The Vigilance Committee of 1856 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 60 pages of information about The Vigilance Committee of 1856.
the Committee.  There was nothing else to his discredit, so far as I could learn at the time.  Reub.  Maloney was a compound character — a good deal of a knave, something of the man in his fidelity to his friends, reckless of everything except his own safety in any transaction calculated to damage the cause to which he was opposed; indifferent to what might happen to an adversary, He was a most valiant “brave” — with his mouth; the noble quality had never penetrated his cuticle.  His passion when bloviating was furious and terrible to look upon; but there was nothing to it more than sound and pretense.  His face would redden to congestive hue, his voice swell to sonorous volume; but the simple kindly invitation in quiet tone:  “Never mind, Reub, come and take a drink,” would unbind him in a moment, and coming up relaxed, smiling to “smile,” he would gulf down the dram, and with stated manner remark, “Well, boys, I said about the right thing, didn’t I?” He was the faithful henchman of General James A. McDougall; hated Senator Gwin, and between the two preferred Broderick.

Maloney had been a drummer for a large importing house in New York, his field of labor in the South.  He had also been employed in the western states, and endowed with good address, portly figure, much volubility, unfailing check and invincible assurance, he successfully pushed his way.  He came to California during the fall of ’47, located in Stockton, subsequently in San Francisco, and took up “Politics” as his means of support.  To gain his point in a partisan deal, he would do anything that was not personally dangerous.  He cared for ends, and was utterly regardless of means.  He was ceaselessly putting up jobs to promote the cause he advocated, and to break down that of the antagonists.  With the courage of Babadil he had the honesty of Ancient Pistol, the habits of Falstaff, and the temptations of Anthony would have been to him as pastures green to the hungering herd.  Poor old Reub, his incarceration in the Vigilance cells nearly frightened the life out of him, and his release even under banishment, was as the open door to the caged wild bird.  He never did much harm to any cause or party that he opposed.  The Committee would have better spared him and exiled many who were worse — some from their own ranks.

Chapter VII.

The last in the list is Edward McGowan — “Old Ned” — Chief of Police, Judge, Emigration Commissioner, politician, fugitive, “ubiquitous” soldier, retired sporting man, and still in life, nearly eighty years of age, clear in all his faculties.  He was a devoted, trusted confidential friend of Broderick, and unpurchaseable in his friendship.  He had been a prominent actor in many hard contests in behalf of Broderick, and aided materially in the successes which elevated that extraordinary man to the Senate of the United States.  McGowan was a warm friend to Casey — his adviser on many occasions.  He received intimation the night of Casey’s arrest, that his own was contemplated.  He was not seen again in San Francisco until his return to the State a year or more afterward, to surrender himself and demand trial upon whatever charge the Committee, or any, could prefer against him.  His acquittal was the consequence.

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