Talk:California Republic

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Former good article nominee California Republic was a History good articles nominee, but did not meet the good article criteria at the time. There are suggestions below for improving the article. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
December 23, 2010 Good article nominee Not listed
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What kind of US Navy ship was it?[edit]

According to Ship_of_the_line, the term "battleship" would be anachronistic for naval vessels in the age of sail. What kind of ship was it that docked at Monterey in 1846?--MayerG 07:15, 17 January 2006 (UTC)

I found the details and added them. MayerG 08:02, 17 January 2006 (UTC)

Transfer of Power/annexation[edit]

As far as I know, California Republic still exists as a sovereign State... what references are available to show that the Republic (the politcal entity) was transferred to the United States, rather than a simple annexation of territory. From my research, the original constitution was never repealed, and there cannot be two Constitutions over the same State. I think that California Republic (distinct from The State of California, but having the same geographical location) still exists, and there is a Constitution, and the California Jural Society that still convenes to govern it, so I am not alone in this. I'd be interested in any comments on this. Pedant 19:20, 6 August 2006 (UTC)

I believe that the California Constitution was simply modified over time. We still use it today, but modified. There's some ammendment to it about the Federal government being superior to that of California. File:Icons-flag-scotland.png Canæn File:Icons-flag-scotland.png 21:10, 7 September 2006 (UTC)
No. It's a separate Constitution that uses some of the same wording. The second constitution omits several fundamental rights and in their place is completely unrelated text. It's not merely an amended constitution, and it was never ratified. 16:50, 30 June 2007 (UTC)

You have got to be kidding...the Bear Flag revolt! 30 or so belligerent immigrants , not complying with the Mexican government, claiming to take posession of something that was not theirs to begin with, then having the audacity to claim they had a President! and making the bizarre insinuation that the so called "republic" still exists as a sovereign state! Give me a break!!! DonDeigo 22:16, 1 March 2007 (UTC)

It was probably easy for these embusteros to put on this song-and-dance because they had Fremont, Sloat, and Stockton (U.S. fire power) backing up their ruse.

The routine goes like this: a small band of discontents revolt, declare independence, and the whole of CA get annexed (stolen) by U.S. Apparently, this routine worked so well in TX that they had an encore performance in CA.

And what about this coincidence: Since December, 1845, Fremont and troops just happened to be in CA at the time conducting a science expedition! Sloat's fleet just happened to be off the coast of CA! And finally, if the U.S. had only taken offense with Mexico for not respecting the Texas border at the River Grande, why did this give them the right to grab more of Mexico's land? After all was said and done, Mexico had lost 52% of its territory!

No wonder they call this in Mexico el robo del siglo, the theft of the century!!! MiztuhX 00:18, 23 May 2007 (UTC)

FYI, this is a discussion page for the Wikipedia article, not the actual revolt. Plus, you sound like conspiracy theorists. "Theft of the century"? Give me a break! JohnnyCalifornia (talk) 18:59, 25 June 2008 (UTC)

The official ownership of Californiadidn't transfer to the US until 2 February 1848, then technically would it mean the republic existed for almost two yeras?

If there were no elections, then there was no republic. Texas remains the only state in the US that was a true republic.Free4all76 00:35, 1 September 2007 (UTC) —Preceding Free4all76 comment added by Free4all76 (talkcontribs)

Deleted comments[edit]

Sorry fellas, this is a discussion page for the Wikipedia article, not the actual revolt. Wikipedia is not a soapbox or political platform. It is especially not a battleground for conspiracy theorists. "Theft of the century"? Give us a break! Comments deleted to avoid more "discussion." for more on this Wikipedia policy, see WP:SOAP. JohnnyCalifornia (talk) 18:59, 25 June 2008 (UTC)

references cited?[edit]

"He painted the flag on a piece of brown cotton, a yard and a half or so in length, with a red star representing Texas, and what he intended to be a representation of a common bear in California.[1]"

The article cited about Mr. Todd's creation of the flag says nothing about the reasoning of the red star, and explicitly defines the bear as a Grizzly (which, at the time, was a common bear). Is there a cite for the Texas reference?

