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nians to place the country under British protection; and also prevented the fulfilment of the great grant to Macnamara, the original papers of which I now have here, to be shown to the committee and to be delivered up to the government.”

5. In addition to the Macnamara grants, some of the most valuable missions were sold in May and June, 1846, to British subjects, for very inconsiderable sums, showing an evident design, in case the United States should get possession of the Californias, to keep some of the most valuable districts out of the hands of the government, by converting them, through fraudulent conveyances, into British property.

6. It appears also that a plan was set on foot by the British vice-consul in California, Mr. Forbes, Macnamara, and others, to put that country under the protection of Great Britain, and at the very moment when it was expected that a war would break out between the United States and Mexico. The time, the circumstances, the actors, all indicate a deliberate design to get possession of California, for the purpose of keeping it out of the hands of the United States. The auspices under which a junta was planned and convoked for the purpose of asking the protection of Great Britain are shown by an extract which I will read from the affidavit of Captain Gillespie, of the Marine Corps, and which will be found at page 28 of the docBy Lieutenant Minor's testimony, which will be found at pages 43 and 44, it appears that the convention or junta was held, and that a majority were in favor of claiming the protection of England, - a decision naturally to have been expected, when it is considered under what auspices it was convoked. The extracts I am about to read contain also some interesting facts connected with the movements of the British admiral: —

ument : —


“About this time (June 30) I learned that the junta which was to have assembled at Santa Barbara upon the 15th June, and which had been planned and arranged by and through the agency of Mr. Forbes, the British vice-consul, and an Irish Catholic priest, by the name of Macnamara, had been prevented from assembling in consequence of the rising of the settlers. This junta was proposed for the purpose of asking the protection of England, and of giving an immense tract of land in the valley of the San Joaquin for the settlement of ten thousand Irishmen, to be brought to California under the direction of Macnamara. All this intrigue of British agents was broken up by the timely and prompt operations of the settlers, under the direction of Captain Frémont.”

“The undersigned, a lieutenant in the navy of the United States, has the honor to make the following answers to the interrogatories put to him by your honorable committee :

“The undersigned being in command of the southern district of California during the latter part of 1846, was informed by Pedro C. Carilla (and he believes the information thus obtained is founded on facts) that he, the said Carilla, was a member of a junta that assembled at Santa Barbara in June, 1846, for the purpose of declaring the independence of California, and of asking the protection of the United States or Great Britain; that the junta was represented by all of the inhabited portions of California; that a majority of the same were for claiming the protection of England; that their resolves would probably have been executed had it not been for the war and their fears of an armed force, then on the north side of the bay of San Francisco, under the command of Captain Frémont. The undersigned has understood from other sources, entitled to confidence, that a majority of the people of California desired the protection of England. The opinion he thus formed was strengthened by the fact that an English frigate (the Juno) had, about the time the junta met, landed an English subject named Macnamara at Santa Barbara, of whom it was said that he had obtained a grant from the Mexican government of a large and fertile portion of California, embracing the whole valley of the San Joaquin, from its source to its mouth, – a valley, as the undersigned believes, comprising one third of the richest portion of California. The undersigned believes that the British squadron in the Pacific, commanded by Rear-Admiral Sir George T. Seymour, composed then of a larger force than they ever had upon that ocean, were employed in closely watching the movements of the American commodore. Being aware of this fact, Commodore Sloat, when he heard of the first battle on the Rio Grande, got under way in the frigate Savannah, then anchored off Mazatlan, for the ostensible purpose of proceeding to California. An English vessel of war weighed soon after the Savannah, and stood in the direction of San Blas, where it was known the admiral was. After cruising in the gulf two days, the commodore returned to his

anchorage off Mazatlan, when another English ship got under way and stood in the direction of San Blas. The undersigned believes that this manoeuvre of Commodore Sloat was intended for the deception of the English admiral. On the 8th of June, 1846, the Savannah again made sail, and after a passage of twenty-three days, during which a press of canvas was carried, she arrived at the port of Monterey, in Upper California. The Collingwood, of eighty guns, the flag-ship of Admiral Seymour, entered the harbor on the 15th of July, and the undersigned believes that the admiral was disappointed when he saw the American flag flying on shore.”

