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trade. . .

the trouble of taking the cargo ashore. The officers were dressed in the costume which we found prevailed through the country. A broad

keep all merchants, but those of heavy capital, from engaging in the brimmed hat, usually of a black or dark brown color, with a gilt or figured band round the crown, and lined inside with silk; a short jacket

Generally speaking, each person's caste is decided by the qual

ity of the blood, which shows itself, too plainly to be concealed, at first of silk or figured calico, (the European skirted body-coat is never worn :) sight. Yet the least drop of Spanish blood, if it be only of quatroon or the shirt open in the neck ; rich waistcoat, if any; pantaloons wide, octoon, is sufficient to raise them from the rank of slaves, and entitle straight, and long, usually of velvet, velveteen, or broadcloth ; or else them to a suit of clothes -- boots, hat, cloak, spurs

, long knife, and all short breeches and white stockings. They wear the deer-skin shoe

. complete, though coarse and dirty as may be,

and to call themselves which is of a dark-brown color, and, (being made by Indians,) usually a Españolos, and to hold property, if they can get any. : : good deal ornamented. They have no suspenders, but always wear a Another thing that surprised me was the quantity of silver that was in sash round the waist, which is generally red, and varying in quality with circulation. I certainly never saw so much silver at one time in my life, the means of the wearer. Add to this the never-failing cloak, and you have the dress of the Californian. This last garment, the cloak, is always

as during the week that we were at Monterey. The truth is, they have

no credit system, no banks, and no way of investing money but in cata mark of the rank and wealth of the owner.

The “gente de racire,

the They have no circulating mediam Hut Silver and hides which or aristocracy, wear cloaks of black or dark blue broadcloth, with as much

the sailors call “California bank notes." Everything that they buy they velvet and trimmings as may be ; and from this they go down to the must pay for in one or the other of these things. blanket of the Indian ; the middle classes wearing something like a lara

Monterey, as far as my observation goes, is decidedly the pleasantest table-cloth, with a hole in the middle for the head to go through

. This

and most civilized-looking place in California. In the centre of it is an s often as coarse as a blanket, but being beautifully woven with vanous

with half a dozen cannon in the centre; some mounted, and others not.

open square, surrounded by four lines of one-story plastered buildings, colors, is quite showy at a distance. Among the Spaniards there is no working class ; (the Indians being slaves and doing all the hard work: and every rich man looks like a grandee, and every poor scamp

tre; or rather, every presidio has a town built around it; for the forts

or fort

. Every town has a presidio in its cenOroken-down gentleman. I have often seen a man with a fine figure

were first built by the Mexican government, and then the people built ind courteous manners, dressed in broadcloth and velvet, with a nobile horse completely covered with trappings; without a real in his pocket

unfortified. There were several officers with long titles, and about

near them for protection. The presidio here was entirely open and ind absolutely suffering for something to eat. ...

eighty soldiers, but they were poorly paid, fed, clothed and disciplined. The Californians are an idle, thriftless people, and can make nothing

The governor-general, or, as he is commonly called, the "general," lives or themselves. The country abounds in grapes, yet they buy bad sine

here ; which makes it the seat of government. nade in Boston and brought round by us, at an immense price, and

central government at Mexico, and is the chief civil and military officer. etail it among themselves at a real (12 cents) by the small wine-glas Eheir hides too, which they value at two dollars in money, they give :

officer, and has charge of the fort, and of all transactions with foreigners

In addition to him, each town has a commandant, who is the chief military omething which costs seventy-five cents in Boston ; and buy shoes (o

and foreign vessels ; and two or three alcaldis and corregidores, elected Eke as not, made of their own hides, which have been carried twice

by the inhabitants, who are the civil officers. Courts and jurisprudence ound Cape Horn) at three and four dollars, and “chicken-skin " books t fifteen dollars apiece. Things sell, on an average, at an advance de

nor can he hold any property, or, indeed, remain more than a few weeks

knowledge of.... No Protestant has any civil rights,

on shore, unless he belong to some vessel. Consequently, the Americans early three hundred per cent upon the Boston prices. This is partii

and English who intend to reside here become Catholics, -wing to the heavy duties which the government, in their wisdom. His ne intent, no doubt, of keeping the silver in the country, has laid upe

current phrase among them being, -“A man must leave his conscience nports. These duties, and the enormous expenses of so long a voyage

This is the “ Presidio,"

like a

He is appointed by the

they have no

to a man ; the

at Cape Horn."

