Bennet Riley, born in Virginia in 1787, early became a soldier, rising to the rank of Colonel by 1840 and General by 1849.
He fought in Florida, distinguished himself in the Mexican war, particularly in the battle of Cerro Gordo. At the end of the
war, in the spring of 1849, he was sent to command the Pacific department, with headquarters at Monterey. Appointed military
governor of California, he proposed a convention for the purpose of forming a state constitution. He resigned when this was
accomplished, staying on at Monterey until July 1850. He then resumed regular army life until his death in Buffalo, New York,
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