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California was admitted to the Union 8 September 1860 as the 31st State.

(ScSlp: t. 2,354; 1. 313'6"; b. 46'; dr. 17'2"; s. 12 k. cpl. 325; a. 2 100-pdr. r., 18 9" s.b., 1 60-par. r., 2 20-par. r.)

The first California, a screw sloop, was launched S July 1867 as Minnetonka at Portsmouth Navy Yard; sponsored by Miss M Bailey, renamed California on 15 May 1869, and commissioned 12 December 1870, Captain J. M. B. Clitz in command.

Clearing New York 13 March 1871, California beat her way through the storm ridden Straits of Magellan and sailed north to San Francisco, where she arrived 30 July for the first of two Pacific cruises. As flagshiP for Rear Admiral J. A. Winslow, commanding the Pacific Fleet, she steamed from Mare Island Navy Yard 28 November 1871 for a cruise to Honolulu, Hawaii; Valparaiso, Chile; and Panama, Colombia, putting back into San Francisco 13 November 1872. On California's second cruise, 30 December 1872 to 25 May 1873, she flew the flag of Rear Admiral A. M. Pennock, commanding the North Pacific Station, and sailed to Honolulu to supervise the protection of American interests in the then independent island group.California was decommissioned at Mare Island 3 July 1873, and sold there in May 1875.