This demeanor served him well, I guess, in that he was often able to get his principled stances on various issues articulated, but he didn't make too many friends along the way.
He almost got into a physical altercation in more than one instance at a Board of Supervisors meeting and was arrested for perjury in a meeting of the State Assembly. He was exonerated and after three days, returned to his fervent oratories in the assembly hall.
Just recently, while searching old newspapers, my favorite family history research activity, I discovered the article below, which was published in the Sacramento Daily Union newspaper on August 31, 1870. While living in Santa Barbara, California, apparently he got into a dispute with a physician.
The clipping below describes the altercation. Sam, who was not an imposing fellow at all, resorted to pulling a pistol to make his point: