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Miss Herbert Dead

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Washington. Deo. 21. - Miss Leila Herbert, daughter of ex-Seeretary of the Navy Herbert of Alabama, died at her home in this city Tuesday morriing as the result of a fall fiom the third story of her home on New Hampshire avenue, in the most fashionable part of the city, just off Dupont Circle. The sudden death and tragic features surrounding it were a great shock to the great cirde of friends she had made in the course of her life in Washington as the daughter of a popular representativa in congress from the south and later as one of the cabinet circle of ladies when she presided over her 'ather's household during the fouryears he was seeretary of the navy under the last Cleveland administration. Her death was traeeable indirectly to an accident while horseback riding in her native state of Alabama about two months ago. She has always been enthusiastieally fond of riding and while paying a visit to her oíd home started out on a horse that had not been broken. It stumbled and she was thrown violently to the ground sustaining severe injuries to her back. ís a fase of Suicide. In the afternoon the following authorized statement was made by a gentleman familiar with all of the fa,cts of the suicide: "Miss Herbert at the time of the ocrence was suffering from acute melancholia. It developed several weeks ago as the final result of injuries received by being thrown from her horse last spring. The melancholia was not insanity in the sense of belng accompanied by delusions. At the same time there was profound depresslon, and as is always the case in this type of disease, there was great danger that suicide tendencies would develop. For this reason nurses were provided to maintain the closest watchfulness. No suiciual teüdencies developed, however. until Monday, when for the flrst time Miss Herbert made an attempt to get out of the window, but was restrained ■ by the nurse. This led to additional caution and two nurses alternated in constant watchfulness of the patiënt. She was at all times rationa], quiét and gentle and it was supposed the disease would yield to treatment. Early in the morning the nurse on duty noticed ' a small spot of blood on the bed coverings. She inquired what it meant, but the invalid endeavored to pass it by lightly. Hful Severed an Aitery. "On making' an investigation, however. the nurse iound that the underbed clothes were saturated with blood and that Miss Herbert had severed the artery of her wrist with a pair of scissors. Feeling that the emergency was great the nurse hastened to the door and called an alarm. In this momentary withdrawal from the bedside, Miss Herbert leaped out and sprang from the window. The plunge was made headforemost, so that she lighted on the top of her head on the asphalt pavement. This injury alone was sufficient to have caused death from coneussion of the brairi and it was doubtless the immediate cause. Aside from this a cursory examination indicated that the skull was fractured. The severing of the artery would also have resulted fatally. When the physician reached her Miss Herbert was still breathing, hut died about an hour after the leap." The coroner returned a verdict of suicide during temporary insanity. As the facts in the case were clear he decided the inquest was unnecessary. ('harminir Fierure in Societv. Miss Herbert was the eldest of exSecretary Herbert's three ehildren, and was a charming figure in Washington society. She came with her father to Washington when he was elected to eongress and at once took charge of his househokl affairs, making the Herbert home one of the most attractive and comfortable in Washington from the spirit of true southern hospitality, which gave it an atmosphere of its own among fashionable homes. When her father became secretary of thenavy in President Cleveland's second administration Miss Herbert was called upon to take her place in tht circle of cabinet ladies, where she met with success the heavy social responsibilities placed upon her youthful shoulders. Socially she was exceedingly popular and her presence was sought at all gatherings. Her social triumphs here were repeated in Europe, whei'e she went to attend the great naval demonstration at Kiel. Within the past year she has not enjoyed robust health, but this only induced her to redouble her devotion to out of door sports and exercise, and it was while regaining her health by outdoor riding that she met the accident that indirectly resulted in her death.


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