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.

“We had intended that if Justice Field were brought here, Mrs. Terry would be placed under the care of her friends, and that all precautions to prevent any difficulty that was in the power of the district attorney would be taken.”  That was to say, Mrs. Terry would do no violence to Justice Field unless “her friends” permitted her to do so.  As some of them were possessed of the same murderous feelings towards Justice Field as those named here, the whole transaction had the appearance of a conspiracy to murder him.

No magistrate can lawfully issue a warrant without sufficient evidence before him to show probable cause.  It was a gross abuse of power and an arbitrary and lawless act to heed the oath of this frenzied woman, who notoriously had not witnessed the shooting, and had, but a few hours before, angrily insisted upon having her own pistol returned to her that she, herself, might kill Justice Field.  It was beyond belief that the magistrate believed that there was probable cause, or the slightest appearance of a cause, upon which to base the issue of the warrant.

Neagle was brought into court at Stockton at 10 o’clock on the morning after the shooting, to wit, on Thursday, the 15th, and his preliminary examination set for Wednesday, the 21st.  Bail could not be given prior to that examination.  This examination could have proceeded at once, and a delay of six days can only be accounted for by attributing it to the malice and vindictiveness of the woman who seemed to be in charge of the proceedings.

The keen disappointment of Mrs. Terry, and those who were under her influence, at Judge Terry’s failure to murder Justice Field, must have been greatly soothed by the prospect of having yet another chance at the latter’s life, and, in any event, of seeing him in a cell in the jail during the six days for which the examination could be delayed for that express purpose.  The sheriff of San Joaquin county proceeded to San Francisco with the warrant for his arrest on Thursday evening.  In company with the chief of police and Marshal Franks, he called upon Justice Field, and after a few moments’ conversation it was arranged that he should present the warrant at one o’clock on the following day, at the building in which the federal courts are held.

CHAPTER XV.

JUSTICE FIELD’S ARREST AND PETITION FOB RELEASE ON HABEAS CORPUS.

At the appointed hour Justice Field awaited the sheriff in his chambers, surrounded by friends, including judges, ex-judges, and members of the bar.  As the sheriff entered Justice Field arose and pleasantly greeted him.  The sheriff bore himself with dignity, and with a due sense of the extraordinary proceeding in which his duty as an officer required him to be a participant.  With some agitation he said:  “Justice Field, I presume you are aware of the nature of my errand.”  “Yes,” replied the Justice, “proceed with your duty;

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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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