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GUNS Magazine July 2012 Digital Edition - Page 87

15 others to witness the bloody scene and help dig graves. As the sun went down, three wounded bandits died. The noseless leader confessed to his gang’s 10 murders on the 17th and 18th. He died the following day. One of the miners counted six bullet holes in Jonathan Davis’s hat and 11 more through his shirt and coat. The bandits’ bodies yielded $491 in gold and silver coins, nine watches (two silver and seven gold), and 4 ounces of gold dust. Davis informed the group that Dr. Sparks, who was still clinging to life, had a home and family in Coloma; he urged that all the ill-gotten plunder should go to Dr. Sparks’. They agreed. No-Gunsmithing Scope Mounts, Optics, and Shooting Accessories NO.1 SOURCE NO-GUNSMITHING SCOPE MOUNTS the aftermath The next day, all the dead were buried. Being law-abiding men, the group formed a coroner’s jury, wrote out a report of the incident, citing all evidence and witnesses statements, and concluded Davis’s party acted in self-defense. Seventeen of them signed it and it was sent to Placerville, the county seat. Davis carried his friend Bolivar Sparks to his home in Coloma, where the doctor passed away on December 26th. In the months following, many people expressed doubt about Davis’s deed, and city folk proclaimed it wild exaggeration. Davis sought neither publicity nor notoriety, but was stung by the challenges to his honor, and felt it was disrespectful to his dead friends. Finally, Davis and the witnesses appeared before Judge R.M. Anderson and a court of inquiry, where detailed depositions and comparisons of statements set the matter to rest. Jonathan Davis said, “I did only what hundreds of others might have done under similar circumstances, and attach no particular credit to myself for it.” Indeed, hundreds of others might have—but would they have done it so well? • AK-47 • Benelli • Browning • Colt • FN-FAL • H&K • IZH • Marlin • Mauser • Remington • Rossi • Ruger • Savage Arms • SKS • Smith & Wesson • Springfield • Winchester OPTICS • Prismatic Sights • Rifle Scopes • Pistol Scopes • Tactical Optics • Airgun Scopes • Electronic Dot Sights • Illuminator/Laser • Tri-Rail Scopes • Reflex Sights • Magnifiers • Binoculars • Spotting Scopes SHOOTING ACCESSORIES Special thanks to: Michael Trcic, gifted sculptor and longtime GUNS reader: Mike’s prodigious talents can be seen at Trcic Studio in Sedona, Ariz., and at www. His striking bronze of Jonathan Davis bears the quote by Thomas Jefferson: “One Man with Courage is a Majority”—a perfect choice. John Boessenecker, noted frontier historian and prolific author: Without his probing, scholarly research the Jonathan Davis story and many others might never have been brought back to light. W W W. G U N S M A G A Z I N E . C O M • Bipods • Sling Swivels • Adapters • Gunsmith Tools • Airgun Rings • .22 Rings • Adjustable Rings • Fore End Grips • Tactical Flashlights • Standard Dovetail Rings All Sun Optics USA products carry our Limited Lifetime Replacement Warranty 817-783-6001/6433 87

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