The following account is the substance of a series of letters apparently written by Walter Murray to the San Francisco Bulletin during the month of June 1858, and recorded in Myron Angel's book The History of San Luis Obispo County:
THE MURDER AT SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO
On the 12th of May another horrid assassination was committed. Please note well the facts stated, dates, names, places, etc., for they are all correct this time. Two Frenchmen, Bartolo Baratie and M. J. Borel, had come down from Oakland to settle on the Rancho San Juan Capistrano. They had been there but ten days. That place is forty-five miles from San Luis; fifteen miles from Captain Mallagh's; six miles from the Camate, the residence of Jack Gilkey. These two Frenchmen had two Californian servants, named Ysidro Silvas and Luis Morillo. On the morning of Monday, the 20th day of May, eight men came along, representing themselves to be horse runners, and wishing to buy food. The openhearted Frenchmen refused to sell, but gave. That night the men slept in a hut apart with the servants, and on the morning of the 11th went off. Early on the 12th one of the men, since recognized as Miguel Blanco (well known to the Sheriff and Constables of Los Angeles) came back alone, and said that his partners were off running horses, and that he had left them, not wishing to tire his horse. He asked permission to unsaddle his horse there, which was given him. The Frenchmen were several hundred yards from the house, cleaning out a well hole. The Californians were a short distance from them, but hid from their sight, cutting hay. Miguel Blanco stood on a small hill overlooking both parties, and, on a sudden, went down towards the Frenchmen. One of them, Baratie, left his partner and went round to speak to the two servants. Just as he reached them shots were heard where Borel and Miguel Blanco were, at the well hole simultaneously. The balance of the robber party made their appearance on horseback, and Blanco, coming round from his first victim, fired a shot at Baratie, hitting him in the shoulder. Others of the party also fired, one of them singeing the hair of Luis Morillo, the servant, but not injuring him.
The party then bound Morillo, Silvas, and Baratie, and drove them up to the house at point of pistol. Here they found Madame Baratie, the wife of M. Baratie, whom they also threatened with death. Baratie was then forced to point out the trunk which contained his money, and the captain of the band, who proved to be none other than the Huero Rafael, spreading out a blanket on the floor, divided out the money, $2,700, into eight portions, afterwards giving to each his share. Both husband and wife begged for mercy, which was promised them.
DISPOSAL OF THE PRISONERS
Two of the band, to wit, Luciano, the Mesteno (who has since, God be praised, paid for his crime by his life), and Froilan - still at large - were then ordered by the captain to take the two Californians at a distance and kill them. These two men then placed the servants, still tied, on horseback, and took them out a distance of about a league, and, after some discussion, finally agreed to spare their lives on condition that they should stay there until dark. The two robbers then returned. In the meanwhile, two of the men had been detached by the captain to dispose of Baratie and his wife. They were taken a few hundred yards from the house, to a patch of willows, still under promise of mercy. Here Mrs. Baratie saw one of the men draw on her husband, and kill him with pistol shots. She herself covered his body with his cloak and hat, in which position it was afterwards found.
They then brought Mme. Baratie to the house, and Luciano having returned, it was agreed that he should take her off to the "Cuevas," his resort. He mounted her on a mare, with a side-saddle, and started off with her. This man, from the first, promised to take her to a place of safety, and, in fact, did so, for, after about a week's travel by a round-about road, traveled evidently only by these miscreants, passing by the ranch of Hernandez, called the "Pulvaderas", kept by a wretch well-known as the harborer of thieves, and where she slept one night. She dared not speak here, or at the place where the fellow left her at San Juan, because she saw he was among accomplices. At San Juan he left her at a house about half a mile from the center of the town, kept by a man named Chavez. From here she went to the stage office and took passage for Oakland.
RETURN OF THE TWO SERVANTS
The two servants of the Frenchman, at about 5 o'clock P. M., returned to the house and saddled up. They found M. Borel lying dead by the well hole, with three shots in him. They did not find M. Baratie's body. The house was all in confusion; all the clothing picked over, and the best of it carried off. No horses were gone, except a black horse which the Mesteno had taken off, and a mare which the woman rode. Silvas and Morillo, the servants, went that night to the Estrella, where they slept. On the morning of the 13th, Silvas went to Mallagh's rancho. Captain Mallagh immediately saddled up and came into town with the witness. Silvas made his declaration in accordance with the above facts, before justice White, no names being yet known, and warrants were issued to take John Doe, and Richard Roe, etc., on the charge of murder.
