Poet. Born Cincinnatus Hiner Miller, he called himself Joaquin after Joaquin Murieta, the infamous Mexican bandit. Known as the "Poet of the Sierras" and the "Byron of the Rockies," during his career he was a 19th century lawyer, judge, pony express rider, newspaperman, teacher, cook, miner, conservationist and poet. In 1852, he migrated with his family to Oregon and he ran away to the California gold fields when he was 17. Tiring of this life, he returned to Eugene Oregon, graduated a lawyer and class valedictorian from Columbia College. He entered the Eugene City Democratic Register and was elected a judge on the Democratic ticket. Forsaking law for a literary career he went to San Francisco to write poetry in 1870. In 1871, he traveled to Europe and published two books, “Songs of the Sierras” and “Life Among the Modocs.” Returning from Europe with the success of his writings, in 1886, he relocated in California, on seventy-five acres in the Oakland Hills he named "The Hights." There he continued to write, was in politics, ran a newspaper, was active in preserving nature conservation and acquired a number of horses for a pony express service he ran from his estate till his death. In 1909, six volumes of his collected poems, to tell the story of the American West at a time of rapid growth and change were published. In the 1970’s Urion Press published, “The Selected Works of Joaquin Miller” and "Unwritten History.” In 1919, his estate "The Hights" became Joaquin Miller Park, California State Landmark. The park now 512 acres, is a natural preserve, public recreation center and his memorial.
Bio by: John "J-Cat" Griffith