Here is a reference, The California State Flag, although I remember being taught differently. My teacher said it was a reference to the North Star and the possible influence of emmigration from the Bering land bridge. In essence, the bear is looking towards the field of honor (towards his right) that has the North Star painted red which is the color of blood which can stand for historic or future bloodshed. Here's another reference, Raising of the Bear Flag which uses the terms some say in solidarity with Texas (my emphasis on "some say") because over time that probably became the more acceptable urban legend. The Flag of Texas was presented to Congress in 1838 which means Todd may have been aware of it prior to leaving on his historic trek to Oregon followed by California. Almost any reference you will find on the Bear Flag will mention Texas in it. Ronbo76 16:43, 13 January 2007 (UTC)

Another source for Bear Flag info[edit]

Cousin or nephew of Mary Todd[edit]

According to my research, I am reasonable certain, the creator of the California Bear Flag, William L Todd was Mary Todd's Cousin. Not Nephew. This is in direct contrast to many published web sources stating colloquially he was her nephew. According to the genealogy site, cited by the Mary Todd Research Project, which has the dubious distinction of being a page, their common ancestor was Levi Todd (generation 5. One of his sons was Dr. John Todd, who in turn had a son named William L. Born 1818. The other of Levi's sons in question was Robert Smith Todd Generation six), who in turn had a daughter named Mary also born 1818. This family relationship suggests first cousins, not that of aunt and nephew.

It takes serious attention to discern this from the site, as it is most concerned with Mary's genealogy, hence lateral branching is minimized. Mary Todd Genealogy Mary Todd Research site

How interesting, it is to me, that this is dated on the June 14 anniversary!

--K3vin (talk) 02:42, 14 June 2008 (UTC)

My irrational exuberance kept me digging for another authoritative reference. Bear Flag Museum

The reason for this obsessive documentation, is William L. is Widely quoted as being her nephew. Mary does have an great uncle or such of the name William but he predates the whole California republic, and is more in line with the American Rev I believe this is due to sloppy reading of the genealogy cite, by someone, and it got multiplied over several times, becoming - the "truth". Using google and wiki methodology, the more links, the more truthiness :-) Well it started here.  :-)

--K3vin (talk) 03:04, 14 June 2008 (UTC)

Citation problems[edit]

Hi everybody. As a member of WikiProject California and [[Wikipedia:{{WikiProject Military history|WikiProject Military history]], I really enjoyed reading this article. There is a lot of potential interest in this information, just look at all the WikiProjects above. In fact, it could probably use some expansion. But first, we need to address the citation issue, especially because the controversial nature of this material makes it likely to be challenged.... There is a difference between general references as an end note, and inline citations, which directly follow sentences in the text (see WP:CITE#HOW for more info). Wikipedia policy maintains that in order for an article to meet good article criteria and featured article criteria, it must use inline citations. All challenged material could potentially be removed by any editor, if it is not addressed in a timely manner. Please help improve this article if you can by directly citing any statement within the article that is likely to be challenged. JohnnyCalifornia (talk) 19:40, 25 June 2008 (UTC)

Spanish name for the republic[edit]

I'm not sure why the name "California Republic" was translated into Spanish in this article. I've removed it until somebody can come up with a source stating that the actual Bear Flag republicans used the Spanish at all to title their state. It is my understanding that they were English-speaking (even though the majority of their citizens may have used Spanish). Sincerely, GeorgeLouis (talk) 17:53, 29 September 2008 (UTC)

Almost all of them were English speakers who did not know Spanish. They had an interpreter named Knight who translated, along with Jacob Leese (a Vallejo family member), the "capitulation" of General Vallejo in English and Spanish. Jeff in CA (talk) 04:42, 16 June 2014 (UTC)

Rampant vs. Passant[edit]

So here is where the history gets murky but that is where it gets fun too right? The Wikipedia entry for the Bear Flag says, "The bear was described as being en passant (walking),[7] but on the original flag the bear was drawn statant (standing). Statant and en passant are terms used in heraldry. This oversight (if oversight it was) has been corrected on the modern California flag, which shows the bear walking."

I only have a little problem with this because it makes it sound like Todd drew a version of the bear statant on the original flag and then on the reproduction years later and subsequent state flags the bear was drawn passant. This is not, I believe, the case. There were two flags at the time of the revolt. One flag was made by Peter Storm and Nancy Kelsey and the other by Todd. Storm was a Norwegian carpenter/artist that got caught up in the events of June, 1846. Kelsey was one of the women of the Bartleson Bidwell party of 1841. The Storm/Kelsey flag is similar to the Todd flag and perhaps flew first. It is a white field with a broader red bottom with a statant bear facing the star. The Todd flag, the one Montgomery had on the Portsmouth always had a passant bear. These flags were concurrent but it was the Todd flag that paved the way for our state flag of today.

