- Journal of SD History
The Political History of a Mexican Pueblo: San Diego from 1825 to 1845—Part II
A THESIS SUBMITTED TO THE DEPARTMENT OF HISTORY AND THE GRADUATE DIVISION OF THE SAN DIEGO COLLEGE FOR WOMEN IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS
By Lucy Lytle Killea
The July 1966 Quarterly carried the first part of this paper, which covered the
early years of Mexican rate of Alta California and San Diego to 1835.
This second and final part of this thesis covers the ten years from 1835 to 1845.
It gives an account of the internal sectional struggles in Alta California.
THE SOUTH'S UNSUCCESSFUL FIGHT FOR SUPREMACY
In 1835 Governor Figueroa had foreseen that he might be incapacitated by his illness and had designated a Californian, José Castro, as acting civil governor in case of his absence. Figueroa chose Lt. Colonel Nicolás Gutierrez, the ranking military officer in Alta California, to assume, if necessary, his military duties as commanding general. Castro was the senior member of the diputacioón present during its 1835 session and was therefore the legal choice to succeed the governor in case of emergency. The two diputados who outranked him, José Antonio Carrillo, and José Antonio Estudillo, were absent. The former was Alta California's representative in Mexico City, and the latter had not gone from his home in San Diego to Monterey for the 1835 session because of illness. Lt. Colonel Gutierrez, who was to be military commander, was a regular Army officer, a Spaniard by birth, who had come to Alta California as a member of Figueroa's party.
Upon Figueroa's death on September 29, 1835, the two men, Castro and Gutierrez, divided the responsibilities of governor and commanding general for a short time, but in January, 1836, Gutierrez assumed both functions. This cut short the protests from San Diego that José Antonio Estudillo rather than José Castro should have the post of acting governor because of his seniority in the diputación.
San Diego was dissatisfied with the territorial government and had difficult problems with which it wanted help. Gutierrez was presented with a formal proposal from San Diego citizens several months after he took over the full command. The "Bandini Plan," so called because Juan Bandini was its principal author, called for a general assembly of military, civil, and missionary representatives, who should reorganize the entire governmental and financial structure of Alta California without waiting for approval from Mexico. This gathering was necessary, according to the declaration, to find remedies for the ravages of Indian raiders, the decline of the missions under the secularization laws, the deterioration of agriculture and trade, and the lack of law courts.1 Governor Gutierrez expressed his appreciation for the suggestion but said that "the formation of the proposed assembly could not be carried out consistently with fidelity to the national government."2
Colonel Mariano Chico came and went as governor between April and July, 1836, with little effect on San Diego. Governor Chico's abrupt departure was caused by a revolt against him in the North. Lt. Colonel Gutierrez resumed the governor's role, until he also was ousted on November 5, 1836, by a Northern revolt. This time, however, the leader of the revolutionaries, Juan Bautista Alvarado, assumed the command. He favored Alta California's independence from Mexico at least until the federal system of government was restored. As soon as San Diego received news of this latest forceful change, a special meeting of the ayuntamiento was called to which the public was invited.3 At the meeting it was decided to resist the revolt and uphold loyalty to the national government. San Diego and Los Angeles then agreed to a united position against the rebels, but no action was taken until the new ayuntamientos were installed at the beginning of 1837. A plan was drawn up to provide for the election of a new diputación to meet at Los Angeles. San Diego welcomed the scheme and at a meeting on January 7, 1837, promised to support it.4 Before the elections could be held at the end of the month, Alvarado had started South with military forces and had obtained Santa Barbara's peaceful accession to his cause. Los Angeles followed very shortly thereafter, and three representatives from San Diego who arrived as the negotiations were being completed acceded to Alvarado's demands. On January 27 the three commissioners made their report to the San Diego ayuntamiento.5 "Most of the people in San Diego were indignant at the way their commissioners had compromised them, so they…departed to Lower California to avoid persecution."6
During part of March of 1837 the pueblo officials and many of the San Diego inhabitants evidently had departed from the town. As George Tays related:
We know from Argüello's correspondence…that on March 18 the San Diego ayuntamiento had refused to recognize Alvarado as governor, and as [José] Castro advanced south [with a military force], the people fled to Lower California leaving the town deserted. Castro and his army stayed two days [in San Diego] and then started their return march with only an old cannon as a reward for all their efforts.7
On March 25, Alvarado complained that his communications to the San Diego ayuntamiento were not answered.8 It is little wonder that they were unanswered, even if the ayuntamiento had received them. One evidently concerned the calling of the militia; another was a copy of a letter to Alvarado from his military commander about the latter sailing to San Diego to "fortify" it, and asking for provisions and quarters for a hundred regular soldiers and the same number of militia.9 Word had been received in Alta California that a Mexican general with a large force was on his way to California by way of the Rio Colorado. This report was soon proved false, but Alvarado had begun the preparations for defense.
Another aspect of the same struggle came to light in April. The ayuntamiento in its session on April 27 finally approved Alvarado's plan for the continuation of the government of Alta California under his control.10 However, the signatures of the síndico and secretary were not given on the document of approval forwarded to Alvarado, because the two officials "'had been carried off by an armed force for some unknown cause.'"11 According to Bancroft, these two had been arrested on Alvarado's orders after the ayuntamiento had (on March 18) refused to recognize him.12 The secretary was still missing eleven months later, however, and, was accused of having absconded.13
In the spring of 1837 a variety of anti-Alvarado military forces and political leaders had gathered in San Diego and also just below the border in Baja California. The motives of the individuals in the group were varied, but they shared the objective of wanting to remove Alvarado from power. The Mexican officers, Captains Pablo de la Portilla and Agustín V. Zamorano, had joined the group. The political leaders, including Juan Bandini, Santiago Argüello, and Pio Pico, had gathered early in May at a place a few miles south of San Diego called Campo de la Palma, where a force of about forty men was being organized. On May 15, their plans completed, the leaders "issued their proclamation to the people,"14 and Capt. Zamorano assumed the titles of Commander-in-Chief and Interim Governor during the temporary absence of the ranking officer, Captain de la Portilla. After campaigning for some days against the hostile Indians of the neighborhood, they entered San Diego where at a meeting of the ayuntamiento on May 21, the support of that body was obtained for the "Plan of San Diego."15 This proposal, written by Bandini in his verbose style, called for the recognition of the full authority of Mexico and the rule of Alta California by southern loyalists until the complete control of the national government could be restored.16
Juan Bandini and Santiago E. Argüello (Santiago Argüello's son) were appointed commissioners to present the plan to Los Angeles, carrying a letter from Capt. Zamorano as their credentials.17 A report of this visit to Los Angeles is given in detail by Bandini in his Historia de A1ta California.18 When he and Santiago E. Argüello arrived in Los Angeles after a three-day journey from San Diego, they found that the greater part of the population was supporting Alvarado's revolution and that officials favorable to that cause were in control. Rather than jeopardize the success of his commission and his own safety by presenting the Plan to the Los Angeles ayuntamiento, Bandini obtained the help of a few friends to plan the seizure of the military garrison and its arms. During the three days that the plotting took place, the civil and military authorities sent different inquiries to Bandini to ascertain the reason for his visit, knowing that he was a member of the "opposition." He claimed private business and continued his plotting. It was probably on May 2619 that the following events, as related by Bandini, took place.