ONE OF THE GANG DISCOVERED - HANGED BY THE CITIZENS
While the papers were being made out, Captain Mallagh and the witness, with the Sheriff, in walking round town to look for the murderers, stumbled on one of them, whom the witness immediately identified. He gave his name as Santos Peralta, and was recognized as one of the Chico Martinez band of horse-runners. He denied his guilt, but could give no account of himself, except what was immediately proved to be false, and part of the stolen articles of clothing was found on his person. That night a party of citizens, infuriated by the enormity of the outrage committed, and satisfied of the determination of the greaser population to set justice at defiance by means of the mock forms of law, entered the jail and hung him. After revelations proved more conclusively even, if that were possible, his damning guilt.
FRUITLESS PURSUIT AFTER THE GANG
In the morning information was given that a part of these rascals, in number four, were hid in a ravine back of town, where Pio Linares, the arch-conspirator of this place (a Californian whose father before him was a robber and murderer, and whose whole family is tainted with crime), had a receptacle for stolen horses, termed a ranchito. A party of fifteen men was formed under orders of the Sheriff, who traced the men up, and even got within two hundred yards of them, on the mountainside. Ysidro Silvas went with them, and there identified the whole four-Rafael, the Huero, as being the captain, Miguel Blanco as the man who killed one Frenchman and wounded the other, Froilan as the one who took the two servants out and afterwards spared them, and Desiderio Grijalva as another of the party.
THE MOTTO OF LINARES AND JACK POWERS:
All these men are well known as intimate friends and accomplices of Pio Linares and frequenters of his house in town. After revelations have proved that this Linares, a sort of chieftain among the young Californians, had accompanied the party on the expedition - as far as the rancho of San Juan Capistrano, and had then, without showing himself, returned without taking part in the murder, because he wished to murder the whole party, including the woman, to which others would not agree. His motto is: "Dead men tell no tales." Jack Powers' motto is the same, hence their former impunity. A departure from this rule in this last murder is, under providence, the cause of our detection of these incarnate fiends.
DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES
CAPTURE OF ONE OF THE "FIVE JOAQUINS"
The party that went in pursuit spent a week of fruitless search in the hills. The murderers being well mounted, easily eluded them. At the rancho of San Emilio, however, they took one Joaquin Valenzuela, alias Joaquin Ocomorenia, who was identified by several persons as one of the five Joaquins, who were mentioned in the Act of 1853, authorizing the raising of Harry Love's company of rangers. This man is also an old accomplice of Jack Powers, spoke of him as his patron, and is a man steeped to the lips in guilt. He is well known at the mouth of the River Merced, and on the San Joaquin, and owes justice a score which fifty lives can never pay. He was hung in full sight of the whole people of San Luis, in broad daylight, by the voice and assistance of all the respectable men of the county, and died acknowledging his guilt, asking pardon of his friends, and warning all malefactors not to tell their secrets, even to their own countrymen. "Porque así se pierde," said he - that is: "Thus you lose yourself."
- HANGED BY THE PEOPLE IN BROAD DAYLIGHT
MURDER OF JOHN GILKEY BY THE GANG
I will now relate a trifling episode in the San Juan Capistrano tragedy. At the Camate, six miles from that place, lived Jack Gilkey, a hunter, well known in Tuolumne and San Joaquin Counties, and a man as far as known here, without a vice. His only fault was, being a gringo, or huero, that is, having a light skin. When this band of murderers left the scene of their guilt they went to his place. He was hoeing in his field. The Huero, Rafael, rode up near him, and unseen by him let his pistol drop; then, dismounting, pretended to find it, and made the remark: "What a fine pistol I have found!" Jack went up to him to see, and the villain then fired at him. He missed, but another of the gang, Desiderio Grijalva, came behind and put a ball through his head which killed him instantly. It is supposed that he was killed because he knew them, as they had shared his hospitality the day previous. They knew the murder would be discovered; that parties would go in pursuit; that Jack would, like an honest man as he was, tell whom he had seen, and that they would be detected. Hence his untimely end. The pursuing party came back without finding any of the criminals in the murder. However, they were determined to persevere to the end. During their absence, Pio Linares had remained in his house, feeling the public pulse, and safe, on account of his complicity in the last murder being hidden. After discoveries show that when the Huero Rafael returned from the murder, he gave Linares for his share $140, and $65.00 to Linares' wife. Rafael lived in their house. The party on entering town searched several houses for the culprits, and at length came to the principal one, Pio's. They surrounded it, and demanded entrance to search for the Huero Rafael, under the warrant. Pio Linares placed himself on the defensive, and refused admission. They therefore demanded that he should come out, which he refused. A light was then put to his roof, the rest of the inmates having voluntarily come out, and at length the head culprit broke, and became a target for a volley of balls. He, however, escaped, and is now in hiding it is thought, wounded.
