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  The research archive of Gary W. Ewer regarding the history of the daguerreotype

Although this article doesn't specifically identify the "picture" as a daguerreotype, I thought it still worthy of a "DagNews" post. On this day (May 20) in the year 1847 the following article appeared in the "Daily Republican" (Springfield, Massachusetts) Vol. 4, No. 119, (20 May 1847): - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - THE EFFECT OF LOOKING AT A PICTURE OF A DECEASED FRIEND.--A singular and most affecting case of almost instantaneous death in one of our late foreign papers as having occurred under the most remarkable circumstances, the deceased being Charles T. Cunningham Esq, Lieutenant Governor of St. Christopher's and the Leeward Isles. The record is given as follows:-- It appears that this gentleman had just driven in from the country to the seat of government, in apparently vigorous health and cheerful spirits, to open the houses of legislature. After transacting some business with his private secretary, and despatching a note to invite some officers of a French ship-of-war, just come into port, to luncheon at government house, he rode down to the mail office to meet his letters, and a box containing a picture of a much beloved sister recently deceased in England. He had stated to more than one person that his earnest desire to possess the picture was not unmixed with fear as to the effect the sight of it might produce upon him. So strongly had this apprehension fastened itself upon his mind, that on the arrival of the box at government house he sent a servant in quest of a friend who might be with him when the box was opened. Having failed in finding him, he proceeded to open the box. His butler, who was present, reports that he looked at the countenance earnestly, turned pale, whispered a few words to himself, walked hastily up to his own room, was heard almost instantly to fall as he entered it, and his servants, following up stairs, found him stretched on the floor a corpse. He fell a victim, partly "to the exhausting influence of tropical climates on the nervous powers," and partly to the intensity of brotherly affection, in the 36th year of his age. -------------------------------------------------------------- 05-20-98

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