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Dear America Book Series

Project
Valley of the Moon
The Diary of Maria Rosalia De Milagros
By Sherry Garland

By Natalie Smalley

Characters

Maria Rosalia De Milagros


Domingo De Milagros
Miguela Medina
Rafeala Medina
Gaberiela Medina
Henry Johnston
Padre Ygnacio
Lupita and Gregorio

Senor and Senora Medina


Nelly Johnston
Walter Johnston
Johann Stutter
General Mariano Vellejo

History
California: Alto California belonged to Mexico prior to 1846. Americans
lead the Bear Paw Revolt and created the California Republic which was
annexed by the U.S in 1848 in the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo.
Native American: Suisun people populated Suisan Valley. They first came in
contact with the Spanish in the early 1800s. There leader allied with
General Mariano Vallejo to prevent uprisings of other Native American
Tribes. They soon died out due to massacres, mass suicides, and small pox.
Missions: Set up by the Spanish/Mexican government to intergrade Native
Americans to Mexican culture and colonize new areas. Conditions were
harsh, and small pox spread quickly.

History
Mexico was previously under Spanish control but became independent
in 1822.
General Mariano Vellejo was an extremely influential man at the time
he came from a very wealthy family. He was born in Spain became an
important leader in Mexican control but was still loyal to the
government.
Santa Rosa is patron saint of Americas, florists, Latin America, Peru,
Philippines, and South America. First saint to be born in the Americas.
Multiple Mexican holidays are mentioned Feast of Christ the King, Feast
of the Virgin of Guadalupe, Day of Ephiney and Christmas.

Back Round
Maria Rosalia De Milagros is raised as servant on a Mexican rancho.
Rancho is outside of Somoma, Mexico. Currently Somoma, US.
Rosalia is half Caucasian and half Native American
Rosalia learns to read and write which is extremely unusual for a
female servant.
Raised by Luipta and Gregorio, who are the cook and head of the
cattle on the ranch.
The diary begins October 1845 and ends November 1846.

Plot
Rosalia finds the diary that was thrown away by Miguela Medina, who got it
from her suitor Henry Johnston.
Henry Johnstons brother, sister-in-law, nieces and nephews are attempting
to travel to Mexico but only the niece and nephew survive the journey.
Henry Johnston introduces Nelly Johnston to Rosalia and they become good
friends.
Henry Johnston and Miguela Medina become engaged.
Rosalia sows the wedding gown.
Rafeala Medina becomes very sick so Lupita and Rosalia travel to a Native
Ameican village to get herbs for her.

Plot
Rafaela gets better.
The Medinas find out that Rosalia is literate and has a small pox
vaccination.
Miguela and Henry get married.
Bullfights take place on the ranch.
Americans start settling illegally on the Medinas land.
Miguela becomes sick and miscarriages.
Americans lead a revolt and the Republic of California is formed.

Plot
Rosalia becomes very interested in her origins and tries to find the
priest who originally found her.
Rosalia finds out that she is actually the cousin of the Medinas, she
inherits money and land and marries Walter Johnston.

Impact
The Bear Paw rebellion and the Mexican-American War caused U.S.
to gain a lot land.
The Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo is negotiated after the U.S. wins
the war.
The California Gold Rush causes a huge population increase in
California and a railroad is built connecting more populated areas
of the U.S. with California.
University of North Carolina at Charlotte are the 49ers. Go Niners!!

Personal Interest
Although my family is from overseas I am very interested in
American history.
Last year I visited Mexico and learned a lot about its culture and I
found it fascinating to relate the culture and historical events
shown in this book to current culture and events in America and in
Mexico.

Citation Slide

"The Suisun Indians." The Suisun Indians. Accessed September 23,


2015.
"Hispanic Americans: Spanish Colonization and Californios (17691800s)." Calisphere. Accessed September 23, 2015.
"Bear Flag Revolt." History.com. Accessed September 23, 2015.
Garland, Sherry. Valley of the Moon: The Diary of Maria Rosalia De
Milagros. New York: Scholastic, 2001.