The capture of David Terry

After state Supreme Court justice David Terry stabbed vigilante policeman Sterling Hopkins in the neck and he, Maloney and the other law and order party members with him retreated to the Armory of the San Francisco Blues, the great alarm bell at Fort Gunnybags sounded. In less than fifteen minutes, around three that afternoon, the military of the vigilantes was on the march. Most surrounded the armory where Maloney and Terry hid but smaller units went to other known law and order buildings, including the California Exchange at Kearny and Clay.

The stabbing of Sterling Hopkins

The speed in which they had assembled was remarkable. From the first tap of the great bell men across the city seemed to fly to vigilante headquarters. Within a half hour every place in San Francisco known or suspected to harbor either law and order men or their weapons had been hemmed in by incredible numbers of armed men, bayonets shining in the sun. The movement and organization was so rapid and complete that whatever expectation the law and order forces might have had of making a stand against the forces of the Committee of Vigilance they now saw as complete folly.

The capture of David Terry

The capture of David Terry

Those in the armory, also aware of the futility of resisting such an overwhelming force, and after an exchange of several notes, at last negotiated a surrender. The doors to the armory were opened and the vigilante military rushed in. Terry and Maloney were taken under guard to Fort Gunnybags while the armory was searched. Over three hundred muskets and other munitions were commandeered and the rest of the law and order members present, some fifteen or twenty men, were kept in the building under guard.

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