The testimony of Captain Hensley, from which I will give a brief extract, and which will be found at page 83, fully sustains the statement of Lieutenant Minor: —

“I am a resident in California, where I have resided since the autumn of 1843. In the month of May, 1846, I went to San Francisco, where I met with General Vallejo, one of the most prominent and influential men in Upper California. I understood from him that he had recently attended a convention, composed of General Castro, himself, and five others, delegates from the different districts in California, at which the proposition had been made and debated to separate from Mexico, and establish a government in California, under the protection of some foreign power, believed by us to be England; but, as the general positively stated, the majority was not in favor of placing the country under the protection of the United States, though he himself was. General Vallejo was of course guarded in conversing on so dangerous a subject as this was at that time; but the above is the substance of his remarks, as understood by myself and others who heard


The grant to Macnamara is so connected with the movements of the public vessels and public agents of Great Britain as to raise a strong presumption that he was secretly countenanced by the British government. Doctor John Baldwin, whose testimony will be found at pages 46 et seq., states that Macnamara lived in the house of the British consul, or chargé d'affaires, in Mexico, and that he understood in that city, in September and October, 1847, a plan had been projected, under the auspices of the British legation, to colonize California with emigrants from

Ireland. These facts will be more fully shown by his affi

davit, at pages 46 and 47 of the document, from which I will read a single paragraph : —

“I resided in the Republic of Mexico from the year 1822 until 1838, a period of sixteen years, during which I made the acquaintance of many of the leading men of the country.

“I again entered Mexico (city) on the 14th of September, 1847, and remained there until the 1st of November; during that time I made the acquaintance of the priest Macnamara, and from sources entitled to credit I was informed that he had, under the auspices of the British legation, projected a plan to colonize California with emigrants from Ireland. His project had met the approbation of the Mexican government, and he went to California to perfect his plans. In the mean time, it was ascertained that the ulterior views of Macnamara were to promote the interest of the British government and not the Mexican government. A fierce opposition was contemplated by the republican members of Congress, when he should return with his matured plans from California; this resistance became unnecessary in consequence of the conquest of California by the arms of the United States. Macnamara lived in the family of either the British consul or chargé d'affaires in Mexico.”

I have referred to the connection of Macnamara's movements with the public vessels of Great Britain as presumptive evidence of the connection of the British government with them. I do not inquire whether Admiral Seymour had special instructions or not. From the declaration of Admiral Purvis, in the intervention of La Plata, it is highly probable that British naval officers cruising in distant seas have general instructions “to protect British interests at all hazards,” (I believe that is the phrase,) leaving an unlimited discretion to the officer, and giving to the government the advantage of being able to approve or disavow his conduct in special cases, according to its own interest. From all the circumstances connected with the transactions in California, we are constrained to believe that the British naval commander was fully apprised of Macnamara's objects, as well as the design to place that country under the protection of Great Britain, and that he was there coöperating in the

one, and ready to coöperate in the other. Indeed, by referring to the testimony of Mr. Loker, at page 89, it will be seen that his arrival there had been talked about and expected with a view “to take possession of California.” I have given, Mr. President, a mere outline of the transactions of British subjects and British agents in California. The leading facts are verified by the affidavits of Colonel Frémont, Captain Gillespie, of the marine corps, Lieutenant Minor, and Midshipman Wilson, of the navy, Colonel Russel, Captain Hensley, Doctor Baldwin, and many gentlemen connected with the civil and military transactions of the Californias after the rupture between the United States and Mexico; and some of the most important circumstances are authenticated by the public records of California which fell into our possession. It is impossible that the success of these movements should not have brought us into direct collision with Great Britain. We could not have failed to regard them, considered in connection with her proceedings in Oregon, and more recently in Central America, as part of a deliberate design to environ us with her colonies, and especially to shut us out from the Pacific and its extending commerce. From all the facts, we can hardly doubt either that she would have taken possession of the country in her own name, or, what is perhaps more probable, that she would, in the first instance, have taken it under her protection. In this case the drama of the Mosquito coast, the performers only being changed, would have been acted over again. A Californian governor, somewhat above the grade of the king of the Mosquitoes in respectability, but on the same level with him in subservience to the protecting power, would have been put in the foreground, while British subjects would have occupied the country, and gradually reduced it into the possession of Great Britain. Thus shut out from the Pacific, our own people would have been met at the Sierra Madre, or perhaps still further east, and the tide of emigration and settlement would have been turned back upon the Atlantic coast. It is in this point of

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