I was able to initiate my plans at seven in the evening, accompanied by eight friends, all well armed. I went to the guard and without losing an instant presented myself at the gate, [and] made the sentry give up his arms. I immediately plunged us into the building where all of the troops were, took possession of the rifles and artillery pieces, among which were those of San Diego, and arrested all of the garrison. I took charge of the force and remained there until morning, when due to the novelty caused by this surprise, everyone came to my support and forced a meeting of the ayuntamiento.20
Bandini then presented his plan to the Los Angeles ayuntamiento and, after a heated debate, the majority finally approved it.21 But before much more could be accomplished, Bandini received orders to return to San Diego at once in order to assist in putting down Indians threatening the pueblo. Bandini concluded the account of his successful mission as follows:
I confess that the day I glimpsed San Diego was one of the most joyful I have had in my life, for I was filled with pleasure to see my home town reestablished from its outrages, getting its cannons and augmenting its force in men…I saluted the Dieguinos with a seven-cannon salute and had the honor of being answered by one little shot from a partially serviceable gun, and I entered amid the acclaims of pleasure and satisfaction.22
After disposing quickly of the Indian threats, the forces from the San Diego area under Captain de la Portilla, now about one hundred and twenty-five men in all, proceeded to Los Angeles on June 10, 1837. Their purpose was to depose Alvarado and his followers in accordance with the Plan of San Diego.
While the military force was at Los Angeles, Captain Andrés Castillero arrived at San Diego with the constitutional laws of December 29, 1836, providing for a centralized form of government to replace the federal system of 1824. The ayuntamiento and assembled citizens enthusiastically took the oath of allegiance to the new system on June 12. Captain Castillero then joined the army at Los Angeles.23 He obtained the allegiance of Los Angeles to the new governmental form and then went to Santa Barbara where Alvarado had arrived from the North on June 21. While Juan Bandini and the other southern leaders presumably believed that Captain Castillero intended to get Alvarado to submit to southern direction and control, the results of his efforts with Alvarado were quite different. Instead, Alvarado agreed to accept unconditionally the new constitutional provisions for a centralized government. In so doing, the diputación was restored to its legal position of power, and Alvarado, as senior member of that legislative body, automatically succeeded to the position of governor ad interim.24
On July 4, Captain de la Portilla notified the San Diego ayuntamiento of Alvarado's acceptance of the constitutional laws and the consequent withdrawal by de la Portilla of his army from Los Angeles.25 From San Diego Santiago Argüello wrote de la Portilla "a bitter letter regretting that such a step had been taken, and declaring that all his sacrifices had been wasted. It was his view that Alvarado and his followers should have been forced to take the oath before the San Diego division, and feared a trick had been played on them."26 Juan Bandini, for his part, declared that he was "the first to agree" when negotiations with Alvarado were suggested. However, Bandini commented further that when Captain Castillero went to see Alvarado, "he deceived us vilely and joined up with…Alvarado, and selling honor for pesos, he declared himself our enemy…Thus we came under the power of our adversaries."27
On July 9 Alvarado took the oath to the constitution in a public ceremony at Santa Barbara and issued a proclamation to the people. San Diego acknowledged it and the resolution of the diputados that accompanied it, with the affirmation that the proclamation and resolution had given "universal satisfaction" there.28
Peace for the immediate future appeared to be in store for Alta California with the general acceptance of Alvarado as interim governor. The next step was up to Mexico City. Alvarado dispatched Captain Andrés Castillero to the capital to plead his case for a permanent gubernatorial appointment. Meanwhile, the central government had designated Carlo Carrillo as provisional governor of the department of the Californias29 on June 6, 1837. Word of this appointment was first received in Los Angeles and Monterey at the end of October, The appointee's brother had secured the approval while Alta California was trying to settle the problem in its own way. The sectional controversy was renewed.
In the appointment, the new governor was given the power provisionally to establish the capital where he so desired.30 Carrillo had sided with Alvarado in the controversies that had just ended, but the South greatly preferred him to Alvarado anyway. San Diego was formally notified by Carrillo of his appointment on December 8, 1837,31 and the San Diego ayuntamiento replied with its congratulations and the assertion that it considered itself “fortunate in having you for Governor."32
Alvarado had no intention of relinquishing his claims to the governorship. He based the legality of his position on the fact that he had not been notified by the government to deliver his command to Carrillo and would do so only when he was so directed. Carrillo, for his part, named Los Angeles the capital and moved the customhouse to San Diego, decreeing that the ports of Monterey and San Francisco were closed until the North submitted to the supreme government.33 Santa Barbara, although the home of Carlos Carrillo, chose to continue its allegiance to Alvarado.
Both sides prepared for military action. Carrillo asked San Diego to send troops to Los Angeles,34 and he received a message on February 25, 1838, from San Diego that "Juan Maria Osuna had this day started for the capital with reinforcements for you, and also two cases of ammunition taken from the house of Captain Pablo de la Portilla."35 Carrillo then reported to San Diego on March 3, 1838, that Alvarado was approaching Santa Barbara with troops and that others were “to be sent to San Diego [by sea] in the vessel of Hinckley."36 The Governor at Los Angeles then asked for the small cannon to be sent immediately.37 He received a sobering report from Juez de Paz Estudillo dated March 31, 1838, which read:
I called the people of the municipality together by your order, to the number of one hundred and seventy-nine, and told them all to go armed to your capital. They said they would like to obey, but could not leave their families exposed to the attacks of the savage Indians, and only six volunteered to go, taking with them the culverin and ammunition.38
Meantime, southern forces totaling about one hundred men, under Captain Juan Castañeda, an officer who had recently come from Mexico, went to San Buenaventura Mission to occupy it on March 12 and to prepare to go from there to the town of Santa Barbara to attack before northern forces arrived. However, when Castañeda reached Santa Barbara, he retreated instead of attacking, and as he retired to San Buenaventura, he was followed by a northern force about equal in size to his, under José Castro. The unsuspecting southern army was surrounded during the night while within the mission and received an ultimatum of surrender the next day, March 27. It was turned down, and the exchange of gun fire resulted in one death in Castro's ranks. During the next night, the whole southern force slipped out of the mission, but Castro pursued them and captured over half of them. The soldiers were set free and the officers and prominent southerners sent to Alvarado as prisoners.39
