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CLARA TRAVERS(E)

Daily Appeal - Sat 7/3/1869, p3 - A Melancholy Case of Suicide - This community was shocked yesterday morning to learn that Clara Travers, a girl aged about 15 years and learning the millinery trade at the Miss Williamsons, was deceased, having died about 1 o'clock a.m. at her boarding house, kept by Mrs. Reed, at the corner of Sixth street and Commercial Alley.  The deceased left the millinery shop at the usual time, about 9 o'clock p.m., and went to one of the drug stores where she bought a dose of strichnine on the pretext of needing it for killing rats.  She then went to Mrs. Reed's, arriving about 9 1/2 o'clock.  After going to her room she was heard by Mrs. Reed at work over her clothing and asked what she was doing?  Clara replied that she was about to take a bath, and pack her clothes with the intention of going home to-morrow.  Mrs. Reed soon after fell asleep and so remained till aroused by screams.  She arose and hastened into Clara's room, and on approaching the bed was clasped about the body by Clara, who declared she was dying, and seemed in great agony.  The deceased was in convulsions and spasms, though sensible, and the conversation then occurring between the deceased, and Mrs. Reed, was refused us yesterday by the Coroner for proper reasons.  Dr. Harrington was called about 15 minutes past 12, and Clara died in ten or fifteen minutes after.  Coroner Hamilton arrived about 1 o'clock, and after viewing the corpse stated that he thought death had been caused by poison.  The body was removed to the Coroner's room, yesterday morning, where a post mortem examination was held.  An analysis of the stomach, by Drs. Belden and Stone, showed the presence of glycerine strichnine.  A Coroner's jury was summoned yesterday to hold an inquest which will be concluded to-day and published to-morrow.  The case will admit at no comment until all the facts are known.  The mother of the deceased is the wife of Joseph Friend, of Sutter county.

Daily Appeal - Sun 7/4/1869, p3 - Coroner's Inquest - Held at the Office of E. Hamilton, Coroner, in the City of Marysville, July 2d and 3d, 1869, Over the Body of Clara E. Traverse. - State of California, County of Yuba-ss.  Isabel Reed being sworn says:  I reside in this city, corner of Sixth street and Commercial Alley; the deceased came home abut 7 o'clock last evening; her name is Clara Traverse; she ate supper about as well as usual; she then went down town about 8 o'clock, and remained until about 9 1/2 o'clock p.m.; she went to her chamber about 10 o'clock; I went with her and talked with her about a quarter of an hour, and then I went to my room; soon after I heard her in her room; I asked her, "What are you doing up, old cratcher?" as I knew she was very particular and neat.  She said she was going to take a bath and go to bed; I then fell asleep, and did not hear anything until I heard her call and scream, "Mrs. Reed, I am dying!"  I went to the room and she called me to her, and she clasped me to her and said, "I am dying;" I said, "No, I think not;" she said, "Yes, I am;" I then asked what doctor I should send for; she said, "For Dr. Harrington, or any doctor; tell them to be quick;" she called her mother repeatedly, and asked if the doctor was coming, and she said "Curse him, he is the cause of all this! he has killed me! he will have to suffer as much as I have to suffer!" he came, and I think he told me he gave her a morphine powder; he then asked me what I thought she had been eating; I told him we had corn for dinner, and also she ate a hard apple before breakfast; he then asked me if I had seen a dog die with the poison of strychnine; and Mrs. Cook was there; he asked her; she said "No, I have not seen them, but I have seen them when they were poisoned, but not when dying; he asked me if she (the deceased) said anything about the sensation of choaking; I said she did speak of it; he said then that it was the hysteria, and would be soon over it; remarked again she has every symptom of one taking poison; I said "Why don't you give her an emetic?" he said, "I am giving her one;" I said "Shall I have warm water?" he said "yes, but I don't know how you can get her feet in as she is in a stiff position, and it will be hard work to bend her to get her feet in; he then turned round to raise her head, and said, "My God, she is dying;" I then said it could not be possible; he said it was so; she was then dead; I then proposed to send for you (the Coroner), and her mother; he said I need not send for the coroner, but for her mother; I asked him if he would stay until the coroner came; he made me no answer; I went down stairs, and when I came back he (the doctor) had gone; I then said to my son, "Go to Mr. Wm. Friend's and inquire to where her parents lived; I then sent for Coroner Hamilton; the coroner when he came in to the room looked at the corpse and said she was poisoned; I then assisted him in looking in her boxes and trunk, until the coroner found a strychnine bottle in her trunk, with a small quantity in it; we further searched for any papers or notes she might have left, but could not find any; the coroner took possession of the bottle of strychnine and the keyes of her trunk; and about 8 o'clock this morning he come and took the remains of Clara Traverse away from my house; they are now before me in the Coroner's office; at some time before this I have noticed her to look as though she was in a study, and I would speak to her in a joking way, "What is the matter?" she said, "O, nothing, but smile;" she was in generally a lively mood; she did not return home last night in as good spirits as usual; she was flush in the face, and I asked her if she had been to Mrs. Rosenberg's; she said not, but she had seen Mr. and Mrs. Williams; she seemed to be a nice correct and straightforward girl, and for a stranger we were very much pleased with her; Dr. Harrington is not our family physician; nor has she said a word in his favor to my knowledge;  The deceased came to my house about four weeks ago to get me to board her.  