1861-02-04: The Confederate States of America was formed

February 4, 1861 – The Confederate States of America was formed, establishing its capital in Montgomery, Alabama.

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Published in: on February 4, 1861 at 9:40 am  Leave a Comment  

1851-03-03: Congress sets up Board of Land Commissioners to judge private claims

"Following the discovery of gold in California in 1848, thousands of prospectors trespassed on Californio land and demanded the land for themselves. To determine the validity of Spanish and Mexican land grants in California, Congress set up a Board of Land Commissioners. Unless grantees presented in two years evidence supporting their title, the property would automatically pass into the public domain. Although the Land Commission eventually confirmed 604 of 813 claims, the cost of litigation forced most Californios to lose their lands. Government attorneys appealed 417 claims (out of 813). It appealed some claims as many as six times. Appeals dragged out land cases for an average of seventeen years."

http://www.digitalhistory.uh.edu/mexican_voices/voices_display.cfm?id=69

In California, Congress, by the acts of March 3, 1851, June 14, 1860, July 1, 1864, and July 23, 1866, provided machinery for the ascertainment and settlement of these claims, which has resulted in their final confirmation or rejection and in their subsequent segregation from the adjacent public lands. Questions of title were settled by the Federal courts, and authority to segregate claims judicially confirmed was vested in the proper executive officers of the United States.

1845-02-22: Pio Pico – the last Mexican Governor of Alta California

With the routing of Governor Micheltorena and his convict soldiers, Pio Pico becomes the last Mexican governor of Alta California.

http://www.sandiegohistory.org/bio/pico/picopio.htm

http://www.laalmanac.com/history/hi05s.htm

http://www.piopico.org/Life_of_Pio_Pico.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P%C3%ADo_Pico

Excerpt from Burbank – An Illustrated History by E. Caswell Perry:

"In 1842 an unpopular governor, Manuel Micheltorena, was appointed by Mexico City. Supported by his army of 300 cholos, or convict soldiers, he was bitterly resented by the Californios. In November 1844 an active revolt against him was initiated by both Northern and Southern Californians, themselves rivals but united in their desire to oust Micheltorena. Micheltorena defeated the northern faction, led by Jose Castro, near San Jose. But coming south to Los Angeles, even after building up his army to about 400, he was met by about the same number of Californios led by Juan Bautista Alvarado. The two small armies met between February 19-20, 1845, in the so-called Battle of Cahuenga. This was just west of Cahuenga Pass, on the San Fernando Valley side, at Alamos near present-day Studio City. One side had two small cannon, the other had three, and they limited their combat to a long-range artillery duel. The casualties totaled one horse and one mule, and both sides soon ran out of ammunition. The action could only be continued by each side's recovering the cannon balls of the other. Even today, an occasional cannon ball turns up when excavations are made in the battlefield area.

Micheltorena withdrew, stopping the desultory conflict. Finally, on February 22, Micheltorena agreed to leave California, taking his army with him. For all practical purposes, Mexico's control of Alta California was a thing of the past. Pio Pico was made the civil governor at Los Angeles and Jose Castro set up a rival regime at Monterey."

http://www.militarymuseum.org/LaProvidencia.html

Published in: on February 22, 1845 at 2:34 am  Leave a Comment  

1842-08-25: Micheltorena Arrives; Ends Alvarado’s governorship

Thursday, August 25, 1842: Brigadier General Manuel Micheltorena arrived in San Diego. He was the last of the governors to be appointed by President Antonio López de Santa Anna in Mexico City. His arrival ended Alvarado's governorship which began December 7, 1836.  During his term Alvarado bestowed 28 land grants totaling over a quarter of a million acres.

Alvarado willingly turned over responsibility to Micheltorena.

