Thomas O. Larkin’s July 10, 1846 Report to Secretary of State James Buchanan printed in the California Historical Society Quarterly, [check this] Vol. IX, 1930 San Francisco and as taken from Larkin’s Official Correspondence II, pp. 73-74 at the Bancroft Library [italics added as related to Bear Flag]
Consulate of the United States of America
By No. 48 the Department was informed the Foreigners on the Bay of San Francisco, had arose against the Government of California the last of June, General Castro had 400 men at Santa Clara, only 60 of them crossed the Bay & were attacked and driven off by 15 foreigners, killing 2 or 3 on each side; the General & his party, by small detachments reached the Mission of San Juan 30 or 35 miles, North of Monterey by the 8th instant, retreating from the foreigners at the North said now to number over 100 people, one half by Castro’s men left him before his arrival at St. John’s; the day of their arrival the General received a despatch from Com' Sloat demanding the delivery of the Country, the Military Commandant of this Town having received the same early in the morning, the answer of the latter was, he had no orders, soldiers, arms nor property, and then suddenly left the Town; the General has informed the Com". That he can do nothing until he sees the Governor & State of Legislature at the Town of the Angels, to which place he started yesterday forcing many of his countrymen to go with him, very many refusing to take up arms but their dread of the General has forced many to follow him, some had to be tied & whipt, to compel their services.
I am of the opinion that the Governor will not cooperate with the General, they having no chance of succeeding & their resistance only distracting the Country; Mr Ide had in Sonoma about 60 men; himself or Captain J. C. Fremont is expected in Monterey with 2 or 300 people to cooperate with the squadron; very many of the Californians will soon come into the new state of affairs when a few officers who rule them are put down, over 1000 emigrants are expected in October.
Commodore John D. Sloat arrived here on the 1st. of July, the Cyane & Levant he found at anchor, the Portsmouth at San Francisco, on the 7th instant at seven o’clock in the morning, the Commodore sent to the house of Don Mariano Silva (the highest Military Commandant at the time in Town) Captain Melvine [William Mervine] of the Cyane with two or three Officers, demanding the surrender of the Town & Country by eight. Sor Silva contested the latter, saying he had no orders nor anything to give up, property, soldiers or flag (the Commandancia of this Port has had no flag these two months) at ten o’clock the forces were landed & they hoisted the American Flag; the Custom House is now fitted up with accomodations for over 100 men (with beds, tables &c. &c) over 100 marines with their music paraded the Town today, an orderly & strict guard patrol the streets, the citizens at night are not hailed, at the barracks only they use the watch word, where people need not go after dark, for a few days the stores that sell spirits, are closed. For a short time the people must use the Beach as formerly, the Wharf being under Military use for the time.
The Commodore left mazatlan the 8th or 10th of June, when it was understood by all, that was taken by General Taylor, on the last of May, having been in action on the 8th & 9th, with 7000 Mexican troops, and destroying over half of them. On his arrival here for some days he continually heard of distracting reports of the foreigners & Californians collecting people at Sn. Francisco & preparing to fight, the foreigners having hoisted a new flag with the ensignia of the Bear and one Star, white field & red border; in this state of affairs – and perhaps fearing some other foreign Officer might do it, he hoisted the U. S. Flag in the Town, and I presume Captn. Montgomery, yesterday, done the same thing in San. Francisco.
We have H. B. M. Ship Juno, here, and expect the Collingwood soon; Com' Sloat does not wish to intercept, if possible, Mexican vessels belonging entirely to California. It is impossible to foretell how the present state of affairs may terminate, I am of the opinion, the Inhabitants unawed by their Chiefs, will soon be contented.
I am Sir, with highest respect,
(Signed) THOMAS O. LARKIN
Hon. James Buchanan
April 4, 2007
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