— Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo Californian military commander, politician, and rancher 1807 - 1890
Before the junta at Monterey in (April, 1846) when governor Pío Pico advocated annexation to France or England to escape that "mock republic, Mexico.
History of the Solano and Napa Counties, California (1912)
Kontext: I cannot, gentlemen, coincide with the military and civil functionaries who have advocated the cession of our country to France or England. It is most true that to rely longer upon Mexico to govern and defend us would be idle and absurd. To this extent I fully agree with my colleagues. It is also true that we possess a noble country, every way calculated, from position and resources, to become great and powerful. For that very reason I would not have her a mere dependency on a foreign monarchy, naturally alien, or at least indifferent to our interests and our welfare. It is not to be denied that feeble nations have in former times thrown themselves upon the protection of their powerful neighbors. The Britons invoked the aid of the warlike Saxons and fell an easy prey to their protectors, who seized their lands and treated them like slaves. Long before that time, feeble and distracted provinces had appealed for aid to the all-conquering arms of imperial Rome, and they were at the time protected and subjugated by their grasping ally. Even could we tolerate the idea of dependence, ought we to go to distant Europe for a master? What possible sympathy could exist between us and a nation separated from us by two vast oceans? But waiving this insuperable objection, how could we endure to come under the dominion of a monarchy? For although others speak lightly of a form of government, as a freeman I cannot do so. We are republicans—badly governed and badly situated as we are—still we are all, in sentiment, republicans. So far as we are governed at all, we at least do profess to be self-governed. Who, then, that possesses true patriotism will consent to subject himself and his children to the caprices of a foreign king and his official minions? But, it is asked, if we do not throw ourselves upon the protection of France and England, what shall we do? I do not come here to support the existing order of things, but I come prepared to propose instant and effective action to extricate our country from her present forlorn condition. My opinion is made up that we must persevere in throwing off the galling yoke of Mexico, and proclaim our independence of her forever. We have endured her official cormorants and her villainous soldiery until we can endure no longer. All will probably agree with me that we ought at once to rid ourselves of what may remain of Mexican domination. But some profess to doubt our ability to maintain our position. To my mind there comes no doubt. Look at Texas and see how long she withstood the power of united Mexico. The resources of Texas were not to be compared with ours, and she was much nearer to her enemy than we are. Our position is so remote, either by land or sea, that we are in no danger from Mexican invasion. Why then should we hesitate to assert our independence? We have indeed taken the first step by electing our own governor, but another remains to be taken. I will mention it plainly and distinctly—it is annexation to the United States. In contemplating this consummation of our destiny, I feel nothing but pleasure, and I ask you to share it. Discard old prejudices, discard old customs, and prepare for the glorious change that awaits our country. Why should we shrink from incorporating ourselves with the happiest and freest nation in the world, destined soon to be the most wealthy and powerful? Why should we go abroad for protection when this great nation is our adjoining neighbor? When we join our fortunes to hers, we shall not become subjects, but fellow citizens possessing all the rights of the people of the United States, and choosing our own federal and local rulers. We shall have a stable government and just laws. California will grow strong and flourish, and her people will be prosperous, happy and free. Look not, therefore, with jealousy upon the hardy pioneers who scale our mountains and cultivate our unoccupied plains, but rather welcome them as brothers, who come to share with us a common destiny.