Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Today in the Sobel Timeline: December 24

On December 24, 1823, Mexican President Andrew Jackson addressed the California state legislature as part of his grand tour of the recently-established United States of Mexico. In his address, Jackson spoke of the new country's future. "I ask Californians to join in our quest," he said. "California may have the greatest frontier of all the Mexican states." After Jackson's address, his Secretary of War, Arturo Aragon, told reporters that the president was referring to the state's agricultural potential. However, Sobel states that to others it seemed that Jackson was already seeking new conquests, perhaps at the expense of the Russian Empire. Sobel also notes that Jethro Stimson, in his 1950 book Jackson and the Pacific Dream, believed that the president was referring not to the conquest of Russian Alaska but to expansion across the Pacific.