Escaping fugitives got word to Los Angeles of the disaster, and Carlos Carrillo and the remainder of his followers left for San Diego just before Castro arrived at Los Angeles to seize it on about April 1. At San Diego, Carrillo again prepared for war. Mexican Captain Juan José Tobar, famed as an Indian fighter, arrived in San Diego overland from Sonora on April 4 and was at once put in charge of the southern forces. He had with him only an escort instead of the army that had been rumored. Carrillo put together an army of about one hundred men, and under their new commander they began marching north. After passing San Luis Rey, Tobar made his stand at Rancho Las Flores, where he had word that Castro's forces were nearby.40 On April 21 "the northern army [of at least two hundred men] appeared in battle array before the improvised fort which protected the southern foe."41 No fighting occurred, however, and the two governors met midway between the two armies to try to reach some kind of agreement. Tobar and some of his companions, along with Captain Zamorano, finally left in disgust and went to Baja California. A treaty was drawn up and signed on April 23, 1838, which was "virtually a surrender by Don Carlos."42
The status of the governorship was left undecided, and Carrillo returned to Los Angeles to remain there, having promised "to commit no further hostilities."43 However, at the instigation of a large group of citizens, on May 15 the Los Angeles ayuntamiento approved recognition of Alvarado as governor pending the decision of the central government. Before Carrillo and his supporters could react, a small force sent by Alvarado arrived in Los Angeles and arrested Carrillo and eight other southern political leaders on May 20.44 San Diego's attitude toward the latest developments was reflected in the following communication sent by Juez de Paz Estudillo:
To Juan Bautista Alvarado, Chief of the Division of the North. Your official note and proclamation of May 30 were both published the day after their receipt, but we cannot withdraw our submission to the present Governor until he has been superceded by the Supreme Government.45
Reports also reached Alvarado that some of the southern military forces in Baja California were plotting against him. He sent them word that if he heard of their crossing into Alta California with a military force, "he would first shoot ten prominent men of the south, and then march to defeat the invaders."46
Finally, in August, 1838, a ship arrived at Monterey with a letter to Alvarado from Captain Andrés Castillero in Mexico City that he had been successful in getting Alvarado's appointment and that Castillero would bring the official word personally. On August 19 Alvarado notified San Diego of the "happy results to California of the commission which the Governor had dispatched to the Supreme Government."47 The official documents designating Alvarado as provisional governor, on the basis of his position as senior member of the diputación, finally arrived in Alta California in November, 1838. Carlos Carrillo was compensated for his defeat by a gift of his choice of one of the islands off the California coast. Alvarado publicly proclaimed his victory and urged all of the people to forget their resentments and get ready for the coming elections.48
Rumors of revolutionary plotting in San Diego prompted Alvarado to send Castro with a force of twenty-five men to San Diego. It was Christmas night, 1838, and the traditional pastorela (Christmas pageant) was being performed at Juan Bandini's home, Although he himself evidently was not there, all of the other prominent San Diego citizens were. Castro and his force surrounded the house after midnight and took Carlos Carrillo and four others as prisoners. José Antonio Estudillo escaped discovery by hiding in a loft while his wife and son declared that he was not at home. He made various plans to try to free the captives but none was carried out.49
San Diego received word from Alvarado in a letter of January 23, 1839, that Carlos Carrillo had given up his claims.50 There followed a series of proclamations on the reorganization of the government in line with the new constitution.51 Finally, on February 6, 1839, San Diego sent its congratulations to Alvarado upon his appointment as governor.52 This message signaled the end of a long and unsuccessful struggle of the southern leaders in Alta California to control the territory's affairs. As for San Diego itself, its declining fortunes were reaching a low point. In 1840, Alfred Robinson wrote:
At this period of events, I embarked on board the ship Alert, and again visited San Diego. Here everything was prostrated—the Presidio ruined, the mission depopulated, the town almost deserted and its few inhabitants miserably poor. It had changed. From being once the life of and the most important place in California, it was now become the gloomiest and most desolute.53
WEAKENING THE FINAL POLITICAL TIES WITH MEXICO
Governor ad interim Alvarado, now firmly in control, initiated early in 1839 the changes in the government of Alta California that the new centralized structure required. He redesignated the old diputación as the junta departmental on February 25, and that body then approved the division of the department into districts. Alta California was divided into two districts, and Baja California comprised a third. The two of Alta California were sub-divided into two partidos, or sections, each. In the southern district, the prefect appointed by the governor to administer the district was headquartered at Los Angeles with responsibility for San Diego, and the second partido had a sub-prefect in charge at Santa Barbara. The initial appointee took office as prefect in April, 1839 but was forced to resign the next month. Several interim prefects succeeded him, until Santiago Argüello of San Diego was appointed to the office in June, 1840.1 The prefects were regarded as "petty governors" whose functions were executive rather than judicial.2 "[The prefect] exercised a general authority over the ayuntamiento [of Los Angeles] and over all local officials in the district."3
In San Diego, immediately following the "Christmas raid" of December, 1838, at which Carlos Carrillo was captured, the local citizens had taken matters into their own hands. Juez de Paz Estudillo sent a letter to the Governor "inclosing an act passed at an extraordinary meeting on the first [of January] of the town's people appointing him [Estudillo] to take charge of the Court [again], and his reasons for not accepting it."4 The people then elected Juan María Osuna as juez de paz to succeed Estudillo "at the latter's request."5 The move probably was motivated by necessity. The prefect system had not yet been installed to provide a channel for selecting the local jueces de paz, but some form of local authority was required. The people's choice was accepted, and Osuna remained in the position. In fact, when the acting prefect appointed Henry Fitch as a replacement for 1840, the prefect was overruled by the governor, who continued Osuna in the job, on the basis of a legal irregularity in the prefect's appointment. Fitch already had taken the oath of office and begun to act before the governor's decision was made known.6
The prefect appointed a treasurer for San Diego in 1840, but no expenditures could be made without the prefect's orders.7 A circular from the prefect communicated to the inhabitants of the district the orders of the governor on the observance of the laws against the sale of liquors on Sundays and holidays; also, the jueces de paz were ordered to report immediately any disturbance of the public tranquility.8
An election in which only thirty-one votes were cast was held in San Diego in March, 1839; Andrés Pico and José Antonio Estudillo were selected as electors to go to Los Angeles. There they voted for the delegate to the Mexican Congress and the members of the junta departmental.9 This departmental legislature, composed of seven members, had four representatives from the South, including Pio Pico and Santiago Argüello. Nevertheless, among its decisions in its 1840 session was one to confirm Monterey as the capital.
Alvarado received a permanent appointment as governor in August, 1839, and except for one flurry in 1840 over an alleged conspiracy against Alvarado led by José Antonio Carrillo, the South was quiet and remained so for several years. San Diego was again preoccupied with Indian troubles, and the North was concerned with the activities of foreigners.
San Diego received the first bishop of the Californias in 1841. Bishop García Diego y Moreno had been assigned to San Diego where he was to make his residence. Advance notice of his arrival was evident in the order of the juez de paz on September 1, 1840, to keep cattle out of the streets, as the bishop might arrive any day.10 Father Zephyrin Englehardt gives the following account of the event:
He arrived at San Diego with his retinue on the English Brigantine Rosalinda, in the night of December 10, 1841. One of the Fathers on board went ashore that evening to advise the comandante and to prepare for the reception of the Bishop. On landing the next morning the Bishop was solemnly received by Comandante [sic] Santiago Argüello11 and taken to the house of Juan Bandini, the only structure suitable in the unsightly place…On December 18, 1841, the Bishop administered the Sacrament of Confirmation to 125 persons in the presidio chapel.12
The presidio had been abandoned by 1835, and the buildings were in ruins before 1840.13 It is no wonder that the Bishop decided that "San Diego with its less than 150 inhabitants, of whom ten were foreigners, was unfit for an episcopal see. Therefore, on the invitation of Santa Barbara, he resolved to transfer his residence" there and left San Diego on January 11, 1842.14
As soon as sectional disputes had been quieted in 1839, Governor Alvarado and Commanding General Vallejo began a quarrel that continued until Vallejo's viewpoint prevailed in Mexico City. He contended that the two positions should again be held by one man who would have sufficient soldiers and arms to maintain order and to protect Alta California from foreign encroachments. The result was the appointment of a new governor, the last to be sent from Mexico.
Brigadier General Manuel Micheltorena received his appointment as governor on January 22, 1842 and immediately began preparations for departure to California. He was delayed by the problems of gathering a "military" force of several hundred soldiers and perhaps as many convicts. They left Mazatlán aboard four ships and arrived in San Diego at the end of August after a long and tedious voyage.
Many reports of the coming of the convict army had been received in Alta California. One was a letter dated June 9, 1842, written by Henry Fitch to his business partner after returning to California from a trip to Mazatlán. He reported:
Colonel Dn. Manuel Micheltoreno [sic] will be here shortly [sic] with 500 men (he is both Govr. and Comandante [sic] General) 100 Soldiers and 400 Convicts, of the worst class. The 100 Soldiers come as a guard, and are nearly as bad. I am afraid they will play the Devil here…15
The arrival of General Micheltorena and his entourage at San Diego was described by Alfred Robinson:
I saw them land, and to me they presented a state of wretchedness and misery unequaled. Not one individual among them possessed a jacket or pantaloons; but naked, and like the savage Indians, they concealed their nudity with dirty, miserable blankets…And these were the soldiers sent to subdue this happy country!…These were to be the enforcers of justice and good government!…16
The official party finally departed for Los Angeles at the end of September. After a month there, the Governor was about to proceed to Monterey when he received word that the American fleet was at Monterey, had demanded the town's surrender and then moved in a military force. The American naval commander mistakenly thought that the U.S. and Mexico were at war over Texas and quickly withdrew when he discovered his error. In San Diego, there was a brief flurry of excitement. The commercial vessel the Alert was being loaded there, and the American Captain, fearing seizure of his half-loaded cargo, "proceeded to remove every obstacle to his escape by sending a party of sailors to spike the guns at the fort."17
Governor Micheltorena reestablished himself in Los Angeles and decided to have the governorship transferred to him there. He was officially installed on December 31, 1842, and remained in Los Angeles with his troublesome cholos (half-civilized roughnecks), as his troops were called, until mid-1843. This extended close experience with the Governor and his troops was partly responsible for the southern support finally given the rebellion against him in the North a year and a half later.
Meanwhile, another switch in the government in Mexico brought a new constitution to which loyalty was pledged. San Diegans took the oath to the "bases de Tacubaya," as the new system was called, on October 29, 1843.18 The change increased the Governor's power, and Micheltorena ordered a revision in the system of municipal government. The prefecture system was abolished, and the Governor decreed in December, 1843, that ayuntamientos should again be elected in Monterey and Los Angeles, and first and second alcaldes should be elected in seven other pueblos, including San Diego.19 This change is not reflected in the available local records. For 1844, the number one official, Juan María Marrón, is still referred to as the juez de paz.20
The new legislative junta was called together in February, 1844, but the four southern members were unable to attend, presumably because they had not been notified in time. They protested that the meeting was illegal. Another session convened in August, the business before it being the raising of funds for defense against foreign invasion. The decision was to authorize the sale or rental of mission estates, and although it was not implemented by Governor Micheltorena, a year later a similar decree was put into effect.21 The perennial dispute of Monterey versus Los Angeles as the capital was discussed, and the Governor placed responsibility for the final decision on Mexico City. Since there were no further junta sessions under Micheltorena, the issue was not revived.22
The Monterey area put up with Governor Micheltorena's cholos for over a year before the northern citizens decided they had had enough of petty thievery and undisciplined behavior. This was the immediate cause of the armed revolt that followed. Personal ambitions and resentment against Mexicans sent from Mexico City also played a part, and quarrels with the officers and men of Micheltorena's battalion became bitter and disruptive.23
In mid-November, 1844, a small group of northern Californians seized a store of arms, dispersed the army horses, and within several weeks had gathered a rebel force in the Monterey area of about two hundred and twenty men under the command of José Castro. Former Governor Alvarado agreed to lead their effort, while the South stayed aloof from the quarrel. Threatened by armed revolt, Governor Micheltorena agreed, on December 1, 1844, to send the offensive Mexican cholos away within three months. When granted the period of grace, he immediately began organizing his own forces and in addition enlisted the support of a group of foreigners as well as Indians and some Mexican citizens. The rebels soon realized what was happening and began moving their force south to gain time and to garner more support. They took Los Angeles by surprise on January 21, 1845, and promptly called together the members of the ayuntamiento to explain events in the North. The southerners quickly came to the support of the northern rebels, and also a company of foreigners was organized to counterbalance Micheltorena's group in the North.
The junta departmental assembled in Los Angeles on January 28 with Pio Pico presiding. The southerners constituted a majority and therefore were legally in session. A commission was dispatched to Santa Barbara to confer with Governor Micheltorena and to demand his cooperation. He had recently arrived there from Monterey in his pursuit of the rebels. When he refused to cooperate, the junta took over. On February 15 Pio Pico, as senior member of the junta, was declared the legal governor ad interim. A citizens' army was quickly assembled to join the rebel forces of the North in opposition to Governor Micheltorena and his army. The confrontation at Cahuenga Pass outside Los Angeles was made without casualties, although gun fire was exchanged. On February 21 Micheltorena surrendered after the foreigners on both sides agreed to withdraw from the fighting. He and his troops were promptly shipped back to Mexico, and the Californians returned to governing their own affairs.24
Pio Pico remained civil governor and José Castro commanding general from the time of the expulsion of the last Mexican governor until the outbreak of war between the United States and Mexico. The central government in effect condoned the actions of the rebels by accepting the changes in the government they had made. From this time on, although the departmental government went through motions of receiving and noting communications from Mexico City and sent frantic appeals for protection against foreign invasion, any semblance of Mexican control had ceased. Most of the correspondence consisted of repeated warnings from the central government that war was to be declared, with the related orders for defense measures to be taken against threatened American invasion. In December, 1845, an army that Mexico was preparing to send fully equipped to California joined a revolutionary group within Mexico against the president, and "California was left to defend herself."25 For local administration, the junta departmental under Pio Pico returned to the prefect system that had been discarded by Governor Micheltorena. The southern district of Los Angeles was now divided into three partidos, with a sub-prefect assigned to San Diego.26 Santiago Argüello, who had resigned as prefect of the entire district in May, 1843,27 after serving in that position for three years was appointed sub-prefect for the San Diego partido in July, 1845.28 November he had suspended the juez de paz, and then in December he complained "of opposition and intrigues and calumny against himself. The…[juez de paz] left town merely because he was suspended from office."29
The last election of members of the legislative junta was held at Los Angeles on October 6, 1845.30 The elector from San Diego was Juan M. Marrón, but because of the preponderance of southern influence in the departmental government, it was not surprising that Juan Bandini and Santiago Argüello were added to the roster of southerners in the junta, leaving one northern member against six southerners.31
The white population of San Diego District, which had fallen to an estimated low of one hundred and fifty in 1840, was given as about three hundred and fifty in 1845. Bancroft refers to the half-decade 1841-1845 as "a period of tranquil prosperity…Indian depredations…were comparatively slight, and not only were the dozen or more ranches reoccupied by their owners, but more than twenty new grants were made by Alvarado, Micheltorena and Pico."32
The examination of the records on San Diego for the period from 1825 to 1845 prompted several basic observations that deserve comment. Developments in San Diego were a reflection in great measure of the broader issues that concerned all of Alta California. Therefore, an understanding of these issues explained much that occurred on the local scene. The detailed political events assumed significance only after they were placed in the large-scale picture of life in California between the end of Spanish rule and beginning of American occupation. The designation of Mexican California by some historians as an "in-between" stage in the area's development is an accurate one. The midway position made the issues complex and the outcome of conflicts sometimes equivocal.
