From ‘The Western Daily Mercury’- 21st September 1867
One of the most whimsical and unheard of means of ‘shuffling off this mortal soil’ occurred in 1867. A woman living in the lower part of St. Louis, named Mayor, who, from ill-treatment of her husband, had become disgusted with life, attempted to take away in the following manner:-
She took a six-pounder cannon ball which her husband had brought from Vicksburg as a relic, and which had been lying on the mantle-piece for years and having a rather indistinct conception of the terrible effects of the projectile, and the manner of using it, at length hit upon an idea; she went to Edward’s grocery and purchased fifty cents worth of powder, returned home and procuring a breakfast plate she placed it on the floor. She then poured the gunpowder on the plate, and put the cannon ball on top of the powder. Having thus got her artillery into position and everything in readiness she then sat down over the loaded plate, and with a burning taper in one hand fired the powder. The effect of the explosion powder burned and blackened the woman’s lower extremities, while the ball, which she vainly expected would end her miseries, did not stir from its position. The unfortunate victim of this insane attempt at self-destruction is lying in a precarious condition from the effects of her foolhardy attempt upon her own life.