In California's political history, four times only have the two great parties, Democratic and Republican, met their Waterloo, defeated by a third party. Five times, however, from the same cause, the Democrats have been dethroned.
The first of these defeats took place in 1855, the American, or "Know Nothing" party, sweeping the state. The old Whig party had passed from history and the new party was composed of Whigs and Democrats, many of them deserting the old party to ride into office and power in the new hybrid. The Americans held all of their meetings in secret. They had secret passwords, signs and grips, and when inquiry was made regarding the origin or purposes of the party, they knew nothing, hence their nickname, "Know Nothings."
Hailing each other as brothers, they assembled in convention August 7, 1855, in the Methodist Episcopal church at Sacramento. J. A. Benton was then pastor. They adopted a platform at that time strange and unusual. They declared for the Union and the constitution; they favored universal religious toleration, the purity of the ballot box, registration laws, and Americans only in office; they opposed the union of church and state and fraud and corruption in high places.
One of the candidates for Governor was W. W. Stow, later one of the high employes of the Central Pacific railroad. The convention's choice for Governor was J. Neeley Johnson, he receiving the nomination on the fourth ballot.
The nominee was born in Indiana in August, 1825, and before he was twenty-one years of age he was admitted to the bar. In 1849 he crossed the plains to California and arrived at Sacramento "dead broke," as was the expression. He received his first money by hauling flour from Sacramento to Stockton for George Belt. For his team and four mules he received $16 a day. He opened a law office in a tent. Sacramento in her first city election, April 1, 1850, elected him city attorney.
The election September 5 came as a complete surprise to the Democracy. They believed themselves invincible. They would have been victors had their adherents stood by the party. Many of the Southerners opposed Bigler because of his Kansas-Nebraska sentiments. The mountain camps also polled a heavy vote for Johnson, as they had no love for the foreigner (a). Bigler took his defeat good naturedly, became Minister to Chili under President Buchanan, returned to California in 1861, established the State Capital Reporter and was its editor at the time of his death, November 29, 1871. The state legislature appropriated $1,000 for a monument over his grave. The money was expended under the direction of Governor Newton Booth.
The Democrats realized the fact that they had to fight no common foe, for the several local elections the previous year indicated to some degree the "Know Nothings'" strength (b). They assembled at Sacramento June 27, 1855, and about their first business transaction was to exclude from nomination any candidate who was a "Know Nothing" or had any sympathy with that party. In their platform they declared that the powers of the government were limited, and Congress had no right to interfere with state institutions. They asserted that the efforts of the abolitionists to interfere with slavery would lead to dangerous consequences, and they would oppose all Congressional effort to renew the slavery question. They believed that sober men, and sober men only, should be presented for the suffrage of moral and intellectual freemen, and they declared that "we will respect the moral sentiment of the state in the nominations we are about to make."
It will be observed that the Democratic party was on its knees, so to speak, pleading for the support of moral men. Heretofore they had disregarded that class of men, especially the "temperance cranks," and had ofttimes elected to office men unfit for their positions either in morals or intelligence. The result of this awakening we have already noted; for the legislature of that year, timing itself to the moral sentiment expressed in the resolution, passed the first morality laws, those prohibiting gambling, prostitution and Sabbath-breaking.
The shameful proceedings of the Democratic convention of 1854 clearly showed the necessity of a more dignified body of political leaders; for of all conventions that have come down in history, it was the worst. Broderick was the cause of the fight, and he was making it very warm for the Southern, or secession, wing of the Democratic party.
Neither day nor night did he cease working for the ambition of his life, a seat in the United States Senate. Failing to pass the election bill, he now planned to elect delegates favorable to him for Senator.
The convention assembled July 18, 1854, in the First Baptist church, Sacramento. There were two factions claiming seats as delegates, as the party had been split asunder two years previous over the recognition of Stephen A. Douglas for President. The Broderick faction opposed Douglas because he was then catering to the slave owners. Broderick was then chairman of the convention. He planned to have his delegates seated in the front rows of the church before the arrival of his opponent. His scheme failed, for about thirty of his opponents, breaking in the church door, marched in. At the same time they met the Broderickites entering the back door.
When the convention was called to order T. L. Vermule, a Stockton lawyer, was, according to Broderick's program, nominated for temporary chairman. Immediately the other side nominated ex-Governor John McDougal for chairman. Broderick gave no attention to McDougal's nomination. He called the vote and declared Vermule elected. Then both factions attempted to seat their chairman. They crowded around the platform, many of them with drawn revolvers, violently gesticulating and shouting. Finally one of the officers was seized. At that moment Reuben Maloney, in his excitement, dropped his pistol and it exploded. Then there was a rush to get out of the overcrowded building as soon as possible, and doors and windows were broken.
As soon as order had been restored efforts were made to unite the two factions. All efforts failed. Throughout the day and until 9 o'clock at night the double-headed convention sat, and, said the Historian Winfield Davis, "each side tried to sit the other out." The trustees of the church finally persuaded the delegates to adjourn. They met the next day, the Broderick men in Carpenter hall and the Southern men in Music hall. both factions nominated Congressmen. The Music hall delegated nominated for Congressman, Jas. W. Denver, later the founder of Denver, Colorado, and Philip T. Herbert, who dishonored the state by killing a Negro in Washington. In the state election these two men were elected.
Broderick knew no such word as defeat. Foiled in his election bill, outnumbered in his convention scheme, his next move was to prevent or cause to be postponed the election of the United States Senator until 1856. He then believed that in the American party he could win his fight. In the legislature of 1855 in joint session the Whigs numbered 43 and the Democrats 68. The Democrats could not elect their nominee unless they voted solidly for one man. The Whigs would vote solidly for their nominee, hence it was Broderick's move to split the Democratic vote. The Democrats met in caucus and named Wm. M. Gwin as their nominee for Senator. This offended the eleven legislators who favored John W. McCorckle. They left the room. In joint session January 17, 1855, the legislature began voting for United States Senator. Fifty-six ballots were necessary for a choice. On the first ballot the vote stood: Wm. M. Gwin, 42; Colonel Edwards, the Whit nominee, 36; J. W. McCorckle, 13; D. C. Broderick, 12. Voting every day until January 26th without making any choice, the Democratic press now began to berate Broderick. They asserted that he was wasting the people's money, and that he, the man of one idea, was leading and controlling the faction. After balloting fifty times without making any choice, February 26th they adjourned sine die. Broderick was on the march to victory. He must next unite the party.
John Bigler sixty years ago sounded the alarm against monopolies and exorbitant corporation rates. Had the people then honestly and intelligently acted upon his advice, it would have been unnecessary for Hiram Johnson to go automobiling through the state crying "We'll kick the Southern Pacific out of politics." Bigler in a special message to the legislature April 8, 1854, declared that the legislature under the constitution had the right to carefully guard the manifold public interests, and calling attention to the defects of the corporation law, he recommended "that they be so restricted * * * as to protect the people against unreasonable and exorbitant charges."
The people at this time were crying out against the monopoly of the newly organized corporation, the California Steam Navigation Company. The merchants of Marysville, Sacramento and Stockton held indignation meetings and bitterly denounced the company. They declared that the progress of those towns had been retarded by the company's exorbitant charges. To remedy the imposition, opposition boats were placed upon the San Joaquin and Sacramento rivers. The merchants pledged themselves to patronize none but the opposition boats (c).
No legislature took action until 1856. The agitation against the steamboat company had increased because of their methods of destroying any competition (d), and the legislators believed that if they passed a freight and fare bill they could lower freights and fares. A bill was therefore introduced into the assembly prohibiting the California Steam Navigation Company from charging more than three cents a mile for passengers nor more than one and one-half cent a hundred for freight. When the bill came up for action the newspapers openly published the fact that "Mr. Briber is well supplied with rocks and he knows where to fly them." The bill was easily voted out of existence and the same paper informed the public how easily it was accomplished: "Every approachable man was approached according to his temper and price. If brandy cocktails would take him, cocktails he had to his heart's content; if oyster suppers, cigars and champagne, they took him off in hi mood; if it took gold to buy him, agents were ready to pay it down." History has been repeating itself for the past fifty years in the bribing of legislators to vote for or against the passage of bills.
In the mines the people also had their troubles over the monopoly question. The spirit of greed is the one great besetting sin of commerce and trade. In 1854 the so-called Tuolumne Water Company (e) began charging the miners from six dollars to ten dollars a day for the use of water in mining. They complained bitterly of the extortion. An opposition company was organized. In September, 1855, they began their work on canals and ditches. The miners rejoiced, and they held a celebration over the event. They had music, a procession and speeches. One orator, James Coffreth, during his spread-eagle speech prophesied that there would be no more water monopoly. One year later the Tuolumne Water Company bought out the opposition. The high rates were again enforced. The vigorous protest of the miners was unheeded. Then they declared war.
