NWZ timeline with historical notes – part I – 1760-1811

Black – Canon-based events
Blue – Canon-deduced events
Red – Historical events/ notes

If you find information in the series that I did not take into account or a calculation error, please let me know in the comment or write to me.

You can see also part II – 1811-1818 (1st and 2nd season) and part III – 1818 – 18xx (3rd and 4th season).


The land grant is given to Sebastián de la Vega by King Carlos III (as per “Devil’s Fortress” – a year is not mentioned but can be deduced based on ’s age, knowing he was born in the hacienda as per episode “Palomarez Returns”).

Sebastián and his father build the original stone building.

Historically, the area wasn’t settled at the time.


The De la Vega main house is finished. Sebastián de la Vega is born in the De la Vega hacienda, (“Palomarez Returns” – year is not specifically mentioned in the show).

There is also a second brother called Alfonso, but no clues are given as to whether he is younger or older than Alejandro. (“ rides again”)

1766 or 1767

Elena Felicidad (future Doña De la Vega) is born (the original script for “The Arrival” mentions she is about 21 when giving birth to her sons. Both the names Elena and Felicidad are canon.)


is born (in the “The Marked Man” episode he is said to have stolen a shipment of gold at least 15 years earlier, when he commanded San Isidro.)

1768 (January 28th)

Las Californias officially received their name through a joint dispatch to the King from Viceroy de Croix and José de Gálvez. Initially it was thought the territory was formed by islands. After it was confirmed that what is now known as Baja California is a peninsula and further exploration of the northern territory confirmed it was linked to the rest of the continent, they became Califonia.

1767 – 1769

becomes friends with Mercedes Henche, the daughter of another rancher also settled in the area before the pueblo was founded as they met while children. (“A Love Remembered”)

1769 (May 14th)

El Presidio Real de San Diego was established (the pueblo by the same name was settled from 1774 onwards).

1770 (June 3rd)

El Presidio Real de San Carlos de Monterey was established and built by soldiers between 1770 and 1771.

El Presidio Real de San Carlos de Monterey
El Presidio Real de San Carlos de Monterey

1776 (March 28th)

El Presidio Real de San Francisco was established.

1778 – 1780

starts courting Mercedes when they are already teenagers after she returns to the area (no details on where she had been meanwhile are given). Mercedes eventually leaves to go see the world. (“A Love Remembered”)


goes to Madrid where he joins the Royal Cavalry; his brother, Alfonso, also joins the army.

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1781 (September 4th)

El Pueblo de Nuestra la Reina de los Ángeles shortened to Pueblo de los Ángeles is founded by 44 settlers from New Spain (Mexico) which departed from San Gabriel Mission (situated about 9 miles east of the pueblo and founded in 1771 to Christianize the Tongva natives of the area, known as Gabrielenos);

Between 1881 and 1886 the pueblo was ruled by a Comisionado (area military commissioner).

After 1886, the pueblo’s citizens were allowed to elect their alcaldes/mayors who served for one year (with some exceptions) being forbidden to run again for the following 2 years after their term in office was over.

El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Ángeles
El Pueblo de Nuestra la Reina de los Ángeles mural


Jaime Mendoza is born on a farm in Guadalajara.


meets Edmund Kendall in unspecified circumstances. (“Master and Pupil”)

fights in Panama where he contracts malaria; advances to Captain; both Alfonso and Lieutenant Cordoba are there with him (“The Newcomers”; “ rides again”).

Alejandro (who was at the command of ‘The 5th’ Regiment), Alfonso (who was Cordoba’s commander – most possible a Second Lieutenant in charge of his unit) and Cordoba also fight in New Spain/Mexico where, near Cuernavaca, Cordoba kills Alfonso by shooting him in the back and deserting his platoon.
The crime is witnessed by Carlos Frontera (Captain, probably advanced after retired), Sergeant Pablo Escobar and Private Juan Reyes. ( rides again”).


marries Elena Felicidad.

1785 – 1786

Jaime Mendoza ends up in LA as an orphaned toddler; he proves to be related to a don of the area.


Gilberto and Diego de la Vega are born in Madrid (most probably in the house of their grandfather – the precise date is not given, but based on the clothes of the people in the episode, it seems to be late Winter/Spring)

is not in Madrid at the time, serving in Cadiz (which was, back then, about 12-14 days ride away from the Spanish capital).

Gilberto is stolen at birth by the midwife Ynez Risendo, who drugs Doña Elena.

leaves to California with his wife and son shortly before or just after his father’s death. (“A Love Remembered”)


The Escalantes build their tavern and befriend the De la Vegas.

Jaime Mendoza is on occasion cared for by Alfonso Escalante. (“Devil’s Fortress”)


Francisco Escalante is born (no clue is actually given in the show if Francisco is younger or older than )


Escalante is born (the year is approximated based on clues in “Devil Fortress” and “The Legend begins” episodes).


Ramón Escalante is born (no clue is actually given in the show if Ramón is younger or older than Victoria)


A witch comes to LA and escapes when people try to detain or execute (?) her. (“The Newcomers”)


is born to peasants. (His birthplace is not indicated in the show but it was most probably north of Guadalajara as indicated in “Family Business”.)

c. 1802

The population of Los Angeles was around 120, mostly children of the original eight families. There is no church, no school. The owners of the nearby ranchos were not considered part of the pueblo.

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California was divided into Alta and Baja California. Baja California basically encompassed the territory south of San Diego (currently Mexican Baja California) and the Alta California encompassed the territories north, starting with the San Diego area (the current US state of California).

José Joaquín de Arrillaga served as of the Californias between 1800 and 1804, when the Californias were administratively divided into Alta California and Baja California.