Fink, Augusta. Monterey: The Presence of the Past. San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 1972.. p. 78. 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manuel_Micheltorena 

http://www.pbs.org/weta/thewest/people/s_z/santaanna.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antonio_L%C3%B3pez_de_Santa_Anna 

http://www.westernlivingcenter.com/history/ch5-mexican_regime.htm 

"On one of his trips south, Capt. Fitch's trading ship put into Mazatlán and he learned about a new governor for California, Gen. Manuel Micheltorena, who had fought with Gen. Santa Anna in Texas, and had arrived at Tepic, near the port of San Blas, with a military force of convicts and some regular soldiers, who, presumably, were along to guard the convicts. "California," wrote Capt. Fitch, "will be in a devil of a mess after their arrival." The relative peace in California was about to come to an end. The cen­tral government of Mexico had begun to fear the growing domination of California affairs by foreigners and had decided to re-establish its authority over the distant provinces. Micheltorena was given extraordinary powers and even allowed to "select" the convicts for his "army." It was accompanied by the usual female camp followers.

The new governor and his army, beset by desertions, embarked at Mazatlán in four ships. The general arrived at San Diego on August 25, 1842. With him were Col. Agustín Zamorano, in a dying condition, and Capt. Nicanor Estrada, both of whom had played such leading roles in the rebellions in Southern California. The ships arrived separately over a period of nine days. Many of the convicts died on the long sea voyage and others were seasick or disgruntled. None of the reports agree as to how many actually reached here, the estimates ranging all the way from 300 to 600."

Pourade, Richard F. The Silver Dons – The History of San Diego 1833-1865 . Copley Press. c 1963. 

http://www.sandiegohistory.org/books/pourade/silver/silverchapter3.htm

"Others took note, as well. In 1845, with war between the United States and Mexico still a year off, Alta California was ruled by the unpopular Gov. Manuel Micheltorena. His predecessor, Juan Alvarado, mounted an insurrection. Taking Micheltorena's side was none other than John Sutter.     Alvarado's forces prevailed, driving Micheltorena back to Mexico in a one-day battle that cost no lives — but not before throwing Sutter and his right-hand man, John Bidwell, into a prison near the Mission San Fernando. They were soon released. Bidwell headed north through Placerita Canyon and observed the gold mining operations, vowing to hunt for the metal upon his return to Sutter's Fort. When he reached his destination he would meet a new arrival — James Marshall."
http://www.scvhistory.com/scvhistory/signal/coins/worden-coinage1005.htm

Published in: on August 25, 1842 at 1:34 am  Leave a Comment  

1839: Juan Miguel Anzar becomes Justice of the Peace in San Juan Bautista

1839 – 1841: Juan Miguel Anzar served as Justice of the Peace in San Juan Bautista. He "favored the cause of the United States."

Memorial and Biographical History of the Coast Counties Central California Illustrated. Lewis Publishing Co. Biographies. 1893. p. 437

Published in: on January 1, 1839 at 10:53 pm  Leave a Comment  

1838-12-29: Rancho Santa Ana grant claimed by Manuel Larios & Juan Miguel Anzar

Saturday, December 29, 1838: The Rancho Santa Ana grant first claimed by Manuel Larios & Juan Miguel Anzar; Larios managed Anzar’s properties.

The petition was referred to the Ayuntamiento to which (sic) reported that the lands could be granted.

Abstract: v.2 p. 228?

Published in: on December 29, 1838 at 10:42 pm  Leave a Comment  

1836-11-06: Juan Bautista Alvarado seizes Governorship of Alta California

November 6, 1836: Juan Bautista Alvarado seizes the Governorship of Alta California.

"Juan Bautista Alvarado, from 1836 to 1842. On November 6, 1836, the Departmental Assembly declared California a free and independent state, overthrew Gutierrez, who left the country, and Alvarado became governor. On August 20, 1837, Antonio Carrillo wrote to Governor Alvarado that his brother Carlos Antonio Carrillo had been appointed governor by the President. In 1838 Alvarado was appointed governor ad interim by the supreme government, and August 7, 1839, he was appointed permanent governor by the President. He died at San Pablo, July 13, 1882."

