The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 18, July 1914 - April, 1915 Page: 23
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Early Sentiment for Annexation of California
Reports of the affair soon found their way into print and for a
long time served as proof positive for American readers of the
cruelty of the Californians.21 Later, also, the non-payment of
indemnity by Mexico was made the subject of official protest;22
while several years afterwards, Polk was assured by his confidential
agent that no claim or demand so strong as that of the Graham
prisoners could be brought against Mexico to secure a cession of
As a further result of these arbitrary proceedings against for-
eigners, a petition was drawn up by the merchants of the Cali-
fornia coast, many of whom, however, had little use for Graham
and those of his ilk,24 praying that a United States ship might
be stationed permanently in California waters because of the
insecurity of property, arbitrariness of the authorities, and
mockery of justice prevailing in the province.25 This request
met with prompt recognition from the Secretary of the Navy,
Abel P. Upshur, who on December 4, 1841 announced in his
annual report to Congress that the protection of American
interests in California demanded an increase of the government's
naval force in the Pacific, and shortly afterwards despatched
Commodore Ap Catesby Jones to take command of the enlarged
Adams, British Interests and Activities in Texas, 1888-1846 (Baltimore.
The Johns Hopkins Press. 1910), 236-237.
21Niles' Register, LVIII, 371. Farnham's account was especially bitter
against the Californians. Earlier editions of this book, under various titles,
were published in 1841-3-4.
22Thompson to Bocanegra, Dec. 31, 1843. MS., State Department.
Mexico afterwards paid part of this. Thompson to Secretary of State,
February 2, 1844. Ibid.
"Larkin to. Secretary of State, June 15, 1846. Larkin, Official Corre-
spondence, Pt. II, No. 47.
2'Bancroft, XXI, 7-8, and notes.
2"MS., State Department, Mexico, 1840, No. 10.
"Report of the Secretary of the Navy. senate Docs., 27 Cong., 1 sess.,
I, No. 1, pp. 368-369. Upshur dwelt at considerable length upon the
Graham affair, spoke of the increased immigration to California, and said
that the insecurity of American interests there demanded the protection
of a naval force. The whale fisheries in the Pacific likewise required the
presence of several United States vessels in the ocean; and the Gulf of
California should be more thoroughly explored and charted.
For an explanation of this increase by Upshur of the Pacific squadron
as a deep laid plot on the part of the slave holders to. seize California,
see William Jay, A Review of the Causes and Consequences of the Mexi-
can War (Boston, Philadelphia, New York. 1849), 81-82.
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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/m1/29/: accessed August 19, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.