The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 18, July 1914 - April, 1915 Page: 29
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Early Sentiment for Annexation of California
to me. Procrastination, the policy of all weak governments, is
peculiarly so with this, and they are very poor and will never
pay us one farthing unless pretty strong measures are taken.4"
Late in June Webster answered Thompson's despatches, giving
him full liberty to sound the Mexican government upon the sub-
ject of ceding a portion of her territory on the Pacific in satis-
faction of all, or a part of the American claims. "Although it
is desirable that you should present the Port and Harbor of St.
Francisco as the prominent object to be obtained," wrote Webster,
"yet if a cession should be made, the Province would naturally
accompany the Port. It may be useful however for divers reasons,
that the convenience and benefit of the Port itself, should at least
for the present, be spoken of as what is chiefly desired by the
United States." In conclusion, Thompson was advised to proceed
in a circumspect manner with the negotiations, and especially
warned against giving the impression that the United States was
eager for the purchase, since it would be far better to convey
the idea that she was willing to settle the debt in this way simply
for the convenience of Mexico.43
During the summer of 1842 one further communication re-
garding California came from Thompson; but this, being in the
form of a warning against English encroachments, will be con-
sidered in another connection. Toward the close of the year
all thought of negotiation was temporarily cut short, as it hap-
pened, when Webster was especially anxious to secure Mexico's
consent to the tripartite agreement,4" by the seizure of the port
of Monterey by Commodore Jones, who, as we have seen, had
been placed in command of the Pacific squadron by Secretary
Upshur nearly a year before.
The details of this incident have been described so frequently
that it would be useless to repeat them here.46 It may simply
"Thompson to Tyler, May 9, 1842. MS., State Department; mentioned
also by Reeves, 101.
483Webster to Thompson, June 27, 1842, in The Writings and Speeches
of Daniel Webster (National Edition. Boston. Little, Brown & Com-
pany. 1903), XIV, 611-612. See also Reeves, 102, for different portions
of the same letter.
"S'ee below, pp. 35-7.
"4Bancroft, XXI, 298-329; Lyon G. Tyler, Letters and Times of the
Tylers (Richmond. Whittet & Shepperson. 1885), II, 265-267; H. Von
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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/m1/35/: accessed April 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.