Image of the Storm/Kelsey flag:

Andrew Quist Sonora, CA.

Andrew: There is documentary evidence of the so-called "Todd" Bear Flag at Sonoma during the Revolt. I have never seen any documentary evidence of the existence of the Storm Bear Flag during the 6/14 - 7/9/1846 time of the Revolt. I am aware of the Storm Bear Flag and have a photo of Storm holding his flag, but again where is the evidence of its creation and existence during the time of the Revolt? If you have such evidence, please share it. Many statements about the Revolt and its flag were not made until many years after the Revolt which impacts on the credibility of the statements. Sorry to disagree, but accuracy is critical.

William J. Trinkle, Executive Director, THE BEAR FLAG MUSEUM —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:36, 18 March 2009 (UTC)

A question re: a new State[edit]

Just a unsual question. Wasnt there a New Styate proclaimed in Extreme Northern California in 1941? Humbolt County I beleive. It didnt last long but there was some legal issue that they the seperatists(sorry I can recall the name of this New State in Northern California)Claimed to also be a California Republic. Nova California Republic? Very new at this!Blossomboy (talk) 05:59, 11 December 2009 (UTC)

You're looking for the State of Jefferson. Gentgeen (talk) 03:47, 18 December 2009 (UTC)

Not actually a country[edit]

The "California Republic" was never an independent nation and a full, functioning government beyond was never established. I think that the page should be moved to Bear Flag Revolt and the infobox be changed. Let's not forget that the revolt only included less than 100 people and was only at one location. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Interchange88 (talkcontribs) 12:15, 22 July 2010 (UTC)

