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Capture of Monterey

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Title: Capture of Monterey  
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Subject: Monterey, California, History of Monterey County, California, The Californias, United States Marine Corps, United States Navy
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Capture of Monterey

Capture of Monterey

Commodore Jones' flagship USS United States.
Date October 19–20, 1842
Location Monterey, Alta California, Mexico
(now Monterey, California, United States)
Result American victory
 United States  Mexico
Commanders and leaders
Thomas Jones Unknown
50 Marines
100 Sailors
1 frigate
2 sloops-of-war
58 Soldiers
1 fort

The Capture of Monterey by the United States Navy and Marine Corps occurred in 1842. After hearing false news that war had broken out between the United States and Mexico, the commander of the Pacific Squadron Thomas ap Catesby Jones sailed from Lima, Peru with three warships to Monterey, California. The Americans' objective was to take control of the capital city before a suspected British cession could be achieved.


American forces included the frigate USS United States and the two sloops-of-war USS Dale and USS Cyane. The squadron arrived in Monterey Bay on October 19 and anchored. Commodore Jones sent his second in command Captain James Armstrong ashore to demand a Mexican surrender by 9:00 am the following morning. The Mexican garrison consisted of only fifty-eight men in an old fort who chose not to resist so when 9:00 am came, fifty American marines and 100 sailors landed and captured the city without incident. It wasn't until the next day that Commodore Jones learned that war had not begun between the United States and Mexico and that the British were not preparing to take control of California. The Mexican troops were freed and then landing party boarded their ships and set sail, saluting the Mexican flag as they exited the harbor. Jones headed for Hawaii, which was just taken over by the British, and he helped restore the Kingdom of Hawaii. The incident proved unpopular in Mexico and in response Monterey's garrison constructed shore batteries and other defenses to guard their city from future attack which came in 1846 during the Mexican War. Thomas ap Catespy Jones was relieved of duty though he eventually served in the war with Mexico.

See also


  • Smith, Gene A., Thomas ap Catesby Jones, Commodore of Manifest Destiny, Annapolis Maryland: Naval Institute Press (2000) ISBN 1-55750-848-8 retrieved 8/27/10

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