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Oct 3, 2023
Franklin County (MA) News Archive
The Franklin County Publication Archive Index

To search for a particular subject term, click on the highlighted link containing that term at the bottom of the article. For example, if you are seeking more articles about animals, click on the highlighted link which says Animals/Reptiles/Amphibians.

Article Archives: Articles: Poisoning

Showing 25

Posted by stew - Mon, Jan 18, 2010

Gazette & Courier - Monday, September 20, 1875
News of the week

Mrs. Jones of North Somerville found the other day, a loving letter to Mr. Jones from a New York woman, and the next day discovered another; whereupon she broke a chair and two pitchers over her husband's head and tried to shoot him with a pistol. He succeeded in disarming her, when she took a dose of strychnine, but so large a one as to overdo the business.


Subjects: Furniture, Literature / Web Pages, Poisoning, Scandals, Seduction, Suicide, War / Weaponry, Wife Abuse, Women

Posted by stew - Fri, Feb 13, 2009

Gazette & Courier - Monday, September 13, 1875
A cure for gravel

A cure for gravel [old term for kidney stones] - Dr. Streeter of Barbara, tells the Atlas that the worst case of gravel may be cured, the deposit dissolved and passed away, by using the water in which potatoes have been boiled to pieces, strain the water, sweeten to taste and drink for 2 or 3 weeks. This is a painless cure.

[OK, but watch out for the atropine!]

Subjects: Diseases, Food, Medical Personnel, Poisoning, Quacks and Quackery, Water

Posted by stew - Sat, Feb 7, 2009

Gazette & Courier - Monday, September 6, 1875
The Belchertown tragedy

Of course the death of Nettie Barrett, aged 17, by her own hand at Belchertown, and the narrow escape of her companion, Frances S. Bridgman, 14 years old, from a like fate, have created the profoundest sensation in that quiet community’, and the funeral of the former at the Methodist Church Sun. was largely attended. Indeed the whole affair is such a strangely sad one that there is a wide interest to learn all possible particulars concerning it.

The girls were bright and attractive, belonging to the higher village circles. Miss Barrett was sent to Belchertown last April by her mother, who lives at south Amherst, to continue her education, and was to have been examined for the High School Sat., and baptized Sun. in the Church which witnessed her burial; and Miss Bridgman, who had been her almost constant companion of late, was the adopted daughter of Calvin Bridgman.

Miss Barrett had the reputation of being a rather wild person, and the girls were in the habit of being out late nights. Miss Barrett was the leader, and her conduct had become so notorious that her guardian, Franklin Dickinson, had a serious talk with her Thurs. on her behavior. When she returned that eve., she remarked to Mrs. Daniel Packard, with whom she was stopping, that they "wouldn’t be troubled with her being out any more nights".

At 8 o’clock, she and Miss Bridgman - who had been secreted in the room - were observed by neighbors to leave the house. They procured the fatal morphine at the drug store of Mr. Barnes, the elder, a few days before, they had unsuccessfully undertaken to get the poison of the son, who refused to give it without a prescription. Mr. Barnes claims that he supposed it was for Calvin Bridgman. At what time and how the girls got into Packard’s house again is not known.

About half past 7 o’clock Fri. morning, Mrs. Owen, with whom Frances Bridgman was boarding during her parent’s absence, came over in the greatest alarm about her, saying that the night before the girl had left, after bidding them a tearful farewell. Mrs. Packard went immediately to the room and there the victims lay, one in a deadly stupor and the other writhing in terrible agony.

The bed was covered with candy, and Miss Bridgman explained that they had overeaten of this. Efforts were made to revive Miss Barrett, who refused to take anything but cold water, and then determinedly said "Go away, I want to sleep". When Mrs. Packard had left the room for help, Miss Bridgman hailed a little girl and threw down this note, written in a confused, uncertain hand, and unsigned:

"Mr. Barnes - will you be so kind as to send me as much chloroform as here is money enough, five cents’ worth?"