I asked her, "why she left Mrs. Tompkins?" she said, "because she could not get her meals regular; the old lady could not get up early enough in the morning.  I then told her I would take her; I was to board her for $4 per week.  A few days after Clara commenced to board with me Mrs. Tompkins came to my house and commenced talking about my taking Clara to board; I told her what Clara said, and took her in to board; then Mrs. Tompkins told me that Dr. Harrington and some others were paying Clara's board, and now he had said as she had left her, he would not pay any longer.  I told her it did not make any difference to me; no person but the deceased has brought any money to pay the board of the deceased except herself, and she brought it last night but did not give it to me, but I found it on the bureau; her mother sent in for Clara to come to her house, at the Buttes to-day, and Clara said she was going and her mother was gong to send in for her; she, the deceased, sometimes was out at 9 1/2 o'clock, and said she was at Mrs. Rosenberg's; her cheeks last night was very much flushed, and it was the first time I had noticed her in that flustrated way; and she did not allude to any one except Mr. and Mrs. Williamson, as seeing last night; and I only heard her say that her father was not so considerate as some, and did not speak of him in bad terms; she knew Dr. Harrington when he came. - Mrs. Ellen Cook, being sworn says:  I reside in this city, corner of Sixth and Commercial Alley; I was sent for about half past 11 o'clock last night by Mrs. Reed to come to her house, and when I got there I found the deceased in a strong convulsion; as I got in the room I heard the deceased say; "has not the Doctor come yet; curse him, curse him, he is the cause of all this."  when the Doctor come she said nothing but he seemed at quite a loss to know what was the matter; "It was Dr. Harrington," was all she said after he came; if any one of us touched her she would say; "let me alone;" she did not seem to recognize the Doctor when he came; he asked her when he first came in, "to run her tungue out;" she did so; he seemed to speak as though it was strychnine, but he remarked once or twice that she acted as though she had been strychnined; she died in a very strong convulsion about 1 o'clock; he gave her a tartar emetic as he said to me, to maker her vomit; I dont think he thought she was as sick as she was until just before she died; he had said soon after he came that it looked like strychine; I was present when the Doctor was called for, but did not hear her say what Doctor to send for. - Mrs. Mary Rosenberg being sworn says:  At sometime in March the deceased was stopping at my house, and I heard her say, and she said to me, that she did not want to live, owing to the trouble she had at the home of her mother and step-father, and did say, she had rather take some poison, but I do not know what it was; that to go home again owing to the treatment; when she spoke of poison, she seemed to speak in a joking way, but before she seemed to speak despondingly; she was there at that time, about two weeks, and I did not see any thing that was wrong in her; she lived about two or three months before just mentioned, and she seemed all right, and I saw nothing wrong her and no one called upon her; her parents called on her once or twice at my house; the mother seemed to think a great deal of her, but the father did only speak to her. - David Hourston being sworn said:  I reside in this city; my occupation is clerk; the night that the deceased died I was sitting in the parlor of Mrs. Reed's house, and the deceased came in, and she sat down; it was about twenty minutes past nine o'clock; then Mr. Lockwood asked her where her mother was, she said, "I don't know;" I then heard Mrs. Reed coming into the gate and I left the room and went to my room; the deceased's face seemed very much flushed when she came into the parlor; Mr. Lockwood and Mr. Rutan came up into my room and we were singing together; and I think it was about 10 1/2 o'clock when the deceased came into the hall and said, "Sing louder boys;" then soon she came into the hall again, and said in a joking way, "Don't make so much noise;" about 11 o'clock Mr. Lockwood and Mr. Rutan left my room and to went their own rooms; about twenty minutes past 11, I arose from my seat to retire and I heard some one weeping, and then screaming; I recognized the voice to be that of the deceased, Clara Traverse; I in a moment heard Mrs. Reed talking to her and said, What is the matter with you;" Mrs. Reed opened the door of the room and called for her son Eben, and then called me; I went into the room and saw the deceased lying in bed; I said, Clara what is the matter with you? she said, "I am dying, I am dying;" she then put her hands to her head and said, "O mother! O, father!" I suggested that we