Article Eight
Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo 1848

October 2004

Mexicans now teaching at UC Berkeley and other major campuses are teaching students that California and other states were stolen from the Mexicans. This is a lie. Mexico owed citizens of the United States some $3,000,000 in compensation for lives and property lost in Mexico through theft and confiscation since the 1820's. With the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, the US paid Mexico $15,000,000 plus the $3,000,000 owed to US citizens. The Mexican war was fought over border disputes in Texas. After the incursions into New Mexico and Texas by the Spanish, Santa Fe was established in about 1610. In 1650 the Apaches started raiding New Mexico settlements. After over a hundred years of raiding the Spanish had an empire with no meaning as they were isolated in their presidios and missions. In 1706 Taos was the seat of the Northern Spanish Empire. The Comanches chased the Apaches South and became the greatest of the Indian Nations. The Kotsoteka-Comanches became the main raiders of the Northern Settlements and in 1746 attacked the Taos Pueblo. Eventually the Spanish turned over what was left of their settlements to the Mexicans. The Mexicans helped some of the Apaches but many were slaughtered.
The Indians, not the white settlers drove the Spanish out of New Mexico and Texas. It might be said that the land is rightfully theirs. In the west the Indian population also suffered terribly under the Mission Fathers. The Spanish slave trade first brought Africans to Mexico in 1520. Slavery was abolished in 1829 but the Mexicans in California still used the Indian population as slaves.

Some excerpts from Testimonios--Heyday Books, UC Bancroft Library, Berkeley. “When Vallejo began to move into the region,the indigenous population of the immediate vicinity consisted largely of Suisun people.....who were fleeing the advance of the mission 1809, the Suisuns found themselves directly facing Spanish power.... General Gabriel Moraga brought some Suisun children back with him to Mission San Francisco and they were baptized....Sem-Yeto was baptized and given the name Francisco Solano.... Solano’s prominence in the 1837 census most likely indicates that he and his group of Suisans had become important allies of Vallejo’s....One effect of the growing Suisan and Mexican power was that a large number of Indian laborers were conscripted to work for the Mexicans, especially at Vallejo’s nascent ranching operation in Petaluma”....

California community property rights originated with the Guadalupe Hidlago Treaty. This was of benefit to Californio widow (and those who became widows) and her children as it protected the property that was in her name. If she remarried, the property went to her children upon her death excepting property real and other that was acquired after the marriage.

The following is from the mecha Berkeley bunch

Philosophy of MEChA

"As Chicanas and Chicanos of Aztlán, we are a nationalist movement of Indigenous Gente that lay claim to the land that is ours by birthright. As a nationalist movement we seek to free our people from the exploitation of an oppressive society that occupies our land."

It should be noted that many elected Mexicans in Sacramento are part of this group.

The Arvin, California City Council (Kern County) is now conducting its meetings in Mexican. (source: Bakersfield Californian, second front page October 8, 2004)

With regard to the Mexican Land Grants,The law reads as follows.

ARTICLE VIII Mexicans now established in territories previously belonging to Mexico, and which remain for the future within the limits of the United States, as defined by the present treaty, shall be free to continue where they now reside, or to remove at any time to the Mexican Republic, retaining the property which they possess in the said territories, or disposing thereof, and removing the proceeds wherever they please, without their being subjected, on this account, to any contribution, tax, or charge whatever. Those who shall prefer to remain in the said territories may either retain the title and rights of Mexican citizens, or acquire those of citizens of the United States. But they shall be under the obligation to make their election within one year from the date of the exchange of ratifications of this treaty; and those who shall remain in the said territories after the expiration of that year, without having declared their intention to retain the character of Mexicans, shall be considered to have elected to become citizens of the United States. In the said territories, property of every kind, now belonging to Mexicans not established there, shall be inviolably respected. The present owners, the heirs of these, and all Mexicans who may hereafter acquire said property by contract, shall enjoy with respect to it guarantees equally ample as if the same belonged to citizens of the United States.

For a wonderful detailed account of the Mexican Land Grant's origin and events leading to the treaty of 1848 please read Chronicles of Early California, 1535--1846 LANDS OF PROMISE AND DESPAIR edited by Rose Marie Beebe and Robert M. Senkewicz.