November 7, 1872
Our Coulterville correspondent furnishes us the following particulars concerning the death of Mr. Z. P. Flower, a citizen of that place, who deliberately ended his life by cutting his own throat with a razor.
The circumstances as we were able to learn from the family, are about as follows:
He arose that morning about his usual hour, eat his breakfast, cut some wood, and took his usual morning nap, the family being unable to discover anything unusual in his manner or conduct. Arising from his morning nap, he went to, and sat down by the writing stand, preparing (as they thought) to write a letter. He arose from the desk and went into the kitchen, and soon after a noise was heard in that part of the house, and upon opening the door, the old man was seen with a bloody razor in his hand, his throat stretched forward and laid open, and the blood spouting in streams from a savage wound. The alarm was given; the family (consisting of wife and daughter), fled in terror from the premises, but their places were filled with strong men, who immediately took the razor from his hand, and placed him under guard, as he was so fully determined to die, that he would use anything to hasten his death; indeed that determination was so strong, that when the doctors approached to examine and assist him, he plunged both his hands into the gaping wound, and tried to tear it larger. He even sat down beside the table and pressed the corner of the table into the wound.
About 12 o’clock he was laid upon a bed, and shortly after wrote upon a slate “all right.” “Take care of my wife and little ones.” And again “ I know all,” meaning that he was in his right mind. “Bury me.” “Let me die quick.” In regard to the cause, he spoke of his poverty and other matters; none of which, we think, were sufficient to cause the deed; but we are rather forced to the conclusion that he felt himself feeble, and a burden rather than a blessing to his family. He was a very ambitious man, and together with the fact, that he had perfect confidence of his salvation, and seemed to have no fear of death, enabled him, in his right mind and with deliberation, to come to the conclusion that he would be better out of this world than in it; and therefore he determined to take his own life. He would get angry if you spoke of his recovery. He would not permit anything to be done for him. He would not let you speak to him about asking repentance for the great sin he had committed, for he did not believe he had committed a sin, but always protested that he had done right. He said to Rev. Wallace that “hell was made for devils, not men.” He said to Rev. Bratton that he had as great confidence now as ever he had. He seemed to have no doubts at all of his future happiness.
The courage he exhibited, the singleness of purpose, and the tenacity with which he clung to his determination to die, convince us that he did not do the act while in a fit of despondency or rage, but that it was done after calm deliberation, and for the one purpose of removing himself from this world to the future state of happiness which he so firmly believed was in store for him.
He was carefully watched during Saturday night, throughout the Sabbath day and night, and even Monday morning he was thought to be as strong as when the act was committed on Saturday. But loss of blood, and want of nourishment began to tell upon him during the day, and at 2 o’clock he died without a struggle.
It is said by those who attended his bedside, that up to the hour of his death, he craved both poison and the razor. That he did not regret the act, that he did not want to live, and that he had done right in killing himself. “All is well with me,” was written a few moments before his death, and were his last words.
Thus ends the saddest link in the chain of unfortunate events that has lately given to our fair village, such unpleasant notoriety.