Sloat, John Drake

Sloat, John Drake,

1781–1867, American naval officer, b. near Goshen, N.Y. He entered the navy as a midshipman in 1800 and resigned after a year's service, but reentered for service in the War of 1812. He was aboard the United States when the Macedonian was captured. After the war he served against the pirates in the West Indies. He was commander of the Pacific squadron from 1844 to 1846, and in July, 1846, soon after war was declared against Mexico, he occupied Monterey, Calif., on the grounds that the British were about to do so. He also took San Francisco and held it until relieved by Robert F. StocktonStockton, Robert Field,
1795–1866, American naval officer, b. Princeton, N.J. He left the College of New Jersey (now Princeton) to enter the U.S. Navy at 16 and served in the War of 1812 and in the subsequent campaigns against the Barbary pirates.
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. He retired in 1855, but was promoted to commodore (1862) and rear admiral (1866) on the retired list.
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Sloat, John Drake

(1781–1867) naval officer; born in Goshen, N.Y. Joining the navy in 1800, he served in the undeclared naval war against France, then left the navy to command a merchant vessel (1801–12). He rejoined the navy to fight in the War of 1812 and stayed on, becoming commander of the Pacific Squadron in 1844. Hearing that the U.S.A. was at war with Mexico in May 1846, he sailed his squadron to Monterey, Calif., and after occupying that Mexican settlement, he proclaimed California to be a possession of the U.S.A. In poor health, he was dismissed in July by Commodore Robert Stockton and went back to Washington, D.C., where he was praised by some and condemned by others. His last nine years of active duty were spent on shore duty.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.