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Jackson Hanging Tree, California

A plaque in the sidewalk at 26 Main marks where that infamous Jackson live oak - the hanging tree - stood until cut down after the 1862 fire. Though recent research shows that a Rancheria tree was agent to the uplifting of many more victims, the Hanging Tree in Jackson launched 10 men into eternity, 1851 to 1855.

The next hanging after that in Jackson was legal. In 1856, Nathan Cottle was hanged in Bright's field north of town for knifing young Cole. Here are the 10 victims of the hang­ing tree, the "reasons" for their lynch­ing and the dates:

Hanging Tree Marker

An Indian, "Coyote Joe," for June '50 murder of the blacksmith Thompson, 3/19/51

Not identified "Mexican," for stabbing his brother-in-law to death, 6/23/51

"Cheverino" and Cruz Flores, for murder of M. Pontainer and fatal stabbing of another Frenchman in May, 1852, 6/11/52

Antonio Valencia, for multiple robberies and murders of unidentified Chinese miners and murder of butcher Joseph Lake, 2/15/53

Unidentified "Chilean," for rob­bing and murder of a Chinaman, 7/27/53

Swartz, alias Christopher Bennett or Black, for stealing a horse in Jackson March 15, 1854, 3/23/54

8, 9, 10. Three young Spanish surnamed men were lynched in Jackson in August, 1855, among up to 30 hanged in Amador in Anglo­Saxon revenge for the Rancheria Massacre of six in August, 1855. An unidentified Mexican was hanged August 8, Manual Garcia, August 9, and Rafael Escobar, August 15, 1855.

Return to our Jackson Tour or click on our Minor to end your tour

Information, photographs courtesy of the Amador County Archives, The Historical Marker Database, The Chronicling America Database, and Larry Cenotto, Amador County's Historian