of 1891 Wallace Grand Jury on Corruption
Between Labor and Capital
Failure to Control The District Attorney's Office
into SchimitzRuef Regime
of Types of Graft
Fight Trust Briberies
Park Side Bribery The Home Telephone
Pacific Telephone Bribery
Gas Rate Briberies
Corporations' Share in the Briberies
Park Side Company Board of Directors
Railroads' Board of Directors
Gas and Electric (PG&E) Board of Directors
States Telephone Board of Directors
Valley Water Co. Board of Directors
of Immunity to Certain Supervisors
of Citizens to Help Prosecute Crime
of the Prosecutions
of D.A. Langdon in 1907
of Municipal Corruption
of Supervisor Gallagher's Home
of Fremont Older
of Francis J. Heney
of Government Papers and Secrets
in the Police Department
Union Labor Party Platform
Timeline of Graft Investigations
"The Situation in San Francisco" by James D. Phelan
Boston Herald Interview With James D. Phelan
Mysterious Death of Police Chief Biggy
Fremont Older Wants Ruef Released from Prison
on the Causes of Municipal Corruption
in San Francisco, as Disclosed by the
Investigations of the Oliver Grand Jury,
and the Prosecution of Certain Persons for
Bribery and Other Offenses Against the State Part 3 of 4.
The Granting of Immunity of Certain of the Supervisors
and Leniency to Ruef, and the
Resultant Cleaning Up of the City Government.
number of persons indicted for the crimes we have described in the preceding
pages was twenty-one, including Mayor Schmitz, Abraham Ruef, and three
of the Supervisors. With the exception of these five, the indicted men
represented interests which would receive the largest profits of the briberies.
In order to obtain the evidence for the indictments of the bribe givers,
the District Attorney deemed it necessary to make agreements to use his
office to procure complete immunity for the Supervisors, and subsequently
to promise aid in security leniency to Abraham Ruef. Each of these person
was by law entitled to remain mute before the Grand Jury, on the ground
that his evidence might tend to incriminate him.
practice of the government's prosecuting officer agreeing with certain
members of groups of lawbreakers to use the influence of his office to
procure immunity from punishment or leniency in sentencing in return for
a full and true disclosure of the facts has been established for many centuries
in those tribunals following the criminal law developed from the Anglo-Saxon
civilization in England. The exercise of this power not only has the sanction
of the practice of centuries, but has been repeatedly approved by the Supreme
Court of the United States. It is now the practice in nearly all the American
States, and in one state the prosecuting officer's agreement for immunity
is all that is needed to protect the accused in subsequent prosecutions.
In most States the procedure is to stay the prosecution, or sentence till
the Governor has pardoned the confessing party.
necessity for the use of the power to grant immunity became apparent in
the prosecutions. With but one exception, that of James L. Gallagher, who
distributed the bribes, and as chairman of the Board in the Mayor's absence,
marshaled the votes, the men of the Board of Supervisors were mere political
puppets placed in power by Ruef and extremely unlikely to have any influence
in the community, politically or otherwise, after the expiration of one
term in office. If a choice had to be made between attempting a conviction
of the apparently respectable criminal, whose large profit from crimes
of this character makes him the more powerful to prey on society, and a
mere pawn on the political chess board whose capacity for harmfulness would
end with the exposure of his criminality, there could be no question that
the people should choose the former. A democracy's permanency rests entirely
in the belief of the common man that is the best form devised to protect
him from the rapacity and selfishness certain to develop in some of his
more powerful neighbors. In such a government, the choice by the prosecuting
officer of the weak agent in the commission of a crime, because of the
facility of his conviction, and the avoidance of the more arduous contest
with his dangerous and resourceful master, is simply preparing ground for
anarchy or revolution.
