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Welcome to my Monterey History Page

Jose Cardero, Presidio of Monterey, 1791, (c) MCHS

This site consists of two parts,
a time line of Monterey's History and a list of Monterey's most famous people.

Sources, References and Acknowledgements

This is a collection of all dates and all web links I could find relevant to Monterey's history.

On my journey through history, J.D. Conway's Book
Monterey, Presidio, Pueblo, and Port was the most reliable
guide and the single most important resource.

For other books on Monterey's history, visit the California History Room and check Historic Monterey.

In addition to J.D. Conway's excellent book, I searched the internet extensively. I don't want to rank any source higher than others, but
I want to give special thanks to

The City of Monterey, Monterey County,
The Monterey County Historical Society (MCHS),
Inn-California. and
Four Directions.

You can buy the book for $24.95
in the Pacific House and
in the Colton Hall Museum.

If you find anything else or if you discover something that is incorrect, please contact me.

General History of California

California Republic

General History of Monterey

City of Monterey
Monterey County
Monterey County Historical Society

Time Line of Monterey's History

Monterey's history can be broken up into five different periods:

The Prehistoric Period
The Indian Period
The Spanish Period
The Mexican Period
The US-American Period

Prehistoric Period

General Information

Monterey County


65 mil. years ago

Sorry, but there were no dinosaurs roaming what is now California because throughout most of the Mesozoic Era, the Pacific border of North America, from California to Alaska, was submerged. About 65 million years ago, at the end of the Jurassic Period, widespread folding happened along the western border of the North American continent. In California, the Sierra Nevada, and the Coast Ranges were formed during that time.

58 mil. years ago

During the Paleocene Epoch, the Cretaceous inland seas gradually withdrew from central and southwest California.

36 mil. years ago

The Eocene Epoch in California was mainly marked by the submergence of the Central Valley.

25 mil. years ago

During the Oligocene Epoch, California's coast was largely elevated. The archaic mammals of the Paleocene disappeared, the ancestors of today's dogs and cats entered the scene and the brontotherium, the largest mammal to ever live in North America, could be found in California's Death Valley.

13 mil. years ago

At the beginning of the Miocene Epoch, the Central Valley was still submerged. Later in the period, the Coast Ranges were elevating along with the first known movement along the San Andreas fault zone. A distinct cooling of the climate resulted in the reduction of forests and an increase in grassy plains.

2 mil. years ago

In the Pliocene Epoch, the outlines of California were almost the same as in recent time. Volcanic activity continued and at the end of the Epoch, the Sierra Nevada was elevated and tilted to the west. The climate became cooler and drier and foreshadowed the glacial climates of the Pleistocene epoch.

10,000 years ago

The Pleistocene epoch is commonly referred to as "The Great Ice Age." It was not the only glacial period (Ice Age) in Earth's history, but it was the one marking the first appearance of modern humans approximately 500,000 years ago and the migration of humans to the American continents.
The Sierra Nevada encountered a glacial period, but there were no glaciers in the coastal ranges. Here, in what is now Monterey County, the Ice Age was a time of huge amounts of rain fall. It was the time of saber tooth tigers, giant bisons and mammoths. Relics of the ice age still present today are the Monterey Cypress tree and the California Condor.

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Indian Period

General Information

Monterey County
Four Directions


135,000 years ago

A very controversial theory claims that early humans may have settled at Calico Early Man Site near Barstow, California.

50,000 years ago

According to very recent new findings early humans may have settled in North America as early as 50,000 years ago.

13,500 years ago

Paleoindians crossed Beringia, a temporary, dry-land passage between Siberia and Alaska. They kept moving south, hunting wild animals and gathering wild plants.

5500 BC

The Encinitas Culture in the San Diego area is the first documented culture in California.

1000 BC

Hokan-speaking people, probably ancestral Esselen or Pomoan live in the San Francisco and Monterey Bay areas.

500 BC

Costanoans, ancestors of the Monterey natives arrive in the San Francisco area.

500 AD

Two Ohlone groups settle at the Monterey peninsula. The Rumsen village was at the area of the Monterey Peninsula College, the Tamotk group lived in the area of the Presido.


At the time of the founding of the first missions in San Diego and Monterey, about 150,000 people lived in what is now California. Only 100 years later, California's native population was down to 15,000. 135,000 people (or 90% of the native population) died within the first 100 years of California's colonial history!

A California Indian History Narrative can be found at the National Park Service website. Four Directions has an excelent time line of California's Indian History. The site also has extensive information (including many links) about the three tribes native to the Monterey area, the Ohlone/Costanoan, the Esselen, and the Salinan.

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Spanish Period
1602 - 1822

General Information

Monterey County Website
City of Monterey Website
Monterey County Historical Society
List of Spanish Governors



Francisco de Ulloa explores the Golf of Mexico.


Hernando de Alarcón sailed up the Gulf of California; proved definitely that Lower California was a peninsula, not an island, and discovered the Colorado River. He was most likely the first European to see any part of Alta California.

1542, Nov. 17

Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo first sights Monterey Bay and calls it the "Bay of Pines."
MCHS: Coastal Navigation and Exploration of the Monterey Bay Area


Sir Francis Drake lands near San Francisco and claims California for Great Britain.


