David Terry Tests the Wrong Man

david terry true west
David Terry

Former California Supreme Court Justice David Terry had a temper—as he showed in the 1859 killing of U.S. Senator David Broderick in a duel just outside San Francisco. Terry accused Broderick of engineering his defeat in statewide elections that year.

In 1889, Terry confronted U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Field at a railroad station near Stockton; the cause was a legal dispute.  Field was a close friend of Broderick’s. Field’s bodyguard, U.S. Marshal Dave Neagle, stepped in and shot and killed Terry.  Neagle—a former deputy to Johnny Behan in Tombstone—was later acquitted in the killing.

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Mark Boardman

Mark Boardman is the features editor for True West Magazine, a former managing editor for Western Shooting Horse Magazine and the chief purveyor of ScarletMask Enterprises.