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Foreigners arrive

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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: Foreigners arrive Reply with quote

Compte de Laperouse was one of the first foreigners to visit Monterey. Having been sent by the French government on a voyage of exploration and scientific discovery around the globe, he cast anchor in the Monterey Bay, September 14, 1786. For ten days he remained here.

For the first time, 1788, American ships, the Columbia and Lady Washington arrived, their captains, James Kendrick and Robert Gray, were the first American navigators to sail upon the Pacific.

Vancouver made three visits, 1792, 1793 and 1794, on the last trip he remained at Monterey about twenty-two days.

The Discovery, commanded by William Broughton, stopped at Monterey in 1796; the Otter, commanded by Ebenezer Dorr, the first United States vessel ever to anchor in an Alta California port, stopped at Monterey from October 29 to November 6, 1796.

Returning to the arrival at Monterey of Governor Romeu who had succeeded Pedro Fages, we find that at the time of his arrival he was suffering from a serious disease, his reign was a short one. He died of his affliction in Monterey, a year and seven months after his appointment to office.

Then a council was formed in Monterey to select a new governor. Jose Dario Arguello, commandante of the Presidio of Monterey; Lieut. Jose Francisco de Ortega, of Loreta; Lieut. Felipe de Goycoechea, of Santa Barbara; and Ensign Hermenegildo Sal, of San Francisco, met in this council and selected Capt. Jose Joaquin de Arrillaga of Loreto as the logical one to fill the position of new governor—a temporary appointment until a permanent governor could be put in office. He arrived in Monterey early in 1793 and at once entered upon the duties of his office, he concerned himself almost entirely with the presidios, endeavoring to improve their weak and extremely inefficient conditions. He wrote a full report of the situation to the Viceroy and prepared for his successor an elaborate statement of the situation. Having done these things, Arrillaga did not await the arrival of his successor, but returned to Loreto.

Following Governor Arrillaga came Governor Diego de Borica, the seventh governor of California, who started his term in 1794, and practically chose his own successor by recommending Jose Joaquin de Arrillaga to be the eighth governor of California. Borica induced Arrillaga to apply for the position, and wrote a strong endorsement of the application to the Viceroy in Mexico. The Viceroy, in turn, also recommended Arrillaga's appointment to the King, and in the year 1800, Arrillaga returned to Monterey to take up the duties of a position which he had temporarily exercised previously, between the years 1792 and 1794. He was destined to serve longer as Governor of California than any other man who held that position under Spain either before or after his time. For fourteen long years—hard working years—was Don Jose Joaquin Arrillaga the Spanish Governor of the Province of California. He is the only Spanish Governor whose dust lies in California. He died at the lonely Mission of Soledad, July 25, 1814, and was buried there.

When Arrillaga began his rule in 1800 there were about four hundred persons included in the military establishment of the Province. Following his death in his sixty-fourth year, Jose Dario Arguello, the Commandante of Santa Barbara, temporarily filled the office of governor. After about a year in this capacity, his successor, "the renowned Pablo Vicente de Sola," as McGroarty speaks of him, "tenth and last Spanish Governor of California, arrived at Monterey with his entourage from Mexico. It had required nearly three months for the new Governor to make the sea voyage from Mexico to Monterey, where he arrived, August 30, 1815. Sola was then fifty-five years old and was the stately product of a life-long career of military and diplomatic training in the service of the King. The wealth, the beauty and the very flower of California were waiting to greet him when his ship anchored in the bright waters of Monterey and he stepped from his shallop upon the cypressed shores.

As Sola stepped ashore the cannon from the heights of the presidio thundered their welcome from their iron throats; the troops were drawn up in a long line saluting the new Governor as he passed; at the door of the Royal Church of San Carlos of Monterey the dignitaries of the California Missions awaited him. In the afternoon there was a carnival of games, there were Spanish and Indian dances, and a bull and bear fight. At night there was a great banquet and a ball at which the Indian musicians furnished the music.

Such, then, was the opening of Sola's term. The year 1818 was the only time in Alta California history, prior to the coming of the Americans, that an external foe ever attacked the province. It seems that in May, 1818, a ship called the Santa Rcsa, flying the patriot flag of Argentine, touched at the Hawaiian Islands, on November 20th a sentinel at Point Pinos, reported the approach of two ships. The total forces of Monterey, forty men in all, was assembled. The principal shore defense of eight guns, were in command of Sergeant Manuel Gomez, who was said to be the uncle of an officer on one of Bouchard's ships, a certain Luciano Gomez. A new battery of three guns was improvised on the beach, and placed in charge of Corporal Jose Vallejo. Monterey was attacked and captured, and the town was sacked. Bouchard remained at Monterey about a week and then sailed towards the south.

Among other events worthy of record in this era is the arrival of the first permanent non-Spanish white settlers. In 1814 came John Gilroy, next after Gilroy came an Irishman named John Milligan, he is said to have taught weaving to the Indians at the missions. In 1816 the first American to remain in the province arrived. This was Thomas W. Doak, a young man of twenty-nine, who came from Boston in the ship Albatross.

In 1822 a ship appeared in the harbor of Monterey flying a flag of green, white and red with an eagle and a crown in the center. A boat manned by oarsmen put off from the ship and landed their leader, who presented himself to the Commandante of Monterey and addressed him as follows: "I am the Cannon Augustin Fernandez de San Vincente. I have come from the Imperial Mexican Capital with dispatches directed to the Governor of this Province, Don Pablo Vicente de Sola. I demand to be conducted to his presence in the name of my Sovereign, the Liberator of Mexico, General Don Augustin de Iturbide (McGroarty).

The hour when Spanish dominion in California was to end had come.
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