was urged that both the receivers of the huge profits of the briberies
and their tools in office could have been convicted, and that it was unnecessary
to give immunity to so many of the Supervisors. The District Attorney's
explanations of the reasons for his action appear to amply justify his
choice of the former course. Gallagher, the leader of the Board, had paid
the bribes to each Supervisor without witnesses. He was a necessary connecting
link in the chain from the profiting corporation to the vote case in the
Board, and without him there was no method of discovering from whom he
received the money. Gallagher refused to confess unless immunity were granted
to all Supervisors, and held firmly to this position.
the District Attorney had trapped several Supervisors in other briberies,
in which Gallagher had not participated, and had these guilty persons as
witnesses against him, still as he could be tried for bribing but one Supervisor
at a time there could have been but this one witness contradicting his
oath that he had not bribed, while a majority of the Board, in all likelihood,
would have sworn that they voted for the ordinance without promise of compensation.
This would have been an extremely difficult case to win, and, even if won,
there was no guaranty that Gallagher would have made himself the State's
witness against the person or persons supplying money to him.
from this doubtful utility of a conviction of Gallagher, there was the
long time that would necessarily be lost in his trial. All the city's offices
were in the hands of Ruef and Schmitz. The election commission which would
have had charge of the election in the succeeding November could have been
remodeled to do the bidding of the Mayor and would have made fraudulent
voting extremely difficult of detection. The Chief of Police was their
ardent supporter and threw the whole strength of a not unwilling department
to cover up the crimes and hamper the work of the District Attorney's detectives.
appeared essential for the success of the investigation that the police
force be made at least neutral. This could be done only by the removal
of Mayor Schmitz on conviction of some of his Board of Police Commissioners.
The Supervisors alone have the power to fill a vacancy in the Mayor's chair,
and it is reasonable to suppose that, if the members of the Board were
under indictment and being prosecuted, they would not elect a Mayor who
would take from them the active support of the Police Department.
Supervisors' testimony gave the Grand Jury the facts as to the passing
of the ordinances, the payment of the money by Gallagher to various Supervisors,
and the payment of the money to Gallagher by Ruef. The chain of evidence,
however, stopped at Gallagher's testimony that Ruef paid him the money
in all but the Pacific States Telephone briberies, and no further evidence
was discovered against the Mayor in connection with the French restaurant
question then arose as to the advisability of treating with Ruef to secure
the evidence as to the method by which the moneys came from the quasi-public
corporations. Ruef was a man of very different caliber from the Supervisors.
He was a graduate of the State University, had for many years been recognized
as a lawyer of high skill though questionable practice, and was the organizing
brain of the corruption of the Schmitz regime. He was a dangerous man to
leave at large without the felon's brand on him, and yet it became apparent
that, without this one man's testimony, the many bribe-givers whose
enrichment by the large profits of such undertakings made them equally,
if not more, dangerous to society, would not only escape the penalty which
was their due, but that even their names would not be discovered and written
in the "detinue book" of the city's suspicious characters.
without Ruef's assistance, the conviction of Schmitz, with the resultant
change in the Mayoralty, the police and other municipal boards, seemed
impossible. The District Attorney had the choice in this dilemma. He could
leave the Mayor and his administrative boards in power, discover nothing
regarding the profit-takers from the briberies, and content himself
with a mere change in the Supervisors and a long term of imprisonment for
Ruef, or he could reasonably expect the conviction of the Mayor, the cleaning
up of the city government, the obtaining of a complete revelation of the
grafters "high up", as well as "low down", and the
possible conviction of some of them.
District Attorney chose the latter alternative, and bargained with Ruef.
The negotiations covered many weeks and were carried on through the District
Attorney, his assistant, Mr. Heney, and Detective Burns for the people,
and Ruef, and Rabbi Nieto and Rabbi Kaplan, both being clergymen of Ruef's
faith. Sometimes all these men met together, sometimes not more than two
were present at the negotiations. The terms offered on each side varied
from time to time, as well as points of view of those of the same side,
all of which led to considerable confusion. A written contract was finally
signed, whereby Ruef agreed to tell fully and unreservedly all he knew
of all the briberies and to plead guilty to certain of the French restaurant
extortion cases, and the District Attorney agreed to use the power of his
office to procure him immunity as to the other charges. This document was
placed in the joint keeping of Detective Burns, and, at first, one of the
rabbis, and later the other.
Ruef and Rabbi Kaplan and Rabbi Nieto all insist that the written agreement
did not contain the entire contract and that the clause in it reserving
the French restaurant case from the immunity agreement was a mere sham.
The real agreement they claim was that Ruef should later be allowed to
change his plea to "guilty" in the latter case to "not guilty",
and then the action should be dismissed. Schmitz was convicted very largely
on Ruef's testimony against him. Neither rabbi protested when Ruef led
the jury to believe that the agreement was not for a complete immunity
but merely that the District Attorney and Mr. Burns were to use their efforts
to procure leniency for him. In the succeeding campaign for District Attorney,
Mr. Heney repeated said in answer to certain assertions that complete immunity
had been given Ruef, that it had not and that he would send him to prison,
and his attitude very largely determined the result of the election. Yet
the rabbis made no public disclosure of any agreement as to complete immunity.
the persons representing the government, including Mr. Langdon, Mr. Heney
and Mr. Burns, assert that the rabbis repeatedly asked for complete immunity,
but it was at all times refused. They said that the written contract contained
the actual agreement reached with Ruef and with them as Ruef's agents.
Applying the common sense rule that persons do not make specific written
provisions in a contract when they intend the exact contrary, and giving
the clergymen the benefit of the presumption that they would not have connived
at or remained mute under the suborned conviction of Schmitz, or an election
of a District Attorney on fraudulent misrepresentations, we are driven
to the conclusion that the agreement for entire immunity was never entered
into. the confusion in the negotiations was sufficient to warrant the confusion
of memory which later led to the rabbis' contradiction of the written agreement.
have mentioned this controversy, not because we would have regarded it
as an error to grant Ruef complete immunity of necessary to expose the
corruption amongst the profit takers, and to oust the Mayor and his Commissions,
but because it raises a serious question of good faith on the part of the
people's representatives, both political and religious. If, in order to
convict Schmitz and elect the District Attorney, the officers of the government
and these ministers of religion were deliberately concealing the true nature
of the agreement and permitting Ruef to lie about it to the jury, and Heney
to lie about it to the people, then surely the hope of better things was
a mere will-o-the-wisp.
was convicted on June 13, 1907, and subsequently the Supervisors, under
pressure of the District Attorney, declared his office vacant and elected
Edward R. Taylor, Dean of the Hastings College of the Lawa branch
of the State Universityto fill the vacancy. The Supervisors then
resigned, one by one, the vacancy in each case being filled by an appointee
of the Mayor.
extraordinary proceeding, made possibly by the wise provisions of the city
charter, and which changed the entire executive and legislative personnel
of the city government, was ratified by the people in the election in the
following November. In that campaign the Mayor and practically all the
Supervisors were elected with large pluralities to the offices to which
they had been indirectly appointed by the District Attorney. This election
was more significant of the attitude of the mass of the people on the prosecution
of the bribers, as the new Board of Police Commissioners had given orders
to the police to assist the District Attorney; and the Supervisors had
voted large sums for the expenses necessary to carry on his work.
The Right of Citizens Not Holding Office to
Contribute Assistance in the Prosecution of Crime.
public service corporations of San Francisco have, for a long time, furnished
the State with special prosecutors in criminal cases where their interests
have been concerned. Prior to and during the period of the graft prosecutions
the following attorneys assisted in prosecuting various crimes on behalf
of the corporations set opposite their names:
F. Sheehan, United Railroads
Frank P. Kelly, Southern Pacific Company
J.P. Coghlan, San Francisco Gas and electric Company
Twamley & Smith, Pacific States Telephone and Telegraph Company.
indictments were found against the officers and employees of some of these
companies, a great clamor was raised on their behalf that it was an outrage
for the District Attorney to accept assistance from Mr. Spreckels and other
Calhoun, the President of United Railroads, whose attorney Mr. Sheehan
had assisted the District Attorney in dozens of criminal cases, addressed
a pamphlet to the chairman of this committee, in which he asks, among others,
the following question:
Can a private citizen contribute money to help the city's prosecuting officers
in the investigation and trial of a criminal charge?"