She threw down also two letters directed to George T. Slauter, Belchertown, and Wilbur F. Nichols, at Wilbraham Academy, bidding them farewell and asking them to act as bearers. Then followed an exciting scene in the little bedroom Poor Nettie Barrett was dying. Miss Bridgman confessed that they had taken the morphine, that the candy was only a ruse, that there had been scandalous stories in the town about them, that she did not wish ever to see her parents again, and hoped and expected to die.

She quietly watched her dying companion and waited for the expected chloroform. With the death of Miss Barrett however, came the desire to live, and she requested salt and water to enable her to vomit more.

The wonderful nerve and mingled frankness and cunning of these little misses as displayed during the whole affair, are brought out by the scenes immediately preceding the tragedy. Only 5 hours before they entered the little bed room, they gayly played croquet with some young people, holding in their hands the candy which they were to sprinkle on the bed.

Miss Bridgman wrote what she thought was her last letter to her father, in simple, affectionate, yet determined words. She would meet her parents in a world where there were no scandalous tongues, and where they could live in peace.

[Now don’t ask me how I got there, but I believe that Frances S. Bridgman is actually Emma Francis Bridgman, daughter of Franklin A. Bridgman, born in 1860].

Subjects: Amusements, Beverages, Children, Dreams / Sleep, Drug Abuse, Drugstores / Drugs, Economics, Education, Family, Food, Furniture, Hampshire / Hampden Counties, Households, Literature / Web Pages, Mourning Customs, Obituaries, Orphans and Orphanages, Poisoning, Religion, Rich People, Scandals, Suicide, Women, Words, Water

Posted by stew - Fri, Feb 6, 2009

Gazette & Courier - Monday, September 6, 1875
News of the week

Four children of Mr. Waier in Ascension parish, La. were poisoned recently with French worm lozenges, and died in a few hours.

[See the New York Times article entitled "Four children killed by worm lozenges" in the Sept. 7, 1875 ed. They have the man's name as Mr. Mier].

Subjects: Accident Victims, Children, Family, French, Insects, Literature / Web Pages, Medicine / Hospitals, Obituaries, Poisoning

Posted by stew - Sun, Jan 18, 2009

Gazette & Courier - Monday, August 30, 1875
News of the week

The death of Mrs. Magoon, which occurred at Raymond, N.H. some little time ago and concerning which there has been some suspicion, proves to have been a case of poisoning. Mr. Magoon and a woman named Gardner are under arrest.

Subjects: Crime, Criminals, Marriage and Elopement, New Hampshire, Poisoning, Police, Women

Posted by stew - Sat, Jan 17, 2009

Gazette & Courier - Monday, August 23, 1875

Rev. Mr. Knott, temporarily preaching at the Unitarian church, got severely poisoned in the face recently. He is improving slowly, but is still unable to preach.

[I can only imagine that this was a bad case of poison ivy. The area around there is still rife with the stuff..].

Subjects: Montague (MA), Poisoning, Religion

Posted by stew - Sun, Jan 11, 2009

Gazette & Courier - Monday, August 23, 1875
News of the week

A flock of 2500 sheep at Mission San Jose, Cal. got frightened recently, and ran down a hill into a patch of poison oak. Here they got tangled and piled one on to another in layers 6 or 8 ft. deep, and some 700 were smothered or crushed to death. [Arggh! What a horrible image!].

Subjects: Accident Victims, Accidents, Animals / Reptiles, Poisoning

Posted by stew - Tue, Jan 6, 2009

Gazette & Courier - Monday, August 16, 1875

There was a genuine sensation in this community about a fortnight ago, and the excitement has hardly subsided now. The cause of this unusual stir was an attempt at suicide by a young man who belonged in a neighboring town, and who, after an absence of some months, came here to renew the vows he had made to a lady who is a temporary resident of Monroe. The lady, for some reason, had been weaned from her attachment, and it was the old story of suicide for spite. The young man swallowed arsenic pills in her presence, but fortunately, his friends interfered to save his life.