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In Monterey there are a number of English and Americans (English or “ Ingles" all are called who speak the English language) who have married Californians, become united to the Catholic church, and acquired considerable property. Having more industry, frugality, and enterprise than the natives, they soon get nearly all the trade into their hands. ... The people are naturally suspicious of foreigners, and they would not be allowed to remain, were it not that they become good Catholics, and by marrying natives, and bringing up their children as Catholics and Spaniards, and not teaching them the English language, they quiet suspicion, and even become popular and leading men. The chief alcaldis in Monterey and Santa Barbara were both Yankees by birth. ...

California was first discovered in 1536, by Cortes, and was subsequently visited by numerous other adventurers. : No sooner was the importance of the country known, than the Jesuits obtained leave to establish themselves in it, to christianize and enlighten the Indians. They established missions in various parts of the country toward the close of the seventeenth century, and collected the natives about them, baptizing them into the church, and teaching them the arts of civilized life. To protect the Jesuits in their missions, and at the same time to support

the power of the crown over the civilized Indians, two forts were erected and garrisoned, one at San Diego, and the other at Monterey. These were called Presidios, and divided the command of the whole country between them. Presidios have since been established at Santa Barbara and San Francisco; thus dividing the country into four large districts, each with its presidio, and governed by the commandant. The soldiers, for the most part, married civilized Indians; and thus, in the vicinity of each presidio, sprung up, gradually, small towns. ... On the expulsion of the Jesuits from the Spanish dominions, the missions passed into the hands of the Franciscans, though without any essential change in their management. Ever since the independence of Mexico, the missions have been going down ; until, at last, a law was passed, stripping them of all their possessions, and confining the priests to their spiritual duties; and at the same time declaring all the Indians free and independent Rancheros. The change in the condition of the Indians was, as may be supposed, only nominal : they are virtually slaves, as much as they ever were. But in the missions, the change was complete. The priests have now no power, except in their religious character, and the great possessions of the missions are given over to be preyed upon by the harpies of the civil power, who are sent there in the capacity of

In Monterey there are a number of English and Americans (English ?"Ingles" all are called who speak the English language) who have arried Californians, become united to the Catholic church, and acquired considerable property. Having more industry, frugality, and enterprise han the natives, they soon get nearly all the trade into their hands. ... 'he people are naturally suspicious of foreigners, and they would not be llowed to remain, were it not that they become good Catholics, and by harrying natives, and bringing up their children as Catholics and Spanurds, and not teaching them the English language, they quiet suspicion

, nd even become popular and leading men.

The chief alcaldis in Monerey and Santa Barbara were both Yankees by birth. ...

California was first discovered in 1536, by Cortes, and was subsequently isited by numerous other adventurers. '... No sooner was the imporance of the country known, than the Jesuits obtained leave to establish hemselves in it, to christianize and enlighten the Indians. They estab shed missions in various parts of the country toward the close of the eventeenth century, and collected the natives about them, baptizing rem into the church, and teaching them the arts of civilized life. To rotect the Jesuits in their missions

, and at the same time to support the -ower of the crown over the civilized Indians, two forts were erected nd garrisoned, one at San Diego, and the other at Monterey. These ere called Presidios, and divided the command of the whole country etween them. Presidios have since been established at Santa Barbara End San Francisco; thus dividing the country into four large districts, ach with its presidio, and governed by the commandant. The soldiers or the most part

, married civilized Indians ; and thus, in the vicinity of ach presidio

, sprung up, gradually, small towns. . On the expu. on of the Jesuits from the Spanish dominions, the missions passed into he hands of the Franciscans, though without any essential change in jeir management. Ever since the independence of Mexico, the mis, ons have been going down; until, at last, a law was passed, stripping lem of all their possessions, and confining the priests to their spirit ities; and at the same time declaring all the Indians free and indepen ent Rancheros. The change in the condition of the Indians was, a ay be supposed, only nominal: they are virtually slaves, as much ey ever were.

