California Vigilante Justice, The Clappe Letters, 1851

This is a fascinating article about one mining town and how they took care of a thief:

They granted him a respite of three hours to prepare for his sudden entrance into eternity.”

Mrs. Louise Clappe was the wife of a physician and lived in the mining area known as Indian Bar that bordered the Feather River in Northern California.

In the period from 1851 to 1852, she wrote a number of letters to her sister in Massachusetts describing her experience.

These letters were originally published in Pioneer Magazine (1854-55) and then as a book in 1922.

A copy of this book resides in the Library of Congress.

In a letter written on December 14, 1851, Mrs. Louise Clappe describes how the mining community established its own form of law and order:

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