I think this is a case of six-and-one-half, half-dozen the other. As the article says:
The words "California Republic" appeared on the flag but were never officially adopted by the insurgents. Their actions were later called the "Bear Flag Revolt."
That's what I'm saying; "California Republic" is a misnomer.--Interchange88 ☢ 03:20, 25 July 2010 (UTC)
Besides, Bear Flag Revolt already redirects to here. No point fixing what ain't broke. howcheng {chat} 16:45, 22 July 2010 (UTC)
Just throwing it out there. Anyway, I figured calling the page "California Republic" is misleading, and the infobox makes it look even more convincing. --Interchange88 ☢ 03:17, 25 July 2010 (UTC)
The Bear Flaggers called themselves this due to the original flag. California was independent for a short time and ultimately gave up independence. The order of events are as follows. I admit I need to help this article. -DevinCook (talk) 19:55, 26 July 2010 (UTC)
  • Fearing ethnic cleansing by Santa Ana William Ide and several other "mountain men" captured General Valejo. The fears of the Bear Flaggers was based in rumors that Santa Ana was invoking the native Americans to drive the settlers into the mountains as well as the Massacre of Goliad, the red flag of the Alamo, etc....
  • Ide sent men to farms in the area to request collect guns, ammo, and recruit men.
  • Very few of the men returned - two of which were found tortured to death in a manner that the witnesses never wrote in great detail.
  • The Flaggers found out that one of there men was being held by Castro and they launched a rescue. This was the Battle of Olompali.
  • John Sutter joined the revolt and his fort was used to hold Vallejo. They were good friends.
  • Bear Flaggers capture the Bay Area including San Fransisco. These were bloodless - and Mexican officials fled in advance. Ide's forces number about 200.
  • Fremont offers to violate his orders and help the rebels - granted that they capture California for the United States. (later Fremont is court-marshaled for this)
  • Ide agrees, though insulted, and resigns as Commander and Chief and joins his own army as a private - headed by Fremont. This the California Battalion. They flew a Bear Flag, but this was also destroyed with the Todd Flag in the San Fransisco fire.
  • The Battalion heads sound picking up volunteers along the way. Only Los Angeles resisted and this resulted in a protracted battle. This is usually put into the "Mexican-American War" category.
I agree. The Bear Flaggers were just a bunch of opportunistic people, which did not constitute a functional government, neither do they have territorial control outside Sonoma. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:43, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
DevinCook's (talk) list of events contains a number of significant inaccuracies (e.g., California obviously was never an independent nation). Leaving those aside for the moment, at, one learns that (quoting from several articles by Jerry Bowen):
  • It was no secret Gen. Vallejo favored the American takeover of California. He even put it in writing in a statement April 2, 1848, saying, “My opinion is made up that we must persevere in throwing off the galling yoke of Mexico ... We have indeed taken the first step by electing our own governor but another remains to be taken, and that is annexation to the United States.” Because of this, the Vallejos were completely unprepared for the invasion of their homes by a group of Americans.
  • With Leese and Knight acting as interpreters, it was soon apparent that they (the Bear Flaggers) had no official leader and though the Americans regarded themselves as a revolutionary party, they had no plan and didn’t know what they intended to achieve beyond the seizure of government property, arms, and officers. ... They acknowledged they had no official leader, and most of them merely wanted to obtain arms, animals and hostages and to deprive the enemy” of his resources.
  • With all the confusion and obviously no established plan, the crowd (of Bear Flaggers) began to break up into groups grumbling about what to do next.
  • Vallejo was confident that the insurgents were acting under Fremont’s orders and had no reason to doubt that as soon as he met Fremont (his friend) he and his companions would be released, so the prospect of being sent to Sutter’s Fort did not worry him much.
  • Vallejo managed to send a verbal message to his friend, Capt. John B. Montgomery, commander of the U.S. warship Portsmouth, then at Sausalito.
  • Initially Capt. Montgomery’s reply was less than reassuring. He stated the movement was entirely local and he would not take part in it because the rebels were answerable only to the laws of Mexico and California. He added that Vallejo had his sympathy in his difficulties, but he could not possibly interfere in local California politics.
  • Later in the day, he changed his mind and sent Lt. Missroon to Sonoma to assist with restoring order and to assure Mrs. Vallejo and the family that they would remain unharmed. He reached Sonoma on June 16, at sunset, and called on Ide, who gave him verbal and written assurances of his intention to maintain order and to respect the persons and property of all inhabitants.
  • A Jan. 9, 1891, article in the San Francisco Chronicle paid tribute to Gen. Vallejo and his wife. At the end of the article, one of the pioneers summed up Vallejo’s life, “The State has honored Sutter and Marshall,” said a pioneer yesterday, “but there is no name in all the history of California more worthy of honor than General Vallejo, who did more to move California to the Union at critical times than many people are aware. He was a distinguished character, and both his private and public careers should be sources of pride and gratitude to the people of the State.”
  • As for the Bear Flaggers who intruded into the Vallejo family’s life, after all is said and done, even though they are often portrayed pretty much in a negative light, many of them contributed to the future in many positive ways as time passed.
Jeff in CA (talk) 04:52, 16 June 2014 (UTC)

Map is misleading[edit]

Why is the map of modern-day California included in this article? The Bear Flaggers did not have any territorial control outside Sonoma, nor they represented the majority of Californians. Besides, the limits of California at that time were different from the current limits, as the border between Mexican California and British Oregon had not been clearly established, and the states of Nevada and Arizona had not yet been created. Besides, the limit between modern-day Mexico and modern-day California was not established either. For the same reason, the area in the infobox is misleading too, as it corresponds to modern-day California.

  • That's a very good point. The Bear Flaggers were able to capture Sonoma, San Fransisco, and Sacramento, but were absorbed into the California Battalion before the march south. Although, the point can be made that the Battalion was the bear flaggers since it was as much Ide's men as it was Fremont's. Does everyone think the map should be replaced or simply removed? -DevinCook (talk) 23:10, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
Ise never actually commanded a unit; the map is not accurate or useful.Rjensen (talk) 23:18, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
Removed map & area. Feel free to add if you can find a more accurate map of the California limits & area as of 1846.


