• Woman Feloniously, Insanely Hangs Self Against the Peace of Pennsylvania

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    DR. HENRY REEMSYNDER was born in 1825 and died in 1877. He studied medicine under Dr. Weidler of Mechanicsburg and received a degree from the PA Medical College at Philadelphia. He became proficient in dentistry and also owned a drug store. He was 1st Lieutenant in Co. F, 9th PA during the Civil War and was later promoted to Captain. Discharged for physical disability, he returned to Lancaster County and practiced medicine.

    JACBOB KEMPER (March 20, 1824-April 25, 1899) was a successful businessman who prospered in the tinsmith and printer trade. He was also Justice of the Peace for many years in Lancaster County, PA, appointed by Gov. Hartranft. Elizabeth Slick (March 3, 1790 - September 16, 1863) is buried in Bethany Cemetery. The date of her passing listed at Bethany is slightly off. Slick was found hanging from a tree in the woods in Ephrata Township of Lancaster County, believed by some to be a highly unusual and somewhat suspicious way for a woman to commit suicide.

    Archive of five documents, various sizes, relating to the official inquest in Slick's death. In part: "An inquisition indented and taken at the township of Ephrata, County of Lancaster, the eleventh day of Sept. in the year 1863 before me, Jacob Kemper, a Justice of the Peace, upon the view of the body of Elizabeth Slick, then and there hanging and dead.

    "Upon the affirmations of Isaac Zwally, Gideon Likens, Joseph Garber, Henry Meily, Daniel A. Dissinger and Urias Meily, good and lawful men of the county aforesaid, who being affirmed to inquire of the part of the Commonwealth, when, where, how, and after what manner the said Slick came to her death, do say, upon their affirmation, that not having the fear of God before her eyes at the township aforesaid, in a certain woods at the township aforesaid, was found hanging by the neck on a tree, and the said Elizabeth Slick being then and there alone with a certain wash line tied around her neck, voluntarily and feloniously and of her partial insanity and aforesaid, hanged and suffocated. She killed herself against the peace and dignity of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

    "In witness whereof the jurors have to this put their hands and seals on the day and year and at the place above mentioned." Jurors have added their signatures.

    Another document reads: "Sept. 11, 1863, From an examination made by and upon the body of Mrs. Elizabeth Slick, who was found hanging by the neck on a tree, I make the following report.

    "The neck was not dislocated as usual in hanging, but she evidently died from suffocation caused by the closing of the respiratory passages, as no other marks of violence were found upon the body, presuming the cause of the act to be partial insanity. "Henry Reemsynder, M.D."

    Third document: "Received Sept. 11, 1863 of Jacob Kemper each of us the sum of 50 cents as Jurors in the inquisition of Elizabeth Slick." Also signed by the jurors.

    Fourth document: "Ephrata, Sept. 11, 1863 County Commissioners to Jacob Kemper Holding inquest on the body of Elizabeth Slick "To viewing the body: $2.75 "Summons and Qualifying Jurors: $1.37 "6 Jurors Pay: $3 "Messinger: $1 "22 m. cer: .$88 "For a total of $10 "Fifth document is a check payable from the Commissioners of Lancaster, PA for $10 for the Inquest on the body of Eliz. Slick dated Sept. 28th, 1863 to John Kemper and endorsed by him on the verso. Documents are in overall excellent condition with folds and several storage holes, affecting very little.

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