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EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT OF CALIFORNIA,
Monterey, October 31, 1849. GENERAL ; The convention which assembled at this place on the 1st of September has completed its labors, and the constitution formed by that body was submitted on the 12th instant to the people for their approval, and I have no doubt of its being ratified by the almost unanimous vote of the qualified electors of this country. A printed copy of this constitution is enclosed herewith. You will see by examining the schedule that it is contemplated to put the new government into operation on or soon after the 15th day of December next; and I shall then surrender my civil powers to whosoever may be designated under the constitution as the executive of the new State. Whatever may be the legal objections to putting into operation a State Government previous to its being acknowledged or approved by Congress, these objections must yield to the obvious necessities of the case ; for the powers of the existing government are too limited, and its organization too imperfect, to provide for the wants of a country so peculiarly situated, and of a population which is augmenting with such unprecedented rapidity.
I have deemed it my duty to pay from the "civil fund” the current expenses of the convention, and also the salaries of officers as authorised by that body. In the absence of any legislative assembly, I have regarded this convention as representing the wishes of the people of California in the matter of public expenditures. It is true that the salaries and payments authorised by the convention were high, and by some may be considered extravagant; but in deciding upon their justice, we must take into consideration the peculiar state of the country, and the high prices paid here for every thing, even including the necessaries of life. It, however, will continue to be my aim, as it has been heretofore, to keep the expenditures from the “ civil funds” within the limits of the strictest economy ; nevertheless, the expenses of a civil government in this country are now, and will be for years to come, very large.
The whole country remains remarkable quiet, and the civil officers encounter no serious difficulties in enforcing the laws. It is therefore hoped and believed that the powers of the existing government will be found sufficiently ample to preserve the public tranquillity until it shall be replaced by a more perfect organization under the constitution.
For my views with respect to the proper disposition to be made of the mineral and agricultural lands in this country, with respect to the importance of immediately establishing a mint in California, and the use which should be made of the "civil funds” which have accrued from the customs collected here by the Governor of California previous to the assumption by the general government of the control of this matter, I would respectfully refer you to my former civil despatches. The attention which I have given to these subjects since writing those despatches has only tended to confirm the opinions there expressed.
This despatch and the accompanying papers will be delivered to you by Mr. J. McHenry Hollingsworth, late lieutenant of the regiment of New York volunteers disbanded in this country. He has, in accordance with the instructions of the Secretary of War, been furnished by the quartermaster's department with transportation to the place of his enlistment. Mr. Hollingsworth has proved himself a faithful and trustworthy officer, and merits in every respect the confidence of the government. Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
B. RILEY, Brevet Brig. Gen. U. S. A., and Governor of California. Major General R. Jones, Adjutant General of the Army, Washington, D. C.
ExecuTIVE DEPARTMENT OF CALIFORNIA,
Monterey, October 1, 1849. GENERAL: Enclosed herewith are copies of all civil papers issued since the date of my last civil despatch.
The convention called by my proclamation of June 3, assembled at this place on the 1st ultimo, and has nearly completed its labors in forming a constilution to be submitted to the people for their ratification. It has been determined by the unanimous vote of this convention (at least I am so informed) that the new government organized under this constitution, should it be ratified by the people, shall go into operation as soon as may be convenient after such ratification, and without waiting for the approval of Congress and the admission of California into the L'nion. I have strong doubts of the legality of such a course, under the decision of the Supreme Conrt of the United States;
but if it should be the wish of the people of California to put the new government into operation without awaiting the action of Congress, I shall deem it my duty, under the circumstances, to surrender my civil powers into the hands of the new executive, unless special orders to the contrary are received from Washington.
In my civil despatch of August 30, I explained the character of the “civil funds” now in my hands, and the use which would be made of them in defraying the expenses of the existing government; and I now ask for instructions as to the disposition to be made of such portions of these funds as may be left when this government shall be superseded by that organized by the constitution now forming by this convention. Many have expressed the opinion that these funds should be turned over to the new government to enable it to go immediately into successful operation. However strongly of the opinion that this money belongs, in justice, to the people of California, I nevertheless shall not deem myself authorized to turn over this money till instructed to do so by direct orders from Washington. I hope that the views of the government touching this matter may be sent to me without delay.
I send herewith a copy of a report of Brevet Captain Wescott respecting the missions of San Jose and Santa Clara. The temporary arrangement made for the care and management of this property, will be seen in the copies of civil papers transmitted with this despatch. Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
B. RILEY, Brevet Brig. Gen. U. S. Army, commanding Department, and Acting Governor of California. Major General R. Jones,
Adjutant General U. S. Army, Washington, D. C.
THE MILITARY AND CIVIL GOVERNMENT.
To the People of California.
A new Executive having been elected and installed into office, in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution of the State, the undersigned hereby resigns his powers as Governor of California. In thus dissolving his official connection with the people of this country, he would tender to them his heartfelt thanks for their many kind attentions, and for the uniform support which they have given to the measures of his administration. The principal object of all his wishes is now accomplished the people have a government of their own choice, and one which, under the favor of divine Providence, will secure their own prosperity and happiness, and the permanent welfare of the new State. Given at San Jose, California, this 20th day of December, A. D. 1849.
B. RILEY, Brevet Brig. Gen. U. S. A., and Governor of California. By the Governor : H. W. HALLECK,
Brevet Captain and Secretary of State.
HEADQUARTERS 10T) MILITARY DEPARTMENT,
San Jose, California, Dec. 20, 1849. S
(Orders No. 41.) 1. The Brigadier General commanding the Department has this day relinquished the administration of civil affairs in California to the execution of the government organized under the provisions of the Constitution ratified by the people of California at the recent general election.
2. Brevet Captain H. W. Halleck, Corps of Engineers, is relieved from duty as Secretary of State.
By order of GENERAL RILEY. Ed. U. S. Canby, Ass't. Ad't. General.
Proclamation of General Riley, dated June 3d; 1849.
Constitution of California.
of the State Constitution.