Pedro de Unamuno enters Morro Bay, naming it "Puerto de San Lucas," and sends an expedition to the vicinity of present day San Luis Obispo, taking possession in the name of Spain's King Philip.


Portuguese born explorer Sebastian Rodriguez Cermenon, sailing from Philippines to Acapulco, explores the California coast from Eureka to San Martin Island looking for ports. He anchors near Point Reyes and makes a land claim for Spain without setting a foot ashore.

1602, Dec. 16

Sebastian Vizcaino is the first European to set foot on the Monterey Peninsula. He claims it for Spain and names the harbor for the viceroy of Mexico, the Count of Monte Rey .

MCHS: Sebastian Vizcaíno's Exploration of Monterey in 1602-1603


The Portola Expedition travels as far as San Francisco but failes to find Monterey Bay. Half the members of that expedition die of malnutrition and scurvy and Portola writes in his report that "...if the Russians wanted California, Spain should let her have it." (from

MCHS: The Portolá Expedition of 1769

1770, June 3

Father Junipero Serra, arriving by ship and Gaspar de Portolá, leader of the land expedition, meet in Monterey. The founding of the Mission San Carlos Borromeo at the Royal Presidio of Monterey marks the birthday of Monterey.

MCHS: The Founding of Monterey

1770, July 9

Portola returns to Mexico and Pedro Fages assumes command of Alta California.

1771, Aug. 24

Construction of Carmel Mission starts. At Dec. 24, the San Carlos Borromeo Mission was moved completely from Monterey to Carmel.

1774, Apr. 18

Coming all the way from Arizona, Don Juan Bautista de Anza reaches Monterey and establishes a connection to the Missions in Sonora.

1774, May 23

Don Fernando Rivera y Moncada arrives overland and assumes command from Fages.

1776, March 10

Juan Bautista de Anza repeats his 1,200 mile journey from Arizona and arrives again in Monterey with more than 130 soldiers and settlers destined for San Francisco.

1777, Feb. 3

Rivera is replaced by Felipe de Neve. Monterey becomes capital of Las Californias. Neve governs both Alta and Baja California from Monterey.


French circumnavigator La Pérouse maps the North American coast from Alaska to California and stops in Monterey before crossing the Pacific Ocean towards Asia.

1791, Sep. 12

Alejandro Malaspina, Italian circumnavigator in the Spanish navy stops in Monterey before leaving America for the Philippines. José Cardero, member of that expedition makes the first sketches of Monterey.


After exploring the coast of British Columbia, Galiano and Valdes stop in Monterey on their way back to Acapulco.
The Canadian Adventure of a Spanish Naval Hero

British explorer George Vancouver also stops in Monterey on his way from British Columbia to the Sandwich Islands.


Vancouver visits Monterey again and writes a description of the Presidio. He also mentions an outpost at the Salinas River.


Beginning of cattle ranching. Concessions for four outlying ranches are granted.


Local Indians, most likely Ensen, a subdivision of the Ohlone, attack and burn all ranches.


USS Otter, home port Boston, MA, commanded by Ebenezer Dorr is the first US ship to bearth in California.


Governor Arillaga informs the viceroy that the presidio is "in ruinous condition." In the following years, especially following the Hidalgo Revolt of 1810, supplies are scarce and arrive only sporadically. Alta California's capital is reduced to a desolate outpost.


Argentine privateer Hipólito Bouchard ransacks the town and burns the Presidio.

ca. 1820

Led by Corporal Manuel Boronda, the first families start to settle outside the presidio walls.

1822, April

Word of the change in political control in Mexico reaches California. Governor Pablo Vicente Solá convenes a caucus including officers from the presidios and padres from the missions and swears allegiance to the new Mexican government.

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Mexican Period
1822 - 1847

General Information

Monterey County Website
City of Monterey Website
List of Mexican Governors


1822, Apr.

General Augustin de Iturbide is crowned Emperor of Mexico.
California pledges allegiance to the Mexican Government.


Governor Jose Maria Echeandia moves the capital to San Diego.
Solis y Herrera leads a revolt of the Monterey Presidio garrison. The uprising advances as far as Santa Barbara before Echeandia regains control. (from

1826, Nov.

Jedediah Smith, guided by Mojave Indians, travels to the Great Southwestern Desert and arrives in the San Bernadino Valley. He and his fourteen associates were the first US-Americans to enter California by land from across the southwestern desert. On their way back to Utah in July 1827, they became the first European-Americans to cross the Sierra Nevada.
More about Jedediah Smith's journey at Inn-California


Major change to Spanish rule was the granting of land to private citizen. Only five years after the Mexican takeover, 14 private ranchos were located in the Monterey district and traffic with English and American vessels for the hide and tallow trade became an important boost to the economy. A picture by William Smyth during the winter of 1826-1827 shows a small number of scattered adobes without any formal property lines, fences, or streets.

1827, Sep.

Jedediah Smith returns to California and is ordered to Monterey to meet with Governor Echeandia. He is temporarely placed under arrest until Captain John Rogers Cooper vouches for him and his party.


