The Old Southwest and a Few of Its Characters from Almagre Books
Item 241 consists of two "Wanted" posters issued from the Colorado State Penitentiary in Canon City in 1908. The first is headlined ESCAPED CONVICTS $200 REWARD! The escapees are Frank Coleman, age 18, and Frank Halstander, age 28. They escaped from a "trusty road gang" that proved not so trusty. Coleman was a burglar, Halstander a forger. The second poster is for E.L. Morris, age 51, also a forger. In better days, Morris was a ranchman and Army nurse. Morris carries the description, "Bad teeth, all about out; bullet wound in left shoulder, from front to back....left arm deformed; big scar on inside right arm at elbow; bullet wound through fleshy part of left hand; left leg deformed, big wound scar on left leg below knee; hair on both legs, breast hairy." So why is it they wanted him? $550.
Diario de Mexico was the first daily newspaper printed in Mexico. Item 373 consists of 123 consecutive issues, No. 213 through No. 335, May 1-August 1, 1806. The newspaper reports on news from several provincial towns, earthquakes, commodity prices, and reports from the poor houses that poor people without jobs will be sent to California to work on public works projects. Today, people will go to great lengths to secure public jobs in California without anyone forcing them. $1,000.
Item 521 is the Life of David S. Terry: Presenting an Authentic, Impartial and Vivid History of His Eventful Life and Tragic Death, by A.E. Wagstaff. Who was David Smith Terry? Terry was a Texan who came to California during the Gold Rush and, within a few years, was elected to the state Supreme Court. However, David Terry was a most injudicious judge. In 1855, while contesting an attempted "arrest" by the San Francisco Vigilance Committee, he stabbed their leader in the neck. No matter. He was acquitted of the charge and by 1857, he was the court's chief justice. However, a second incident in 1859 would finish his political career. A Democrat, but with southern leanings, he would engage California Senator David Broderick, a northern Democrat, in a duel. Terry won the duel, but lost his reputation. He returned to Texas to fight for the Confederacy, and when that cause was lost, drifted on to Mexico. However, by 1868, he was back in California practicing law. In 1884, he would represent Sarah Hill, who was trying to establish herself as the legal wife of wealthy former Nevada Senator William Sharon. She had the misfortune of having her claim heard by U.S. Supreme Court and Circuit Judge Stephen Field, a Terry enemy since the Broderick days. At one point, Field sentenced Terry to six months in jail for contempt of court following a commotion. In 1886, Terry would marry Miss Hill, and then in 1889, the two met Field at a railway station. Terry walked up to Field and slapped him in the face, whereupon Field's bodyguard shot him dead. His young wife would end up insane, and spend most of the rest of her life (which lasted until 1937) in a state hospital for the insane. For the complete story, you need to read this book. $250.