John Drake is one of the heroes in the history of the United States of America. In fact, he is among those who made this nation great. His outstanding effort, his bitter struggle and his sound leadership saw him earn the respect of an American hero. He displayed qualities of a charismatic leader, and a caring master who appreciated and valued life in most of its aspects. He earned victory, and most memorable to many is his successful annex of California into America, permanently separating it from Mexico.
John D Sloat was an American naval officer serving near Goshen, New York, a post he acquired in 1780. He got the opportunity to serve the navy as a midshipman in 1800, but he resigned a year later following the passage of the Peace Establishment Act. However, he reentered the navy following the War of 1812 aboard the United States capturing the British ship, Macedonian that earned him a silver medal and the thanks of the Congress. Following the war, he served against the pirates of the West Indies between 1823 and 1825, receiving post of chief command after 1824, and captured the pirate ships Colfrecinos and Palmyra, in addition to defeating the pirates’ stronghold in Porto Rico (John, 2001). Following his success in fighting the pirates, he got a promotion as master-commandant in 1826, before rising to captain in 1837, and taking charge of Portsmouth Navy Yard in 1847 to 1851. He later served as a superintendent during the construction of the Stevens Battery and received the rank of commodore in 1862 and of rear admiral in 1863.
Sloat was instrumental in the transfer of California away from Mexico during the Mexican War. As soon as war was declared, Sloat received orders to take control of California. In those days, of course, the news traveled by stagecoach rather than telegraph or email, so it was not until July 1846 that Sloat put the U.S. Pacific Squadron at the disposal of the attempts of Captain John C. Fremont. Working together, Fremont’s land forces and Sloat’s naval forces took over all of the towns surrounding the San Francisco Bay. After the war, President Polk made Sloat the military governor, a post that Sloat would hold for a month before turning the position over to Commodore Robert F. Stockton.
The social life of John D. Sloat began in a rough way; for instance, he was orphaned at a very early and tender age. Sloat was born on July 6, 1781, in his family’s home of Sloat House in Sloatsburg in the city of New York. He originates from Dutch ancestry. His biological father, captain John Sloat, was shot by one of his sentries in a case of mistaken identity and his mother later died when he was only two years old. The young Sloat moved in and stayed with his maternal grandparents who took good care of the young boy. John Drake Sloat died in 28 November 1867. However, his contributions to the greater good of California are without question, as during his brief period of governorship, he showed the Californians that they were capable of determining their own political system, rather than dictating one.
John D. Sloat influenced the economic growth of California during his time. After capturing California, he bestowed the full confidence and honor on the natives of the area. The natives were allowed to take political positions since they understood best the modes of operation in their own towns. In addition, he acquired immense wealth during his reign as the commodore of the Pacific squadron. On capturing the frigate HMS Macedonian, the commodore secured great wealth for himself that marked part of his successful raids. At his exclusive rank, he received considerably fair tokens that help to improve his worth. In his respect, two destroyers were named USS Sloat together with a World War II liberty ship (Tutorow, 1983).
The progressive movement was a reform period that witnessed the fight against corruption, advancement of education, democratic reforms, constitutional changes, municipal reforms, formation of labor unions and improvement in law and medicine disciplines. This occurred between 1890 and 1920s. John D. Sloat and his contributions provided the foundation and basis for this transition that followed decades after. His first major contribution was his assistance in liberating California from Mexico; however his practice of allowing the masses to choose leaders of their own on the local level in California was instrumental in creating a culture that would inform the institution of direct democracy decades later in the state. In his proclamation letter…