Commodore John Drake Sloat


July 6, 1781 – November 28, 1867 – Sloat was appointed to command of the Pacific Squadron in 1844, then as tensions with Mexico grew, he was instructed to land in Alta California and claim it for the United States if war broke out. Receiving word that fighting had broken out on the Texas border, he rushed to Monterey and raised the American flag over the Custom House on July 7, 1846, proclaiming California now part of the United States. He served as the first Military Governor of California for seven days before handing over the office to Robert F. Stockton.