John C. Fremont – Governor of California
One hundred and sixty-two years ago on this day in people’s history, Lieutenant Colonel John C. Fremont became governor of the newly conquered territory of California. On January 16th, 1847 Commodore Robert Stockton appointed the so-called “Pathfinder of Western Exploration,” to the position following the Capitulation of Cahuenga signed days earlier. It was at an adobe house not too far from the present day location of KPFK’s studios, that Fremont and Andres Pico of Mexico signed the articles that effectively ended hostilities in California during the course of the Mexican-American war. In the era of Manifest Destiny, the Capitulation of Cahuenga in a sense completed its ‘sea-to-shining sea’ territorial ambitions by securing California.
As for Governor Fremont? Commodore Stockton’s appointment of Fremont was part of an internal split with General Stephan Watts Kearney who claimed authority to the position. Fremont was subsequently arrested for mutiny and insubordination as he was court-martialed. From Fremont to Schwarzenegger, we sure have had some doozies up in the Governor’s office in this state, haven’t we?