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It all began on the Texas-Mexico border after the Battle of San Jacinto in 1836 proved that Texas was strong enough to be an independent state. But raids across the border continued; Mexicans attacked towns in Texas, and Texans retaliated against Mexican villages. Several massacres were perpetrated on both sides. Mexican forces captured a Texan trading expedition to Santa Fe, dragged the people Bataan- march-style into Mexico, and held the survivors prisoner for years.
The United States recognized Texan independence, as did Great Britain, but Mexico did not. However, the first hint of war between the United States and Mexico did not come until June 1842. John Parrott, U.S. Consul at Mazatlan, Mexico, wrote the following to Commodore Thomas ap
Catesby Jones,1 commander of the Navy’s Pacify Squadron:
I have the honor to inclose a newspaper of 4th [of June] . . . containing correspondence tween the Government and our Minister in Mexk° on the subject of Texas.
From the tone of the correspondence, it is to be supposed that our Minister will be recalled ft0111 Mexico immediately on the arrival of the corre spondence at Washington, and that it is high^ probable that there will be a war between the t"'° countries. . . ,”2
'For footnotes, please turn to page 54.
The letter did not reach Jones until he returned to port of Callao, Peru, in August on board his flagship, the frigate United States. But it was enough to f*ut him on the alert. The newspaper sent by Parrott Cor>tained a letter from the Mexican Minister of Fork's0 Relations, Jose Marie de Bocanegra, to the U.S. j^cretary of State, Daniel Webster. The letter went Deyond the accepted limits of diplomatic language and included a number of ominous phrases:
"... The Mexican Republic has received noth- lng but severe injuries and inflictions from the citizens of the United States. . . .
‘It is notorious . . . that the insurgent colonists °f that integral part of the territory [Texas] of the Mexican Republic, would have been unable to Maintain their prolonged rebellion, without the aid and the efficient sympathies of the citizens of the United States, who have publickly raised forces in their cities and towns, have fitted out vessels in their ports, and laden them with munitions of war, and have marched to commit hostilities against a friendly nation. . . .
“Could proceedings more hostile on the part of the United States have taken place had that country been at war with the Mexican Republic? Could the insurgents of Texas have obtained a cooperation more effective or more favourable to their interest? Certainly not: the civilised world looks on with amazement. . . ,”3
Bocanegra was right about one thing. The civilized world did look upon his message with amazement. Commodore Jones interpreted the letter as a “conditional declaration of war,” which meant that from then on Mexico might attack the United States without any further warning. But that wasn’t all. In the same mail the commodore received a newspaper that reported Mexico on the point of ceding California to Great Britain for an estimated $7 million.
The American Minister in Mexico City, Waddy Thompson, had picked up the same rumor in a slightly different form. He wrote to Webster in July, “I have information upon which I can rely that an agent of this government is now in England negotiating for the sale ... or mortgage of upper California for the loan of 15 millions. . . . ”4 Later in the same letter, Thompson wrote, “General Santa Anna [then provisional President of Mexico] talks freely of war with the U.S. and said a few days since that he had assurances of aid from England in such an event. Mr. Packenham [Richard Packenham, British Minister to Mexico] repeats his positive denial of the truth of this.”5
U.S. interest in California cannot be denied. Traders from the United States were already established in Monterey. Hunters and trappers were crossing the Sierras in their search for game. Washington was already in conflict with London over the northern boundary of the Oregon territory, where British subjects had settled as well. England was considering a plan to colonize upper California, and the United States was not ready to let the area go by default.6 Thompson may have expressed U.S. interest in
California best when he wrote to Daniel Webster from Mexico City in April 1842:
“On the Western Coast of Mexico where we have an extensive commerce and many Americans reside, we have no consul north of Mazatlan. Permit me to suggest the appointment of one at Monterey. . . . The most outrageous violations of the rights of American citizens are of frequent occurence there and our people have been forced to look to the aid of the British Consul. ... I believe that this government [Mexico] would cede to us Texas and the Californias and I am thoroughly satisfied that it is all we will ever get for the claims of our merchants on this country. As to Texas, I regard it as of little value compared with California—the richest, the most beautiful and the healthiest country in the world. . . . France and England
have both had their eyes on it. . . ,”7
It may well have been the threat of British occupation of California as much as the threatened war with Mexico that set Commodore Jones to fitting his ships for sea duty. Jones had opposed the British for years. He admired their seamanship, but considered them still his enemies; as a lieutenant he had fought against the British before the Battle of New Orleans, in December 1814. In that action, his force of five gunboats opposed the entire British fleet and fought a losing struggle to keep Vice Admiral Alexander Cochrane from landing troops on the shores of Louisiana. Jones’s small gunboat was captured, and he suffered a wound from a British musket ball, which he carried in his left shoulder for the rest of his life.
