List of Governors of California before admission

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This is a list of Governors of California before her admission as the 31st U.S. state in 1850. From 1769 to 1822, the area was a Spanish colony. Upon Mexico's independence from Spain in 1822 until statehood in 1836, it was a federal territory of the United Mexican States (UEM). From 1836 to 1846, it achieved full self-rule as a free and sovereign State alongside the UEM, sending its elected and voting representation to Mexico City. From 1846 to 1850, it was a nominally independent republic in cooperation with the U.S. military. California was admitted as one of the United States on September 9, 1850.

At the start of the Bear Flag revolt against Mexico in 1846, land surveyor Capt. John C. Fremont on the frontier sent his companion William B. Ide over to Sonoma, where he tried to foment insurrection and where he captured Californian citizens. Ide made many public declarations about himself as conquering "commander" and "President of California," but such bluster had no political substance. A year later, Fremont pronounced himself military governor and for that he was convicted of mutiny in court-martial, his superior, Gen. Kearney presiding. While this was going on, Californians willingly cooperated with the American military and freely continued to elect their own civil officials.

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

Colony of the Kingdom of Spain, 1768–1822[edit]

Las Californias Province within the Viceroyalty of New Spain included the Baja California Peninsula and mainland California from 1768 to 1804. They became separate provinces within New Spain in 1804, establishing Alta California Province with its own governors from 1804 to 1822.

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)

Free and sovereign state, EUM, 1836–1846[edit]

California Lone Star Flag 1836.svg
  1. 1836-1837: Juan Bautista Alvarado
  2. 1837-1838: Carlos Antonio Carrillo
  3. 1838-1842: Juan Bautista Alvarado
  4. 1842-1845: Manuel Micheltorena
  5. 1845-1846: Pío Pico

Republic, 1846–1850[edit]

  1. 1846-1847: José María Flores (civil)
  2. 1847: Andrés Pico (civil)
  3. 1848: Pío Pico (civil)
  4. 1849: Bennett C. Riley (civil and military)
  5. 1849-1851: Peter Hardeman Burnett (remained after admission)

U.S. military governors of California, 1846–1849[edit]

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See also[edit]