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September 3, 1887

THE BURTON CASE.Read in the Section on Medical Jurisprudence, at the Thirty-Eighth Annual Meeting of the American Medical Association, June, 1887.

JAMA. 1887;IX(10):295-300. doi:10.1001/jama.1887.02400090007002

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On the morning of October 6, 1885, the quiet town of Newport, R. I., was startled by the report that Benjamin J. Burton, an industrious and inoffensive colored man, had committed suicide by shooting himself in the head and in the heart. The act was supposed to have been committed just after finishing his breakfast. The body was discovered lying on its back on the floor near the table where he had been eating. The body was stretched out—the head somewhat bent over to the right, the hands natural, the right open, the left not so much so; the legs were slightly separated. The revolver was about a foot from the body, the barrel pointed towards it. The mouth contained food slightly protruding from it. Upon the floor was a teacup tipped over on its side.

The Medical Examiner, the Coroner and the City Marshal were soon on the spot.

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