Treaty of Cahuenga

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The Treaty of Cahuenga, also called the "Capitulation of Cahuenga," ended the fighting of the Mexican-American War in Alta California in 1847. It was not a formal treaty between nations but an informal agreement between rival military forces in which the Californios gave up fighting. The treaty was drafted in English and Spanish by José Antonio Carrillo, approved by American Lieutenant-Colonel John C. Frémont and Mexican Governor Andrés Pico on January 13, 1847 at Campo de Cahuenga in what is now North Hollywood, Los Angeles, California.

The treaty called for the Californios to give up their artillery, and provided that all prisoners from both sides be immediately freed. Those Californios who promised not to again take up arms during the war, and to obey the laws and regulations of the United States, were allowed to peaceably return to their homes and ranchos. They were to be allowed the same rights and privileges as are allowed to citizens of the United States, and were not to be compelled to take an oath of allegiance until a treaty of peace was signed between the United States and Mexico, and were given the privilege of leaving the country if they wished to do so.

Under the later Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848, Mexico formally ceded Alta California and other territories to the United States, and the disputed border of Texas was fixed at the Rio Grande. Pico, like nearly all the Californios, became an American citizen with full legal and voting rights. Pico later became a State Assemblyman and then a State Senator representing Los Angeles in the California State Legislature.

Contents

Text of Treaty of Cahuenga

The treaty was written as follows:[1]

  • To All Who These Presents Shall Come, Greeting: Know Ye, that in consequence of propositions of peace, or cessation of hostilities, being submitted to me, as Commandant of the California Battalion of the United States forces, which have so far been acceded to by me as to cause me to appoint a board of commissioners to confer with a similar board appointed by the Californians, and it requiring a little time to close the negotiations; it is agreed upon and ordered by me that an entire cessation of hostilities shall take place until to-morrow afternoon (January 13), and that the said Californians be permitted to bring in their wounded to the mission of San Fernando, where, also, if they choose, they can move their camp to facilitate said negotiations.
  • J.C. Fremont,
  • Lieutenant-Colonel U.S.A.,
  • and Military Commandant of California.

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