The Bear Flag Revolt 1846

At this time more and more Americans were arriving. They were not happy to find that most of the best land was taken by the Mexicans (or Californios as they were called). They also were upset when the Mexican Governor threatened to make them all leave. In June of 1846, a small group of men surrounded Vallejo’s home and took him and several others prisoner. They raised the Bear Flag in the Plaza in Sonoma. Each rancho sent out groups of young men for protection. Two Americans were sent to bring back gunpowder and weapons from a cache in Santa Rosa. They stopped at Rancho Cabeza where Maria offered them hospitality. In return they attacked and killed Jose Ramon’s wife, Rosita. (The marriage of Jose Ramon and Rosita can’t be proved since they were supposedly married in Mexico. This is family lore only.) Men from the other ranchos came to help. Maria was afraid of trouble and asked them all to leave. The Mexicans took the two men up the hill north of the Rancho (where Sutter Hospital Is today). Here they were tortured and killed.

After the Bear Flag Revolt, Maria’s attitude toward the Americans changed. Her distrust and dislike of them ended the nice relationship in the valley. After 1846, Yankees trading in Sonoma were warned to avoid the rancho.