While Commodore Jones was still studying the
Commodore Jones's Pacific Squadron consisted of the United States, Cyane, St. Louis, Dale, and Shark. With two ships, the United States and Dale, Jones “captured" Monterey easily, hut his triumph soon turned to embarrassment when he had to return the port because the United States and Mexico were at peace.
problem of probable war with Mexico and England’s probable violation of the Monroe Doctrine, the British fleet at Callao, led by HMS Dublin, 50 guns, commanded by Rear Admiral Richard Thomas, suddenly hoisted anchor and sailed out of the harbor under sealed orders.
That did it. Jones was certain the British fleet was °n its way to Panama to pick up soldiers and then sail north to take over California. There was no time Co consult Washington; it would have taken six rnonths to get a letter to the Secretary of the Navy and receive a reply. Instead, he made a quick trip to Lima to consult the U.S. Consul there, then returned Co his ships in Callao, to sail as soon as wind and tide Were favorable.
As the three-ship squadron headed northward, the commodore called together the ships’ commanding officers: Captain James Armstrong, of the commodore’s flagship United States, 52 guns; Commander LL K. Stribling of the sloop-of-war Cyane, 20 guns; and Commander Thomas A. Dornin, of the sloop- of-war Dale, 16 guns. To his captains, Jones put in writing the facts as he knew them and added that he suspected that the British fleet might have California as its ultimate destination. The captains agreed that *c Was the duty of the Pacific Squadron to proceed as chough war were imminent and to do everything Possible to frustrate any attempt by the Royal Navy c° take over the coast of California.
Then Commodore Jones wrote to Secretary of the Navy Abel P. Upshur, pointing out that he had not had any instructions from the Navy Department s,nce he had left Norfolk with sailing orders from the Secretary dated 10 December 1841. He had received Nothing since then to keep him up to date on the 'ucernational situation. Now he was alone in the Pacific, facing a French squadron that had just taken °Ver the Marquesas Islands and a British squadron that seemed to have similar intentions toward f-alifornia. Jones considered both foreign fleets Wronger than his own.
He concluded his letter:
“I am without instructions or the slightest intimation as to your views and wishes upon what I consider as almost a vital question to the United States,—the occupation of California by Great Britain under a secret treaty with Mexico. In this Bilemma, all that I can promise is a faithful and 2calous application of my best abilities to promote and sustain the honor and welfare of our country.”8
With this, he gave his letter and other dispatches [° Che Dale and sent the ship to Panama to forward nis dispatches and pick up any information available at that crossroads of trade and mail routes. The Dale was to rendezvous with him later at Monterey. The United States and the Cyane sailed northward, with both crews preparing for armed conflict. The midshipmen spent their time at sea putting a fine edge on their cutlasses. To practice markmanship, the gunners lashed two barrels together, secured a flag between them, and threw the targets overboard, shooting at them as long as they were within range. A draft of articles of capitulation was prepared, with blanks to be filled in later for names, dates and other details.
