The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 18, July 1914 - April, 1915 Page: 26
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The Southwestern Historical Quarterly
steps toward its acquisition.32 It was in the summer of 1841, also,
that an exploring expedition of six vessels under command of
Lieutenant Charles Wilkes reached San Francisco Bay, with special
instructions from the government to make careful surveys of that
harbor.38 And thus in many ways"8 the people and government
of the United States were kept in touch with California and its
affairs during the early part of the decade beginning with 1840.
Attitude of the Californians.-The feeling among the California
officials over the arrival of the immigrant parties of 1841 was one
partly of alarm and partly of acquiesence. Early in May, 1841,
General Almonte, Mexican Minister of War, wrote to Vallejo,
the Comandante General of California, concerning the reported
emigration of fifty-eight families from Missouri, and gave strict
orders that every foreigner should be compelled to show a passport
or leave the country. In the despatch Almonte had also enclosed
a clipping from the National Intelligencer regarding "the con-
venience and necessity of the acquisition of the Californias by
the United States" and one of similar tenor from the Wash-
ington "Glova."85 Nor, with such evidence at hand, is it sur-
prising that he further warned Vallejo to put but little trust in the
alleged claim of the Americans that they were coming with peace-
ful intentions. The Texas immigrants had made the same false
But in spite of this command from Mexico, the Californians
showed little desire to molest the respectable class of settlers from
the United States. The members of the Bartleson party were
compelled to explain their presence in the country and submit to
the formalities of a nominal arrest after which they were free to
2"Baldwin to Tyler, Jan. 19, 1843, enclosing a copy of a letter to Van
Buren, of Sept. 27, 1840. MS., State Department, Miscellaneous Letters.
1843. Baldwin perhaps was interested in a personal way in the acquisi-
tion lof California. He suggested in his communication that the Ameri-
can claims might be made the basis for negotiation; while Jay (Meican
War, 37, 40, 43) mentions a Baldwin as one of the claimants.
8aLieutenant Charles Wilkes, Narrative of the United States Exploring
Expedition during the Years 1838-42 (Philadelphia. 1845), I, page
XXVII; Davis, Sioty Years in California, 127 et seq., says Wilkes stated
this was with the view of future acquisition.
uThe rumor of English activities in California was one of the most
potent factors at this time. Niles' Register, LVIII, 2, 70. Further men-
tion of this is, however, reserved for future discussion.
"Vallejo, Documentos, No. 146.
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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/m1/32/: accessed September 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.