SOURCE: The History of Contra Costa County, California - published by The Elms Publishing Co., Inc., Berkeley, California, 1917,CHAPTER V., THE BEAR FLAG WAR ,
as transcribed by Sally Kaleta;
Accessed March 8, 2007.
William Winter, secretary of the Association of Territorial Pioneers of California, and Mr. Lancey questioned the correctness of these dates, and entered into correspondence with all the men known to be alive who were of that party and others who were likely to throw any light on the subject.
Among many answers received, we quote the following portion of a letter from James G. Bleak:
"St. George, Utah, 16th of April, 1878.
"To William Winter, Esq.,
"Secretary Association of Territorial Pioneers of California.
Your communication of 3rd instant is placed in my hands by the widow of a departed friend, James M. Ide, son of William B., as I have at present in my charge some of his papers. In reply to your question asking for the 'correct date' of raising the 'Bear Flag' at Sonoma, in 1846, I will quote from the writing of William B. Ide, deceased: 'The said Bear Flag [was] made of plane [plain] cotton cloth, and ornamented with the red flannel of a shirt from the back of one of the men, and christened by the 'California Republic' in red paint letters on both sides; [it] was raised upon the standard where had floated on the breeze the Mexican flag aforetime; it was the fourteenth of June, '46. Our whole number was twenty-four all told. The mechanism of the flag was performed by William L. Todd, of Illinois. The Grizzly Bear was chosen as an emblem of strength and unyielding resistance."