NWZ timeline with historical notes – part II – 1811-1818
Blue – Canon/ Canon-deduced
Green – Deduced/calculated based on canon-given information
Red – Historical events/ notes
NB: Most dates are approximated. When multiple dates are possible/ no clue about the exact month of an episode was given, the month will be put between parenthesis.
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 I – 1760-1811 (pre-series) and part III – 1818 – 18xx (3rd and 4th season).
Diego is called home by his father around Spring 1811 (“The Legend Begins”, “The Old Flame”).
First appearance of Zorro (at least 4 months were needed for him to return from Spain)
Leonardo Montez is arrested in LA for the theft of the Sacred Stone of Guadalupe; The Santa Barbara Commander arrives to take charge of him before Luis Ramone gets to interrogate him.
(December/ January 1812)
The Alcalde has a friend come and pose as a dead man to trap Zorro (enough time must have passed since Zorro first appeared for him to become a rather common presence in Los Angeles, and for the actor to arrive from either Mexico City or a town closer to LA – “Dead Men Tell No Tales”).
A woman posing as Widow Francisca de la Pena nearly marries Alejandro (“Deceptive Heart” – they are planning an Easter (29 March 1812) wedding).
Note: Victoria’s helper at the time is called Alicia and it’s not the same as in the last seasons.
The Alcalde tries to impose a water tax during a drought, then stops the water flow to the pueblo (“Water” – the driest month in LA is usually July)
The Alcalde gets a geology report done. (Mentioned in “Double Entendre”)
(Before June 1813, but no clear date or clue to it is given)
A man is accused to have stolen some furs and sold them to the Yankees but it turns out the Alcalde stole them himself (the man was a witness); Zorro gets Luis Ramone to release the man and carves a Z on his bottom (“Whereabouts”)
The Alcalde gets a swordsman to pose as Zorro (“Double Entendre”)
Rafael de la Vega comes to visit with his fiancée, Marguerita de Madeira (“The Best Man” – the people arrested in the episode were condemned for failing to pay taxes on their crops which Victoria mentions to have failed that year).
A man called Senor Herrera challenges anyone in LA to a race against him; when his losing challenger’s horse is found to have been poisoned, Zorro accepts a new challenge aimed at recovering the money lost by the people betting on the first race (“The Sure Thing”).
Zorro interrupts two bandits who had stolen a wagon and finds a baby in it. The little girl turns out to be the daughter of Russian settlers (“Zorro’s Other Woman”)
Note: In “The Tease” Victoria mentions that Amanda Herrera was the first single woman to appear in 2 years, which might mean that the senorita in this episode trying to corner Diego at the party was the last one before Amanda.
Possibly when Gov. Monteverus (name mentioned in “Freedom of the Press”) takes office (which might explain the Alcalde’s small yet important change of attitude and the fact that Don Alejandro decides to inform the Governor about the Alcalde’s actions while in a previous episode he mentions the governor to be in league with Luis Ramone).
A Private Damasco is fired for whipping 3 men in a tavern brawl (“Pride of the Pueblo”).
Corporal Reyes gets a broken nose and one of the other lancers a broken jaw after attacking a man of colour called Jack Holten; the Governor sends a magistrate to decide on a promotion for the Alcalde to the garrison in Monterey, and a boxing match which might mean freedom for the imprisoned man is arranged at the De la Vegas’ suggestion on that occasion. (“Pride of the Pueblo”)
Alejandro is shot by bandits while trying to help a lancer (“Honor Thy Father”)
(January – June)
At some point during these months, the owner of the Portillo Hacienda dies. (“Ghost Story” – it is indicated that the heir had been searched for a while, but can’t be for over 6 months because of the taxes due to be paid on the hacienda – Luis Ramone would have claimed it if he had the chance)
A thug posing as a magician comes to LA after having attacked a shipment of gold near San Francisco the previous week (“The Magician”)
Possibly, about this time Diego started writing to Padre Benitez in Santa Barbara about a new species of birds he discovered. (“A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing”)
Colonel Palomarez arrives from Spain, assigned to put an end to Zorro (“A Deal With The Devil” – at least over a year must have passed since Zorro became a common figure in Los Angeles for Palomarez to be sent)
A Spanish writer comes to California to unmask Zorro (“Whereabouts”), also due to stories of him having reached Spain. The time of the episode is established based on Victoria mentioning that “summer heat numbs the brain”.