But so determined was the fellow to make his exit from this world of disappointments, that the aid of several men was required to hold him while the doctor that had been called administered the remedies. But he was finally brought out of it, and before many days took a sensible view of the situation, was glad he was rid of the girl, and went off about his usual business.

Subjects: Courtship, Medical Personnel, Medicine / Hospitals, Poisoning, Suicide, Monroe (MA)

Posted by stew - Tue, Jan 6, 2009

Gazette & Courier - Monday, August 16, 1875
Whitingham Vt.

A sad case of poisoning occurred from imbibing the milk of a diseased cow, occurred on Fri. in the family of Billy Donahue of this place, and resulted in the death of his youngest child. Nearly all of the family drank of the milk at night as usual, and were taken violently sick before midnight, the youngest child being immediately seized with convulsions and died the next day. Its body was interred at Greenfield, Mass.


Subjects: Accident Victims, Animals / Reptiles, Beverages, Cemeteries, Children, Diseases, Family, Greenfield (MA), Poisoning, Vermont

Posted by stew - Fri, Jan 2, 2009

Gazette & Courier - Monday, August 9, 1875
Poisoned bologna

11 children, one of whom has since died, were poisoned at Philadelphia Thurs., by eating bologna sausage which had been thrown away by a grocery man, and which was picked up, cleaned and eaten by a boy named Koenig, who also gave some of it to the children. The grocery man and sausage maker were arrested.

Subjects: Accident Victims, Businesspeople, Children, Food, Meat, Poisoning, Police, Poor, Urbanization / Cities

Posted by stew - Mon, Dec 29, 2008

Gazette & Courier - Monday, August 9, 1875

Three persons on eating the fruit of a certain peach tree at Lucknow, India, were seized with spasms, foaming at the mouth, and all the horrors of hydrophobia, and on examination the virus was found in the fruit and under the bark of a tree. Upon digging about the roots, the source of the poison was found in the carcass of a dead dog, which had died of the disease.


Subjects: Accident Victims, Animals / Reptiles, Diseases, Food, Obituaries, Poisoning, Trees

Posted by stew - Sun, Dec 21, 2008

Gazette & Courier - Monday, August 2, 1875
Edwin W. Major

Edwin W. Major of Wilton N.H. will be tried for the alleged poisoning of his wife last winter, at Nashua in Sept. The remains of Ellen Lovejoy, sister of his wife, who is also thought to have been poisoned by Majors 5 years ago, have been exhumed and the stomach sent to Boston for analysis.

[It was strychnine. Read the whole story at Internet Archive's "Wharton and Stille's Medical Jurisprudence].

Subjects: Boston (MA), Cemeteries, Crime, Criminals, Family, Law and Lawyers, Literature / Web Pages, Medical Personnel, Murder, New Hampshire, Poisoning, Science

Posted by stew - Sat, Dec 13, 2008

Gazette & Courier - Monday, July 26, 1875
News about home: Greenfield items

John J. Pierce was the victim of a serious mistake last Wed. morning. Feeling unwell, he decided to take some Epsom salts and the house was searched for the remedy. His daughter, Mrs. Judah, found among her medicines a package of salts and a similar package marked "poison", containing sugar of lead [see Wikipedia]. Her mother, by mistake, took the wrong one and administered to Mr. P. a quantity of the poison. Fortunately the dose was so large that it soon produced vomiting. The mistake was discovered and Dr. Walker immediately called, who administered the usual remedies, though it is probable that most of the poison had been previously thrown from his stomach, an Mr. P. rapidly recovered from its effects.

Subjects: Accidents, Family, Greenfield (MA), Households, Medical Personnel, Medicine / Hospitals, Poisoning, Women

Posted by stew - Mon, Dec 8, 2008

Gazette & Courier - Monday, July 12, 1875

A young lady of Indianapolis sought to impart the hue of health to her cheeks the other eve. when dressing for a party, and found the requisite bloom in the coloring matter of some cinnamon candy. During the evening her cheeks became very much swollen, and the poison soon after communicated itself to her eyes. She is now quite blind, and there seems to be little prospect that she will ever again regain her eyesight.

