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SIR : I have the honour to be in receipt of your favour of last night, in which I am directed to suspend the execution of orders which, in my capacity of military commandant of this territory, I had received from Commodore Stockton, Governor and Commander-in-chief in California. I avail myself of an early hour this morning to make such a reply as the brief time allowed for reflection will enable me.
I found Commodore Stockton in possession of the country, exercising the functions of military commandant and civil governor, as early as July of last year ; and shortly thereafter I received from him the commission of military commandant, the duties of which I immediately entered upon and have continued to exercise to the present moment.
I found, also, on my arrival at this place some three or four days since, Commodore Stockton still exercising the functions of civil and military governor, with the same apparent deference to his rank on the part of all officers (including yourself) as he maintained and required when he assumed them in July last.
I learned, also, in conversation with you, that on the march from San Diego, recently, to this place, you entered upon and discharged duties implying an acknowledgment, on your part, of supremacy to Commodore Stockton.
I feel, therefore, with great deference to your professional and personal character, constrained to say that, until you and Commodore Stockton adjust, between yourselves, the question of rank, where I respectfully think the difficulty belongs, I shall have to report and receive orders, as heretofore, from the Commodore.
With considerations of high regard, I am, sir, your obedient servant,
J. C. FREMONT, Lieutenant- Colonel U. S. Army, and Military Commandant of the Territory of California.
BRIGADIER-GENERAL S. W. KEARNEY, U. S. Army
- A sketch of the life of Com. Robert F. Stockton, 1856, Derby