Hall & Pemberton Assisted Suicide

John Pemberton Gets Help From James Hall

From the book Annals of Newberry, John Belton O’Neall, 1892, page 346, comes this little humorous and sad tale of two friends. The reference to Newberry is to Newberry, South Carolina, the home of many Pembertons. One of the interesting facets of this story is that Isaiah Pemberton, born 1716, son of George Pemberton, married Elizabeth Hall. Isaiah and Elizabeth had a son Isaiah who married Ester Coate. This Isaiah and Ester  are undoubtedly the parents of the three Pemberton brothers mentioned in the following little story.

Three Pemberton brothers, namely, Isaiah, Robert and John, came from Newberry to Miami County, perhaps being sons of George, mentioned in the Annals. They opened farms and reared families some of whom yet live. John in after life went into a state of ‘melancholia’. Concluding he was useless to the world and had better leave it, he sent for James Hall, a once Newberry neighbor, but not a Quaker, and asked him if he did not think that he (John) had better commit suicide. Hall, who, though illiterate, had common sense, encouraged him in the project. Well, how had it better be done? Would not drowning in Ludlow Creek, which was near, be the best way of accomplishing it? ‘Yes,’ replied Hall, ‘and I’ll go down with you and if necessary help you do it.’ Having arrived at the creek, Pemberton stood hesitating upon the bank, when Hall shoved him in. He would not drown, however, but came out with a good wetting and, what was better, an entire cure of his suicidal desires. He lived many years afterwards, but in a state of semi-dementia, an object of pity to those who saw him.