Monthly Archives: March 2019

Sharon v. Hill Meets The Wasp

The Wasp was a satirical weekly published in San Francisco from 1876 until 1941. Its editor from 1881 to 1885 was that acerbic wit, Ambrose Bierce. Here is the cover of the magazine for May 17, 1884. At this point … Continue reading

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The Scandalous Saga continued — Mrs. Sharon’s Triumph

The trial came to a conclusion on September 16, 1884 and after due consideration, judgement was rendered by Judge J.F. Sullivan on December 24th. He concluded that under California law a marriage contract such as Sarah Althea Hill claimed she … Continue reading

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The Scandalous Saga continued — Sharon Takes the Stand

Ex-Senator of Nevada William Sharon finally took the stand to tell his story late in May of 1884. Sarah Althea Hill, he said, had first come to his office in August, 1880, ostensibly seeking investment advice. He told her that … Continue reading

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The Scandalous Saga continued –Pistols in the Courtroom

The San Francisco of the 1880s was still the Wild West and both men and women often went armed, even into Court. Mrs. Mary Shawhan was summoned to testify about her relationship with Sarah Althea Hill. She was described as … Continue reading

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Dr. Poynter, One More Time

Readers of this blog might recall that last year I did a series on the first novel written and published in California: Entewa, the Mountain Bird, by J.R. Poynter M.D., published in Marysville in 1852. I have one more little … Continue reading

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The Scandalous Saga continued — Dirty Dealings in the Graveyard

Sarah Althea Hill tried potions and charms from an assortment of fortune-tellers – they were numerous in old San Francisco – but she had not secured Senator Sharon’s affections to her satisfaction. Another of the mystic league gave her a … Continue reading

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The Scandalous Saga of Senator Sharon and Sarah Althea Hill — part 4

But wait — it gets better! The counsel for the defense (William Sharon’s side) had a string of strange witnesses and bizarre testimony. Sarah, seemingly desperate to find and keep a sugar daddy, sought help from fortune tellers and charm … Continue reading

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