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Ghosttowns.com
08-01-1999, 06:12 PM
Originally posted by Kristin


: I was just researching a trip in the Northern California area and ran into the Downieville posting on this site. In the town description, there is mention of a hanging which occured in the town: a young Mexican girl was convicted of murder and hung the same day over the Yuba River. Does anyone have any more information about the events leading up to the hanging?

Ghosttowns.com
08-12-1999, 10:59 PM
Originally posted by Lewis Shorb


: Her name was Juanita, the story is told in the book:Women of the Sierra by Anna Segraves.

: You might want to check out my links page on my site for mother lode sites that also tell the story.



: Lewis



: : I was just researching a trip in the Northern California area and ran into the Downieville posting on this site. In the town description, there is mention of a hanging which occured in the town: a young Mexican girl was convicted of murder and hung the same day over the Yuba River. Does anyone have any more information about the events leading up to the hanging?

Ghosttowns.com
08-16-1999, 04:21 PM
Originally posted by Kristin


: Thanks so much for the information. I just got back from Bodie (and most of the rest of the 395 stretch) so the book you recommended would be a really great read for me…besides answering my inquiry about Juanita.



: I'm going to go check out some of your links right now. Thanks again.

Ghosttowns.com
08-22-1999, 05:37 PM
Originally posted by Tom Betts


:

: : Thanks so much for the information. I just got back from Bodie (and most of the rest of the 395 stretch) so the book you recommended would be a really great read for me…besides answering my inquiry about Juanita.



: : I'm going to go check out some of your links right now. Thanks again.



: Calvin B. McDonald, a resident of Downieville wrote, "About 10 o'clock in the morning of July 5, 1851, the cry of 'murder!' came up the river.Everybody was running toward town. At the secene of the action we found a vast throng surrounding a clapboard shanty, and within, a miner was lying dead. We happened to be one of the few who crowded in. A broad stream of blood flowed from the breast of the slain man, as much as ten feet."

: The dead miner was Frederick Alexander Augustus Cannon. He was drunk the night before (the Fourth of July) and accidentally or on purpose fell into the door of a Mexican miner named Jose and his wife Josefa (later this evolved into Juanita). Cannon returned the next morning to make amends and spoke to the husband and wife in Spanish. A Mr. V.C. McMurry saw a highly aggitated Josefa fly into a terrible rage. She suddenly plunged a Bowie knife into Cannon's breast bone and into his heart.

: Cannon fell dead into the street and friends carried him into his unfinished house. Word spread quickly of the murder and Josefa (Juanita) was apprehended in the Craycroft saloon.

: A trial was held in the main plaza with a hastily selected judge, jury and lawyers for both sides. Every statement or testimony for Josefa was ignored and the person giving the testimony was rougly treated and beaten by the mob.

: The trial lasted 4 hours with Josefa being found guilty. She was taken to her home and given 2 hours to put her affairs in order.

: At the given time she was taken to the gallows. She confessed she had killed Cannon and was willing to suffer the consequences for it. She adjusted the rope around her own neck let her hair fall free. Her arms and clothes were tied down, a cap put over her face and she was hung.

: Later she was buried next to Cannon in the cemetery. Her body was exhumed in the 1870's because the cemetery was on a gold bearing lode. Rumor says her skull was used for years in the initiation rites to a local secret society.

Ghosttowns.com
08-25-1999, 10:09 PM
Originally posted by Kristin


: I thought it would be a real shot in the dark to find just one person with information about this story, so I was really pleased to get two great responses. Thanks for your enlightening details. I'm also ordering the book that Lewis recommended for this and other stories.

Ghosttowns.com
10-07-2001, 01:59 PM
Originally posted by Sara Padilla

: I think you forgot to mention that Frederick was trying to rape Juanita, who was pregnant at the time. She tried to defend herself and her unborn child and stabbed him. She was hung without a trial, since women had no rights against white men!!!
: : : Thanks so much for the information. I just got back from Bodie (and most of the rest of the 395 stretch) so the book you recommended would be a really great read for me…besides answering my inquiry about Juanita.

: : : I'm going to go check out some of your links right now. Thanks again.

