SEATON, Thomas (d. 1874)

A Sad Suicide in Tennessee
(from the Knoxville Chronicle, July 1st)

For some time past Thomas N. SEATON, who lived near Cedar Springs, in the eleventh district of this county, showed signs at times of mental derangement, and sometimes would become perfectly wild.  Dr. MARTIN, of Campbell station, his family physician, pronounced it rheumatism of the head, and treated the case as such.  Dr. CAMPBELL, having advised his family to take him to the springs, Capt. SEATON, his brother, started with him to Oliver Springs, a distance of some twenty-three miles from his home, on Sabbath morning last, arriving at the springs that evening.  Everything passed off quietly until Monday evening, when the invalid and his brother were sitting in a room, the latter reading.  Suddenly the invalid rose from his seat and approached his brother with an open knife in a threatening position, while in his eye could be seen that he was on a mischief bent.  His brother quickly arose and began to joke him about having his knife in that position, and finally persuaded him to again take his seat.

Captain SEATON seeing that his brother was in a condition to hurt himself or someone else, determined, if possible, to obtain the knife from him, and with that intention took out a plug of tobacco from his valise, and asked the invalid for the knife to cut it. He, however, refused to give it up, but jumping up he made a thrust at his brother, and stepping back he began rapidly plunging the knife in his own breast.  The Captain made several attempts to arrest his movement, but every time was repelled with the knife, and finally had to flee the room to save his own life.  The invalid having in the meantime, however, plunged the knife some twelve or thirteen times in his own breast, touching the heart, followed his brother out of the room, and began to run away.  He jumped over two or three fences, fell, got up again, ran another short distance and then fell again, this time remaining on the ground.  He was soon surrounded by a crowd, when he at once gave up the knife, and calling for his brother, died in a few minutes.

Thomas N. SEATON, the deceased, was highly respected in the community in which he lived, and an active, faithful member of the Cedar Spring Presbyterian Church.  In fact, he was the life of that church, being a leader in every movement that tended to advance the cause of the Saviour he proposed to serve.  He leaves a wife and eight children to mourn his loss, and not alone will they mourn, but the entire community in which he lived.  His remains were brought home yesterday morning, and will be interred at Pleasant Forest graveyard, where some of his relatives now rest in peace.

Source: Sacramento Daily Union, Volume 27, Number 7263, 15 July 1874. Available at the California Digital Newspaper Collection. <>

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