On 18 October, the two warships were just south of Monterey, the chief trading port of the Califor- nias, and the most desirable target for Commodore Jones. From there he could control upper California and at the same time keep an eye on Honolulu, which was the main Pacific port for whaling ships and others of the U.S. merchant fleet. Jones sent a general order which was read to the assembled crews of both the United States and the Cyane. He told them that they were approaching Monterey, and although they must fight the Mexican soldiers, they must protect the peaceful inhabitants; that no man might leave ranks without the express order of his commanding officer; and that plunder of any kind would be strictly forbidden. He concluded with an exhortation: “Finally, let me entreat you, one and all, not to tarnish our hopes of bright success by any act that we shall be ashamed to acknowledge before God and our Country.”9
On the 19th, the two warships rounded Point Pinos and entered the Bay of Monterey, where they turned back a Mexican barque, the Joven Guipuz- coana, boarded her, and found her to be carrying a cargo of hides, tallow, and specie to the value of about $100,000. Both the United States and the Cyane prepared for instant fighting. William Meyers, a gunner on board the Cyane, wrote in his diary, “Got up the battle Lanthorns, axes, spunges and rammers, in fighting trim, cleared away the guns, grape, round, and cannister on deck. Sanded the decks . . . .”10
The United States anchored in 7 fathoms of water and swung between anchor and kedge so that the port-side battery bore on the town and fort of Monterey. A brig in harbor, the Fama of Boston, just in from Honolulu, was queried about the state of relations between Mexico and the United States. (The coast of California was so far from Mexico and Washington that the first news of world events frequently arrived from the Sandwich Islands.) The master of the Fama could say only that the latest rumors in Honolulu indicated that war was imminent between the two powers and that Mexico was said to have ceded California to Great Britain.
Commodore Jones felt that he had no alternative. Rear Admiral Thomas and the Dublin were nowhere to be seen, but the threat of the sudden arrival of a powerful British naval force was still uppermost in the mind of the commodore. He felt he would be in a better position to negotiate if he had possession of the fort (which he described as a “dilapidated work”) to back his occupation. So at 4:00 in the afternoon, he sent ashore a landing party headed by Captain James Armstrong. The party carried a flag of truce and the terms of capitulation:
“To His excellency
The Governor and military and civil commander of the department of Monterey de California.
“Sir: In the name of the United States of America and with the earnest desire to avoid the sacrifice of human life and the horrors of war, which must be the immediate consequence of your non-compliance with this summons, I call on you to surrender to the arms of the United States the fort, military posts, and stations, under your command, together with all troops, arms, and munitions of war, of every description, subject to your jurisdiction and control. . . .
Thomas ap C. Jones,
Commander-in-Chief of the United States naval forces on the Pacific station and of the naval and military expedition for the occupation of Old and New California, &c.”n The articles of capitulation were appended, and the authorities were given 18 hours to consider them.
Back to the ship came the landing party, supposing that surrender details would be completed the next day or else the fort would open fire in the meantime. From the ship, messengers could be seen galloping back and forth between the presidio and the fort, carrying messages from Juan B. Alvarado, head of the government at Monterey, to Mariano Silva, commandant of the fort. Alvarado wanted to know if an honorable resistance could be made. At 6:00 P.M., Silva replied:
"... The garrison of the place consists of 29 regular soldiers and 25 individuals from the interior, who, as yet, have had no military instruction.
“The artillery consists of 11 pieces of cannon, which are nearly useless from the state of their carriages; and the quantity of ammunition proper for them, according to the ordinance [sic], is also wanting.
“The infantry arms now on hand are 150 mus
kets, in good order, and some carbines, fit for use. The ammunition for these arms amounts to only 2,500 charges.
“Finally, the fortifications of the castle [fort] are of no consequence, as every one knows. . . .”12 Knowing he stood no chance of an adequate defense, Alvarado decided to surrender forthwith. At 11:30 P.M., a boat from the shore brought a party of Mexican officials to the ship. They woke Commodore Jones and began negotiations, with an American merchant, Thomas O. Larkin, translating.
There wasn’t much negotiating. The Mexican offi' cials accepted the capitulation terms as outlined by Jones. Except by Larkin, there weren’t even any questions as to why these American warships had suddenly descended on Monterey. He asked whether war had been declared by Mexico or the United States. Jones said the state of provisional war had been started by Mexico. To that, Larkin replied that he had newspapers ashore which had come to him in August, indicating that relations between the United States and Mexico were peaceful. If Bocanegra’s letter was dated May, the incident must have blown over.
However, the agreement was reached, and the negotiators were to return at 9:30 in the morning (the same morning, actually, for it was now after 1:00 A.M.), and Larkin promised to bring his newspapers with him. But at 7:30 A.M., the commissioners arrived for the signing ceremony, and Larkin said he couldn’t find the newspapers. Commodore Jones, already suspicious of the vagueness of Larkin’s report, reassumed his role as conqueror. The capitulation was signed by Alvarado and Silva for Mexico and by Jones and Armstrong for the United States. Then the commodore sent a landing party ashore to take poS' session of the fort.
