Chapter History

 Commodore Sloat Chapter, NSDAR History


Chapter Charter

A chapter charter was granted to the Pacific Grove Chapter, NSDAR, on September 29, 1922, by the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution. The chapter was organized in Pacific Grove, California, by Organizing Regent Rosa A. Rhoads. In 1934, the chapter name was changed to Commodore Sloat Chapter, NSDAR, to commemorate the historical significance of Commodore John Drake Sloat in California history by his actions in Monterey. In 2011, the chapter location was changed to Monterey, California, to reflect the historical importance of Commodore Sloat's landing in Monterey. 

Commodore John Drake Sloat

John Drake Sloat was born July 6, 1781, in Sloatsburg, New York, and orphaned at an early age. He was brought up by his maternal grandparents and joined the Navy at the age of 19. Sloat served in the War of 1812 and by 1837 was promoted to captain. From 1840 to 1844, he was in charge of the Portsmouth Navy Yard on the New Hampshire-Maine border. In 1845, Sloat was placed in command of the Pacific Squadron as tensions with Mexico grew.  If war broke out, he was instructed to claim Alta California for the United States.  When fighting erupted in Texas, he raced north, as the British were also reportedly interested in California, and landed in Monterey with little resistance from either Mexican or British forces. Sloat 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.

"I declare to the inhabitants of California that, although I come in arms with a powerful force, I do not come among them as an enemy to California: on the contrary, I come as their best friend, as henceforward California will be a portion of the United States, and its peaceable inhabitants will enjoy the same rights and privileges as the citizens of any other portion of that Territory."

Sloat served as military governor of California for only seven days, handing over the office to Navy Commodore Robert F. Stockton.

"Sloat's Landing" 

Every year "Sloat's Landing" is celebrated in Monterey on the weekend near July 7 with the reading of Sloat's Proclamation. Commodore Sloat Chapter, NSDAR, regent and members are invited to participate in this popular commemorative event.

In 2003, for "Sloat's Landing," this chapter donated a 28-star Flag of the United States of America to represent the historic flag of 1846.


Commodore Sloat Memorial

The 30-foot-tall monument to Commodore John Drake Sloat was constructed in 1910 and stands in the Lower Presidio of Monterey Historic Park. It is constructed in the form of a pouncing eagle atop a stele with Sloat's portrait in bas relief. The monument is affectionately referred to as "Big Bird."

Photos courtesy of chapter archives

National Society Daughters of the American Revolution

California State Society Daughters of the American Revolution