Enchantress, Sorceress, Madwoman, a new biography by Stockton author, Robin C. Johnson, tells the story of a woman whose name has passed into obscurity. But in 1880s California, Sarah Althea Hill was the biggest celebrity around, beginning in San Francisco when she caused the sex scandal of the decade, and continuing when she married the famous dueling judge and Stockton attorney, David Smith Terry. They were married at St. Mary’s Church downtown and lived in the Terry’s original home on Fremont Street.
Together, these two outraged the entire California legal community, bringing tragedy raining down upon them. These events led to Judge Terry being shot and killed at the Lathrop train station by the bodyguard of a Supreme Court justice. A few years later Sarah Althea was declared insane and committed to the Stockton asylum. She died there in 1937, forty-five years later, outliving her fame and her enemies. She is buried in the Terry plot in the Stockton Rural Cemetery.
The life story of one of the Stockton State Hospital’s most famous residents has been reconstructed and revived from the past by the thorough research of a local author. The book can be purchased from Amazon.com in paperback or e-book format.