San Diego was the site of the first Spanish presidio and mission, but after fifty years under Spain, it was not necessarily the most important. So Governor Echeandía's decision to make it his headquarters in 1825 gave the San Diegans a brighter view of Mexican independence and of themselves than the situation warranted, and perhaps an undue pride in their settlement's leading role. The prominent part of the San Diegans in fomenting the first successful revolt against Mexican authority only a few years later confirmed this faith. When this confidence was asserted in a respectful demand for local self-rule, it was graciously granted.
Local rule was ended abruptly three years later, but political responsibilities did not cease. Elections, which had been held each of the three years, gave the citizens an opportunity to participate each time in selecting the electors for their own local officials. This experience was repeated even after representative local government was discontinued, because elections were held periodically to send local electors to the territory's capital to participate in forming the diputación and in deciding upon a representative to the Congress in Mexico City. The members of the ayuntamiento were in some instances the same citizens who later participated in the territorial government, and their political responsibilities were continued, along with the practical education in politics this involvement afforded.
Land within the area around San Diego was available for the asking; no cultivation of the soil was necessary, and a good beginning of ranching could be made with nothing more than a few head of cattle, to be fed off the pastureland. Houses were readily constructed of the soil itself. American markets were eager for the hides and tallow to be provided by the ranches, and desirable luxuries were usually available in return. The Californians in the south of Alta California became accustomed to a life of relative ease. With Indian servants to perform the menial chores for the large California families, the edge was taken off the hardship related to pioneer living on a frontier. Time for leisurely entertainment became a part of the way of life.
This relatively unhurried life had its political implications. All of the local officials were unsalaried except the appointee to the position of secretary for the ayuntamiento, and a sense of civic responsibility could be time-consuming. Also, the same citizens were called upon repeatedly to fill the various political offices. The other side of the picture in having leisure time was the propensity of the same group of community leaders to plot and scheme, either against Mexico City's inappropriate appointees to high office in the territory, or against the Northern leaders who finally succeeded in gaining domination in territorial affairs,
Attention from Mexico was erratic, now demanding compliance, now ignoring pleas for help. Alta California was an outlying Mexican possession that was of minor importance to a new nation floundering to establish its international position and to reconcile its internal tensions. This was reflected in the generally low caliber of governors and other officials sent from Mexico City. The lack of central control allowed the territorial appointees to interpret their roles to please themselves until the Californians would forcibly object. San Diego suffered from the changes in government that plagued Mexico during this twenty-year period, It lost its representative municipal government because of the switch from federalism to centralism, and the moving of the capital from Monterey to Los Angeles and back again involved San Diego directly in the controversy over the location of the customhouse, as well as more generally in the North/South tug-of-war.
The years of Mexican sovereignty over California had shown the Californians that the changing of political loyalties was in itself feasible and was acceptable behavior as long as the reasons for it were plausible. National pride, never strong, had been weakened by Mexico's off-hand treatment of California's problems. With the prospect of American conquest, often self-interest in a variety of disguises was dominant in the attitude of the Mexican Californians. Their own government provided little direction and assistance, and the individual Americans who came into the southern part of the territory had been well-liked and had been accepted into the California families. Henry Fitch was the best example of a permanent settler in San Diego during this period, and of the visitors, Alfred Robinson left a convincing account in his book that he had established the most cordial relationships.
The bitter dispute between the northern and southern regions of Alta California was ever present in one form or another during the Mexican period. Essentially it was a question of which geographic area would have the economic advantage of controlling the territorial government. Pride and personal ambition intensified the importance of the struggle. San Diego was deeply involved in this rivalry from the beginning, and much time and effort were devoted to promoting the cause of the South. When the North finally gained full control, San Diego's fortunes were at a low point, in part because of its spirited participation in the Southern opposition. This internal dissension in Alta California was fed by Mexico's bad example and wrong decisions. On the surface, the factions would unite temporarily to oppose the enforcement of the Mexican government's poor judgment in Californian affairs. The final result of Mexico's ineptness, however, was an aggravation of the sectional rivalry.
The establishment of the missions in Alta California had been a decisive factor in the pattern of economic development in the territory. They had the dual role of religious institution for conversion of the Indians and military outpost to secure Spain's hold on this distant territory. By the time the civilian population had expanded sufficiently to outgrow the presidios, the missions were successfully utilizing Indian labor to grow crops and to raise livestock. The politico-religious purpose and management of the missions gave the issue of secularization a complexity that plagued the fate of the missions to their end. The motives of the state, the Church, and individual citizens worked at cross-purposes, and the occasional uniting of efforts to overcome the difficulties of the missions was transitory. The motives remained antipathetic.
The liberalism exported from Mexico was voiced in various ways in the requests of the Californians for more political freedom. Also, combined with an anti-clericalism that was becoming more evident in Mexico, liberal sentiment demanded the release of the Indians from mission control. This upsurge in liberalism occurred when there was a virtual cessation of economic and military assistance from Mexico for the territorial government. The missions were the most obvious economic resource in which the government had a vested interest. Evident at the same time were the ambitions of some of the Californians for more land and more cattle. The combined demands of the government and the citizenry on the economic investment represented by the missions were more powerful than any arguments in favor of the spiritual and physical protection of the Indians under the mission system.
In the San Diego District, the evolution of the system of private ranches, the dissolution of the military forces, and the removal of the Indians from the paternalism of mission life were all inexorably entwined. The failing fortunes of the pueblo from 1836 until the early 1840's were in part due to these factors. The supervision of the ranches kept the Californians scattered and often away from San Diego. The soldiers, unpaid, half-starving, and poorly clothed, had no reason to return to their San Diego garrison once they had left to engage in one or another of the factional disputes that plagued the Mexican territory. They stayed away to fend for themselves or to move up north.
