Joaquin Carrillo Murrieta
(sometimes spelled Murieta
) (ca. 1829–July 25, 1853?), also called the Mexican or Chilean Robin Hood
or the Robin Hood of El Dorado
, was a semi-legendary figure in California
during the California Gold Rush
of the 1850s. He was either an infamous bandit or a Mexican patriot, depending on one's point of view.
Life and career
Bitter dispute surrounds the figure of Joaquin Murrieta, who he was, what he did, and many of his life's events. This is well summarized by the words of historian Susan Lee Johnson
<blockquote>"So many tales have grown up around Murrieta that it is hard to disentangle the fabulous from the factual. There seems to be a consensus that Anglos drove him from a rich mining claim, and that, in rapid succession, his wife was raped, his half-brother lynched, and Murrieta himself horse-whipped. He may have worked as a monte
dealer for a time; then, according to whichever version one accepts, he became either a horse trader and occasional horse thief, or a bandit."
The place of Murrieta's birth is disputed. He was either born in Álamos
*Roaring Camp: The Social World of the California Gold Rush
(Review). American Scholar January 1, 2000. Pg. 142 Vol. 69 No. 1 ISSN: 0003-0937. in the northwestern state of Sonora
, or in Quillota