Monterey County History

Mexican-American War 1846-1849

A peaceful Annexation

A weak and ineffectual government plagued Mexican rule in California. During this time American merchants, tallow traders, hide traders, whale and sea-otter hunters became well integrated into the Mexican economy. In a pre-emptive move to thwart a British push to gain control of California the American President James Polk in 1845 assigned Thomas Oliver Larkin to bring about a peaceful annexation. In March of 1846 John Charles Fremont headed a party of 62 armed volunteers and took up a position in the Salinas Valley. In July of 1846 Commodore John D. Sloat sailed into Monterey Bay with a force of 250 Marines and three war ships taking possession of the capital of California declaring that "henceforward California will be a portion of the United States."

Thomas Oliver Larkin

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