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Colonial Cases


Sacramento Daily Union, 1 January 1858


DEAD BODY FOUND. - At about three o'clock yesterday afternoon, Police officer Gibson, who resides on the American river, a short distance above its mouth, was informed by an acquaintance that he had discovered in the bushes, the remains of a man who had been dead a long time.  On being informed of the circumstances, we visited the spot and found the remains of the deceased, which consisted of the skeleton, with but slight portions of the flesh remaining here and there attached to the bones.  They were found about twenty yards from a trail or footpath, sunning towards the upper Slough, and about one hundred yards from the wagon road, which runs along the American river, and were surrounded by a thick growth of weeds and bushes.  The body had evidently been in that position several months.  It was enveloped in cloth pants, a grey woolen short, cloth coat with velvet collar, and a pair of heavy shoes.  The height of the man when living was probably five feet two inches.  He had either laid down, or been laid on his back with the head inclined towards the left shoulder.  It was impossible, of course, to identify the body, or even decoded with certainty whether it was that of a white man or a Chinaman.  We incline, however, to the opinion that it was the former.  There were portions of hair, black in color, around the head.  Coroner Counts was advised of the discovery, and repaired to the spot about dusk, and postponed holding an inquest until this morning.


Sacramento Daily Union, 6 January 1858

SUDDEN DEATH. - CORONER'S INQUEST. - A man named Charles Gerard, furniture dealer on K street, between Fifth and Sixth streets, No. 183, died suddenly, between 10 and 11 o'clock on Monday night, at his residence, under circumstances which induced the Coroner to hold an inquest on the body.  The inquest was commenced about nine o'clock yesterday morning, and, after the examination of several witnesses, continued to the same hour this morning.  It appeared from the testimony that the deceased had been ill for a day or two previously.  The testimony of Dr. Logan, who was called to attend him, and will explain the affair, was as follows:

I was called to see deceased yesterday at about 7 A.M.; found he had been vomiting and purging more or less, ever since the day previous; the symptoms under which he laboured at the time I saw him were clearly diagnostic of gastro enteritis, for which I treated him; he died about fifteen hours after I saw him; the patient informed me that he had taken a spoonful of the wine of colchicum; I replied that he had poisoned himself with it, but that, as in all probability his system had been freed from the poison by the vomiting and purging which immediately followed, I would perhaps be able to combat, successfully, the effects of the medicine.

The result proved his case to be irremediable.  The deceased, it seems, had arisen to have his bed made; took a seat by the fire, and died within fifteen minutes thereafter.  He was a native of France, aged 32 years, and had a brother with him when he died.  His partner, M. P. Bremon, was at the Bay, and is expected to be present at the inquest this morning.


Los Angeles Star, 9 January 1858



Another Officer Wounded.


   Our city was, on Thursday, the scene of an event of the most startling and awful character, being no less than the murder of the Sheriff of the county, William G. Getman, Esq. in the performance of his duty, followed by the death of the assassin, who had wounded another officer, Mr. W. Jenkins, while attempting to stop him in his wild attack on the officers and citizens surrounding him.

   The circumstances, as we have learned them from Mr. Hester, who was in company with the Sheriff, are as follows:-

   Complaint was made to the Sheriff by Mr. Davis, who keeps a livery stable on Allso street, (formerly Madigan's,) that there was an insane man there, who was giving a good deal of trouble, and requesting that an officer be sent to have him removed, as he was too  dangerous to be allowed to remain at large.

   We may here state, that we happened to overhear a conversation on this subject between Mr. Getman and Judge Dryden, which took place in front of our office.  The Sheriff told the Judge that there was a man down here who was said to be crazy, and that he would have to bring him before him, and asked what time it would be convenient for the Judge to attend to the matter, adding that there was no doubt the man was insane.  The Judge mentioned half-past one o'clock as the time, and stated that it would be necessary to have two physicians present.  It must have been immediately after this conversation that the Sheriff went in search of the dangerous lunatic.

   Mr. Getman took with him officers Hester and Baker, proceeded to the stables and enquired for him, but was told that he had gone up to town.  On his way back, and just as he turned the corner of Beaudry's building, he saw the person he was in search of, and approaching him, said, "I want to speak to you."  The man said "keep away from me, don't come near me;" at the same time drawing a pistol.  Mr. Getman said "you don't want  to shoot me, I merely want to speak a few words to you - don't shoot."  On the instant, the man stepped back and fired, the pistol almost close to the person of the Sheriff, who immediately fell,  saying - "Boys, I am shot," the only words he spoke.  The assassin then ran into the Monte Pio, kept by Mr. Cohn, and at once commenced firing at Mr. Baker, who was on a mule - he fired three shots at him, each of which passed through his coat; and he then turned and fired on Mr. Hester.  In this position, he was almost secure from attack, the back door was fastened, the half of the front door closed, and he was well supplied with arms, which he used deliberately and effectively.

   The reports of the pistols soon drew the people together, who, having no weapons, as readily ran out of the way.  Mr. Jenkins, an officer, seeing that the man was well protected by the door, and that his  weapons  seemed inexhaustible, mounted on the top of the house, and through an opening between the house and the awning, fired upon him as he came to the door.  He returned the fire, one of his shots taking effect in Mr. Jenkins' thigh, the ball burying itself deep in the flesh, inflicting a very dangerous wound.  However, Jenkins continued to fire at him, and finally struck him on the head, which it is supposed caused him to leave his position in the house and run into the street, intending to make his escape.  Mr. Peterson, the Under Sheriff, fired upon him, the ball taking effect in his body.  Officers Hester and Baker also fired upon him, and he fell pierced by some ten or twelve balls.

   The affair lasted probably twenty minutes, a great many shots having been fired during the time.

