The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 30, July 1926 - April, 1927 Page: 84
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
I. AMERICAN BEGINNINGS IN CALIFORNIA
Technically California did not become a part of the United
States until her formal cession by Mexico in 1848. The act that
brought her into relationship with the government of the United
States, however, had occurred two years earlier, when Commodore
Sloat hoisted the Stars and Stripes in Monterey. But during the
years prior to these events, and serving as a prelude to the dramatic
incident of July 7, 1846, there had been a gradual penetration of
Americans into California, so that the territory, even before 1846,
had already become a centre of American civilization.
This penetration of the Americans had begun during the Spanish
regime, when Yankee traders engaged in illicit commercial deal-
ings with the sparsely settled pastoral communities along the
California coast.' The traders were followed by the trappers and
hunters of the West-the Patties, Jackson, Young, and others-
who, in quest of new trapping grounds, blazed the trails of the
more important of the routes over which took place the grand
overland march of the American pioneer to the Pacific coast.
The organized overland migration to the Pacific coast during the
forties was not an isolated movement; it was a part of the general
westward movement of the American people, and was impelled not
merely by desire for personal gain or love of adventure, but also
by the prevailing spirit of national expansion. The American
frontiersmen came to California imbued with the idea of "manifest
destiny," and with the story of the "Texas game" still ringing in
The Mexican authorities in vain attempted to stem the tide.
These men recognized no right of domain not based on actual
possession. The Americans intrenched themselves in several local
American colonies where they dreamed and talked of the time
when California should become a part of the United States. The
Bear Flag revolt was the fruition of this long nursed project. But
'The first New England trading vessel landed at Monterey in 1795.
After 1800, New England whaling vessels began to trade along the Pacific
coast. In 1822, the hide and tallow trade was opened by the Boston ships.
(Cleland, "The Early Sentiment for the Annexation of California," SouTH-
WESTERN HISTORICAL QUARTERLY, XVIII, 3-6.)
Larkin, Documents for the History of California, II, No. 6, III, Nos.
116, 247, IV, No. 55, MSS. in Bancroft Library; Bidwell, California,
181-8, 110-112, MSS. in Bancroft Library; Thompson, Recollections of
Mexico, 232-235; Niles' Register, LXVIII, 162, LXIX, 203.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 30, July 1926 - April, 1927, periodical, 1926; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117142/m1/98/: accessed April 26, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.