POISON HER PASSION
JANE TOPPAN CONFESSES TO
KILLING THIRTY-ONE PERSONS,
Long List of Persons Done to Death
- by Trained Nurse Alienists Puz
zled Over Most Remarkable Case in
. Jane Toppan, spinster, aged 45, a
trained nurse by profession and by
confession a murderer of thirty-one
persons, is now safely confined at the
asylum for the insane at Taunton,
Mass., to which place she was taken
after the alienists appointed by the
court had declared her of unsound
mind and irresponsible for her con
Her crimes outrivaled those of Lu-
cretia Borgia. She 6tands singly and
alone as the greatest criminal of mod
ern times. Holmes, who was hanged
at Philadelphia In 1895, was an ama
teur; Garcia Palasco, executed in the
City of Mexico in 1867; Valdirez Mas-
sinni, garroted in Barcelona forty
years ago, and Maria Polloch, put to
death in St. Petersburg in 1856, were
angels of mercy as compared to this
woman. Her recital of her crimes
makes one's blood run cold. She has
told of the death of her victims as
If she were talking about a summer
picnic at which she enjoyed herself;
of the fiendish subtlety she employed
in ending human lives, the patience
she maintained during the paroxysms
preceding dissolution, the exuberance
and Joy which came to her when she
saw their eyelids pressed down. No
ghost has come to ber in the midnight
hours to disturb her dreams, no smart
ing of conscience visited her unnat
ural brain that excited either tears or
The three alienists who examined
into her sanity marveled and thought
she was an extraordinary criminal
when she confessed that she had pois
oned eleven persons and attempted to
kill two others. But to these men
she told only one-third of the tale of
For the purpose of his further in
vestigation from a medical standpoint.
Dr. Henry R. Stedman was told of the
confession of Miss Toppan that she
killed by the uses of narcotic poisons
twenty persons in addition to those
she had mentioned to him. Dr. Sted
man has in preparation a work for
psychologists, with Jane Toppan as
the subject of investigation. He had
intended writing merely of his own
observations and detailing the admis
sion of eleven murders she made to
him. When he was told of the other
twenty he decided that the magni
tude of the case required the most
careful investigation, and he intends
to consult the attending physicians of
each patient Miss Toppan says she
poisoned to ascertain if her story of
the manner of death is consistent with
the symptoms observed by the doc
tors. The following is a list of those she
has put to death within the past
seven years. She has promised her
attorney that as soon as her mind be
comes fresher she will prepare for
him a complete roster of those she
has killed with morphine and atro
phine. Israel P. Dunham of Cambridge,
died May 26, 1895, aged 83. Cause
given, "strangulated hernis." Ill four
days. Jane Toppan nursed him.
Mrs. Lovey P. Dunham, wife of Is-
Mrs. Mary D. Gibbs.
(Woman for whose death Miss Toppan
rael, died in Cambridge Sept. 19. 1897,
aged 87. "Old age" Jane Toppan
Mrs. O. A. Bridgman of Lowell, died
Aug. 29, 1899. aged 69. Two days'
Illness. "Heart failure." Jane Top
pan was in the house when she died,
and waited upon her a part of the
time she was ill.
Mrs. Mary McNear of Cambridge,
wealth v widow," died Dec. 28, 190O,
aged 70.- Two days illness. "Apo
plexy." Jane Toppan nursed her Tt
three hours before death.
Mrs. Florence M. Calkins, houst
keeper for O. M. Bridgman of Loweli
died Jan. 15, 1900, aged 45. Ill thre
days. "Heart allure." Jane Toppai
was in the house when she died.
William H. Ingraham of Watertowx
died Jan. 27, 1900, aged 70. "Hear,
failure." Jane Toppan nursed him.
Miss Uarah E. Connors, matron a
St. John's Theological school refec
tory, died in Cambridge Feb 11, 190C
aged 48. "Complication of diseases.
Under care of Jane Toppan.
Mrs. Alden P. Davis of Cataumet
died in Cambridge July 4, 1901, age
62. "Chronic diabetes." Jane Top
pan nursed her.
