Inactivity of Pro-Union Public in California

The main danger in regard to the Pacific Republic movement was the inactivity of the loyal element of the population. General Sumner in April, 1861, wrote to the War Department that there was a strong Union feeling in the state, but that “the secessionists are much the more active and zealous party, which gives them more influence than they ought to have from their numbers.” The State Legislature, however, promptly and emphatically condemned the project to form a Pacific Republic—both branches adopting the following resolution, May 17, 1861: “Resolved by the Senate, the Assembly concurring, that the people of California are devoted to the Constitution and Union now in the hour of trial and peril. That California is ready to maintain the rights and honor of the national government at home and abroad, and at all times to respond to any requisition that may be made upon her to defend the republic against foreign or domestic foes,” Each latest arrival of intelligence from the East added fresh impetus to the feeling of loyalty for the Union, so that within a few months after the outbreak of the war, all discussions of a Pacific Republic ceased. “So it was that this digging, delving, half-foreign, rich young state was not after all able to keep out of the quarrel between the North and South. As the mails brought the reports of the disunion speeches of proslavery senators, and the disloyal acts of the Southern people, her nerves tingled and her blood was up. Disunion? Never! A Pacific Republic? Never.”