The Vigilance Committee of 1856 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 72 pages of information about The Vigilance Committee of 1856.
It was expected that he would approve the Committee just organized.  He adopted the contrary course.  The Herald denounced the Committee in strong terms.  The merchants had generally approved and joined the Committee.  That morning every copy of the Herald was gathered, a pile of the papers made in Front street, and burned.  It was the significant rebuke which the merchants made; but they did not stop at that — they erased their names from the carriers’ lists.  Thousands of other citizens did the same.  That morning the Herald was a sheet of forty columns, with the largest advertising patronage and largest circulation of any daily newspaper in San Francisco.  The next morning it appeared, a small sheet, not much larger than a sheet of foolscap, of twenty-four columns.  The Herald was the favorite organ of the Democracy, of the anti-Broderick and Southern wing of the party, particularly.  The especial organ of that wing, the Times and Transcript, had ceased publication a few months before, and its patronage went mostly to the Herald.  Nugent was opposed to Gwin, the powerful leader of the anti-Broderick party, more than he was to Broderick; but this was overlooked by many of Gwin’s supporters.  The friends, of General McDougall were his warmest friends and backers, They now rallied to his support and to the sustenance of the Herald.  General Volney E. Howard, J. Thompson Campbell, Judge R. Augustus Thompson, W. T. Sherman, the manager of Lucas, Turner & Co.’s banking house here — now General Sherman — Austin E. Smith, Sam.  E. Brooks, Gouverneur Morris, Hamilton Bowie, Major Richard Roman; and the solid old merchant, Captain Archibald Ritchie, With hundreds others, stood steadfast by Nugent, for Law and Order, and against the Committee.  J. Neely Johnson was Governor of the State, and controlled the militia.  He was petitioned by the Law and Order Organization to take action and issue a proclamation requiring the Vigilance Committee to disband.  Governor Johnson came from Sacramento to San Francisco by steamboat on Friday night, and was met at the wharf by a deputation of the Law and Order body.  Subsequently, up town, a committee from the Vigilance Committee, accompanied by Col.  Baillie Peyton, met him, and with them he held a long conference.

Chapter III.

The particular subjects at issue, on each side, were the status of the Committee, the authority of the Governor to command its disbandment.  The Committee had expressed the desire or the intention to have Casey committed to their custody, alleging that his escape from the jail was not unlikely for certain reasons.  The Governor at length acceded in general terms to the propositions of the Committee, and measurably assured them his support.  The Law and Order leaders were amazed, incensed and disgusted at the weakness of Governor Johnson.  He had as good as surrendered the jail to them, and they had only to go and seize it, and capture the prisoners.  This was known in the city on Saturday, and the Law and Order body prepared for the expected emergency — the defence of the jail from the assault of the Committee.  Steps were taken for the defence of the jail by the Law and Order men, who volunteered for the occasion.  The Committee had likewise made preparations.

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The Vigilance Committee of 1856 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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