Mrs. Annie E. Gordon of Chicago
daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Alden F
Davis, died at Cataumet, July 31, 1901
Short illness. No death certificate
Jane Toppan nursed her.
Alden P. Davis, died in Calumet
Aug. 8, 1901, aged 65. Few days ill
ness. No death certificate. Jane Top
pan nursed him.
Mrs. Mary E. Gibbs, daughter o
Mr. and Mrs. Alden P. Davis, died li
Cataumet Aug. 13, 1901, aged 40. Twi
days' illness. No deatn certificate
Jane Toppan nursed her.
Mrs. Edna Bannister o Tunbridge
Vt., sister of O. M. Bridgman, died li
Lowell Aug. 27, 1901, aged 77. Twc
days' illness. "Heart failure." Jan
Toppan was In the house when sh
Of the whole number there was no"
one case that had aroused any sus
picion on the part of the physician
who, depending upon the nurse, was
using his best skill to restore the pa
tient to health. Miss Toppan sai
she had heard of no question by an3
doctor that she had not carried ou
his instructions to the best of her abil
ity or that she had not shown profes
sional enthusiasm ana faithfulness
The same doctors, she said, had en
gaged he? in subsequent cases.
Her counsel was satisfied witt
homicidal details long before she fin
Ished. But she declared that sh
wished to tell the whole story.
"Well, how did you kill them?" sh
"I gave them doses of morphine ani
atrophine tablets in mineral wate
and sometimes in a dilution of whis
ky," she said. "Then. I also used in
jections just as I did at Cataumet.
do not remember how I killed then
all, but those that I recall were poi
soned by atrophine and morphine
My memory is not good; I forge-
"No, I have absolutely no remorse
I have never felt sorry for what
have done. Even wnen I poisoned mj
dearest friends, as the Davises were
I did not feel any regret afterward.
James Stuart Murphy.
(Miss Toppan's junior counsel, to
whom she made her confession.)
do not feel any remorse now. I have
thought it all over, and 1 cannot de
lect the slightest bit of sorrow over
what I have done.".
Upon successive visits of her coun
sel Miss Toppan added details to the
narrative of crime that had oeen the
history of her career as a nurse dur
ing the last ten years.
This confession was made to Judge
Bixby and he instantly advised with
the state authorities that a committee
of experts be selected that would be
satisfactory. To the physicians she
was uncommunicative for some days,
refusing to answer questions and
otherwise, acting ugly. Finally she
agreed to tell them of her life. For
five hours the doctors listened to her
story, the strangest and bloodiest they
had ever heard. She told them that
she had killed her first victim' when
a young girl and while attending an
undergraduate school for nurses; that
a desire to seeone die as a result of
her own methods was so strong as to
overpower her. The victim was a
young man well on the road to recov
ery when she gave him - poison. To
the death rattle in his throat vaa
oet as music and when she Baw
.- ccld in death she kissed him. -
"Soon the mania became an uncon
trollable passion," she said. "No voice
has as much melody in it as the on
crying for life; no eyes as bright a
those about to become fixsd ana
glass.-'; no face so beautiful a th
one pulseless and cold."
Settling the "Tip" Question.
The awkward question of the tip
was w?ea by a big New Englander
from the State oi Maine who was din-
i is in a London restaurant the other
evening. Having paid his bill he was
informed by the waiter that what he
had paid did "not include the waiter."
"Wal," said the stranger, "I ate no
waiter, dii I?" And as he looked quite
ready to do so on any further provo
cation the subject was dropped.
Has Charge of Public Playground.
Rev. Charles V. La Fontaine, pas
tor of the Ada Street Methodist Epis
copal church of Chicago, is supervisor
of the first public school playgrounds
in the city. He originated the idea.
SALISCVTJ7 RESIGNS HIGH
- Lord Salisbury has resigned the
premiership of Great Britain and his
nephew, Arthur J. Balfour, is now
prime minister. '
Like Gladstone, Lord Salisbury
has been prime minister four times,
but the duration of his four admin
istrations was nearly fifteen years,
whereas his great rival held the
premiership only a little over twelve.
