Commodore Robert F. Stockton,
at Los Angeles, California.
To the people of California.
On my approach to this place with the
forces under my command, José Castro, the commandant general
of California, buried his artillery and abandoned his fortified
camp "of the Mesa", and fled, it is believed, towards
With the sailors, the marines, and the
California battalion of mounted riflemen, we entered the "City
of the Angels", the capital of California, on the 13th of
August, and hoisted the North American flag.
The flag of the United States is now
flying from every commanding position in the Territory, and California
is entirely free from Mexican domination.
The Territory of California now belongs
to the United States, and will be governed, as soon as circumstances
permit, by officers and laws similar to those by which other
Territories of the United States are regulated and protected.
But, until the governor, the secretary,
and council are appointed, and the various departments of the
government are arranged, military law will prevail, and the commander-in-chief
will be the governor and protector of the Territory.
In the mean time the people will be
permitted, and are now requested, to meet in their several towns
and departments, at such time and place as they may see fit,
to elect civil officers to fill the places of those who decline
to continue in office, and to administer the laws according to
the former usages of the Territory. In all cases where the people
fail to elect the commander-in-chief will make the appointments
All persons, of whatever religion or
nation, who faithfully adhere to the new government, will be
considered as citizens of the Territory, and will be zealously
and thoroughly protected in their liberty of conscience, their
persons, and property.
No persons will be permitted to remain
in the Territory who do not agree to support the existing government,
and all military men who desire to remain are required to take
an oath that they will not take up arms against it, or do or
say anything to disturb the peace.
Nor will any person, come from where
they may, be permitted to settle in the Territory who do not
pledge themselves to be, in all respects, obedient to the laws
which may be from time to time enacted by the proper authorities
of the Territory.
All persons who, without special permission,
are found with arms outside of their own houses, will be considered
as enemies and will be shipped out of the country.
All thieves will be put to hard labor
on the public works, and there kept until compensation is made
for the property stolen.
The California battalion of mounted
riflemen will be kept in the service of the Territory, and constantly
on duty, to prevent and punish any aggressions by the Indians,
or any other persons, upon the property of individuals, or the
peace of the Territory; and California shall hereafter be so
governed and defended as to give security to the inhabitants,
and to defy the power of Mexico.
All persons are required, as long as
the Territory is under martial law, to be within their houses
from 10 o'clock at night until sunrise in the morning.
Commander in chief and Governor
of the Territory of California