Governor Manuel Victoria returns the capital to Monterey.

1834, Aug. 9

A declaration by Governor Figueroa defines an immediate plan for secularization and dispersement of mission property.

1836, Nov.

Juan Bautista Alvarado and José Castro seize Monterey and force Mexican deputy governor Gutierrez to surrender. Alvarado declares California formally independent and later works out a compromise for Alta California to remain a Mexican province with increased autonomy with Alvorado as governor and Castro as president of the legislature.

1837, Dec.

The Mexican Government appointed Carlos Antonio Carrillo governor. Carrillo takes office in Los Angeles and civil war breaks out between Northern and Southern California. After several battles Alvarado forces Carrillo to leave California and Mexico recognizes Alvarado as governor.


The Mexican government sends Manuel Micheltorena to replace Alvarado as governor.

1842 October 19

Wrongfully assuming that war has broken out between Mexico and the United States, Commodore Thomas ap Catesby Jones, commander of the US Pacific Fleet sails into Monterey Bay, demands surrender and raises the US flag. Two days later, he realizes that war has not broken out, writes a note to the governor, re-raises the Mexican flag and leaves.

1843, May 1

The United States establish a consulate in Monterey and Thomas O. Larkin is appointed first US consul to Mexico.


After Governor Micheltorena restored property ownership to the missions, Alvarado and Castro rebel again against Mexican rule and force Micheltorena to leave California. New Mexican Governor Pio Pico governs from Los Angeles while Castro sets up a rival regime in Monterey.

1846 Jan.

US Captain John Charles Fremont who lead an armed exploratory party across the Rocky Mountains into California travels to Monterey and meets with Commandante General José Castro, Monterey Alcalde Manuel Diaz, former Governor Juan Bautista Alvarado, and U.S. Consul Thomas Larkin.

1846 Mar.

Fremont and his party of 62 armed volunteers take up a position in the Salinas Valley. Many Californians consider Fremont's party as foreign invaders and on March 8, Castro forms a militia to oust Fremont. Castro and Fremont engage in a three-day standoff until Fremont leaves for Oregon.

1846, Apr. 25

War breaks out between the United States and Mexico.

1846, June 10

The Bear Flaggers raise the grizzly bear flag and issue a proclamation of independence.

1846, July 7

With 250 Marines and three ships and with war now really being at hand, Commodore John D. Sloat, new commander of the US Pacific Fleet, sails into Monterey Bay, raises the US flag at the Custom House and declares that "henceforward California will be a portion of the United States."

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US-American Period
1846 -

General Information

Monterey County Website
City of Monterey Website
List of American Military Governors between 1846 and 1849
List of American Governors since 1849


1846, July 7

John D. Sloat becomes the first American Military Governor of California.

1846, July 19

John C. Fremont returns to Monterey, bringing 160 riflemen to support Sloat.

1846, July 15

Robert F. Stockton arrives and replaces Sloat as Military Governor.

1846, July 27

Stockton appoints naval chaplain Walter Colton to be the first American Alcade of Monterey. In September, Colton will be officially elected into the same position.

1846, Aug. 15

Colton and Dr. Robert Semple, a frontiersman from Kentucky launch California's first newspaper, "The Californian."

1846, Aug. 15

Lieutenant Colonel John C. Fremont and General Andres Pico of Mexico sign the "Capitulation of Cahuenga," ending rival hostilities between Mexico and the United States in California for the duration of the Mexican War.

1846, Nov. 16

Battle of Natividad. American troops under Capt. Charles Burroughs of Fremont's California Battalion are attacked by Californios under Com. Manual Castro at Natividad near San Juan Bautista. The Californios tried to capture Fremont's horses. Three Americans died in the battle and it has been speculated that the battle was an important American victory since the horses allowed Fremont's rifle companies to reach southern California where the were instrumental in the closing of the Mexican War.

1847, Jan. 28

Company "F" of the 3rd artillery under Cptn. Henry W. Halleck takes over construction of the fort (then called "Fort Stockton"), establishing the first US military installation at the Pacific coast.

1848, Jan. 24

Gold is discovered near Sacramento. The Gold Rush makes San Francisco the gateway to California, replacing Monterey as the main port.

1848, Feb. 2

The Treaty of Guadaloupe Hidalgo ends the Mexican war. Mexico cedes Alta California and New Mexico (including Arizona) to the United States and recognized U.S. claims over Texas, with the Rio Grande as its southern boundary.

1849, Mar. 8

Monterey's public school building, designed by Walter Colton is complete. It is the first public building built in California and will later be called Colton Hall.

1849, Apr. 12

Bennet Riley becomes the last Military Governor.

1849, July

Military Governor Riley calles for a constitutional convention to be held in Monterey. Until September 1st, 48 delegates arrive in Monterey.

1849, Sep. 1

The constitutional convention convenes in Colton Hall.

1849, Oct. 13

After only six weeks, Californias first constitution is ratified by all 48 delegates. One of the last decisions made at the convention was to move the capital to San Jose.

