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Mexican rule

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Joined: 27 Nov 2007
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Location: Monterey County, California

PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2008 7:39 pm    Post subject: Mexican rule Reply with quote

The Mexican era, so-called, lasted through a period of twenty-five years, from 1822 to 1846. Monterey, as in the Spanish era, remained the capital of California, and the most important place in the province. Twelve men filled the gubernatorial chair in this period, and as practically all of them resided in Monterey we list them as follows: Luis Arguello (1822-1825), Jose Maria Echeandia (1825-1831), ManŽuel Victoria (1831-1832), Pio Pico (1832-twenty days), Echeandia again (1832-1833, in the south only), Augustin Zamorano (1832-1833, in the north only), Jose Figueroa (1833-1835), Jose Castro (1835-1836), Nicholas Gutierrez (1836-four months), Mariano Chico (1836-three months), Gutierrez again (1836-three months), Juan Bautista Alvarado (1836-1842), Manuel Micheltorena (1842-1845), Pico again (1845-1846), Jose Maria Flores (1846-1847).

No doubt the greatest local excitement during Arguellos' reign was produced by the Indian revolt of 1842. In November, 1825, Lieutenant-Colonel Echeandia arrived from Mexico to become governor of the province, and remained at Monterey a year. Victoria come to Monterey and was installed in office in January, 1831, making that place his capital, and in January, 1832, resigned, and Zamorano was made temporary governor, serving until the arrival of Figueroa in January, 1833. One of his first acts had to do with the grant of an amnesty to all who had been concerned in the late revolt. This announcement he caused to be published in a circular dated January 16, 1833,—the first printing in the history of the province.

Jose Castro succeeded Figueroa in 1835 and resigned in 1836 in favor of Lieutenant-Colonel Gutierrez. In April, 1836, Mariano Chico arrived from Mexico as the new governor. Chico lasted three months, during which time he made himself the most hated ruler the province ever had. Gutierrez resumed power in Chico's departure for Mexico, late in November Juan Bautista Alvarado quietly took possession of various strategic points of Monterey and on the 4th the "battle" began between his forces and those of Gutierrez. Alvarado made his forces seem larger than they were by marching them in the open from one place to another and causing them to return unseen. Then he ordered his men to start fighting. Only a single ball could be found that would fit any of the cannon, but with this they hit the governor's house. That ended the battle! Gutierrez surrendered, and was put aboard a ship bound for Mexico.

Friction between Governor Alvarado and Vallejo, the military governor, developed to such a point, that the Mexican government resolved to reunite the civil and military power in one person. To avoid offending either Alvarado or Vallejo, it was necessary to relieve both of their authority and to send out a governor from Mexico, General Manuel Micheltorena, who arrived with his cholos in 1842. Alfred Robinson has this to say of the "cholos": "They presented a state of wretchedness and misery unequalled (Micheltorena's army). Not one individual among them possessed a jacket or pantaloons; but naked, and like the savage Indians, they concealed their nudity with dirty, miserable blankets. The females were not much better off; they appeared like convicts, and indeed the greater part of them had been charged with the crime either of murder or theft. And these were the soldiers sent to subdue this happy country."

On October 19, 1842, Monterey had been required to surrender to an American fleet under Commodore Thomas Jones. In the double belief that war between the United States and Mexico had been declared and that England was desirous of picking up Alta California for herself. Janes had made a hurried voyage from Peru, he took possession of Monterey, but the next day finding himself in error, he hauled down his colors and made such apology to Governor Micheltorena as he deemed necessary.
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