should send for a Doctor; Mrs. Reed asked Clara what Doctor she would have; she said "Dr. Harrington;" she then went into a convulsion; she called for no other than Dr. Harrington; I went and called Mrs. Cook at the request of Mrs. Reed, and also went for the Doctor; I waited for the Doctor and he went with me to the house; I concur with Mrs. Reed in her statement at the time the Doctor was in the room; but the Doctor said to Mrs. Reed, after the deceased died, at a request of Mrs. Reed to have an inquest; he said to her there is no necessity for it, but you can do as you are a mind to, but it will only be to babble it all over the town; I have some evenings when I went home found her in the parlor sewing; I never saw her excited before that evening she died. - Charles L. Rutan being sworn says:  I reside in this city, my occupation, saddler; I heard Mrs. Reed's and Mrs. Cook's testimony and concur in their statement, as I was in the room with them at the time the Doctor was sent for, but I will add, that before the Doctor had arrived, I heard the deceased say, "Why don't Mr. Harrington come," and then used the words, "Curse him, curse him, he has killed and has been the cause of all this, he will suffer as much as I." - Emmet Brown being sworn, says:  I knew Clara Traverse; she lived at my house about two weeks during the month of March last; knew her previous to that time, when she lived at Mr. Rosenbergh's; have heard her say on several occasions that she was much ill treated by Mr. Friend, and that her mother did not do right by her; she said she would never go home again, that she would rather die; she said would "take strychnine before she would go home, or kill herself in some other way;" she seemed very much desperated, very much absent-minded; her troubles seemed to prey upon her mind.  While living at my place she complained of being unwell; she wanted some medicine, and my wife advised her to see a physician; she asked "who?" and was directed to Dr. Harrington, he being our family physician; she procured the medicine; said it "helped her;" do not know of any means being raised to aid her; never saw her excited; she always seemed to me to have a jovial disposition; have heard her say that she would "kill herself by some means rather than go home to her folks." - Sophronia Ada Friend being sworn says:  I reside in Sutter county, about ten miles from here; the deceased is my daughter; her name is Clara Etta Traverse; her age is 15 years and 5 months; I was married to Mr. Friend the 8th day of August, 1867; my daughter at that time was in Ohio; I had sent for her to come; I sent her the money to come with in May of 1867, but told her not to come until she could come with some family, for I did not want her to come alone; she came in November of that year, and came to my house; I met her in Yuba City and took her to my house; Mr. Friend at that time was Sheriff of Sutter county; she stayed with me until April, 1868; during the time she was with me she seemed to be homesick and said she wished she was back in Ohio; I wanted to send her to school at the Buttes, but she did not like the school there, and at times she would go up stairs and sit there all alone, and would seem very lonesome; I tried to do well by her, but she seemed to want to be with her old associates; she asked me if "she could not go to Mrs. Boyd's at Yuba City and stay;" I told her yes; so I wrote to Mrs. Boyd and asked her if Clara could come there and stop; she answered yes; then Clara went to Yuba City to Mrs. Boyd's; she stayed there about 5 months; she then came home again, as she was tired; I saw the work was too hard for her at Mrs. Boyd's, and I took her away from there; she was at home about two or three weeks; during that time Mrs. Rosenburg sent for her to come and work for her, and Clara went to work for; she said that she wanted to go to work for herself; it is a principle of his that as soon as children are old enough to work for themselves, to leave home and work for themselves; he does so by his own children; I never heard Mr. Friend use any harsh words to Clara; Mr. Friend had two children of his own here when I married him, but they lived out and worked themselves; Mr. Friend is in easy circumstances, and if he was a mind to he could keep his children at home; but, he don't think it is best; he thinks they had ought to earn their own living; when I am at home I do the work in the house, and Mr. Friend does what there is to do out on the ranch; I never have seen Dr. Harrington; I heard that Clara had gone to learn a trade; I came to this city and went and saw her; she told me that a friend of hers had got her the place and was paying her board until she could earn wages; and then she was to pay him back again; she said it was Dr. Harrington; I did not think it looked very well to trust my daughter with a stranger to pay her way, but I had no means of my own, and I don't think Mr. Friend would have let her had the money for the purpose of paying her board; I did not ask him to do it for I don't think he would give her any money; I never heard Clara say that she was receiving any means or money from any one else except Dr. Harrington, who assumed the responsibility to pay her board; I knew that Mr. Friend knew that Clara was not earning any money; but it seems that he thought she might go to work some where and earn some; he said that she dressed better than most of girls and I now think I had ought to have insisted of him means to pay