1850, March 30

By a special act of the first California legislature, Monterey receives city status - an importan upgrade from pueblo.

1850, July 04

At Independence Day 1850 the Declaration of Independence was red in Spanish language for the very first time in a translation done by Ltnt. John Hamilton and Padre Ignacio Ramirez.
An earlier (1821) translation existed, but was never presented to the public.


The Western Express and Stagecoach Company makes Monterey a regular stop. But - similar to the Greyhound lines of modern days - Monterey does not become part of the main north-south route but a dead-end route from San Jose.


Monterey's fishing industry begins with Chinese fishermen settling at Point Alones (now site of the Hopkins Marine Laboratory) and fishing Abalone.
Read more about the Chinese pioneers at the Monterey County website.


After whaling declined in the Atlantic Ocean, whalers from the Azores moved to the Pacific. The first shore whaling company in Monterey started in 1854 but disbands within a year. In 1855, 17 Portuguese whalers establish the "Old Company," Monterey's first successful whaling company.


With the capital moved to San Jose and the port moved to San Francisco, Monterey enters an era of disregard and becomes Californias forgotten city. Richard Henry Dana wrote in Twenty-Four Years After: ". . . Monterey, which to my disappointment we did not visit. No; Monterey, the prettiest town on the coast, and its capital and seat of customs, had got no advantage from the great changes, was out of the way of commerce and of the travel to the mines and great rivers, and was not worth stopping at."


Monterey was not only forgotten, but also broke. The city declares bankruptcy and all town lots, together with thousands of acres of land are purchased by David Jacks and his partner D.R. Ashley for $1,002.50 in payment of debts.


The army abandons the military reservation and will not return until 1902.


The Southern Pacific Railroad reaches Salinas.


With the votes of Hollister (which in return got Salinas' votes to become an independent county), the county seat of Monterey County is moved from Monterey to Salinas.

1874, Oct. 9

The Monterey & Salinas Valley Railroad is completed and connects Monterey with the Southern Pacific Railroad and the rest of the world. The first cargo shipped by train from Monterey is a lod of grain, bound for Liverpool.


The Del Monte Hotel opens and starts a new industry in Monterey: Tourism.


Stanford University opens Hopkins Seaside Laboratory at Lover's Point (now Hopkins Marine Station, the first marine lab on the west coast.

1902, Mar.

The first canning company opens on Ocean Vew Avenue.

1902, July

Monterey wins over serveral other locations to become the site of a new military base.

1903, July

The military installation is renamed Ord Barracks.


At the end of World War One, nine fish canning companies and 60 fishing boats operate in Monterey, producing 1.4 million cases / year. Monterey grows rapidly. The sardine industry employs 2,300 people, 70% of them women. Most of them live in the area above Cannery Row, called New Monterey.

1919, Feb. 22

Samuel Finley Brown Morse acquires Del Monte Forest and the Del Monte Hotel, forms the Del Monte Properties Company and opens Pebble Beach Golf Links.


Marine biologist Ed Ricketts arrives in California and opens his Pacific Biological Laboratory in Pacific Grove.

1923, Nov. 30

A devastating storm all but destroyes the wharf and the waterfront.


As a result of the "Thanksgiving Storm," Monterey is - yet again - broke.

1925, Mar. 9

The financial crisis leads to an overhaul of the city charter. A new charter is adopted on March 9 and remains , with amendments, in force to this day.


John Steinbeck publishes his first novel, "Cup of Gold." It receives little attention.


Ed Ricketts'Pacific Biological Laboratory moves to 740 Ocean View Avenue (now Cannery Row) in Monterey.


Retired Presidio commander Roger Fish and Laura Bride Powers found the Monterey History and Art Association. To this day, the association is one of the main forces in the preservation of Monterey's history. One of its greatest achievements is the creation of the Path of History.


John Steinbeck publishes "Tortilla Flat" and receives the California Commonwealth Club's Gold Medal for best novel by a California author.


John Steinbeck wins the Pulitzer Prize for "The Grapes of Wrath", published in 1939.


In 1940, Ord Barracks is renamed Fort Ord. During World War II, Ford Ord is one of the major military training facilities in the United States.


The Navy leases the Del Monte Hotel facilities for a preflight training school during World War Two.


John Steinbeck publishes "Cannery Row". Only a few years later, the sardine fishery collapses and Monterey's era as a fishing town comes to an end but the myth, created by Steinbeck continues to this day and contributes largely to Monterey's tourism industry.


The Defense Language Institute, founded in 1941 in San Francisco, moves into the Presidio of Monterey. Today, the DLI is the world's largest foreign language institute.


The National Pro-Amateur Golf Championship, which started in 1937 and was suspended during World War Two finds its permanent home in Pebble Beach and has been held here ever since.

1951, Dec.

The Naval Postgraduate School, founded in 1912, moves into its new campus at the old Del Monte Hotel.


The Monterey Institute of International Studies opens. Its mission is " teach languages in their cultural context and to enlighten students in the importance of cross-cultural understanding as a means to avoid the recurrence of wars." First languages taught were German and French. (see MIIS history.) Together with the DLI and other institutions, MIIS established Monterey's reputation as the Language Capital of the World.

