Abbildungen der Seite

country. A similar state of things, I presume, exists in New Mexico. It is quite probable that the President will consider it to be his duty to call the attention of Congress to this subject, and ask for appropriations to meet these cases, but it is not reasonable to expect any relief of this kind can reach California much within a year from this time.

When the despatch from this department was sent out in November last, there was reason to believe that Lieutenant Colonel Fremont would desire to return to the United States, and you were then directed to conform to his wishes in that respect. It is not now proposed to change that direction; but since that time it has become known here that he bore a conspicuous part in the conquest of California ; that his services have been very valuable in that country, and doubtless will continue to be so shonld he remain there.

Impressed, as all engaged in the public service must be, with the great importance of harmony and cordial co-operation in carrying on military operations in a country so distant from the scat of authority, the President is persuaded that when his definite instructions were received, all questions of difficulty were settled, and all feelings which had been elicited by the agitation of them had subsided. Should Lieutenant Colonel Fremont, who has the option to return or remain, adopt the latter alternative, the President does not doubt you will employ him in such a manner as will render his services moşt available to the public interest, having reference to his extensive acquaintance with the inhabitants of California, and his knowledge of their language-qualifications, independent of others, which it is supposed may be very useful in the present and prospective state of our affairs in that country.

It is probable that before this communication is delivered to you, my despatch of the 10th of May last, with the accompanying documents, in relation to collections of duties as contributions at the Mexican ports in our military possession, will have been received. Some modifications in the scale of duties, &c., have since been made. The copy of an order of the President of this date, and a copy of a letter of the Secretary of the Treasury of the 10th instant, which are herewith furnished, will in. form you of the character and extent of their modifications, and of the President's approval thereof, which you will cause to be observed and carried into effect.

I transmit herewith a copy of a communication addressed to you on the 10th of May, and sent by Mr. Tolar, who proceeded to California by the route across the isthmus of Panama. Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Secretary of War. Brig. Gen. STEPHEN W. KEARNY, or officer of the U.'s. Army highest

in rank in California, Merico.


Washington, June 12, 1847. Sır: Herewith I enclose a triplicate of the orders of the Secretary of the Navy to the commanding officer of the naval forces in the Pacific ocean, dated June 11, 1847. I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Secretary of War. Brigadier General S. W. KEARNY.


Washington, June 26, 1847. SIR: I perceive that down to the 1st of April last, the date of a letter addressed by Francis P. Blair to the Attorney General of the United States, some mistaken views still prevailed in New Mexico concerning the civil government there established ; and I am, therefore, apprehensive that you are not in possession of my letter of the Ilih of January last, relative to that subject, addressed to General Keajny, a copy of which was sent to the commanding officer at Santa Fe. I here:vith send you a copy of that letter, as well as an extract of one from the Secretary of the Navy to the commander of our naval force in the Pacific, of the same date, showing the views of the government here in relation to the temporary civil gove ernment at the places in our Thilitary occupancy.

The foundation of the civil government in New Mexico is not derived directly from the laws and constitution of the United Sta:es, but rests upon the rights acquired by conquest. I call your particular attention to the fourth paragraph of my letter of the Ilth of January, as containing the principles on which the temporary government at New Mexico does, or should rest. The territory conquered by our arms does not become, by the mere act of conquest, a permanent part of the United States, and the inhabitants of such territory are not, to the full extent of the term, citizens of the United States. It is beyond dispute, that on the establishment of a temporary civil government in a conquered country, the inhabitants owe obedience to it, and are bound by the laws which may be adopted; they may be tried and punished for offences. Those in New Mexico who, in the late insurrection, were guilty of murder, or instigated others to that crime, were liable to be punished for these acts, either by the civil or inili itary authority, but it is not the proper use of legal terms to say that their offence was treason committed against the United States; for, to the gov. ernment of the United States, as the government under our constitution," it would not be correct to say they owed allegiance. It appears by the letter of Mr. Blair, to which I have referred, that those engaged in the N. surrection have been proceeded against as traitors to the United States. " this respect I think there was error, so far as relates to the designation of the offence. Their offence was against the temporary civil governme of New Mexico and the laws provided for it, which that government ha the right, and indeed was bound to see executed.

On two former occasions I have addressed you in regard to Trujillo, who has been convicted of participating in the insurrection, and the ex

cution of his sentence suspended, and made known the decided wishes of the President that his punishment should be remitted.

Firmness may, under some circumstances, be required as an element of security to the citizens of the United States and other persons in countries conquered by our arms. When such is the case, it should be unshrinkingly exercised; but where a merciful course can be safely in. dulged, it is strongly commended, as promising, in the end, the best results. Such a course is prompted by the better feelings of our nature, and, on the ordinary principles of human action, cannot fail to promote quiet, security, and conciliation. I would, therefore, suggest that this course be adopted in all the other cases not finally disposed of, so far as considerations of safety will allow.

You will, I trust, excuse an allusion to another subject not officially before me: I mean the state of discipline among our troops at Santa Fe. Though I am very far from giving credence to the newspaper accounts in relation to it, they ought not to pass entirely unnoticed, and may be per. mitted to prompt a caution on that point.

