Did you know that more than half of the 46 settlers of California prior to the Mexican American war (1846 - 1848) were of mixed Spanish and African race – mulattos. Did you know that the last governor of California before the Mexican American war was of mixed Spanish, African and Native American ancestry? Yep, that was Pio Pico. Have you ever heard of him? Pico was a first-generation Mexican American, born in Alta California to parents who emigrated from New Spain - known now as Mexico. He was also a wealthy cattleman who after successfully defending his fortune over 100 legal cases continued to prosper after the American conquest of California.