1958, Sep.

The California Test Bureau, founded in Los Angeles in 1926, relocates to Monterey. Acquired by by The McGraw-Hill Companies in 1965, CTB/McGraw-Hill soon becomes a leading publisher of standardized achievement tests for children and adults. Today, CTB/McGraw-Hill is Monterey's largest employer.

1958, Sep.

The Monterey Jazz Festival takes place for the first time. Performers were, amongst others, Dizzy Gillespie, Louis Armstrong, and Billie Holiday. Today, the Monterey Jazz Frstival is the longest running Jazz festival in the world.


Another marine science institute, the Moss Landing Marine Laboratories opens ath the shores of the Monterey Bay.

1967, July

The Monterey International Pop Music Festival brings 32 acts and three days of peace and love and Rock'n Roll to Monterey. The festival was the first big performance for Jimi Hendrix in the US and the breakthrough for Janis Joplin. It is widely regarded as the beginning of the "Summer of Love."

1984, Oct. 20

TheMonterey Bay Aquarium opens. From the very start, the Aquarium has been a major tourist attraction and a center of marine environmental education. Together with the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, the aquarium supports Monterey's reputation as the world's prime oceanographic research center.

1992, Sep. 18

Congress establishes theMonterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. With 5,322 square miles of ocean and 276 miles of coastline it is the larges Marine Sanctuary in the United States, supporting one of the world’s most diverse marine ecosystems.


After 90 years, Fort Ord is closed in what will be the largest base closure in the United States.


California State University Monterey Bay opens in Ford Ord; putting parts of the former military base to new use.

1998, June

The National Ocean Conference underlines once more Monterey's leading role in marine research and education.

1998, Oct. 30

Monterey enters the space age. PANSAT, a small satellite designed by students at the Naval Postgraduate School, is launched from the space shuttle Discovery.

Famous People in Monterey's History

Juan Bautista Alvarado Rebel for an independent California and Governor by Mexico's grace
Juan Bautista de Anza Pioneer of the Southwest and founder of San Francisco
Hipolito Bouchard Argentine circumnavigator and privateer
Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo Discoverer of Monterey Bay
Manuel Jose Antonio Cardero Creator of Monterey's first pictures
Jose Castro Governor, rebel and general
Walter Colton Clergyman, writer and Monterey's first Alcade
John Rogers Cooper Ship captain and trader
Miguel Costanso Military engineer and cartographer
Pedro Fages Second Spanish Governor of Alta California
John Charles Fremont Legendary pathfinder and terminator of Mexican rule in California
Dionisio Alcala Galiano Spanish cartographer and explorer
Jean-Francois de Galoup French explorer
David Jacks The man who once bought Monterey
Thomas ap Catesby Jones Admiral of the Pacific Fleet and the biggest "Oops" in American naval history
Thomas O. Larkin Only U.S. Consul in Monterey
Alexandro Malaspina Italian circumnavigator
Felipe de Neve First Governor of the Californias
Alexo Nino The beginning of Monterey's African American history
Gaspar de Portola Co-founder of Monterey and first Governor of Alta California
Fernando Rivera y Moncada Third Governor of Alta California
Father Junipero Serra Co-founder of Monterey and Founder of the Alta California mission system
John Drake Sloat Commander of the Pacific Fleet and Monterey's final conquerer
Cayetano Valdes y Flores Spanish hydrographer and explorer
George Vancouver British explorer
Tiburcio Vasquez Last Mexican bandito
Sebastian Vizcaino Spanish discoverer who claimed Monterey for Spain
Gaspar de Zuniga y Azevedo,
Count of Monte Rey
Viceroy of Mexico and name patron of Monterey

Still incomplete...
This site is still under construction. Please come back next week.

Short Biographies, links and references

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Juan Bautista Alvarado
1809 - 1882
Rebel for an independent California and Governor by Mexico's grace

Biographic notes @ Inn-California; Biography @ Famous Americans

Leader of the Californian revolt against Mexican authority in November 1837. Together with Jose Castro, he seized Monterey, and sent the deputy governor home to Mexico. Alvarado then was Governor until governor and Castro as president of the legislature. For two years his jurisdiction was not seriously disputed, but in 1842 the Mexican government sent Manuel Micheltorena to replace him. In 1845, Alvarado and Castro revolted against Micheltorena who surrendered after a battle in which the only casualties were a Mexican Horse and an American Mule. In 1846, Alvarado and Castro joined forces again and engaged John Charles Fremont in the Standoff at Gavilan Peak.
After John Drake Sloat captured Monterey, Alvarado continued to resist, but was captured by American forces in August 1846. He was later offered the post of Secretary of State but declined and never took a public office again.

