Part 8 out of 8
The Sherwoods founded the family of that name.
Terry, arrested for the stabbing of Hopkins, was at first very humble,
promising to resign his Supreme Court Judgeship. As time went on he became
arrogant. The Committee of Vigilance was rather at a loss. If Hopkins died,
they could do no less than hang Terry: and they realized fully that in
executing a Justice of the Supreme Court they were entering deep waters. To
the relief of everybody Hopkins fully recovered. After being held closely
in custody, Terry was finally released, with a resolution that he be
declared unfit for office. Once free, however, he revised his intention of
resigning. His subsequent career proved as lawless and undisciplined as its
earlier promise. Finally he was killed while in the act of attempting to
assassinate Justice Stephen Field, an old, weak, helpless, and unarmed man.
If Terry holds any significance in history, it is that of being the
strongest factor in the complete wrecking of the Law and Order party!
For with the capture of the arsenals, and all their arms, open opposition
to the Committee of Vigilance came to an end. The Executive Committee
continued its work. Numberless malefactors and suspects were banished; two
more men, Hetherington and Brace, were solemnly hanged. On the 8th. of
August the cells were practically empty. It was determined to disband on
That ceremony was signalized by a parade on the 18th. Four regiments of
infantry, two squadrons of cavalry, a battalion of riflemen, a battalion of
pistol men, and a battalion of police were in line. The entire city turned
out to cheer.
As for the effects of this movement, the reader must be referred to the
historians. It is sufficient to say that for years San Francisco enjoyed a
model government and almost complete immunity from crime.
One evening about twilight two men stood in the gathering shadows of the
Plaza. They were old friends, but had in times of stress stood on opposite
sides. The elder man shook his head skeptically.
"That is all very well," said he, "but where are your Vigilantes now?"
The other raised his hand toward the great bell of the Monumental
silhouetted against the afterglow in the sky.
"Toll that bell, sir, and you will see!" replied Coleman solemnly.