While this episode was aired just before “A Deal With the Devil” since it was the first one to be filmed, the time-delay fuse in it is referenced by Diego in “The Legend Begins”, thus (even if merely by error) establishing this episode as preceding the latter.
Zorro is injured when Alejandro goes to Monterey; Felipe helps him survive and he later comes up with a plan to stop the Alcalde without fighting (“The Legend Begins”)
The territorial commissioner comes to LA to investigate the alcalde (and probably gets duped as Luis Ramone is up for a promotion in the next episode “The Legend Begins”).
Diego starts working on his portrait of Victoria (the portrait is ready by the time Montez is arrested – “All That Glitters”)
(End of July)
Leonardo Montez escapes from prison and returns to Los Angeles to recover the Sacred Stone of Guadalupe (“All That Glitters”)
After an haciendado’s death, his son, Don Pedro DeSoto, who returns from Mexico City to claim his inheritance tries to hide his father’s will and get rid of all his tenants. During an intervention, he injures Tornado and a child called Miguel Santos, ‘adopts’ him (“Child’s Play”).
A thug takes Padre Benitez prisoner and passes himself as him in order to get money from the Los Angelinos. Luis Ramone somehow finds out he’s not the true padre (probably having met the true Padre Benitez earlier). The time of the episode can be deduced because the grapes are only in season in the area after Mid-July). (“A Wolf in Sheep’s Cloathing”)
Diego starts teaching the young Indians at the Mission how to read.
It is discovered that Mendoza is the sole inheritor of the Portillo Hacienda. After Don Emilio, his new neighbor tries to make him believe there’s a ghost in the house in order to force him to sell it, he eventually donates the estate to be turned into an orphanage. (“Ghost Story” – there are pineapples on Mendoza’s table as well as grapes, the two coincidings in season at the time around Early to Mid-August)
(August – September)
A shipment of gold is attacked by what looks like Indians but prove to be bandits (the episode takes place along a time period of about 3 weeks at least, the minimum needed for the Governor to be informed and place the bounty on the responsible men; Luis Ramone is in the pueblo during the episode but does not make an appearance (“Bounty Hunters”).
Historical note: The first permanent photoetching was an image produced in 1822 by the French inventor Joseph Nicéphore Niépce (referenced in the episode), which did not survive, but the camera obscura was discovered in China, then, independently, in Greece since the Antiquity (around 5th Century BCE). Niépce also started experimenting with it around the mid-1810s.
A couple uses information provided by the Alcade about the citizens of Los Angeles to make them believe they can help them communicate with those deceased “The Unhappy Medium”. They are imprisoned in Monterey.
(Early June on a Saturday)
Ricardo Quintana escapes prison and returns to take revenge on those responsible for his and Myatana’s downfall (“An Explosive Situation” – the action of the episode takes place at least seven months after “The Unhappy Medium” based on the clues in the show).
A woman claiming to be Felipe’s mother arrives and claims him, while Francisco Escalante visits Victoria (“Family Business” – while the episode’s script mentions that eight years had passed since the August Revolution, thus Felipe is 13 or 14, depending on the month of his birth)
Palomarez returns with a plan to sell the territory of Los Angeles to the British (he needed about a year to go to Brazil, get the forgery and return, depending on the means of transportation + most cacti in North America blossom in Spring or early Summer. The Alcalde and the garrison are away on manoeuvres and Victoria mentions the Alcalde wanted to ‘take the summer air in Monterey’). (“Palomarez Returns”)
Both the hacienda and the tavern are renovated in a similar colour. There are also some changes made to the tavern’s interior.
Dr. Henry Wayne, an inventor, comes to Los Angeles and is tasked by the Alcalde to find a way to capture Zorro (“The Wizard”).
Diego’s swordmaster, Sir Edmund Kendall comes to LA, seeking refuge after being accused of treason and is eventually shot and killed by a bounty hunter. (“Master and Pupil”. Considering Luis Ramone’s incredulity at being informed that the Englishman had a 5,000 pesos reward on his head, finding it a very big sum for only one man, it is possible that the original Zorro reward was less, certainly not 6,000 pesos as it ends up being later in the show. By this point, however, while a reward is mentioned, the sum is not.)
Pirates led Henry Stark to arrive to seek a treasure, and take several Los Angelinos they want to use to help carry it. Diego and Don Alejandro go to San Fernando to buy a bull and manage to return during late afternoon (despite the full distance being about 35-40, miles depending on where the hacienda is situated and where they’ve met the pirates). (“Kidnapped”)
August – Septemeber
Amanda Herrera, the daughter of a prospector arrives and stays a few weeks at the De la Vega Hacienda causing Mendoza to fall in love and Victoria to be jealous because of Diego (“The Tease” – Geraniums are normally in season till late Autumn)
An English swordsman, Sir Miles Thackery, comes to Los Angeles and, while he humiliates and threatens the Alcalde, Luis Ramone uncharacteristically doesn’t arrest or threatens to shoot him, instead of asking for Zorro’s help (“He who lives by the sword” – Melons in the area are in season till September).
A new press arrives in Los Angeles with orders from the Governor for the pueblos to start publishing their own newspapers and Diego volunteers to take over editing one called “The Los Angeles Guardian”. (“Freedom of the Press”)
Note: The date on the paper at which the Governor’s man is looking mentions the date 29 October 1819 but, since the show’s creators later have De Soto almost hang a man in January of 1819, after Luis Ramone’s death, and clues exist that the episodes respect a chronological order, I have ignored that detail.
Historical note: The pueblo’s church was only built in 1814, although an Asistencia exited there, having been built shortly after the pueblo was established.
After being chased by locals intent on collecting the bounty on him, Zorro is helped by a woman called Magdalena (“Sanctuary”) and some copied paintings bought as originals arrive in the pueblo. It is possible that the reward on Zorro’s head was raised around this time, thus giving a true incentive for the locals to hunt him down for the money.
(Late March – Early April)
Part of the territory is flooded and the bridge to Santa Paula washed away. (Diego mentions some recent floods in “The Chase” and the bridge is mentioned in “The Falcon”)
(June – October)
The Luis Ramone Land Office – parcels of worthless land are sold. It is possible that its activity interrupted by Zorro – the Alcalde has a mark on his forearm in “The White Sheep of the Family” which might be a consequence of a fight with Zorro happening at this point in the timeline since it is healed, yet still quite visible.
An American swindler Bishop comes to Los Angeles and tries to shoot Zorro, ending up almost killing Victoria; Don Carlos, one of Don Alejandro’s friends is killed by him in a duel and he almost duels the man but Zorro intervenes. (“Broken Heart, Broken Mask”)
Vincente, Luis Ramone’s twin brother comes to Los Angeles trying to con everyone into believing he is the real Alcalde; Zorro realizes they are two different men based on the fingerprints he finds on various objects he takes from the Alcalde’s desk (“The White Sheep of the Family”)
Historical note: Fingerprints had first been used by the law enforcement officials in Ancient Babylon, then in China, millennia before they started being studied in Europe (from the 16th Century onwards) with the aim to determine they were unique to each individual.
An American, Joshua Barnes, comes to live in California and the Alcalde tries to contract him, then to use him in a new effort to capture Zorro (“The Challenge”)
After the Alcalde and the lancers attack an Indian tribe, a young woman Kinona is found by Zorro and brought to the De la Vega hacienda and Felipe falls in love with her, then gets challenged to a fight to the death by the young man she had been promised to since birth (“Rites of passage”)
A man nicknamed The Falcon tries to cause a rebellion in order to take advantage of it and rob the bank (and, probably, not only); at the end of the episode Mendoza is sent to Guadalajara to take back the silver stolen from the bank there (the journey would have taken around 3 months in total and he is back in Los Angeles in time for the next episode) (“The Falcon”)
A survey for a new aqueduct/irrigation system is ordered (as per “The Don’s Dilemma”); plans are abandoned as Luis Ramone sees the costs and a new bathtub for the Alcalde is ordered from Paris instead.