Indians in the San Diego area were taken from mission control and routine early in the secularization drive by the Mexican government. Governor Echeandía attempted to force the hand of his successor, Governor Victoria, early in 1831 by promulgating secularization laws that had not received approval from Mexico City. Governor Victoria had orders to halt any measures for separating the Indians from the missions, and he carried them out. After Victoria's short term was ended by his forcible ouster, provisional Governor Echeandía, back in power in the South, began arming the Indians and promising them "freedom" in order to obtain their support in his struggle against Captain Zamorano in the North. When the next Governor, José Figueroa, began implementing his instructions for a gradual release of the Indians, any local prudence in the matter would have been futile. Sweeping secularization laws were passed in mid-1833 in Mexico City that called for immediate separation of the Indians from the missions. The organization of the Indians into self-governing pueblos that Governor Figueroa initiated was ineffective in stabilizing the lives of the Indians. Seeing the Mexican defiance of the missionaries and experiencing the lessening or removal of the strict missionary controls, they easily moved to a marauding, purposeless existence. The Californians soon took over much of the land made available to the Indians from mission holdings.
Despite its geographic isolation from sources of necessary supplies and manufactured luxuries, California did not develop its resources to provide what the local market demanded. Spanish shipping ceased before the advent of Mexican independence, and the new nation could not replace it. The necessity for essential commodities was met by the Boston merchants who came seeking the hides and tallow the mission cattle industry could provide. Mexican laws to hinder this trade were ignored, circumvented, or granted minimal compliance. These enterprising shippers and merchants, who blended into the California scene, represented American interests in the area. The early contact between Californians and American traders made belated Mexican efforts to disrupt it ineffectual, because both parties to the arrangement found it satisfactory and profitable. Later, the traders were supplemented by the pioneer settlers who accepted Californian hospitality and by their enterprise soon developed effectively the resources available to them. These early relationships were of immeasurable importance in the conditioning of Alta California for acceptance of American rule. Some of San Diego's leading citizens, among them Santiago Argüello and Juan Bandini, gave direct support to the American occupation forces, attesting to the influence on them of the earlier contacts with Americans in the area.
Most aware of the California territory when it was threatened by foreign usurption, the Mexican government officials had no military, naval or economic resources that could be diverted to protect it. Either independence or foreign seizure seemed, in retrospect, unavoidable. In the face of the United States' supreme confidence in its "manifest destiny," the latter outcome became inevitable.
PETITION BY RESIDENTS OF SAN DIEGO FOR CREATION OF MUNICIPAL GOVERNMENT AUTHORITIES 1
To the Honorable Head of the Superior Political Government:
The citizens José Antonio Estudillo, Juan Maria Osuna, Francisco María de Alvarado, Manuel Machado, Ysidro Guillen, and Jésus Moreno, for ourselves and in the name of all the residents of the Port of San Diego, present ourselves before Your Excellency with due respect, with the object of obtaining protection of a right, which in justice we believe ourselves entitled to as citizens of the great nation, as well as for obtaining relief from the oppression in which up to the present time this community has been submerged, without even having been able to enjoy the benefits that the law confers upon it.
We are of the opinion, Sir, that whatever might be the number of individuals who live in a settlement, one way or another, they ought to have in their local government, the same guarantees, and the same organization as the general constitutional provisions [of the nation provide]; also, according to these [provisions], they ought to enjoy the privilege of electing their agents, and these ought to be limited in their terms of office. But if the opposite happens, and the civil authority is vested in one individual, who also exercises military authority and therefore force, in that case his tendency to despotism will burden the unhappy people with the heavy yoke of tyranny, without ever being able to enjoy their rights; and, moreover, there must in the natural order of things result a continual clash of opposing interests, in which the military might very well be inclined to sustain and protect the faction aligned with their profession.
Considering what has been set forth, it is deplorable to know that, while for all of the people in the Republic there is a common good, up to the present only this community is in a bad situation.
It is sad to know that in all of the pueblos of the Republic the citizens are judged by those whom they themselves elect for this purpose, and that in this port alone one has to submit his fate, fortune, and perhaps existence, to the caprice of a military judge, who being able to misuse his power, can easily evade any complaint that they might want to make of his conduct. Moreover, the form of this tribunal is diametrically opposed to our civil and criminal laws, for these provide for courts of conciliation, the mediation of good men, and the other legal processes designated by the constitution; but in the former [i.e., military justice], there are no other formulas than the imperious voice: I command it, and the only order is the blind obedience that they expect for their commands; if anyone who knows his rights demands the law, in that case they succeed in avoiding the sense of [the laws], or they resort to the clever expedient of saying that they have superior orders reserved to operate according to the circumstances; the result from this is that the unhappy citizen has no other choice but to suffer, and to humble himself in his degradation, for he is always afraid to provoke further the wrath of the one who rules him by wishing to appeal to the superior tribunal, because for some reason he fears he will not find a safe means of effecting it.
Another more conspicuous evil must always result for the unhappy Pueblo that finds itself subject to oppressive military jurisdiction, supposedly regulated in conformity with the present system of California. The reason is that the Commandant of a Presidio is usually the captain of the permanent company that garrisons it [the pueblo]; his office and command terminate logically with his existence, from which it follows that the civil jurisdiction he exercises comes to be vested in this individual during his life, a truly monstrous thing even in the most absolute Government. Let us suppose that this individual is of good character and circumstances, but in spite of that should allow passions to hinder him, which will go on at an increasing rate with age. But if unfortunately the citizen has to be subject to the caprice of someone ignorant, proud, rancorous, cruel, and vindictive, then what other choice remains for him if it is not to abandon his native soil, ruin his interests, and hate his existence, since he sees clearly that his misfortune will never have a definite end?
It is certain, Sir, that it can very well happen that they suppress an abuse, immediately another at the opposite extreme springs up; because all innovation, however good and plausible it may be, brings with it difficulties and obstacles; but if because of this fear the law does not go into effect, in this event we will never be able to enjoy our civil liberty, and there would never be any stimulus to the progress of this community, that would always remain marked with the fatal stamp of oppression.
California, Sir, demonstrates clearly the influence a liberal government has on the increase in the population; this increase has been rapid and notable for the last few years in Monterey, Santa Barbara, and the Pueblo of Los Angeles, making it almost possible to state as a fact that all is due to their form of local government. The settlement of San Diego shows this very clearly, because notwithstanding that it does not lack the necessary elements (less so perhaps than the former places), up to the present, no progress whatever is noted, because without doubt, under its present system all [persons] fear to settle in it, since they think they will not find the necessary protection for their commerce, or investment, and because they know that here public instruction is retrogressing, and as a consequence the individual happiness of its citizens.
Sir, the enclosed census that we respectfully submit will give you an idea that this settlement does not lack the number of inhabitants necessary to form an Ayuntarniento in conformity with the law now in force of 23rd of May of 1812 in the first part of Article 4.