In the well known Fallout series, there's a faction known as the New California Republic, which is an extremely obvious nod to the California Republic. I suggest that it's mentioned in the article, but I'll leave it up to the judgement of somebody more experienced. Sir jcd (talk) 21:00, 2 December 2010 (UTC)

With respect, I really don't think this reference belongs here. This is a historical article. While it's a neat piece of trivia, it is essentially still trivia and doesn't deserve mention in a serious historical context. I'm going to remove it and suggest that such information be kept in video games articles. It just doesn't match the tone of the rest of the article and feels like one of those trivia sections that Wikipedia frowns upon.Gurp13]]|[[User talk:Gurp13|Talk (talk) 05:19, 19 November 2011 (UTC)

Agree that the Fallout reference, as written, is not relevant and does not belong in this article. I don't know anything about the game, so my question is: does the California Republic in the game have any connection to the historical Califonia Republic? If all they share is the name and location, then the answer is no. WCCasey (talk) 07:26, 19 November 2011 (UTC)
I don't know the game well enough to say how much of a connection there is. The game is a work of fiction, however. Unless someone can come forward with more information justifying the inclusion of a media reference for a historical article, I think it should stay out.Gurp13]]|[[User talk:Gurp13|Talk (talk) 01:41, 22 November 2011 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:California Republic/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: Magic♪piano 03:06, 23 December 2010 (UTC)

I find that this article quick-fails, for several reasons:

  • the article is inadequately cited (tags were added after its nomination to point out some places where citation is obviously inadequate)
  • sources claimed to be used disagree with the article content on at least one point: the reason for Frémont's presence in California. Harlow, for example, describes his mission in somewhat different terms.
  • Since the listed sources are never used in citation, it is impossible to assess how they were used.
  • Bancroft is, unfortunately, a somewhat difficult source. According to Hubert Howe Bancroft, it is difficult to assess which of the writings attributed to him are reliable and which are not; I would consequently prefer the use of more recent sources.
  • Citations that refer to books are lacking page numbers.
  • A brief series of searches in Google Books reveals more sources that could be used to expand this article, including works like this one
  • The article is lacking in adequate background. Why were there Americans in California to begin with? What motivated them to be anti-Spanish?
  • The context of Mexican-American relations and the incipient war is sketchy, and should be consolidated and expanded at the start of the article.
  • I would expect a more expansive account of the republic's brief existence, including more detailed accounts of the Spanish response to Ide's proclamation and Frémont's assertion of US authority.
  • The content of the proclamation should be on Wikisource, not here; its meaning should be discussed here.

-- Magic♪piano 15:56, 23 December 2010 (UTC)

aTrue the articlle could be larger, but it stands on its own. Add references if you want.Slx03 (talk) 21:29, 4 November 2011 (UTC)

It was a dark and stormy night.[edit]

Wow, the writing in the intro is unusually poor.

The name California Republic was lettered in black ink on the flag[1] created by disgruntled and fearful American emigrants rebelling against Alta California's Mexican government. That flag featured a grizzly bear and became known as the Bear Flag and the uprising as the Bear Flag Revolt.

Nowhere in the first sentence or in the intro, or, for all I know, in the whole article, is it stated directly what the California Republic is or was. It seems as if the article has been pulled out of some other article without providing adequate context.CountMacula (talk) 04:29, 2 June 2014 (UTC)

I made at improving the horrendous lede. There's still quite a bit of room for improvement there... and then there's the rest of the article. --IP.303Talk 23:22, 14 June 2014 (UTC)

Centralist Republic of Mexico[edit]

I made a change where I replaced "Republic of Mexico" with "Centralist Republic of Mexico". I hit enter by accident, so I apologize for the truncated description. I changed it mainly because "Republic of Mexico" is a tad misleading. Mexico has had a turbulent history - being an empire twice and a republic in various forms. Santa's Ana's "Centralist Republic of Mexico" was a pseudo-dictorship. Using the modern-day Mexican Government in the article is like linking to Germany's modern government from an article about the Nazis (yes, Godwin's Law). -DevinCook (talk) 11:20, 16 June 2014 (UTC)

I disagree with this change. The official name of the government was the Republic of Mexico. There was, indeed, a change in the Mexico's constitution that centralized power but the name did not change. It is artifice to substitute an unofficial name because of an opinion. Dean95452 (talk) 00:53, 19 June 2014 (UTC)

California a Mexican 'province' or 'department'[edit]

California was one of nineteen Mexican departments under the Mexican Constitutional Laws of 1836 Siete Leyes. The 31 articles of the sixth Law replaced the federal republic's "states" with centralized "departments" whose governors and legislators were designated by the President. These laws were in effect during the time period of this article. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Dean95452 (talkcontribs) 17:12, 20 June 2014 (UTC)

