Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice

    Description

    [John Coffee "Jack" Hays]. California Letter Sheet Stone Lithograph: "Execution of Jose Forner, Dec. 10, 1852. on Russian Hill San-Francisco, for the Murder of Jose Rodrigues." The first legal execution in San Francisco is illustrated in this 10.25" x 8.5" lithograph. Forner is seen swinging by the neck above an open trap door. Surrounding the gallows atop Russian Hill are soldiers of the local militia, the Marion Rifles, standing at attention, arms shouldered, forming a perimeter to keep the crowd of spectators under control. Standing halfway up the gallows' stairway is a lone figure, presumably the legendary Texas Ranger, Col. John Coffee "Jack" Hays (1817-1883), the first sheriff of San Francisco. Mounted to a backing board, the image is moderately toned. A small tear, measuring approximately 5", is faintly visible from the left edge, but has been repaired. Mounting tape along the upper edge.

    In the late afternoon hours of October 8, 1852, 32 year-old, Spanish immigrant Jose Forner y Brugada found himself killing time before meeting friends for dinner. According to his confession, he decided to take a walk to see the "Steam Paddy," a steam excavator that had arrived the year before. While watching the machine, he was approached by an acquaintance, Jose Rodrigues, and after a short exchange, Rodriques attempted to rob Forner, stabbing him in the process. Rodrigues fled and dropped the knife. Forner gave chase, picked up the knife, and killed his attacker. He was subsequently tried for murder, found guilty, and was sentenced to die.

    This was the first execution to be carried out in San Francisco, presided over by Sheriff Jack Hays. Following his service in the Mexican War, Hays headed west to California where, in 1850, he was elected sheriff. On the fateful morning of December 10, Sheriff Hays read the execution order and, after a short speech by the condemned, he used a hatchet to sever the release, thereby carrying out the execution of Jose Forner. State executions were carried out by the various sheriffs until 1892.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    September, 2013
    21st Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 4
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,191

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $14) per lot.

    Sold on Sep 21, 2013 for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)
    Track Item
    Coming soon:

    Luxury Real Estate
    Opens about 07/23/2021

    Comics & Comic Art
    Opens about 09/27/2021

    Luxury Real Estate
    Opens about 08/06/2021

    Western & Texas Art
    Opens about 09/17/2021

    Jewelry & Timepieces
    Opens about 09/24/2021

    Photography
    Opens about 09/22/2021

    Decorative Art
    Opens about 09/23/2021

    Currency
    Opens about 09/20/2021

    Fine Art
    Opens about 09/28/2021

    Fine Art
    Opens about 09/28/2021

    Fine Art
    Opens about 09/29/2021

    US Coins
    Opens about 09/20/2021

    Currency
    Opens about 10/04/2021

    Western & Texas Art
    Opens about 10/01/2021

    Sports Collectibles
    Opens about 10/01/2021

    US Coins
    Opens about 09/24/2021

    Fine Art
    Opens about 10/05/2021

    Decorative Art
    Opens about 10/07/2021

    World & Ancient Coins
    Opens about 10/04/2021

    Comics & Comic Art
    Opens about 09/30/2021

    Comics & Comic Art
    Opens about 10/11/2021

    Decorative Art
    Opens about 10/08/2021

    US Coins
    Opens about 10/01/2021

    Fine Art
    Opens about 10/13/2021

    Comics & Comic Art
    Opens about 10/07/2021

    US Coins
    Opens about 10/04/2021

    Fine Art
    Opens about 10/15/2021

    Entertainment
    Opens about 10/18/2021

    Jewelry & Timepieces
    Opens about 10/22/2021

    Manuscripts
    Opens about 10/18/2021

    Comics & Comic Art
    Opens about 10/18/2021

    Entertainment
    Opens about 10/18/2021

    Musical Instruments
    Opens about 10/12/2021

    Fine Art
    Opens about 10/19/2021

    Photography
    Opens about 10/20/2021

    US Coins
    Opens about 10/22/2021

    Decorative Art
    Opens about 10/21/2021

    Comics & Comic Art
    Opens about 10/14/2021

    US Coins
    Opens about 10/11/2021

    Space
    Opens about 10/25/2021

    World & Ancient Coins
    Opens about 10/17/2021

    Currency
    Opens about 10/18/2021

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    VIEW BENEFITS
    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
      winnings 
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Only 19 days left to consign to the 2021 December 4 - 5 Selections from the Collection of Tom Charles Huston Americana & Political Signature® Auction !

    Learn about consigning with us

    Heritage has gone above and beyond my expectations in handling all of my transactions in a thoroughly professional manner. I would not hesitate to recommend them to anyone worldwide for the exemplary auction and valuation services they provide.
    Richard H.,
    Corsicana, TX
    View More Testimonials

    HA.com receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source: Similarweb.com)

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search