The Legacy of the Fox:
A Chronology of Zorro
by Matthew Baugh
(with updates and additions by Win Eckert)
Revised by Dennis E. Power
The following chronology is a revision of the tremendous work done by Matthew Baugh in his original chronology These revisions are made to reconcile the historical record with the Murrieta's of the film by working around them. This can be done in one of two ways, or more perhaps but two that I can think of right now.
Premise 1, In the film The Mask of Zorro we are given the historical clues of Santa Anna still ruling California, of the gold rush not having happened yet, of the Mexican war not having taken place as of yet we can place The Mask of Zorro around 1843-45. Also Harry Love is in his late twenties or early thirties which would also coincide with the earlier date, whereas in the historical record he was in his mid forties when he killed Joaquin Murrieta in the 1850s.
The Joaquin and
of the film are certainly not 13 and 11 so their birth date must be
than 1830. According to historical records the bandit Joaquin
father's name was also Joaquin. Suppose this, in the WNU, the elder
Murrieta's parents had taken him to
(as a sidebar in my Wold Wold West I speculate that the Murrieta brothers were the sons of Jean Lafitte who had been using the name of Murrieta, Laffite was in turn the grandson of Long John Silver)
It was the elder Joaquin and his brother Alejandro that became the bandits portrayed in The Mask of Zorro. In the WNU, a young Harry Love, corrupted by greed became the partner of Governor Montero. In a distorted mirror of what happened in our universe, he cut off the head of Joaquin Muirreta and the hand of Three Fingered Jack.
I know this will necessitate some re-tooling of the Zorro Chronology but it fits better with the the time period as depicted in the film.
The events proceed basically as Mr. Baugh has outlined on the Zorro chronology but with the earlier time period and with one twist.
Unbeknownst to Alejandro, Joaquin had been married or he had fathered a natural child who was born around 1830. He was named Joaquin like his younger cousin. This Joaquin became the bloodthirsty bandit of history beginning his bloody career in 1853. It became Alejandro's tragic duty to track down and slay his bloodthirsty nephew. Over the years the stories of the two Joaquin Murietas blended together until they were synonymous.
By the time
second Joaquin Murieta had embarked on his notorious career, Alejandro
already changed his name to de la Vega. The bloody career of his
Joaquin de la Vega, further impetus to anglicize his name to Ken Mason.
name Mason was chosen because of his grandmother's Esperanza Montero's
relations, Esperanaza Montero's mother had been a Hope Mason, from
Brown is for my textual additions, blue <<< >>> surrounds original text whose time placement has changed
The pueblo of Riena de
Don Alejandro de la Vega and his wife Esperanza de la Cruz come to
Don Diego de la Vega is born (Diego is 24 in the first story) - he is the son of Don Alejandro and Esperanza
Diego’s mother dies sometime during his childhood, and he is sent to
death is established in the McCully stories and repeated in the Disney series and elsewhere. Esperanza's appearance
in the 1940 movie The Mark of Zorro is fictitious.)
Lolita Pulido is born (Lolita is 18 in the first story.)
Diego returns to find that his father, who had been alcalde, has been replaced by the corrupt Luis Quintero.
Quintero and the brutal garrison commander, Captain Juan Ramon, are exploiting the peasants, the priests, and the
Indians. Diego poses as a harmless fop so that he can battle Quintero and Ramon in the guise of El Zorro. (The
Curse of Capistrano, filmed several times as The Mark of Zorro, The Bold Caballero, and other titles.) Quintero's
name is revealed in the 1940 version of The Mark of Zorro but the idea that he is Lolita's father is fictitious.)
Diego defeats his enemies, and is set to marry Lolita, but a
enlists the aid of the pirate Bardosa,
and Zorro must defeat them before the marriage can take place. (The Further Adventures of Zorro by McCully.)
Lolita’s health fails, and she is taken back to
and most of the McCully short stories published in West magazine occur during this time. This is also the period
when the episodes of the Disney Zorro television series occur. Zorro's main nemesis during these early years is
(Approximate date) Don Diego’s maternal uncle, Estevan de la Cruz, comes to
is discouraged in his dishonest efforts by Zorro and leaves
Diego travels to the
Athos, Porthos, Aramis, and D'Artagnan (New World Zorro television series episode, "The Three Musketeers.") He
also encounters the vampire Dracula in
Dracula vs. Zorro. The year 1809 seems likely, for Zorro had reason and opportunity to travel to
1810 a wave of revolutions through
Diego returns to
appears and and the real Zorro is accused of the impostor's crimes. The true Zorro rides again to thwart the plot
(Zorro Rides Again by McCully).
Diego and Lolita wed. Sadly, Lolita’s health is still fragile and she dies of a fever after only a season.