As commanding officer, you cannot err, in an isolated situation like yours, in enforcing the niost rigid rules of discipline. The welfare of the men composing your command, as well as its safety and the interest of your country, committed to your custody, require that the most careful at. tention should be given to this important matter. Though all should be quiet around you, and danger seem to be afar off, you should not, on that account, relax your vigilance or the rigid observance of discipline required in a state of war, with an enemy in he neighborhood. • Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Secretary of War. Colonel STERLING PRICE, Commanding U. S. forces,

Santa Fe, New Mexico.


Washington, October 13, 1847. Sir: In instructions dated 10th May last, sent to General Kearny, then in California, it was stated that vessels engaged in the trade with Cali. fornia, which left, home in the United States before the commercial regula. tions of spril last issued, would be required to pay duties at each port on only so much of their respective cargoes as might be landed at such port. It has been determined that this permission should extend to vessels, American or foreign, without regard to the time when they sailed. You will, therefore, direct those who are employed by the authority of the commanding officer of the land forces in California, to conform to the above modification.

I herewith send you an extract of a letter from the Secretary of the Treasury to the United States collector at Boston, directing the manner of executing the regulation in regard to this subject. I am, with great respect, your obedient servant,


Secretary of War. Colonel R. B. Mason, ' Commanding U. S. Army in California.

· War DEPARTMENT, October 27, 1847. Sir: You will receive herewith a copy of a letter from the Secretary of State to this department, dated July 23, with a copy of the papers therein referred to; also, a copy of the correspondence between this department and Lieutenant Colonel Frémont, on the subject of the complaints set forth in the letter of the French minister. They are sent to you in order that an investigation may be made into the transactions referred to. You will, therefore, institute a board, to consist of one or more officers, not ex. ceeding three, to examine into the facts, and report the same to this de. partment at the earliest practicable day. Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Secretary of War. Colonel R. B. MASON, Commanding U. S. Army in California,

Monterey, California.

Memorandurn to Colonel R. B. Muson, California.

[ocr errors]

Sent him six copies of pages 19 and 20, addition to regulations relative: to contributions, and twenty copies of page 21 of the same, relating more particularly to California.

WAR DEPARTMENT, October 28, 1847.


December 24, 1847. Sir: I have just learned that a messenger will leave here this afternoon, via New York, for California, with despatches from the Navy Depart: ment. I avail myself of the occasion to send you a copy of the President's message, and the report of this department. Should the messenger be detained in New York for a day or two, which it is hoped he may be, there will be time to send you a further communication. Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Secretary of War. Colonel R. B. Mason,

Commanding U. S troops in California.


Washington, March 15, 1848. Sir: This despatch is committed to Major General Butler, commanderin-chief of our armies in Mexico, and will be transınitted to you in case the pending negotiations for peace are successfully concluded.

By the treaty now pending, Upper California is ceded to the United States. The limits between the United States and the republic of Mexico will be communicated to you by General Butler, with the despatch. You will, therefore, immediately on receiving this communication, and a notification from Major Genera! Butler that peace is definitively settled between the two nations, withdraw your troops to that part of the country which falls within the limits of the United States as defined by the treaty, and take proper measures with a view to its permanent occupation. Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Secretary of War. Colonel R. B. Mason,

Commanding U. S. forcės, California.


March 24, 1848. Sir: I transmit herewith extracts of two communications, dated 19th of October and 18th of December last, addressed by Colonel Thomas Fitzpatrick, Indian agent for the country on and between the Upper Arkansas and the Upper Platte rivers, to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, in this city. These communications represent a state of things, both in regard to our Indian relations and the nature and effect of the mili. tary operations in that quarter, which it is hoped will not prove to be correct; but, if even partially true, will require serious consideration, and prompt and energetic action. It is expected that you will at once take such measures, if you have not already done so, as will secure the peace and quiet of the country, and promote triendly relations with the Indian tribes referred to in these extracts. The attack upon a party of Pawnees. at Fort Magn, which seems to have been entirely unprovoked and ruthless, has, it is presumed, been fully investigated by you; if not, you will lose no time in making a complete examination into all the circumstances relating thereto, and, if found to be as represented by Colonel Fitzpatrick, you will take the necessary steps to bring the offenders to justice, and make such disposition of your forces as will be likely to prevent a similar occurrence in future.

The Adjutant General has referred to this department your letter of the 31st of January, transmitting the memorial of Antonio José Martinez and others, citizens of New Mexico, on the subject of annexation. The course which you propose to pursue in furtherance of “this unsolicited expression of respect and attachment to our government," is highly ap. proved.

A treaty of peace between the two republics, recently negotiated in Mexico, and subsequently ratified, with certain amendments, by the Sen. ate of the United States, has been returned to Mexico, by a commissioner with full diplomatic powers to procure its ratification as amended. By the terms of the treaty, the whole of New Mexico is ceded to the United States. It becomes the more important, therefore, that the unison of feeling and interchange of reciprocal relations between the two countries, as referred to by yon, should be encouraged and promoted. On the final

« ZurückWeiter »