260. Commodore Sloat Monument

Commodore Sloat Monument, Part 1 Atop Sloat Monument, on Presidio Hill, a granite eagle surveys Monterey and its harbor. The eagle's face bears an uncanny likeness to the sharp features of Commodore John Drake Sloat, whom the statue commemorates. A career naval officer and decorated veteran of the War of 1812, Sloat was appointed commodore of the U.S. Pacific Squadron in 1844. His orders were to land in what was called "Alta California," or upper California, and take possession if war with Mexico should break out. This he did on July 7, 1846, raising an American flag over the Monterey Custom House. As Commodore of the Squadron, Sloat immediately became the military governor of California. He held the position for just seven days before handing power to Commodore Robert F. Stockton, another naval officer. The sculpture was created by artist Arthur Putnam. Construction of the monument began in 1896. It was dedicated in July 1910 in a grand ceremony marking the anniversary of the raising of the American flag over Monterey. The original sculpture planned for the top of the monument was a figure of Sloat pointing to the American flag at the Custom House, but that sculpture was destroyed in the artist's studio by the San Francisco Earthquake and Fire of 1906. Short of time and money to recreate the original figure, the Sloat Monument committee selected an eagle from the artist's surviving statuary to represent Sloat. If you'd like some interesting information about the symbolism present in the dimensions of the Sloat Monument, tap or click the blue right-arrow above the photo thumbnails.