Alta California was created as a province of Mexico following Mexican independence, and ceased to exist after the Mexican-American War. According to the Siete Leyes article, Santa Anna's laws went into effect in 1835. So, the questions we editors need to answer are: 1) were those laws still in effect in Sonoma (or in Mexico) in June, 1846? 2) Did Santa Anna's change of terminology have any effect on the structure and/or functioning of the Alta California government? 3) Did the Alta California government use the term 'department' instead of 'province'? (and does that matter?). I'd be interested to see in the article an explanatory sourced footnote or parenthetical note (or a section in the Siete Leyes article) about the laws' change of terminology, along with an explanation of how the change affected Alta California. Replacing 'province' with 'department' without explanation just causes confusion. WCCasey (talk) 21:15, 20 June 2014 (UTC)
Thanks so much for your comments. I believe the fundamental issue we’re dealing with is supporting Wikipedia’s standards for accuracy while avoiding being punctilious. I must admit my initial reaction was mostly to the ‘edit summary’ - “not a 'department' either”. I’m not committed to any particular word and hope we can find ones that are acceptable to both of us. In that spirit please allow let me make my arguments.
The term ‘province’ wasn't used for any Mexican administrative division. See Wikipedia article Administrative divisions of Mexico History / the sections on the Federal republic & Centralist republic & Restoration of the Republic and Second Empire. When the Republic was formed [under the 1824 constitution] California was a Federal territory (California didn't have enough population to be designated a state) and then under the Centralist regime it, like the states, became a ‘department’.
Please allow me to try to answer the questions you pose. 1) Yes. There were some modifications to the laws after expiration of the six-year “no change” constitutional rule adopted in 1936. According to the ‘Administrative divisions…’ article “The Federal Republic [the 1824 Constitution] was restored by the interim president José Mariano Salas on August 22, 1846”. 2) It was not terminology but the fundamental changes in governmental structure and voting rights to which Californians objected. Juan Alvarado’s revolt against Mexico in November, 1836, was, at least in part, motivated by elimination of direct voting for the national President and legislature and more so by the appointment of California’s governor and legislators by Mexico City. 3) Yes - at least in official correspondence. I’m not sure that it matters.
I agree that a footnote would be a solution if we can’t find mutually acceptable verbiage. It seems, to me, we may be exceeding the scope of our “California Republic” article. The only possible link I can imagine is that of Ide’s complaints in his June 15, 1846, proclamation about California’s un-republican government. I’ll post proposed wording to this talk page when/if I can become momentarily creative. Dean95452 (talk) 01:14, 21 June 2014 (UTC)
I misspoke. Alta California was originally a Spanish province, then a Mexican territory. I changed 'department' to 'province' because that word appears in the previous sentence, but I should have just added a cite tag, and 'province' probably doesn't belong in this article at all. 'Department' still needs explanation and sourcing unless it can be linked to another article that does that job - I haven't seen Alta California referred to as a department in any WP article. Also, I didn't intend that the answers to my questions be posted here where few will see them - the information should be added to the appropriate articles (with sources, of course). 'Mutually acceptable' to me means WP:REF. WCCasey (talk) 05:36, 21 June 2014 (UTC)
Even more new (to me) info - according to the map accompanying the Siete Leyes article; not only did Alta California change from a 'territory' to a 'department' in 1836, but its name reverted from Alta California back to the old Spanish 'Las Californias', which included both Alta and Baja California. More on this later - I need to do some reading. WCCasey (talk) 06:19, 21 June 2014 (UTC)
Bancroft, in his 1886 published history of California, quotes Mexican official correspondence as calling it (and also himself refers to it as) a department.Jeff in CA (talk) 15:19, 30 June 2014 (UTC)

Edit - Capture of Sonoma first paragraph[edit]

The first paragraph of the section relies on a single citation from a popular column. I have be unable to obtain the original sources for the column so the information is not verifiable. I propose to rewrite the paragraph but wish to give the previous editor an opportunity to provide additional citations from reliable sources. Dean95452 (talk) 21:53, 21 June 2014 (UTC)

