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By Dutch Charley Duane, Charles P. Duane, John Boessenecker

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Additional info for Against the vigilantes: the recollections of Dutch Charley Duane

Sample text

Politics and government19th century.  Title. 4'6104'092dc21 [B] 99-21450 CIP Text design by Gail Carter. ; Copyright © 1999 by the University of Oklahoma Press, Norman, Publishing Division of the University. All rights reserved. A.  Mullen Page vii Charles P. Duane has for years been a disturber of the peace of this community by repeated assaults, often with deadly weapons, upon unoffending citizens, and by his interference with our elections. San Francisco Committee of Vigilance, 1856 Duane's reputation for lawlessness and brutal aggression has long been established in California.

Frank Ball was also present, wearing blackface, petticoats, and a woman's dress. Duane approached him while he was dancing and asked to talk, but Ball refused. Ball's lack of fear of Duane, coupled with his ludicrous feminine attire, was a direct challenge to Dutch Charley's masculinity and to his sense of personal honor. " At the same time Duane delivered a terrific blow to Ball's chin and the young singer dropped to the floor. Duane followed up with Page 19 a heavy boot to Ball's stomach. Dangerously injured, Ball bled profusely from the mouth and was unconscious for six hours.

As the chief enforcer for California's urban Democratic political boss, David C. Broderick, Dutch Charley rose to the heights of power and prestige in San Francisco until his ignominious downfall at the hands of the vigilantes in 1856. San Francisco's 1851 and 1856 Committees of Vigilance were the two largest and most important movements of vigilantism in American history. Many writers have examined their actions and debated their motives; whether or not the San Francisco vigilantes were morally justified has been the subject of dispute for more than 140 years.

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