A Story of Joaquin Murieta the Bandit


The following story is from the unpublished diary of Daniel Martin, in the collection of the Monterey County Historical Society.


In the autumn of 1877 I was engaged there [Laurel Ranch, in the Carmel Valley] as vaquero and one morning as I was about to depart on my daily duties Mr. Clinkenbeard hailed me and said to wait for a while that there was an old man had stayed there all night who would be down to saddle his horse soon and he Clinkenbeard, wanted me to hear or witness the conversation and when the old man approached he put his hand in his pocket and asked "How much do I owe you for staying here last night?"

"Nothing, we are of the old California style but I would like to ask you some questions. Were you ever in the Sierra Nevada Mountains?"

"Yes, a long time ago."

"Did you ever stop at Clinkenbeard's road house between Lake Tahoe and Truckee and buy provisions and sometimes stay with your party all night there?"

"Yes, but how did you know?"

"I am Clinkenbeard's son who used to wait on you at times. Aren't you Joaquin Murieta?"

"Yes."

"Don't you know you are supposed to have been killed?"

"I hear so, but I got away and went to Mexico, the Americans were getting too valiente (desperate)."

"What are you doing back here now?"

"I came after some treasures that I had hidden in the Big Canon above here--the Chipinos (Indian) and I came down here last night thinking I would find the Boronda family still here."

"Are you going to stay in California?"

"No, I am going right back to Mexico, I like it better there among my people."


MCHS Home Page

History Home Page

Main Index

Name Index