Sunday, September 28, 2014

September Program Review - Ceasar Castro on Mexican-American War - Part 2

Part 2 of Ceasar Castro's presentation on "California and the Mexican-American War From a Genealogical Point of View" was attended by 30 CVGS members and guests on Wednesday, 24 September at the Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library.

Ceasar noted that historians want to highlight leaders and events, but genealogists want to find information about individuals - not only the leaders, but the soldiers and residents also.

In this talk, Ceasar provided a detailed history timeline of the events that 
covered the second capture of Alta California in late 1846, the battles in Baja California, and the end of the war in California in mid-1848.

In San Diego County, Colonel Stephen Kearny and his dragoons fought the Californios at the Battle of San Pasqual in December 1846, arrived in San Diego, and soon went to Los Angeles.  In the meantime, Major John Fremont moved south from Monterey to meet Kearny in Los Angeles.  Commodore Robert Stockton also moved from San Diego to Los Angeles to quell the Californios.  The last battle for Alta California was in early California, and the Treaty of Cahuenga was signed with the Californios on 13 January 1847.  

 Kearny claimed command of California at the end of hostilities, and had a rivalry with Stockton.  Fremont was named Governor of California, but was succeeded by Kearny as Governor in Monterey on 1 March 1847.  

In the mean time, other military units arrived overland and by sea to help in California, and were soon directed to the southern tip of Baja California, traveling by sea.  There were battles at San Jose del Cabo, La Paz and Mulege, with the Americans eventually subduing the Mexicans.  The Battle of Todos Santos ended the fighting on 30 March 1847.  

The fighting in Mexico ended in early 1848, and the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo was signed in Queretaro on 2 April 1848.  The treaty made Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California part of the United States, and Mexico received $15 million.  Mexican residents of the captured territories were free to remain or go to Mexico, their property rights and land grants were respected.  Some Baja California residents were granted transportation to Monterey and to make property claims in late 1848.

During this presentation, Ceasar highlighted the names of many of the members of the American forces who served in the different military units, and the Californios who fought with them.

Ceasart's handout was a general description of his two presentations, with a bibliography of published books and local places of historical interest.

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