Archives for October 2012

Federal aid to Governor Johnson refused

The humiliation that Volney Howard was subjected to by the vigilantes was not so much that he had become a general without an army, but more due to the bluster and threats he used in an attempt to cow the vigilance committee. He then went to Sacramento where he attempted to give a speech to justify his cause, but when he mentioned his great friend David Terry the crowd became unsettled and questioned why a Supreme Court justice should be involved in a street fight. The hoots and catcalls … [Read more...]

Vigilantes humiliate new militia commander

The capture of almost the entire force of the law and order party must have humiliated their commander, Volney E. Howard, most of all. He had accepted the position of Major General of the militia after William T. Sherman resigned probably at the suggestion of his friend and Supreme Court justice David Terry. Like Terry, Howard had lived in Texas and knew the rough life of the frontier, but he was a more gentle and refined man than Terry. It likely was a rash decision to undertake a task that … [Read more...]

The vigilante victory

At around eleven o’clock on a Sunday morning on the day after the vigilantes had captured so many law and order forces and their arms and ammunition, and with no more apprehension over the forces opposing the Committee of Vigilance and everything in the city quiet, the prisoners who had been held under guard all night at Fort Gunnybags were formed into a line and told they would be released. Before they were let go however they were warned that should they be found acting under arms against the … [Read more...]

More law and order forces surrender

After the fall of the armory of the San Francisco Blues, where Maloney and Terry had run for sanctuary, Colonel Joseph R. West surrendered the California Exchange with some seventy-five men and two hundred and fifty rifles and muskets. Calhoun Benham’s company of law and order forces at Montgomery and Pacific Streets, as well as those at Madam Pique’s Hall at Kearny and Post also gave up. Together these constituted the great majority of the law and order militia and their arms and ammunition in … [Read more...]

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, … [Read more...]

Violence on San Francisco streets

Early on that same Saturday afternoon of June 21st after the Julia arrived in San Francisco with the commandeered arms of the law and order party, the executive committee of the vigilantes decided to order the arrest of Maloney and Phillips, who had been released that morning at the docks. Sterling A. Hopkins, a committee policeman was charged with this duty. Unfortunately he seems to have been one of those undesirable people who had not yet been purged from the committee’s roles and now he was … [Read more...]