Santa Clara County
Estanislao (ca. 1793 – 1838) was a member of the Yokut people, Native Americans of northern and central California. Born in about 1793 on the Laquisimas River, today known as the Stanislaus River, near present day Modesto, CA. At the age of 28 on September 24, 1821 he moved to Mission San Jose, in what is now Fremont, California. Estanislao was the alcalde of the community before he left the mission with about 400 followers in 1827.
The group began raiding the Missions San Jose, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz and Mexican settlers in the area around the Laquisimas River (now the Stanislaus River; during the later Mexican era, this river was called Rio Estanislao). Estanislao was joined by Chumash Indians lead by Pacomio and by other Yokuts until at one time his army had 4,000 men. Estanislao educated his men in battle techniques he had learned from Spanish and Mexican soldiers. His raids were characterized as sudden, usually involving a trap, and ending with no loss of life, and he would sometimes use his sword to carve his initial, "S", authenticating his handiwork. The Franciscan friars and Mexican settlers pleaded for help from the Mexican army. Finally, the Governor called the army into action. Three expeditions from the Presidio of San Francisco and the Presidio of Monterey failed to subdue the band. A fourth, larger force led by General Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo finally ousted
Estanislao and his people from the Laquisimas River in the Spring of 1829. Both Vallejo and Estanislao were accused of brutality and atrocities by their forces in the battle. Estanislao returned briefly to the Mission San Jose on May 31, 1829 to ask Father Narciso Duran for forgiveness for his men and himself. Father Duran successfully petitioned Governor José María de Echeandía to pardon Estanislao. The pardon was granted for Estanislao and his men on October 7, 1829. Estanislao returned to the Laquisimas River to lead his people. Yoscolo, a Yokut Indian from the Mission Santa Clara, joined Estanislao's group in 1831. Yoscolo brought several hundred Indians with him from the Mission Santa Clara. Yoscolo and Estanislao led many raids against Mexican settlers. Yoscolo was different from Estanislao and did not mind killing Mexican settlers if he had to. Yoscolo sometimes wore a mask during his raids. During the spring of 1833, malaria was introduced into the San Joaquin Valley by Canadian beaver trappers from the Hudson's Bay Company. More than 20,000 California natives died from malaria that spring, including Yokuts, Chumash, Miwok and others. On August 24, 1834, Estanislao returned to the Mission San Jose and prospered there while teaching others the Yokuts language and culture. He remained at the Mission until his death, possibly from smallpox, on July 31, 1838. The Stanislaus River and Stanislaus County are named in his honor. There are many Californians who believe that Estanislao was the real Zorro. Estanislao was buried at the mission. Early Spanish and Mexican burials are in the original 1809 church and remain in the floor of the restored mission church. It is unknown if Native American burials were among them.
Mission San Jose Cemetery
Created by: Lester Letson
Record added: Oct 28, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 30934221