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The name "San Francisco" is Spanish for "Saint Francis". The earliest known written record of the name appears in a letter dated May 3, 1776, from Captain Juan Bautista de Anza to Don Pedro de Rivera y Sánchez, which states:The city and its surroundings came under Mexican rule in 1848 after the Mexican–American War. Shortly thereafter, on March 25th 1850 San Francisco became part of the United States following the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. At this time San Francisco was little more than a small settlement on what was then called Yerba Buena Island (now commonly referred to as Goat Island). A year later California joined other U.S.