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New Mexico Chief Justice John P. Slough is shot and fatally wounded, in Santa Fe.

John Potts Slough, circa 1865, detail
12/15/1867

John Potts Slough was a Cincinnati lawyer who had opened a practice in Denver, Colorado before rising to the rank of Brevet Brigadier-General in the Union Army during the Civil War. A Democrat, President Johnson had named him as Chief Justice of the New Mexico Territory following his discharge in 1865.  Notorious for his temper and obcenity-laced tirades - he had been expelled from the Ohio Legislature before the war for fighting - he swiftly made enemies in the still divided and notoriously violent territory.  He insulted a New Mexico legislator named William Logan Ryerson who responded by shooting and fatally wounding Slough in the lobby of the Exchange Hotel in Santa Fe.  Slough died two days later.  Ryerson was lated tried for murder but found to have acted in self defense.  (By John Osborne)

Source Citation: 

"Frontier Law: The Assassination of a Chief Justice," in Jason Silverman, Untold New Mexico: Stories from a Hidden Past (Santa Fe, NM: Sunstone Press, 2006), 68-69.

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