Lord Salisbury first became premier
in June, 1885, Gladstone having re
signed office in consequence of his
defeat in - the house of commons on
the proportional duties on beer and
spirits. The conservative minister
remained in office until the follow
ing February, when Gladstone entered
upon his third administration. After
an existence of only 17S days the lib-
Born " 1830
Member of parliament since 1853
Enters cabinet as secretary of state state for India 1866
Chancellor of Oxford University 1869
Returns to cabinet as secretary or state for India 1874
Special ambassador to Turkey.... 1876
Minister for foreign araairs 1878
Attends Berlin congress 1878
Elected leader of conservative party.... 1881
First term as premier begins 1885
Second term as premier 1886
Third term as premier 1892
Began last term as premier............ ." 1895
era! party was badly beaten on the
second reading of the Irish home rule
bill, in the largest division on record,
656 members out of 670 passing
through the division lobbies.
Then came Lord Salisbury's sec
ond term of office, which lasted from
August, 1886, until August, 1892, when
the house of commons gave Glad
stone a majority on the home rule
question. Lord Salisbury resigned
and Gladstone became premier . for
the fourth and last time. The second
home rule bill was thrown out by the
bouse of lords in September, 1894,
and in March of the following year
Gladstone resigned the seals of of
fice In favor of Earl Rosebery. The
ARTHUR J. BALFOUR, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER.
Born ....................................... ......... ............. 1848
Entered parliament 1874
Private secretary to Lord Salisbnry. 187S
Employed on special mission to Germany......................... 187S
Elected a privy councilor..... ................................... 1885
Secretary for Scotland, with .seat in cabinet ....................... -18S6
Elected lord rector of St. Andrew University 1886
Chief secretary for Ireland . - - 1887
Elected chancellor of Ed'nburg University .... .". 1891
Leader of House or Commons. ..................................... -1893
Leader of the opposition 1894
First lord of the treasury 1895
BALFOVR NOW PRIME MINISTER
liberal cabinet .was reconstructed and
remained In power three months
longer, when it was killed by th
famous Cordite division and Salisbury
became premier a third time, with a
solid majority of 152 in the house
of commons. There was a general
election in September, 1900, and union
Ists were again voted to power, with
a majority of 134 in the commons.
Salisbury for the fourth time took
up the premiership, but he left the
foreign secretaryship to Lord Lans
downe and became lord privy seal.
At the time of the death of Queen
Victoria he wished to resign and onl
remained In office at the urgent re
quest of King Edward. But he has
gradually lost touch with the affairs
of the nation, and the official an
nouncement that the king has at las"
accepted his resignation does not
cause any surprise.
It is significant that Balfour in
terviewed Chamberlain before con
sulting the other members of the
cabinet in regard to the situation.
Many people think that Chamberlain
must eventually reach the premier
ship, and it would give great satis
faction throughout the country if the
king had chosen him to step into
Salisbury's shoes in the ordinary
course of events. His chances of ob
taining premier honors are now con
siderably minimized, as he is many
years Balfour's senior. He will, how
ever, be as loyal to his new chief
as he was to the old one.
The Value of Advertising.
Be didn't do much, aad bis thoughts, it
is plain. -Were
borrowed from various sources.
He looked upon toil with an eye of dis
dain As a waste of superior forces.
But somehow he kept getting- further
Fate ne'er seemed unkindly to caper;
For all that he did and whatever he said
He carefully put in the paper.
T he made a small speech or was ill with
He sent for a Journalist quickly.
Till the people would anxiously wait to
If his status was robust or sickly.
And at last the community looked upon
As a power; a destiny-shaper.
While the worker remained in obscurity
'Cause his name didn't get in the paper.
Her Nest in a Monster's Mouth.
Of the many strange places in
which an English sparrow is satis
fied to shelter her young, the one
which is probably the most amusing,
and which is seldom noticed by those
in its vicinity, presents itself to the
observing passerby as he walks
through the Fifty-seventh street arch,
which serves as one entrance to the
University of Chicago.