But in the missions, the change was complete. Fiests have now no power, except in their religious character, and the Le harpies of the civil power, who are sent there in the capacity

administradores, to settle up the concerns ; and who usually end, in a few years, by making themselves fortunes, and leaving their stewardships worse than they found them. ... The change had been made but a few

years before our arrival upon the coast, yet, in that short time, the trade was much diminished, credit impaired, and the venerable missions going rapidly to decay.

The government of the country is an arbitrary democracy ; having no common law, and no judiciary. Their only laws are made and unmade at the caprice of the legislature, and are as variable as the legislature itself. They pass through the form of sending representatives to the congress at Mexico, but as it takes several months to go and return, and province, a member usually stays there, as permanent member, knowing Very well that there will be revolutions at home before he can write and receive an answer; and if another member should be sent, he has only to challenge him, and decide the contested election in that way.

Revolutions are matters of constant occurrence in California. They are got up by men who are at the foot of the ladder and in desperate circumstances, just as a new political party is started by such men in our own country. The only object, of course, is the loaves and fishes; and instead of caucusing, paragraphing, libelling, feasting, promising, and lying, as with us, they take muskets and bayonets, and seizing upon the As for justice, they know no law but will and fear.

custom-house, divide the spoils, and declare a new dynasty. (Richard Henry Dana), Two Years before the Mast (New York, 1840), 87-212

presidio and

.

8. Condition of Mexico (1842)
BY LATE MINISTER WADDY THOMPSON (1846)

Thompson was a southerner who became minister to Mexico in 1842. His sober the United States. - Bibliography: H. H. Bancroft, History of the Pacific States, VIII, estimate of that nation shows the conditions under which she entered upon a war with 249–251; War Department Library, Index of Publications relating to Mexico, 28.

THENEVER the foreigners in California make the movement of half the distance from Mexico, has been in a state of revolt for the last

separation, it must succeed. The department of Sonora, not four years, and the government has been unable to suppressi

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A leading member of the Mexican cabinet once said to me that he believed that the tendency of things was towards the annexation of Texas to the United States, and that he greatly preferred that result either to the separate independence of Texas or any connection or dependence of Texas upon England; that if Texas was an independent power, other departments of Mexico would unite with it either voluntarily or by conquest, and if there was any connection between Texas and England, that English manufactures and merchandise would be smuggled into Mexico through Texas to the utter ruin of the Mexican manufactures and revenue.

In one of my last interviews with Santa Anna I mentioned this conversation. He said with great vehemence, that he “would war for ever for the reconquest of Texas, and that if he died in his senses his last words should be an exhortation to his countrymen never to abandon the effort to reconquer the country ;” and added, “You, Sir, know very

well that to sign a treaty for the alienation of Texas would be the same thing as signing the death-warrant of Mexico," and went on to say that " by the same process we would take one after the other of the Mexican provinces until we had them all.” I could not, in sincerity, say that I thought otherwise ; but I do not know that the annexation of Texas will hasten that event. That our language and laws are destined to pervade this continent, I regard as more certain than any other event which is in the future. Our race has never yet put its foot upon a soil which it has not only not kept but has advanced. I mean not our English ancestors only, but that great Teuton race from which we have both descended.

There seems to be a wonderful adaptation of the English people to the purpose of colonization. The English colony of convicts at New South Wales is a more prosperous community than any colony of any other country. That the Indian race of Mexico must recede before us, is quite as certain as that that is the destiny of our own Indians, who in a military point of view, if in no other, are superior to them. I do not know what feelings towards us in Mexico may have been produced by recent events, but whatever they may be, they will not last long; and I believe that the time is not at all distant, when all the northern departments of Mexico, within a hundred miles of the city, will gladly take refuge under our more stable institutions from the constant succession of civil wars to which that country seems to be destined. The feeling is becoming a pretty general one amongst the enlightened and patriotic, that they are not prepared for free institutions, and are incapable themselves of maintaining them. There is very great danger that the drama

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A leading member of the Mexican cabinet once said to me that he velieved that the tendency of things was towards the annexation of Texas o the United States, and that he greatly preferred that result either to he separate independence of Texas or any connection or dependence of Texas upon England; that if Texas was an independent power, other lepartments of Mexico would unite with it either voluntarily or by conquest, and if there was any connection between Texas and England, that English manufactures and merchandise would be smuggled into Mexico hrough Texas to the utter ruin of the Mexican manufactures and revenue.

