Warrants for the Julia seizure

The vigilance committee formulated an indictment of a sort against David Terry on Sunday evening that consisted of three main charges; first of resisting with violence officers of the committee while in the discharge of their duties; second, of committing an assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill Sterling Hopkins; and third of various breaches of the peace and attacks upon citizens. Under this last charge there were five specifications, one involved resistance to a writ of habeas corpus, three involved attacks on citizens of Stockton and the last an attack on a citizen of San Francisco. Terry’s trial would have proceeded immediately had there not been numerous difficulties that delayed it, of which the most important was Terry’s position as a justice of the Supreme Court of California that caused many to not want to try him at all and others to interfere and thereby further complicate a difficult problem.

San Francisco Bay by Albert Bierstadt

San Francisco Bay, Albert Bierstadt

To add more confusion to the matter, the law and order party, on the same Saturday that David Terry stabbed Sterling Hopkins, procured arrest warrants for John Durkee, Charles Rand, James Hutton and William Andrews for seizing the arms onboard the schooner Julia. On Sunday Durkee was arrested and confined. The arrest spurred an uprising of the rank and file of the committee who congregated around the building where Durkee was held and threatened to tear the place down to free him. The executive committee put an end to the demonstrations, found legal counsel for Durkee and resolved that Rand, Hutton and James should submit to arrest if necessary. And while willing to comply with arrest orders from a United States court for their own men they were not willing to comply with a writ of habeas corpus for Maloney. The marshal who served the writ was admitted but not before Maloney had been removed and so was unable to be found. That marshal did attempt to talk to Terry but was prevented. Afterwards it was resolved that in case of a writ for Terry he would also be secreted and in no case surrendered.

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