The citizens were assembled in Columbia, March 13, 1855, from the surrounding gulches and ravines, by the firing of cannon and the ringing of bells; to the number of 3,000 they came. Organizing in mass meeting, they declared that their claims were paying poorly and so high were the water rates they could not pay their honest debts, the merchants, boarding house keepers and others. "Many of us are nearly reduced to a starvation point and have families at home in an equally reduced condition." They declared that they would not pay more than four dollars a day for water nor allow others to do so if they could prevent them by any lawful means. "Resolved, That we place a notice on our claims in large letters, '$4.00 for Water and No More' as a tombstone denoting that our claim is buried for a season." This they did three days later. With music, flags and banners flying, the miners of Columbia visited Shaw's Flat, Yankee Hill and other mining camps, firing their six-pound cannon as they approached the places, and urged them to resist the "monster water monopoly." They were everywhere received with approving cheers. So unanimous was the determined resistance to paying more than $4.00 a day for water, the company yielded to their demands.
The sweep of the "Know Nothing" party so astonished both Broderick and Gwin that these two champions, who had been continuously fighting each other, concluded to form a partnership. Gwin's term in Congress expired March 4, 1855, and he desired a re-election. John B. Weller's term as Senator expired in 1857 and Broderick was seeking his position. Both men knew they had no look-in with the new party. Hence they became partners to prevent if possible any election of United States Senators that year. In joint session the Americans were largely in the majority. There was no law, however, compelling the two bodies to assemble in joint session. Neither body could independently elect a Senator. The Senate was Broderick and Gwin's field of operation. After a ten days' skirmish over the Senatorial question, Ben S. Lippincott, a Broderick adherent, offered a resolution which was carried, 19 to 14, that the election of United States Senator be postponed until January 18, 1957.
The Democracy was jubilant. The assembly, however, composed principally of "Know Nothings," raved and swore. They refused to abide by the Senate action, and March 6th came near reversing the Senate vote. On that day the most of the Democratic legislators were attending a state convention a few blocks distant from the capitol. Their absence gave the "Know Nothings" a Senate majority. The question of electing a Senator was introduced and Senator Oxley proposed a concurrent resolution that they meet with the Assembly March 12 to elect a United States Senator. Immediately the few Democratic Senators present began to talk against time. In spite of their efforts the resolution passed, 48 to 21. As soon as the vote was announced Judge Hahn of Nevada county ran with all speed to the state convention and exclaimed, "The Senatorial question is sprung at the capitol!" A roll was then being called upon a vote, but waiting not the result, the convention hastily adjourned and with a fierce yell, followed by a crowd, the delegates ran to the capitol. The Senatorial vote was reconsidered and again Broderick and Gwin were happy. Brockerick now began to curry favor with the friends of Gwin and make future plans for his election. The vigilance committee interfered with his arrangements for several months, causing him to leave the state, but he returned in time to seat several of his friends in the legislature in 1857.
The triumph of Broderick and Gwin was a bitter disappointment to Henry A. Crabb, then leader of the Whig party. He had long aspired to the office of United States Senator, but his opportunity never came, until the "Know Nothings" carried the election. He was a Mississippian of bright intellect, and so honorable in character that even his opponents acknowledged it. "Gentle as a woman," said James O'Meara, "yet lacking in her qualities of persistency to win or die, Crabb retired from the Senate a heart-broken man."
The fates gave to him a tragic death. Crabb in 1853, then but 26 years of age, married a Stockton senorita, belonged to one of the wealthy and influential families of Mexico, and claimed a close relationship to Captain Ainsa, the leader of the first land expedition to San Francisco.
The revolution in Mexico in 1857 involved Ignacio Pesquerira and Governor Gandara. The former, raising an army, drove the Governor from power. Ainsa at this time was an officer in the revolutionary army, and he wrote to his son-in-law, Crabb, to raise a filibustering army and join the revolutionists. Yielding to the pleadings of his beautiful wife, Crabb raised an army of 200 men. They sailed to Mexico, expecting to meet him at Liberdad. Crabb, leading a second company of 100 men, marched overland by the way of Los Angeles and Fort Yuma.
In the meantime the Mexicans had settled their quarrel. Crabb, not knowing of their agreement, pushed on to Cavorca. He was there attacked by the Mexicans, but repulsed the enemy with a loss of twelve men. He then entered the town and took possession of several dwellings opposite the church. He expected that the company of 200 filibusters would there meet him. The government had stopped the sailing of the vessel. Crabb and his men were trapped.
