San Francisco Bay, California


Largest pacific estuary in United States. Connected to Pacific Ocean by small strait called “Golden Gate.” Consists of two arms: San Pablo Bay (stretching north thirty miles) and San Francisco Bay proper (stretching south forty miles). Bay area originally inhabited by American Indians. Encountered by Europeans, by 1579, but first European discovery attributed to Spaniard Don Gaspar de Portala, Oct. 1769. Became part of Mexico at time of Mexican independence, 1821. Area seized by U.S. during Mexican-American War. Became part of U.S. when California was ceded in Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, 1848. Council of Fifty considered bay as possible site of eventual Latter-day Saint settlement, Sept. 1845. Company of about 230 Saints arrived from New York in Yerba Buena (now San Francisco) from voyage around tip of South America, 31 July 1846.