French Flag over California? : LUSENET : San Francisco History : One Thread

I read that more flags have flown over California than any other state. The list included the flag of France, for 10 days in 1786. Does anyone know the nature of that incident?

-- Richard D. Harned (, April 17, 2003


Come on! Who doesn't feel the urge to display a huge French Flag once in a while? I do!

-- SFHE editor (, April 21, 2003.

The flags of seven countries have flown over California: England, Spain, Imperial Russia, Mexico, the Bear Flag Republic, and the United States.

I think Louisiana has us beat with ten flags: The Spanish flag of Leon and Castille, French fleur-de-lis, the flag of Bourbon Spain, British Union Jack, French Tri-Color, US flag of 15 stars and stripes, Lone Star flag of the West Florida Republic, Confederate flag, flag of independent Louisiana, and the US flag.

As for your claim that a french flag flew over California for ten days in 1786 - well, the French ruled Texas during that period (1685- 1690) . Hmmm, I'd like to know the whole story...the nature of that incident, indeed!

-- will (, February 05, 2004.

Sounds like someone has confused the 1816 raid on Monterey by the so- called "pirate" Hipólito (Hypolite) Bouchard with a colonizing effort. Although a Frenchman by birth, Bouchard was acting as an Argentinian privateer when he looted the town. Monterey's citizens, however, not feeling very friendly or politically correct about the captain who sacked their town, referred to him as a French pirate. Although Bouchard controlled the town for a day, I don't think he raised the French flag.

-- John Martini (, February 06, 2004.

November 22, 1818. Hipólito Bouchard disembarked in California, fought with the premises, won and he remained 6 days, time that lasted the sacking and the repair of the ships. A Hawaian guy (long history) raised the Argentinian flag on California. Bouchard was born in France, but he lived in Argentina and he was commander in the navy. Belive it or not, California was taken by Argentina during 6 days. VIVA HOLLYWOOD!!!

-- Martin Zeidrec (, March 06, 2004.

Thanks Martin, I stated seven flags flew over California in my post but only listed six! I neglected to mention the Argentinian flag. Huzzah!

-- will (, March 06, 2004.

