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[newspaper clipping]
	Suicide of Edmund Ruffin, Sr.
  The community will be shocked beyond
measure to learn that the venerable Edmund Ruffin, sr.,
of Virginia, who, for a great number of years had occu-
pied a high position in public estimation, has terminated
his own life by violence.  The facts in our possession
up to this writing are meager, but those facts are suffi-
cient to warrant us in saying that the deed was com-
mitted on Saturday last, at the residence of deceased s
on, Edmund Ruffin, jr., about 27 miles this side of Dan-
ville.
  It is now said that Mr. Ruffin s mind had been very
perceptibly affected since the evacuation of Richmond,
and the surrender of the Confederate armies.  For a
week previous to terminating his life, Mr. Ruffin kept
his chamber, busily employed in writing what sub-
sequently turned out to be a history of his political life.
He also wrote letters, and in one of them he left direc-
tions as to the disposal of his body.  He bathed himself,
put on clean under and outer clothing, and directed
that his body should be buried in the habiliments he had
put on, without shroud or coffin.  He then seated him-
self in a chair, put a loaded musket to his mouth, and, 
leaning back, struck the musket with his hickory stick.
The first cap did not explode, and he replaced it by
another, which discharged the musket, the charge of 
ball and buck blowing off the crown of the venerable
old gentleman s head, and scattering his brains and
snowy hair against the ceiling of the room.  When the
family, alarmed by the report, reached Mr. Ruffin s
room, he was found lying back in his chair, the gun
leaning against him, and life gone.  A paragraph in the
letter left for the perusal of family and friends explained
the tragic deed.  It reads:  I cannot survive the loss
of the liberties of my country. 
  Mr. Ruffin was very aged perhaps 80 years of age 
and brooding over the troubles of the times, the war
and its results, no doubt unhinged his mind and caused
a derangement of his once strong and vigorous facul-
ties.
  Mr. Ruffin, though a politician of the old school, never
held any office or distinction.  He was eminently an
agriculturist, and wrote much on the development of
Virginia s resources.  He was proud of his State, and
always defended her good name.  He was at one time,
years ago, President of the Agricultural Society of Vir-
ginia, and published The Farmer s Register at Peters-
burg, a paper devoted to farming interests.
			{Richmond Whig, 20th.

[Gunn s handwriting]
June 1865
Page
Title:Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries, Volume Fourteen: page one hundred and ninety-eight
Description:Newspaper clipping regarding the suicide of Edmund Ruffin.
Date:1865-06-20
Subject:Gunn, Thomas Butler; Ruffin, Edmund; Ruffin, Edmund, Jr.; Obituaries; Suicide
Coverage (City/State):Danville, Virginia; Richmond, Virginia; Petersburg, Virginia
Scan Date:2010-04-30

 

Volume
Title:Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries, Volume Fourteen
Description:Includes descriptions of attending a lecture by J.H. Siddons on Queen Victoria; seeing tightrope walker Charles Blondin perform; boarding house living; his freelance writing and drawing work; visits to the Edwards family and his friendship with Sally Edwards; a visit of the Prince of Wales, the future Edward VII of Great Britain, to New York; his work as a reporter for ''The New York World;'' a visit to a dog fighting establishment; an evening spent at the 4th Ward police station awaiting 1860 election returns; and Gunn's experience as a correspondent for ""The New York Evening Post"" in Charleston, South Carolina, in the aftermath of South Carolina's secession from the federal government.
Subject:Boardinghouses; Civil War; Elections; Gunn, Thomas Butler; Journalism; Military; Police; Publishers and publishing; Secession; Slavery; Slaves; Travel
Coverage (City/State):New York, New York; Charleston, South Carolina
Note:Thomas Butler Gunn was born February 15, 1826, in Banbury, England, and came to New York in 1849. During the Civil War he worked as a correspondent for the New York Tribune and the New York Evening Post. He returned to England in 1863, and died in Birmingham in April 1903. The collection includes twenty-one volumes of his diaries, including newspaper clippings, letters, photographs, sketches, and various other items inserted by Gunn. Diary entries date from July 7, 1849, to April 7, 1863, and include his experiences with the New York publishing and literary world, his descriptions of boarding houses, his travels throughout the United States, and his experiences traveling with the Federal army as a Civil War correspondent.
Publisher:Missouri History Museum
Rights:Copyright 2010 Missouri History Museum.
Source:Page images, transcriptions, and metadata of the Thomas Butler Gunn diaries have been provided by the Missouri History Museum.