Friday, March 31, 2017

Peter York Carter - Criminal in Our Midst

In an exchange with our cousin Dr. Andree Swanson this morning I came to realize that William Furlsbury and Sarah York Carter's first child - Peter York Carter actually got into trouble with the law after he left Utah.

This is what I am putting in his life story following the notation that he was in Utah in 1856 when the Utah Territorial Census was taken:  "Peter couldn’t have been in California long when he ran into trouble with the law.  He was incarcerated in San Quentin State Prison on November 6, 1857 for a term of four years for grand larceny.  His prison register entry provided much interesting data on him.  He was listed as age 25 in 1857, born in Maine and with an occupation of blacksmith.  As to his physical description it listed “full round features; scars centre (sic) of forehead, on left cheek and upper part of chin.  Mole on back of neck.”  His description lists him as 5 feet 9 ½ inches tall, with a light complexion, blue eyes and light hair.[1]  There is a second image in the above collection #482 which must be a later census.  Everything matches the first entry but has the following under Other Remarks:
                                                            “Escaped August 1, 1861
                                                              Recaptured Apl 27/6…
                                                              Discharged  June 5/63”
It appears that he escaped in 1861, was recaptured and had extra time added to his sentence as he isn’t finally released until June of 1863.  It seems strange that he would break out of prison so close to his release date as he should have been released by November of 1861 if he had stayed in prison.[2]

                Peter might have escaped earlier from prison as he was enumerated on the 1860 U. S. Census for Corte Madera, Marin County, California.[3]  The date for that census was 23 July 1860 so Peter must have been free at that date.

[1] California, Prison and Correctional Records, 1851 – 1950 at, image 312 of 705.
[2] Ibid., image 482.
[3] U. S. Census - Year: 1860; Census Place: Corte Madera, Marin, California; Roll: M653_60; Page: 782; Image: 246; Family History Library Film: 803060.

Here is an image of the log book on Peter:

Peter York Carter - Prison Register and Description

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