Wednesday, March 12, 2014

1900 - Suicide was 105 Years Old

Last Survivor of Nipunk Tribe Sets Her House on Fire and Dies Rather then Go to the Poorhouse.

WEBSTER, Mass., Jan. 7. Investigation of the causes which led to the burning to death last night of Lucy Boston Johnson, aged 105, the last of the Nipunk Indians, makes it evident that she committed suicide to escape being taken to the Town Farm. It was first thought that she was the victim of an incendiary fire.

It is now said the woman threw a lighted candle into a bundle of rags which lay in a corner of her dwelling. She was to be taken to the Town Farm to-day. She had repeatedly told the Overseer of the Poor that she would never consent to be an object of charity, but would destroy herself first.

The condition of William Fogarty, who was seriously burned in a heroic effort to save Mrs. Johnson's life, is precarious. Fogarty rushed into the burning house and dragged the woman out of doors.

January 8, 1900
The New York Times
New York, New York