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other things which seem natural to them, but which Californians neglect or despise. What then are we to do? Shall we remain supine while these daring strangers are overrunning our fertile plains and gradually outnumbering and displacing us? Shall these incursions go on unchecked, until we shall become strangers in our own land? We cannot successfully oppose them by our o wn unaided power, and the swelling tide of immigration renders the odds against us more formidable every day. We cannot stand alone against them, nor can we creditably maintain our independence even against Mexico; but there is something we can do which will elevate our country, strengthen her at all points, and yet enable us to preserve our identity and remain masters of our own soil. Perhaps what I am about to suggest may seem to some faint-hearted and dishonorable. 'But to me it does not seem so. It is the last hope of a feeble people, struggling against a tyrannical government which claims their submission at home, and threatened by bands of avaricious strangers from without, voluntarily to connect themselves with a power able and willing to defend and preserve them. It is the right and the duty of the weak to demand support from the strong, provided the demand be made upon terms just to both parties. I see no dishonor in this last refuge of the oppressed and powerless, and I boldly avow that such is the step that I would have California take. There are two great powers in Europe which seem destined to divide between them the unappropriated countries of the world. They have large fleets and armies not unpracticed in the art of war. Is it not better to connect ourselves with one of those powerful nations than to struggle on without hope, as we are doing now? Is it not better that one of them should be invited to send a fleet and an army, to defend and protect California, rather than we should fall an easy prey to the lawless adventurers who are overrunning our beautiful country? I pronounce for annexation to France or England, and the people of California will never regret having taken my advice. They will no longer be subjected to the trouble and grievous expense of governing themselves; and their beef and their grain, which they produce in such abundance, would find a ready market among the new-comers. But I hear some one say: 'No monarchy!' But is not monarchy better than anarchy? Is not existence in some shape better than annihilation. No monarch ! and what is there so terrible in a monarchy? Have we not all lived under a monarchy far more despotic than that of France or England, and were not our people happy under it? Have not the leading men among our agriculturists been bred beneath the royal rule of Spain, and have they been happier since the mock republic of Mexico has supplied its place? Nay, does not every man abhor the miserable abortion christened the republic of Mexico, and look back with regret to the golden days of the Spanish monarchy? Let us restore that glorious era. Then may our people go quietly to their ranches, and live there as of yore, leading a thoughtless and merry life, untroubled by politics or cares of State, sure of what is their own, and safe from the incursions of the Yankees, who would soon be forced to retreat into their own country."
It was a happy thing for California, and, as the sequel proved, for the views of the government of the United States, a man was found at this juncture whose ideas were more enlightened and consonant with the times than those of the rulers of his country, both civil and military. Patriotism was half his soul; he therefore could not silently witness the land of his birth sold to any monarchy, however old; and he rightly judged that, although foreign protection might postpone, it could not avert that assumption of power which was beginning to make itself felt. Possessed at the time of no political power, and having had few early advantages, still his position was so exalted, and his character so highly respected by both the foreign and native population, that he had been invited to participate in the deliberations of the Junta. This man was Don Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo. Born in California, he commenced his career in the army as an alferes, or ensign, and in this humble grade, he volunteered, at the suggestion of the Mexican government, with a command of fifty soldiers, to establish a colony on the north side of the bay of San Francisco, for the protection of the frontier. He effectually subdued the hostile Indians inhabiting that then remote region, and laid the foundation of a reputation for integrity, judgment and ability unequaled by any of his countrymen. Although quite a young man, he had already filled the highest offices in the province, and had at this time retired to private life near his estates in the vicinity of the town of Sonoma. He did not hesitate to oppose with all his strength the views advanced by Pico and Castro. He spoke nearly as follows:
"I cannot, gentlemen, coincide in opinion with the military and civil functionaries who have advocated the cession of our country to France or England. It is most true, that to rely any longer upon Mexico to govern and defend us, would be idle and absurd. To this extent I fully agree with my distinguished colleagues. It is also true that we possess a noble country, every way calculated from position and resources to become great and powerful. For that very reason I would not have her a mere dependency upon a foreign monarchy, naturally alien, or at least indifferent, to our interests and our welfare. It is not to be denied that feeble nations have in former times thrown themselves upon the protection of their powerful neighbors. The Britons invoked the aid of the warlike Saxons, and fell an easy prey to their protectors, who seized their lands and treated them like slaves. Long before that time, feeble and distracted provinces had appealed for aid to the all-conquering arms of imperial Rome, and they were at the same time protected and subjugated by their grasping ally. Even could we tolerate the idea of dependence, ought we to go to distant Europe for a master? What possible sympathy could exist between us and a nation
separated from us by two vast oceans? But waving this insuperable objection, how could we endure to come under the dominion of a monarchy? For, although others speak lightly of a form of Government, as a freeman I cannot do so. We are republicans—badly governed and badly situated as we are—still we are all, in sentiment, republicans. So far as we are governed at all, we at least profess to be self-governed. Who, then, that possesses true patriotism will consent to subject himself and his children to the caprices of a foreign King and his official minions? But it is asked, if we do not throw ourselves upon the protection of France or England, what shall we do? I do not come here to support the existing order of things, but I come prepared to propose instant and effective action to extricate our country from her present forlorn condition. My opinion is made up that we must persevere in throwing off the galling yoke of Mexico, and proclaim our independence of her forever. We have endured (her official cormorants and her villainous soldiery until we can endure no longer. All will probably agree with me that we ought at once to rid ourselves of what may remain of Mexican domination. But some profess to doubt our ability to maintain our position. To my mind there comes no doubt. Look at Texas, and see how long she withstood the power of united Mexico. The resources of Texas were sot to be compared with ours, and she was much nearer to her enemy than we are. Our position is so remote, either by land or sea, that we are in no danger from Mexican invasion. Why, then, should we hesitate still to assert our independence? We have indeed taken the first step, by electing our own Governor, but another remains to be taken. I will mention it plainly and distinctly—it is annexation to the United States. In contemplating this consummation of our destiny, I feel nothing but pleasure, and I ask you to share it. Discard old prejudices, disregard old customs, and prepare for the glorious change which awaits our country. Why should we shrink from incorporating ourselves with the happiest and freest nation in the world, destined soon to be the most wealthy and powerful? Why should we go abroad for protection when this great nation is our adjoining neighbor? When we join our fortunes to hers, we shall not become subjects, but fellow-citizens, possessing all the rights of the people of the United States, and choosing our own federal and local rulers. We shall have a stable government and just laws. California will grow strong and nourish, and her people will be prosperous, happy and free. Look not, therefore, with jealousy upon the hardy pioneers who scale our mountains and cultivate our unoccupied plains, but rather welcome them as brothers who come to share with us a common destiny."
Such was the substance of General Vallejo's observations; those who listened to him, however, were far behind in general knowledge and intelligence. His arguments failed to carry conviction to the greater number of his auditors, but the bold position taken by him was the cause of an imme