Although Sharon’s case against Sarah Althea Hill was commenced in the federal court before the commencement of Miss Hill’s case against Sharon in the state court, the latter case was first brought to trial, on the 10th of March, 1884.
 NOTE.—A court of equity having jurisdiction
to lay its hands
upon and control forged and fraudulent instruments, it matters
not with what pretensions and claims their validity may be
asserted by their possessor; whether they establish a marriage
relation with another, or render him an heir to an estate, or
confer a title to designated pieces of property, or create a
pecuniary obligation. It is enough that, unless set aside or
their use restrained, they may impose burdens upon the
complaining party, or create claims upon his property by which
its possession and enjoyment may be destroyed or impaired.
(Sharon vs. Terry, 13 Sawyer’s Rep., 406.) The Civil Code of
California also declares that “a written instrument in respect
to which there is a reasonable apprehension that, if left
outstanding, it may cause serious injury to a person against
whom it is void or voidable, may, upon his application, be so
adjudged, and ordered to be delivered up or cancelled” (Sec.
PROCEEDINGS IN THE SUPERIOR COURT OF THE STATE.
Mr. Sharon defended in the state court, and prosecuted in the federal court with equal energy. In the former he made an affidavit that the pretended marriage contract was a forgery and applied to the court for the right to inspect it, and to have photographic copies of it made. Sarah Althea resisted the judge’s order to produce the document in question, until he informed her that, if she did not obey, the paper would not be admitted as evidence on the trial of the action.
On the second day of the trial in the state court Miss Hill reinforced her cause by the employment of Judge David S. Terry as associate counsel. He brought to the case a large experience in the use of deadly weapons, and gave the proceedings something of the character of the ancient “wager of battle.” Numerous auxiliaries and supernumeraries in the shape of lesser lawyers, fighters, and suborned witnesses were employed in the proceedings, as from time to time occasion required. The woman testified in her own behalf that upon a visit to Mr. Sharon’s office he had offered to pay her $1,000 per month if she would become his mistress; that she declined his offer in a business-like manner, without anger, and entered upon a conversation about getting married; she swore at a subsequent interview she drafted a marriage contract at Sharon’s dictation. This document, to which she testified as having been thus drawn up, is as follows: