A Clash with Californians
ON December 10, 1845, Frémont rode down from his camp to Sutter's Fort, where he found the robust Swiss proprietor absent, and John Bidwell (who had reached California with the Bartleson-Bidwell party in 1841) in charge. To the Captain, requesting various supplies, roughspoken Bidwell seemed unfriendly. He offered to find some horses, but said that he could not furnish the sixteen mules which Frémont needed; he would lend him the blacksmith shop, but declared there was no coal for the forge. Frémont erroneously concluded that since the Mexican and American governments were drifting toward war, and Sutter was an officer of the former and he of the latter, the men at Sutter's Fort had received orders to do as little as possible for him. Indeed, the Captain had just learned that his previous visit to California had created, as he writes, "some excitement among the Mexican authorities." Americans on the Sacramento informed him that soon after he left Sutter's Fort in the spring of 1844, a Mexican officer and twenty-four men had ridden up from the coast to inquire in Governor Micheltorena's name the meaning of this sudden armed entry into the country. Made uneasy by the news, the Captain now feared trouble.1 But he soon learned that Sutter was as friendly and hospitable as ever. On his return next day the good Swiss set to work; he promptly found fourteen mules, and furnished cattle, horses, and other supplies; while at the same time he sent word to the commander in____________________
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Publication information: Book title: Fremont, Pathmarker of the West. Contributors: Allan Nevins - Author. Publisher: University of Nebraska Press. Place of publication: Lincoln, NE. Publication year: 1992. Page number: 217.
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