ANOTHER OF THE GANG CAUGHT AND HANGED
Another party was formed, with good trackers among them, who, taking up the trail of the Mesteno and Madame Baratie, traced them two or three days' journey, at length encountering the villain on his return. He was immediately taken, and brought into town. He confessed everything. His story tallies with that of all the other witnesses, and the above statement. He was hung in broad daylight also, as a warning to all miscreants.
By the last boat Madame Baratie came here, at the instigation of San Luis Obispo gentlemen, who wished to see her and to prove to her that, although her fortune had been entirely wrecked by a pack of hell-hounds fostered and favored by the natives of the soil of San Luis Obispo, yet that the American population would do her justice. Her account tallies with all the rest. We hear that stories against her have been circulated above, but here no one has a breath of suspicion against her. It is too ridiculous. It is too infamous to assail a poor woman who has had her husband murdered before her eyes, and the bulk of their property divided among a lot of bandits, with suspicions as to her complicity in a crime which would not advantage her one jot or tittle.
The people of San Luis, who did not know this lady until she came down on the steamer, since the occurrence above detailed, appeal confidently to her friends in Oakland, who have known her for five years, to rebut all attacks on her character. We can only say that those facts show her to be the victim of Spanish atrocity and cupidity, backed by Californian affinity and crime. One word in regard to the Californians.. Of those who interest themselves to pursue the criminals of this county, two or three are of the native race. The rest are all Americans or foreigners. Romualdo Pacheco, our Senator, and Jose Maria Munoz, our County judge, have been appealed to for their assistance, and to use their influence to get the Californians to stir, who are the best riders and have the best horses, who are in fact those who can take the criminals. They have replied formally:
"Gentlemen, ourselves, our arms, and our animals are at your disposal. The Californians, will not be influenced by us, however, to go in search of these men. Some of them are their countrymen, and claim kindred with them."
That is enough; they will not stir. Now this is the fact, the Californians in this country claim the right to rob and murder hueros and gringos with impunity. They do not oppose us openly, but they breathe "curses not loud but deep" against us. They would tomorrow clear the whole gang in a court of law.
SAN LUIS OBISPO, June 14, 1858.
Events come thick and fast in San Luis at this time. In my last I recounted the progress of matters after the execution of Luciano, the Mesteno-the man who took Madame Baratie to San Juan, after the murder of her husband. On Sunday, the 6th June, another of the malefactors, one Jose Antonio Garcia, was brought into town by a party who had been sent after him into Santa Barbara County. This man, like the Mesteno, confessed his fault and disclosed the names of his accomplices. The crime of which he was accused was that of complicity in the murder, on the 1st of December last, on the Nacimiento, of the two Basque Frenchmen, Pedra Obiesa, and Graciana. His confession, translated, reads as follows:
On the 28th day of November last, in Albarelli's billiard room, in San Luis Obispo, Jack Powers invited him to rob the two Frenchmen. After some persuasion he consented to assist in the job, and that morning went to the Santa Margarita, to the Paco horse-race, there to await Jack's arrival. On the 20th saw Jack arrive at Santa Margarita, at Joaquin Estrada's house, and talked with him. On the 30th he, Jack Powers, and a man named Eduviquez went out and slept at the corner of Estrada's fence together. In the night Powers complained of the tardiness of his two other companions, Pio Linares and the Huero, Rafael Herrado. However, about break of day, the two last named arrived, and all four then galloped over the main road towards San Miguel. Thence taking the Peach-tree Road, they went six miles to a spring, near which the body of Graciano wassince found. Here they all stopped to water their horses, Powers, Eduviquez, and Garcia riding on ahead a couple of miles-the other two lagging behind-the first mentioned arrived on a side-hill where there was plenty of grass, and Powers proposed to stay and feed their horses. While they were doing so, they saw one of the Frenchmen coming along in the distance, and Rafael and Pio making for him. Heard shots fired, and Powers said: "What are they doing? That's very bad." They waited a little longer, and heard more shots, whereupon they saddled up and went in that direction, where they found the two bodies stretched out on the road, about fifty yards apart. Garcia then expressed his horror at the deed that had been committed, which was so great as to make him feel sick, and, after taking a drink of water, to leave the place and return. At San Miguel, Eduviquez overtook him and handed him $200, which. Jack Powers had sent him of the proceeds. This he took and disposed of.
