Arguello history2

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Arguello history2 - October 28, 1$$8. When RUSSIA REACHED for...
October 28, 1$$8. When RUSSIA REACHED for CALIFORNIA (Continued from Pa'e Ten) which apparently had come here to stay, whether Spain liked It or not. In the ensuing disputes with the governors of California and the court of Spain, Russia Russia stubbornly and evasively insisted that this fort was merely" a Russian trading-post trading-post trading-post but the Callfornlans who later gazed upon its cannon and stout defenses rightly opined that it was anything anything else but! As shown In the accompanying illustration, illustration, this fortress was a square ln-closure, ln-closure, ln-closure, each of whose sides, was about two hundred and seventy-five seventy-five seventy-five feet long. It . was surrounded by a high' stout stockade, made of tree trunks squared I and set deep in the earth, with the upper upper parts terminating in sharp points. ' At the corner fronting upon the ocean, was a two-story two-story two-story octagonal block house .made of heavy hewn logs, and armed with cannon' In. the shape of six eight-pounders. eight-pounders. eight-pounders. Diagonally across from this block-house, block-house, block-house, at the . opposite corner of the fort, was another block-house, block-house, block-house, similarly similarly constructed and armed, facing toward the mountain behind the fort. At the main gate or entrance to the fort was a large stout building, pierced with embrasures through which peered the muzzles of six cannon and here was quartered the main guard, with a sentry sentry always on duty, day and night. Three other cannon were posted about the house of the commander In the in-closure, in-closure, in-closure, which also contained some fifty-eight fifty-eight fifty-eight other buildings, including a powder powder magazine and a small Greek chapel. Plainly, this was no mere "trading-post" "trading-post" "trading-post" still more plainly, Russia had settled down here in California to stay so when the world at large heard of this startling event - that, thus first heralded abroad Russia's apparent Intention to dominate the- the- whole Pacific Coast, all Europe and; the three Americas thrilled with the news, which especially Infuriated Infuriated Spain; to ' whom California then belonged. It is a far cry and Jump from Alaska to Calif ornla. with Canada's long sea front lying in betwixt these two points "appul "of Russia, so Great Britain was 'roused to wrath and alarm at this unexpected Invasion of the Rus-, Rus-, Rus-, sian Bear that quite ignored the British British Lion. The United States also was alarmed, both now and later, at this bold intrusion, intrusion, for no matter what their party politics were all of our Presidents then were as one in their far-seeing far-seeing far-seeing prevision of the future day when our people would penetrate 'to the Pacific; and these same patriotic Presidents of ours were all empire-minded empire-minded empire-minded empire-minded men, fervently desirous of extending our domains unto their natural natural boundary of the western ocean. In fact, it was the very founding of this strongly fortified Russian colony in California that pointed Monroe's later remarks about America's no longer being being .available as the site for further and future colonization purposes. The object of the Russians In founding founding this colony was twofold to plant and raise food for themselves and especially for the Russian colonists in Alaska; and also to obtain the vast wealth of fur otter, seal and beaver Jn which California California and its waters then abounded. As to the first, the soil was fertile enough; but those Russians who were transplanted hither proved poor farmers, farmers, being mostly Russian "exiles or convicts, convicts, devoid of skill, enterprise and' energy, energy, and poor shakes at anything except except growling and consuming vodka. The . savage and ferocious Aleut Indians, Indians, whom Kuskoff had brought to California were mighty hunters before the Lord of all the Russlas; and all along the California coast they swept in their frail bldarkas, taking vast toll of furs on every hand. Establishing a sealing sealing station on the Farallone Islands, in a single season , there they took eighty thousand sealskins. The skins of the very valuable sea-otter sea-otter sea-otter then commanded commanded very high prices in China; and as they fairly swarmed along the shores of California the relentless Aleuts slaughtered slaughtered them wholesale. So bold were these fierce savages that they even entered entered San Francisco Bay, under the very guns of the Presidio, and pursued their precious prey under the very eyes of the angry but helpless Spaniards, who had no small boats in which to go out and attack these impudent red-hunters. red-hunters. red-hunters. Enraged at this downright defiance of the might and