Albert J Pierce

Albert J Pierce

Death 16 Jul 1913 (aged 44–45)
Bismarck, Burleigh County, North Dakota, USA
Burial Bismarck, Burleigh County, North Dakota, USA
Plot This grave is unmarked and it's location is unknown.
Memorial ID 61980958 · View Source
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Had Been Giving Exhibitions With Carnival in Bismarck This Week

Was a Constant Slave to Drug Habit and Died From an Overdose

Autopsy Held and Embalmed Body May be Shipped to New York City

Pierce had disposed of all papers that would have given any information regarding his affairs, but the management of the carnival company knowing that New York City was his home, learned yesterday that Hotel Trafalgar in that city was his headquarters, and a message from the clerk of that hotel last night read as follows:

"Chief of Police, Bismarck, N. D.
"I underrstand that John Hopkins University at Baltimore, Md. owns the body of Pierce the Yellow Boy, but I know nothing more."
Clerk, Hotel Trafalgar"

It was stated last night that Pierce had often told of having sold is body to that university, and that he had some time ago received the sum of $500, and that his body was to be delivered there after his death. It was not certain last night just what would be done with the remains.

Albert J. Pierce, sword swallower with the Allman Carnival show in the city, died in a tent Wednesday morning about 7:30 from the effects of morphine poisoning.

Pierce had been with this carnival company for the past six weeks and gave some startling demonstrations and also gave an exhibition with live snakes, but outside of the extremely large doses of morphine he had taken externally with a needle and hyoscine, he had taken internally in tablet form, his body seemed to be in a perfectly normal condition.

He had been ill on Tuesday and while at a local hospital before he could be prevented, he took a dose of morphine large enough, it was said, to have killed six men. He had on a daily average used about 10 grains of either morphine or hyoscine, and always took extremely large doses, and he had kept up this habit for the past 24 years, but he took an overdose of morphine Wednesday morning and death ensued shortly afterwards.

The manager of the carnival was with Pierce at the time of his death, and Dr. Smythe, the county coroner, had the body removed to the undertaking parlors of Traux Brothers where an autopsy was held and death was pronounced to have been caused from morphine and hyoscine poisoning.

From what could be learned of Pierce's past history, he was 45 years of age and was a Frenchman by birth. He has a wife, a Chinese woman, who lives in New York City, which place is Pierce's home. He also has three sons there.

At one time he had studied medicine and was well posted as to the uses of strong opiates. It seems that some time ago he had contracted with a large hospital in New York to have his body delivered there after his death, as that institution desired to make an examination of what effects these strong drugs have had.

The management of the carnival is attempting, by telegraph, to locate Pierce's family and his body which has been embalmed will either be shipped back to New York or buried in Bismarck.

The Bismarck Daily Tribune
Thursday, July 17, 1913
Page 1

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  • Created by: Brian Backes
  • Added: 21 Nov 2010
  • Find a Grave Memorial 61980958
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Albert J Pierce (1868–16 Jul 1913), Find a Grave Memorial no. 61980958, citing Fairview Cemetery, Bismarck, Burleigh County, North Dakota, USA ; Maintained by Brian Backes (contributor 47148484) .