The woman in the iron coffin

Warnasch found in the 1850 census that Martha Peterson was living with one William Raymond who happened to be Fisk’s brother-in-law, next-door neighbor and business partner. So if Martha Peterson died of smallpox in William Raymond’s home, there’s no question she would have been buried in one the coffins he made, ideal for quarantine purposes. The patent mark was out of alignment which made that coffin a second, not saleable to the Dolley Madison level of clientele, but it was still as air-tight and safe as any other Fisk coffin. The remarkable condition of Ms. Peterson’s body after so many years attests to that.

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Comment by dearieme
2018-10-08 07:48:32

“able to narrow it down to one very strong possibility”: I found the explanation mildly disappointing. I had hoped she was someone’s much loved nanny, or much loved mistress.

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Comment by Vic Pollard
2018-10-08 12:49:18

Where is page two?

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Comment by H. Bone
2018-10-08 14:07:02

My favorite blog.
Happy Birthday!

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Comment by Jack the Rapper
2018-10-08 14:39:27

“mors stupebit, et amor,
cum resurget excavator.

dies irae, dies illa,
solvet saeclum in favilla.”


Anthony de Lucy, 3rd Baron Lucy, for example, was killed in 1368 in Lithuania, while on crusade fighting for the Teutonic Knights, and in 1981 his extremely well preserved body was discovered during an archaeological dig by the University of Leicester on the site of St Bees in northern England.

Thus, what people have been doing for over 500 years is worth a US patent, when –all of a sudden– iron is applied as ‘metal’ instead of zinc? :confused:

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Comment by Susan Humeston
2018-10-09 18:52:37

One flaw in the reasoning that Martha Peterson’s parents had the Peterson last name is that in the 1850 US Federal Census, Martha (age 26) AND Henry (age 35) Peterson are listed as living in the house of William and Josephine Raymond – I assume as servants. Then Peterson would be Martha’s married name and not necessarily her birth name…..

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Comment by Rebecca
2018-10-10 01:45:51

Above the comments, under the share/save bar, you should see “Pages 1 2” — click on two and there you go.

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Comment by brooklyn99
2018-10-11 15:21:57

Imagine she was buried with something valuable like gold. I always wish to be lucky and come across an infinite amount of gold. Nevertheless, super cool story.

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