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San Francisco Graft Trial, 1907-1908 - Photographs

Owning Institution: UC Berkeley, Bancroft Library

About this Collection

The Photographs Related to the San Francisco Graft Trial collection contains 15 photographic prints taken mostly in 1907-1908. The collection features many of the important individuals involved in the San Francisco graft trials of 1907 and 1908. The trials occurred during a period of governmental reform following the earthquake and fire of 1906 and the subsequent rebuilding of the city. In the trials, Mayor Eugene E. Schmitz, political boss Abe Ruef--who helped bring Schmitz to power--and other individuals were charged with bribery, acceptance of bribes, extortion, and other acts of corruption. Responsible for the original exposés of the corruption were assistant district attorney Frances J. Heney, editor Fremont Older, progressive reformer Rudolph Spreckels, and former San Francisco mayor James D. Phelan. After being wounded by a gunshot while acting as prosecuting attorney, Heney was replaced by Hiram Johnson. Schmitz and Ruef were both convicted, though a higher court would overturn the Schmitz decision and Ruef would be pardoned after serving less than five years at San Quentin... View collection guide.

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