majesty of Spain in these parts, the Governor of California wrote divers fiery letters to the Russian Governor of Fort Ross, demanding the cessation of this poaching upon the preserves preserves of the King of Spain. But the Russians paid not the slightest attention attention to the missives, until their Aleuts had slain all the otter in the bay. Steering southward, these ferocious hunters scoured all the shores of Southern Southern California, slaying otter wholesale, and ravaging the Santa Barbara Islands and those of San Nicolas and Santa Catalina with almost the fury of madmen, madmen, seemingly bent upon absolutely exterminating exterminating these peaceful Islanders, whom the Aleuts massacred wholesale in horrible fashion. Records, and traditions traditions tell of these demons' crimes upon all these Islands, where they slew all the men and carried off into captivity -all -all Castlllian flesh and a threat' to this province of the King of Spain. In 1815 Governor Sola transmitted this order from Spain to Kuskoff, the commander of Fort Ross, and demanded that he should forthwith evacuate Fort Ross and Bodega. Kuskoff in reply said that these were merely trading-posts, trading-posts, trading-posts, and that Russia did not intend to lay claim to any territory south of the Straits of San Juan de Fuca and he ignored Governor Sola's order to leave California.. Indeed, the Russians acted as if they were part owners of It, and did as they pleased about fishing and hunting their evident intention being to further colonize Northern California. In fact, this very year (1815) Kuskoff BURNING HIS BRIDGES Alyce: What makes you think Tom is going to quit 'college? Mertyle: He's traded his ukuele for a pair of garters. - Copyright, 1928, by Th Bell Syndicate, inc. the women that they could find apparently apparently encouraged thereto by the Russian Russian masters at Fort Ross, so that none might be. left alive to take, the otter in these Southern California waters save the savage Aleuts. Indeed, the English navigator, Captain Beechgy, who explored California and this section of it, indignantly protested that these Russians had inflicted great wrongs upon California first, by smuggling smuggling and dealing "in contraband; second, second, by unlawfully invading its waters and taking otter there, despite the opposition opposition of the California government; and third, by actually taking possession of the Santa Barbara Islands, which they used as the base of their forays against Islanders and otters. The great heaps of broken bones and cloven skulls found on San Nicolas Island, recently recently exploited by human ghouls bent upon filling their pockets by selling these ghastly relics of that ancient tragedy tragedy of the sea, is one of the remnants left to remind Southern California of the infamy of these Russians .of Fort Ross and their cruel Aleuts. At first, the Russians obtained supplies supplies by barter with the missions; but presently they began to till their farms, and raise their own food. It was high time that they did so, for soon Spain ordered the Viceroy of Mexico to take steps to force these Russians to evacuate evacuate California at once; and the Viceroy passed this royal order on to Governor Sola of California, during whose regime Fort Ross was both a thorn In his proud boldly came down to San Francisco to attend to some business which led its comandante to write Governor Sola a fiery letter of complaint about it, stating stating that the presence of these cheeky Muscovites in California was an insult to the Spanish flag. But the Governor could only fume helplessly over his lack of military force to expel the Russians. Next year (1816) the long-expected long-expected long-expected Russian scientific expedition arrived at California, under famous Otto Von Kot-zebue. Kot-zebue. Kot-zebue. With him was Dr. Eschscholtz, after whom ouT State flower, the esch-scholtzia esch-scholtzia esch-scholtzia (California poppy) is named. Felicitations were exchanged with Sola, but Kotzebue had no news of Russia's intentions about California. So next year (1817) the sub-mission sub-mission sub-mission (asistencia) of San Rafael was raised to the full rank of a mission, so as to there confront and obstruct the southward advance of the Russians of Fort Ross. But the Muscovites Muscovites were not prospering; and, indeed, in 1820 they offered ,to abandon . Fort Ross if Russia and Alaska were allowed unrestricted trade with California. Governor Governor Sola, had' no authority from the King to accept this proposal, so things went oii .as: .before,' , until .1822, when", Spain's dominion over Mexico and California California having ceased, Don Luis A. Ar-guello, Ar-guello, Ar-guello, brother to the ill-fated ill-fated ill-fated Concep-cion, Concep-cion, Concep-cion, became first Mexican Governor of California, and that same year made a bargain with the Russians, who promised promised to deliver half the