haywood
Niagara Falls From a Glass Transparency by Detroit Publishing Company, c. 1890. Courtesy of the Library of Congress

Here poor, unfortunate Haywood lies;
Nobody laughs, nobody cries;
Where he’s gone and how he fares
Nobody knows and nobody cares.


Source: T.W. Kriner. In the Mad Water: Two Centuries of Adventure and Lunacy at Niagara Falls.  Buffalo: J & J Publishing, 1999

Haywood jumped over Niagara Falls on September 10, 1891, and his body was never recovered. The above poem was found in a suicide letter addressed to Haywood’s friend Charles D. Nichols, as published in In the Mad Water:

Friend Charlie —

By the time you get this letter I shall be no more. You must, of course, know that I have run behind a Salamanca. In fact, I have not been able to make expenses since I went there. You see, old man, I had to wait there more than three weeks for goods, and, of course, it put me behind a good deal. And now that I realize how much I am in debt to B. & L. I see no way for me to make the same good, and I can’t and won’t face the disgrace of a defaulter.

I have come here with the deliberate intention of committing suicide, and I have a ticket in my pocket now for Niagara Falls. I leave here at 12 o’clock and will go over the falls as soon as I get there. I made a great mistake, Charlie, when I went to work for Baker; it was all out of my line, and now that the end has come and I see nothing but disgrace staring me in the face, I would suffer a thousand deaths before I would be sent up as a thief. I never intended to do wrong, but circumstances were against me, and I am now going to pay for the same with my life. Some, of course, will say that I am crazy, but you know better than that. I am just as cool and collected now as I ever was in my life. I owe Louis some $12.00, but he has plenty of goods in his charge and will no doubt look out for himself. I don’t know how much I am behind with B. & L., but it must be about $35.00.

Well, old man, don’t think worse of me than you can help, for I never meant to do what I have, and I guess I am my own worse enemy. You will, of course. see from the papers that I have done as I have stated, but I thought I would write to you anyway, as you alone can understand why I should take my life, And now, my friend, good bye.

If my body is found I think the following verse would be very appropriate.

Here poor, unfortunate Haywood lies;
Nobody laughs, nobody cries;
Where he’s gone and how he fares
Nobody knows and nobody cares.

Yours sincerely,

Walter Haywood
Buffalo, Sept. 10, 1891

haywood
Niagara Falls From a Glass Transparency by Detroit Publishing Company, c. 1890. Courtesy of the Library of Congress

Here poor, unfortunate Haywood lies;
Nobody laughs, nobody cries;
Where he’s gone and how he fares
Nobody knows and nobody cares.


Source: T.W. Kriner. In the Mad Water: Two Centuries of Adventure and Lunacy at Niagara Falls.  Buffalo: J & J Publishing, 1999

Haywood jumped over Niagara Falls on September 10, 1891, and his body was never recovered. The above poem was found in a suicide letter addressed to Haywood’s friend Charles D. Nichols, as published in In the Mad Water:

Friend Charlie —

By the time you get this letter I shall be no more. You must, of course, know that I have run behind a Salamanca. In fact, I have not been able to make expenses since I went there. You see, old man, I had to wait there more than three weeks for goods, and, of course, it put me behind a good deal. And now that I realize how much I am in debt to B. & L. I see no way for me to make the same good, and I can’t and won’t face the disgrace of a defaulter.

I have come here with the deliberate intention of committing suicide, and I have a ticket in my pocket now for Niagara Falls. I leave here at 12 o’clock and will go over the falls as soon as I get there. I made a great mistake, Charlie, when I went to work for Baker; it was all out of my line, and now that the end has come and I see nothing but disgrace staring me in the face, I would suffer a thousand deaths before I would be sent up as a thief. I never intended to do wrong, but circumstances were against me, and I am now going to pay for the same with my life. Some, of course, will say that I am crazy, but you know better than that. I am just as cool and collected now as I ever was in my life. I owe Louis some $12.00, but he has plenty of goods in his charge and will no doubt look out for himself. I don’t know how much I am behind with B. & L., but it must be about $35.00.

Well, old man, don’t think worse of me than you can help, for I never meant to do what I have, and I guess I am my own worse enemy. You will, of course. see from the papers that I have done as I have stated, but I thought I would write to you anyway, as you alone can understand why I should take my life, And now, my friend, good bye.

If my body is found I think the following verse would be very appropriate.

Here poor, unfortunate Haywood lies;
Nobody laughs, nobody cries;
Where he’s gone and how he fares
Nobody knows and nobody cares.

Yours sincerely,

Walter Haywood
Buffalo, Sept. 10, 1891


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