San Francisco, May 14th, 1856
Mr. King did not draw any weapon, but was met in the middle of the
street by Casey, who said, "Are you armed?" to which
Mr. King made no reply but looked at Casey.
He then cocked the pistol again, but seeing his opponent stagger into the Pacific Express office, did not attempt a second shot; some person caught hold of him and told him to give up his arms, which, he refused, and showed fight; but on approach of two or three officers, he remarked that he would go, but they must not take his arms, as he was not going to be hung.
The horrible and heart-
The Executive Committee was formed into a solid square of about ten deep, directly in front of the jail, and the "Citizen's Guard" formed a hollow square about them, and all appeared ready for action. A deputation of the Committee was delegated to call at the door and request the Sheriff to place them in possession of the prisoner, Casey. Without any hesitation the Sheriff repaired to the cell of the prisoner and informed him that the Vigilance Committee were waiting at the door and demanded his person, and that he was compelled to yield it up.
Long before the hour fixed for the ceremonies at the church, Stockton street was literally thronged by men, women and children, almost blocking up the street, from Washington to California street.
At the conclusion of the church services, the most imposing procession we ever witnessed in California, was formed, and followed the remains to Lone Mountain Cemetery.
procession moved along Stockton street to Washington, thence down to Montgomery,
thence to Bush and up Bush to the Lone Mountain Cemetery. the time occupied
in passing a point while in Montgomery street, was thirty-
While the last tokens of respect were being paid to the memory of Mr. King, at the church, a very different proceeding was going on at the Rooms of the Vigilance Committee.
Notwithstanding the great gathering at the funeral, the rooms of the Committee were surrounded by about 20,000 people, who had got an intimation of the proposed execution, and hurried to the spot.
The most formidable guard was arranged, which embraced all the arms of the Committee, consisting of about 3,000 stand of muskets and two field pieces. The streets in the immediate vicinity of the rooms were cleared by the soldiers, and the bristling bayonets that were displayed in every direction, made the scene one of great solemnity. One of the field pieces was planted so as to command Davis street from Sacramento street, and the other so as to command Front street.
At 20 minutes past one o'clock every thing being ready to carry out
the designs of the executioners, the signal was given and the cord that
held up the outer end of the scaffolds, or platforms, was cut upon the
roof of the building, and the doomed men were both launched into eternity.
During this solemn and awful ceremony a perfect stillness and silence was
observed by the vast throng who were spectators at the scene.