The next day, after being rowed ashore, CommO' dore Jones surveyed the town and made inquiries about the latest newspaper reports from Mexico City- Newspapers were found unopened, dated as late as August. They indicated no war between the United States and Mexico, and furthermore, contradicted rumors of any cession of California to Great Britain- citing the Monroe Doctrine as one reason why such a transfer would be impossible.
The Bay of Monterey was still devoid of any British ships (actually, Rear Admiral Thomas had gone to the Marquesas, where the French were expanding their colonial possessions), and Jones at las1- was convinced that those things which he feared hac not come to pass. In a flash, Commodore Joness reputation was transformed from that of a foresight^ patriot into an overbold adventurer who had acte too soon, no matter how honest his motives.
It now became necessary to extricate himself from this highly undiplomatic position. Jones consulted with his commanders, then took immediate steps to return Monterey. He returned to his flagship and wrote a formal note to Alvarado and Silva:
“Gentlemen: Some information has this moment come to me which leaves little doubt in my mind but that the late difficulties between the United States and Mexico have been amicably adjusted; and anxious to avoid all causes which would have a tendency to excite unfriendly feelings in a state of peace, I propose to restore the Mexican authorities in Monterey, and release the vessels embargoed, and place every thing exactly as I found them on my arrival on the 19th instant—your Excellency and Captain Silva guarantying no harm to the native or foreign inhabitants of this district as a consequence of the late capitulation.
“The United States guard in charge of the castle of Monterey will re-embark at 4 o’clock this afternoon, or whenever Captain Silva shall be prepared to take possession; at which time the Mexican flag will be rehoisted, and will be saluted by the American Squadron; all hostilities to cease on both sides.
I am, gentlemen, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Thomas ap C. Jones”13
“Hostilities” is a little far-fetched. Not a shot had been fired except for the salutes exchanged between sMps and fort. Jones sent 95 pounds of powder ashore to replace the amount fired by American troops in the fort. Sailors and marines returned to the ships, some of them grumbling because there had been no action, no glory, no chance for plunder.
Gunner Meyers wrote in his diary, “At 4 the Mexican flag was hoisted at the fort, and the frigate and our ship saluted it with 13 guns each. The fort returned it. The schooner and brig did the same. So Perish all my greatness, adieu my visions of prise rnoney, I am dumb henceforth. Loaded the guns in shence. . . .” The next day, still grumpy, he wrote, Scrubbing paint work, washing spunges &c. At 12 dinner. The chieftain of Monterey is a humbugging °Id fudge. . . .”14
The United States stayed at Monterey for another ^onth, and diaries show that the personnel of the dagship enjoyed themselves immensely. Midshipman S- R. Franklin wrote in his memoirs years later: “The Commodore now determined to remain in Monterey for the winter. It was the winter of 1842-1843. The people became very friendly, and many a dance and jolly time did we have in their
houses. Indeed, it was a grand thing for us Midshipmen, this sojourn at Monterey, for the girls taught us how to dance, and nearly all took advantage of our opportunities. . . . The old people were always glad to have us at their houses, and there was a public room where we could often meet quite informally and have a dance."15 Another seaman on the United States saw life at Monterey from a different angle. He wrote in his journal:
“The Scenery of Monterey is truly grand and beautiful. Here is a boundless landscape, covered with natures greenest carpet, over which herds of Horses, Buffalo, Deer, and other cattle almost without number move and bound in every direction. . . . The inhabitants subsist entirely by hunting and fishing. The women are compelled to cultivate the soil and attend mostly to the wants of a family, while the husband lives at perfect ease in idleness and debauchery. They are very jealous and selfish in their dispositions, for which they have good cause, as they will sacrifice anything and everything for a finger ring, Breastpin, or carving, or gewgaws of any description. Murders are of Common occurrence, as their is little or no law. Marriages are uncommon. They are splendid horsemen and never think of walking even if they have but a 100 yards to go. They are very expert with the lasso. We lay at anchor in this Port 33 days, being three days longer than at any previous port we have visited since leaving the United States.”16
In the meantime, news of the attack on Monterey arrived far to the south, where the newly appointed Governor of the province was marching to Monterey to assume his duties. General Manuel Micheltorena heard of the Monterey incident at 11:00 P.M. on 24 October as he was on the way to Santa Barbara. He interpreted the news as the beginning of an attack along the entire coast of California.
