Following the occupation of California, the official seat of government was Loreto, in Lower California, and both Alta and Lower California were administered from there as Las Californias. A military commander resided in Monterey.
The increasing important of Alta California led to a decree dated August 15, 1775 relocating the capitol from Loreto to Monterey as of 1777, after which Lower California was ruled by a lieutenant governor in Loreto.
Monterey remained the capitol of California until 1849, when the seat of government was shifted to San Jose, Vallejo, Benicia, and finally, in 1854, to Sacramento.
Military governors ruled from Monterey until 1777, while civil governors administered both Alta and Lower California from Monterey after February 3, 1777.
After 1822, California was administered from Monterey as a province of Mexico.
|Gaspar de Portolá; served as governor of Las Californias from 1768-1770, and was military commander of Alta California from June 3 to July 9, 1770||Pedro Fages; assumed command of Alta California on July 9, 1770
||Fernando Rivera y Moncada
||Felipe de Neve; governed from Loreto from 1775 until February 3, 1777, and then from Monterey
||José Antonio Roméu
||José Joaquín de Arrillaga; acting governor following the death of Roméu
||Diego de Borica; retired and left Monterey on January 16, 1800; died in Durango on July 19
||Pedro de Alberni; acting governor following the retirement of Borica
||José Joaquín de Arrillaga
||José Argüello; acting governor on death of Arillaga; governed from Presidio of Santa Barbara
||Pablo Vicente Solá
List of Mexican governors.
- Nuttall, Donald A., The Gobernantes of Spanish Upper California: A Profile (California Historical Quarterly 60(3):253-280, 1972).