In one of my last interviews with Santa Anna I mentioned this conersation. He said with great vehemence, that he “ would war for ever or the reconquest of Texas, and that if he died in his senses his last jords should be an exhortation to his countrymen never to abandon the ffort to reconquer the country;" and added, “ You, Sir, know very hat to sign a treaty for the alienation of Texas would be the same thing s signing the death-warrant of Mexico," and went on to say that “ by he same process we would take one after the other of the Mexican Cirovinces until we had them all.” I could not, in sincerity, say that I hought otherwise ; but I do not know that the annexation of Texas will asten that event. That our language and laws are destined to pervade his continent, I regard as more certain than any other event which is in ne future. Our race has never yet put its foot upon a soil which it has ot only not kept but has advanced. I mean not our English ancestors Enly, but that great Teuton race from which we have both descended.

There seems to be a wonderful adaptation of the English people to Se purpose of colonization. The English colony of convicts at les outh Wales is a more prosperous community than any colony of an ther country. That the Indian race of Mexico must recede before ti quite as certain as that that is the destiny of our own Indians

may close there, as it has so often done in other countries, with anarchy ending in despotism, — such is the natural swing of the pendulum. The feeling of all Mexicans towards us until the revolution in Texas, was one of unmixed admiration ; and it is our high position amongst the nations, and makes our mission all the more responsible, that every people, struggling to be free, regard us with the same feelingsthe “looking-glass in which they dress themselves.” As a philanthropist, I have deeply deplored the effects of the annexation of Texas upon the feelings of the people of all classes in Mexico, towards this country, as diminishing their devotion to republican institutions; this should not be so, but it will be. Ours is regarded as the great exemplar Republic in Mexico, as everywhere else, and the act which they regard as such an outrage, must have the prejudicial effect which I have indicated more will that effect be to be deprecated, if it should throw Mexico into the arms of any great European power.

The northern departments of Mexico contain all the mines, and more of the wealth of the country than any others; and they all hang very loosely to the confederacy; - they receive no benefit from the central government, which in truth they only know in its exactions. money collected from them is expended in the city and elsewhere, and they have not even the satisfaction of knowing that it is beneficially or well as its great enhancement in value, would be powerful inducements even honestly used. The security which would be given to property, as with all the owners of large estates which are now comparatively valueless. The only obstacle that I know to such a consummation, infinitely desirable in my judgment, to the people of those departments, less so to us, would be in the influence of the priesthood. They are well aware that such a measure might very soon be fatal, not only to their own have on the other hand a powerful motive in the security which it would supremacy, but to that of the Catholic religion also, - but they would give them to their large church property would have any influence with the people of Mexico, for they cerin two words, jealousy and admiration, they are not going to declare

Their feelings towards us may be summed up war against us, I have never doubted for a moment about that. army, and the very last thing in the world which the army desires, is such opinion in Mexico, to all practical purposes, means the opinion of the a war, - nor do I believe that one Mexican in a thousand Gues, however they may vaunt and bluster

no motive but interest

tainly do not like us.

, who 1 military point of view, if in no other, are superior to them. I don' now what feelings towards us in Mexico may have been produced ha elieve that the time is not at all distant, when all the northern depart cent events, but whatever they may be, they will not last long; and I ients of Mexico, within a hundred miles of the city, will gladly? fuge under our more stable institutions from the constant successes

civil wars to which that country seems to be destined. The feeling B ecoming a pretty general one amongst the enlightened and patriot at they are not prepared for free institutions, and are incapable them lves of maintaining them. There is very great danger that the dran

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