http://www.usgennet.org/usa/ca/state1/newca/newca3.html

"Alvarado served as governor through a tumulteous period, having risen to power when Californios rejected central government and chose to secede from Mexico. Mexican officials negotiated the return of California and gave Alvarado the governorship. For a short period, Jose Castro formed a counter-government to Alvarado (November 5 to December 7, 1836)"

http://www.californiahistory.net/5_PAGES/life_autonomy.htm

http://www.notfrisco.com/calarchive/governors.html#note12

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_pre-statehood_governors_of_California

http://www.sandiegohistory.org/journal/69winter/part2.htm

http://www.thehistorychannel.co.uk/site/search/search.php?word=ALVARADO%2C%20JUAN%20BAUTISTA&enc=1573

http://www.sfgenealogy.com/sf/history/hbbegn5.htm

http://www.sfgenealogy.com/sf/history/hbbeg8.htm

http://www.usgennet.org/usa/ca/state1/newca/newca3.html

http://www.tsha.utexas.edu/publications/journals/shq/online/v018/n2/article_1.html

http://www.usgennet.org/usa/ca/state1/tinkhamch3.html

http://www.answers.com/topic/california

Published in: on November 6, 1836 at 12:00 am  Leave a Comment  

1836-11-05: José Castro becomes Governor of Alta California in Counter-Government

José Castro becomes Governor of Alta California for the second time from November 5 to December 7, 1836 in opposition to Governor Juan Bautista Alvarado.

http://www.books-about-california.com/Pages/History_of_California_HEB/History_of_California_Govn.html

"Alvarado served as governor through a tumulteous period, having risen to power when Californios rejected central government and chose to secede from Mexico. Mexican officials negotiated the return of California and gave Alvarado the governorship. For a short period, Jose Castro formed a counter-government to Alvarado (November 5 to December 7, 1836)."

http://www.notfrisco.com/calarchive/governors.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jos%C3%A9_Castro

http://www.californiaweekly.com/ca_governors.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_pre-statehood_governors_of_California

http://www.sandiegohistory.org/journal/65june/pioneer.htm 

Published in: on November 5, 1836 at 10:34 pm  Leave a Comment  

1836-09-06: Nicolas Gutierrez becomes Governor of Alta California

Nicolas Gutierrez becomes Governor of Alta California.

Published in: on September 6, 1836 at 10:30 pm  Leave a Comment  

1836-05-03: Mariano Chico becomes Governor of Alta California

May 3, 1836, Mariano Chico becomes Governor of Alta California.

"After Figueroa's death in September 1835, Mariano Chico was appointed governor in January 1836, but he was very unpopular. Thinking a revolt was coming, he returned to Mexico to gather troops, but was reprimanded for leaving his post. Nicolas Gutierrez, the military commandante, assumed the governorship, but he too was unpopular. Alvarado (now senior member of the legislature) and [José] Castro, with political support from Vallejo and assistance from a group of Americans led by Isaac Graham, staged a revolt and forced Gutierrez to relinquish power"

http://www.answers.com/topic/alvarado-juan-bautista

"In January 1836, [Abel] Stearns was appointed to the "Comision de Policia" or the Committee for Public Order in Los Angeles. This was a vigilante group as there was no formal law enforcement in the pueblo at the time. Later that same year, California was saddled with another unpopular governor from Mexico: Mariano Chico. Chico thought it was reprehensible what Stearns and the other instigators of the Victoria revolt did to depose the former governor. Stearns was again ordered exiled to Mexico, this time by Governor Chico. But as in 1831, Stearns was allowed to remain while his nemesis, the Mexican governor was ousted instead. Chico remained in power only two months whereupon he forced to leave on the very ship which he ordered to have Stearns taken to Mexico.

Kielbasa, John R. Historic Adobes of Los Angeles County c 1997
http://www.laokay.com/halac/RanchoLosAlamitos.htm

"Chico clashed with Californios when he insisted on centralized government. He left to seek aid to subdue his charges and never returned. He served from January 2 to May 1, 1836."

http://www.notfrisco.com/calarchive/governors.html#note11

Published in: on May 3, 1836 at 10:04 pm  Leave a Comment  

1836-01-02: Nicolas Gutierrez becomes Governor ad interim of Alta California

"[Mariano] Chico, in leaving California, turned over the command, civil and military to Lieutenant Colonel Nicolas Gutierrez, who became governor ad interim. The diputacion resented this, believing the control should have been left with them.

