Pioneers of Menard & Mason Counties|
Including Personal Reminiscens of
Abraham Lincoln & Peter Cartwright
By T.G. Onstot, 1902
A Fatal Accident
While Cartright was moving to Illinois an accident occurred to his third daughter and she was instantly killed. His wagon was overturned and came near killing his oldest daughter. After righting up the wagon they concluded to camp for the night on the spot, as they were very tired. After getting things righted up and the evening being very warm, the concluded not to stretch their tent for the night, so a fire was kindled at the root of a small tree, the tree appeared to be sound. They all lay down and slept soundly.
Just at daybreak the tree, at the root of which they had kindled the fire, fell, and it fell directly on his third daughter, and it is supposed she never breathed afterward. Cartright heard the tree when it started to fall and sprang up very much alarmed and seized the tree before it stuck the child but it availed nothing. Although it was an awful calamity, yet, if they had stretched their tent that night the way the tree fell, it would have killed the whole family. The tree was sound on the outside to a thickness of a carving knife, but the inside had dry rot. Cartright sent his teamster to those living near by for aid, but not a soul would come nigh. The teamster and Cartright went to cutting the tree off the child, and carefully drew the child out. Cartright laid her in the feed trough and moved on twenty miles.
Transcribed by: Brenda Hamilton Johnson