Property of various owners
SAN FRANCISCOVIGILANCE COMMITTEE.
Lithographed certificate accomplished in manuscript, headed: "Committee of Vigilance of San Francisco / Reorganized 15th May 1856 for the mutual protection of life & property," within a wide allegorical border incorporating five vignettes by Charles Nahl and printed by Britton & Rey. Certifies that JOHN D. WING is First Lieutenant of Company 8, signed by CHARLES DOANE as Grand Marshall and by the President, Secretary and Treasurer; and with embossed seal of the Committee of Vigilance. Laid down on board, browned, some spotting, dampstain at upper left and lower right corners.
The San Francisco Vigilance Committee first organized in 1851 at the height of the Gold Rush and again in 1856. Their motto (as graven here) was "Be Just, and Fear Not. Self Preservation, the First Law of Nature." The 1856 Organization was one of the most famous vigilante groups, typifying the movement in the Wild West.