For eight days he and his men, fighting against an army of 700 Mexicans, made one of the most heroic battles of history. During this struggle twenty-five men were killed. The Mexicans then set fire to the buildings which had been their fort. Compelled to surrender, the sixty-four living then marched out bearing a white flag. They expected fair treatment as prisoners of war. Now was shown the cruelty of a Mexican's revenge. Their arms were pinioned behind them, and taken to a corral, they were there confined without food or water until the next morning. Then in squads of five they were taken out and shot. Crabb was reserved for a more cruel death. He was permitted to write to his wife; then, led to a post, his hands were tied above his head, and in this position his body was filled with a score of bullets. His head, but from his body, was then placed upon a table, and the populace jeered and scoffed as they passed by. It was then preserved in a jar of mescal. This ended the history of the filibustering expeditions.
The "Know Nothing" party died, but one year old. In its place arose the Republican party. The first assembly of the new party took place at Sacramento, April 19, 1856. When the speaker, George C. Bates, attempted to address the small audience present, the rowdy element rushing forward overturned the stand. The meeting then adjourned. A public discussion was advertised in the capital city, May 10, between George C. Bates, Republican, and J. C. Zabriskie, Democrat. Rotten eggs flew fast at the Republican speaker. As this had been anticipated, the police were present to restore order. The first Republican state convention assembled in Sacramento April 20, 1856. So insignificant was the party that only thirteen counties sent delegates. One-half of the number came from San Francisco and Sacramento. They elected delegates to the national convention, which met at Baltimore June 17, and they refused to indorse John C. Fremont for President.
The defeat of John C. Fremont in no manner discouraged the California party. Assembling in state convention in July, 1857, they nominated for Governor a North Carolina Whig. He was about the poorest candidate they could have named, although he was an old politician. they had much stronger men in the body of the ticket, among them Leland Stanford for treasurer and A. A. Sargent for attorney general. Their platform indorsed the national platform of 1856, declared slavery within the control of Congress, asserted that "the Dred Scott decision merited the reprobation of every freeman," favored the speedy construction of the overland railroad and a subsidy for it, approved of the speedy settlement of land titles, and welcoming the honest, industrious immigrants from Europe, denounced all attempts to persecute them because of foreign birth.
The Democrats also met in July. They named John B. Weller for Governor. For Supreme Court Judge they nominated Stephen J. Field. Indorsing the Cincinnati platform, they advocated the building of wagon and state roads, favored giving every settler a home, and considered the state debt an obligation that should be paid. So heavy was the state debt, the legislature considered repudiation the best way to pay it, and left the question to the people. They voted by a big majority to pay the debt. The Democrats swept the state and John B. Weller, 57,661, received more votes than Stanley and Geo. W. Bowie ("Know Nothing") combined.
The Governor-elect, John B. Weller, was a man of high character and a clean political record. Born in Ohio, February 22, 1812, of German parentage, he received a splendid education and then studied law under Jesse Corwin, the famous Whig lawyer. He was twice elected to the House of Representatives. In 1848 he was defeated for Governor because 400 electors voted for John Weller, not John B. Weller. In 1849 he was selected by the government to run the boundary line between California and Mexico. Reaching San Diego in June, 1849, by way of New Orleans, he began the survey. He was later received by Mayor Emory of the topographical engineers. Weller then located in California, became United States Senator, then Governor, and retiring to private life, died August 17, 1875, in New Orleans.
When the Democratic legislature assembled in Sacrament, January 5, 1857, there were twelve candidates in the field for United States Senator. Among the number stood John B. Weller, for re-election, Milton S. Latham, elected Senator in 1859; Stephen J. Field, later of the Supreme Court; A. P. Crittenden, killed by Laura Fair; John W. Denver, Henry A. Crabb, Wm. M. Gwin (for re-election), Aaron A. Sargent, later Congressman, and David C. Broderick. The political complexion of the legislature stood: Senate--Democrats 19, Americans 11, Republicans 3; Assembly--Democrats 61, Americans 8, Republicans 11. A. A. Sargent, the only Republican in the bunch, expected the vote of the Republicans and the Americans. Not one of them had a ghost of a chance, however, save Broderick and Gwin. They had the election in their pocket, so to speak, for the two men, deadly enemies two years before, had formed a partnership and united their supporters.