HIS EXECUTION - LETTER TO HIS MOTHER
This Jose Antonio Garcia, with Eduviquez, were intimate companions here of Jack Powers, and for a short time lived in the same house. The Huero, Rafael, who was also in the San Juan Capistrano murder, was so much a friend of Jack's as to be termed by the Spaniards here "Hermano de Jacky Powers." Powers brought him up from Los Angeles bemuse he found him to be a ready and daring tool to carry out Jack's enterprise. Jose Antonio Garcia paid the penalty of his crimes, at 3 o'clock on Tuesday afternoon, 8th June, surrounded by the united population of San Luis Obispo. The padre administered to him the last rights of the Catholic Church. He was the only one of the culprits lately executed who died to all appearances truly penitent, and exhorting all his friends to take warning by his fate, and to avoid evil companions. The following is a letter sent by Jose Antonio to his mother, in Santa Barbara, just before his execution. It was written in Spanish, but the following is the translation:
"SAN LUIS OBISPO, June 6, 1858
"BELOVED MOTHER: Providence has ordained that this shall be my last day, on account of my crimes. I conform to it, and at the same time remain entirely repentant (and trusting) in the goodness of our sovereign God, that he will pardon me. The last request that I ask of you, my mother, is that you pardon me my faults, and at the same time, that you, in my name, ask pardon of the whole people, and that they pray for my soul. Give the last adieu to my father and to all my family, and tell them that I died as a good Catholic, entirely repentant, and with the firm hope that God will pardon me. The priest will be at my side up to the last moment. Pardon and pray for my soul. Your son,
"JOSE ANTONIO GARCIA,
"In presence of the Reverend Father Juan Comapla, Parish Priest."
PARTIES IN PURSUIT OF THE REMAINING MURDERERS
On that night a party of ten men, armed and equipped, set out for the tules, with two horses each, furnished by well affected rancheros, and determined not to return without finding some trail of the remaining villains. On Wednesday evening, 9th June, another party, after paying a visit to the ranchito of Pio Linares, and bringing in all his horses, as a preventive measure, started out towards Santa Ynez and La Purissima, where the robbers were said to be. They were on a false scent, for the rascals were upon a hill overlooking San Luis at the time, and spied the party going out, taking it to be two parties, as when it started to visit Pio's ranch it was seen, but not on the return; while it was again seen on the final start. The thieves thus supposed that it was two parties. This frightened them. They began to think the San Luis people were in earnest; and at night moved down into an immense wood of willows, situated on the Osos Rancho, Captain Wilson's, about ten miles from San Luis. Here we got wind of them.
THE HUERO AND PIO LINARES IN DISTRESS -
On Thursday morning, 10th June, Captain Wilson sent word that one of the murderers had been seen. The Captain's shepherd had been accosted near the wood by the Huero Rafael, and after inquiring for his uncle who had formerly lived on the rancho, he offered the shepherd $22.00 to go and purchase for him some food. He said Pio Linares was with him, and that they had nothing to eat for several days. The shepherd at first refused to take the money, but upon being threatened, agreed to accept the commission. He came immediately to his employer, Captain Wilson, gave up the money, and gave information. As soon as the news reached San Luis, a force of about thirty men was raised, who in about two hours' time arrived on the ground. Search was made on horseback through the wood, but no one was found. At length, at about 3 o'clock in the afternoon, a party of about fifteen dismounted, and commenced searching where the wood was too dense for the entrance of horses. Tracks were found; then three horses tied under some willow bushes, then two saddles, and a small bag of provisions. Night was coming on, and it was deemed proper to guard the wood until morning, then to prosecute the search further. A cordon of sentries was formed-wide apart, however, on account of the extent of the wood in comparison to the small number of men. At about 10 o'clock in the evening a shot was heard, and one of the sentries received a ball, fired from the brush, through the instep. The guards were then withdrawn, trust being placed in our trackers, and it being deemed advisable to let the robbers get out of the wood and take to the open country.