The governor immediately sat down and fired off letters in all directions. To the military commandant of Santa Barbara he wrote:
“The perfidious North Americans have invaded the department [California], they have arrived at the port of Monterey with four ships of war and 800 men and have taken possession of the place. . . . You will proceed forthwith to place in safety, by sending them to Angeles, with all the forces that can be collected, all the arms, artillery, and other property of the nation, as they may direct their attack against that port.”17 To Santiago Arguello, Prefect of Angeles, he wrote, “The valiant troops and all the worthy chiefs and officers of the expedition under my command are resolved to shed the last drop of our blood in fulfilment of our duty and in defence of our dearest rights. . . . I . . . this day marched to Angeles to defend it at all hazards, declaring it to be my headquarters for the operations of the war. . . . Long live the nation! Long live its independence! Long live the supreme national government!”18
To Colonel Don Jose Guadelupe Vallejo, commander of the military line from Sonora to Santa Ines, and to Don Juan B. Alvarado at Monterey, he wrote:
“Monterey has doubtless been occupied, as it was impossible to defend it. I cannot fly to its assistance now, as I am more than a hundred leagues from it; neither can I leave undefended the city of Angeles, where I have arms and munitions
Gunner William Meyers of the Cyane painted this fanciful u atercolor rendition of the landing at Monterey. At left are the United States and Cyane with Commodore Jones's broad pennant flying from the former. The words above the picture are probably a parody of a speech by Jones or Commander C. K. Stribling of the Cyane.
of war, which should be placed in the hands of the valiant Californians, in order to drive off the enemy, in conjunction with the army under my command. You should therefore invite and collect as many men as possible and inform me of their positions and movements as frequently and as safely as you can, in order that we may combine operations. Our triumph is certain. . . ,”19 Micheltorena then collected his army and marched south. He pretended to be marching to the defense of Monterey, but he had already told Alvarado not to expect any help. He explained his actions, after a fashion, in a later report to General Don Jose Maria Tornel Mendivil, Secretary of War and Marine, at Mexico City. After recounting the circumstances of the attack on Monterey, Micheltorena wrote:
"... Your excellency may imagine my indiga- tion. I wished myself a thunderbolt, to fly and annihilate the invaders; but 110 leagues intervened between me and them. . . . On the following day, the 26th, I began my march with my troops, of whose enthusiasm I cannot say too much, when I felicitated them, in the name of our country, on the occasion, thus presented, for proving that we are worthy of the confidence of the
nation, and worthy to defend the Mexican territory, our dear independence, and all the rights of society and man. ... [A long paragraph of patriotic fervor is here omitted.]
“We thus marched for two hours, during which my soul was rapt in ecstacies at the flattering prospect of a speedy and certain victory, in a war as just as national on our side, when another extraordinary courier brought me communications by which his excellency Senor Alvarado, the military commandant of Monterey, and the chief of the naval forces of the United States inform me of the evacuation of that place ... as well as the te-embarkation of the invading troops and the restoration and salute of the national Mexican tricolor flag.
