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-4.JOAQUIN MURIETA (1830?-53?)

Was he a hero or a villain? Did he really exist at all? In the early 1850s, Mexican immigrant Joaquin Murieta was real to Californians; he was wanted, dead or alive, for robbery. He was a hero to Mexicans who resented the prejudice they faced in the United States. Some scholars today believe his story to be no more than a legend. Church records show that Joaquin Murieta was baptised in Sonora, Mexico, in 1830. In 1848, he and his wife moved to California, where during the rush of 1849, he prospected for gold. Miners in the United States resented the competition from Mexican miners. In 1850, California passed the Greaser Act and Foreign Miners Act, which discouraged Mexican prospecting in California. It was then that the legend of Joaquin Murieta began. Bands of Mexican outlaws staged raids throughout the San Joaquin and Sacramento valleys, robbing miners and stagecoaches to protest the anti-Mexican legislation. The organiser of these raids was believed to be Murieta, though whether he controlled any or all of the outlaw bands was never proved. California's governor offered a reward for Murieta's capture, and in 1853, the Texas ranger Harry Love produced the head of a Mexican he claimed was Murieta. The raids came to an end, but rumour had it that Murieta lived on and died in the 1870s at his birthplace.

After reading the passage, we can say with absolute certainty that Joaquin Murieta ------ .

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