In 1836 the Californians of the north rose in revolt and headed by Juan Bautista Alvarado, a young Californian of marked ability, drove Gutierrez from the country."

http://www.sfgenealogy.com/sf/history/hbbeg11.htm

The Beginnings of San Francisco, Chapter X1: Spanish Administration, 1769-1846

Eldredge, Zoeth Skinner. The Beginnings of San Francisco. c 1912 San Francisco, Printed by John C. Rankin Company, NY

http://www.usgennet.org/usa/ca/state1/newca/newca3.html

Published in: on January 2, 1836 at 9:48 pm  Leave a Comment  

1835-09-29: Jose Castro becomes Governor ad interim of Alta California

On the death of Jose Figueroa (who appointed him on August 29, 1835), José Castro became the eighth Mexican governor of Alta California for his first term; September 29, 1835 to January 1836.

He later served a second term from November to December, 1836.

http://www.usgennet.org/usa/ca/state1/newca/newca3.html

http://www.californiaweekly.com/ca_governors.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_pre-statehood_governors_of_California

Published in: on September 30, 1835 at 7:58 pm  Leave a Comment  

1835-09-29: Governor Figueroa died of apoplectic stroke

September 29, 1835 – Governor José Figueroa, born in 1792, died of apoplexy. "His demise initiated a decade of chaos unprecedented even in California's turbulent past."

Fink, Augusta. Monterey: The Presence of the Past. San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 1972. p. 70

http://elibrary.unm.edu/oanm/NmU/nmu1%23mss611bc/nmu1%23mss611bc_m9.html

In his August 9, 1834 proclamation, he had begun the process of secularization and dispersement of the mission properties by granting many ranchos to Californians.

http://www.answers.com/topic/mariano-guadalupe-vallejo
http://www.mchsmuseum.com/secularization.html
http://history.acusd.edu/gen/OTSD/briefhistory.html

Published in: on September 29, 1835 at 12:00 am  Leave a Comment  

1835-08-29: José Castro appointed acting Governor of Alta California by Gov. Figueroa

August 29, 1835: José Castro was appointed Governor of Alta California by Gov. Figueroa.

http://www.usgennet.org/usa/ca/state1/newca/newca3.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jos%C3%A9_Castro

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_pre-statehood_governors_of_California 

Published in: on August 29, 1835 at 7:22 pm  Leave a Comment  

1834-08-09: Upper California missions secularized by Gov. Figueroa

Upper California missions secularized by the Mexican government. In his August 9, 1834 proclamation, Governor Jose Figueroa began the process of secularization and dispersement of the first ten mission properties by granting ranchos to Californians.

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/03177b.htm

http://www.sandiegohistory.org/journal/66july/pueblo.htm

Published in: on August 9, 1834 at 12:00 am  Leave a Comment  

1824-10-04 Mexico Becomes a Republic

"The 1824 Constitution of Mexico was the first full constitution adopted by the Mexican Republic."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1824_Constitution_of_Mexico

Published in: on October 4, 1824 at 1:43 am  Leave a Comment  

1822-04-11: Alta California becomes a province of the Mexican Empire

April 11, 1822: Alta California became a province of the Mexican Empire.

"Pablo Vincente de Solá was the Alta's California's last Spanish Governor and its first Mexican Governor. His term as Spanish governor formally ended when he swore allegiance to Emperor Iturbide on April 11, 1822"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agust%C3%ADn_de_Iturbide 

http://www.notfrisco.com/calarchive/governors.html 

http://www.books-about-california.com/Pages/History_of_California_HEB/History_of_California_Govn.html

http://www.sbthp.org/soldados/StBarbara/Califmex.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alta_California 

Published in: on April 11, 1822 at 10:16 pm  Leave a Comment  

1811: Spanish Rule over California Ends; Mexican Rule Begins

From the California Historical Society:

"On the morning of September 16, 1810, a priest named Miguel Hidalgo made a fiery speech in the town of Dolores [in the state of Guanajuato] in New Spain. His words set off a long and bloody war to make New Spain an independent country.