The arch decorations consist of
large, ungainly monsters carved from
stone in such a manner as would give
them the appearance of crawling up
the sides of the arch. Above the
keystone of this arch stands the king
of the griffins, while over each pillar
where the arch rests is carved still
another hideous creature with wide
open jaws and bulging eyes. In truth
a more unshapely and uninviting ani
mal could not be conceived, even in
cluding one of King George's dragons.
One day a little spaFrow, after tug
ging at a straw, an end of whien was
deeply rooted in the ground, flew up
with the dry blade and alighted on
the head of one of these animals.
She chirped to her mate two or three
times, accidentally dropping the straw
in doing so, when she immediately
started to fly after it. A slight wind
was blowing at this moment and the
straw was forced between the very
jaws of this lifeless monster. ' The
courageous little bird followed it, and
alighted in the mouth of the animal,
but, alas! the straw had caught in
some wedge-shaped fissure in the
stone, and the persevering sparrow
pulled and tugged in vain. ,
A few days passed, when to the
observer's surprise, the single straw
bad been hidden by leaves, strings
and feathers; in fact, soft substances
of every description nearly filled the
monster's mouth, and on the top of
this delicately-built nest, chirping in
defiance to any bird which dared to
come near those awful jaws, sat the
same little sparrow, while snugly pro
tected under her were four, tiny eggs.
New Monte Carlo in Servia.
Despite official Servian denials it
is true that a concession has been
granted to a Franco-Belgian syndi
cate for a gambling establishment in
the Toptchidere Park, a quarter ot
an hour from Belgrade. The conces
sion has only to be confirmed by the
Skupstchina. The king is in favor
of it, and so are the members of the
government, with one exception. The
state will receive 40,000 a year and
10 per cent of the profits for eighty
years. The Toptchidere Park is very
prettily situated, with forests and
mountains surrounding it. This is
the spot where Prince Michel Obreno
vitch was assassinated in 1868. The
park at one time was used by the
Turks as an artillery practice
ground. Toptchidere means "the ar
The First Lucifer Match.
There have been many claimants to
the honor of being the maker of the
first lucifer match. Some old account
books at Stockton-on-Tees afford docu
mentary evidence which tends to
prove that one John Walker, a Dur
ham chemist, was the original inven
tor and maker of the match. Accord
ing to a dairy, in which Walker care
fully noted all his business transac
tions, the first box of matches was
sold for Is 6d in April, 1827. It ap
pears that they at once became popu
lar, and people traveled from the ad
jacent towns to purchase them. Wal
ker employed the poor of Stockton to
split the wood, but dipped them In
the phosphorous mixture himself to
insure their perfection.
Effects of Chloroform.
Prof. William James of Harvard uni
versity in a recent address in' Edin
burgh spoke of the curious half-conscious
states, marked by apparent in
crease of Intellectual powers, experi
enced by persons who are being put
under the influence of chloroform.
ether, nitrous oxide gas and other an
esthetics. He noted, however, that
all the exaltation of mind disappeared
when the subject began to approach
the normal state again. Still, he was
inclined, he said, to. believe that our
ordinary waking consciousness was
one type only of that mental phase,
and that other potential states lay be
yond it and often parted from it by
the filmiest of screens. "That may
be," says Dr. Andrew Wilson, com
menting on the theory of Prof. James,
but I scarcely think the stimulating
phase of chloroform or ether adminis
tration is likely to yield much that is
certain to the psychologist. I remem
ber an experiment made in which a
physiologist, determined to test this
question of brain stimulation, ar
ranged to keep, writing his thoughts
UIl be passed Into unconsciousness.
He experienced the exaltation of mini
and on coming to his senses anxiously
inquired what he had written. A
strong smell of turpentine pervades
the whole,' were the words he bad
Eggs and Milk in Bookbinding
It seems a somewhat surprising
statement to make that eggs, con
densed milk, olive oil and vinegar are
all used in the binding of books. Yet
such is the case.
