Bear Flag Museum, Textural Materials
Statement of the interview between El Senor Don Jose de la Rosa, and Commander John B. Montgomery Comr. U. S. Ship Portsmouth by Lieut. W. A. Bartlett U. S. N. Interpreter, by order of Commander Montgomery [From Mr. Charles Templeton Crocker’s collection of Sloat Manuscripts with Bartlett’s signature but in another handwriting] as quoted in the California Historical Society Quarterly, DOCUMENTARY, pp. 79,80, Papers of the California Historical Society, Vol. I, Part 1, 1887.
Don Jose de la Rosa on coming on board the Ship desired to inform Capt. Montgomery, that he brought information from Don Guadalupe Vallego[Vallejo] Military Commr. of Sonoma “which he desired to give the moment Capt. Montgomery could receive him.
On being received by Capt. Montgomery I was directed to act as interpreter when Senor de la Rosa proceeded to deliver his message, which I wrote as follows.
Don Guadalupe Vallejo desires to inform Capt. Montgomery of the proceedings which took place at Sonoma “Yesterday [6/14/1846] Morning. At 5 A. M. there arrived at Sonoma a party of about eighty men, as they said from the Sacramento, they at once took forcible possession of the place; and posted themselves in the Cuartel” then made prisoners of Genl. Vallejo, Capt. Don Salvador Vallejo, and Lieut Col. Don Victor Prudhome, all of whom are Officers of the Mexican Army.
Then, a Mr. Merritt, who appeared to have the command, or exercise the authority with the party; handed the Genl. a Convention “demanding of him the surrender of all the arms and Government property in Sonoma and that the Officers above named should remain Prisoners in Sonoma,” which place they should not leave.
The Genl. Replied that he must surrender to the force in Arms, and did so surrender when the party demanded further, that all the above named Officers should go with them to their camp on the Sacramento.
Genl. Vallego[Vallejo] then requested them to show their authority or determination (abajo que plano) and as they said they were Americans he desired they should exhibit their authority from the Govt. Of the U. S. They replied that they did not come under the authority of the U. S. But having seen a proclamation of Genl. Castro threatening to drive all foreigners out of the Country, they had taken up arms in self defence.
They then made prisoner of the Alcalde “and told him that if any person in the place or neighborhood attempted to notify other places of this act, or raise a force to oppose them, they would at once shoot the Officers they then held prisoners. The Alcalde was then set at Liberty, but told, if he did not present any opposition to them, he would also be shot.
Genl. Vallego[Vallejo] desired to inform Capt. Montgomery of these facts; and to ask of him to use his authority or exert his influence to prevent the commission of acts of violence by this party, inasmuch: as they seemed to be without any effectual head or authority, to this end he hoped for an Officer to be sent to the place, or a letter that would have the effect of saving the helpless inhabitants from violence and anarchy.
Senor Don Jose de la Rosa was directed by Genl. Vallego[Vallejo] (at 11 AM. yesterday) to come with this message, but could not leave until 3 PM.
A few moments past 11 the party left a garrison of 25 Men at Sonoma protected by seven pieces of Cannon, the others with the Prisoners left for the Sacramento.
March 27, 2007
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