"During most of the war for Mexican independence, California remained uninvolved and unaffected. The only direct contact with the war came in 1818 when two "revolutionary" ships sacked and burned several settlements along the California coast. Three more years of fighting, all to the south of California, were necessary before Mexico achieved its independence in 1821.

"When news of Mexican independence reached California the following year, the old red and gold imperial flag of Spain was lowered over the presidio at Monterey. A crisp new flag, bearing an eagle and a snake, rose in its place. As the flag unfolded in the breeze, the assembled soldiers shouted: "Viva la independencia Mexicana!""

http://www.californiahistory.net/text_only/5_1_1.htm

http://www.nps.gov/prsf/history/mexican_period.htm

http://www.guanajuato.gob.mx/turismo/municipios/fram_dolhgo.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guanajuato

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dolores_Hidalgo

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Spain

Published in: on January 1, 1811 at 8:59 pm  Leave a Comment  

1797-06-24: San Juan Bautista founded by Padre Fermin de Lasuen

Mission San Juan Bautista was founded June 24, 1797 by Padre Fermin de Lasuen. It is the 15th of the 21 California Missions.http://www.san-juan-bautista.ca.us/history/history.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mission_San_Juan_Bautista

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ferm%C3%ADn_Lasu%C3%A9n

Published in: on June 24, 1797 at 12:00 am  Leave a Comment  

1772-03-22: Father Juan Crespi named the San Benito River

The naming of the San Benito River by Padre Juan Crespi, March 21, 1772:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Juan_Crespi

The Beginnings of San Francisco: Zoeth Skinner Eldredge, 1912, pp. 39-42
CHAPTER II. Exploration of the Bay of San Francisco, 1770-1775
http://www.sfgenealogy.com/sf/history/hbbeg2.htm
http://www.webroots.org/library/usahist/tbosf001.html

"Portolá established the presidio and mission of San Cárlos Borromeo de Monterey, June 3, 1770, and dispatched a messenger to the City of Mexico to the Marques de Croix, Viceroy of New Spain, announcing the addition of a new province to the realms of His Most Catholic Majesty, Don Cárlos III. For more than two hundred years Spain had claimed the Pacific coast of North America up to forty-two degrees but had done nothing to maintain her right by settlement. Now, in the foundation of Monterey, Alta California was brought under the flag of Spain and all nations were notified that she would protect her land from invasion and insult. The news of Portolá's success was received with joy and steps were at once taken to found on the shores of the great bay so recently discovered an establishment which, it was thought, would develop into a great commercial city. Portolá had been ordered to establish three missions: one at San Diego, one at Monterey, and one at some intermediate point, to be named for the good doctor serafico, San Buenaventura. It was now resolved to found five more missions in the new province and the guardian of the college of San Fernando was asked to furnish ten additional missionaries. The five missions proposed were San Gabriel, San Luis Obispo, San Antonio, San Francisco, and Santa Clara.