Clara's board, but I don't know as he would have let me have it; Clara had brought home some dresses that she had outgrown, and they were good, and wanted him to buy them for his granddaughter in order that she could have a little money; one was worth ten dollars but she offered to sell it to him for just what he would give, that is she told me to sell them to him what I could get in order that she could get a calico dress to wear; I spoke to him about it and he said that he could get the dresses for his granddaughter himself; I said no more to him but told Clara to select from my dresses one that she could make over for herself; she did so, but I did not tell Mr. Friend about it until to-day when we riding into the city; Clara came home to our house about four weeks ago and staid one day and two nights, and while she was there she took off her shoes and said to Mr. Friend "don't I need a new pair of shoes?" and wanted him to straighten the heels as they were in bad condition; she told him that she had no money to buy any shoes and he replied to her that he thought the shoes she then had would do, and said that many others would like to get as good ones to wear; I told Clara repeatedly that if I had money I would give her what she needed, but I had none; I now think I did not do right for this reason; I tried not to let my daughter come between my husband and myself to cause any dissatisfaction, but now I think different, but I then thought I was doing right. - We, the undersigned, do hereby certify that we have this day made a post mortem examination of the body of Miss Clara Traverse.  That we have made a chemical analysis of the stomach and its contents, and found therein unmistakable evidence of the presence of strychnine; and in a quantity sufficient to cause death; and that we could detect no evidence of disease or injury in any other organs. - E. S. Belden, M.D., C. E. Stone, M.D. - Subscribed and sworn before me, this 3d day of July, A.D., 1869, E. Hamilton, Coroner. - The Verdict - State of California, County of Yuba - We the undersigned jurors summoned by E. Hamilton, Coroner of Yuba County on the 2d day of July, 1869, to enquire into the cause which have led to the death of Clara E. Traverse, who died on the night of the 1st instant, do find that she came to her death from strychnine administered by herself. - W. Hawley, W. H. Hartwell, E. Wadsworth, T. C. Martin, L. P. Bronk, A. W. Torrey, A. D. Cutts, W. C. Swain, J. C. Dowley.-  Marysville, July 3d, 1869 - Statement of Dr. C. C. Harrington - C. C. Hairrington [sic] sworn deposes and says:  I first knew the deceased about three months since.  She came to my office in ill health sent by Mrs. Rosenberg.  I attended her through her illness and from her own statement and from Mrs. Rosenberg ascertaining she was without means made no charge.  Soon afterward she left Mrs. Rosenberg's and went to Mr. Roblin's and acted as nurse.  After the death of Mr. Roblin's child which she was nursing, she came to me and said she had no place to work and wished I would assist her.  I then went to the Miss Williamsons, Milliners, on the corner of Fourth and D streets, and asked them if they would take her and learn her the trade.  They consented.  I went to Mrs. Tompkins on Fifth street, to get her boarded.  She said she would take her and act toward her as a mother.  I became responsible for her board. - She boarded there about two months and then changed her boarding place to Mrs. Reeds, making her own arrangements for board.  At the end of each week she came to me for money to pay her board, which I gave her.  Two weeks previous to her death I stated her circumstances to E. Hamilton, asking him to assist me in taking care of her; and also stated the facts in relation to her impoverished condition to Dr. E. S. Belden.  Two days after my talk with Mr. E. Hamilton, Mr. J. G. Eastman came to me and told me that persons were talking concerning my relations with the deceased.  I explained the circumstances to him and told him it was purely a case of charity. He said that people would and were placing a wrong construction upon it and that in self-protection I had better pursue some other course to assist her.  I saw nothing more of deceased until the night before her death.  She came to my office about 8 1/2 p.m. and remained one-quarter of an hour.  She was in excellent spirits; said she was going to see her mother the next day.  She asked me for some money to pay her board, which I gave her; I then told her what had been said to me by my friends, and that she had better not come again to the office for assistance.  She seemed much agitated and asked me if I intended to withdraw all assistance from her.  I said no, but I cannot be misunderstood in this matter, and if you will send your mother to me, I will aid you so far as I am able.  She left the office not entirely composed, and I did not see her again until about 12 1/2 o'clock when I was called professionally to attend her and found her dying. - I was only induced to assist the deceased by the representations of Mrs. Jacob Rosenberg and I. C. McQuaid, Esq., and other respectable persons who were acquainted with her history, and represented that she was a worthy young lady, who, by misfortune had been turned out upon the world penniless and worse than an orphan. - C. C. Harrington, M.D. - Subscribed and sworn before me this, 3d day of July A.D., 1869, E. Hamilton, Coroner.

 


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