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San Francisco Vigilance Committee of 1856

Page 1 of 74


This eBook was produced by David Schwan

A Sketch of the Causes, Operations and Results of the San Francisco
Vigilance Committee in 1856 

Written by Stephen Palfrey Webb in 1874 

Stephen Palfrey Webb was born in Salem on March 20, 1804, the son of
Capt.  Stephen and Sarah (Putnam) Webb.  He was graduated from Harvard in
1824, and studied law with Hon.  John Glen King, after which he was
admitted to the Essex Bar.  He practiced law in Salem, served as
Representative and Senator in the Massachusetts Legislature, and was
elected Mayor of Salem in 1842, serving three years.  He was Treasurer of
the Essex Railroad Company in the late forties. 

About 1853, he went to San Francisco, where he resided several years,
serving as Mayor of that city in 1854 and 1855.  It was during this time
that he witnessed the riotous mobs following the Gold Rush of 1849, and

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