"On November 12, 1770, the viceroy instructed Don Pedro Fages, comandante of California (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pedro_Fages), to explore the port of San Francisco for the purpose of establishing a presidio and mission there, since a place so important ought not to remain exposed to foreign occupation. This order was received by Fages some six months later. Fages had but nineteen men at Monterey, while at San Diego, Rivera had twenty-two. This was the entire military force in California. Two missions: San Diego and Monterey, had been founded, but the establishment of San Buenaventura had been delayed by lack of troops. Rivera was ordered to send a portion of his force to Fages in order that the latter might make the reconnaissance of San Francisco, but the Indians at San Diego were manifesting a hostile disposition and Rivera would not divide his force. So it was not until March 1772 that Fages found himself able to obey the order to explore the port of San Francisco.[1] On the 22d (sic) of March 1772, Fages left the presidio of Monterey with a guard of twelve soldiers, Father Juan Crespi, two servants, and a pack train, and taking a northeasterly course camped the first night on the bank of the Salinas river. The next morning they crossed the plains of Santa Delfina (Salinas valley), passed over the Gavilan mountains by the cañon of Gavilan creek, and descended into the San Benito valley, camping on the bank of the Arroyo de San Benito on the 21st, the day of St. Benedict*, giving the stream the name it now bears. The beautiful valley they called San Pascual Baílon. The next day they crossed the Pájaro river and entered the San Bernardino valley, naming it for Saint Bernardine of Siena, and camped for the night on an arroyo which they called Las Llagas de Nuestro Padre San Francisco—The Wounds of Our Father St. Francis. Ancient San Bernardino is now a part of the Santa Clara valley, but the Arroyo de Las Llagas still retains the name Fages gave it. The next day they passed into the upper Santa Clara valley, then called the Llano de Los Robles—the Plain of the Oaks—and keeping to the right of the great estero camped on an arroyo near the southeastern point of the bay. On Wednesday March 25th, they camped on San Leandro creek, called by them San Salvador de Horta. Thursday the 26th they were on the site of Alameda, then covered with a forest of oaks, and called the San Antonio creek, Arroyo del Bosque—Creek of the Grove. Looking across to the Golden Gate they named it La Bocana de la Ensenada de los Farallones—The Entrance to the Gulf of the Farallones. On Friday they looked from the Berkeley hills through the Golden Gate to the broad Pacific. The next two days they followed the shore of San Pablo bay, hoping to get to the high sierra they saw to the north of La Bocana and reach Point Reyes near which, they believed, was the real port they were seeking. This they could not do because of an estero, quarter of a league wide, deep, and impassable without boats. To the mountain of the north (Tamalpais) they gave the name La Sierra de Nuestro Padre San Francisco, as it seemed to be the guardian of his port. On the opposite bank of that estero we call Carquines strait, they saw many rancherias whose Indians called to them, and seeing that the strangers were passing on, crossed the strait on their tule rafts and presented the travelers with their wild eatables.

* Benedict of Nursia, founder of the Benedictine order
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benedict_of_Nursia

Published in: on March 22, 1772 at 7:58 pm  Leave a Comment  

1770-06-03: Don Gaspar de Portola establishes presidio and mission at Monterey, Alta California

The Beginnings of San Francisco: Zoeth Skinner Eldredge, 1912, pp. 39-42
CHAPTER II. Exploration of the Bay of San Francisco, 1770-1775
http://www.sfgenealogy.com/sf/history/hbbeg2.htm
http://www.webroots.org/library/usahist/tbosf001.html

"Portolá established the presidio and mission of San Cárlos Borromeo de Monterey, June 3, 1770, and dispatched a messenger to the City of Mexico to the Marques de Croix, Viceroy of New Spain, announcing the addition of a new province to the realms of His Most Catholic Majesty, Don Cárlos III. For more than two hundred years Spain had claimed the Pacific coast of North America up to forty-two degrees but had done nothing to maintain her right by settlement. Now, in the foundation of Monterey, Alta California was brought under the flag of Spain and all nations were notified that she would protect her land from invasion and insult. The news of Portolá's success was received with joy and steps were at once taken to found on the shores of the great bay so recently discovered an establishment which, it was thought, would develop into a great commercial city. Portolá had been ordered to establish three missions: one at San Diego, one at Monterey, and one at some intermediate point, to be named for the good doctor serafico, San Buenaventura. It was now resolved to found five more missions in the new province and the guardian of the college of San Fernando was asked to furnish ten additional missionaries. The five missions proposed were San Gabriel, San Luis Obispo, San Antonio, San Francisco, and Santa Clara.

Published in: on June 3, 1770 at 1:01 pm  Leave a Comment