CORRALING SOME OF THE GANG IN A WOOD
PIO LINARES RECOGNIZED
In the morning it was found that they were still in the wood, and a party of about twenty men started in to hunt them. Taking up the trail where it was left the day previous, they came upon the saddle-bags of the principal villain, to wit, Pio Linares. These were recognized by his coat, which was found in them, and his wife's portrait. Going on a few steps further, the party was fired upon from the thicket of the brush, and then for the first time a glimpse was caught of them. One of the party was shot through the arm, and another had his coat ripped up from the collar to the waist by a rifle ball. Several shots were fired in return, one of which, as was afterwards learned, shot the above-mentioned Pio Linares through the leg.
ENGAGEMENT WITH THE MURDERERS
Prudence again prevailed over valor, and the pursuing party again took position outside of the wood. Attempts were made to fire the brush, but with little success. Couriers were then sent all over the county, and by night from 100 to 150 men were on the ground. A close line of sentries was placed on the points most likely to be used for an escape. All that night the hungry and thirsty malefactors could be heard breaking their way through the wood. As we afterwards learned they had almost reached the edge of the brush on the side opposite to that on which they had entered, and were ready to break through when morning interrupted them. A party of twenty-four men was then formed under Captain Mallagh, all volunteers, and mostly Americans, who entered the wood, and crept along on their bellies, for several shots from the robbers again pointed out their vicinity. Position was then taken as near as possible to them. In about a quarter of an hour, the head villain, Pio Linares, was shot through the head, and the other two, to wit, Miguel Blanco and Desiderio Grijalva, captured. The pursuers lost one man killed, John Mat-lock, a wellborer, late of San. Jose, and two wounded, William Coates and a Mr. Cross, late of Santa Cruz.
It was learned from the two prisoners that they had eaten no food for four days; and that Linares had kept them from giving themselves up, which the rest had been willing to do for some days past. The prisoners stated that they had suffered so much from hunger, thirst, and fatigue, that they had come to the conclusion that death was preferable to such a state of misery. Linares, however, wanted to sell life for life. He it was who did most of the shooting.
THE DEAD BURIED - EXECUTION OF BLANCO AND GRIJALVA
The dead men of both sides and the prisoners were brought into town. The wounded men were left at Captain Wilson's house, who voluntarily cared for them. Next day, Sunday, 13th June, Matlock was interred in the Catholic burying-ground, it being proved that he had received Catholic baptism. All the population of San Luis Obispo were present at the funeral ceremony, Padre Juan Comapla officiating. Next day, Monday, 14th June, Miguel Blanco and Desiderio Grijalva, after receiving the consolation of religion at the hands of the priests, were led out to execution, and were hung at the hour of 1 o'clock P. M., in presence of the entire people of San Luis. Both the prisoners made a full confession of their guilt, both before the Notary Public and at the scaffold; and each of them exhorted their countrymen and friends to keep from bad company, and to preserve themselves from following the paths of sin. Both acknowledged the justice of their sentence, and expressed themselves as content, in their own words, "to pay their debts." They did pay it.
HOW THE MURDERERS' ACCOUNT STANDS
Of the eight persons who were accomplices in the San Juan Capistrano massacre, five have now expiated their crime by cord or pistol, to wit: Santos Peralta, Luciano Tapia, Pio Linares, Miguel Blanco, and Desiderio Grijalva. Three yet encumber the earth, to wit: Rafael Herrado, Jesus Valenzuela, and Froilan Servin. Of these six accomplices of the Nacimiento murder, two have paid the forfeit - Pio Linares and Jose Antonio Garcia. There remain Jack Powers, Nieves Robles, Eduviquez, and the Huero Rafael Herrada. We are on their track, and some of them, at least, will yet pay for their crimes with their lives.
