List of Governors of California before admission

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This is a list of Governors of California before admission as the 31st U.S. state in 1850. From 1769 to 1822, the area was a province of New Spain. From Mexico's independence in 1822 until 1836, it was a federal territory of the United Mexican States (UEM). From 1836 to 1846, Alta and Baja California were reunited as a "department" of a more centralized UEM. From 1846 to 1850, it was a nominally independent territory in cooperation with the US military. California was admitted as a state on September 9, 1850.

Just prior to the Mexican–American War in 1846, US explorer Capt. John C. Fremont on the frontier sent his companion William B. Ide over to Sonoma, where he helped foment the Bear Flag Revolt, capturing Californian citizens and declaring a short-lived independent California republic.

Ide made many public declarations about himself as conquering "commander" and "President of California," but such bluster had no political substance. The U.S. flag was raised at Sonoma a month later, by Fremont. After the war, Californians continued to elect their own local civil officials under U.S. military governorship.

For governors of the state after admission in 1850, see List of Governors of California.

Province of New Spain, 1769-1822[edit]

Until 1804, Las Californias included both Lower (Baja) and Upper (Alta) California. After that date, each province had its own governor. The list below names only the governors of Alta California after Arrillaga, who remained governor of Alta California after the split.

Gaspar de Portolà, first Governor of California
José Castro
Juan Bautista Alvarado
Pío Pico
Andrés Pico
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  1. 1769-1770: Gaspar de Portolà
  2. 1770-1774: Pedro Fages
  3. 1774-1777: Fernando Rivera y Moncada
  4. 1777-1782: Felipe de Neve
  5. 1782-1791: Pedro Fages
  6. 1791-1792: José Antonio Roméu
  7. 1792-1794: José Joaquín de Arrillaga (acting)
  8. 1794-1800: Diego de Borica
  9. 1800: Pedro de Alberni (acting)
  10. 1800-1814: José Joaquín de Arrillaga
  11. 1814-1815: José Darío Argüello (acting)
  12. 1815-1822: Pablo Vicente de Solá

Federal territory, United Mexican States (EUM), 1822-1836[edit]

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  1. 1822-1825: Luis Antonio Argüello Born in Yerba Buena (San Francisco), son of José Darío, he was the first Californio (native-born Californian) to govern Alta California.
  2. 1825-1831: José María de Echeandía
  3. 1831-1832: Manuel Victoria
  4. 1832: Pío Pico
  5. 1832-1833: Agustín V. Zamorano (north) and José María de Echeandía (south)
  6. 1833-1835: José Figueroa
  7. 1835: José Castro (acting)
  8. 1836: Nicolás Gutiérrez (acting)
  9. 1836: Mariano Chico
  10. 1836: Nicolás Gutiérrez (acting)

Department of the Californias, EUM, 1836-1847[1][edit]

Flag of Mexico (1823-1864, 1867-1893).svg
  1. 1836-1837: Juan Bautista Alvarado (acting)
  2. 1837-1838: Carlos Antonio Carrillo
  3. 1838-1842: Juan Bautista Alvarado
  4. 1842-1845: Manuel Micheltorena
  5. 1845-1846: Pío Pico
  6. 1846-1847: José María Flores (wartime pro tem)
  7. 1847: Andrés Pico (wartime)

United States Military occupation, 1846-1850[edit]

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See also[edit]


  1. ^ [1] See "Centralist Republic of Mexico" (see also the Talk page there for a discussion about changing the article title).