My mother always warned me against picking berries and eating them. Here’s why:
The Weekly Thibodaux Sentinel
June 3, 1893
A very sad and unfortunate affair that brought mourning and sorrow to the family of Orestile Bergeron, assistant manager on Maj. Lagarde’s Leighton plantation, took place last Saturday evening.
His two daughters aged 6 and 10 years ate some berries gathered from the Jamestown weed, by which they were poisoned. Falling sick after dark, both children being subject to spasms, the parents gave the usual remedies, being ignorant of what the children had eaten.
As the afflicted ones grew worse, Dr. Meyer was called early Sunday morning, who by the use of emetics caused one of the children to vomit the poisonous grains, when the real cause of the illness was made known, but too late to be counteracted by human skill. One died at 10 p.m. and the other at 2:30 a.m., on Sunday, Both were buried in St Joseph’s Cemetery on Monday morning.
I found this article on Chronicling America. This is the Library of Congress’ effort to put old newspapers online. The link is http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/. Best of all, there’s a search engine.