Subjects: Cosmetics, Diseases, Eye, Food, Parties, Poisoning, Women

Posted by stew - Sun, Dec 7, 2008

Gazette & Courier - Monday, July 12, 1875
News about home: Greenfield items

Besides the drug stores and beer saloons, only one license has been granted in this town, that to F.S. Hagar. But there is not a bar in the village, if we may judge from the daily evidence in our streets, that is not dealing out its vile poisons. Who doubts now that "license" does not mean "free rum"?

Subjects: Bars (Drinking establishments), Drugstores / Drugs, Drunkenness, Greenfield (MA), Law and Lawyers, Liquors, Poisoning, Roads, Words

Posted by stew - Sat, Dec 6, 2008

Gazette & Courier - Monday, July 5, 1875

June 23, a little son of William F. Tower of Monroe, aged about 17 months, died through the effects of taking what is called "elixir of opium" which is nothing more nor less than Laudanum, and which was given by the mother, in 15 or 20 drop doses once an hour, by the advice of an old Florida woman, who said it would cause the worms which were supposed to be in the child’s stomach, to have a good sleep, in an hour or so give a good dose of senna and the worms would be expelled from the child, and all would be right; but the child went to sleep never to awake, and the worms have not made their appearance yet.

The bereaved parents have the sympathy of all the neighbors, and no blame whatever is laid to them, as they were entirely ignorant of the poisonous effects of the drug they were giving. After the mother saw that her child was breathing with quick inspirations and rattling in the throat, she took it in her arms and carried it one third of a mile to the nearest neighbor for assistance, but it was too late. The last dose had been given about 11 o’clock on Wed. A.M., and about half past 2, some 3 hours after she arrived at the neighbor’s house, and everything was done by them to empty the stomach of the child, such as tickling the throat and giving emetics, etc. but to no effect.

The child never moved a muscle from half past 3 till it died, which was about 11 at night, living some 12 hours after the last dose It is a sad thing to see the child cut down in health as it were, and at an age when all the cares of the parents and affections of its brother and sister were at its very height of enjoyment. The little fellow was at play in the morning as ever and at 11 at night was a corpse. This should be a sufficient warning to every one, how they use poisons or take the advice of old women and Indian doctors, who run wild in the woods and get a great skill in medicine without the trouble of study.

Subjects: Child Abuse, Children, Diseases, Dreams / Sleep, Drug Abuse, Education, Family, Insects, Medical Personnel, Medicine / Hospitals, Native Americans, Obituaries, Old Age, Poisoning, Quacks and Quackery, Trees, Women, Monroe (MA), Florida (MA)

Posted by stew - Thu, Dec 4, 2008

Gazette & Courier - Monday, July 5, 1875
The blest Aidenn Land

For the Gazette & Courier, by L.V.S.

Tell me of that land, where sin is unknown
Where remorse never comes, for days that are flown;
No dark, blighting curse oer the spirit shall fall
No galling, strong chains with bondage enthrall
Here, every step, a mocking phantom we meet!
Not a dream, but some bitter is poisoning the sweet
Struggling on life's journey, we reach out our hand
And long for the peace of the blest Aidenn Land.

(Three more similar stanzas)

Subjects: Dreams / Sleep, Literature / Web Pages, Poetry, Poisoning, Religion

Posted by stew - Wed, Dec 3, 2008

Gazette & Courier - Monday, July 5, 1875
Gill, or the old shad fishery

Yielding to repeated solicitations to write something concerning old times at the falls, I copy from my introductory note to the "Shad fishers", given at Turners Falls last winter, hoping it may interest some of your readers. J.D.C.

...With the exception, perhaps, of the Columbia River in Oregon, there never was a more prolific shad and salmon fishery on this continent than this of ours in the years that are gone.

