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Mexican Governors

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The Mexican era in California spanned 1821 through 1846. There were 12 different governors (15 periods of governance) in that period:

11 Apr-22 Nov 1822: Pablo Vicente de Sola
Lifespan (1761-1826)
1822-1825: Luís Antonio Argüello
Lifespan (21 June 1784 - 27 March 1830)
He is buried in the cemetery at the Mission in San Francisco.
1825-1831: José Maria de Eschendiá
Lifespan (?-1855)
31 Jan-6 Dec 1831: Manuel Victoria
Lifespan (?-1833)
Victoria refused to secularize the missions. On 6 December he was wounded at the Battle of Cahuenga Pass and returned to Mexico.
1831-1832 (20 days): Pio de Jesus Píco
Pio PicoPio de Jesus Píco (1801-1894) was born in the San Gabriel Mission. He was the son of a soldier, José María Píco, and a native of Sonora, María Estaquia Lopez. He had a mixed heritage; a combination of African, Native American, Hispanic, and European. He served two terms as governor; the first being quite short (about 20 days). He was afraid of increased migration and favored annexation by France or England instead of the United States. He fled California to Mexico in 1846 and returned two years later. He continued to be active in politics, but gambled away his holdings. He died in poverty at the home of his daughter. (More below)
1832-1833: Agustin V. Zamorano
Lifespan (1798-1842)
Governed in the north
1832-1833: José Maria de Echeandía
Lifespan (?-1855)
Governed in the south
1833-1835: José Figueroa
Lifespan (1792-1843)
1835-8 Oct 1835: José Castro
Lifespan (1810-1860)
8 Oct 1835-2 Jan 1836: Nicholas Gutierrez
Lifespan (Unknown)
2 Jan-1 May 1836: Mariano Chico
Lifespan (1796-1850)
1 May-30 Jul 1836: Nicolas Gutierrez
Lifespan (Unknown)
1836-1842: Juan Batista Alvarado
Lifespan (1800-1882)
5 Nov-7 Dec 1836 José Castro formed a counter-government to Alvarado.
1842-1845: Manuel Micheltorena
Manuel MicheltorenaManuel Micheltorena (?-1852). He was responsible for a number of land grants that expanded private ownership of California lands. John Sutter had even offered to protect the governor's office by force of arms, if necessary and rode to his aid in a revolt by José Castro, Alvarado and others. He assisted Mission Santa Inés with a land exchange that brought some of the Mission property effectively back under its control (after secularization) as a college seminary.
1845-1846: Pio de Jesus Píco
See above for bio. He became governor in 1845 after a bloodless artillery duel near Cahuenga Pass. Campo de Cahuenga, opposite Universal Studios today, marks the spot. In this period he completed secularization of the missions and is noted for seizing mission property and distributing it to friends. The Pio Pico Adobe is a State Park in Whittier, California.


  • The Governors of California at http://www.notfrisco.com/calarchive/governors.html
  • Mexican Governors of Alta California at http://users.dedot.com/mchs/mexgovernors.html
  • Píco Biography at http://www.sandiegohistory.org/bio/pico/picopio.htm
  • Píco Biography at http://www.socalhistory.org/Biographies/pico.htm
  • Eisenhower, John S.D. "So Far From God: The U.S. War with Mexico 1846-1848." Random House, 1989.

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Related Index :: Mission Founding Order :: Nicknames :: Blessed Serra Bio :: Padre Lasuén Bio :: Calif Spanish Governors :: Calif Mexican Governors :: Calif Military Governors :: Mission Presidents-General :: Secularization :: Chumash Indians :: Spanish Settlement :: El Camino Real :: Dana Acobe :: Stories :: Property :: Measurements :: Find Mission Plans :: Mission Materials :: Jorgensen Paintings :: Calif Missions Museum :: Earthquakes

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