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Juan Bautista de Anza
1735 - 1788
Pioneer of the Southwest and Founder of San Francisco

Biography @

In 1774, de Anza opened an overland road from Sonora through present-day Arizona to California, reaching San Gabriel and Monterey.
He repeated the 1,200 mile long voyage in 1776. Later, he became governor of New Mexico.
Al Newhart: Marching with Anza

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Hipolito Bouchard
1780 - 1837
Argentine circumnavigator and Privateer

Biography in Spanish language @ Military History of Argentina

Born in France and sailing for the revolutionaries of the La Plata River region of Argentina since 1811, Bouchard was granted Argentine citizenship in 1813. In 1817, he circumnavigated the globe, hunting Spanish merchant ships. In 1818, after leaving Hawaii, he began raiding the coast of Spanish Alta California. In mid-October of 1818, Bouchard anchored in Monterey Bay an landed with 400 men. They ransacked the presidio, took everything they could carry from the homes and left soon after.
Hipolito Bouchard and the Raid of 1818
Book review: The Burning of Monterey

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Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo
?? - 1543
Discoverer of Monterey Bay

San Diego Biographies

In 1542, Cabrillo led the first European expedition to explore what is now the west coast of the United States. He sailed as far north as Oregon, mapped the California coastline and discovered the Channel Islands.
Like most of his men, Cabrillo didn't live to see the end of the journey. His grave has never been found but is believed to be at the Channel Islands.
MCHS: Coastal Navigation and Exploration of the Monterey Bay Area

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Manuel Jose Antonio Cardero

Creator of Monterey's First Picture

Spanish Artist Jose Cardero began his career in 1791 as a cabin boy at Malaspina's expedition and gradually became one of the expedition's most important artists. In September 1791, he did the first drawings of the Monterey Presidio and the Carmel Mission.
In 1792, Cardero visited Monterey again as artist of the Galiano and Valdes expedition. He is most renown for his drawings of Native Americans in British Columbia.
Cardero's pictures appear in countless biographies and articles but I was not able to find any biographical information or a picture of the artist.

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Jose Castro
1810 - 1860
Governor, Rebel and General

For a short time from September 1835 until January 1836, Castro served as Alta California's 7th Mexican Governor. In November 1837, he became one of the leaders of the Californian revolt against Mexican authority. Together with Juan Bautista Alvarado, he seized Monterey, and sent the deputy governor home to Mexico. Independence was formally declared, Alvarado became Governor and Castro became president of the legislature. in 1842 the Mexican government sent Manuel Micheltorena to replace Alvarado as Governor. In 1845, Alvarado and Castro rebeled successfully against Micheltorena who first defeated Castro's forces, but then faceed Alvarado in the Battle of La Providencia and was forced to leave California. In 1846, Castro and Alvarado joined forces again and engaged John Charles Fremont in the Standoff at Gavilan Peak. In 1946, after John Drake Sloat captured Monterey, Castro continued to resist, but eventually had to flee to Mexico.

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Walter Colton
1797 – 1851
Clergyman, Writer and Monterey's first Alcade

Colton, naval chaplain since 1831 stayed in Monterey only for three years, but definitely left a mark. He arrived on July 15, 1846 aboard the Congress, one of Commodore Sloat's vessels. Soon after, on August 15, he launched California's first newspaper, "The Californian" together with Dr. Robert Semple, a frontiersman from Kentucky. Then, he was appointed Monterey's first Alcade (a combination of Mayor, Sheriff Chief Judge.) In this position, he initiated the building of a public school and town meeting hall whic was completed in 1849 and is now Colton Hall. Colton returned to the East Coast in 1849. His book "Three Years in California", published in 1850 is an excellent historical account of his time in Monterey.

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John Rogers Cooper
1797 – 1851
Ship Captain and Trader

Cooper was Thomas Larkin's half brother and related to Alvarado by marriage. He was born in New England, immigrated to California and married into a Mexican family. He traveled extensively as a ship captain, trading in hides, tallow, general merchandise and sea otter pelts.

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Miguel Costanso
Military Engineer and Cartographer

Many of the facts we know about Monterey's early days, we know from Miguel Costanso. He wrote the official Diary of the 1769 Portola Expedition and was member of the 1770 expedition. As cartograher, Costanso drew the first map of Monterey Bay and as engeneer, he designed the Monterey Presidio.
Like many other chronists, we know much about the people he wrote about, but only little about himself. So far, I could not find any bigraphic information about him.

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Pedro Fages
1734 - 1794
Second Spanish Governor of Alta California

Biography @ Military Museum

Member of the 1769 Portola expedition which failed to find Monterey Bay and member of the land wing of the 1770 expedition resulting in the founding of the Monterey Presidio on June 3, 1770.
When Portola left Monterey, Fages assumed command as governor from 1770-1774.
MCHS: The Portola Expedition of 1769
MCHS: The Founding of Monterey

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John Charles Fremont
1813 - 1890
Legendary Pathfinder and Terminator of Mexican Rule in California

Biography @ Famous Americans
Short Bio @ US Congress Biographies

Between 1838 and 1840, Fremont conducted two expeditions exploring the Missouri and the Des Moines River. In May 1842, he left Washington, DC, leading an expedition across the Rocky Mountains. He moved on through mostly undiscovered territory all across the Sierra Nevada and arrived at Sutter's fort in Sacramento in May 1844.
In 1845/46 he led another armed expedition into California, arriving in Monterey in March 1846. Alvarado and Castro asked him to leave California immediately and Fremont's refusal led to the standoff at Gavilan Peak. Fremont left for Oregon after that incident, but returned with reinforcements in May, effectively finishing off Spanish control in Northern California. On July 4th, 1846, Northern California's American settlers "elected" him Governor of California. (He never really assumed that post , but was California's Military Governor for a couple of months in 1847.)
When Fremont learned that Comodore Sloat had seized Monterey, he marched to join him and arrived in Monterey in July of 1846.
In later years, Fremont conducted many more expedition into unexplored American territory, represented California in the US Congress in 1850/51, was the first Republican presidential candidate in 1856 , strongly opposing slavery, fought in the civil War and was Governor of Arizona from 1878-81.

