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The San Francisco Daily Morning Call, July 23, 1864


A few days ago, L. Kahn bought ten thousand cigars from a man named Cohen, promising to pay twenty dollars per thousand in gold for them on delivery. He had them taken and left in a cellar, and told the plaintiff to call in an hour or so afterwards and get his money. When the man called, according to appointment, Kahn was absent and so were the cigars; and finally, when he did succeed in corralling his debtor, the fellow tendered green-backs in payment of his bill. The result was a charge preferred in the Police Court against Kahn, for obtaining goods under false pretences. After a patient hearing of the case, Judge Shepheard said he would send it up to the County Court (placing defendant under one thousand dollars' bonds,) and if they felt there as he did, Kahn would certainly be punished for the crime he had been charged with, or perhaps even for grand larceny, which was the real spirit of the offence. He said Kahn's conduct was based in fraud, and carried out in fraud; there was fraud in its conception and fraud in its execution; and he considered the man as guilty as the occupant of any jail in the country. The counsel for defendant said if there was any fraud in the matter, it probably lay in the issuance of the green-backs in the first place. Judge Shepheard said, "I am aware that you are a Union man, Sir, but notwithstanding that, I will permit no more such language as that to be used in this Court; and I will punish any man who repeats the offences here, for contempt, or imprison him for treason, for I regard it as nothing more nor less than treason. It is your duty and mine, Sir, to uphold the Government and forbear to question the righteousness of its acts." The lawyer protested his innocence of any intention to commit the chiefest among crimes, and quiet was restored again.

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