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Sep 22, 2023
Franklin County (MA) News Archive
The Franklin County Publication Archive Index

Article Archives: Articles: Accident Victims

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Posted by stew - Wed, Oct 4, 2006

Gazette & Courier - Monday, February 22, 1875
The Lyme Conn. tragedy

The Lyme Conn. tragedy - Barbarous conduct of a father - The Hartford Times gives the following particulars of the sad affair which occurred at Lyme a few days since, brief mention of which has been made by telegraph. The full particulars of the tragedy in Lyme were not given in our Saturday paper, as they had not come to light at the time. Mr. Daniels, the father of the family, whose house was burned down on Thurs. night, is very poor, and most of the time under the influence of liquor. He and his wife were away at the time of the fire, and he has not once been heard from. The house, as was stated, caught fire from the explosion of a kerosene lamp, and the seven children had a very narrow escape from being burned to death. None of the residents of the village were aware of the fire until 7 o’clock the next morning, when Mr. William E. Coult, the nearest neighbor who lived a quarter of a mile away, found one of the Daniel boys, about 8 years of age, lying half frozen on the steps of his house. He learned from the boy that the Daniels house had been burned. Mr. Coult started for help [very very blurred]...the other 6 children huddled together...near the house. One...was entirely naked, and frozen stiff and dead. Another was badly frozen and has since died. The ages of the children range from 1 to 17 years. The most horrible part of the story yet remains to be told. It seems that Daniels, who is a wood cutter, returned from his work a week ago last Sat. night and found that during his absence the family had suffered for the necessities of life, and had been compelled to ask Mr. Coult and other neighbors for food. He made the most severe [?] against them...even if they starved. Fear from [?] was what compelled the freezing children to take refuge in the bushes instead of entering Mr. Coult’s house. The father had even punished the children for taking food from his neighbors, anbd thus when they were cast from their house, while it was burning, and in danger of freezing, they did not dare ask for help. When found, the [?] daughter of 13 years of age, was frozen and [?]. Her chemise, her only garment, had been torn off by the younger children to keep themselves warm. All that remained of the garment on her person was the nape and part of this, with portions of the [?]...remained on the ice when the body was removed. The boy found on Mr. Coult’s [?] had remained there from half past 2 o’clock until 7 o’clock in the morning, with no clothing on except his shirt and pants. Another horrible part remains to be told. A daughter of Daniels, 17 years old, was one of the party saved, and with her was found, clasped to her breast, her baby, 12 months old. The father of the babe, it is asserted by the town [?] of Lyme, is her own father! Daniels has left for parts unknown. His poor children are kindly cared for by humane persons in Lyme, while the authorities are trying to locate his whereabouts.

Subjects: Accident Victims, Child Abuse, Children, Connecticut, Crime, Criminals, Drunkenness, Family, Fires, Food, Households, Ice, Light, Liquors, Literature / Web Pages, Lost and Found, Obituaries, Poor, Sex Crimes, Telegraphs / Telephones, Trees, Weather, Women, Work, Clothing

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