William Henry Seward: Speech on the Admission of California to Statehood(1850)
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...