Pro-Union Forces in California

Turning now to the forces, moral, military, and political, that were working to save California—first there was a loyal newspaper press, which saw and followed its duty with unflinching devotion. It firmly held before the people the loyal responsibility of the state and declared that the ties of union were too sacred to be broken. It was the moral duty of the people to remain loyal. It truthfully asserted that California’s influence in the Federal Union should be an example for other states to follow. If the idea of a Pacific Republic were repudiated by their own citizens, such action would discourage secession elsewhere and be a great moral handicap to that movement. And the press further pointed out with convincing clearness, that should the Union be dissolved, the project for a Pacific Railroad with which the future of the Commonwealth was inevitably committed, would likely fail. (All parties in California were unanimous in their desire for a transcontinental railroad. No political faction there could receive any support unless it strongly endorsed this project.)

Aroused by the moral importance of its position, the state legislature, early in the winter of 186o-1861, had passed a resolution of fidelity to the Union, in which it declared “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 requisitions that may be made upon her to def end the Republic against foreign or domestic foes.” Succeeding events proved the genuineness of this resolve.