A man called Lopez is sent to jail by Zorro for probably a petty crime (“The Whistling Bandit”)
Diego catches a cold and decides to remain at the hacienda instead of joining his family at Victoria’s Christmas Party. Having just had a fight with his father, who accuses him of not getting involved in the pueblo’s affairs, he ends up doubting his decision to put on the mask. An angel called Don Fernando visits him in order to help him see how important Zorro was and still is to Los Angeles (“It’s a Wonderful Zorro” – Don Fernando mentions the events in Water had happened 5 years earlier, but, since they happened in Summer, and the events in this episode take place in December, it should be understood as approximately 5 years earlier).
The church gets a new bell and a man tries to kill Luis Ramone as revenge for having had to spend 15 years in prison because of him, but Felipe hears the entire plot (“The Marked Man”)
A man is accused of having stolen 10,000 pesos in gold, then defended by Diego in an unfair trial. His giant brother fights Zorro, then agrees to ally with him. (“Big Brother”)
March – April
Young Carlos de la Paz is sent to Los Angeles by his father, who is a judge and is followed there by a man trying to prevent Judge De la Paz from sentencing his brother to death (“To be a man” – Easter was on April 6th in 1816; Felipe is said in the episode’s script to be about the same age as Carlos de la Paz, who is 17)
The Alcalde buys led sulfate from miners near San Luis Obispo, then has it buried near a creek (“As ye saw” – Mendoza mentions that the poison was bought about 5 years earlier in an effort to decrease some land’s value)
The Alcalde’s cousin comes to LA and proves to be a thief wanted all over Europe (“The Whistling Bandit”)
Historical note: The 9th Symphony was composed only btw 1822 and 1824, although there are precedents to it in Beethoven’s earlier work.
The Deputy Governor tries to advance his career and Don Alejandro, who agrees to take over as Alcalde for a few days while Luis Ramone is away, is threatened to lose the hacienda lest he captures Zorro (“The Don’s Dilemma”)
The sword of Charlemagne get to Los Angeles and it’s stolen, together with the Zorro reward money, by a travelling theatre group headed by Don Alfonso Figueroa (“The Jeweled Sword”)
June to August
A Mennonite family arrives claiming the land they had bought from Luis Ramone, situated in the vicinity of the De la Vega lands. (“The Newcomers” – months determined based on the season for growing corn; the episode takes place over the spun of approx. 2 months as mentioned in a conversation between Luis Ramone and Mendoza)
Note: In the episode, Luis Ramone mentions that it’s 1820, which would be fine in the initial timeline, but the writers themselves changed it after Luis Ramone’s death, having De Soto get to Los Angeles in late 1818, so I ignored that particular remark, preferring to accept it as “closer to 1820s than to the Middle Ages”.
The pillories are installed in the pueblo, then used against the Nielsons.
Devil’s Fortress (Luis Ramone mentions that he’s been waiting 8 years for an opportunity to go to the Fortress, and since he was only there to steal the De la Vega land grant, he had to have started hoping to do so around the time he arrived in LA). Luis Ramone falls to his death after unmasking Zorro. Zorro takes the land grant/deed to the De la Vega property and hides it under the fireplace, later leaving a written account of the events.
(Late January – Early February)
A new temporary Alcalde (not mentioned but implied as Diego tells Felipe the Alcalde is gone for 3 months) takes over, but he goes to Mexico City for at least 3 months. From the dialogue in the episode, one could understand that the total period he is away is about 6 months (3 months due to being spent there + the time it takes him to go and return to LA). He probably only spends very little time as alcalde since he is not even considered a successor to Luis Ramone.
Note: The initial plan for the episode was, most probably, to be aired before Devil’s Fortress, but it did end up being aired after it, thus the logical assumption is that the Alcalde Diego referred to in it was someone else than the then-dead Luis Ramone.
(February/ March – November)
Diego goes to France (normally in those days the voyage would take at least 8 months, probably around 9 including his stay there. However, very fast boats of the time, in perfect conditions (not exactly realistic, though), could have made the voyage in about 3 months/ way – i.e. 7 months in total).
In France, he travels to Beaumartin (most probably a fictitious town invented for the show), in Bordeaux to visit the vineyards there, but ends up involved in a local conflict between the descendants of the Musketeers and a local tyrant who had stolen their castle.(“All for One”).