19.95 In Stock
In the 19th and early 20th centuries, the most common method of suicide was taking poison-usually arsenic. On the farm, strychnine, cyanide, and arsenic were used to get rid of gophers, rabbits, and other vermin. Mental illness, especially depression, was regarded as the most important factor for suicide. In the 19th century about half the coroners' verdicts on suicide concluded that the victims were "insane." Suicidal attempts were often triggered by life crises-the death of a close relative or, more often, a breakdown in a romantic relationship. When there were few available painkillers, escape from physical illness was a common reason for suicide. Arsenic was often used for murder, as it was readily available, cheap, and pretty much tasteless when dissolved. Death by Poison is a riveting collection of true stories about people who had a hard time coping with life-either ending it by suicide or by murdering a person who made their life miserable. These stories take place throughout Minnesota from 1859 to 1913, involving people from all walks of life, documenting their struggles, their hardships, and the sad ways they ended their lives.