The Washington Daily Union
November 10, 1854, page 2
The San Diego Herald of the 3d instant publishes
the following address of President Walker, dated November 30th:
TO THE PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES.
In declaring the republic of Lower California free,
sovereign, and independent, I deem it proper to give the people of the
United States the reasons for the step I have taken.
It is due to the nationality which has most jealously
guarded the independence of the American States to declare why another
representative is created on the immediate confines of the Union.
The Mexican government has for a long time failed
to perform its duties to the province of Lower California. Cut off, as
the territory was, by the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, from all direct
communication with the rest of Mexico, the central authorities have manifested
little or no interest in the affairs of the California peninsula.
The geographical position of the province is such
as to make it certainly separate and distinct in its interest from the
other portion of the Mexican republic. But the moral and social ties which
bound it to Mexico have been even weaker and more deplorable than the physical.
Hence, to develop the resources of Lower California
and to effect a proper social organization therein, it is necessary to
make it independent.
The mineral and pastoral wealth of Lower California
is naturally very great; but to properly develop it, there must be good
government and sure protection to labor and property.
Mexico is unable to furnish these requisites for
the growth and prosperity of the peninsula.
The territory, under Mexican rule, would forever
remain wild, half-savage, and uncultivated, covered with an independent
and half-civilized people, desirous of keeping all foreigners from entering
the limits of the State.
When the people of a territory fail almost entirely
to develop the resources that Nature has placed at their command, the interest
of civilization requires others to go in and possess the land.
They cannot, nor should they be allowed to play
"the dog in the manger," and keep others from possessing what they have
failed to occupy and appropriate.
Mexico has not performed any of the ordinary duties
of government towards the people of Lower California.
She has established no sure and ready means of communication
for the people among them or the rest of the world, nor has she ever undertaken
to protect them from the wandering robbers who infest the territory.
Thus abandoning the peninsula, and leaving it as
it was "a waif on the waters," Mexico cannot complain if others take it
and make it valuable.
On such considerations have I and my companions-in-arms
acted in the course we have pursued.
And, for the success of our enterprise, we put our
trust in Him who controls the destinies of nations, and guides them in
the ways of improvement and progress.
President of Lower California.