This whole article is full of highly questionable POV, but I guess you have to start somewhere to try to improve it with better sourcing. WCCasey (talk) 00:54, 22 June 2014 (UTC)
I've rewritten that first paragraph (now two) of the section and would like to get specific feedback from experienced WP editors on that rewrite with special attention to POV issues. Thank you. Dean95452 (talk) 17:39, 22 June 2014 (UTC)
For the record, that first paragraph originally mentioned above is as follows:
Before dawn on Sunday, June 14, 1846, thirty-three of the American rebels arrived in Sonoma with no force to oppose them. They initially pounded on Commandante Vallejo's door, and within a few minutes he appeared in full military uniform. It was no secret that General Vallejo favored the American takeover of California. Because of this, the Vallejos were completely unprepared for the invasion of their home by a group of Americans.[2] It was soon apparent that the rebels had no official leader and though the Americans regarded themselves as a revolutionary party, they had no plan and didn't know what they intended to achieve beyond the seizure of government property, arms, and officers. They acknowledged that most of them merely wanted to obtain arms, animals and hostages and to deprive the enemy of his resources.[2]
Jeff in CA (talk) 15:44, 30 June 2014 (UTC)
The paragraph above is accurately drawn from a column written by a knowledgeable and kind gentleman. The author, after a little time, responded to my inquiry indicating that he couldn't locate his notes for the article but thought his primary source was ‘The Vallejos of California’, by Madie Brown Empáran, ©1968. Madie was the wife of Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo's youngest grandson and used family letters and writings as her sources. As to the column’s assertion that “It was no secret that General Vallejo favored the American takeover of California”, George Tays, H. H. Bancroft, and T. H. Hittell have concluded that the story of Vallejo’s pro-American speech/writing is apocryphal. Hittell, going beyond Tays and Bancroft, (History of California, Volume 2, footnote on page 397) writes that “As to Vallejo, however much he may have since claimed to be a friend to the Americans, the record … indicates very plainly that he was not.” Madie Brown Empáran writes about one note in the margin of one letter Vallejo received supporting the idea that he had a pro-American position before the Bears arrived in Sonoma. [Personal opinion alert -- Even if Vallejo privately favored an American annexation (or felt it was inevitable) I question whether he, as a Mexican Army Officer charged with defending the northern line, would make it widely known.]
I’m new to WP editing and certainly open to additional information or a better way to present the paragraph. Dean95452 (talk) 01:09, 1 July 2014 (UTC)
Beyond POV: in Wikipedia-speak, a sentence like "It was no secret that General Vallejo favored the American takeover of California" is referred to as "weasel words" (See WP:WEASEL), so I'm glad that was changed. Another problem area: maybe such pro-American statements by Vallejo are contained in "family letters and writings" but, unless those writings are cited by published professional history writers and available for verification (see WP:SOURCE), use of them here could be construed as "original research" (another prickly WP policy - see WP:OR). WCCasey (talk) 02:31, 1 July 2014 (UTC)
The gentleman mentioned by Dean95452, in the column that is cited, writes, "He (Vallejo) even put it in writing in a statement April 2, 1848, saying, 'My opinion is made up that we must persevere in throwing off the galling yoke of Mexico ... We have indeed taken the first step by electing our own governor but another remains to be taken, and that is annexation to the United States.'" Although I have not researched this citation, presumably this "statement" has been cited by historians in published works. However, the stipulation that the story of Vallejo’s pro-American speech/writing is apocryphal still stands. Even more so, according to Bancroft, are the claims made by Ide. Jeff in CA (talk) 03:19, 1 July 2014 (UTC)

How Torre tricked Fremont in order to escape[edit]

Bancroft describes how Torre tricked Fremont and his men into leaving Sausalito to return to Sonoma, so that Torre escaped from the area through Sausalito and across San Pablo Bay, to join the other two commanders of Mexican troops in their retreat to Santa Clara. This is an interesting piece of the story. May I suggest it be told in this article? Jeff in CA (talk) 15:46, 12 July 2014 (UTC)

Torre’s deception of Fremont is an interesting part of the story plus I feel the article would benefit from a stronger description of military activities. I have difficulty figuring out the correct scope of a topic. If I’m reading Wikipedia’s objective correctly, it is to provide “a comprehensive summary of information” on the topic. That means (to me) we should incorporate all military activity which is of equal or greater significance to the topic to justify incorporating any particular story. I’d be happy to help work on it if anyone is interested. Dean95452 (talk) 02:16, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
I am certainly interested; however, my contributions would be sporadic. I agree with you that the military activities of a military revolt should be a significant part of the article.
Jeff in CA (talk) 01:18, 28 July 2014 (UTC)

Lansford Hastings[edit]

It would be nice to add something about Lansford Hastings and his role in the California Republic - from wiki: Lansford Warren Hastings (1819–1870) is best remembered as the developer of Hastings Cutoff, a shortcut across what is now the state of Utah, a factor in the Donner Party disaster of 1846.