Wigmore of the Northwestern School of Law, was sent a similar pamphlet
and answered the question in the following language:
He can; and it is stupid even to put the question. Under the original English
jury-system (of which you receive the benefit), and until the last
century, the private citizen was usually obliged to pay the prosecuting
expenses; for the State did not, and crime went unpunished otherwise. If
nowadays, in a community, crime is again likely to go unpunished without
the help of private citizens, there is no reason why we should not revert
to the old system. As for Mr. Spreckels (the private citizen here named
by you), his name should be held in honor, and will ever be, as against
anything your pamphlet can say. As for Mr. Heney and his receipt of $47,500
officially and `large sums of money additionally' from Mr. Spreckels, it
may be presumed that he spent most of it on trial expenses, and did not
keep it as a personal reward. But even if he did so keep it, let me register
the view that he is welcome to all thisand to moreif
anybody will give it and that no money compensation is too high for such
feel we can add nothing to Mr. Wigmore's reply, save the suggestion the
practice had the long standing precedent of Mr. Calhoun's own company.
course, if the purpose of assisting the Government is primarily to enmesh
in the toils of the law entirely innocent persons for the purpose of private
malice, or to assist in the confiscation of their properties, the act becomes
improper. This is equally true, whether the prosecutions are initiated
and carried on by private persons or public officials.
fact that Mr. Spreckels and Mr. Phelan were among the organizers of a corporation
to establish a railway system in San Francisco has been seized upon as
evidence of a plot against the United Railroads. The articles of incorporation
of this new company were filed on April 17, 1906, several months after
the coterie of men who started to investigate the Schmitz-Ruef regime
had come together.
by-laws of the company provided for the establishment of the underground
system and for a sale of the road to the city for a reasonable price, over
and above cost and risk. The date of filing their articles is significant,
as it is within a month after Mr. Calhoun had broken off with the Committee
of Improvement and Adornment, and had abandoned a tentative agreement to
change his roads on Sutter and Market streets to the underground system.
During this period these gentlemen took the necessary steps to organize
their company; with the avowed purpose of proving the untruth of Mr. Calhoun's
assertion that an underground system could not be run profitably on an
fact that every effort had been used to persuade Mr. Calhoun to adopt the
underground system in negotiations extending over weeks of time; that the
proposed road was to use this system as a demonstration of its feasibility;
that they contemplated a sale to the municipality at a reasonable figure;
that they lent the same assistance to the indictment and prosecution of
officers and employees of nearly every other quasi-public corporation
in the city; and, above all, that they never attempted to attack the franchisesof
the United Railroads, satisfied your committee that the ruin or embarrassment
of that company played no part in the plans of the men contributing to
the funds of the prosecution.
doubt the exposure of the corruption during Mr. Calhoun's management has
made the renewal of the franchises of the United Railroads very unlikely.
If the value of the stocks of the company rests on the hope of renewal,
it will unquestionably depreciate. It is absurd to say, however, that is
the exposure of corruption and not the corruption itself which causes this
depreciation. To do so is to assert that business organizations may properly
be capitalized on the theory that our government is too week even to discover
that crime is being committed.
The Oliver Grand Jury and
the Commencement of the Prosecutions
was not until October, 1906, that sufficient evidence had been unearthed
regarding the complicity of Ruef and the Mayor in the French restaurant
extortion to warrant the government taking the open in a general investigation
into the alleged criminality of other municipal office holders. District
Attorney Langdon appointed Mr. Heney assistant district attorney on October
22nd, and announced that Mr. Rudolph Spreckels had already furnished and
would continue to furnish the funds necessary to engage the detectives
to carry on the work.