It was agreed between them that Broderick was to have the long term Senatorship, six years, and Gwin the shorter term, four years. Broderick wanted two votes to make his election secure. Meeting two of Latham's friends, Broderick said: "If you will give me your support for Senator for the long term, I will give Latham my support for the short term to defeat Gwin." Latham's friends accepted the dishonorable proposition. Broderick had no intention whatever of fulfilling it.
The legislature met in joint session January 10th. After voting down a motion to elect both Senators at once, they began balloting for Senator for the long term. Broderick upon his first ballot, 79 votes, was declared elected. Two days later Gwin was elected. To broderick "it was his hour of glory, the presage of his doom."
The newly elected Senators sailed for Washington a short time after their election. Both men wished to see President Buchanan inaugurated. On arrival both men began scheming for political influence and official positions for California friends. Gwin was among his friends, for Congress was then strongly in sympathy with the South. Broderick received scarcely recognition, for his views regarding slavery met the disapproval of Southern senators. This, for California, was unfortunate. Gwin, receiving most of the state appointments, filled the custom house, postoffice and other federal positions with men who favored slavery and state rights.
The legislature of 1857, favoring the Kansas-Nebraska bill, which favored slvery, instructed its United States Senators to vote for it. Naturally Gwin gave the measure his vote. Broderick, lining up with Stephen A. Douglas, not only voted against the bill, but defied the party. In his Congressional speech he declared that the administration's policy towards the territories was due "to the failing intellect, the petulant passion and the tremblin dotage of an old man, just of the verge of the grave." This speech against President Buchanan so aroused the indignation of the legislature that it called on Broderick to resign "from the high office he so unworthily fills, as he no longer represents the state" (f). Again in 1859 the legislature demanded his resignation. Giving no attention to the demand, however, Broderick remained throughout the session. He returned to California in time to take a very active part in the state election.
In the campaign of 1859 the Democratic party was hopelessly split asunder. It had divided over the question of slavery or no slavery in Kansas. The Lecompton party, led by Gwin and Terry, declared that Kansas must accept the slavery constitution provided by President Buchanan or none at all. The anti-Lecomptonites, led by Broderick and John C. McKibben, espoused the Douglas doctrine, that the territory had the right to accept or reject slavery. The Lecompton convention, assembling in the Congragational church, Sacramento, June 22, nominated Milton S. Latham for Governor and John Downey for Lieutenant Governor. Latham was a Northern-born Democrat and in his speech accepting the nomination, he mystified his friends by declaring he "indorsed the Democratic principles, and above all things I stand by the Union." The anti-Lecomptons, meeting in the same place June 15, nominated John Curry for Governor. He, a Republican, nominated by a Democratic convention. The Republicans also assembled in the Congregational church at Sacramento June 8. They nominated Leland Stanford for Governor. The party opposed slavery. Being the weakest party, however, Horace Greeley, who had arrived in California in July, wrote a letter to that party advising them to unite with the anti-Lecomptonites. In case they united it was presumed that Stanford would withdraw. He refused to withdraw, and he declared that his party would maintain an unbroken front. Frank Pixley, denouncing both Gwin and Broderick, urged the Republicans to stand together. H. H. Haight, then chairman of the anti-Lecompton state central committee, said no coalition would ever take place.
The campaign as it progressed was one of the most bitter and personal of any in California history. Curry challenged Latham, and together they stumped the state. The greater interest centered in the speeches of Gwin, Terry and Broderick. It was the first time that Broderick ever made a state campaign. In their speeches the three men were very abusive and personal, and they gave out much of the political tricks and schemes of past years. The vote given Latham on election day (62,255) exceeded the combined vote of Curry (20,847) and Stanford (10,110). Stanford's vote was less than that of Stanley in 1857. It was a complete political surprise. The politicians inquired, "Where do we stand?"
The reign of the Lecompton party was of short duration, its future defeat being due in part to the tragic death of Broderick.
In the Lecompton convention David S. Terry sought the renomination for Supreme Justice. The nomination was given to C. C. Cope. In his speech (h) Terry took occasion to abuse his former friends, those of the anti-Lecompton party. Broderick resented the insult. A few days later, June 26, Broderick met D. W. Perley, a friend of Terry. During the conversation Broderick called Terry "a miserable wretch." "I have hitherto spoken of him * * * as the only honest man on the bench of a miserable, corrupt Supreme Court. * * * He is just as bad as the others," said Broderick. Perley, quite indignant because of this assertion against his friend Terry, challenged Broderick. Broderick refused to accept it, saying in his letter of refusal: "When I entered this campaign it was suggested to me that efforts would be made to force me into difficulties, and I determined to take no notice of attacks from any source during the canvass."