Nevertheless, having confidence in your high ideals, your invariable observance of the law, and your continuous vigilance for the public liberty, we shall always conform with what Your Excellency may be pleased to decide about the subject set forth; since we are certain that with your wise natural fitness, and that of the Most Excellent Diputacóon, happy days will again come to this settlement, which because of its local circumstances should have merited a better fate. For that reason:
We petition Your Excellency that in view of the fact that the Most Excellent Territorial Diputación is not in session, Your Excellency will receive this our just petition to which Your Excellency will have the goodness to give the dispensations that to you appear most conducive to our welfare, and just desire, which is the favor and justice we implore.
Will Your Excellency receive this on common paper as there is no seal in this place. Port of San Diego, February 22 of 1833. [Signed:]
José A. Estudillo Juan María Osuna Francisco María Alvarado Manuel Machado Jesús Moreno Ysidro Guillen
1 Hubert H. Bancroft, History of California (San Francisco: The History Co., 1884-1890), III, 419-420; also George Tays, "Revolutionary California: The Political History during the Mexican Period, 1822-1844," (Unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, University of California, Berkeley, 1932), p. 514.
2 Bancroft, History, III, 420.
3 Tays, p. 661.
4 Bancroft, History, III, 484-485.
5 "Index of Spanish and Mexican Documents of San Diego County, California, Surrendered to the U. S. Surveyor General's Office, November 20, 1891," made by Benjamin Hayes, Item No. 6 of "Political — 1837," p. 28, referred to hereafter as Hayes Index.
6 Santiago Argüello in a letter to Min. of Rel., Tijuana, March 15, 1837, MS., 52-6-9-2. Archivas General de Guerra y Marina Mexicana; cited by Tays, p. 676.
7 Tays, p. 702, citing Santiago Argüello to Min, of War, Tijuana April 1, 1837, MS. 52-6-9-2. Arch. Gen. de G. y M. Mex.; also San Diego Archives, MS., p. 172.
8 Bancroft, History, III, n. 44, 505.
9 "Record of the Official Correspondence of the Alcalde of San Diego, 1835-1839," based on Selected Documents from the Records of the Board of California Land Commissioners, Records of the General Land Office, R. G. 49, U. S. National Archives, Item No. 140, March 16, 1837, p. 33, referred to hereafter as National Archives Index.
10 Bancroft, History, III, 508.
11Ibid., n. 48.
13 National Archives Index. Item No. 188, February 25, 1838, p. 41.
14 Tays, p. 707.
Ibid ., p. 708, citing Plan of San Diego, May 15, 1837, MS., No. 1 52-6-9-2 Arch. Gen. de G. y M. Mex.
16 lbid., p. 709.
17 Ibid. p. 708.
18 Juan Bandini, Historia de Alto California, 1769-1845, (MS., 1847: Bancroft Library, Berkeley, Microfilm C-D7), pp. 224-230.
19 Bancroft, History, III, 518. Bandini does not give the exact date.
20 Bandini, pp. 226-227.
21 Tays, p. 709, citing letter of J. Bandini to A. V. Zamorano, Los Angeles, May 28, 1837 MS., No. 2, 52-6-9-2 Arch. Gen. de G. y M: mex.
22 Bandini pp. 230-231.
23 Bancroft, History, III, 519-521.
24 Ibid., pp. 526-527.
25 Ibid., p. 528.
26 Tays, p. 719, citing letter from Sanitago [sic] Argüello to de la Portilla, San Diego, July 8, 1837, MS., No. 1, 52-6-9-2, Arch. Gen. de G. y M. Mex.
27 Bandini, pp. 236-237.
28 National Archives Index, Item No. 160, p. 36.
29 The new constitution changed California from a territory to a department.
30 Bancroft, History, III, 535, n. 37.
31 Hayes Index, Item No. 21, p. 29,
32 National Archives Index, Item No. 167, Dec. 19 (?), 1837, p. 38.
33 Bancroft, History, III, 545.
34 Hayes Index, Item No. 13, p. 33.
35 National Archives Index, Item No. 187, p. 41.
36 Hayes Index, Item Nos. 13 and 14, 33, p. 34.
37 Ibid. Item No. 17, p. 34.
38 National Archives Index, Item No. 201, p. 43.
39 Bancroft, History, III, 553-555.
40 Ibid., pp. 556-558.
41 Ibid., p. 559.
42 Ibid., p. 562.
43 Ibid., p. 564.
44 Ibid., pp. 564-567.
45 National Archives Index, Item No. 210, p. 44.
46 Bancroft, History, III, 569.
47 Hayes Index, Item No. 21, p. 34.
48 Bancroft, History, III, 577, n. 67.
49 Ibid., pp. 577-578.
50 Hayes Index, Item No. 2, p. 36.
51 National Archives Index, p. 46; Hayes Index, p. 36.
52 National Archives Index, Item No. 225, p. 46.
53 AIfred Robinson, Life in California before the Conquest, (San Francisco: Thomas C. Russell, 1925), p. 225.
1 Bancroft, History, III, 640-641.
2 Ibid., p. 586.
3 Ibid., p. 640.
4 National Archives Index, Item No. 211, p. 46.
5 Bancroft, History, III, 616, n. 9.
7 Ibid., p. 617, n. 10.
8 Hayes Index, Item Nos. 16 and 17, June 12, 1839, p. 37,
9 Hayes Index, Item No. 8, March 3, p. 36; Bancroft, History, III, 614, n. 8.
10 Bancroft, History, III, 196, n. 13.
11 He was Prefect at Los Angeles at this time. There was no comandante at the presidio, and the presidial company had been disbanded in 1837.
12 Fr. Zephyrin Englehardt, San Diego Mission (San Francisco: The James Barry Co., 1920), pp. 242-243.
13 Bancroft, History, III, 610.
14 Englehardt, p. 243. Fr. Englehardt also commented that there was no record of the Bishop's having visited the San Diego Mission, although be probably at least had it inspected; however, Duflot de Mofras, attaché of the French legation to Mexico, visited it a few weeks after the Bishop's departure from San Diego and reported that there also the buildings and the church were "tumbling into ruins!" p. 244.
15 George Peter Hammong (ed.), The Larkin Papers (Berkeley: Univ. of Calif. Press, 1947), I, 239.
16 Robinson, pp. 249-250.
17 Bancroft, History, IV, 320.
18 Ibid., p. 359.
19 Mary Floyd Williams, "Mission, Presidio and Pueblo: Notes on California and Local Institutions under Spain and Mexico," California Historical Society Quarterly, I, (July 1922), 31.