Schmitz was at this time traveling in Europe. Three days after the appointment
and the announcement of the intended investigation of the supervisors,
Gallagher, the president of the Board and acting Mayor, attempted to remove
Langdon from the District Attorneyship on the ground that he had been neglecting
the duties of his office in his campaign for the governorship, and appointed
Ruef to fill the vacancy. The Mayor's power of removal was limited to the
purely municipal officers. As the District Attorney represented the people
of the state as a whole, the Mayor had no jurisdiction over him, and Judge
Seawell of the Superior Court so held in the subsequent proceedings.
astonishing boldness of the attempt by the acting chief executive of the
city to oust the State's prosecutor and to substitute in his place the
criminal who had just been announced as the subject of prosecution, shocked
the city, preoccupied as it had been with the task of reconstruction, into
sober attention. From that time there has been a strong and vigorous body
of men standing in unswerving support of the government in its attempts
to make impossible the repetition of such conditions. On November 10, 1906,
Judge Thomas F. Graham appointed the grand jury, of which B.P. Oliver became
the foreman, and which subsequently took its name from him. This jury was
made up of the following men:
has been said and should be said for the great assistance rendered the
people by such men as Heney, Matt I. Sullivan, Spreckels, Older, Johnson,
O'Gara, Phelan and Burns, in rescuing the city government from the band
of thieves into whose hands it had fallen, but each of these has had, with
the trials and stress of the struggle, that honor and recognitionin
this case nation widealways bestowed upon strong men who become
the people's recognized leaders in time of public danger.
members of the Oliver Grand Jury knew that no such distinction awaited
the performance of their duty. They were business and professional men
of good standing, none of exceptional fortune, most of them not even of
the class known in American parlance as men of independent means. They,
however, had growing business to endanger, credit at their bankers to be
lost, powerful commercial antagonists to meet in fierce competition of
American economic lives. The merchants of the jury knew that the institutions
they attacked involved the men who controlled the transportation of their
goods, the credits with which they purchased them, and who could deprive
them of part of the market in which they were sold. Professional men realized
that to offend the financial and social powers whose participancy in the
crimes they had unearthed meant loss of prestige and serious inroads on
their clientele. Five of the jurymen were of the same race and religion
as Abraham Ruef, while many other denominations were represented both on
the jury and among the indicted. Harder to face, for some at least, was
the severance of long-standing friendships, business and social, with
the men against whom they ultimately found their indictments, and the social
ostracism from certain circles, not only for themselves, but also for their
wives and children.
elder jurymen could well remember the days in California when the assassin's
bullet paid the debt that the gambler or other profit taker from vice thought
he owed to those who exposed his wrong doing. In the light of that history
they could have anticipated the bold but carefully planned violence which,
in the succeeding year, brought the dynamiting of the home of Gallagher,
chief witness for the government, when it contained half a dozen men, women
and children; the kidnapping of Editor Older; the attempted kidnapping
of Lonergan; the equally bold and perhaps more subtly induced shooting
of Heney, and the mysterious death of his would-be murderer before
the government had had a chance to complete its examination as to his motives
or the possible instigators of his crime.
the Pacific Coast compiles its records of civic patriotism the names of
these men should not be forgotten. At no time in the history of California
was her form of government put to a severer test than when her people,
through their District Attorney, administered the Grand Juror's oath to
each member of that body and called upon him "to diligently inquire
into, and true presentment make, of all public offenses against the people
of this state committed, or triable within this county of which you shall
have or can obtain legal evidence...", and to "present no person
through malice, hatred or ill will, nor leave any unpresented through fear,
favor or affection, or for any reward or the promise thereof". Their
response vindicated the State's claim to some share at least in the heritage
on the institutions of her Anglo-Saxon ancestors.
