A lavish wedding occurred at Virginia’s Emory and Henry College, in May of 1855. Noted bachelor Henry Solon Kane, Esq., of Scott County, married Miss Sarah Anderson, daughter of esteemed Col. Anderson of Washington County. The ordeal they suffered proves you can’t be too careful when it comes to catering.
The couple enjoyed a beautiful ceremony at the college. The festivities continued at the reception party in Scott County, Virginia. One of the party’s highlights was delicious custard, a delicacy at the time. The next day, they discovered something was horribly wrong. Everyone who had attended the reception, and who had partaken of the custard, grew violently ill.
The few who hadn’t enjoyed the dessert attempted to care for the ailing. Two physicians had been invited to the festivities and both concluded the entire party had been poisoned. The remaining custard was examined and found to contain a lethal level of arsenic. The servants did not draw suspicions because they had eaten just as much custard as the guests, and were just as ill.
By the time all victims became ill, around 25 people were not expected to survive, including the bride. Suspicion eventually fell upon an African-American maid, but it was quickly directed towards an unnamed white woman.
Fortunately, both bride and groom survived the brush with death and went on to have seven children. The attempted murderer was never apprehended.