Pio Pico, Afro/Mexican governor of Mexican California
The birth of Pio de Jesus Pico in 1801 is marked on this date. He was an African/Native/Mexican-American businessman and politician.
Pico was born in the San Gabriel Mission in Mexico, the son of a soldier, Jose Maria Pico. His father had come from Mexico with the Anza expedition of 1801. The fourth of ten children, Pico’s heritage was a mix of African, Native American, Hispanic, and European roots. A revolutionary in his youth, he was the last Mexican governor of Alta California (now the state of California), the region above what is now Mexico.
Pico became governor in 1845 following a revolt that ended with a bloodless artillery duel near Cahuenga Pass that forced out Governor Manuel Micheltorena. The state historic site, Campo de Cahuenga, opposite Universal Studios, marks the spot today. During his brief…
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