“So his excellency Mr. * * * * did not choose to wait for our arrival as a hostile force! . . .”20 Meanwhile, back at Monterey, Commodore Jones settled down for a winter on the California coast. The residents in the area seemed to be happy to have a strong naval force in the harbor. The crew had liberal shore leave and spent much time hunting in the hills and fields of California. As late as the middle of November, the commodore was still not certain that fhe intemperate nature of the Bocanegra letter might n°t yet result in war, but he was convinced that the s*tuation in California was well in hand. As a post- Cr'pt to a letter to Secretary of the Navy Abel Upshur, Jones noted, “The enclosed letter, from the first judge of Monterey, will show that now, though fi°r the first time, the courts of justice are open to the foreign residents of California. Hitherto, our citi- 2er>s, so barbarously treated in 1840, have not been flowed to prove their claims before any tribunal in the c°untry.”21
Late in November, Jones transferred his broad Pennant to the Cyane and sent the United States to Honolulu for supplies. By this time, ruffled feelings had smoothed on both sides, and the commodore Sa*led to San Francisco Bay to pay a call on Colonel Vallejo at Sonoma. Colonel Vallejo returned the call and was greeted with a 13-gun salute when he Loarded the Cyane. On invitation from General Micheltorena, Jones sailed in the Cyane to San Pedro, '''here he was met by a force of 25 handsomely uniformed lancers of the Santa Barbara Guards and a Carriage provided by the Governor, and various out- r'4ers and soldiers to escort him to the Pueblo de Los Vngeles. They arrived late in the evening and were lodged at the mansion of Abel Stevens, a Philadelphian who had married a Mexican senorita from one the most influential families in California. Here General Micheltorena came to pay a short call and
greet the commodore.22
Then Commodore Jones learned that the formal interview would be at noon the next day, and a ball was planned for the following evening. This was only the first of the surprises for Jones, who expected to transact business and return to his ship as soon as possible. However, he agreed to the delay. At noon the next day he met with General Micheltorena, and the two exchanged toasts and short speeches while the champagne flowed. Eventually the Governor produced a document, which he called a “convention,” to which he hoped the commodore would subscribe.
As the general read his “convention” in Spanish, and the commodore’s secretary, Henry La Reintrie, gave a running translation, there were more surprises. Among the articles that annoyed the commodore most was a request for 1,500 uniforms to replace those worn out by troops on the supposed march to relieve Monterey. The document also called for replacements for all the band instruments and an indemnity of $15,000. Commodore Jones considered the demands preposterous, and his first inclination was to refuse to sign, leave Los Angeles at once, and refuse to talk with the governor further. But on second thought, he decided to attend the ball that night and see for himself what Micheltorena’s character was really like.
The ball was an elaborate affair—sparkling champagne, sparkling conversation, a sparkling mix of Mexican and North American luminaries, dancing lasting until dawn. But the commodore left at 2:00 A M., with a more sympathetic opinion of the governor. Micheltorena had only recently arrived in California with a small body of troops, thinned by desertions and demoralized by the presence of many ex-convicts. He had been on a slow march up the California coast, receiving the plaudits of inhabitants when news of the capture of Monterey hit him like a sledgehammer. Funds for his operations as governor were low—he was dependent on the customs revenues at Monterey for the support of his provincial government—and the Californians, Mexicans, and Americans might very well be more ready to support the operations of a U.S. naval force than the uncertain army of a Santa Anna favorite unacquainted with the new lands on the Pacific Coast. Micheltorena, who was headed for Santa Barbara on 25 October 1842, beat a hasty retreat toward Los Angeles, fighting with the only weapons left to him—bombastic rhetoric and “. . . high-toned, inflated proclamations, breathing destruction to every foreigner and claiming rewards for battles never to be fought and for victories never to be won.”
By this time, the commodore was feeling sorry for Micheltorena. The next day, he returned the articles of the “convention” without his signature, saying he had no authority to negotiate such matters, and furthermore, that the articles were objectionable. General Micheltorena said no more about the matter. He had already had his victory of sorts. The articles of the “convention” had already been published in Mexico the previous November, long before Commodore Jones ever saw them. Micheltorena had portrayed himself as driving out the invaders; he remained a hero in his own eyes at least. The commodore and governor met again for one more day and “. . . expressed themselves mutually honored and highly gratified with the occurrences of the last three days.” Then the two parted as good friends and the commodore returned to the Cyane, to sail south to Mazatlan and continue his duties as commander of the Pacific Squadron.
But he knew he would be recalled. The capture of Monterey was an error. Although he had diplomatically patched things up with officials in upper California, the government in Mexico refused to let the matter die. Bocanegra wrote some more violent letters and refused to listen to arguments that his original intemperate remarks had caused the whole problem. The Mexican Minister in Washington pressed Daniel Webster for punishment of the commodore. But Webster and the U.S. Government were content with recalling Commodore Jones to Washington—a procedure that took months because of the slowness of communications—and he returned to his estate in Virginia.
