The first black list arrests by the vigilantes

On Monday, May 26th, before work on the black list began, the executive committee ordered that all documents and notices from the Committee of Vigilance should bear the official seal. This was a stamp with an open eye, denoting sleepless vigilance, over which was written “Committee” and below the Latin words “Fiat Justitia Ruat Coeleum, no creed, no party, no sectional issues. It was also resolved that no prisoner could be released without a two-thirds vote of the executive committee and that no member could resign his obligation to the committee and to other members.

Seal of the Committee of Vigilance

Seal of the Committee of Vigilance

 It was clear the committee meant business and that very Monday black list members Billy Mulligan, Yankee Sullivan and Martin Gallagher were arrested. The following day they were tried before the executive committee, and partly through depositions taken by the committee and partly through oral testimony, they were found guilty and sentenced that same night. As represented by the preamble to the new constitution, the evidence proved that the three men had disturbed the peace of the city for years, and were active members and leaders of an organized gang who regularly invaded the sanctity of ballot boxes, and thus were perfect pests to society. They were to be transported out of the territory of the United States and warned not to return to California under penalty of death. Billy Carr was arrested on Wednesday and William Wooley Kearney on Thursday. They were tried on Friday and received the same sentences as the three before them.



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