1776 - Spanish establish presidio at San Francisco

Franciscan missionaries establish Mission Dolores as a Spanish presidio on San Francisco bay.

         Events and explorations taking place on the West Coast are as 'history making' as those on the East Coast, but neither group will learn of the others' exploits and successes at colonizing Indian Country for years to come.  Eventually, all of the lands claimed by the king of Spain would revert to Mexico, and the land cessions that followed the Mexican-American War, in 1846, would bring most of the land settled by the Spanish into the American republic. Those land cessions would bring with them the terms of treaties that had been signed between Spanish kings and queens, and Indian tribes, in the 17th century.  Recent U.S. Supreme Court cases over land disputes in the state of New Mexico have upheld the validity of those centuries-old treaties, even though they were signed by the sovereigns of other nations.  This transfer of treaty rights from one country to another is a foundational legal construct of International law.  

         In 1850, less than two years after the discovery of gold on the American River in the Sierra mountains by James Marshall, an employee of John Sutter, California achieved statehood. The new state joined the republic 'glittering with gold and dripping in blood.'  The peaceful Indians who had befriended the Spanish for centuries would not fare well with the arrival of gold-fever.  Slaughtered like vermin by the flood of 'Forty-niners' who came to 'the golden state' in search of riches, only one in six Indians would survive the first ten years of California statehood.