Who was Sem Yeto?
Sem Yeto (a.k.a. Chief Solano) of the Patwin
A Patwin Chief from the Suisunes tribe, Chief Solano, became a friend and ally of General Mariano Vallejo, who was in charge of the Northern Frontier of Alta California during the years that Mexico governed Alta California.
Chief Solano's native name was Sem-Yeto (meaning brave or fierce hand). He was a tall, charismatic Indian.
Beginning in about 1835, Chief Solano formed an alliance with General Vallejo, helping keep peace in the area until the American takeover of Alta California (1846-48). 2
Chief Solano was one of only two natives to receive a land grant from the Mexican government. The land he acquired in 1842, known as Rancho Suisun, was four square leagues (about 12 square miles). Unfortunately his heirs were unable to retain the land.3
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