The San Diego Central Library has microform copies of San Diego newspapers going all the way back to the beginning, which is the San Diego Herald from April 1851.
I’m currently going through those newspapers looking for items of interest concerning the history of railroads in San Diego County.
Sometimes an interesting headline catches my attention, usually relating to other interests of mine, like law.
One item from Vol. 1, No. 16 of September 11, 1851, caught my attention because it is titled “Law in California.” Here’s text for Google and the newspaper scan below:
“Law in California—Three men were taken up in Sacramento City, for knocking a man down and robbing him of two or three hundred dollars; they were tried by a jury of twelve men, found guilty, and sentenced to be hanged; which sentence will be carried into exocution [sic] next Friday afternoon. In San Francisco, a man shoots down another in cold blood, the victim dies immediately; the murderer is tried by a jury of his countrymen, and they cannot agree upon a verdict! and the probability is that he will escape punishment. Comments: In the first instance, the three men are [illegible] friendless and unknown. In the second instance, the man is a rich gambler, and claims as his friends some of those high in office in San Francisco.—Marysville Herald.”
Now I understand why my wise old grandmother over one hundred years later always told me, “It helps to have friends in high places.”
Notwithstanding Garth Brooks who had friends in low places.