"with them now rode a boy named Sloat who had been left sick to die in this place by one of the gold trains bound for the coast weeks earlier. When Glanton asked him if he were kin to the commadore of the same name the boy spat quietly and said No, nor him to me."
John Drake Sloat (July 6, 1781 – November 28, 1867)
Public DomainJohn Drake Sloat (July 6, 1781 – November 28, 1867) - Credit: Library of Congress

John Drake Sloat was a commodore in the United States Navy who, in 1846, claimed California for the United States.

In 1844 Sloat was appointed to command the Pacific Squadron, and in 1845, 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 a report of fighting on the Texas border while off Mazatlán, he raced north (the British were reportedly interested in California too), engaged in a skirmish called the Battle of Monterey, raised the flag over the Customs House at Monterey on July 7, 1846, and issued a proclamation announcing that California was now part of the United States. He was Military Governor of California for only seven days, before handing over the office to Robert F. Stockton.