Arrillaga subsequently served as of Alta California until his death in 1814.

Jose Joaquin De Arrillaga's grave site located in the Mission Nuestra Señora de la Soledad, author Tolerancezero, by Wikimedia Commons, CC-BY-SA-3
Jose Joaquin De Arrillaga’s grave site located in the Mission Nuestra de la Soledad, author Tolerancezero, by Wikimedia Commons, CC-BY-SA-3

Two more Spanish governors succeeded him until 1822 when the first Mexican took office.


Elena Felicidad dies (no clues are given as to when exactly and why).
About this time, Mendoza is in Arizona, fighting in the Indian Campaign under General Cordoba (fighting a renegade tribe attacking the Missions there). (“The Legend Begins”)


Diego goes to visit his dying uncle in Guadalajara and finds , orphaned after a vicious but non-historical suppression of revolutionaries in what the show refers to as ‘The August Revolution’ (“Family Business”). is about five years old (as per the script for “Family Business”).


A few months after bringing back to his father’s home, Diego, age 19, leaves for Spain (the Peninsular War in Spain started in 1808, thus it’s most probably that Diego was already there at the time since it would have made no sense to go otherwise). There, besides pursuing his studies at the University of Madrid (which did not exist as such at the time) he also starts training in swordfight with Sir Edmund Kendall.

starts a correspondence with Widow Francisca de la Peña.

The Peninsular War starts with Spain and allied France invading Portugal.

Ferdinand (Fernando) leads a failed coup against his father – The El Escorial Conspiracy.


Napoleon’s forces occupy allied Spain; Ferdinand VII deposes his father on 17/18 of March and takes the throne on the 19th although Charles (Carlos) the IVth only officially abdicates on May 5th.

Ferdinand VII (also known as The Felon King because of his political machinations), is forced to abdicate in favour of Josef Bonaparte on May 6th, after his father did the same a day earlier.

The war began in Spain with the Dos de Mayo Uprising on 2 May 1808 (the rebellion of the people in Madrid which led to a very bloody suppression depicted by Goya in 1814) and ended on 17 April 1814 with the restoration of Ferdinand VII to the monarchy. The French occupation destroyed the Spanish administration, which fragmented into quarrelling provincial juntas. The episode remains as the bloodiest event in Spain’s modern history.

In New Spain (Mexico), on 15 September 1808 peninsular-born Spaniards overthrew the rule of Viceroy José de Iturrigaray (1803–08), who had been appointed before the French invasion and had been seeking to declare New Spain as an independent state, possibly with him at the realms. His appointed successor was the leader of the faction perpetrating the coup and was viewed as illegitimate by the creoles, both sides becoming radicalized by the event.

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c. 1809-1810

Sergeant Jaime Mendoza returned to the garrison of Los Angeles (as per episode “The Legend Begins” he had been in Los Angeles before arrived there).


In 1810, a few American-born Spaniards from New Spain in favour of independence began plotting an uprising against Spanish rule. It began when the parish Catholic priest of the village of Dolores, Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, issued the Cry of Dolores, on September 16, 1810 (two days after the new appointed Viceroy arrived in Mexico City), calling the people to uphold the interests of their King Ferdinand VII who was held captive by Napoleon.

Hidalgo marched across Mexico and gathered an army of nearly 90,000 poor farmers and Mexican civilians who attacked and killed both Spanish Peninsulares and Criollo elites, men, women and children alike, even though Hidalgo’s troops lacked training and were poorly armed. He could have conquered Mexico City but decided against it, possibly to avoid a large-scale massacre; that decision, however, led to his downfall. Further massacres followed in Guadalajara for one entire month.

Miguel Hidalgo, Vicente Guerrero, Jose Maria Morelos, Pavon and others, author Eduardo Francisco Vazquez Murillo, by flickr, CC-BY-SA-2
Miguel Hidalgo, Vicente Guerrero, Jose Maria Morelos, Pavon and others, author Eduardo Francisco Vazquez Murillo, by flickr, CC-BY-SA-2

An escaped revolutionary makes it as far north as Los Angeles. Wounded, he is treated and hidden by Escalante. When he is discovered, Sra. Escalante is shot by firing squad. Alfonso and his sons, Franciso and Ramón, leave to seek revenge. Alfonso is believed to have been killed and he ends up in Baja California, in a prison called Devil’s Fortress, while at least one of his sons joins the military (“Family Business”; “Devil’s Fortress”).

inherits the tavern when she’s about 18 (“The Legend Begins”; “Devil’s Fortress”).

Luis Ramone starts planning on how to get into The Devil’s Fortress to get his hands on the De la Vega lands. (“Devil’s Fortress”)


Most of Hidalgo’s troops fled or were killed at the Battle of Calderón Bridge. After the battle, Hidalgo and his remaining troops fled north, but Hidalgo was betrayed, captured together with other revolutionary leaders, and executed on 31 July 1811. The revolution continued, though, other leaders emerging.

Diego asks Zafira to marry him (“The Old Flame”). (As per the laws of the time, he could not have done this without his father’s permission unless he was at least 25, so a written consent should have existed.) Zafira is informed on her way to the Church in Colmenar (where Diego asked her to meet him for the marriage, and which is situated about 30 miles from Madrid) that her brother was injured and goes to take care of him, leaving a message for Diego at his quarters, which he never receives. She is trapped in Segovia with one of the groups of revolutionaries (who resisted Bonaparte’s rule, most probably).

Called home by his father, Diego returns to California a few weeks after the previous events, having bested his swords master, Sir Kendall during training, and having received his sword for having been able to do so. (“The Legend Begins”)


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