This week in 1851

November 23rd, 2012 by admin

“Here we go, pals, ’round and ’round.

— James Wilson, aka Mountain Jim, convicted of grand larceny, hanging, California.
Executed November 28, 1851

Wilson asked that he be allowed to place the noose around his own neck, a request that was denied. There were rumors about his true identity; one claimed that Wilson’s name was a pseudonym for Noah James, a survivor of the infamous Donner Party. One witness wrote in his diary that Wilson “spoke for more than half an hour by the watch I had in my hand. You could hear his voice three blocks away, and I have never heard more blasphemies that those he uttered.” Few facts about Wilson’s crime survive. He asked that the press “do him justice.”

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