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Dionisio Alcala Galiano
1762 - 1805
Spanish Cartographer and Explorer

Biography @ Alexandro Malaspina Research Centre

A cartographer in the Spanish navy since 1784, he went to California in 1789 as member of the Malaspina expedition. In 1792, he and Valdes made a voyage into Vancouver Strait. On their way back to Mexico, they stopped in Monterey.
Galiano died in the battle of Trafalgar.
The Canadian Adventure of a Spanish Naval Hero

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Jean-Francois de Galoup, Comte de La Perouse
1741 - 1788
French Explorer

Biography @ Discoverer's Web; Biography @ Enchanted Learning

La Perouse left France with two ships in 1785 to explore the Pacific Ocean. He first went to Hawaii and then to Alaska. From there, he mapped the coast all the way to Monterey, where he arrived in 1786. Leaving Monterey, he went back to Hawaii, and then explored the East Coast of Asia. Both ships got lost in 1788 on their way from Australia to the Solomon Islands.
La Perouse Bay in Maui, Hawaii, is named for the first French explorer to visit Hawaii.

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David Jacks
1822 - 1909
The man who once bought Monterey

Biography @ Monterey County Historical Society

Born in Scottland, David Jacks came to America in 1841 and to California during the Gold Rush in 1849. Jacks figured that doing business with gold diggers was far more profitable than digging gold himself. Thus - according to family tradition - his first job in Monterey was a clerk in Joseph Boston's store, also known as Casa del Oro. A few years later, in 1855, he actually bought the store.
In 1852, Jacks became Treasurer of Monterey County, but his foremost interest was always the acquisition of real estate. It was the grab of about 30,000 acres of Monterey pueblo land in 1859 for a mere $1002.50 that earned him a place in the history books.
Later, Jack's family donated many of his former properties, amongst them the Pacific House and Casa del Oro, back to the community - along with millions of dollars given to California colleges and universities. Two parks - former Jacks' properties, carry his name: Jacks Peak Regional Park and Don Dahvee Park.

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Thomas ap Catesby Jones
1790 - 1858
Admiral of the Pacific Fleet and
the biggest "Oops" in American naval history

Biography @ CSS Virginia

Jones joined the Navy in 1805 and was Commander of the pacific fleet for a long time. In 1826, he concluded the Treaty between the United States and Hawaii.
On October 19, 1842, convinced that war has broken out between Mexico and the United States, he sailed into Monterey Bay and demanded California's surrender. Monterey surrendered on October 20, but on October 21, Jones realized that there was no war. He raised the Mexican flag again and left. Fortunately, his adventure turned out better than some pre-emptive strikes in the recent past. Nobody was hurt and Jones himself - being relieved of his command soon after the incident - was the only "casualty."
The Occupation of Monterey by Commodore Thomas ap Catesby Jones
book review: Commodore of Manifest Destiny

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Thomas O. Larkin
1802 - 1858
Only U.S. Consul in Monterey

Short Biography @ Monterey County Historical Society

Born in Massachusetts, Thomas Larkin came to California in 1832 and opened a store in Monterey. From 1844-1848, he served as the first and only United States Consul to Mexican ruled Alta California. (He also was on the U.S. government's payroll as a secret spy in 1845-46.) In 1849, Larking was one of the 48 delegates to the Constitutional Convention.

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Alexandro Malaspina
1754 - 1810
Italian Circumnavigator

Biography @ Alexandro Malaspina Research Centre

An Italian commander in the Spanish navy, Malaspino left Spain in July 1789 to circumnavigate the world. He returned to Spain in 1794, having visited Mexico, California (1791), British Columbia, Alaska, the Philippines, New Zealand, Australia, and the Tonga Islands.
America Journeys: The Expedition of 1789-1794

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Felipe de Neve
1724 - 1784
First Governor of the Californias
Founder of Los Angeles

Biography @ Military Museum
Biography @ Handbook of Texas

Fourth governor of Alta California and first to govern both Alta and Baja California (Las Californias) from Monterey. During the five years of his reign (1777-1782), he thoroughly transformed California. He reformed the fundamental law as well as the finances, brought in experienced farmers from Mexico and founded new settlements, amongst them San Jose and Los Angeles. Specially noteworthy are his efforts to prohibit mistreatment of the native population.
It seems like no picture of Felipe de Neve exists. There is only a Statue in Los Angeles showing us what he may have looked like.

