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Elusive Eden: A New History of California, fourth edition CHAPTER NINE: FOREIGN PENETRATION OF CALFORNIA

Elusive Eden: A New History of California, fourth edition CHAPTER NINE: FOREIGN PENETRATION OF CALFORNIA. SPANISH CALFORNIA Spain prohibited foreign contact --Contact with British, American whalers, fur traders, merchants illegal --Missions, pueblos depended on traffic, esp. after 1800

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Elusive Eden: A New History of California, fourth edition CHAPTER NINE: FOREIGN PENETRATION OF CALFORNIA

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  1. Elusive Eden: A New History of California, fourth editionCHAPTER NINE: FOREIGN PENETRATION OF CALFORNIA

  2. SPANISH CALFORNIA • Spain prohibited foreign contact --Contact with British, American whalers, fur traders, merchants illegal --Missions, pueblos depended on traffic, esp. after 1800 --Traders reported wealth of region, Spanish weakness

  3. 1820s, 1830s foreign trade increased --Mexican independence ended Spanish rule 1821 --Opened ports of Monterey, San Diego --Hide and tallow traders dominated Mexican trade --Traders reported wealth of region, Mexican weakness

  4. Mexican officials welcomed British, American commercial agents --Given citizenship, land grants --Allowed to build permanent port facilities --Some fur trappers/traders stayed behind--e.g., Isaac Graham started brewery in Monterey --Most welcome: accepted Spanish/Mexican citizenship, obeyed laws, married local daughters, converted to Catholicism, generated tax revenues

  5. The Russians in California • 1806 Russian-American Fur Company official visited mission at San Francisco --Nikolai Rezanov needed supplies for Russian colony at Sitka --Promised to marry Concepción Argüello, presidio commander's daughter

  6. Report convinced Russian govn to establish colony north of San Francisco --Grow food for Sitka colony --Base for trapping California seals, sea otter --1810 Ivan Kuskov explored Bodega Bay

  7. 1812 Russian-American Fur Company founded Fort Ross --Brought 100+ Aleut hunters/trappers --Traded boats, tools, weapons for Suisun land, permission to hunt --Hired 200+ native laborers --Explored inland, coastline --Ignored messengers from San Fran presidio --Traded illegally with settlers, soldiers, missions

  8. Colony disappointing --Climate, soil unsuitable --Wheat crops too small to support California, Alaska colonies --Less profits as sea otter pop fell --Mexican independence made trade easier, colony unnecessary --Vallejo land grants, pueblo, presidio blocked expansion

  9. 1841 company sold Fort Ross, land, tools to John A. Sutter • 20+ foreign settlers 1800-1821 --Most assimilated, converted, intermarried, started ranches, businesses --1814 English ship left sick seaman at Monterey --John Gilroy married Californio daughter, converted, became ranchero

  10. The Hide-and-Tallow Traders • Open ports at San Diego, Monterey brought foreign residents --1820s 15-20 newcomers/year --Most hide-and-tallow traders

  11. 1822 William E. P. Hartnell arrived in Monterey --Business agent English firm John Begg & Co. --Well educated, spoke French, German, Spanish --1824 converted to Catholicism, married Maria Teresa de la Guerra --With brothers-in-law acquired Rancho Patrocino del Alisal --naturalized as Mexican citizen 1830 --appointed visitador de misiones during secularization

  12. 1829 Abel Stearns opened store in Los Angeles --Family owned tannery in Massachusetts --1826 emigrated to Mexico, became citizen --Los Angeles warehouse traded hides, liquor --Converted from Judaism to Catholicism to marry 14-year old Arcadia Bandini --In-laws helped Stearns amass large estate --died wealthiest man in southern Cal

  13. Hugo Reid emigrated from Scotland to South America as teenager --Arrived Los Angeles 1832 --Opened store, married Tongva neophyte "Victoria" from Mission San Gabriel --Lived on wife's land grant until applied for citizenship --Mexico granted him Rancho Santa Anita in own name --Studied Indian customs, wrote critique of mission system

  14. American Thomas Oliver Larkin broke mold --Arrived in Monterey 1832 --Married fellow passenger Rachel Hobson Holmes --Never applied for Mexican citizenship, converted to Catholicism, or set up ranch --Operated successful trading house, traded real estate --Lent money to Mexican officials, civilians --Home in Monterey combined rancho style with New England architecture --1843 President James K. Polk appointed U.S. consul to Mexico

  15. Mexico encouraged foreign businessmen to settle --Mexican colonization laws 1824, 1828 allowed naturalized citizens to apply for land grants --Most became wealthy, assimilated --Often held offices in Mexican government