Diego is still in mourning for Lolita when Zorro must ride again (The Sign of Zorro by McCully). During the course of
this adventure he meets, and becomes engaged to, Panchita Canchola.
Diego marries Panchita, and goes into a semi-retirement retires as Zorro, riding only when absolutely needed.
(Approximate date) Panchita dies giving birth to a son, Don Cesar de la Vega.
Don Estevan de la Cruz
Diego dons the mask of Zorro once again to challenge further depredations by Capitán Monastario.
<<<<Diego returns home to find
The events of the Topps Comics ongoing
series, which lasted eleven issues. The comics fall under the umbrella
Zorro's Renegades, and introduce the character Lady Rawhide, who goes
lead in two comics mini-series of her own.
Lady Rawhide is Anita Santiago, who although not related to Don Diego will in an odd twist become related to him when her nephew Alejandro Murietta marries Don Diego's daugher Elena. For more on Lady Rawhide, click here.
Jean Laffite discovered that Estevan de la Cruzto was an agent of the Spanish Crown. He and his wife and daughter are forced to flee to Tejas.
Jean Laffite, is ordered by
Council to aid the Mexican revolution as best as he can while still
The events of Zorro and the Jaguar Warriors by Jerome Preisler, a novel published in 1998.
Zorro and the Dragon Riders by David Bergantino, published in
Diego had a romantic liason with the female ninja described in the book. She was honor bound to return to
Zorro and the Witch's Curse by John Whitman, published in 2000.
Juan Murietta and Isabella Santiago Murieta have a son named Joaquin Murieta. Isabella Santiago is the sister of Anita Santiago, aka Lady Rawhide
Juan Murietta and Isabella Santiago Murieta have a son named Alejandro Murieta. As Laffite Juan Murietta establishes a port on
<<<< (Approximate date) Diego returns from
Juan Murietta is ordered to
support Iturbe as
A daughter, Elena, is born to Diego
Lafitte burns to the
palatial home in
When Iturbe declares himself Emperor of
Iturbe forced to abdicate. He flees ostensibly to Italy but in reality goes to California and establishes himself as Don del Oro, gathers some followers and returns to Mexico in the guise of Don del Oro.
Diego becomes involved in thwarting a plot against Mexican president Guadalupe Victoria involving a man posing as the Yacqui Indian deity "Don del Oro." He resumes his identity as Zorro, this time enlisting a legion of masked caballeros as his allies. (The Republic serial Zorro's Fighting Legion. In the movie, the Mexican President is wrongly identified as Benito Juarez. Actually
Don el Oro is revealed to be
Emperor Iturbe. To prevent a new Don del Oro from arising and to
Iturbe into a national martyr, the story is put out that Iturbe was
sneaking back into
(Approximate date) Diego takes on Don Cesar as an "apprentice Zorro." (A highly fictionalized version of this period was seen in the television series Zorro and Son with Don Cesar's name erroneously reported as Don Carlos.) They are living on one of the smaller estates of the De la Vega family.
Fifteen year old Joaquin Murieta marries a girl about the same age as himself and she bears him a son, also named Joaquin.
It was about this time that Juan Murieta is ordered to abandon his Californian and Mexican interests and move to Cuba and fight against Spanish rule there. Isabella Murieta dies of a fever and the two boys are cheated out of their inheritance by one of Montero's cronies. They turn to the bandit path but are not the murderous Murieta brothers of later legend. They act more like a combination of the legendary Zorro and Robin Hood. In their company is an Anglo named Three Fingered Jack.
(Approximate date) Don Cesar travels to
Don Diego de la Vega while in
Estrellita Cross (de la
Cruz) the daughter of
Estevan meets in
Angelique Cross (De La Cruz marries
(Approximate date) Jeff Stewart, is born. Jeff is the grandson of Don Estevan de la Cruz, and thus is Don Diego's 2nd cousin.
Jeff will become one of the men to wear the mask of Zorro.
Don Cesar marries Dolores de Muro (the love interest from "Don
Q"). Don Cesar is informed (his
was killed in
Joaquin Murieta and "Three
Fingered Jack" are
killed by Captain Harrison Love, though Alejandro survives. Joaquin's
Jack's hand are preserved for posterity.
Montero returns to
Diego escapes from prison and trains Alejandro Murieta to be the next Zorro. The two of them defeat Montero and Love, though Diego is fatally wounded in the conflict. (The Mask of Zorro.)
The events of the novel The Treasure
Diego by William McCay. Alejandro, when not riding as the new
Zorro, is known by the name Alejandro
Don Diego's will, changes his name to Alejandro de la Vega and inherits the de la Vega estate.
