coming to California in search of furs;
and in 1812 Baranof, the "Little Czar," succeeded in establishing
a colony, to which he gave the name of Ross, not far from
Bodega Bay, and some thirty miles north of San Francisco. The
object of this settlement, in its commercial aspect, was not merely
to secure a larger interest in the California fur trade, but to
supply the parent colony of Russians at New Archangel, or Sitka,
with grain and other food-stuffs which could not be produced in
the bleaker north. In addition, Baranof had the more important
purpose of ultimately extending the Czar's control over a large
part of Upper California by means of this colony, and especially
of seizing the Bay of San Francisco."0
Against this encroachment the Spanish officials protested from
time to time at the bidding of their superiors, but probably with
no great desire of seeing their protests effective, as the trade
conducted by the Russians proved of material benefit to the prov-
ince. And even had it been otherwise, there was no force in
California sufficient to expel them." Before many years, how-
"4American Register, III, 160-161.
"California was colonized largely to protect the coast against the Rus-
sian advance. This was as early as 1769. Bancroft, XIX, 58.
"Letter of Rezinof, Feb. 15, 1806, in Bancroft, XIX, 80, note.
17For the Russian settlements in California, see Bancroft, XIX, 58-82,
294-320; Thomas C. Lancey, Cruise of the Dale (Published in San Jos6
Pioneer, 1879(?), and preserved in bound form in the Bancroft Collec-
tion), 31 et seq.; Agnes C. Laut, Vikings of the Pacific (New York.
Macmillan. 1905), 292, 338; Franklin H. Tuthill, HistosrU of California
(San Francisco, H. H. Bancroft & Co. 1866), 118-20; Irving B. Rich-
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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/m1/13/: accessed April 29, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.