WHAT BECAME OF THE HUERO - THE NATIVE CALIFORNIANS RISING
SAN LUIS OBISPO, June 22, 1858.
It appears, from the testimony of the two men captured and hung, that the Huero Rafael, after giving the money to the shepherd to buy provisions, had not rejoined his accomplices. He probably stayed on the lookout until he saw the party after him, and then had not time to rejoin his companions, but sought refuge in another part of the wood, after shooting the guard. The same shepherd says that he saw and fired at him after Linares was killed and the party and prisoners had retired. The taking of these three men, I am happy to say, at length stirred up the Californians, and a party of them started on the Huero's trail. On Monday, the 14th June, after the hanging of Grijalva and Blanco, a commission as Deputy Sheriff was given to the Hon. Romualdo Pacheco, our Senator, who, with a party of eighteen Californians and New Mexicans, started in search.
PURSUIT BY PACHECO'S PARTY AFTER THE HUERO
On Tuesday afternoon, we again got wind of the Huero. A Mexican peon, who had gone out on business to Linares ranchito, where these villains were first scared up, came in and gave intelligence that he had there tied his horse in order to get a drink of water, and that the Huero had suddenly appeared from behind a tree, and taken possession of the horse, afterwards riding off. The Mexican is a man of very suspicious character, but, in evidence of the truth of his statement, he produced a double-barrelled shot-gun, which was left behind by the Huero, and a twenty-dollar gold piece, which he had received for the horse. The horse was a fine one, worth $150, and belonged to Fernando Linares, brother of Pio. Of course complicity in the flight is suspected, either on the part of the peon, or Fernando, or both; but all hands are still at liberty and unmolested, as a standing reproach to all who maintain that the San Luis Obispo people take notice of light offenses, or pursue crime with too much rigor. Information of the flight was soon sent to Pacheco and his party, who immediately started for Santa Barbara, on the Huero's trail. The last news heard from him is that on Friday last, 18th of June, at 11 A.M., he started from Los Angeles, still on the Huero's trail, and twenty-four hours behind him. Pacheco had with him the Sheriff of Santa Barbara, and five other men. We have strong expectations here that Pacheco will catch him.
FRANCISCO ZUNIGO DISCHARGED
On the 19th Mr. Blackburn came down on the steamer from San Francisco, bringing with him Francisco Zunigo, charged with participation in the San Juan Capistrano murder. Madam Baratie is unable to recognize him, and there is no evidence, except that of one of the servants, who at present is in San Francisco. The murderers who have been caught so far speak of no such man. They only implicated in that deed seven men, to wit: Mesteno Luciano, Desiderio Grijalva, Huero Rafael, Miguel Blanco, Santos Peralta, Jesus Valenzuela, and Froilan Servin, besides Pio Linares who backed out in the sight of the scene of murder, and returned without assisting. Zunigo has been discharged for the present, but kept in surveillance in care of two of his countrymen until further news. I am confident that the man is innocent.
VALUE OF THE NATIVE CALIFORNIANS IN THE MATTER
In view of the remarks made before in this article, touching on the supineness and neglect of the Californians to act against the murderers, without retracting what was then said, I am happy to state that a portion of them, with the Hon. Romualdo Pacheco at their head, have in good earnest set about doing their part of the work, being the best horsemen, they are the men who can do more in a chase than any of us. Furthermore, if they interest themselves, it will cut off a great deal of the comfort and assistance given to these fellows at the native ranchos. We are all rejoiced that the better portion of the Californians have taken the opportunity, however tardy, to set themselves right before the community. It gives us hopes for better times hereafter.
GROWING STRENGTH OF THE VIGILANCE COMMITTEE
Every day brings more aid to the committee. Every rogue that is taken and hung brings an accession of from twenty to thirty more names to the Vigilance Roll. These men know the villains and their crimes, and it is nothing more than fear of assassination that has kept them off. Besides, many half-honest Spaniards have heretofore lain quiet and tolerated, and even cloaked the crimes which have been committed, because they saw no hope for a redressal of them, and had not the energy to stand alone and aloof from them. Now that the united Americans and foreigners of the place have stretched out a strong hand to their succor, they embrace the opportunity to avail themselves of their protection, and to come out from the paths of sin.
