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.
its columns had the privilege of adopting their own mode of recourse; stated the route he usually took to and from his office, and with the significant hint, “God help any one who attacks me,” defied that method of redress.  Casey took him at his word.  King was borne to the room in Montgomery block, in which he died a few days afterward.  The ball had penetrated his body from the left side of his breast, just below the line of the arm pit, and ranging upward and outward to the back of the left shoulder.  The surgeons pronounced it a dangerous but not a mortal wound.  Dr. Beverly R. Cole was Surgeon-General to the Committee brigade, and a member of the Committee.  Months afterward he declared in a public statement of the case that King died from the unskillful treatment of the surgeons, and maintained that with proper treatment he would have recovered.  Still it was the wound which superinduced his death; and Casey had fired the ball which made it.

Chapter IV.

May 22d, the day of King’s funeral, while the immense procession was passing through Montgomery street, Casey and Cora were hanged.  Two projecting beams had been rigged from the roof of the building on Sacramento street, occupied by the Committee, for the purpose.  Out of two of the windows of the second story, immediately under these beams two stout planks, sixteen inches wide, were extended over the street to an equal distance.  At the outer end of each plank, on the under side, were stout hinges connecting the traps upon which the two men were placed, with the ropes about their necks, suspended from the beams.  Two other ropes held the traps even with the planks.  The two men were led out upon the traps.  Permission was given to them to speak their last words.  Casey availed himself of the privilege and spoke a few minutes in clear loud voice, in somewhat excited manner, denying his guilt of murder and vindicating his action.  Cora stood all the while as motionless as a statue.  Not a tremor or quiver was perceptible.  The white cap covered his head and face to below the chin.  At the conclusion of Casey’s brief speech, the cap was drawn over his face, and as the hangman pulled it down he whispered in his ear something that made the doomed man start as if to break the bands which held his arms.  In an instant the signal was given, the traps sprung, by the two men on the roof cutting the ropes which upheld them, and Casey and Cora were launched for the death to quickly come.  Casey struggled for a few moments; Cora showed no sign of pain or life.  After death the bodies were cut down, and shortly afterward were delivered to friends who had provided for their burial.  The hangman of Casey was Sterling Hopkins, a notorious character, with whom Casey once had a difficulty.  He had begged the Committee to officiate in the event of Casey’s condemnation to death by the rope, and the whispered words he hissed in Casey’s ear, as he subsequently boasted, were of exultation

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