Time Jockey: CAMPO DE CAHUENGA

by Joe Castillo
January 15, 2014 • 443 views

Articles of Capitulation….   On January 13, 1847, the Treaty of Cauenga (Cahuenga) was signed by Lt. Colonel John C. Fremont and General Andres Pico at the Campo de Cahuenga  adobe. One-hundred and sixty-six years later, a re-enactment of the historic event was re-staged in front of a crowd of 140 onlookers at the historic site of the remains of the Campo across the street of Universal Studios in Universal City. Dignitaries such as Los Angeles City Councilmembers Tom LaBonge, Paul Krekorian and California Assemblyman Adrin Nazarian, attended the event along with other civic and historical groups which included the firing of two replica cannons from the 1770’s. After many failed attempts to purchase the current Southwest United States from Mexico, the United States declared War on Mexico on May 13, 1846. By July and August, the U.S. Navy occupied all California ports and met little resistance in the process. But in Los Angeles, American rule was unorganized and ineffective allowing a rebellion of local Californios and expulsion of residing American forces.  As the rebellion spread, the Californio forces grew stronger in Southern California, and ultimately challenged the military forces of General Kearney. In the Battle of San Pasqual, General Andres Pico and his Californio vaqueros defeated General Kearney, sending a message to the United States that complete control of California would take longer than expected. American commanders Kearney and Stockton regrouped and drafted a plan to retake control of Southern California. They ordered American troops under the command of Lt. Col. Fremont to travel south from Monterey and ordered another collection of forces to come north from San Diego. General Pico realized his outmanned and outgunned troops were in trouble of being annihilated and opened up communications with Lt. Col. Fremont to draft an honorable surrender of his Californio forces. Fremont knew that Stockton had issued an order to arrest Pico, dead or alive, and secretly agreed to discuss the terms of surrender without involving commanders Stockton or Kearney. After favorable terms were negotiated, Fremont and Pico met at the Campo de Cahuenga to sign the Treaty of Cahuenga which included the Articles of Capitulation or surrender. Commandant Stockton was furious that Fremont arranged, signed and negotiated the treaty without his review and approval. Fremont countered that he doubted that General Pico would have even signed the treaty knowing that Fremont was going to arrest him according to Stockton’s’ orders, and took it upon himself to work directly with General Pico. After the American conquest of Mexico City, the 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was signed, ending the War with Mexico and ceding California and the American Southwest to the United States. On September 8, 1850, California was admitted to the United States as the 31st state of the union. ….

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