20 Bancroft, History, IV, 620, n. 2.
21 Ibid., pp. 410, 423, 552.
22 Ibid., pp. 411-412.
23 Ibid., p. 546.
24 Ibid., pp. 455-517, for details of the rebellion against Micheltorena, end his subsequent ouster.
25 Ibid., p. 529.
26 Williams, California Historical Society Quarterly, I, 31.
27 Bancroft, History, IV, 633, n. 12.
28 Ibid., p. 620.
29 Ibid., n. 2, citing Departmental State Papers, MS., Pref. y Juzg., ii, 68-70.
30 Ibid., p. 540, n. 54.
31 Ibid., p. 540.
32 Ibid., pp. 618, 621.
1 Translation by the author of "Record of Proceedings [Expediente] on the Establishment of Municipal Councils in the Districts of the Presidio of San Diego and Santa Barbara, Year of 1834," M.S., San Diego History Center, Accession No. 2098, Serra Museum Library, San Diego, pp. 3-12, containing the petition of residents of San Diego. The document is a tracing of the original, which is now in the U. S. National Archives. The tracing was received from the County Clerk's office, 1943.
Bandini, Juan. La Historia de Alta California, 1769-1845. MS., Bancroft Library, 1847, hand copy dated 1874. (Microfilm C-D 7, Serra Museum Library.)
Brandes, Raymond S. (Trans. and annotater.) "Times Gone by in Alta California, Recollections of Juana Machado Wrightington," Historical Society of Southern California Quarterly, XLI, No. 3 (September, 1959).
Dana, Richard Henry, Jr. Two Years Before the Mast. New York: Dodd, Mead & Co., Ind., 1946.
Davis, William Heath. Seventy-five Years in California. Edited by Douglas S. Watson. San Francisco: John Howell, 1929.
"Duhaut-Cilly's Account of California in the Years 1827-1828," translated by Charles Franklin Carter, California Historical Society Quarterly, VIII, No. 2 (June 1929), 130-166; No. 3 (September 1929), 214-250; No. 4 (December 1929), 306-336.
Forbes, Alexander. California: A History of Upper and Lower California. London; Smith Elder Co., 1839. (Reprinted in 1919, San Francisco.)
Hammond, George Peter (ed.). The Larkin Papers. Berkeley: Univ. of Calif. Press, 1951.
"Index of Spanish and Mexican Documents of San Diego County, California, Surrendered to the U. S. Surveyor General's Office, November 20, 1891," made by Benjamin Hayes. Typescript in Serra Museum Library.
Pueblo Lands of San Diego: Exceptions to Survey Made by John C. Hays, July, 1858. San Francisco: Mullin, Mahon & Co., 1869.
"Record of Official Correspondence of the Alcalde of San Diego, 1835-1839," Selected Documents from the Records of the Board of California Land Commissioners, Records of the General Land Office, R. G. 49, U. S. National Archives. Photostat in Serra Museum Library.
"Record of Proceedings [Expediente] on the Establishment of Municipal Councils in the Districts of the Presidio of San Diego and Santa Barbara, year of 1834," MS., San Diego Historical Association, Accession No. 2098, Serra Museum Library. The document, a tracing of the original in the U. S. National Archives, was received from the County Clerk's Office, 1943.
Report of the Commissioner of the General Land Office in the Case of the Contested Survey of the Pueblo Lands of San Diego, December 17, 1870. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1871.
Robinson, Alfred. Life in California before the Conquest. San Francisco: Thomas C. Russell, 1925. (First published in 1846, New York, Wiley & Putnam.)
Bancroft, Hubert Howe, California Pastoral: 1769-1848. San Francisco; The History Co., 1888.
— History of California. 7 vols. San Francisco: The History Co., 1890.
— History of Mexico. 6 vols. San Francisco: The History Co., 1883.
Black, Samuel F. San Diego County, California. 2 vols. Chicago: Clarke Publishing Co., 1913.
Blackmar, Frank W. Spanish Institutions of the Southwest. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins Press 1891.
Brackett, Robert White. The History of San Diego County Ranchos. San Diego: Union Title Ins. and Trust Co., 1951.
California Local History: A Centennial Bibliography. Edited by Ethel Blumann and Mabel W. Thomas. Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 1950.
Caughey, John W. California. New York: Prentice-Hall, 1953.
Chapman, Charles Edward. A History of California: The Spanish Period. New York: Macmillan Co., 1921.
Cowan, Robert Ernest. A Bibliography of the History of California and the Pacific West, 1510?1906. New edition. Columbus, Ohio: Long's College Book Co., 1952. (First published in 1914: San Francisco, The Book Club of California.)
Dwinelle, John W. The Colonial History of the City of San Francisco: Being a Synthetic Argument in the District Court of the United States for the Northern District of California, for Four Square Leagues of Land Claimed by That City. San Francisco: Towne & Bacon, 1863. (Reprinted in 1924: San Diego, Frye & Smith.)
Engelhardt, Fr. Zephyrin, O.F.M. Missions and Missionaries of California. 4 vols. San Francisco: James H. Barry Co., 1908-1915.
— San Diego Mission. San Francisco: James H. Barry Co., 1920.
Hall, Frederic. The History of San José and Surroundings. San Francisco: A. L. Bancroft & Co., 1871.
Harding, George L. Don Augustin V. Zamorano: Statesman, Soldier, Craftsman, and California's First Printer. Los Angeles, The Zamorano Club, 1934.
Haring, C. H. The Spanish Empire in America. New York: Oxford University Press, 1947.
Hittell, Theodore H. History of California. 4 vols. San Francisco: N. J. Stone & Co., 1897.
The Historical Society of Southern California: Topical Index of All Published Works, 1884?1957. Los Angeles: The Historical Society of Southern California, 1959.
Hunt, Rockwell D., and Sanchez, Nellie Van de Grift. California and Californians. Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1932.
McGinty, Brian. "The Carrillos of San Diego," Historical Society of Southern California Quarterly, XXXIX, Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4 (1957).
McGrew, Clarence Allen. City of San Diego and San Diego County: The Birthplace of California. 2 vols,. Chicago: The American Historical Society, 1922.
Pourade, Richard F. The History of San Diego. 5 vols. San Diego: The Union Tribune Publishing Co., 1960-1965.
Richman, Irving B. California Under Spain and Mexico, 1535-1847. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1911.
Rolle, Andrew F. California: A History. New York: Thomas Y. Crowell Co., 1963.
— An American in California, the Biography of William Heath Davis, 1922-1909. San Marino, Calif.: Henry E. Huntington Library, 1956.
Smith, W. G. The Story of San Diego. San Diego: City Printing Co., 1892.
Smythe, William Ellsworth. History of San Diego, 1542-1907. San Diego: The History Co., 1907.
Tays, George. "Revolutionary California: The Political History of California during the Mexican Period, 1822-1844." Unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, Univertisy [sic] of Calif., Berkeley, 1932.
Williams, Mary Floyd. "Mission, Presidio and Pueblo: Notes on California Local Institutions under Spain and Mexico," California Historical Society Quarterly, I, No. 1 (July 1922), 23-35.
Winther, Oscar Osborn. A Classified Bibliography of the Periodical Literature of the Trans-Mississippi West (1811-1957). Bloomington: Indiana Univ. Press, 1961.
— "The Story of San José 1777-1869," California Historical Society Quarterly, XIV, No. 1 (March 1935).