1832-1899On April 11, 1865, a Sacramento woman hatched a secret plan to celebrate the end of the Civil War. Upon learning of Robert E. Lee's surrender to Northern troops, Jane Norris marched to the state capitol's construction site. While the workmen were away at lunch, she climbed two ladders to the highest point of the building, planting an American flag and leaving a note:
Gentlemen: I have had the pleasure of climbing the ladder and placing the stars and stripes. Three cheers for Uncle Abe and Cabinet - A poor but patriotic woman - (signed) A Lady
Curiosity about the author spread quickly, but Jane Norris kept her identity hidden for the rest of her life. Even still, the mystery woman became famous for raising the first American flag at the California state capitol.Jane's daughter finally revealed her mother's identity to a reporter in 1929. Jane Norris rests here in the City Cemetery, a Sacramento patriot whose actions have not been forgotten.