Robert Semple’s November 25, 1846 letter to Commander John B. Montgomery, U.S.S. Portsmouth regarding the Bear Flag, as cited in John Adam Hussey’s New Light on the Bear Flag, California Historical Society Quarterly, Vol. XXXI, No. 3 (September 1952), at p. 211.
Yerba Buena Nov. 25, 1846
It has been signified to the Committee, that you are desirous of keeping the original Flag, first hoisted in the name of the “Republic of California,” which is now in your possession for the purpose of depositing it in the National Institute of the United States.
Permit me, sir, on behalf of the committee, to say that we are highly gratified with the kindness which you have manifested towards us, and your deportment as an officer and a gentleman has attracted our warm admiration, we take a pleasure in acceding to your wish, and here beg leave to say that we are glad to exchange it for the broad stripes and bright stars of our native land.
With the Greatest Respect, your obedient Servant,
Capt. John B Montgomery U.S. Sloop of War Portsmouth
Commander John B. Montgomery’s November 26, 1846 response letter to Robert Semple regarding the Bear Flag, as cited in John Adam Hussey’s New Light on the Bear Flag, California Historical Society Quarterly, Vol. XXXI, No. 3(September 1952), at p. 211.
U.S. Ship Portsmouth San Francisco, Novr. 26th 1846
I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of yesterday, written in behalf of the Executive Committee of the late Revolutionary party in California, & returning my thanks to the Committee & to yourself individually as their Chairman for the expression of their kind & friendly sentiments & feelings towards me; & beg leave to state that the revolutionary Flag first hoisted at Sonoma on the 14th June last has never been in my possession, but belongs to my Clerk to whom it was given by one of the original party soon after the substitution of the U.S. Flag at that Post in July last.
I would respectfully remark Sir, that the Committee have been misinformed in relation to my views respecting the future disposition of the Flag, as I have never expressed the desire to present it to the National Institute of the U. States. But I recollect on one occasion when informed that the executive committee intended applying for the restoration of the Flag, that I observed to the present possessor of it, that in such an event he would have to relinquish the Flag to those who alone had the right to dispose of it; and to the best of my recollection, I at the same time remarked, that if it had fallen into my hands, or belonged to me, I should send it to the Honb Secretary of the Navy, on my arrival in the U.S.
With sentiments of respect I am Sir Your obt Sert.
To R. Semple Esqr. Chairman of Ex Committee of the late
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