California’s longest-tenured governor under Mexican rule was Juan Bautista Alvarado, who held office for six years from 1836 to 1842. The son and grandson of respected Spanish military sergeants on both sides of his family, he was born in Monterey, California, in 1809. Only 11 years old when Mexico won its independence from Spain and became ruler of his homeland, Juan was raised for part of his formative years by his maternal relatives the Vallejo family, who provided him with tutors in a chaotic and unstable province that had no public schools. His first public service and regular employment began when, at age 18, he was chosen as secretary for the Diputacion, a group of elected men who acted as legislature and advisor to each new territorial governor dispatched north from Mexico City. By the time Juan reached full adulthood, his generation of native-born Californians were calling themselves Californios, and favored home rule over obedience to the unfair laws of far-off Mexico City. By then an elected, respected member of the Diputacion, Alvarado assumed the governorship in December 1836, following a bloodless revolt. Among other things, Alvarado’s regime is remembered for his administrative work in finalizing the secularization of the missions, and an international scandal known as the Graham Affair, caused by the deportation of some unruly foreigners led by Tennessee backwoodsman Isaac Graham. Favorable comments by historians report that Alvarado was conspicuous for his industry, his sincerity of purpose and high sense of justice, and his interest in education. Juan Alvarado died in 1882, on his ranch in San Pablo.