William Henry Seward: Speech on the Admission of California to Statehood

(1850)

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California is already a State, a complete and fully appointed State. She never again can be less than that. She can never again be a province or a colony; nor can she be made to shrink and shrivel into the proportions of a federal dependent Territory. California, then, henceforth and forever, must be, what she is now, a State.

The question whether she shall be one of the United States of America has depended on her and on us. Her election has been made. Our consent alone remains suspended; and that consent must be pronounced now or never. I say now or never. Nothing prevents it now, but want of agreement among our selves.…

Try not the temper and fidelity of California, at least not now, not yet. Cherish her and indulge her until you have extended your settlements to her borders, and bound her fast by railroads, and canals, and telegraphs, to your interests until her affinities of intercourse are established, and her habits of loyalty are fixed and then she can never be...

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William H. Seward (Library of Congress)

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