: : Calvin B. McDonald, a resident of Downieville wrote, "About 10 o'clock in the morning of July 5, 1851, the cry of 'murder!' came up the river.Everybody was running toward town. At the secene of the action we found a vast throng surrounding a clapboard shanty, and within, a miner was lying dead. We happened to be one of the few who crowded in. A broad stream of blood flowed from the breast of the slain man, as much as ten feet."
: : The dead miner was Frederick Alexander Augustus Cannon. He was drunk the night before (the Fourth of July) and accidentally or on purpose fell into the door of a Mexican miner named Jose and his wife Josefa (later this evolved into Juanita). Cannon returned the next morning to make amends and spoke to the husband and wife in Spanish. A Mr. V.C. McMurry saw a highly aggitated Josefa fly into a terrible rage. She suddenly plunged a Bowie knife into Cannon's breast bone and into his heart.
: : Cannon fell dead into the street and friends carried him into his unfinished house. Word spread quickly of the murder and Josefa (Juanita) was apprehended in the Craycroft saloon.
: : A trial was held in the main plaza with a hastily selected judge, jury and lawyers for both sides. Every statement or testimony for Josefa was ignored and the person giving the testimony was rougly treated and beaten by the mob.
: : The trial lasted 4 hours with Josefa being found guilty. She was taken to her home and given 2 hours to put her affairs in order.
: : At the given time she was taken to the gallows. She confessed she had killed Cannon and was willing to suffer the consequences for it. She adjusted the rope around her own neck let her hair fall free. Her arms and clothes were tied down, a cap put over her face and she was hung.
: : Later she was buried next to Cannon in the cemetery. Her body was exhumed in the 1870's because the cemetery was on a gold bearing lode. Rumor says her skull was used for years in the initiation rites to a local secret society.

Ghosttowns.com
10-07-2001, 02:03 PM
Originally posted by Sara

: :Frederick actually was trying to rape Juanita, who was pregnant at the time. She tried to defend herself and her
: unborn child and stabbed him. Since women did not have many rights, there was no trial and she was immediately hung!!
: : : Thanks so much for the information. I just got back from Bodie (and most of the rest of the 395 stretch) so the book you recommended would be a really great read for me…besides answering my inquiry about Juanita.

: : : I'm going to go check out some of your links right now. Thanks again.

: : Calvin B. McDonald, a resident of Downieville wrote, "About 10 o'clock in the morning of July 5, 1851, the cry of 'murder!' came up the river.Everybody was running toward town. At the secene of the action we found a vast throng surrounding a clapboard shanty, and within, a miner was lying dead. We happened to be one of the few who crowded in. A broad stream of blood flowed from the breast of the slain man, as much as ten feet."
: : The dead miner was Frederick Alexander Augustus Cannon. He was drunk the night before (the Fourth of July) and accidentally or on purpose fell into the door of a Mexican miner named Jose and his wife Josefa (later this evolved into Juanita). Cannon returned the next morning to make amends and spoke to the husband and wife in Spanish. A Mr. V.C. McMurry saw a highly aggitated Josefa fly into a terrible rage. She suddenly plunged a Bowie knife into Cannon's breast bone and into his heart.
: : Cannon fell dead into the street and friends carried him into his unfinished house. Word spread quickly of the murder and Josefa (Juanita) was apprehended in the Craycroft saloon.
: : A trial was held in the main plaza with a hastily selected judge, jury and lawyers for both sides. Every statement or testimony for Josefa was ignored and the person giving the testimony was rougly treated and beaten by the mob.
: : The trial lasted 4 hours with Josefa being found guilty. She was taken to her home and given 2 hours to put her affairs in order.
: : At the given time she was taken to the gallows. She confessed she had killed Cannon and was willing to suffer the consequences for it. She adjusted the rope around her own neck let her hair fall free. Her arms and clothes were tied down, a cap put over her face and she was hung.
: : Later she was buried next to Cannon in the cemetery. Her body was exhumed in the 1870's because the cemetery was on a gold bearing lode. Rumor says her skull was used for years in the initiation rites to a local secret society.

vmcarrera
01-12-2008, 12:46 PM
There are several articles that describe the lynching of Juanita (Josefa) in Downieville in 1851 as the only hanging of a woman in California history. I recently found a reference to an article on California vigilantism from Munsey's Magazine dated 1901 which purports to contain an illustration entitled "hanging of Mexican girl who murdered a miner in Somerville in 1851". Except for the town, this sounds exactly like the Juanita story? Or does anyone know of another possible lynching at the same time?