STOCKTON, ROBERT FIELD. 1795-1866. Broadside proclamation, "To the People of California," printed as The Californian Extra, Monterey, Saturday, September 5, 1846, single sheet broadside, 320 x 213 mm, printed on one side in two columns, brief annotations at upper margin, uneven toning, two small dark spots, folding crease, margins repaired with the partial loss of a letter at the ends of a few lines.
THE SCARCE BROADSIDE PRINTING OF A FOUNDING DOCUMENT OF CALIFORNIA, Commodore Stockton's proclamation of August 17, 1846, declaring that "the Territory of California now belongs to the United States." After recounting the flight of General Castro and his troops upon the approach of U.S. forces under Stockton's command, Stockton describes the entry of American sailors, Marines, and Riflemen into the "City of Angels" on August 13, and announces that the "Flag of the United States is now flying from every commanding position in the Territory, and California is entirely free from Mexican dominion." He goes on to appoint himself military governor until a regular territorial government can be established, and states that all those who wish to remain in the territory may do so provided they pledge obedience to the new authorities. Stockton signs the document as "Commander-in-Chief, and Governor of the Territory of California." A second proclamation in the present broadside, dated August 22, announces that elections for local offices are to be held on September 15. The proclamations are printed in both English and Spanish, and were published simultaneously in the regular issue of The Californian for September 5, 1846. In spite of the fact that the broadside Extra was "undoubtedly issued in this particular form for public distribution" (Wagner), copies are exceedingly scarce. The present copy is only the second to have appeared at auction (after the copy sold at the sale of John Howell Books, Butterfield & Butterfield, 1985), and seems to be the copy offered by Howell in a 1961 catalogue (not the Howell auction copy). At the time of the Howell auction, only three institutional copies were known: one at the California Historical Society, one at the Huntington Library, and another at Long Beach State College; no additional copies appear to have surfaced in the interim. Streeter's collection of The Californian lacked this Extra. Greenwood p 59; Wagner p 1.