The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 18, July 1914 - April, 1915 Page: 3
The following text was automatically extracted from the image on this page using optical character recognition software:
Early Sentiment for Annexation of California
THE BEGINNING OF INTERCOURSE BETWEEN THE UNITED STATES
AND CALIFORNIA, AND THE FIRST NEGOTIATIONS FOR
THE PURCHASE OF THE PROVINCE
The fur trade.-The interest of the United States in Cal-
ifornia began toward the close of the eighteenth century. It was
at first due almost entirely to economic causes; and, like many
commercial activities of the day, centered chiefly in New England.
In 1787, shortly after the opening of the Chinese-American trade
by William Shaw, Robert Gray and John Kendrick, commanding
the Lady Washington and the Columbia, sailed for the northwest
coast of the Pacific, partly on a voyage of exploration and partly
for the discovery of new fields for commercial enterprises.1
This venture though of primary interest in the history of the
region around the Columbia, was also of great importance from
the standpoint of California. In the first place it so aroused the
jealousy of the Spanish government that the authorities of Mexico
instructed those of California to seize "a ship named Columbia
which they say belongs to General Washington of the American
States," should it arrive at San Francisco.2 In the second place,
it was by this voyage that Gray, having found a ready market
at Canton3 for a few hundred sea otter skins procured from the
Indians, opened up a profitable fur trade with China4 in which
New England merchants were eager to participate.
The arrival of one of these American fur-trading vessels at
Monterey on October 29, 1795, marks the beginning of a com-
mercial intercourse between New England and California, that,
assuming various forms, continued for half a century and did
'Robert Greenhow, History of Oregon and California (Boston. Little
and Brown. 1844), 179-181.
2Pedro Fages to Josef Argiiello, May 13, 1789, in Hubert Howe Ban-
croft, Works (San Francisco. A. L. Bancroft & Co. 1882-90), XVIII,
445. See also Greenhow, 184-185.
'China was then the world's greatest fur market. For the relation of
the Cantonese fur trade to the settlement of Astoria, see the letter of
Astor to Adams, Jan. 4, 1823, in Greenhow, 439.
4Gray valued 100 skins at $4,875, exclusive of freight. Gray and
Ingraham to Don Juan Francisco, Aug. 3, 1792, in Greenhow, 417.
Here’s what’s next.
This issue can be searched. Note: Results may vary based on the legibility of text within the document.
Tools / Downloads
Get a copy of this page or view the extracted text.
Citing and Sharing
Basic information for referencing this web page. We also provide extended guidance on usage rights, references, copying or embedding.
Reference the current page of this Periodical.
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 18, July 1914 - April, 1915, periodical, 1915; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101064/m1/9/: accessed January 16, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.