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Summary

A summary of events, highlighting California State Parks, within the years 1846 through 1850.


1846

March

John C. Frémont and an American force defy Mexican authorities on Gavilan Peak

May

War is declared between the United States and Mexico

June

American settlers take over the Mexican Army barracks in the Bear Flag Revolt at Sonoma. Bear Flaggers battle Californios at Olompali.

July

John D. Sloat dispatches marines and sailors to raise the American flag at Monterey.

October

Californios keep Americans under seige at San Diego.

November

The Donner Party is trapped in the heavy snows of the Sierra.

December

Stephen Watts Kearny’s Army of the West fights Californios led by Andrés Pico in San Pasqual Valley.

1847

January

600 Americans meet 500 Californios at the Battle of San Gabriel. Robert F. Stockton’s American force fights those of José María Flores at the Battle of La Mesa. The Mormon Battalion marches across the Anza-Borrego Desert enroute to San Diego.

February

The first relief party reaches the Donner Party’s camps.

March

The first detachment of Jonathan Stevenson’s 1st Regiment of New York Volunteers arrives in San Francisco.

August

Work commences on a sawmill at Coloma.

December

The Sitka, the first steamship on the Sacramento River, drops anchor at Sacramento.

1848

January

James Marshall discovers gold on the banks of the American River at Coloma.

February

The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo ends the Mexican-American War.

March

Mormons find gold on the South Fork of the American River.

April

Miners use gold dust for the first time in exchange for goods at Sutter’s Fort.

May

Publication of the newspaper, Californian, is suspended for lack of readers - most have left for the mines!

August

News reaches California about the conclusion of the Mexican-American War.

September

The New York Herald newspaper reports the gold discovery.

December

President James K. Polk officially confirms the California gold strike.

1849

Spring

Gold is discovered on the South Yuba River. Reading Springs (Shasta) becomes a trade center for the Northern California mines.

April

The Placer Times newspaper is first printed in Sacramento.

May

The U.S. Army establishes a depot at Benicia.

July

Commissioners appointed to set the boundary between the U.S. and Mexico meet in San Diego.

August

An election for delegates to California’s first Constitutional Convention is held.

September

Delegates assemble at Colton Hall, Monterey to write the Constitution.

November

California’s Constitution is ratified by popular vote.

December

Peter Burnett is sworn in as California’s first elected governor.


1850

Mining in the vicinity of Millerton begins in 1850. Point Sal beaches are placer-mined.

February

Vallejo is made California’s capital. The City of Sacramento is incorporated.

March

Gold is discovered by Thaddeus Hildreth’s party at Columbia.

May

Gold is found at Gold Bluff Beach.

June

The value of gold quartz is recognized at Grass Valley.

August

Henry Clay proposes a compromise in Congress to enable California's admission. Squatters riot in the streets of Sacramento.

September

The House of Representatives passes the California bill. California joins the Union as the 31st state!

October

News of the admission reaches California.

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