Sunday, January 24, 2016

Sunday's Obituary: Edward Carter

Connecticut Journal
08 May 1806

From the Virginia Herald

Extract of a letter from a gentleman in Prince William county, dated April 15.

"We feel a great loss in a worthy member of our society, Mr. Edward Carter, whose death was occasioned by the most singular and dreadful accident that ever occurred before. -- He had undertaken, contrary to the advice of every friend, who condemned the plan, to move or rather build, a Merchant Mill, lower down the river than the old mill, to effect which, a very long and deep race was necessary. -- This he had carried some distance; in doing which, either hills nor any obstacle whatever stopped him, so that, in some places, as the race was straight, he cut through hills 15 or 16 feet deep. -- In one of these horrid pits, over which projected stupendous rocks, and a bank of dirt of a crumbly nature, he was standing about sunset a few days ago a very unusual time for him to be there) giving some directions, when the bank above gave way, breaking about 6 feet from his head. -- He called out "take care," without making any effort to escape himself, which he might have done, and horrid to relate, turning only his shoulder aside, as if fastened to the spot by some supernatural influence, himself, one of the ditchers, and a negro, were all buried in an instant.

The alarm was immediately given by the only one that escape, who was the most exposed, and who could scarcely ever before walk upon even ground without stumbling, and Mrs. Carter, who was in delicate health, was the first that got there, nearly a mile from the house, she found him dead, being buried up to the chin, with rocks upon him that weighed 15 or 20 tons.  The ditcher, who was a white man, was entirely buried, and the negro confined above the knee, with his legs much mashed and bruised but not uncoverable.  This sad catastrophe I found realised early next morning, by a view of the dead bodies, one of which was my ever lamented friend."

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