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Hattie Brown’s Death

From the Nashville Banner
Tuesday, July 15, 1884

Hattie Brown’s Death: a supposed suicide in North Nashville this morning

Deputy Coroner Pulliam was notified by telephone this morning, at 9:30 o’clock, of a case of suicide in North Nashville. Accompanied by a Banner reporter, he immediately repaired to the house designated, which is on Cridle street, and is known as “Turner’s frame.”  A large crowd of negroes had collected around the door and were discussing the event.  Upon entering, the deputy coroner found that Justice Adams had preceded him and held the inquest, the jury returning a verdict of death from the excessive use of whisky and morphine.  A number of witnesses were examined and it was shown that the woman, Hattie Brown, died between 8 and 9 o’clock yesterday and last night, and that she was an habitual morphine eater.

Dr. Rainey identified that the appearance of the deceased showed that this was the cause of her death.  Matt. Linch, colored, the proprieter of the house, testified that the girl was in her usual health last night, but after retiring, Willis Hope had given her a severe beating, and she was positive that this was the main cause of her death.  She also stated that Hope remained in the room with the girl until this morning, when he left, locking the door behind him and leaving the girl locked up.  About 8:30 o’clock Hope returned to the house and gave the alarm.  She insisted on Hope’s arrest, but the jury fully exonerated him.

Deputy Coroner Pulliam conferred with Coroner Campbell, and was instructed to hold an inquest, ignoring the former one.  The body was then removed to Litton & Pulliam’s establishment, and the inquest held.

When Deputy Coroner Pulliam, in carrying out the orders of the coroner, went to the house to remove the body of Hattie Brown to his undertaking establishment, there to hold the inquest, he was met at the house by W.S. Cook of Combs & Co., to whom Justice Adams turned the body over.  Cook said Pulliam should not remove the remains.  Cook finally, however, gave in and allowed Pulliam to carry out his orders.

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