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The San Francisco Daily Morning Call, September 17, 1864


An inquest was held last evening at the County Hospital, to inquire into the recent suicide of Dr. Raymond, late Resident Physician of that institution. R. G. Tobin, Esq., Justice of the First Township, officiated as Coroner. A number of witnesses were examined, who entered into a minute detail of everything that had transpired for several days previous to the death of the Doctor, having the slightest bearing on the matter, as he commission of the rash act. The testimony fully establishes the fact that the Doctor, at the time and for sometime previous, was laboring under a temporary aberration of mind. Our limited space precludes the possibility of giving more than a faithful epitome of the witnesses' statements. Dr. Holman, on the morning of the 10th, received a note informing him that Dr. Raymond was ill, and leaving a message to that effect for Dr. Nuttall, he repaired at once to the Hospital, where he found deceased insensible, and evidently under the effect of morphine. He found it impossible to arouse him. The electrogalvanic battery was applied by Dr. Gerry; an emetic of the sulphate of zinc was administered by Mr. Pond, the apothecary of the Hospital, previous to the arrival of the physician, and an injection was given. Every remedy was used that medical skill could summon, without even appearing to rally him from the comatose condition in which he was at first discovered. The only sign of sensibility seemed to have been indicated when Mr. Pond applied his mouth close to the Doctor's ear, and called him in a loud voice. Dr. R. opened his eyes for a moment, and fixed them on Mr. Pond, but did not speak. From the first the sufferer exhibited all the effects of narcotic poison or apoplexy. His features were rigid, and his jaws so firmly set that it was only with the great est difficulty that the tube of the stomach-pump could be introduced into his stomach. In an adjoining room, on a table, was a drachm vial of morphine, partly empty, and close by it a tumbler of water with morphine dissolved in it, from which he had evidently taken the fatal draught. On the bed in which the Doctor was lying was the Morning Alta, as Dr. Gerry positively states, and by it his spectacles. The witnesses differed some in their impressions concerning the effect on the mind of deceased of certain newspaper articles of that morning. Dr. Nuttall felt sure that the rash act was hastened from having read certain articles reflecting on his character, while Dr. Gerry and Mr. Pond both agree in their impressions, from the appearance of things, that the fatal dose was taken a considerable length of time before he got the paper, and that he had not even so much as seen the article in the paper that morning, as it was lying on his bed, having the appearance of not having been unfolded. Witnesses state that there was no other paper in the room. Deceased has recently spoken of suicidal propensities that possessed him at times, and made him apprehensive that he would make an attempt at self destruction. He spoke calmly about it, and said that at times it was almost irresistible. At such times he seemed extremely dejected; told Dr. Nuttall, a day or two before his death, that his "evil genius was a suicidal devil," and gave the Doctor his knife, fearing he might attempt violence on himself with it. He placed himself under treatment of Dr. N. a short time since, for this mental disease, and after two days seemed much better. All the medical witnesses, Drs. Holman, Nuttall and Geary, agree in their belief that the suicide was committed during a temporary fit of insanity, aggravated doubtless by certain recent charges implicating him in frauds in the Hospital accounts and management. He spoke of the matter as if his sense of honor was wounded, though Dr. Gerry testifies that he "saw Dr. Raymond previously with regard to the charges in the morning papers, and he appeared to regard them with the contempt which they merited." Dr. Raymond stated to Mr. Pond on Monday last, during a conversation with reference to his suicidal propensities, that he had twice before in his life been affected in the same manner, and he was fearful at times that he would do himself an injury. The day before he died he conversed very calmly with his cousin, Mr. I. W. Raymond, on this subject. Dr. Nuttall felt certain that the act was not one of his volition; that if deceased had been in a proper state of mind, his energies would have been directed against it. Deceased was in comfortable circumstances, suffered from no pecuniary embarrassments, had, he said, five thousand dollars in the Savings Bank, and about as much in United States Bonds, besides what he had in his pocket; said he was never better off in his life, and had plenty saved up for the time he was likely yet to live. Deceased was a native of New York, fifty eight years of age. He has a step mother and two brothers living - one in New York and one in Maryland. The jury returned a verdict in accordance with the above facts.

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