- The Mexican War and California
- Proclamation of the Bear Flag
- To all persons, citizens of Sonoma, requesting
them to remain at peace, and to follow their rightful occupations
without fear of molestation.
The Commander in Chief of the Troops assembled at the Fortress
of Sonoma gives his inviolable pledge to all persons in California
not found under arms that they shall not be disturbed in their
persons, their property or social relations one to another by
men under his command.
He also solemnly declares his object to be First, to defend himself
and companions in arms who were invited to this country by a
promise of Lands on which to settle themselves and families who
were also promised a "republican government," who,
when having arrived in California were denied even the privilege
of buying or renting Lands of their friends, who instead of being
allowed to participate in or being protected by a "Republican
Government" were oppressed by a "Military Despotism,"
who were even threatened, by "Proclamation" from the
Chief Officer of the aforesaid Despotism, with extermination
if they would not depart our of the Country, leaving all of their
property, their arms and beasts of burden, and thus deprived
of the means of flight or defense. We were to be driven through
deserts, inhabited by hostile Indians to certain destruction.
To overthrow a Government which has seized upon the property
of the Missions for its individual aggrandizement; which has
ruined and shamefully oppressed the laboring people of California,
by their enormous exactions on goods imported into this country;
is the determined purpose of the brave men who are associated
under his command.
He also solemnly declares his object in the Second place to be
to invite all peaceable and good Citizens of California who are
friendly to the maintenance of good order and equal rights (and
I do hereby invite them to repair to my camp at Sonoma without
delay) to assist us in establishing and perpetuating a "Republican
Government" which shall secure to all: civil and religious
liberty; which shall detect and punish crime; which shall encourage
industry, virtue and literature; which shall leave unshackled
by Fetters, Commerce, Agriculture, and Mechanism.
He further declares that he relies upon the rectitude of our
intentions; the favor of Heaven and the bravery of those who
are bound to and associated with him, by the principle of self
preservation; by the love of truth; and by the hatred of tyranny
for his hopes of success.
He further declares that he believes that a Government to be
prosperous and happyfying in its tendency must originate with
its people who are friendly to its existence. That its Citizens
are its Guardians, its officers are its Servants, and its Glory
- William B. Ide
Head Quarters Sonoma
June 15, 1846