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Trital States. Pusicent, 1949-1950 (Jagion),


1st Session.

Ex. Doc.

No. 17.


Information in answer to a resolution of the House of the 31st of De

cember, 1849, on the subject of California and New Mexico.

To the House of Representatives of the United States :

I transmit to the House of Representatives, in answer to a resolution of

that body passed on the 31st of December last, the accompanying reports
of heads of departments, which contain all the official information in the
possession of the Executive asked for by the resolution.

On coming into office, I found the military commandant of the depart-

ment of California exercising the functions of civil governor in that Terri..

tory; and left, as I was, to act under the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo,

without the aid of any legislative provision establishing a government in

that Territory, I thought it best not to disturb that arrangement, made

under my predecessor, until Congress should take some action on that sub-

ject. I therefore did not interfere with the powers of the military com-

mandant, who continued to exercise the functions of civil governor as be-

fore; but I made no such appointment, conferred no such authority, and.

have allowed no increased compensation to the commandant for his ser-


With a view to the faithful execution of the treaty, so far as lay in the

power of the Executive, and to enable Congress to act, at the present ses--

sion, with as full knowledge and as little difficulty as possible, on all matters

of interest in these Territories, I sent the honorable Thomas Butler King

as bearer of despatches to California, and certain officers to California and

New Mexico, whose duties are particularly defined in the accompanying:

letters of instruction addressed to them severally by the proper departments..

I did not hesitate to express to the people of those Territories my desire

that each Territory should, if prepared to comply with the requisitions of the

constitution of the United States, form a plan of a State constitution and sub

mit the same to Congress, with a prayer for admission into the Union as a

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