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The San Francisco Daily Morning Call, July 19, 1864


Mrs. Catherine Moran was arraigned before Judge Cowles yesterday, on a charge of assault with an axe upon Mrs. Eliza Markee, with intent to do bodily injury. A physician testified that there were con used wounds on plaintiff's head, and also a cut through the scalp, which bled profusely. The fuss was all about a child, and that is the strangest part about it - as if, in a city so crowded with them as San Francisco, it were worth while to be particular as to the fate of a child or two. However, mothers appear to go more by instinct than political economy in matters of this kind. Mrs. Markee testified that she heard war going on among the children, and she rushed down into the yard and found her Johnny sitting on the stoop, building a toy wagon, and Mrs. Moran standing over him with an axe, threatening to split his head open. She asked the defendant not to split her Johnny. The defendant at once turned upon her, threatening to kill her, and struck her two or three times with the axe, when she, the plaintiff, grabbed the defendant by the arms and prevented her from scalping her entirely. Blood was flowing profusely. Mr. Killdig described the fight pretty much as the plaintiff had done, and said he parted, or tried to part the combatants, and that he called upon Mr. Moran to assist him, but that neutral power said the women had been sour a good while - let them fight it out. Another witness substantiated the main features of the foregoing testimony, and said the warriors were all covered with blood, and the children of both, to the number of many dozens, had fled in disorder and taken refuge under the house, crying, and saying their mothers were killing each other. Mrs. Murphy, for the defence, testified as follows: "I was coomun along, an' Misses Moran says to me, says she, this is the red wood stick she tried to take me life wid, or wan o' thim other sticks, Missis Murphy, dear, an' says I, Missis Moran, dairlin'," - Here she was shut off, merely because the Court did not care about knowing what Mrs. Moran told her about the fight, and consequently we have nothing further of this important witness's testimony to offer. The case was continued. Seriously, instead of a mere ordinary she-fight, this is a fuss of some consequence, and should not be lightly dealt with. It was an earnest attempt at manslaughter - or woman-slaughter, at any rate, which is nearly as bad.

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