The Argentinean California Osvaldo Soriano There Hipólito Bouchard, wind in stern and clean canyons goes, to raze the California where the Hollywood of the cinema neither the Sillicon Valley of the computers are not still. It takes like excuse the splendid Argentinean flag that has made recognize in Kameha-Meha, although the officials of their bigger state call themselves Cornet, Oliver, John goes Burgen, Greyssa, Harris, Borgues, Douglas, Shipre and Miller. The commandant of the infantry, José María Piris, and the applicant Tomás Espora belong on board to the few Creoles. Between the sailors from the " Argentina " and the " Chacabuco " dozens of hoodlums picked up in the ports of the Asia go, 30 hawaianos bought to the king of Sandwich, almost a hundred of sick gauchos and ten cats embarked in Karakakowa to combat the rats and pests. To the terrible Bouchard, like to all the marines, it worries it the indiscipline: he/she knows that some of the deserters that the " Chacabuco " had rebelled in Valparaíso have taken refuge in the island of Atoy and he/she wants to give them a punishment. It sends to José María Piris that is ahead on board a frigate of the United States and become intimate the king that protects the rebels. Before leaving, the North American pirates that steal canyons and they resell them, they give a party to the officialdom of the United Counties: the alcohol runs, the languages and a Irishman loosen with stick paw he/she comments, proud, the Argentinean intention of bombarding the California. The captain of the pirates scores: in the cellar it takes twelve recently stolen canyons, and he/she is ahead with the news to Monterrey -the capital of California -, he/she will be able to sell them to five times their price. The king of Atoy doesn't know where they are the United Counties, he never heard speak of the Argentinean nationality and he fears a Spanish reprisal. Piris threatens him the anger of the hell, and the king, for the doubts, he/she makes capture the rebels among those that the leader is. The commandant sleeps in the beach and when it sights the ships of Bouchard it is made drive the boat to give the good one new. French distrusts: in the interview with the king communicates the sentence of death for the refugees in Atoy and it tries, like in Karakakowa, of making recognize the Argentinean sovereignty. The king you insolenta and he/she says, very rounded that the prisoners have been escaped. "Committed the justice and the honor of the pavilion that it fluttered in my ship, he/she went this way necessary to appeal to the force", Bouchard counts in its Memoirs. In fact, coarse with feinting. The king sends an emissary to converse to the " Argentina " and it takes to the prisoners to the beach. Bouchard lowers, arrogant and victorious, he/she reads them the sentence and there nomás shoots a certain Griffiths, leader of the mutiny. To the other ones it drives them to the ship and he/she makes them give twelve dozens of lashes". December 22 1818 arrive to the costs of Monterrey without knowing that the North Americans have armed the strength to vile price. Bouchard traces its plan: it puts 200 reinforcement men in the corvette " Chacabuco ", he/she makes them enarbolar a deceiving flag of the United States and it sends it to the one in front of you order them of William (or Guillermo) Shipre. Already nobody remembers the letter of the National Hymn and Shipre he/she makes sing any cosaantes of going to the attack. They are warming the chests when they notice that it ceases the wind and the " Chacabuco " it is to the drift. From the strong one they throw him seventeen gunshots and they don't fail none. The " Chacabuco " begins to shipwreck amid the one he/she disperses and the screams of the wounded. Shipre surrenders at once. "To the seventeen shots of the strength I had the pain of seeing lower the flag of the homeland." Everything is desolation and blood in the " Chacabuco " but Bouchard he/she doesn't want to pass shame in Buenos Aires. The Counties Together of the Revolution have authorized to more than sixty ships corsairs so that the waters travel with celestial and white pavilion and the captured preys are more than four hundred. Suddenly, the young nation this razing the seas and the powers begin to be alarmed. Still today the Argentinean Constitution authorizes to the Congress to grant corso patents and to establish regulation for the preys (art. 67, inc. 22). The Spanish poor from California didn't have a single ship for their defense. Bouchard orders to transfer the survivors from the " Chacabuco " to the " Argentina " but he/she abandons those mutilated and wounded so that with its screams of fright they distract the Spaniards. To the dawn of the 24, while in Monterrey the victory, Bouchard is celebrated it commands the landing with two hundred armed men with rifles and boarding pikes. They accompany him official that don't know for who they fight but they hope to be distributed a considerable booty. At eight in the morning, after a shooting, the Spanish troop abandons the strong one and he/she goes back toward the populations. At ten o'clock, Bouchard captures twenty artillery pieces and with a lot of pomp he/she makes that the gauchos and the mercenaries form in the patio while he/she makes hoist the flag. However the captain not this contentment. He/she wants that in the world it is known about him that you/they pay him the insult of the " Chacabuco ". it Harangues to the inflamed troop and the lance on the panicky population. The marines of Sandwich are implacable with the lance and the gun; others throw with rifles and the gauchos manage the knife and the fire to discretion. The Marina historians that Bouchard respects the population of American origin say and it is ferocious with the Spaniard. Difficult it is to know how the difference made in the vertigo of the assault. The strength is razed until the foundations. Also the barracks and the prison. The houses are set on fire and the Christmas Eve 1818 is a vast and hideous hell of flames and laments. After the pillage, Bouchard orders to keep two pieces of brass artillery to present in Buenos Aires with the silver bars that he/she finds in a barn. During six days, on the brashes and the cadavers, the Argentinean flag flames. The liberated prisoners of the jail help to repair the " Chacabuco " while the soldiers arm spree it has more than enough spree with the terrified widows from Spain, episodes that the official histories avoid with chastity. So much scandal arms Bouchard and his in the north that the Department of State North American -bill historian Harold Peterson - he/she gave instructions to its agents so that they protested vigorously against the excesses made with ships that navigated under the flag and with commissions of Buenos Aires". however, newly in 1821, with Rivadavia like minister of war, the United States would obtain an ordinance of repeal of the patents of the corsairs: "In their literal form Peterson -says -, this ordinance represented a total delivery to the position for which United States had fought during five years." For then, Bouchard all California had already burned. After destroying Monterrey it razes with San Juan's mission, with Santa Bárbara and other populations that are in flames. January 25 1819 block San Blas's port and Acapulco of Mexico attacks. In Guatemala Sonsonate destroys and he/she takes a Spanish brig. In Nicaragua, finally, he/she throws on Realejo, the main Spanish port in the seas of South, and he/she keeps four Spanish ships loaded with indigo and cocoa and 27 prisoners. That was their last feat. When arriving to Valparaíso, battered for the attack of another pirate, Bouchard claims the glory but he/she waits for it the jail. Lord Cochrane, corsair to the service of Chile, accuses him of piracy, insubordination and cruelty with the captured prisoners. Bouchard argues: "I am a lieutenant colonel of the Army of you Walk them, a neighbor rooted in the Capital, a corsair that I have entered to the ports of Chile with the precise design of auxiliary to their expeditions of my free will". On the orderly tortures, he/she defends this way: "That wonders for the treatment that you/they received the Chilean corsair's Chilean tripulantes Maipú or another of Buenos Aires that, after having captured, he/she entered to Cádiz with hung people of the peñoles." It hardly spends five months in prison. When leaving it puts their ships to you order them of San Martin and it takes grenadiers to Lima. Already in decadence, softened by two daughters to those that you grieve he/she had known, he/she puts on to you order them of Peru and in 1831 he/she retires to a country property. In 1843, a mulatto fed up with bad treatments the degüella of a slash. It is a death in conditional: the Marina apólogos that justify him tortures and outrages, doesn't consign that unworthy one final.

-- Marcelo Cano (, November 15, 2004.

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