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A strange story came to the ears of a Sentinel reporter recently, which had been related to a group of men at one of our hotels. The gentleman who related the narrath e was immediately hunted up and asked to repeat it. He seemed willing to do this ; but on learning that it was for publication, he requested that it be not given to the public, assigning a reason therefor. On account of the fact that it might possibly injure his business, and that he might be embarrassed by strangers calling on him who would read the incident, we omit his name, as well as the place where he is stopping. He said that in 1877, when the first yellow fever appeared in the city of Memphis, he was there on business. He had been there for several weeks, and then first experienced a drowsy sensation. This was followed in a week or ten days by the fever in all its fury, which rendered him unconscious. He lay for some time in this condition, his life being in a precarious state. After a time he seemed to be overcome by the disease, and gradually grew weaker, until at last all pulsation had stopped and the breathing was no longer apparent. At that time it was the custom to hurry the corpse to the graveyard without any ceremony. He was placed in a rude box and hurried away to the cemetery, followed by a single friend. On the way to the grave, however, this friend felt a conviction that he was not dead, and ordered the little procession to stop. The box was taken back to the place of starting, and his body again placed on a cot. After a few hours of patient watching, a slight movement of the face and upper portions of the body was observed. An examination was made of the pulse, which was found to be faintly beating, while respiration was apparent. It a few hours more the gentleman was aroused, and in less than thirty-six hours he was sitting up. He recovered rapidly, and in' the course of a few days was able to get up and move around. Meanwhile the Associated Press dispatches had contained an account of his death from the fever, and his family in New York City, and one son, working on the Bee Line Road, had mourned for him as one gone from the face of the earth. After his recovery he went to Texas, and from thence he crossed over info Mexico. He was gone on this trip about two. months, during which time he wrote to his relatives. He soon afterwards came North, as the quarantine against Southern traffic and travel was raised, and eventually landed in this city, where he met his son, who was as much rejoiced at the meeting as if his father had been raised from the dead. It was learned that his letters had been miscarried, and he wrote at once to New York, again announcing his recovery. The gentleman who told this strange story is a man of powerful frame. His weight used to be 215 pounds but it will not now exceed 197, which leaves him yet a very hearty, robust man. He has had several very narrow escapes, one of which was an accident to a runaway wagon at which time he suffered the breaking of an arm, leg and several ribs. The doctors said he would always be a lame man, blit that was where they were mistaken. He is about fifty years of age, talks in a beautifully modulated tone, and is a very intelligent and pleasant personage in social relations. ... He said he was satisfied that numbers ’of persons were not dead who were buried in the yellowfever districts of the South, but had continued until interment in a comatose state. And the moral of this may be : Be sure you are right, then go ahead, especially in the matter of human burials. — Indianopolis Sentinel *

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Bibliographic details

ALMOST BURIED ALIVE., Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 98, 11 May 1880

Word Count

ALMOST BURIED ALIVE. Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 98, 11 May 1880