Two Californias

Welcome to the Hotel California
                        Eagles 1975

D Vautier 10/2014

There was at one time a fair possibility of two Californias and this is something that’s fun to read and think about.  In 1847 Nicholas Trist was frantically negotiating a treaty with the then government of Mexico which would within months become still another Mexican Government under Pena y Pena. Trist had earlier offered a new border extending north from El Paso to the 37th parallel and thence west to a point near Santa Cruz.  Such a treaty offer did not happen for many other reasons and we eventually got a very generous border from the confluence of the Gila and Colorado rivers to a point just south of San Diego harbor.  It is doubtful just how willing the Mexican Government was in this new treaty signed at Guadalupe-Hidalgo but they certainly did have a batter deal with the earlier Santa Cruz treaty.

Now here’s what could have happened if the first Trist treaty had been signed.  Southern California was full of “Californios”, former Americans who had moved in, and they certainly would have revolted against Mexico and declared Southern California a republic. It then would have promptly done the “ Texas thing” and thus we would have two Californias divided cleanly at the 37th parallel.