William Sherman and Gov. Johnson negotiate with vigilantes

A young Sherman

A young Sherman

Another who waited at the wharf for Governor Johnson was William T. Sherman, who had been appointed as major general of the second division of the California militia, and was in charge of the troops in San Francisco. He had just come from the jail where he had informed Sheriff Scannell that the place was indefensible. When he discovered that the Governor had somehow passed him, Sherman, along with William Johnson, the governor’s brother, and former mayor Cornelius Garrison then made his way to the International Hotel where they met with Governor Johnson.

William T. Sherman, San Francisco banker

William T. Sherman

There they informed him of all that had happened and the current situation, then took him to the jail and showed him how problematic it would be to defend, surrounded as it was by brick buildings and parapet walls. The cells were the only place safe from gunshots and they were filled with prisoners. Almost all the population was with the vigilantes as was the local militia. The committee had grown to twenty-five hundred men and most rich and important people in town favored them. Sherman then proposed they negotiate with the committee and, accompanied by Governor Johnson, Garrison and the governor’s brother, he proceeded to the vigilance committee headquarters at Turn Verein Hall on Bush Street about eleven that night.









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