The white of egg is used for "siz
ing" to cause the delicate ornamental
gold-leaf to adhere to the leather. To
make the "sizing" perform its adhe
sive work -even more delicately, a lit
tle milk is added; and to help further
in the Important work of adhesion, a
coating of olive oil or diluted vinegar,
is sometimes applied to the leather.
Wise old bookbinders have been
seen to use the light froth of ale as
a coating over a binding of silk. The
froth holds the gold-leaf with perfect
success and does not stain the silk.
Lightning on the Wing. '
In a recent communication to the
British Institution of Electrical En
gineers, Mr. Leonard Joseph reported
the following unusual occurrence.
During a thunderstorm a wild goose
was seen to fall to the ground, ap
parently directly out of the storm
clouds. After the storm was over
an examination revealed the body of
another goose at some distance from
the first. The only wounds found
upon the birds- were a narrow cut on
the neck of one and a small puncture
at the point where the neck joins the
body on the other. At these points
the feathers were slightly singed.
Both bird.3 proved perfectly fit tor
For Bald-Headed People.
Bald-headed people who have not yet
decided where to go for their summer
holiday should go to Casciana, in north
Italy, to test the virtue of its waters,
which are reputed to be natural hair
restorers, equally capable of restoring
hair to the bald and plumage to naked
birds. There is a tradition that In the
eleventh century the pet blackbird of
the Countess Matilda had lost all its
feathers, but recovered its plumage
after bathing In the marshes of Cas
ciana. The bird's example was fol
lowed by the ladies of the court, whose
hair was greatly increased in quan
tity and beauty, and whose bodies
became stronger and more youthful.
Saved Life by Eating Tail.
Workmen building a new house at
First and Neil avenues have been wor
ried over a noise they have heard in
the plastered wall of the structure.
They became nervous and tore tb'
wall out to ascertain the cause.
Here they found a cat, still alive,
but worn to a skeleton and the strange
part of the affair was that the cat had
eaten her tail off bit by bit to sustain
life during the three weeks she bad
been a prisoner.
The feline had evidently strayed Into
the space between the plastering the
night before the flooring was nailed
on, and had been there until discov
ered by tearing out the wail.
Cultivation of Cocoa.
A traveler in South America, whera
the cocoa tree Js largely cultivated,
speaks of the great care with whica
the young plants have to be protected
from the sun, which If very strong
is fatal to them. To secure this pro
tection the planters shield them by
banana trees and plantain trees, th?
broad leaves of which give them the
needed shade. And even when they
are fully grown they need protection,
which is given by trees known as
"immortels, " or, as the planters call
them, "the mother of the cocoa." Thus
the whole cocoa plantation has a sort
In the French Chamber.
M. Bourgeois, the new president ot
the French chamber of deputies, has a
rather weak voice, which is drowned
in the noise of any parliamentary hub
bub. He must resort even more fre
quently to the bell than his predeces
sor, M. Deschanel, was wont to do.
The latter, when president of the
chamber, cracked "three brass bells
with hard ringing. A bell is used in
stead of a gavel to maintain order.
Bullet in Babe's Brain.
Three-year-old Emil Wagner of Wau
toma. Wis., was discharged from St.
Joseph's Hospital with a bullet in his
brain, which, it Is believed, he will
carry for the remainder of his life, but
without Inconvenience. The boy was
wounded by a 9-year-old brother May
5 with a small rifle while the two were
walking in a field on their father's
farm fir Wautoma. Milwaukee Sen-
UneL . -
What Might Have Been.
There is a tale of a man who spent
his life in wishing he had lived dif
ferently, and when he died he was
surrounded by a throng of spectral
shapes, each one exactly like the
other, who. In his asking what they
were, replied: "We are all the dif
ferent lives you might have led."
Edith Wharton, "The Valley of Decis
ion." ' -
- Automobile for Doctor. -The
largest automobile in the world
is being constructed for a Parisian
doctor. In it, accompanied by two
medical students, he intends to make
a trip around the world. It will have
two sleeping apartments, a large work
room, and four big tanks for storing
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