From time immemorial these Falls were the resort of the Indians, to whom the bounty of heaven furnished a superabundance of nutritive and luscious food in the season; and the fact that something like a permanent settlement and home was here made by these nomads of the wilds who are usually here today and gone tomorrow tells the whole story of bounteous supply. Our plows crumble their bones and turn up their rude implements of the chase and warfare; and almost every farmer of the vicinity has his private collection of these relics, picked up from time to time during his agricultural operations.

An old proverb, derived from the Indians, was common among their white successors, to the effect that when the shad tree was in blossom, the fish were in the river, and that they remained prime and palatable while the bough showed white. The fishermen, red and white, are gone; the fish are gone; but the little shad tree still shows us its token annually in our woods and on our river braes.

In the month of June, after spawning, the fish become less firm in flesh, and the "last run" were thin and emaciated. "Poor as a June shad" was another proverb common among the fishers, and still heard and repeated among our river people.

The fishing of the Indian was ended on the morning of the 18th of May, 1676, 199 years ago next May, when Captain Turner cut them off by surprise, and destroyed their settlement. It was one of the delights of my boyhood to spend odd leisure hours and winters in the society of some of our oldest inhabitants -- participating in the scenes enacted here at the Falls, and gather a fund of story and anecdote from their recollections. These old men are all departed’ but I have the pleasure of thinking that I have been able to rescue from oblivion many facts and incidents of interest in the olden times in this locality....

So very plentiful and so easily procured were the fish here in the days of our fathers that the people were absolutely ashamed to have the fact patent that they made much account of shad as an article of food. The fish were styled "Gill pork", and many a cautious housewife, surprised by the approach of a neighbor while in the act of cooking a fine fish, had thrown it behind the back log to hide it from his observation. Tempera mutanta!

So pure were the waters of our river in those early days that the fish were of the finest quality, and much larger than those taken in the North River, the Potomac, or any other of our waters. In the fishing season the falls were resorted to by people from circumjacent towns, and from the western hills, with teams, for the purchase of their annual supply of fish for salting. The usual price to these customers was 3 coppers apiece -- equal to about 2 cents. A barrel of A no. 1 shad was no costly thing in those days. I can show the antiquarian a fine meadow in Gill, worth now $100 per acre, which was originally purchased by one of our old fishers for the avails of one day’s fishing at the Falls.

Attempts are now making by artificial building and the construction of fish ways to induce the fish to ascend the river and multiply as of yore; and you will all join most heartily with me in wishes for success to the efforts making...The maratime [i.e. maritime] operations on the lower sections of the river, the poisonous and discoloring matter cast into its waters by the numerous mills and factories on its borders, with other obstructions, present to my mind an almost insuperable bar to our successful efforts in that line.

The days of our fishing are ended, and the numbers we shall see ascend to our old fishing grounds will be as a struggling and feeble rear guard to a mighty army already gone before...The building of the dam at Holyoke finished the business and cut off our people from their "fish rights"...

Subjects: Archaeology, Business Enterprises, Connecticut River, Conservation of Natural Resources, Economics, Farmers & Farming / Flowers, Fishes and Fishing, Food, Gill (MA), Hampshire / Hampden Counties, History, Horses, Households, Literature / Web Pages, Meat, Montague (MA), Native Americans, Natural Resources, Old Age, Poisoning, Rivers / Lakes / Oceans, Trees, Vendors and Purchasers, War / Weaponry, Women

Posted by stew - Mon, Dec 1, 2008

Gazette & Courier - Monday, June 21, 1875
News about home: Greenfield items

Childs & Payne had the awning in front of their store ruined the other day by the upsetting of a jar of nitrate of silver from the window of Davis' photograph rooms above it.

Subjects: Accidents, Greenfield (MA), Photographs, Poisoning, Stores, Retail, Work

Posted by stew - Mon, Dec 1, 2008

Gazette & Courier - Monday, June 21, 1875
Turners Falls

Some scamp threw chloride of lime into Fall River one day last week, presumably for the purpose of killing fish for convenience in taking them in large quantities, and for several days the shores were lined with dead fish of every size and kind. Several thousand must have been destroyed.