The day following the election, September 7, Terry, losing no time, sent Broderick a challenge. He accepted. Some of Broderick's friends tried to persuade him to refuse to fight. They declared that he had been engaged in a long and tedious campaign and was in no condition to stand before the cool, calculating Southerner. Other friends, knowing Broderick to be a dead shot and a brave man, urged him on to his death. They argued, "the fight has got to come some time; it might as well come now."
It was to be a duel royal between two official giants, an ex-Justice of the Supreme Court and a United States Senator. Everything was arranged for the duel. They met, principals, seconds and about sixty persons, at sunrise, September 12, near Lake Merced, San Mateo county. Chief of Police Thomas Burke of San Francisco appeared and stopped the duel.
That night, secretly, arrangements were again made, and the following morning about the same time principals and seconds met about two and one-half miles southeast of the lake. As the duelists took their places, about ten paces apart, "Broderick appeared nervous," says James O'Meara, "and, straining his nerves to the utmost tension, stood stiff and unnatural. His opponent, cool and calculating, stood erect and firm and in an easy position awaited the command to fire."
According to the arrangements the second chosen was to repeat the words "Fire--One, two." Neither duelist was to raise his pistol before the word "Fire" nor discharge it after the word "two" had been spoken. Near the hour of seven David Colton, Broderick's second, exclaimed: "Gentlemen, are you ready?" Both men replied "Ready." Colton then spoke the fatal words, "Fire--One, two." With the word "One" Broderick's pistol was discharged. The ball struck the earth about nine feet in front of Terry. Just before "Two" was spoken Terry fired. His ball penetrated Broderick's right breast, piercing the lung. Broderick slowly dropped to the earth. Terry, addressing his second, said: "The shot is not mortal; I have struck two inches to the right."
Broderick was taken to the home of Leonidas Haskell, then living on Black Point, which is now the United States Presidio. He lingered between life and death until September 17th. He then died from internal hemorrhage. The body was then taken to the Union Hotel, on Kearny street, near the plaza, Broderick's headquarters. It there lay in state until Sunday, September 18th, and was visited by thousands of citizens.
The funeral service was held on the plaza, Portsmouth square. The speaker, Edward D. Baker, a warm friend of Broderick's, pronounced the funeral oration, today one of the classics in California history. Every society and every official in San Francisco attended the funeral. The fire department was out in full numbers, led by David Scannell. Broderick was then foreman of Empire No. 1. The body was buried in Lone Mountain cemetery, on top of the highest hill. The citizens erected a plain marble shaft, and Governor Leland Stanford laid the cornerstone.
Dueling was an unlawful act, and the farce of trying Terry for murder was played. He was arrested and placed under $10,000 bonds and held to answer before Judge M. C. Blake of San Francisco. Terry's friends wanted the trial held in another county. The case went to the Supreme Court, Stephen J. Field, Chief Justice, and Joseph G. Baldwin and W. W. Cope, associates. They decided that a duel was not murder, and the case could be tried in any county. The case finally reached Marin county, San Rafael. The judge of that county went on a vacation and Judge J. H. hardy of Mokelumne Hill, a close friend of Terry, was chosen to preside. The trial was set for July 6, 1860. The witnesses were called to appear at ten o'clock that day. As the time drew near, some honest yeoman set the court clock ahead one hour. At nine o'clock, true time, ten o'clock court room time, the innocent judge called the court to order. The judge, officers of the court and jury were all present. The judge asked the prosecuting attorney if he was ready for trial. He replied, "Ready." The names of the prosecuting witnesses were then called. None answered. They were then in a sailboat on San Francisco bay bound for San Rafael. Joseph P. Hoge, counsel for Terry, then demanded that the case by given to the jury. The judge read his charge, instructed them to bring in a verdict acquitting the prisoner. Witout leaving their seats the jury gave in its verdict, "Not guilty." Terry walked from the courtroom a free man in the eyes of the law. Not so with the general public, however. They branded him as a murder. Wherever he went he was pointed out to strangers as the man who killed Broderick. He outlived every man present at the duel save one spectator, and yet he was shot down and killed (August, 1889) by the bodyguard of Chief Justic Stephen J. Field.
The state Republican convention, meeting August 5, resolved that Broderick's conduct is worthy of approval "and evinces a regard for the interest of free labor and free men equally becoming the state which he represents and the station he occupies."