The War of 1846

After the downfall of the federal system in Mexico, the peninsula was again placed in the same department as Alta California, and its inhabitants were invited to support the American cause in the war between the United States and Mexico, on the understanding that the former country would keep possession of this province, and protect its citizens. But not until after completing the conquest of the northern division did the American warships appear in those waters with intent to extend American dominion thither. This was in the autumn of 1846. Some effort was made at defense by the Bajenos, but various ports surrendered. After the sub-mission of La Paz on April 13, 1817, the country seemed peaceful enough, and the Americans left but a small force in charge. To remedy this oversight, the authorities in Alta California dispatched two companies of the New York volunteers under Colonel Burton, who found open and declared resistance at San Antonio, Muleje, Loreto, and elsewhere. Revolts at San Jose and Todos Santos, and the general tone of disaffection, led to the fortification and the placing under martial law, of La Paz. On November 16, 1847, a force of 600 or 700 Californians, under Captain Manuel Pineda, attacked this port, which they might have captured, had they exercised correct military tactics. A bitter con-test was waged between the two forces until the 28th, and then, after a few days of inactivity, Pineda drew back toward San Jose, where also a small detachment of Americans was besieged by a vastly superior force of Californians. This siege was raised, only after considerable suffering, by the arrival and determined advance for rescue of the Cyane under Dupont. The volunteers continued to garrison the peninsula until it was restored to Mexico by the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo on February 2, 1848. In those days, the Mexicans seemed more indifferent than now about the possession of the peninsula thus inconsistently given over by the United States, in violation of all promises made to its citizens.

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