  16. The Mountain Men • Officials hostile towards fur trappers, traders • Jedediah Smith arrived 1826 --Part-owner Rocky Mountain Fur Company --Left St. Louis in October w 60 men, $20K trade goods --Collecting beaver skins, exploring Great Basin --Met annual rendezvous in Rocky Mountains --W 17 men crossed Sierra Nevada, arrived Mission San Gabriel November

  17. Smith unusual among fur trappers, traders --literate, devout Christian --never swore, drank alcohol, hired prostitutes --kept journal of 1826 expedition, lost until 1967 --published 1977 as The Southwest Expedition of Jedediah S. Smith: His Personal Account of the Journey to California, 1826–1827

  18. explored Great Salt Lake, traveled south to Colorado River, arrived at Mojave villages (near Needles) November 1826 • two runaway neophytes guided across Mojave Desert to rancho near Mission San Gabriel • sent message to Fr. José Bernardo Sanchez asking for supplies --responded in Latin --party rested at mission while Smith traveled to San Diego

  19. Governor Echeandía threw in jail, denied permission to hunt in California --Held for six weeks --released on condition retraced steps out of California • January 1827 party left mission --headed east to Cajon Pass in San Gabriel Mountains, then turned north --mission fugitives guided through Tehachapi Mountains, Tejon Pass --trapped in San Joaquin Valley to late March

  20. Smith, two men crossed Sierra Nevada at Ebbets Pass --Crossed Great Basin, 60 mi of desert, to Utah --Met 1827 rendezvous at Bear Lake --Ten days later set off for California

  21. W company of 20 retraced steps to Mojave villages --Mojave attacked, killing or wounding half of party --Rested, reprovisioned at Mission San Gabriel then went north --Smith went to Mission San José for supplies, Fr. Durán arrested and sent to Monterey --Echeandía jailed, then released on condition Smith leave California

  22. Smith instead traveled north along coast to Oregon --Arrived Umpqua River mid-July --Natives attacked, only Smith, two others survived --Escaped to Hudson's Bay Company post at Fort Vancouver --Smith's north-south trail opened California to Hudson's Bay, other trappers

  23. Smith returned to St. Louis 1830, worked on memoirs, got bored --Invested in trading caravan bound St. Louis to Santa Fe --Killed May 1831 by Comanches

  24. 1827 Sylvester and James Ohio Pattie arrived via Santa Fe Trail --Travelled with trapper/traders along Gila to Colorado River --San Diego missionaries turned over to Echeandía --Threw in prison, Sylvester died --James released on condition he distribute his supplies of smallpox vaccine --1831 published story as The Personal Narratives of James Ohio Pattie --Widely read in US

  25. Ewing Young another Santa Fe trader --Opened "Old Spanish Trail," overland route from Santa Fe --1830s accompanied trapping parties into California, north to Oregon --Some stayed in California after 1828 colonization law --Isaac Williams settled Rancho Santa Ana del Chino, cattle ranch produced $30,000 annual income

  26. Williams, Jonathan Trumbull Warner, William Wolfskill, others settled in pueblos --Refused to assimilate, convert, marry local women --Criticized Mexican officials, laws, smuggled --took sides in local power struggles • 1840 Governor Alvarado arrested Isaac Graham, fellow troublemakers, shipped to Mexican prisons

  27. 1833 Joseph Reddeford Walker opened central east-west route through Sierra Nevada --Accompanied large company of trappers --crossed Great Basin to the Humboldt River --crossed 60 mile desert to Walker River in Sierra --crossed mountains into California --thousands of later emigrants followed Walker trail • early visitors marked trails, published accounts that intrigued Americans

  28. Mavericks • 1836 "Dr." John Marsh arrived in southern Cal --Born Mass., Harvard BA, studied medicine --Went west to Mich. territory, Wisconsin --Indian agent, troublemaker --Opened trading company in St. Louis, accompanied wagon train to Santa Fe --Opened medical practice in Los Angeles --1837 purchased cattle ranch near Mt. Diablo --Publicized California to eastern, midwestern acquaintances

  29. Johann Augustus Sutter another ne'er do well --Emigrated from Switzerland in 1834 --Abandoned family, debts to go west --Traded in Hawaii, Alaska, St. Louis, and Oregon before coming to California --Convinced Gov. Alvarado to give large land grant in Sacramento Valley --Appointed as military commander, judge

  30. --Named holdings New Helvetia --Relied on Natives for labor, trade --Isidora Filomena Solano: "Sutter forced the Jalquineros [California Indians] to exchange hides and dried fish for liquor." --Accumulated massive herds of cattle, sheep --Hawaiian, Mexican, and Indian neighbors

  31. 1841 Sutter bought Fort Ross on credit --Used wood, cannon to build fort --Defense against Indians, Mexican govn --Sutter’s Fort at end of overland trail bringing Americans to California --Aided emigrant parties with supplies, guides over mountains, sold land, loaned Native laborers

