Newsgathering in California at this time was purely a haphazard affair and nearly all the news that was printed was of a local nature. The two papers were altogether dependent on the uncertain arrivals of naval vessels, sailing ships, or emigrants coming overland for the small amount of news received from the eastern states or from Europe. An occasional ship from the Sandwich Islands, Australia, or China brought some news of the Pacific area. News from the eastern states was often six months old when it reached California. The treaty of peace between the United States and Mexico was signed in February, 1848, but news dispatches announcing this important event, doubly important to California, were not published in the California papers until August of that year.