Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Archibald Andrew Brown's Death

Last month, while looking through the bookshelves at the Tennessee State Library and Archives, I saw a book titled Death Notices from the Hickman County Pioneer Newspapers 1878-1893. Now, to just about anyone else that would probably call for a yawn. But , the Hickman County Pioneer was probably the primary news source for Hickman County and the northern parts of Lewis County as well. Since that includes Cane Creek, I figured the deaths at the Cane Creek Massacre would probably be in there. At the very least the death of David Hinson, a Hickman County resident would be in there.

Well, they weren't and he wasn't. It makes me wonder. What would be big enough to be considered news. I've gone back and looked at the microfilm for the Hickman Pioneer. There is a news story about it, but there are also many missing issues. The Pioneer was a weekly paper. But several of the weeks are just not there. That makes me think Nothing on the Massacre, and no obituary for David Hinson.

But I did find one on Archibald Andrew Brown. By a coincidence Arch Brown was one the mobbers identified by John Garrett. According to the obituary, he died on November 27, 1884 of Typhoid Fever. Which reminded me of the handfull of newspaper articles describing the fate of the mobbers. Some of the "fates" decribed have been gruesome. I'm not one to believe that God punishes us mortals in this life for our bad choices. I think he reserves that for the next life. So I read the "fates" of the mobbers with a healthy dose of doubt. But this is one I have been able to verify from an independent source.


Amy said...

Very cool.

(Not that he died in agonies of typhoid fever, of course, but how you found the obituary from a look through a source in an adjoining county.)

Ardis Parshall said...

Yes, very cool. Sorry about the missing issues, but very happy that you thought to look for familiar names anyway.

I remember poring over "Fate of the Persecutors of the Prophet Joseph Smith" when I was a kid, glorying in all the gore and disgusting reports ... and was sadly disappointed to find out later on how much unsubstantiated legend was in it. That's nice that you're able to document one of your tale's tales.

BruceCrow said...

Yes, the death by typhoid fever is not so cool, especially his young widow. Arch was 37. Finding stuff in unexpected places is cool.

I skimmed that book when I was in seminary. I thought it was awesome then too. When I do research I think back to it to remind me to be careful about what I claim.

Anonymous said...

Death records are recorded by county, so Dave Hinsons death would not be recorded in Hickman County but rather in Lewis Co.

BruceCrow said...

On the official record yes, but a newspaper records the newsworthy ones, on this paper did carry a number of Lewis County deaths.

The TN State archives did not have an official list of Lewis County deaths for the period, so I have to work with what I have.