Federal Patronage in California for the South

The entire Federal patronage and power on the coast, including the military arm, was absolutely in the hands of Southern sympathizers. California’s representatives in Congress: Senator Milton S. Latham, Senator William M. Gwin, Representatives John C. Burch and Charles L. Scott, all favored the idea of the State’s remaining neutral, in the event of war breaking out in the East. Senator Gwin, who in the United States Senate had affirmed that the Southern States could secede violently or peaceably, “violently if necessary,” and successfully establish an independent government in California in which he was to figure prominently. (Mr. Gwin said: “I say that a dissolution of the Union Is not Impossible, that It Is not Impracticable, and that the Northern States are laboring under a delusion If they think that the Southern States cannot separate from them either violently or peaceably; violently if necessary. They can take possession of all the public property within their limits, and prepare against any aggression from the non-slaveholding States, or any other Power that may choose to infririge upon what they conceive to be their rights.” ) Scott, in the House of Representatives in Washington, wrote to Charles Lindley, chairman of the State Central Democratic committee: “If the Union is divided, and two separate confederacies are formed, I will strenuously advocate the secession of California, and the establishment of a separate republic on the Pacific. If California links her destiny with the northern government, crippled and ruined as she must necessarily be by the separation and withdrawal of her southern allies, California, instead of being benefited and receiving aid from the northern Confederacy, will be heavily taxed to carry on the machinery of their government.”