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The Rule of Law Through Lawlessness:
Vigilante Activity in 1860s Walla Walla County

 

“VIGILANTES”

Transcribed by Rob Spencer

Source: Walla Walla Statesman, April 7, 1865, page 3

Subject: A reported vigilante attack.

Synopsis: A man comes into town claiming that he had survived a vigilante attack on his property and swears an affidavit to have them arrested.

Text:

VIGILANTES—A slight excitement has been manifest in some circles this week on account of the appearance in town of a man know as “Dutch Lewie,” who lives on the Walla Walla, and who told a pitiful story about being taken from his bed at the hour of midnight by vigilantes and hanged by the neck until he was nearly dead, dead, dead!—all “because he didn’t know something they wanted him to tell them!” Upon his affidavit, five men were arrested and had examination before Esq. Horton on Wednesday. Four of them were discharged, and one was held to answer the charge of “assault with intent to do bodily injury.” The question of course, has “two sides,” and the charges brought against Lewie are that he has been guilty of harboring thieves and hiding, or appropriating horses and cattle that did not belong to him.