Mexican Governors of California

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)
  • 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)>/li>
  • 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.