Mariano Vallejo was born in Monterey on July 7th, 1808. He entered the military service as a cadet and by 1838 he was made comandante-general of California, was also director of colonization of the north and authorized to issue land grants to settlers.
Vallejo was probably sent to the Solano County area as early as 1829 to contain the hostile Indian population with either a treaty or by force. This was the beginning of his long relationship and influence of the growth of the north bay area.
When Mexico finally lost its hold on California in 1846, Vallejo was briefly jailed and it was at this time that he became acquainted with Robert Semple whom he deeded the five mile square where Benicia was founded.
While a large landowner before the American take over of California, Vallejo died almost in poverty at his home in Sonoma in 1890.