The novel Skull and Crossbones by Frank Lauria.
The novel The Secret Swordsman by William McCay.
Later in the year, Elena and Alejandro are married.
While Alejandro is off adventuring as Zorro or possibly working with John C. Frement in establishing the American sponsored Bear Flag revolt, Elena dons the mask and becomes a Zorro type character called Queen of Swords. She fights against a renegade Don Montoya, a cohort of Montero who attempts keep
There is a huge influx of Americans into
Joaquin Murieta, nephew of Alejandro Murieta y de la Vega begins a career as a bandit, taking care to emulate his band on the legendary band run by his Father, the first Joaquin Murieta. He even has in his band, a man called Three Fingered Jack, although probably done so to further the image, since this Three Fingered Jack was definitely Hispanic. Beyond the similarites of names however there little similarity between the first Joaquin Murieta's band of outlaws and the second Joaquin's Murietas band of outlaws. The latter were bloody cutthroats who thought little of butchering an entire hacienda for a small amount of gold. It with a heavy heart that Alejandro must once again don the mask of Zorro to hunt down his killer of a nephew.
In an unrecorded adventure. Alejandro Murieta y de la Vega as Zorro, duels with his nephew Joaquin Murieta and is forced to kill him, oddly enough by decapitation. As time passed the two Joaquin Murieta's were blended into one legendary character.
(Approximate date) Elena and Alejandro have a son, named Joaquin after his uncle.(Although the tag at the end of Mask of Zorro makes it seem that this is only a short time after the previous events, a later date is more likely.) Eventually the stigma of having the same name as the murderous outlaw just recently killed and also of having a Spanish name in the growing American community prompts the couple to change their name to Mason. Joaquin grows up using the nick-name 'Ken' that his classmates give him. (He will eventually become the hero of the serial The Ghost of Zorro. Though she is never mentioned in either Mask or Ghost, Joaquin has a younger sister named Isabella. She is a necessary addition to the family to explain the connection of Barbara Meredith and her brother.)
(Approximate date) Don Ramon de la Vega is born to Don Cesar. His brother, Don Manuel will be born several years
later. (The brothers are born about twenty years after the wedding of Don Cesar and Dolores, so they may be the
product of a second marriage. Even with this late date, Don Ramon would be about fifty-five when his son James
was born and Don Manuel would be about seventy five when he appeared as a character in the serial Zorro Rides
Birth of Isabella Mason
Jeff Stewart returns home from the Civil War. Finding his hometown overrun by outlaws and corrupt politicians, Jeff
takes on the guise of Zorro to fight for justice. (The Republic serial Son of Zorro.)
(Approximate date) Barbara Meredith is born. She is the daughter of Isabella Mason and her husband, an American
named Meredith, who takes the family to the
(Approximate date) Joaquin 'Ken' Mason, the grandson of Don Diego, takes on the guise of Zorro to battle outlaws and to complete a telegraph line. (The Republic serial The Ghost of Zorro.)
Jake Mason, son of Joaquin (Ken Mason is born)
Barbara Meredith, great-granddaughter of Don Diego, dons the Zorro-like guise of "the Whip" to battle criminals trying to prevent
Jake Mason has a son, Buck Mason born in Comanche County, New Mexico
Birth of Perry Mason, son of Randolph Mason. Like his father Perry will become an attorney. His exploits are recorded by Erle Stanley
(Approximate date) James Vega is born. He is the son of Don Ramon, the grandson of Don Cesar, and the great-grandson of Don Diego. James spends his boyhood on the ancestral de la Vega land, but leaves to attend school in the city (
Events of Edgar Rice Burrough's THE DEPUTY SHERIFF OFCOMANCHE COUNTY whose main character is Buck Mason, grandson of Ken Mason
(Approximate date) Diego's great-grandson, James Vega, leaves his job in the city and returns to his ancestral home. Adopting the guise of Zorro, he thwarts a gang of villains who are plotting to gain control of the new railroad under construction. (The Republic serial Zorro Rides Again.) James' father has died sometime before the story begins, and Don Miguel will soon be killed by outlaws. Don Miguel says that James is the last living descendant of the original Zorro, but it is possible that he doesn't count the Meredith, Stewart and Mason branches of the family since they do not carry the de la Vega name. (and possibly because they are tainted by the blood of outlaws or scoundrels such as the Murietas and Estevan de la Cruz)
The Legacy of
the Fox: A Chronology of Zorro was
created for the sole purposes of entertainment and information. All
reserved. The text of this page is © 1998-2001 by the author, Matthew Baugh. Updates and
1998-2001 by Win Eckert. Additions
in brown text
are © 2001 Dennis E. Power.