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Alexo Nino
?? - 1770
The beginning of Monterey's African American history

The only thing we know about Alexo Nino's life is the day of his death. He was a black Freeman, native to Acapulco and a boat caulker with Father Junipero Serra's 1770 expedition. He died on June 2nd, 1770 onboard the "San Antonio" in the Monterey Bay. He was the first non-Indian to be buried in California and one of the first African Americans to see the Monterey Bay.
We don't know what Alexo Nino looked like. I have used a picture of actor Morgan Freeman from the movie "Amistad" to honor all those who were brought to America against their will.

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Gaspar de Portola
ca. 1723 - ca. 1784
Co-founder of Monterey,
First Governor of Alta California

San Diego Biographies

Led the land parts of the expeditions of 1769 and 1770 resulting in the founding of the Monterey Presidio on June 3, 1770.
MCHS: The Portola Expedition of 1769
MCHS: The Founding of Monterey

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Fernando Rivera y Moncada
Third Governor of Alta California

Biography @ Los Soldados

Member of the 1769 Portola expedition which failed to find Monterey Bay and member of the land wing of the 1770 expedition resulting in the founding of the Monterey Presidio on June 3, 1770.

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Father Junipero Serra
1713 - 1784
Co-founder of Monterey,
Founder of the Alta California Mission System

San Diego Biographies
Inn-California Biographic Notes

Born at the Spanish island Malorca as Miguel Jose Serra, he became a Franciscan priest in 1730 and changed his name to Junipero Serra. In 1749, he came to Mexico as a missionary.
He was named President of all Spanish Missions in Baja California in 1767 and President of all Missions in Alta California in 1796.
In 1769, he was member of the Portola Expedition and established the first Missoin in Alta California - San Diego de Alcala.
In 1770, he led the sea part of the expedition resulting in the founding of the Monterey Presidio on June 3, 1770. Under his presidency, the first nine missions in Alta California were established.
Father Junipero Serra died in Carmel on August 28, 1784, and is buried in the mission there. Though highly regarded as a pioneer, his treatment of the native population makes him a rather controversial figure.
MCHS: The Portola Expedition of 1769
MCHS: The Founding of Monterey

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John Drake Sloat
1781 - 1867
Commander of the Pacific Fleet and Monterey's final conquerer

Biography @; Biography @ Famous Americans

After serving in the US Navy since 1800, participating in the war of 1812 and fighting pirates in the West Indies, Sloat became commander of the Pacific fleet in 1844. In July 1846, soon after war was declared against Mexico, he captured Monterey and declared California "a portion of the United States." Sloat became California's first American Military Governor. He also took San Francisco and held it until relieved by Robert F. Stockton.

Click here to see a picture of Sloat's original declaration.

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Cayetano Valdes y Flores
1767 - 1835
Spanish Hydrographer and Explorer

Biography @ Alexandro Malaspina Research Centre

A navy officer since 1781, Valdes went to California in 1789 as member of the Malaspina expedition. In 1792, he and Galiano made a voyage into Vancouver Strait. On their way back to Mexico, they stopped in Monterey.
See alsoTechnical University Eindhooven.

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George Vancouver
1757 - 1798
British Explorer

Biography @ Discoverer's Web

Vancouver entered the Royal Navy at the age of thirteen and accompanied James Cook on his second and third voyages of discovery (1772-74, 1776-80). In1791 he was put in charge of an expedition to the North-West Coast of America to take over territory, occupied by the Spaniards, to explore the coast northwards, to search for an eastward passage to the Great Lakes and to ascertain the true character of the Juan de Fuca Strait. His expedition left Falmouth in 1791 and proceeded via the Cape of Good Hope to Australia, New Zealand, Tahiti, Hawaii and North America. While surveying the North American coast, he stopped in Monterey in 1792 and 1793.
Vancouver's arrival at North Amerca's Pacific coast marks the beginning of the end of Spain's dominance in this part of the world.

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Tiburcio Vasquez
1839 - 1875
Last Mexican Bandito

Biography @ Historical Society of Southern California

Bandit, gambler and horse thieve Tiburcio Vasquez was born in Monterey as son of a respected family but was in trouble with the law ever since he turned 14. He was executed in 1875 and folklore turned him into some kind of a Californian Robin Hood.
See also Monterey County website.

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Sebastian Vizcaino
ca. 1550 - ca. 1628
Claimed Monterey for Spain

Short Bio @ Enchanted Learning, Picture @ History of La Paz.

Spanish nobleman, explorer and merchant. In 1602, Vizcaino sailed up te coast of California with three ships at the request of King Phillip II of Spain. He named Monterey Bay, San Diego and the Channel Islands. He also sailed to Japan in 1610.
MCHS: Coastal Navigation and Exploration of the Monterey Bay Area
MCHS: Sebastian Vizcaíno's Exploration of Monterey in 1602-1603

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Gaspar de Zuniga y Azevedo, Count of Monte Rey
1540 - 1606
Viceroy of Mexico 1595-1603 and name patron of Monterey

Monterey was named after him by Sebastian Viscaino.

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Volker Moerbitz
1957 -
Permanent Resident of Monterey since 1996

Hopefully, everybody gets the joke