Santa Clarita Valley History In Pictures

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

Friday, March 19, 1875.

[Page 1][Page 2][Page 3][Page 4]

Story Story




Sentinels on the Roof-Guards In-
­side-Bloodhounds on the Watch
-Who's Afraid?-The Priest Vis-
­its Him-Farewell to Friends.
                                                                                                SAN JOSE, March 19.
    The execution of Vasquez formed almost the only topic of general con­versation. Around the jail everything is quiet and orderly. Sheriff Adams and assistant Mr. Winchell have taken all necessary precaution, and the futil­ity of a possible rescue, such as was rumored would be tried, is apparent. All night sentinels were posted on the roof of the Court-house and jail. Within doors was a strong guard, while in the jailyard three blood hounds were turned loose. The night was passed quietly at the jail. Vas­quez retired to rest about 9 o'clock and slept only an hour very restlessly; then he rose and walked around the corridor smoking and occasionally conversing. About 2 o'clock he again threw himself on his bed, but did not undress. Second time he rose, and retired for the third time at 4 o'clock. At half past 7 he said farewell to sleep on earth. Sheriff Adams paid him a visit and presented him a pair of cloth pants. Vasquez donned them, and said they were a little tight, but as he was not going to move around in them much, he supposed they would answer the purpose of an execution very well. He then attired himself in a dark coat and vest and exercised himself until the arri­val of the priest, about half-past eight o'clock. For a short time the priest conversed with him alone; then the relatives of Vasquez were admitted, and are still with him, Francisco, Mrs. Mee and his nieces being among the number. Breakfast was served at quarter-past 8 o'clock; Vasquez ate very sparingly. He looks more thoughtful than at any period since his confinement. He is evidently controlling his nerves by a very strong effort of will. During the night be asked for brandy two or three times, and smoked a good deal. Ev­ery person who now enters the cell is examined for any weapons he may carry.
    The scaffold is all in readiness for the execution, which will take place in all likelihood in about five minutes after Vasquez leaves his cell.
    Vasquez made a request last even­ing to have three favors granted him, viz: First, to be shown his coffin; sec­ond, to have his funeral arrangements explained; third, to be allowed to smoke a cigar and drink a glass of wine on the scaffold. He also desired to make an address to the assemblage, but on remonstrance of the priest he agreed to forego this. He remarked afterwards to Deputy Winchell that if he went against the priest in anything they would throw him over, and where would he be. This morning, while walking around the corridor, he talked about different matters of no particular importance, inquired where he was going to be buried, and who had paid for his coffin, and was told that his relatives and Sheriff Adams and Deputy Winchell have contributed all that was needful for that purpose. His relatives will say farewell about 11 o'clock. The next they will see of him is his dead body. In another section of the jail Lieva, Vas­quez's associate, when this morn­ing, strolling around for exercise, was informed that Vasquez must be exe­cuted he remarked: "It serves him right; he should have hanged long ago. He brought this trouble on us all." He added that Vasquez tells a false story, but that he has hopes he will tell the truth before the execu­tion. This is why he wishes to see him. Vasquez, he says, shot two men at Tres Pinos and Mereno one, Chavez taking no part in the tragedy. Lieva's statement to a great extent came out by the testimony at the trial. Possibly Vasquez desires to spare his relatives the further infamy that might attach to an open confession of everything.

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

RETURN TO TOP ]   RETURN TO MAIN INDEX ]   PHOTO CREDITS ]   BIBLIOGRAPHY ]   BOOKS FOR SALE ] is another service of SCVTV, a 501c3 Nonprofit • Site contents ©SCVTV
The site owner makes no assertions as to ownership of any original copyrights to digitized images. However, these images are intended for Personal or Research use only. Any other kind of use, including but not limited to commercial or scholarly publication in any medium or format, public exhibition, or use online or in a web site, may be subject to additional restrictions including but not limited to the copyrights held by parties other than the site owner. USERS ARE SOLELY RESPONSIBLE for determining the existence of such rights and for obtaining any permissions and/or paying associated fees necessary for the proposed use.