The Election of District Attorney Langdon in the Fall
of 1907The Distortions of the Press and
the Method Used by Heney and Other Speakers to Counteract Them.
for District Attorney developed a strong opposition from the combination
of interests which the District Attorney and his assistants had been prosecuting.
The opposition centered around Patrick Calhoun, a man of pleasing and forceful
personality, who had been an operator in railroad franchises of not untroubled
record in other American cities. Mr. Calhoun had attracted some suspicion
when, in March before the fire, he broke off the United Railroads' negotiations
with the Adornment Committee for electrifying his system and announced
that he proposed to deal with the "people" through the notorious
Ruef board. Later this suspicion was deepened by an extraordinary interview
with Mr. Calhoun, published in the San Francisco "Examiner",
March 20th, 1907, and in other papers, in response to a suggestion that
he had bribed Schmitz in the trolley matter.
'Let me say that there is not a syllable of truth in that charge,' said
Mr. Calhoun. 'I don't mind saying that I have a warm personal regard for
Mayor Schmitz and when he was in New York I invited him to my house. Anyone
who knows me knows that if I had bribed him I would not have invited him
to my house.'"
a statement, coming after Schmitz's indictment for extortion from the French
restaurant proprietors, the crime of a parasite on a parasite, on a vice
which was undermining the home, necessarily awakened further unfavorable
comment from self-respecting citizens. This was the more so as Mr.
Calhoun, who showed himself most willing to reach the public through the
press, did not deny its authenticity. In May, 1907, at about the time it
became apparent that certain officials and agent of the United Railroads
were to be indicted, a general strike was declared on all their roads.
Opinion is still divided as to the responsibility for this reopening of
the conflict between labor and capital, but it happened most opportunely
for the indicted men.
have before spoken of the class alignment arising out of the violence of
the teamsters' strike in the last administration of Mayor Phelan, and how
it drove into the capitalistic camp many peace-loving citizens who
otherwise would have remained neutral in the class encounter. The phenomenon
was repeated. Violence was resorted to, though in this case the police
did not even make a pretense of protecting the cars from a mob of several
thousand people. We have seen that the so-called labor administration
had already sold itself to the agents of the railroad company, and it is
apparent that if it had wanted police protection it could probably have
gotten it. The cars were manned with a small force of detectives hired
by Mr. Calhoun from the Thiele Detective Agency of St. Louis, brave and
reckless young men who put up a plucky fight against the apparently overwhelming
odds for nearly an hour, when they were finally rescued. The public, sorely
strained by the trials of the preceding year, both natural and political,
and craving peace, welcomed the show of force. Many timid people gave Mr.
Calhoun the credit for the Thiele boys' bravery and on the successful disruption
of the Carmen's Union, as the result of the strike, he became for them
the heroic deliverer of a stricken city.
the course of the ensuing campaign, Mr. Calhoun's popularity was used against
the District Attorney in a very subtle way. With those friendly to him
it was urged that he should not be prosecuted because of the services he
had rendered in behalf of law and order. With the friends of the government
it was urged that Langdon and Heney did not dare try Calhoun, despite the
fact that the crime of which he was accused would destroy the very foundation
of the government, because of his popularity.
the heat of the campaign Mr. Heney, in very emphatic language, announced
the intention of the government to press the Calhoun indictment to the
bitter end. Such a statement made on the stump concerning an indictment
appears a violation of the proprieties of the office of the District Attorney,
and would seem to be justified only by extraordinary circumstances. The
District Attorney claims that the circumstances did require it, that the
public were being deceived by the accounts of the trials given in certain
of the daily papers, and that only by explaining his intentions to the
people directly could the government retain their support.
accounts of the trial given in the San Francisco Morning Chronicle were
certainly not ingenuous statements of what occurred in the court room.
