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Transcribed by Dee Sardoch
Stockton Daily Independent
Stockton, San Joaquin Co., CA
>>Saturday, 22 July 1871>>
SOMETHING of GEORGE B. KIRK's HISTORY -- George B. KIRK, who was summarily executed by a Vigilance Committee at Virginia City, on the 13th instant, was formerly a resident of Sonora, Tuolumne county, where his career of crime appears to have commenced.
When a resident of Sonora he was a pale faced youth, remarkable for his quiet demeanor and reticence, except when under the influence of liquor; but, when intoxicated, he became almost uncontrollably wild and would flourish deadly weapons -- pistols and knives -- in the most reckless manner. On 1 occasion, while under the influence of fighting whisky, he scattered and chased several chaps noted for their fighting
propensities, causing them, one and all, to run for dear life. His first break was made by assaulting an old man, and for this he was imprisoned in the County Jail for the term of 6 months.
He was in prison when Mr. SEDGWICK first became Deputy Sheriff of that county. At that time there was in the jail a man convicted of murder, to effect whose escape it was suspected that a party of his friends was plotting outside. In order to discover the plan and thwart the purpose of these men, Mr. SEDGWICK, on his own responsibility, let KIRK out of jail and instructed him to mix with these men, and, if possible, discover their plan to liberate the condemned murderer, and report - an office which KIRK was very willing to accept and manifested an eagerness to perform the duties thereof.
KIRK succeeded, and when the party made the attempt to execute their plans, they were checked by a guard and one of their number shot and severely wounded. Through this affair, KIRK incurred the bitter hatred of a class of bad men then residing in the town. He, however, kept aloof from them, frequently visited the Sheriff's office and the jail and seemed to seek the society of the officers, more particularly that of Mr. SEDGWICK, and always when free from liquor conducting himself in the most quiet and orderly manner. The affair, which led to KIRK's arrest and subsequent trial and conviction on a charge of attempt to murder, is thus related to us by Mr. SEDGWICK, who is now a resident of this city:
KIRK got drunk and became boisterous and belligerent in a place called "The Tigre," and flourishing a knife in 1 hand and a revolver in the other, caused every other person to flee from the premises. This occurred at a late hour when Mr. SEDGWICK, who slept in the Sheriff's room in the prison, was in bed. Several officers undertook to arrest KIRK, but were deterred by the reckless manner in which he handled his weapons, and not wishing to do KIRK any personal injury, they called upon Mr. SEDGWICK, believing the latter could control him at once without using force. They were mistaken, however, [rest cut off]