CARDONA, Gilbert (a.k.a. Guillermo)

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CARDONA, Gilbert (a.k.a. Guillermo) (d. 1879), otter hunter who worked around the Channel Islands for the Rogers Brothers on the schooner Surprise. In November 1879 he was accidentally fatally shot at Santa Rosa Island by his fellow hunter and good friend, Antonio Cavalleri. It was reported he was buried on the island.



In the News~

November 3, 1879 [SBDP]: “By the schooner Surprise, which arrived from Santa Rosa Island Saturday evening, intelligence is brought of the fatal shooting of Guillermo Cardona by Antonio Cavalleri. The two men, who were engaged as otter hunters by Rogers Brothers, were out in a boat in search of game. Cavalleri caught sight of an otter, and called to his companion that he was going to shoot. Cardona, who evidently did not hear what was said, suddenly turned his face towards his companion, when the gun in the hands of Cavalleri went off, the bullet striking Cardona in the center of the forehead. Cavalleri, from whom the account comes, says that the wounded man seemed to understand how the accident occurred, and smiling at him extended his hand as if in forgiving him. The other men of the party say that the two men were friends and there had been no quarreling of any kind between them. The gun used by Cavalleri was defective, and when cocked a very slight jar would release the hammer and allow it to strike the cartridge. Cordero lived about an hour, but did not speak after he was shot. He was buried the following day on the island.” [also November 8, 1879 SBWP]


November 3, 1879 [SBDP]: “Antonio Cavalleri, who accidentally shot Guillermo Cardona at Santa Rosa Island on Monday last, today surrendered himself to the authorities, and asked an examination be made into the shooting. This will save the expense of sending a deputy coroner and jury over to the island to hold the inquest. Cavalleri states that the discharge of the gun was caused by his striking his elbow against the side of the boat as he attempted to raise it. He speaks in the warmest terms of Cardona, and expresses the deepest regret at the terrible fate which befell him.”


November 4, 1879 [SBDP]: “The examination into the accidental shooting of Guillermo Cardona by Antonio Cavalleri was concluded yesterday. The testimony of all the witnesses as well as the statement of Cavalleri, at whose request the examination was held, showed that the shooting was purely accidental, and he was accordingly discharged from custody.”


November 8, 1879 [SBWP]: “Antonio Cavalleri, who accidentally shot Guillermo Cordero at Santa Rosa Island on Monday last, today surrendered himself to the authorities, and asked an examination to be made in the shooting. This will save the expense of sending a coroner and jury over to the island to hold an inquest. Cavalleri states that the discharge of the gun was caused by his striking his elbow against the side of the boat as he attempted to raise it. He speaks in the warmest terms of Cordero, and expresses the deepest regret at the terrible fate which befell him.”


July 14, 1895 [SFCall]: “…There is little travel between the mainland and San Miguel, and less between the ranch house, located in the center of the island, and the west end, where the only other habitation on the island, the tiny shelter of Jake Nidever, the son of the original owner of the island, old Captain Nidever, stands close to the shore. Jake is a strange character, a gentle soul, not without some education, but so long accustomed to solitary life that he has grown silent and abashed in the presence of men. Antonio Caballero [Cavalleri] and Jake have just returned from the island after a stay of months at the west end. On the 7th of June Caballero and Jake rowed about among the little reefs and islets, trying to steal on their game, which is wary and elusive, but which is best caught sunning on the beaches or on the rocks near the water’s edge. They visited Flea Island and at low tide passed dry shod across the rocks of the isthmus connecting the middle and outer knobs…”