WHOLESOME RESULT OF THE MOVEMENT
The excitement heretofore reigning in the public mind is now partially allayed. The horses which the committee had stabled up in town ready to pursue the assassins, have been returned to their owners. All the parties have been called in, except one which we have lost track of in the Tulares, and three or four men under Pacheco, who are in pursuit of the Huero. Men walk about unarmed, transact their business, and feel at their ease. I have heard many a man say: "A load has been lifted from my mind!" It is true that business does not flourish so much. There is less money spent now in the billiard-rooms and drinking houses, and on gambling tables. And it was time that this should be. The fame of San Luis Obispo has long ago gone forth as being a place sustained and fostered by the fruits of assassination and robbery. All this must now change; and it will be a glorious change, although half the business done in San Luis should perish in consequence.
PROSPERITY PROSTRATED BY CRIME
The damage done to this county by the incarnate fiends who have infested it heretofore is incalculable. The county was, at the time of the perpetration of these atrocities, in a critical period of its existence. It was then attracting attention all over the State as being a section of country presenting peculiar advantages to the settler. It is essentially a stock country. When there is no grass in any other county, here it is found in abundance. It is sufficiently well watered for stock. It is not an agricultural county, and therefore there is more room for the stock-owner than elsewhere. There is a large quantity of public land within its boundaries. Mr. Henry, Deputy United States Surveyor, had lately arrived, and was busily engaged surveying the public land, and dividing it from that belonging to the Spanish grants. Many beautiful little spots were being, by his survey, demonstrated to be public land, which before had been claimed by the old grantees. The fame of all this was getting abroad, and not a month passed without bringing one, two, or three persons, good American citizens, looking for a place to locate. Old ranches were changing owners. Senor Pujol, a very worthy gentleman, a native, I believe, of old Spain, had purchased the San Simeon Rancho. A respectable Californian named Castro, from Santa Cruz County, had purchased part of the rancho of San Geronimo. The Messrs. Blackburn, of Santa Cruz, had purchased the Paso Robles Rancho, and quite a colony of Americans had settled in around them, and between them and Captain Mallagh's rancho, the Huer-Huero. Finally Borel and Baratie, two worthy Frenchmen from Alameda and Contra Costa Counties, were about to follow their example. Now how changed! Ten days after their arrival, a band of cut-throats, living right among us, and breaking bread at our tables, lighted upon them and wiped them out of existence, and the poor woman, a respectable and educated lady of mixed Spanish and English blood, was compelled to flee with a bandit to a more hospitable country, without knowing there existed a county seat within forty miles of her, with an American county organization, and a corps of officers whose duty it is to prevent and punish crime. What wonder that immigration to this county is temporarily stopped? What wonder that intended settlers pause before they trust themselves in such a nest of brigands? What wonder that the county has bean set back years in the path of progress?
THERE IS A GOOD TIME COMING
But there is a good time coming. The people of San Luis have arisen and cast off this leprosy. They have determined to be vigilant in the repression of crime. They have stricken at its vary root. They have hanged and shot the known leaders in the work of bloodshed. Soon we shall have no more need for this spasmodic action. The committee will disband, but every member of it will hereafter continue vigilant in the support and execution of the laws. The laws are good. No one but skeptics in American progress doubt this. They only want administering by trustworthy man, and sustaining by a healthy population. That healthy population we have not; but we have the nucleus of it, and confidently hope that, now the late tumult has about subsided, a new stream of immigration will set in. With but fifty more good American settlers, we shall have enough to see that American laws are observed and respected and enforced. Than San Luis Obispo may be looked upon, as she really is, one of the most desirable counties of the State. Her soil and climate are almost unrivaled. What she lacks in is population.
The undersigned citizens of San Luis Obispo have read the foregoing statements, and find them to be substantially true:
S. A. POLLARD,
JOHN M. PRICE,
H. G. ABBEY,
DAVID P. MALLAGH,
W. J. GRAVES,
THOS. R. THORP, M.D,
CHARLES W. DANA,
C. H. JOHNSON,
I. H. HILL,
WILLIAM L. BEEBEE,
TOMAS DE HERRERA,
H. M. OSGOOD,
P. A. FORRESTER,
D. D. BLACKBURN.
N. B. It is worthy of note that the assassins of San Juan Capistrano were taken exactly one month after the committal of their crime - May 12th, the murder; June 12th, the arrest.