  32. Officials in Mexico banned American immigration to California after Texas revolution in 1836 --Undermined by local officials --sold passports --desired trade, revenue

  33. Frontier Settlers • By 1840 permanent foreign population about 380 --Most assimilated, law abiding --Growing group of dissent, rebellious Americans --rebels worried officials

  34. Economic depression in US, competition between US and Britain over Oregon Territory, published accounts encouraged American immigration --US and Oregon held joint title to Oregon --80-90% of settlers went to Oregon, rest followed Walker trail to California

  35. May 19, 1841 Bidwell-Bartleson party left for California --Knew John Marsh letters --John Bidwell, 68 others formed company --One woman in party, 18-year-old Nancy Roberts Kelsey, 18-month old baby Martha Ann --Elected John Bartleson captain --Bidwell took over during brief absence

  36. --Followed overland trail to cut off, half of company split for Oregon --Mid-August abandoned wagons in desert west of Great Salt Lake --Reached headwaters of Humboldt River, followed across Nevada --40-mile hike across Humboldt desert to Walker River

  37. --Down to two oxen when began climbing Sierra Nevada --Reached Sonora Pass late October --November 4, 1841, arrived at Marsh ranch --Charged for food, passports

  38. Bidwell went to work for Sutter --Later bought Rancho Chico from original grant holders --Future state senator, U.S. representative • Second 1841 group arrived from Santa Fe --Leaders William Workman, John Rowland --25 Americans, New Mexican traders

  39. --followed Old Spanish Trail to southern California --authorities allowed to settle --Workman, Rowland became rancheros in LA area --Benjamin D. Wilson (Don Benito) married Ramona Yorba, founded town of Alhambra, second mayor of (American) Los Angeles (1851-1852)

  40. Third 1841 group arrived from Oregon --Still illegal, esp. after Texas Revolution 1836 --Mexican authority breaking down • 1843 Lansford W. Hastings arrived with large party --Guided group to Oregon 1842

  41. Joseph B. Chiles brought another group --Part of Bidwell party --Returned east in 1842, assembled party of 50 emigrants --Party split at Oregon cutoff --Chiles, 10 others followed Pit River to California --Joseph Reddeford Walker brought rest south through Owens Valley, Walker Pass

  42. 1844 Stevens-Murphy party brought first wagon train through Donner Pass --In 1845 alone 250 Americans crossed Sierra into California • Grigsby-Ide party included 50 men plus families --Reported thousands more planning for 1846 • 1846 another 1,500 Americans came overland into California

  43. Most famous group the Donner party --Included 87 men, women, and children --Followed book published by Lansford Hastings --Left Oregon Trail early, slowed party down --Reached Truckee River in Nov., low on supplies --party stopped near Donner Lake to rest --trapped by record snowfall, 39 died --December group went to Sutter's Fort for help --Relief parties rescued 48 survivors

  44. Newcomers less inclined to assimilate, apply for citizenship, convert to Catholicism, obey Mexican laws --Some purchased land from earlier settlers --Many followed American custom --"squatted" on apparently vacant land

  45. The Breakdown of Mexican Government • Rivalries between officials, leading citizens undermined Mexican control • Governor Alvarado quarreled with Mariano Vallejo --Vallejo sent critical letters to Mexico City --Called for investments in soldiers, cannon --Suggested consolidating civilian and military authority --Alvarado opposed

  46. 1842 Mexico sent General Manuel Micheltorena to serve as governor and comandante general --Reunited civilian and military control --Replaced Alvarado and Vallejo --Brought 300 men --Many ex-convicts --Same problems as before

  47. Locals mistrusted Micheltorena as outsider • Soldiers salaries went unpaid, stole from civilians, harassed Natives • November 1844 Californios staged another "revolution" --Led by Alvarado, José Castro in north, Pio Pico in south --Foreign settlers took sides: Sutter, Isaac Graham with Micheltorena; Stearns, Workman, Rowland with Castro, Pico, Alvarado --Met at Cahuenga Pass in February 1845 --Negotiated Micheltorena's departure with soldiers

  48. Californios formed own government, again separating civilian and military rule --Pío Pico elected interim governor --José Castro comandante general • Mexican authority still weak

  49. Indian raiding still a prolem --Ranchos outside San Diego abandoned in 1830s --Californio population fell by half --Vallejo spent most of his time chasing Indian raiders

  50. Problem for Americans too --Sutter's horses stolen, fields burned --Organized militia companies to punish Indians --Didn't stop raiding • April 1846 Thomas Larkin reported Mexican weakness to William Leidesdorff in San Francisco: "the pear is near ripe for the falling"

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