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Dr. Petermann's Suicide

Dr. Petermann's Suicide image
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[Berlín Cor. Kam York Horald.] The sad circumstances surronmling tho death of him who is widely admitted to have been tho foremost geographer oí his age, Dr. August Hcinrich Peterniann, come tardil y to light. His audden deatli, announoed to liave oceurred on the 27th uit., was stated to have been tlie result of an apoplectic stroke, but it us iidt Buspected that a tragedy lurked behind the announoement that startled til o quiet town of Gotha. Dr. Petennann liad for sonietime suffered from repeated attacks of bronchitis. He coughed alniost continuously, and complainfid of constant pain. His nervous irritation inereased, and, added to the physical Buffcring, was a mental excitement of a doniestic nature whinh réndered him ahnost fi-antic at times. He coniplained of a headache so acute that tlie least touch npon the forehead produced violent pain. He was but 5ü years oíd, and it was hoped that his strong ronstitution would pull him through. On the morning of the 25th ult., after arestlessnight, Dr. Peterinann, who had been tenderly watched over by liis wife and daughters, exhibited an agitation whioh they alarmingly noted, but neveí for a moment attributed to its true cause. He begged them to retire from the room. Herè it may bc proper to observe that the Luir who, with his two grown-up daughters had watched by his bedside was his second wife, wliom he married four ínontlis ago. He liad lived unhappily with his íirst wife, an English ludy. A divorce was decreed betweeu tho illmaied pair in 1877, and sinee then it is stated that the iirst wife has bent her endeavora to destroying his peace of life. After his second marriage everytliing appeared to be going prosperously with liini. when liis tirst. wife, it is alleged, by anonymons thfeats, rcconimenced her persecutions, and worried thé great acholar to distraction. ín liis i own family, too, he had troubles enough and to spare. His father and his brother had died by their own hands, and their late apparently haunted him. With tliis knowledgo of his life, it may be guessed upon what a load of mental and bodily torture his wife and daughters closea tho door as they went forth at liis urgent request. They did not remain absent long - scarceíy öfteen minutes - but on their return they met ;i sight which petrified them with terror, llie husband and father wafi hanging limp and lifelcss from the window. A-Ssistanoé wás hastily erominoned; the body was out down; restorativea were triod, but in vain. Ho as dead, and cmmpled in one of his hands with the clutch of death was a ! paper. It was letter addressed to liis youngest daughtor, and eontainod his vrill. It boro the date of Sept. 6, showing that he had harbored the fatal intention for nineteen days. An easily-understood motive led to a strong offort on the part of the family and mende to keep the cause of the death secret, but enongh leaked out to lead to the unveiling of the entire disti-essing tragedy. Tlms it was that Dr. Petermann, in the wponoaa of his aobetarship, at the age of 56, feil, odiig to reaction from excessive work and conjugal tormnnts he was unable to withi stand, an easy pvey to the hereditary self-destroying mauia ; the man whose I vast niind liad grasped and solved the most difficult geographical questions in both liemispheres snccumbed to jirivate , infelicities that the world took no acj count of.


Old News
Michigan Argus