Personal Reminiscences of Early Days in California with Other Sketches; To Which Is Added the Story of His Attempted Assassination by a Former Associate on the Supreme Bench of the State eBook

George Congdon Gorham
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 412 pages of information about Personal Reminiscences of Early Days in California with Other Sketches; To Which Is Added the Story of His Attempted Assassination by a Former Associate on the Supreme Bench of the State.
although she had, nearly two years before that, been turned out of her hotel by Sharon’s orders.  At this treatment she only whimpered and wrote begging letters to him, not once claiming, even in these private letters to him, to be his wife.  She could then have published the alleged contract without any violation of its terms, and claimed any rights it conferred, and it is obvious to any sane man that she would have done so had any such document then been in existence.

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.

[1] 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.
    3412).

CHAPTER II.

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: 

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Personal Reminiscences of Early Days in California with Other Sketches; To Which Is Added the Story of His Attempted Assassination by a Former Associate on the Supreme Bench of the State from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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