   Three pistols - a Derringer, (with which the Sheriff was killed,) a revolver, a common single barreled pistol, with a bowie knife, were found belonging to the assassin.  He stood in the house and deliberately charged his pistols.  The Derringer was loaded when found.

   The assassin had been in town for several days, and must have been on the lookout for the officers, as he directed his fire always against them.  One  young man who came out of an adjoining store with a gun, he advised to return and keep out of the way.

   Mr. Getman was shot in the left breast, under the nipple, the ball no doubt passing through the heart.

   Mr. Getman's body was removed to his office, where an inquest was held before Dr. J. C. Welsh, Coroner.  The jury returned a verdict, that deceased came to his death from a wound received while in the performance of his duty. .  .  .  . 

   The assassin's body was conveyed to the jail, where an inquest was held, and a verdict returned that death had ensued from wounds inflicted by citizens, from justifiable causes.

   Afterwards, the body was recognized by a Mr. Feely, formerly of lt. Beale's party.  His name was Reed, he had but recently arrived from Texas, and is described as having been a very  quiet and peaceable man.  He was one of the first party of passengers who came across on the new mail route from San Antonio to San Diego. It is said he brought considerable means with him to this country; that the other members of his company are at the Monte; and that he had come to town to purchase a wagon, in order to travel to Stockton. .  .  .  . 


Sacramento Daily Union, 11 January 1858


DEATH FROM VIOLENCE. - CORONER'S INQUEST. An inquest was held at the county hospital on Saturday, by Coroner Counts, on the body of a man named John Senate, or Synot, who died at that institution on the day previous from the effects of a blow received  from a shovel or spade, in the hands of one J. Sap, on the morning of the 29th December last, about a hundred yards to the west of the ferry, on the road leading to Lisler's Bridge.  A man named Robert A. George, who saw the blow struck, testified before the Coroner that he met the deceased bleeding freely from the right ear, and  that the latter told him that he and Jake (Sap, undoubtedly) were disputing about a shovel with which they had been at work, when he (deceased) called Jake a d----d liar, and Jake struck him one blow on the head;  that he, witness, went immediately to the place where the affair occurred, and in a short time Sap returned from the city where he had been after a physician, occupying about fifteen minutes.  The witness,  Thomas Frow, E. J. Curtis, R. Harrison, and John Doe, were present when the blow was struck.  The deceased, it appears, was desirous that Sap should not be arrested for the act, as he was satisfied that he would be about again in a few days.  Curtis testified that after the "liar" was repeated, and the blow struck, Sap was the first to take hold of deceased to restore him, and raised him up, took off his neckcloth and bound it around the head of deceased; assisted in putting deceased into a wagon and s ending him to the toll house; and started for Dr. Oatman, the nearest resident physician, and returned in a short time in advance of the latter, who, on examining the wound, pronounced it dangerous.  The deceased and Sap, it appears, had been on friendly terms previous to this occurrence.  On the day of the assault deceased was brought into town and conveyed to the County Hospital, of which he had since been an inmate.  Dr. Montgomery, resident physician at the Hospital, testified that deceased was brought to the institution on the 29th of December, and gave his name as John Synot, aged 22 years, a native of Ireland; that he was admitted; that he discovered on examination that he had received an injury or cut an inch and a half in extent, about three quarters of an inch back of the right ear, with some heavy, sharp edged instrument which had made a fissure or cleft in the skull, penetrating through the outer table thereof, and probably producing a fracture of the inner table also, though a probe could not be passed beyond the space, existing between the two tables; that deceased was conscious, at the time, but manifestly just recovering from the stunning effects of a severe blow upon the head, as evidenced by his general condition; that he continued rational in the main, for the three following days, but uncomfortable, and without the ability to sleep; that at the end of the three day he became delirious and unmanageable, and so continued for three other days, when he became badly comatose, the coma increasing gradually, up to the time of his death, which occurred on the 8th Jan.; that all the unpleasant symptoms mentioned, evidently resulted from the injury alluded to, that he was treated and used with much assiduity, and with the best care and skill practicable, in the house, and that he unquestionably (in the judgment of the witness) died in consequence of the effects of said injury.  Dr. Oatman testified in regard to the condition of the deceased when he was called to attend him and also as follows in regard to a post mortem examination which he made on the body, assisted by Drs. Montgomery and Autenreith.  He testified:-

Having made a post mortem examination of the head, in the case of John Synot, deceased, assisted by Dr. J. F. Montgomery and Sr. Autenreith, found a fracture extending through the base and right side of the skull, comminuting the several bones involved; also a small fracture of the back part of the skull;  within the skull and between that and the investing membrane of the brain was about a half ounce of coagulated blood, and a small amount of pure pus; within the membranes of the brain was about two ounces of serum (water); the membranes of the brain and the brain itself, to some extent, were inflamed; outside of the skull and in front of the ear was an abscess filled with pure pus; all of these effects would naturally follow such an injury as the one inflicted back of the ear, before described.  The fractures and injuries above described are, in my opinion, in all cases unavoidable fatal.

   Connected with this written testimony was the following, signed by Drs. Montgomery and Autenreith.

We fully concur in the above statement and opinions, as made an expressed by Dr. Oatman.

   The jury, composed of C. A. Hull, J. Gephart, E. B. Hammon, Seneca Snodgrass, James Gray, and A. Parish, returned a verdict that death was caused by a blow inflicted by the hand of J. Sap.

   The remains were interred yesterday.  It is understood that Sap has left for parts unknown. 


Sacramento Daily Union, 13 January 1858

AN INQUEST IN MARYSVILLE. - A miserable looking Chinese woman, named Jints Ling, died recently, in Marysville, as was supposed from poison; but the Coroner's jury, according to the News,  returned a verdict that she came to her death from disease.


Sacramento Daily Union, 16 January 1858

SUICIDE. - CORONER'S INQUEST. - An inquest was held about 3 o'clock yesterday at the rooms of Mr. Murray, undertaker, on Fourth street, on the body of a man named Duncan Livingston, who died about sunrise yesterday morning, at the residence of James Robinson on Eighteenth street.  The deceased was formerly and until quite recently employed as steward and nurse in the County Hospital; and, we believe, discharged his duties in a satisfactory manner, but was cashiered by the present Board of Supervisors.  The action of the Board in this respect annoyed him excessively, and probably impelled him to self destruction, it being evident from the testimony that death was the result of strychnine self administered, as the Coroner's jury concluded.  The following is an abstract of the testimony elicited at the inquest:  Mr. Robinson testified that deceased called at his house between 3 and 4 o'clock on Thursday evening, and asked permission to remain there till morning, as he had been drinking, and did not wish to go home to his family.  At that time he appeared to be sober.  About sunrise Mr. R. was called top come to the house by his wife, who stated that deceased had a fit.  Mr. R. found him severely convulsed; he got better, however, and conversed; said he was going to die, and requested that he might be removed from the cot on which he was lying to the floor.  On being raided from the cot, he asked for as cup of water, which was tendered him.  He endeavoured to take it, but jerked back his hand; was unable to do so,.  On being placed on the floor, he was taken with another violent fit - so violent that Mr. Robinson sent his daughter for a physician.  Previous to the arrival of the physician life was extinct -  within about fifteen minutes after the time when Robinson first saw him.  He tried several times to speak to Robinson, but being attacked with a species of hiccough, his articulation was indistinct.  The wife of the deceased arrived subsequently, examined his pockets, and found, among other things, an empty strychnine vial.  She had, we understand, on hearing of his illness, supplied herself with a variety of medicines, which she thought applicable as remedial agents, but, although she ran a distance of eight blocks, to render assistance, arrived too late. 

   M. H. Fowler, druggist on J street, near Sixth, testified as follows:-

   I am acquainted with deceased; he has bought medicine of me at different times, during the last two years or more; the last purchase was made on the 12th inst., when he bought one bottle of strychnine and one of extract valerian; he said he wanted something to kill rats, and that he thought strychnine the best for the purpose.  Dr. S. M. Mooser made a post mortem examination, assisted by Dr. Baillie, and testified that he found "ecchymosis of mucus membrane of the cardiac end of the stomach," and that in his opinion the same was produced by some irritant poison.  Dr. Baillie concurred in this opinion.  The evidence was here concluded, and the jury, consisting of J. W. Greenlow, J. W. Stout, George Seymour, H. W. Walck, James Gray and S. B. Inman, returned a verdict that death was supposed to have been the result of strychnine, self-administered. The deceased was born in Scotland on the 12th of May, 1807.

   The remains were removed, last evening, to his late residence, corner of L and tenth streets, whence they will be interred at 1 o'clock this afternoon.  He leaves a wife and family.  We understand that he has been possessed of considerable money, which has been loaned out to various parties.


Daily Alta California, 16 January 1858

SUICIDE. - A girl named Charlotte Glass,. A native of Pennsylvania, aged eighteen years, committed suicide in the house if mar, A. Charler, Petaluma, on the 14th inst.  The deceased had been employed as a domestic at Mr.  Charler's  for the last seven years.  An inquest was held.  Verdict - that the deceased committed suicide by hanging while under an aberration of mind.


Daily Alta California, 16 January 1858

CORONER'S INQUEST. - Coroner McNulty held an inquest last evening upon the body of an unknown man found on Tuesday last,. floating in the water of the bay near the Heads, ands brought to this city by the schooner fanny.  The just returned a verdict of found drowned.  Name unknown.


Daily Alta California, 18 January 1858

DROWNED. - A melancholy accident occurred last evening about half-past seven o'clock. A boy named Anthony McCreary, while engaged at play with a number of companions, on a pile of wood at Jackson street wharf, accidentally fell overboard and was drowned.  His comrades gave the alarm, and his body was recovered in twenty minutes afterwards.  Every effort was made to resuscitate him, but in vain; the vital spark was quenched.  Coroner McNulty will hold an inquest on the body this evening at 7 ½ o'clock.


Sacramento Daily Union, 19 January 1858


   The following are the particulars of a bloody fight which took place recently at Robinson's store on Long Gulch, in Tuolumne county, and to which we have already alluded.  We quite from the Sonora democrat of Jan. 16th.

   Immediately on receiving news of the fact, Deputy Sheriff MacFarlane, the Coroner, and a  large number of others,. started for the scene of action.  The affray was caused by a dispute in regard to the working of Chinese on mining claims, a number having been hired for that purpose by some of the parties.  Words brought on blows, pistols were drawn, and a general fight ensued, the result of which was as follows:-

   R. Cloud, shot dead; Wm. Connelly, shot through the neck and back; James McCrate, shot in the left shoulder blade; Ben,. Edmiston, shot in the thigh; Thos. Rich, wounded in the cheek; Jerry Seaber, struck on the head with a pistol; Alex. Flowers, shot in the mouth; Luke Sparrow, wounded in the face with a six-shooter.

   An inquest was held upon the body of Cloud by Coroner Walker, and the jury found that he came to his death from  a pistol ball, while endeavouring to escape, at the time of the occurrence.  Warrants have been issued for the arrest of Wm. Ake, John Page, John Dulaney, and James McCrate, charged with participation in the affair.  McCrate was taken into custody.  Ake, Page and Dulaney fled before the officers arrived, and have not yet been arrested.


Sacramento Daily Union, 22 January 1858


   Adolphe F. Branda, for seven years the confidential clerk and book-keeper of the well known house of F. W. Macondry & Co., of this city, having been detected in dishonest practices towards his employers, to avoid the shame of his exposure, committed suicide yesterday afternoon.  The circumstances attending his death are very melancholy, and although no person can have much sympathy for dishonesty, yet while shame and conscience are left, and particularly when strong enough to derive a man to suicide, the heart cannot be wholly bad.

   It appears that Branda, who was a native of Norfolk, Virginia, and about 32 years of age, .  .  .  . 

   The Coroner immediately proceeded to Chart's house, and found Branda lying in agony, and convulsed every few minutes with those peculiar  paroxysms well known to be the result of strychnine.  .  .  .  . 

   An inquest will be held upon the body this evening by the Coroner, when the letter received by Mr. Macondry, and other interesting matter, will be presented. .  .  .  .   Bulletin, Jan. 21.  


Daily Alta California, 22 January 1858


CORONER'S INQUEST. - Coroner McNulty held an inquest, last evening, upon the body of Adolphe F. Branda, the young man who committed suicide on Wednesday last, near Lone Mountain Cemetery, by taking strychnine. .  .  .  . 

   George Aitchison, sworn - I am a physician; I saw Mr. Branda before his death; he was in a cold sweat; I asked him to take some remedies which had been prepared for him; he refused, but on threatening to use force, he took the portion which relieved him for a time; the symptoms, however, came on again, and he died. .  .  .  . 

   The jury returned a verdict that deceased was a native of Norfolk, Va., aged 33, and came to his death by an overdose of strychnine, administered by his own hand voluntarily, for the purpose of taking his own life.


Sacramento Daily Union, 28 January 1858


   A sad affair occurred about three or four miles south of French Camp, on the afternoon of January 25, in which one man was killed and another fatally wounded.  The trouble originated about a piece of land.  The circumstances are thus stated by the Stockton Argus of January 27:-

   A Coroner's inquest was held yesterday upon the body of Robert Brubaker, at his house on the road beyond French Camp.  The jury was composed of nine persons, before whom the principal evidence was that of Frank Brubaker, brother of the deceased, who states that he was engaged in plowing on Monday afternoon, in a field about half a mile from his house, when a man named J. C. Glenn approached him and ordered him to leave the premises or he would force him to do so, and at the same time demanded of him a surrender of the ranch. They proceeded together to the house, ands on the way were joined by a man named James Uren, a brother in law of Glenn.  Some words passed between Brubaker and Glenn upon arriving at the house, and as the former was opening the door a shot was fired by Glenn.  Frank fell to the floor, and crawling across the cabin to the foot of a bed, gained possession of a pistol, which he discharged at Uren, and missed him.  The brother outside the house begged of Glenn that he would not shoot, as the matter could be settled without further bloodshed.  Glenn, however, continued to fire until Robert was dead, when he left the place on horseback in company with Uren.

   Upon post mortem examination, Dr. Cowan testified that he had discovered four wounds upon the body of Robert Brubaker, one of which was caused by a bullet passing through the heart.  Frank was dangerously wounded by a shot in the back, which caused a paralysis of the lower extremities.

   Glenn came into the city yesterday, and delivered himself up before Justice Brown, by whom he was committed to jail.  Uren was arrested by officer Childs, and is also in jail.  The  Coroner's Jury found the death of Robert Brubaker to be caused by a pistol shot from Glenn; but could not agree as to Uren being accessory to the murder.  The deceased was a native of Greenup county, Kentucky, and aged 42 years.


Sacramento Daily Union, 25 January 1858

SUICIDE AT TIMALES BAY. - A young man, known as William Frank, in the employ of the United States Surveying party, stationed at Timales Bay, committed suicide January 18th, by shooting himself with a large sized navy revolver.  For several days before the act, he had shewn marked symptoms of mental aberration, but as he appeared quiet, no fears were apprehended of any act of violence.  The deceased, says the Petaluma Journal, was a native of Finland, and about 20 years of age.


   The jury in the case of Dolan, the murderer of Sharkey at Natchez, after deliberating about an hour and a half yesterday afternoon, returned a verdict of murder in the first degree. .  .  .  .


Daily Alta California, 28 January 1858

THE SUICIDE CASE. - On the first page of today's Alta will be found an item from our evening edition of yesterday, detailed the fact of the suicide of a young man named Charles O'Connell, who was found dead in his bed at a boarding house on Bush street, opposite the French Catholic Church. We have been unable to ascertain any additional particulars of importance.  The deceased was a young man of industrious habits, temperate, prudent and economical.  About a year ago, he was employed by Mr. Woodward, at the What Cheer House, and served in the capacity of general assistant, to the entire satisfaction of his employer.  He was afterwards engaged as a salesman in Austin's dry goods store, on Montgomery street.  About two months ago, he gave up his situation and was unemployed up to the time of his death.  A few days ago, he engaged a passage on the Vaquero, which was to sail today for Australia.  On Tuesday evening, a friend accompanied him to his boarding-house; he appeared rather low spirited, but spoke of his expected trip with confidence.  He retired to bed unusually early, about nine o'clock in the evening; another friend called to see him; he had retired, but arose, unlocked the door, let his friend in, and then went to bed again.  His friend sat by the bedside, and conversed with him for some time.  he spoke in a rather desponding tone, appeared gloomy, said life was a farce, and there was nothing worth living for.  His friend endeavoured to cheer him up, and partially succeeded.  He then bade him good night, and left. The deceased let him out and then locked the door after him.  Nothing more is  known of his doings until the next morning, when the lady of the house, finding that he did not get up at his usual hour, opened the door and found him lying across the bed dead.  On a table by the bedside was a bottle containing strychnine.  It was uncorked, and a portion of the contents scattered on the table. He had apparently taken a very large dose, and died shortly afterwards. The bed did not indicate that he had suffered convulsions.  His hands were clenched, and drawn towards his face, which had a distorted and painful look.  In a trunk by the bedside was found a bottle of laudanum.  A number of letters had been torn up, and their fragments were found in a hat-box near the head of the bed.  He left no letter nor paper to indicate the reason of his having committed the rash act of self-destruction.  It is said that an overcoat belonging to deceased is missing from his room, but the rumor that deceased was possessed of considerable money is not authenticated, and there is nothing to indicate that there was any foul play in the manner of his death.  The inquest will be held this evening.


Sacramento Daily Union, 28 January 1858

THREE MEN DROWNED AT GRIZZLY BEND. - Three men were drowned near Murdoch's Ranch, Jan. 221st., in a region called Grizzly Bend, on the Sacramento river, about 25 miles from Colusa.  The Marysville Express has seen a private letter, which discloses the following facts:

   On the 21st of January, three men, named John McKay, James Cupples, and John McDonald, started from the house of Perkins, on the opposite shore from Murdoch's, in a canoe, with the view of going over to the latter and staying all night.  About 9 o'clock in the night, and when half way over, the canoe by some means capsized.  McDonald immediately sunk without a struggle.  McKay and Cupples, however, clung to the canoe for some time, but finally went under.  The body of McDonald was found on the 22nd inst; John McKay on the 23d, and, after extensive dragging of the lake, that of Cupples on the night of the same day.  The three were buried on the 24th.  John McKay was well known in Marysville.  His occupation was that of a teamster.


   We alluded recently to the fact, that a German by the name of Joseph Gerbert, had been missing for some days, at Oroville.  His body has been discovered at the bottom of a shaft, in the immediate precincts of the city.  The Butte Record of Dec. 25th remarks:

   How he got there is not known, but it is generally believed that during a fit of temporary derangement he threw himself down the shaft, and died from the shock to his nervous system, and subsequent exposure, his neck not being broken, nor any such injuries being apparent as would necessarily cause death.  His body was taken from the shaft immediately after being discovered, and an inquest was held by Coroner Harrow. Deceased was an old, feeble man, of some sixty years of age, and a native of one of the Franco Germanic States.  The body was buried yesterday in the Oroville cemetery.

   An Indian was killed in the Valley, recently, by a tree falling on him.


Daily Alta California, 29 January 1858


ANOTHER MELANCHOLY SUICIDE. - As if the calendar of terrors for the last few days was not already full, the city was startled last evening with the announcement that John Harrison, and old and respected citizen, had committed suicide. It appears that he walked out to Barr's saloon, on the ocean beach, between Stockton street, and Greenwich wharf, about five o'clock yesterday afternoon.  At Barr's, he met several friends, with whom he drank once or twice, and appeared in excellent spirits; after drinking, he bade then good bye, and started towards the city.  After passing the marine telegraph station of Commodore Martin a short distance, he went down towards the water.  A few minutes afterwards the report of a pistol was heard, and a boy ran into Barr's saloon, and informed them that a man had shot himself.  Several persons started out, and found Mr. Harrison sealed upon a rock at the water's edge; his head drooped forward, his hands dropped by his side, and at his feet was found an English revolving self-cocking pistol of Adams' patent.  He had shot himself in the mouth; the ball had passed upward and lodged in the back part of the head, and he was dead when found. His body was conveyed to his rooms in [Reese's] building, in Washington street, opposite the Plaza.  Coroner McNulty was sent for, and, assisted by Drs. Stour and Fifer, a post mortem examination of the body was held, which resulted as follows:-

   No external injury of the face appeared, upon thrusting the finger into the mouth the tongue and roof of the mouthy were found to be uninjured; at the back part of the throat a wound was found, evidently made by a bullet; several fractured pieces of bone were found which proved to be fragments of the first and second vertebra of the neck.  The spinal cord was severed, and the ball had passed from the spinal canal through the corresponding opening into the head, and was lodged in the brain.

   It was not thought necessary to continue the examination further.  No cause whatever can be assigned for the commission of the rash and dreadful deed.  The deceased was an old citizen, aged about 29.  He came to this country from Maryland, about 1849.  .   .  .  .   [biography].  .  .  .   No cause can be assigned for the dreadful deed.  An inquest will be held this evening, at 7 ½ o'clock.


Daily Alta California, 29 January 1858

INQUEST ON THE BODY OF CHARLES O'CONNELL. - Coroner McNulty held an inquest last evening, upon the body of Charles O'Connell, who committed suicide by taking strychnine, and was found dead in his bed in a boarding house in Bush street, On Monday morning last. .  .  .  . 

.  .  .  .  Coroner McNulty stated to the jury the particulars of his finding the body, as already related in the Alta of Thursday.  On a table near the head of the bed was a drachm bottle of strychnine; one grain had been spilled upon the table; seventeen or eighteen grains had been taken; a few pierces of a letter were found in a hat box; on piecing them together, they were found to be an ordinary business letter from a gentleman in Marysville.

   Joseph Cormack testified that he had known deceased for two years; he had been employed in the What Cheer House;  he was sober and reliable, but at times a little absent minded; he was in the habit of depositing his money with the witness, and on the 8th of March, , 1856, he had $280 to his credit; for two months past he had been unemployed; he has a mother living in the County Clare, Ireland; he has one brother in Galway, one in Philadelphia, one in county Clare, and another in Australia - the last named is a favorite brother, and upon his recommendation that he should come to Melbourne, he purchased a ticket on the Vaquero; his brother in Australia is a collector of miners' taxes; deceased was 29 years of age. .  .  .  . 

   The Jury returned a verdict that deceased came to his death by an overdose of strychnine, administered by his own hand for the purpose of taking his own life.


Sacramento Daily Union, 30 January 1858

FOUND DEAD. - An elderly man, whose name we were unable to learn, was found dead, at dusk, last evening, in a canvass house on the alley, between Front and second and P and Q streets.  The deceased was a Frenchman by birth, and had lived recently by begging.  The tent was occupied by an acquaintance and himself.  The first named left the deceased in the morning in his usual health.  On returning in the evening, he found him dead.  The Coroner will hold an inquest on the body this morning.


Daily Alta claytonia, 30 January 1858

STOCKTON, Jan. 29 - 1.45 P.M.

   A bloody and mysterious affair occurred at a drinking house on Hunter street, kept by a man called "Old Jake," last night.  The known particulars are as follows: - This morning, about 7 o'clock, the dead body of a man, in a reclining position, with a sash tied tightly around his throat, his face covered with blood, which had flowed from his mouth and nose, probably from the effects of strangulation, was found in a privy in the rear of the house above mentioned.

   The sash was not fastened to anything and the marks of blood made with a hand was fresh on the walls of the privy, but no blood was on the dead man's hands.  Everything tends to show that foul play had been used; cries were heard proceeding from the house during the night, asking for mercy, and a voice, saying, "What are you going to do with me?"  But the house frequently being the scene of drunken quarrels, etc., no notice was taken of the cries.

   The murdered man came here in the steamer Bragdon, from San Francisco, yesterday, and was going to Mariposa this morning by stage.  The Coroner's jury are now holding an inquest, upon the body, and will probably elicit more facts.


Daily Alta California, 31 January 1858

A CASE OF SUICIDE. - Since writing the item of the death of "Sailor Jack," we have been informed that it was undoubtedly a case of suicide.  On Friday morning he went to the drug store of Mr. Stanton, and tried to purchase some strychnine, they refused to sell it to him, and he went away.  On examining his person after death, a small bottle containing strychnine was found in his pocket, and  from the appearance of the body it is believed that he committed suicide.  A post mortem will be held and Coroner McNulty will hold an inquest at 7 o'clock on Monday evening.


We are requested to state that the name of the unfortunate man who committed suicide on Thursday, by jumping overboard from the steamer Urilda, was De Frem, and not De Fremery, as published by several of the city papers.


Sacramento Daily Union, 1 February 1858

FOUND DEAD. - CORONER'S INQUEST. - An inquest was held at the rooms of Mr. Murray, on 4th street, at half past eight o'clock on Saturday morning, by Coroner Counts, on the body of the Frenchman who was found dead in bed in a  canvass tent on the alley between Front and 2sd, P and Q streets, about five o'clock on Friday evening.  It appeared from the evidence that deceased (Auguste Trion) had been in bad health for some time, was of intemperate habits, and had been greatly exposed.  Eli Mayo had known him for four or five years, and testified that he had lived on his premises in an exposed manner some three or four years.  A Frenchman named Francis Meingot, who resided with deceased about five months, and Mara Reece, a neighbour who had been in the habit of supplying him with provisions, as circumstances required, confirmed the fact of his destitution and exposure.  The house in which deceased lived was a  canvass tenement, in bad repair.  One of the witnesses, a Frenchman, named Archin Vie, has known deceased for twenty years - was with him in the French army, where deceased was wounded, from which he had never recovered.  When found he was propped up in bed, dead.  The jury returned a verdict that death was caused by intemperance and exposure.


Sacramento Daily Union, 1 February 1858

THE GARROTTING CASE AT STOCKTON. - Touching this case, which was noticed in our telegraphic despatch, January 30th.  The verdict of the Jury of inquest according to the Republican, was as follows:-

   We, the Jury, having been summoned to hold an inquest on the body of an unknown man, found in the rear of the California Beer Saloon, in the city of Stockton, find that he came to his death by strangling, and we believe, from the evidence and the circumstances, that Jacob T. Elyea, Samuel S. Place and Joseph Degant are implicated in said death.  We also find that the deceased was Irish by birth, and aged about thirty-five years.

   Elyea, Place and Degant were immediately arrested by the City Marshal and lodged in jail.  The deceased is named John McWade. A couple of men residing in the vicinity of this city knew him in Mariposa county, where he formerly resided.;


   A dispute over a game of cards took place at Downnieville, last Sunday, at about 1 o'clock, A.M., between D. Hart and Alex. McClure, alias "Red Aleck," in the course of which McClure knocked Hart down, and then stabbed him with a pocket knife in eight places.  After the perpetration of the deed, he immediately fled, and has not since been arrested.  Hart died on the evening of the 27th inst.  McClure is from Boston; his height is about 5 feet 8 inches, his hair red and bushy, his face slightly freckled, and his build rather heavy. - Marysville Express, Jan. 30.


   A Chileno, named Luio, was found dead, recently, in the streets of San Jose.  His death, it is supposed, was brought about by the use of doctored liquors.


Sacramento Daily Union, 1 February 1858


   The death of Mr. John Harrison, late deputy Sheriff, by suicide, created considerable excitement in this city last evening, after the circumstance had become known. .  .  .  . 

   Mr. Harrison was about 36 years of age, and a native of Baltimore.  He was connected with the Sheriff's office, from 1853, having been appointed by Mr. Gorham, .  .  .  . 

   I learn today, that Mr. Harrison left a letter, in which it is stated that he intended to commit suicide, and that he wished to be buried according to the Episcopal service; but assigning no reason that induced him to terminate his life in such a manner.  [Funeral.]


Sacramento Daly Union, 2 February 1858

A FUNNY VERDICT. - A Coroner's inquest was recently holden at the Half Way House, between Briggsville and Cottonwood, on the body of a colored man by the name of James Edmonson. The witnesses swore, according to the Shasta Republican, that the deceased died a natural death.  The evidence being carefully weighed by the jury, they returned the following verdict:-

We find after careful and due investigation of the evidence given in regard to deceased, that the deceased came to his death by the visitation of God.

The Coroner, probably being of a different opinion, returns the following as the verdict:

James Edmonson died a natural death; but under symptoms of the inflammation of the bowels.


Daily Alta California, 3 February 1858


   Coroner McNulty, assisted by Drs. Cole and Angle, made a post mortem examination yesterday, of the body of Charles R. Voorhees, who died suddenly on Monday night at the Commercial Lodging House, on Commercial street, neat Montgomery, under circumstances which led to the belief that deceased had taken poison, but upon opening the cranium in the posterior of the head, was found a large coagulum of blood, which, by the compression upon the left lobe of the brain, produced paralysis of the right side of the body. This of itself was considered sufficient to have caused his death. According to the statement of the landlady of the house, deceased had fallen out of bed several times during the night, and the injuries may have been received in that way. We have since learned, however, that he fell on the sidewalk after leaving a drinking saloon a short time before he was taken to the lodging house.  There was no external injury upon the scalp indicating the effects of a blow or a fall  On examining the stomach of the deceased, it was found that the upper portion was considerably inflamed, and the mucus membrane softened.  The inquest will probably be held this evening, when all the circumstances connected with the case will be made public.


Sacramento Daily Union, 5 February 1858

   An inquest was held last evening upon the body of C. L. Voorhees, who died on Monday night at the Commercial Lodging House. Deceased had been married, but his wife had left him, which caused him to become dissipated.  The contents of the stomach were analyzed, and a large quantity of strychnine found, but this fact did not come properly before the Coroner's Jury, and they found that deceased came to his death from the effects of a clot of blood in the back part of the brain, produced by a  fall on the head.


Daily Alta California, 5 February 1858


INQUEST ON THE BODY OF MRS. ANN  SIMS. - Coroner McNulty held an inquest on the body of Mrs. Ann Sims, who died suddenly on the night of Saturday, January 30th, at a boarding house on the corner of Broadway and Powell streets:

   Z. Purcell sworn - I have been living in Petaluma for a year past; I came to this city on Friday last; I knew the deceased; I have seen her every day for a year past; I boarded in the same house with her, she came to this city with me on last Friday; I went to Mr. Hillman's Temperance House and left her there; I went that evening to see her, and went again the next morning; that was the last time I saw her; on the way down from Petaluma, on the boat, she complained of being  weak in the back and had a headache; sifter she arrived, she still complained of being sick; I passed the evening with her at Hillman's; she had a husband; they had parted about six months ago; she had been living at Petaluma; her husband wrote to her and said he was going to build a new house, and wanted her to come to the city again; she came down with me on Friday; when I saw her on Saturday morning, she was in bed, wick, and complained of a headache; I did not ask her what was the matter; she did not express any desire to have me remain with her; I never heard her express any intention to take her own life.

   A. Smith, sworn - I am the proprietor of Hillman's Temperance House; Mrs. Sims came to my house, in company with Mr. Purcell, on Friday, in the Petaluma boat; she wrote a note and sent it through the Post Office to her husband, who came to see her in the evening; during the afternoon, Mr. Purcell came to register her name, and told me that she was very sick with headache and pains in her back; I inquired about her after breakfast the next morning, and found her vomiting excessively, and very weak; her husband came and tried to cheer her up, and  said he would remove her to a more comfortable place, and that they would yet see more happy days; she was then assisted to dress and placed in a carriage and removed to another house; I saw her no more.

   Charles Sims,  sworn - I am the husband of the deceased; we had a difficulty and separated thirteen months ago; she has been living at Petaluma since that time, and has lived with the wife of Purcell; some months ago she came to this city, and inquired for me, but did not come to see me; about three months ago, I was at Petaluma, and she confessed sorrow for what she had done, and asked me to take her back to live with me; I told her I would think of it; afterwards I told her I would do so as soon as I could arrange matters in this city; on Friday I received a note from her stating that she was at the Hillman House; I went to see her about an hour and then went away; she remained at the hotel all night; I went the next morning to see her, and found her very  sick; she had vomited very much, and what she threw up was of a dark green color; when she attempted to rise she had another attack; after some difficulty, she was able to be dressed, and  said she felt better, and would go with me to my boarding house; when we got to the house I assisted her upstairs and put her to bed, and got her some  tea, but she did not drink it; I sat up with her nearly all night; about nine o'clock she had a fir; I have frequently seen her have fits, and I did not think much about it; but she grew worse, and I called the people of the house and sent for a doctor, but she died in a few minutes; she was about 42 years of age, a native f Somersetshire, England.

   Coroner McNulty stated that he had given the contents of the stomach to Dr. Raymond for analysis, the result of which was laid before the jury, but the Coroner stated that he did not deem it advisable to make the result publicly known at present, and on a consultation with the Jury, the case was continued for a further hearing.


Sacramento Daily Union, 6 February 1858

   An inquest was held last evening upon the body of John Montlebrun, alias "Sailor Jack," who was found dead in #Bartlett alley, among some Chinese houses, on Saturday morning, about nine o'clock.  Mr. John Stanton, druggist, testified that on last Friday afternoon, about two o'clock, deceased came to his store and asked for some strychnine, which witness refused to sell him, unless on a physician's prescription.  Other waitresses testified that the deceased followed the business of a scavenger, and was frequently seen intoxicated.  An empty bottle, which had contained strychnine, was found in the pocket of deceased.  The analysis of the stomach of deceased by Dr. Raymond, showed the presence of strychnine in quantity sufficient to cause death, "unless there should be suspicion of homicide."  The verdict of the jury was that deceased "came to his death by strychnine, supposed to be administered by himself."

   Coroner McNulty also commenced an inquest last evening, on the body of Mrs. Ann Sims, who died suddenly on Saturday night, at a boarding-house, on the corner of Broadway and Powell street.  Mr. Charles Sims,- husband of deceased - deposed that his wife had been subject to convulsive fits for many years, and had been attacked by one just previous to her death.  He further stated that Z. Purcell (a man who boarded in the same house with Mrs. Sims, in Petaluma, and who testified that she had taken in washing for a living,) had testified falsely, and said that deceased had been living in adultery with Purcell, which was the cause of her separation from him (Sims.)   Deceased separated from her husband about a year since, and had been living at Petaluma for six months or more, and only returned to this city the day previous to her death. She was a native of High Littleton, England, and was about 40 years of age.  The Coroner postponed further investigation in order to collect additional testimony.


Daily Alta California, 6 February 1858


INQUEST ON THE BODY OF OTTO FRANK. - Coroner McNulty held an inquest last evening on the body of Otto Frank, who died suddenly on the 2d inst., at the house No. 22 Trinity street.

   Joseph Isaacs sworn - I live in this city; I have known the deceased since he first came to San Francisco; he was a native of  Salzerewaaar, in Prussia; he had been engaged in a cigar store in Montgomery street, some time ago, but latterly he had done nothing; on the Thursday before his death, he told me that if it came to the worst, he would kill himself, and showed me a bottle which he said contained poison; I did not think he would make the attempt that day, but I knew that he had once before attempted to kill himself by opening a vein in his arm; I saw him about two hours before he died; he was then cheerful.  I believe his age was about 26 years; I saw him at his room while he was dying.

   H. M. Murdock sworn - I live at No. 22 Trinity street; there was a man died at my house on the 2sd inst., his name was Otto Frank; he came to lice at my house in September last; he was a steady, nice young man; on the evening of the 2d inst., he was cheerful, and conversed freely with my wife; after a little time he left her and  went to his room; soon afterwards I heard a strange noise in his room, and my wife and I went to his room door and asked him if he wanted anything; he answered in a low tone of voice, and  said he wanted no assistance; I thought something was wrong, and I went across the street to call a friend of his, and when he came we burst open the door, and found him in a bad condition, lying on the bed, and by  his bedside, on a table, was a bottle of dark-looking stuff; I thought he had taken poison, and sent out at once for a doctor; but it was too late to render him any assistance; I never made his acquaintance; he hired the room of my wife, and I rarely saw him.

   Abraham Wallstein sworn - I live in a house opposite to Mr. Murdock's; on the night of the 2d instant, Mrs. Murdock came running over to my house and told me there was something the matter with the young man up stairs, so I went over and found Mr. Murdock there standing by the door, and heard groans inside the room; I said we had better break open the door; we did so,.  Found the deceased on the bed, trembling all over, and groaning very much; we sent for Dr. Malech, but he could do nothing to save him.

   Charles Henekl, sworn - [This witness testified to the  same state of facts as were stated by the former witnesses.] - He entered the room, and saw the man lying on the bed in great pain, and he ran at once for Dr. Malech.

   Dr. G. H. Malech, sworn - I was called at No. 22 Trinity street, on Tuesday night last, at 10  o'clock, and informed that a man had taken poison; I went there, and found the room smelling of a peculiar odor of bitter almonds, and the man lay stretched out on the bed exhibiting those peculiar symptoms which are produced by prussic acid; I found on a table a small bottle which had contained cyanide of potassium; a glass about half full of a dark liquid stood on the table; I thought he had attempted to make a spurious article of prussic acid by adding wine or other acid to the cyanide of potassium; I tried to administer several antidotes, but could get nothing down his throat; he died in twenty minutes. The lady of the house told me today that in removing his body from the room a small portion of the contents of the glass was spilled, and a cat in the house lapped a little of bit with her tongue, and dropped dead on the spot.  The post mortem was made by Coroner McNulty and myself; we found that the coat of the stomach was almost entirety destroyed by the action of some strong corrosive poison.

   Dr. Carl Precht, sworn - On the 21st of April last I was called to a house on Clay street, to visit a man said to have opened one of his arteries, and was bleeding to death; I went and found Otto Frank lying on the bed; he had cut the radical artery of the left arm, about where the pulsation exists; he had made an attempt to sever his right arm also; he was lying on his back in bed; his arm was hanging over the bed; he smiled as I entered, ands asked me why they had sent for a doctor; he then told me that he did it on purpose to take his own life; he was removed to the Hospital, where I kept close watch over him for a few days, and he promised not to do so again; I met him several times on the street, and he thanked me for saving his life.


   We, the Jury, &c., do find that deceased came to his death from the effects of cyanide of potassium, administered by his own hand, with the intention to take his own life.


Daily Alta California, 8 February 1858


   The residents of Price street, above the Mission street toll gate, were awakened shortly after two o'clock yesterday morning by the broad glare of a fire, which on search was found to be located in a hovel on Price street on the hill.  Quite a number of the neighbors turned out and extinguished the flames and whilst so engaged discovered the remains of a man almost wholly consumed.  This vicinity is thickly settled by chiffoniers who have built the hovels of sheet iron and canvass, and on inquiry it was ascertained that the remains were those of a Frenchman named Prosper Chantillot, well known for many years as a rag-picker in this city.

Published by Centre for Comparative Law, History and Governance at Macquarie Law School