Downieville in Sierra County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
In Memory of Juanita
Cannon and his friends were celebrating Independence Day and after closing most of the saloons they passed Jose and Josefa’s cabin. He broke the door down, however history did not tell what happened. The next morning he came back, supposedly to apologize. An argument ensued and Josefa stabbed Cannon fatally in the heart.
A mob trial was held and she was sentenced to death. Josefa climbed the scaffold without the least trepidation and placed the rope around her own neck. Her last words were; “I would do the same again if I was so provoked.”
Erected 1996 by Major William Downie Chapter 1849, E Clampus Vitus.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Women. In addition, it is included in the E Clampus Vitus series list. A significant historical date for this entry is July 5, 1851.
Location. 39° 33.605′ N, 120° 49.675′ W. Marker Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Downieville CA 95936, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Craycroft Building (a few steps from this marker); The Shooting of Thaddeus Purdy (within shouting distance of this marker); St. Charles Hotel (within shouting distance of this marker); Mackerman & Company Building (within shouting distance of this marker); Downieville (within shouting distance of this marker); Masonic Building (within shouting distance of this marker); Downieville Veterans Memorial (within shouting distance of this marker); Downieville Museum (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Downieville.
Regarding In Memory of Juanita. William Seacrest, the author of many books, pamphlets and articles on the history of California and it’s Gold Rush gives a detailed and well research account of the event in the booklet “Juanita – The Only Woman Lynched in the Gold Rush Days”. There are quotes from newspaper articles from all over California, and statements made from several witnesses and participants.
According to the research
Also see . . . Hanging in Downieville. An article on the Yerba Buena Chapter #1, E Clampus Vitus website details the Juanita hanging event. (Submitted on April 28, 2012.)
Credits. This page was last revised on October 23, 2019. It was originally submitted on June 28, 2011, by Syd Whittle of Mesa, Arizona. This page has been viewed 1,025 times since then and 57 times this year. Last updated on July 10, 2012, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. Photos: 1. submitted on July 16, 2019, by Grace Pearl Shaw of Vallejo, California. 2, 3, 4. submitted on June 28, 2011, by Syd Whittle of Mesa, Arizona.