General Mariano Vallejo
I live in California, a part of Mexico. I am a wealthy man. I own 175,000 acres. This is where my 16 children were born. I have always been very kind to visitors who come from the United States, and some even say that I am famous for the hospitality I show my guests. In the 1840s, more and more people from the United States began arriving. Unbelievably, most of them looked down on Mexicans, and called us “greasers,” and an inferior race—we who were born here and built wealthy ranchos. Now that war has broken out, it is clear what the North Americans are looking for: They want to steal California away from Mexico and make it a part of the United States. Before the war, they wanted to buy California from Mexico, but Mexico wouldn’t sell. So now they are making war on us so that they can take it away. I fear that I will lose everything I’ve worked so hard for.