The Life and Adventures of Joaquin Murieta (1854) is a novel by John Rollin Ridge. Published under his birth name Yellow Bird, from Cheesquatalawny in Cherokee, The Life and Adventures of Joaquin Murieta was the first novel from a Native American author. Despite its popular success worldwide—the novel was translated into French and Spanish—Ridge’s work was a financial failure due to bootleg copies and widespread plagiarism. Recognized today as a groundbreaking work of nineteenth century fiction, The Life and Adventures of Joaquin Murieta is a powerful novel that investigates American racism, illustrates the struggle for financial independence among marginalized communities, and dramatizes the lives of outlaws seeking fame, fortune, and vigilante justice. Born in Mexico, Joaquin Murieta came to California in search of gold. Despite his belief in the American Dream, he soon faces violence and racism from white settlers who see his success as a miner as a personal affront. When his wife is raped by a mob of white men and after Joaquin is beaten by a group of horse thieves, he loses all hope of living alongside Americans and turns to a life of vigilantism. Joined by a posse of similarly enraged Mexican-American men, Joaquin becomes a fearsome bandit with a reputation for brutality and stealth. Based on the life of Joaquin Murrieta Carrillo, also known as The Robin Hood of the West, The Life and Adventures of Joaquin Murieta would serve as inspiration for Johnston McCulley’s beloved pulp novel hero Zorro. With a beautifully designed cover and professionally typeset manuscript, this edition of John Rollin Ridge’s The Life and Adventures of Joaquin Murieta is a classic work of Native American literature reimagined for modern readers.