They omitted many occurrences that seemed favorable to the District Attorney's
office, while they exploited the slightest misfortune or mistake in the
daily feud between counsel which could bring discredit on the government.
was not, however, until some months later, that the Chronicle admitted
the sale of its columns for accounts of proceedings in courts of justice
to be written up to suit the taste of the purchaser.
admission arose in connection with the case of Baron vs. Woodruff, where
Mr. Woodruff, a contractor, was sued for exceeding an alleged agreed maximum
of cost in the erection of a building. The suit apparently hurt Mr. Woodruff
in his business and he was anxious for vindication by the courts. He demurred
to the complaint on certain formal grounds and the court sustained the
demurrer, granting leave to amend. This was a purely technical proceeding,
and in no way affected the merits of the controversy.
decision on the law point was written up, however, as if the merit of the
facts had been gone into, and Mrs. baron was represented as having been
adjudged by the court as entirely in the wrong. The body of the account
was printed in the same type as other news columns, the head lines of all
the news articles on the page differing each from the other. Suit was evidently
threatened by Mrs. Baron's counsel, for in the next morning's edition the
paper admitted that the article complained of had been written by Mr. Woodruff's
attorney, and paid for at advertising rates.
would seem that the same business instinct which, for a price, will give
false accounts of court proceedings, as unimportant, comparatively, as
the Baron case, might have taken pay for its perversion of the accounts
of what actually occurred in the courtroom by the trials of those indicted
for briberies yielding millions to the bribers. Such being the case, it
would further seem that the District Attorney, seeking re-election,
was justified in attempting to counteract by direct appeal to the people
the false impressions produced by such means. The necessity of such appeal
arises from an infirmity of the system which elects the District Attorney.
The "people" are his clients, and he is put in a position where
he must answer their queries as to his conduct of the cases prosecuted
in their name. It is absurd and unjust to the people, if venal misrepresentation
by the press cannot be explained away.
should be noted in contrast that the Morning Call, under editorship of
Messrs. Simpson and Hornick, loyally supported the Government throughout
the cases, not that the people responded by doubling its circulation.
Langdon was elected with a considerable plurality over the labor candidate,
Mr. McGowan, who received, as Schmitz had received two years before, the
support of all the graft sympathizers, including many persons of the most
pronounced capitalistic affiliation.
The Crimes Committed to Defeat
the Government in the Prosecutions
crime of bribery strikes at the foundation of democratic government. In
so far as it seeks to establish an inner oligarchy controlling governmental
functions, it amounts to treason, and treason in its most insidious and
dangerous form. It is not surprising that from among those who had thus
combined to take the life of government itself, there should be those who
would commit other crimes to prevent conviction for the first. Nor is it
surprising if they weighed lightly human lives standing in the way of their
freedom or of the "system" they hoped to substitute for the government.
DYNAMITING OF THE HOME OF GALLAGHER.
have before shown that James L. Gallagher, the chairman of the Board of
Supervisors, was a necessary link in the chain of evidence from the corporations
to the various bribed supervisors. At about half past seven in the evening
of the 29th of April 1908, Peter Claudianes exploded a powerful dynamite
bomb under Gallaghers' home in Alameda. At this time there were in the
house, besides Mr. and Mrs. Gallagher, Mr. and Mrs. Schenck, their two
daughters, and a son, and a gentlemen calling on the ladies. The explosion
wrecked one side of the house, injuring the room upstairs in which were
Mr. and Mrs. Gallagher, both of whom escaped unhurt. Mr. Schenck had been
late to dinner and this delay had kept the rest of the family and their
guest in another portion of the house, and they escaped also.
was an attempt made by the newspapers opposing the government in the prosecutions
to create an impression that Gallagher had procured the blowing up of how
own house to enlist sympathy. This suggestion was silenced by the apprehension
of the two Claudianes brothers, the confession of one of them that they
had been paid to kill Gallagher by Felix Paudivaris, an employee of the
United Railroads and a political friend of Ruef's, who had disappeared
shortly after the explosion; the conviction of Peter Claudianes and his
sentence to life imprisonment.
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