Subjects: Crime, Criminals, Fishes and Fishing, Food, Montague (MA), Poisoning, Rivers / Lakes / Oceans, Sports, Turners Falls (MA)

Posted by stew - Mon, Dec 1, 2008

Gazette & Courier - Monday, June 14, 1875
Shelburne Falls

The little pamphlet for sale by Edwin Baker, druggist, "On accidents, emergencies and poisons" ought to be in every family. It is a practical, common sense work.

Subjects: Accidents, Business Enterprises, Drugstores / Drugs, Family, Literature / Web Pages, Poisoning, Sales, Shelburne and Shelburne Falls (MA)

Posted by stew - Mon, Dec 1, 2008

Gazette & Courier - Monday, June 14, 1875
Sanitary precautions

"Cleanliness is next to godliness", says the familiar proverb, and certainly upon it depends much of our health and happiness in this world. Scientific investigation in the past few years has clearly demonstrated the fact that many of the diseases that are so prevalent during the summer months are traceable to local causes. Sometimes it may be defective drainage from sink or privy, poisoning the water in the well or filling the air with foul gases that are inhaled, and plant the seeds of disease; or again, there may be near the house stagnant pools of water from which arise the fatal miasma.

/ ...Every New England housekeeper, no matter what may be her station in life, is sure, when the warm days of the spring come, if she does not get impatient at the season's delay and inaugurate operations before, to pull up all of the carpets in the house and scour the paint from the parlor to the kitchen. This done, the house is put to rights, and she feels as proud of her little campaign against dirt, as the general who has successfully measured his strength with an armed foe. But after all this thorough cleaning of the inhabited rooms of the house, there is the cellar, in which barrels and bins which have contained the potatoes, apples and other vegetables and fruits that were laid in for the winter's supply, having still in different stages of decomposition what has been unused. Frequently a large quantity of mouldy rottenness, that sends forth an unsavory, unwholesome smell.

/ While about the cellar, boards and rubbish are decaying and the beans are covered with mildew and fungus...A thorough cleaning of cellar and outbuildings should be inaugurated; the pig sty should be placed a safe distance from the house, drains should be examined, and be sure that your water is sweet and wholesome. What is saved in doctor's bills will pay for your trouble ten times over, not to speak of the danger to your life and to the lives of those you love if these precautions are not taken.

Subjects: Animals / Reptiles, Astronomy, Beverages, Diseases, Food, Garbage, Households, Medical Personnel, Medicine / Hospitals, New England, Outhouses, Poisoning, Science, War / Weaponry, Weather, Women, Work

Posted by stew - Mon, Dec 1, 2008

Gazette & Courier - Monday, June 7, 1875
News about home: Greenfield items

The worst of all pests, the currant worm [see Nematus ribesii in Wikipedia], is making its unwelcome appearance. Give them hellebore.

Subjects: Farmers & Farming / Flowers, Greenfield (MA), Insects, Literature / Web Pages, Poisoning

Posted by stew - Mon, Dec 1, 2008

Gazette & Courier - Monday, June 7, 1875
News of the week

Dr. A. Morand, a South Boston druggist, has been for some time suffering from the use of hair oil by a no. of young women, prepared a decoction of gum arabic and sugar, which he delicately tinted and placed on his counters, and since one girl has used it, and had to cut off her hair close to her scalp, he has not been troubled since. [I don't know, does anyone else think this is a prosecutable crime? Misogyny at the very least].

Subjects: Boston (MA), Cosmetics, Crime, Criminals, Drugstores / Drugs, Masculinity (Machismo), Poisoning, Quacks and Quackery

Posted by stew - Mon, Dec 1, 2008

Gazette & Courier - Monday, June 7, 1875
News of the week

A boy in a Bowdoinham school was pricked with a pen having ink upon it by another boy a few days ago, from the effects of which he now lies in a critical condition, the pain of the wound being so severe that he is kept constantly under the influence of ether.

Subjects: Accidents, Children, Drug Abuse, Education, Medicine / Hospitals, Poisoning

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