Queen Gabriella San Nicholas
Queen Gabriella San Nicholas is a direct descendant of Juana Maria from the Nicoleño tribe who inhabited the Channel Islands off the California coast. Most of the island’s 300 inhabitants were massacred in 1814 during the California Fur Rush for Otter pelts. The Santa Barbara Mission sponsored a rescue of the remaining tribe but somehow Juana Maria was left behind. She survived on her own for 18 years and died only 7 weeks after her arrival at the Mission due to the richness of the foods in the New World. Scott O’Dell’s award-winning children’s novel Island of the Blue Dolphins (1960) was inspired by her story.