Luis Antonio Argüello

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Luis Antonio Argüello
Mexico   Governor of Alta California
In office
Preceded by Pablo Vicente de Solá
Succeeded by José María de Echeandía
Personal details
Born (1784-06-21)June 21, 1784
Yerba Buena (San Francisco), Alta California
Died March 27, 1830(1830-03-27) (aged 45)
Yerba Buena (San Francisco), Alta California
Spouse(s) María Angela Berreyesa, Maria Soledad Ortega de Argüello
Profession Explorer, politician, soldier
Religion Roman Catholic

Luis Antonio Argüello (Spanish pronunciation: [luˈis anˈtonjo arˈɣweʎo]) (June 21, 1784– March 27, 1830) was the first Californio (native born) governor of Alta California, serving from 1822 to 1825, during Mexican rule of Alta California (1821-1846).[1]

Luis Antonio Argüello was the only governor to serve under the First Mexican Empire (of 1821-1823). He also served as acting governor under the subsequent provisional government, which preceded the First Mexican Republic (of 1824–1864).


Argüello was born in Yerba Buena (present day San Francisco), Alta California, to José Darío Argüello and Maria Ygnacia Moraga, members of one of the most distinguished and influential families in early California history. His father founded the Pueblo de Los Angeles, and served as Governor of Alta California and later of Baja California.

In August, 1806, Argüello succeeded his father as Commandant of California with the rank of lieutenant. In 1821, he launched an exploration of Northern California to investigate the rumors of "Foreigners" setting up a base. This expedition has come to be popularly known as The Last Spanish Expedition in California.[2] Argüello published his expedition diary, titled The Diary of Captain Arguello: The Last Spanish Expedition in California, October 17 - November 17, 1821.

His brother was Santiago Argüello, who was commandant of the Presidio of San Diego and alcalde (mayor) of Pueblo de San Diego. His sister Concepción Argüello was noted for her romance with Nikolai Rezanov, a Russian promoter of the colonization of Alaska and California.

Grave of Luís Antonio Argüello at Mission San Francisco de Asís (Mission Dolores) cemetery, San Francisco.

Argüello and his second wife Maria Soledad Ortega de Argüello inherited his parents 35,240-acre (142.6 km2) Spanish land grant of 1795 named Rancho de las Pulgas, encompassing present day San Mateo, Belmont, San Carlos, Redwood City, Atherton, and Menlo Park. Though Luis never actually lived there, his widow and children settled there after his death.

Luis Antonio Argüello died in Yerba Buena (San Francisco) in 1830, and is buried at the Mission San Francisco de Asís (Mission Dolores) cemetery there.


In World War II, the United States liberty ship SS Luis Argüello was named in his honor.


  1. ^ "Governors of California". San Diego Historical Society. Retrieved 2006-12-29. 
  2. ^ Argüello, Luis Antonio; Vivian C. Fisher; Arthur Quinn (1992). The Diary of Captain Luis Antonio Argüello 1821: The Last Spanish Expedition in California. Berkeley: : The Friends of Bancroft Library, University of California. OCLC 26943462. 

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