Anger spreads over the shooting of King

While the organization of the Committee of Vigilance was underway, word spread throughout California about the shooting of James King of William, and in many places created an excitement that rivaled that of San Francisco. On Thursday evening a meeting was held in front of the Orleans Hotel in Sacramento and the citizens adopted a resolution in favor of King as a fearless advocate of the rights of the people and an uncompromising opponent of corruption, and another that condemned James Casey as a convict, a desperado and a leader of thieves, scoundrels and ballot box stuffers.

Sacramento in 1856

1856 Sacramento

On Friday in Marysville the Reverend M. C. Briggs struck a keynote when he said that a great excitement had been stirred in the hearts of the people not because James Casey, the man, had assassinated James King, the man, but because the proponent of a class of ruffians and lawbreakers had shot down in cold blood the representative of a class of men who favored honesty in their social and political life. Yet another similar meeting was held in Stockton and so too in all the large towns across the state, and all were in nearly unanimous sympathy with the friends of King and the objectives of the Committee of Vigilance.

Stockton, California in 1856

Stockton 1856

Throughout the mining towns and camps along the foothills of the Sierra, both north and south, this feeling was particularly strong and suggested to William Rhodes the well chosen poetical expression that became immediately popular, “the mountains have spoke to the sea.” And not only did they speak they yelled with a voice loud and strong. Many offers of aid came in from all quarters, a thousand men from San Jose, large delegations from Sacramento, Marysville, Placerville, Nevada City, Folsom and many other towns across the gold country in order to witness and, if necessary, help in the work of the San Francisco Committee of Vigilance.


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