Known for: A California state senator, lieutenant governor and U.S. senator, David Broderick was killed in a duel with David Terry, former chief justice of the state Supreme Court. The former town of Broderick (now part of West Sacramento) was named for him.
Background: Broderick started his political career in his native state of New York and came to California during the Gold Rush. He acquired wealth by privately minting gold coins. Broderick served in the state Senate from 1850--1851 and was elected as a Democrat to the U.S. Senate, beginning his service in 1857. An anti-slavery advocate, he clashed with Terry, who favored extending slavery into California. Broderick read some inflammatory remarks Terry made against him at a Democratic Party convention, then responded in kind. Terry and Broderick met at Lake Merced for a duel Sept. 13, 1859. Terry shot Broderick in the chest after Broderick's gun fired prematurely. Broderick died three days later.
A highlight: Broderick was elected president of the state Senate in 1851, thereby becoming California's second lieutenant governor.
In History's Spotlight profiles of Sacramento newsmakers were published originally in 2007 to commemorate the 150th anniversary of The Sacramento Bee. They were written by Anthony Sorci. Look for them every Sunday in Sac History Happenings.