People from the United States continued to push westward into California, despite rules and boundaries. The British did not colonize the territory, and war with Mexico broke out in 1846, as it probably would have anyway, with or without Commodore Jones. Privately, officials commended Jones for his vigilance. And while “on the beach,” he was appointed by Secretary of the Navy George Bancroft to a commission of five high-ranking naval officers to found the U.S. Naval Academy in 1845. He also went on to command the Pacific Squadron once more before his naval career ended.
Commodore Jones remains remembered in history as the man who captured Monterey four years too soon. He did not shrink from making a difficult decision which he considered to be his duty and which he believed his government expected.
Mr. Gapp received a bachelor of arts degree and bachelor of journalism degree from the University Missouri in 1935, then did graduate work at the Uni' versify of Hawaii in 1935-1936. He was a translator »n Shanghai for the French news agency I'A^ence Havd* from 1936 to 1938 and at the same time worked as * reporter and assistant editor of the China Weekly Review- In 1938, he became a reporter for the Omaha World-Herald, shifted to the Wall Street Journal in New York and Washington as copy editor and reporter, and in 1945 joined the editorial staff of U. S. News (later to become U. S. News & World Report). He retired from the magazine i° 1976 to devote his time to historical research and writing. He is the author of “The Church at Lewinsville,” a short history of the church founded by Commodore Thomas ap Catesby Jones in 1846 after his recall from the Pacific. Mr. Gapp, who lives in Vienna, Virginia, has continued his research into the life of Jones and plans to write a full-scale biography.
'The "ap” in Jones’s name is a derivative of the Welsh prefix map, meaning “son”; hence Thomas, son of Cates by Jones.
2John Parrott to Thomas ap Catesby Jones, 22 June 1842, Squadron Letters (Pacific), National Archives microfilm M89.
‘Jose Marie de Bocanegra to Daniel Webster, 12 May 1842, “Notes from the Mexican Legation to the Department of State, 1821-1906," National Archives microfilm M54.
4Waddy Thompson to Webster, 30 July 1842, "Despatches From United States Ministers to Mexico, 1823-1906,” National Archives microfilm M97.
6There are several letters from Richard Packenham, British consul in Mexico City (Waddy Thompson calls him a minister), referring to British plans to colonize Upper California, sent to the Colonial Office. These letters are in the Public Record Office in London.
'Thompson to Webster, 29 April 1842, “Despatches From United States Ministers to Mexico, 1823-1906,” National Archives microfilm M97. 8Jones’s reports to Secretary of the Navy Upshur on his departure from Callao, and his later conference with the commanders, in letters dated 8 and 13 September 1842, Squadron Letters (Pacific), National Archives microfilm M89.
9General Order, 18 October 1842, Squadron Letters (Pacific), National Archives microfilm M89.
10 William H. Meyers, Journal of a Cruise to California and the Sandwich
Islands in the United States Sloop Cyane, John Haskell Kemble, editor (Safl Francisco: Book Club of California, 1955), p. 6.
"Executive Document no. 166, House of Representatives, 27th Congress, 3rd session, p. 22.
,2Ibid., p. 21.
,:*Jones to Upshur, 24 October 1842.
"Meyers, pp. 7-8.
,5S. R. Franklin, Memories of a Rear-Admiral (New York: Harper ^ Brothers, 1898), p. 52.
"Charles Roberts Anderson, editor, Journal of a Cruise to the Padf,c Ocean. 1842-1844, in the Frigate United States (Durham: Duke University Press, 1937), p. 44.
"Executive Document 166, p. 24.
I8Ibid., pp. 25-26.
"Ibid., p. 27.
20Ibid., p. 18 et seq.
2,Ibid., p. 91.
22For descriptions of Jones's visit to Micheltorena in Los Angeles, I haVe relied heavily on “Visit To Los Angeles in 1843: Unpublished Narratiye of Commodore Thomas ap C. Jones, U. S. Navy” (Los Angeles: Cole Holmquist Press, I960), a reprint of an article that appeared in the Alta Californian on 18 April 1958. Although the editor says that the author is unknown, internal evidence indicates that it may well have been written by the commodore himself.