IN THE SUPERIOR COURT OF THE CITY AND COUNTY OF SAN FRANCISCO, STATE OF CALIFORNIA. SARAH ALTHEA SHARON, PLAINTIFF, VS. WILLIAM SHARON, DEFENDANT. ARGUMENT OF W.H.L. BARNES, FOR THE DEFENDANT.

San Francisco: Barry, Baird & Co., Printers. [1884]. 381, [1 blank] pp. Stitched in original printed wrappers [rubberstamp, 'Compliments of the Journal of Commerce Pub. Co.', on front and rear wrapper]. Wraps rather dirty, else a clean text. Some corners turned. Except as noted, Very Good.

A prominent San Francisco lawyer, Barnes represented William Sharon in "one of America's noted trials and certainly the most noted in California annals in which the array of counsel was formidable. Sarah Althea Hill, a designing woman had married William Sharon, a got-rich-quick mining potentate, ostensibly for his money. At any rate Sharon claimed fraud in his suit for divorce. David S. Terry represented Mrs. Sharon as counsel. He later married his client. Judge Field had presided at the trial." 46 Decker 41, 42.
Sharon, who completed his term as United States Senator from Nevada in 1881, sued in the California federal court in 1883. He claimed that Sarah had fraudulently represented that they were married. Sharon sought the federal court's declaration that they were not. After he had begun his suit, Sarah brought an action in the California state court under her claimed married name, asserting the validity of the marriage and seeking a divorce and property settlement. Here Barnes presents his argument on behalf of Sharon to the California Superior Court. His was a losing battle: The California Superior Court held the marriage valid, granted the divorce, and awarded her substantial alimony and property.
Meanwhile David Terry-- a California lawyer who had been a Justice of the California Supreme Court, and was a crack shot and duelist-- married Sarah and became her lawyer. The federal court, per U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Field, sitting here as a federal Circuit Judge, then declared the marriage a fraud. The enraged Terry and the thunderstruck Sarah threatened Field's life in open court. The bailiff confiscated Terry's bowie knife and Sarah's revolver; Field jailed them for contempt. Later, gunning for Field, Terry attacked him; U.S. Marshal Neagle, Field's bodyguard, then killed Terry.
OCLC locates six copies, as of September 2013. Item #30554

Price: $500.00

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