"Melancholy Case"
From the Raleigh Register newspaper published in Raleigh, NC, September 25, 1847.
Contributed by
Ruth Fentress (c) Oct. 5, 1999

"We are pained to record a case of poisoning which occurred at a wedding in Greene County week before last. On Thursday, the 19th ult., we learn that a wedding took place at the residence of the late JOHN W. TAYLOR, formerly Sheriff of that County. On that day several gentlemen met at the house without any knowledge of the wedding, to transact some business in relation to the estate of the deceased. Having finished their business, several of them upon the polite invitation of the family, consented to remain at the wedding. Among them Messrs. JAMES G. EDWARDS, HENRY HOLMES, and we believe a MR. BRIGGS. The company was small, and at an early hour after supper they returned home. Boiled custard was one of the delicacies partaken of by most of the company, as well as the negroes of the family. The next morning we understand MR. EDWARDS, MR. HOLMES, MR. BRIGGS, the bride and other whites, besides sixteen of the family negroes in fact every one who ate of the custard, were taken violently ill, with excessive perking and purging, and an insatiable thirst. Medical aid was immediately called in, and every effort was used by the physicians which happily proved successful, except in two instances. MR. HOLMES lingered for several days enduring great suffering, and in the early part of the following week sunk in the arms of death. A negro of the family also died. Several others we are told have narrowly escaped with their lives. The death of MR. HOLMES is deeply lamented by the citizens of that county and indeed all of his acquwaintance. He was a noble specimen of human nature - modest, sober, industricous, honest, full of the milk of human kindness, and withal a Christian. His last moments were full of comfort, and he died in the hope of a blessed immortality.

Occurrences of this kind are exceedingly rare in this section. We learn no investigation has been had, which is certainly blamable. No one pretends to account for it, or to charge any one with the foul deed; though it has been said that one of the physicians thought they had been poisoned by arsenic. We incline to the opinion that a thorough investigation would throw some light on the subject, and correct that suspicion. It may be that some poisonous substance was without the knowledge of the cook, in the vessel in which it was prepared, or that some ingredient was improperly but innocently put in the article while in the process of making. We trust the true state of the case will be soon developed. "New Bernian"



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