The Joaquín Band: The History behind the Legend by Lori Lee WilsonThe Joaquín Band: The History behind the Legend by Lori Lee Wilson

The Joaquín Band: The History behind the Legend

byLori Lee Wilson

Hardcover | June 1, 2011

Pricing and Purchase Info

$33.87 online 
$44.95 list price save 24%
Earn 169 plum® points

Prices and offers may vary in store


In stock online

Ships free on orders over $25

Not available in stores


After the U.S.-Mexican War, gold was discovered in northern California, a Mexican territory that had been ceded to the United States. Thousands of Mexican and American citizens traveled to the gold region and soon clashed. The ruling Americans enforced unjust laws that impelled some Mexicans to become bandits, Joaquín Murrieta among them. He became something of a media myth, with a few newspaper editors complaining that he was reportedly seen in two or more counties at once. In 1854 journalist John Rollin Ridge published a book about the legendary Joaquín band, with news accounts providing the foundation for Ridge’s story. In one newspaper, Murrieta was quoted as saying he had suffered abuse at the hands of Americans and so was justified in seeking revenge by trampling their laws under foot. Murrieta’s justification became an oft-repeated refrain among bandits, one designed to excite sympathy and gain followers.  

By digging up Spanish sources and revisiting English sources, Lori Lee Wilson discovered previously unrecognized cultural and political forces that shaped the Joaquín band legend. She reveals the roots of an American fear of a Mexican guerrilla band threat in 1850 and the political and societal response to that perceived threat throughout the decade. Wilson also examines how the Joaquín band played in the Spanish-language newspapers of the time and their view of the vigilante response. The Joaquín Band is a fascinating examination of the role of the Joaquín band legend in California and Chicano history and how it was shaped over time.
Lori Lee Wilson is an independent writer. She is the author of The Salem Witch Trials: How History Is Invented.
Title:The Joaquín Band: The History behind the LegendFormat:HardcoverDimensions:336 pages, 9.28 × 6.28 × 1.25 inPublished:June 1, 2011Publisher:UNP - NebraskaLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0803234619

ISBN - 13:9780803234611

Look for similar items by category:

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations  

List of Maps     



1. The Legend and History    

2. Joaquín and his Countrymen as Depicted in Diaries 

3. The Perspective of the Los Angeles Star and La Estrella 

4. Northern Newspapers and the Politics of Bandit Hunting  

5. Joaquín Valenzuela and Others in El Clamor Público

6. Of Tiburcio, Procopio, Mariana, and Oral Tradition

Closing Thoughts 

Appendix: Outlaw Band Members Named in 1850s Newspapers    




Editorial Reviews

"Wilson crafts a rich and nuanced history not only of the Murrieta bands, but also of a violent, ethnically diverse nineteenth-century California in which many groups were struggling to assert their identity and legitimacy as Californians and Americans."—Elisa Warford, Western American Literature
- Elisa Warford - Western American Literature