otter skins taken in California to the government this business then being. almost entirely in tht hands of the Russians of Fort Ross, Bodega and elsewhere on our coast. The Catholic Callfornlans disliked the Russians as heretics and backers of the murderous Aleuts, and Governor Arguello both hated and distrusted them, doubtless because he thought that Count Rezanoff had basely deceived his' sorrowing sister, Conception, and had double-crossed double-crossed double-crossed his father, the acting Governor. Hence, his zeal to thwart these invaders was redoubled; and next year (1823) he saw that a mission (San Francisco Solano) was founded at Sonoma, Sonoma, more as a military maneuver to oppose the Russian advance from Fort Ross than for purely religious . reasons. Indeed, Mexico was quite as alert to the had been as attested by its frequent menace of Fort Ross and fully as anx-T anx-T anx-T ious to get rid of the Russians as Spain" orders to the governors of California to drive these intruders out yet "How are we to do it," retorted the governors, "unless you give us the forces to do it with?" And so the sullen Russians stayed on until they got good and ready to go. Meanwhile, startling and epochal events had been occurring in the great world of state affairs. In 1822, the Czar had Issued his famous ukase claiming the whole northwest coast of North America, and closing the North Pacific Ocean to all ships save those of Russia. For some time Uncle Sam had been closely watching Russia's operations in California and northwards; so now our country and Great Britain promptly protested against this colossal piece of Russian cheek, and refused to recognize the validity of this ukase Britain, because because of the claims of Canada to its sea-front,' sea-front,' sea-front,' upon the Pacific, and the United States because it already looked on the Oregon territory as our own. This ukase and the Russian colony at Fort Ross had even more to : do with' President Monroe's proclamation of the Monroe Doctrine next year (1823) than' ! did Spain's appeal to the Holy Alliance I for armed resistance in recovering itv revolted and now independent provinces in Spanish America. Inasmuch as the Russian Emperor was also the chief leader of those most Unholy Allies, Mon-; Mon-; Mon-; roe thus bagged several birds with one stone the biggest buzzard of the bunch being the double-headed double-headed double-headed eagle of Imperial Imperial Russia. Monroe's message halted the Holy Ones dead In their tracks, thanks to the clamors of the English merchants, now richly profiting from trade with Spanish' America, who forced the English English Cabinet and Canning to part company company with these allies; and In April, 1824, the United States concluded a formal formal convention with Russia, by which the latter agreed to not found any Russian Russian settlements south of fifty-four fifty-four fifty-four degrees, degrees, forty minutes north latitude. The parallel thus set thereby gave us this northern boundary line which we later claimed in our northwest dispute with England over Oregon, and was the basis of our national war cry, "Fifty-four-forty "Fifty-four-forty "Fifty-four-forty "Fifty-four-forty "Fifty-four-forty or fight," that made this famous American slogan a rallying cry again England, with whom we nearly came war -over -over that matter. But, by this stern and prompt action of ours in 1824, Russia was forced to abandon Its claim to all territory on our. Pacific Coast. Meanwhile, Fort Ross grew but slowly, although some houses were built outside outside the fortress; two mills were erected . to grind . their grain; a tannery, turned hides Into several kinds of leather, which found a ready market; and the 1 Russians even had a Jerkwater shipyard shipyard there, which launched several small vessels successfully in later years. Its fur trade was the most important feature; and so wretched were their crops that every year between 1831 and 1840, one or more ships had to be sent from here or Sitka to buy grain for the Russians. Alarmed by their persistent attempts to expand southward, the California California Governor sent Vallejo to inspect this fort, and this enterprising Califor-nlan Califor-nlan Califor-nlan confirmed the above facts, and reported that there were three hundred persons in this Russian stronghold. In 1831 its Russian Governor stated that it was not worth making any sacrifices sacrifices for, if confined 'to its present boundaries; and he wanted to extend them two hundred versts (one hundred and thirty-three thirty-three thirty-three miles) farther out, especially especially with the aim of getting a footr hold on and ship anchorage in San Francisco Bay. This same 'year, therefore, therefore, the Russians tried' to ' take up

Clipped from The Los Angeles Times28 Oct 1928, SunPage 157

The Los Angeles Times (Los Angeles, California)28 Oct 1928, SunPage 157
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