Santa Clarita Valley History In Pictures

Execution Of Vasquez!
The Daily Bee (newspaper),
Sacramento, Cal.

Friday, March 19, 1875.

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Story Story


He Was Executed To-day—His Farewell to
His Friends.

     Tiburcio Vasquez, the native Californian, who not long since terrorized the southern counties of this State, was hanged in San Jose to-day, as per sentence. He concluded to make no statement on the scaffold, as we learn from a dispatch to the Record-Union, but to one Beers, who is writing the story of his life, Vasquez said:
     "To fathers and mothers of chil­dren: Standing on the portals of an unknown and unknowable world and looking backward on life as I have seen it, I would urge on you to make it your greatest aim to so train and instruct and govern the young to whom you have given life, to be kept aloof, as far as possible, from degrading companionship of the immoral and vicious. The general welfare of so­ciety depends on the strict per­formance on your part of this duty. The state of society in the next generation depends o n the manner in which children of the present are trained. I wish the young throughout the world, who may read the incidents of my life, to take warning in time from the ex­amples set them by me, and to real­ize the full force of the same. The way of the transgressor is hard, the truth of which is now being verified to me. The world must not be allowed to think, by what I say, that I reflect on the instruction and training I myself have received from my own parents. I here affirm that they did all they could to bring me up in the right way. Circumstances that they could not control threw me among the vicious, and I dis­obeyed their faithful sayings. I humbly ask pardon of each and every one I, in any way, have in­jured, asking that pardon with all the earnestness that a dying man can. Asking also the prayers of all good Christian people that forgiveness may be extended to me, not only by them I have wronged, but by the Great Father, whose laws I have ruthlessly trampled on. The forgiveness I ask of those whom I have wronged, I freely give to all who have injured me. I thank my counsel each one for the devo­tion to me in my hour of distress, and express my gratitude to Sheriff Adams and his Deputy-Sheriffs Winchell, Sellman and Curtis for kindness while in custo­dy. I thank my brothers for the brotherly love extended me during my troubles, and to my darling and beloved sister I render inex­pressible thanks. Oh, sister of mine! thy love, to me will buoy me up in my last moments. I com­mend my soul and the hereafter that is before me in the keeping of the Maker, without whose help I can never expect complete pardon.
     Farewell, brothers; farewell, sisters, dear; farewell, all. The end has come. TIBURCIO VASQUEZ."
     Witnesses: W. H. Collins, Theo. C. Winchell, J. H. Adams, George A. Beers, H. S. Foote, John A. Ethell, John McGonigle and A. Sellman.


Is as follows: "To my former asso­ciates: I wish you, who will doubt­less expect to hear some last fare­well words from me, whose for­tunes and adventures you have shared, to ponder well the few words I now deem it proper to say to you. You must well know that I could, had I been so disposed, have disclosed to the authorities and the world the perpetrators of many atrocious crimes. I might thus have saved my own life. So, you see, if the world cannot, that to a certain extent this expiation is on my part voluntary. I wish you to especially understand that, while I deny having committed the immediate crimes of which I am convicted and am about to suf­fer death, or of having at any time shed human blood, or taken the life of my fellow man, common sense compels me to understand and rec­ognize the justice of the law which holds me responsible for the inno­cent lives lost in the prosecution of my unlawful calling of robbery. The threats of revenge which have been made by some of my friends: threats to retaliate by outrages on communities at large, and by the assassination of my captors, the jury who convicted me, or the offi­cers who have prosecuted me or have held me as a prisoner, are foolish and wrong, for all these people have merely represented the law, and have acted in the interests of society. By the course threat­ened you could do me no good, but only bring yourselves in the end to my own fate. Take warning then by my fate and change your course of life while you may. I, Tiburcio Vasquez, now about to pay the penalty of a misdirected life, say this to you, my former companions, with the solemn earnestness of a dying man.
                    TIBURCIO VASQUEZ."
    Witnesses — John McGonigle, Theo. C. Winchell, J. H. Adams, Geo. A. Beers, H. S. Foote, W. H. Collins, John A. Ethel, A. Sellman.

Newspaper images: 9600 dpi jpeg of 300 dpi jpg of original newspaper from the collection of Alan Pollack

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