   1 Early life
   2 The Republic of California
   3 Later years
   4 References
   5 External links

Early life

Born to Waitstill and Lucinda (Wood) Hastings in Mount Vernon, Ohio, he was a descendant of Thomas Hastings who came from East Anglia in England to the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1634. Hastings was trained as a lawyer. In 1842, he traveled overland to Oregon. While there, he briefly represented Dr. John McLoughlin, preparing his land claim near Willamette Falls and surveying Oregon City, Oregon (which would become the first incorporated city west of the Rocky Mountains). He left in the spring of 1843 for Alta California, a sparsely populated province of Mexico. By the time he returned to the United States in 1844, he had decided to help to wrest California from Mexico and establish an independent Republic of California, with himself holding high office. The Republic of California Title page, The Emigrants' Guide to Oregon and California, written by Lansford Hastings, and published in 1845

Hastings wrote The Emigrants' Guide to Oregon and California to induce Americans to move to California, hoping they could effect a bloodless revolution by sheer numbers. He described California in glowing terms and gave practical advice to overland travelers. Contrary to popular belief, he did not promote the cutoff that bears his name in his book. He merely described it in a single sentence as a possible route: "The most direct path would be leave the Oregon route, about two hundred miles east of Fort Hall; thence bearing west-south west, to the Salt Lake; and thence continuing down to the bay of San Francisco." (Hastings, pp. 137–138). However, Hastings wrote this statement before he had traveled the route himself, and he may have been unaware of the difficulties in crossing the Wasatch Range and the salt flats of western Utah.

Hastings's dream of empire soon collapsed when California was conquered by the United States military during the Mexican–American War. In 1848, Mexico ceded California to the United States under the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. Later years Petition to President Abraham Lincoln by citizens of Arizona, as well as John C. Frémont, seeking an appointment for Lansford Hastings. Ca. 1863.

After serving as a captain in the California Battalion during the Mexican War, Hastings again took up the practice of law. He married Charlotte Toler in 1848 and was a delegate to the 1849 California Constitutional Convention. In the late 1850s he moved his family to Yuma, Arizona, where he served as postmaster and as a territorial judge. During the Civil War, Hastings sided with the South. In 1864, he travelled to Richmond, Virginia, where he met with Confederate President Jefferson Davis to gain his support for a plan to separate California from the Union and unite it with the Confederacy. However, the so-called Hastings Plot came to little, as the war ended early the following year.

After the end of the war, many disgruntled former Confederates left the United States to establish colonies in Brazil. Hastings visited the region, made arrangements with the Brazilian government, and wrote The Emigrant's Guide to Brazil (1867) to attract potential colonists. He died at St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands in 1870, possibly of yellow fever, while conducting a shipload of settlers to his colony at Santarém.

Did Lansford Hastings have any connection to the California Republic? During its brief existence I believe he was in Utah and Nevada guiding immigrant parties. I understand was acquainted with Fremont and joined the Battalion after returning to California. Dean95452 (talk) 16:09, 20 July 2014 (UTC)

Frémont's military rank in 1846 California[edit]

I'm writing this to support undoing a edit that changed Frémont's rank on July 5, 1846 from "Brevet Captain" to "Major (brevet lieutenant colonel)". Frémont was promoted to major by Robert F. Stockton some time after Stockton was put in charge of land operations by Commodore John D. Sloat on July 23, 1846 (Bancroft V:page 253). President Polk had signed a commission for Frémont as Lieutenant Colonel in May, 1846 but that wasn't known in California until October. Gets complicated. Dean95452 (talk) 20:43, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

Additional information on Frémont's LTC rank - The Diary of James K. Polk During His Presidency, 1845 to 1849, Volume 1 James K. Polk, Edited and Annotated by Milo Milton Quaife (1910), Chicago Thursday, 21st May, 1846 (Page 413) Talking about the appointments for a new ‘Regiment of mounted riflemen’ - “…I had determined to appoint Persifor F. Smith (Democrat) Colonel, and Capt. Fremont (politics unknown) Lieut. Col. we determined to select a Whig for Major.” Dean95452 (talk) 23:58, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
As the guy who's comment got reverted: thanks for the explanation. I'm happy. (talk) 11:35, 23 July 2014 (UTC)