The vigilantes take James Casey

The military of the Committee of Vigilance had surrounded county jail, the field gun they acquired aimed at the front door. A summons ordering Sheriff Scannell to surrender James Casey had been served and ignored. About one that afternoon William Coleman and several members of the executive committee arrived and spoke with Charles Doane who informed them that Casey refused to surrender, was armed with a long knife and had a defiant, menacing attitude. Coleman and Miers Truett then went to the jail door and demanded entry. The door opened and, after leaving a reliable guard at the entrance, the two men went in. The sheriff took them to Casey’s cell.

Vigilantes take James Casey

The surrender of Casey

Wildly brandishing his knife, Casey refused to be taken, but after assurances he would be well treated and given a fair trial he consented to go with the committee and gave up his weapon. The cell was opened and Casey walked out. Without handcuffs or manacles Coleman and Truett led him outside where the guard took him down the stairs to the carriage Coleman had arrived in. There had been a momentary burst of applause when Casey appeared but it was quickly quelled by a gesture from Coleman. Casey was ordered into the carriage. Coleman and Truett climbed in after him and, accompanied by a large number if the committee’s military, they made their way to committee headquarters on Sacramento Street. A huge crowd followed. On arrival Casey was searched and another knife found in his boot. He was then placed in strict confinement where no one was allowed to see or speak with him. Part of the committee’s mission was done, but Charles Cora still remained in the jail.



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