James King, marked for murder?

The publication by James King in the Evening Bulletin of the sentence of James Casey to Sing Sing Prison is often regarded as the first in California and as the sole cause of the determination of Casey to kill King. But while it is possible that the prominence of the Bulletin added to the murderous rage of Casey at the time, the news that Casey had been an inmate in the famous prison in New York was long in the public domain in San Francisco. On November 2, 1855, in a trial before the … [Read more...]

A set up to the murder of James King

May 14, 1856, James King published in the Bulletin that evening an article against the appointment of a man named John W. Bagley to a position in the US Customs House. Bagley had recently been involved in a nasty election fight with James P. Casey, a county supervisor, and Bagley was clearly the aggressor. Here King went on to say that it didn’t matter how bad a man Casey had been before, nor how much public benefit there might be to have him out of the way, one citizen could not be afforded the … [Read more...]

Fears for the safety of James King

After the jury deadlocked in the trial of Charles Cora and the outrage voiced by James King of William in the Evening Bulletin, there existed a general feeling that no man’s life was secure in San Francisco nor was there safety under the law anywhere in California. Only a few weeks before the assassination of William Richardson two other prominent men, Isaac B. Wall, in 1853 speaker of the California assembly and then collector of Monterey County, and T.S. Williamson, assessor of Monterey … [Read more...]

The Charles Cora trial

Belle Cora, the mistress of Charles Cora, had determined to spare no expense to save her lover. To that end she hired the best attorneys she could, including the well known Edward D. Baker and James A. McDougall as well as George F. James and Frank Tilford. But, in spite of this impressive collection of legal talent Cora still appeared for his arraignment dressed in full gambler splendor, clad in a richly figured velvet vest, light kid gloves, with an overcoat thrown loosely over his shoulders, … [Read more...]

James King, a voice for San Francisco

At the same time James King was talking to San Franciscans boldly, plainly and always in the most courteous way, he avoided any suggestion of indecency and professed to provide a moral, family oriented newspaper that would not offend even the most sensitive reader. He wrote with great favor on churches and schools but seemed hard pressed to find words strong enough to express his repugnance for gamblers and houses of ill repute that infested the city. He was always careful about what … [Read more...]

King exposes David Broderick

On October 16th, James King went after David Broderick, the political boss of San Francisco, calling him David Catiline Broderick and charging him with the most ungodly efforts to get himself elected state senator for the purpose of accomplishing selfish ends. He accused Broderick of complicity in the Jenny Lind Theater swindle and said that he’d robbed the city in various ways, spread crime and rendered the voice of the people powerless at the polls. King continued the attack the next day, this … [Read more...]

The Bulletin exposes San Francisco corruption

On October 11, 1855, in the fourth issue of the Bulletin, James King railed at the corruption of Palmer, Cook & Co., the banking firm so closely connected to the failure of Adams & Co. He printed the names of the firm members and attacked them without gloves. Though some said his language was not as choice or as rhetorical as it might have been, King nonetheless showed that his plain talk was earnest and that he meant everything he said as he charged them with being some of the most … [Read more...]

The Daily Evening Bulletin

After the failure of Adams & Co. on Black Friday, James King had lost everything. He tried to start a second bank in partnership with Henry Reed, another former Adams employee, but on June 29, 1855, after less than four months, he dissolved the relationship and went out of the banking business permanently. But the frauds connected with the fall of Adams & Co. continued to fill the newspapers daily and King was repeatedly called upon to write articles or enter his opinion of matters. His … [Read more...]

James King challenged to a duel

On July 14, 1855, only a few months after the failure of both Page, Bacon & Co. and Adams & Co. and while there was still a great stir about all the losses and anger over the fraud supposedly perpetrated by the management of Adams & Co., James King of William published a statement in a local newspaper indicating that on more than one occasion Isaiah Woods of Adams & Co. had said that they made one hundred thousand dollars a year out of sales of gold dust to Page, Bacon & Co. … [Read more...]

James King joins Adams & Co.

It was in June of 1854, while James King suffered great anxiety that, because of the actions of one of his employees, he would not be able to meet his obligations. Isaiah Woods of Adams & Co. proposed to hire him for a salary of over one thousand dollars per month and if King would turn over all his assets to Woods’ express and banking company then they would be responsible for all of Kings liabilities. King accepted the offer believing Adams & Co. to be perfectly solvent, and Adams … [Read more...]