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

But wait — it gets better!


Daily Alta California, 16 April 1884

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 workers. One of these, named Mrs.Massey, claimed she did not deal in any sort of witchcraft.


Daily Alta California, 15 April 1884

The rich suitor was Senator Sharon, the other was a handsome lawyer named Reuben Lloyd. According to Mrs. Massey, Allie’s scheme was to marry Sharon, then do away with him, and marry Lloyd, who was the one she was truly in love with.


Daily Alta California, 15 April 1884

When Mrs. Massey’s charms with socks, shirts, candles, and hair failed to work, Allie sought out another wonder worker. Mrs. Laura Scott, “a lady of color,” testified that Allie had come to her to have her horoscope cast. She then asked for a love potion — the one she had gotten from someone else made the senator’s hands twitch. Mys. Scott consulted her book and made up a perfectly harmless concoction.


Daily Alta California, 16 April 1884

Trying the sock trick again, Allie brought Mrs. Scott a pair of Sharon’s hose. Mrs. Scott dipped the toes in whiskey, said some magic words over them, and tied them around Allie’s left leg above the knee.

Since the tea and molasses potion hadn’t worked, Allie said she would have to use her first potion, one that Mrs. Scott said smelled like — but Allie’s lawyer objected to her saying what it smelled like. But it must have smelled dangerous because Mrs. Scott was afraid it would harm Sharon.


Daily Alta California, 16 April 1884

All this traipsing around to fortune-tellers must have been exhausting. But Allie was determined — she must have her Senator, her “old darling, beautiful Sen” as she called him.

Next: Voodoo in the Graveyard


About nancyleek

Nancy is a retired librarian who lives in Chico, California. She is the author of John Bidwell: The Adventurous Life of a California Pioneer.
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