In some stories he is a hero and in others an outlaw. Facts regarding Joaquin Murrieta remain ambiguous and unclear. According to church records, Murrieta hails from the southern part on the Sonora Mexican state (Burns,…
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Not much is mentioned about his upbringing. His history shifts to his marriage to Rosa Feliz of Vayoreca. Together with his wife and her three brothers they moved to California for the gold rush. He and his wife settled in Niles Canyon where he toiled as a vaquero and a mustang catcher. After this point the legend of Joaquin Murrieta begins controversy. The first legend depicts Joaquin Murrieta as a bandit while the other one makes him a hero (Ridge, John, 17).
In the first legend, Joaquin Murrieta joins his brother-in -laws bandit (Burns, Noble, 11). The bandit kills and steals from white people. After the death of his brother-in-law, Joaquin takes over the bandit’s leadership. He continues to lead the men to crime, and specializes on killing and stealing from the Chinese people. Joaquin and his bandit do not have reservations on killing fellow Hispanics and countrymen. The state of California puts a bounty of 5000 dollars on his head due to the endless menace. After the shooting of General Joshua Bean, Joaquin and Reyes (also his brother-in-law) are implicated. Joaquin fled leaving Reyes to be punished by hanging due to the murder of bean.
Overwhelming evidence pointed to Joaquin as the killer (Burns, Noble, 13). Hence a team commandeered by Harry Love was created to hunt him down. Harry Love captured and killed Joaquin. He cut off his head and preserved it in a bottle of alcohol. He later went round the mines to confirm his identity and assure the people that Joaquin would not harm them again. The term bandit is a widely applied in this version of the legend. Joaquin is referred to as a racist, outlaw, murderer, robber and gang leader. Law enforcement and afflicted individuals mainly applied this term. The appropriateness of the term varies depending on the validity of the information. It is hard too tell if the cruelty of Joaquin is exaggerated or not. However, in the context of law enforcers and victims of Joaquin, it is hard to find
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Ridge’s story of Joaquin Murieta is one that depicts him as not only being a hero, but one who despite his way of life maintains his honor throughout his life.
The definition of a hero in Joaquin Murieta is that of
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