Papers relating to the San Francisco Committee of Vigilance, 1856, 1856 May - Aug.
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David Smith Terry was a lawyer, politician, and California Supreme Court justice. Born in Kentucky, he lived in Texas during the Revolution and joined the Texas Rangers during the Mexican War. After settling in California, he was elected a judge of the Supreme Court in 1855. Political rivalry with David C. Broderick, culminated in the famous Terry-Broderick duel in 1859, in which Broderick was killed. Terry joined the Confederate army during the Civil War and returned to California afterwards to...
The San Francisco Committees of Vigilance of 1851 and 1856 were formed when crime became widespread in the city of San Francisco in the wake of the Gold Rush. In 1856, the murder of James King of William sparked the reactivation of vigilante activities. King, a San Francisco newspaper editor, was shot by James. P. Casey, a corrupt official, after King attacked Casey in the columns of his paper. Immediately 10,000 men hastened to join the vigilantes, and William T. Coleman was again chosen as lea...