Cassidy Family - William Cassidy Obituary

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Hon. William Cassidy, Journalist

The death of Mr. Cassidy, editor of the Argus, took place in Albany, N. Y. at 4 ½ o’clock yesterday morning, after a short illness. Mr. Cassidy, who was of Irish parentage, was born in Albany, educated at Union College, Schenectady, and afterward studied law in the offices of McKown & Van Buren; but he soon turned his attention to politics and journalism, and in 1840 started a campaign paper called the Plain Dealer. This sheet expired after fulfilling its purpose. In 1842, it being known that the Atlas, then conducted by Mr. French, was about to be discontinued, at the earnest request of such men and Gen. Dix and Silas Wright, Mr. Van Dyck, afterward United States Assistant Treasurer in New York, became proprietor of the paper, and Mr., Cassidy accepted the position of managing editor. The paper became the organ of the Radical or Barnburner wing of the Democratic Party. During the great free-soil campaign of 1848 the Atlas supported Van Buren and Adams with great vigor and ability, the feud between the two sections of the Democratic Party being ended, a junction was proposed between the Atlas and Argus, and the two, as a single paper, were placed under the editorial charge of Mr. Cassidy. It is as the editor of the Argus, a position he filled with ability for more than twenty years, the deceased is best known to the public. At the time of his death he was a member of the Constitutional Commission.

The disease of which Mr. Cassidy died was inflammation and partial paralysis of the bowels. He was confined to his bed only since Saturday last. On Wednesday it became evident that he was in a dangerous condition. Dr. Thomas Hun and son and Dr. Swinburne held a consultation at 4 P. M. and did not conceal their fears. At 10 o’clock that evening another consultation was held, and his condition was thought to be better, so that some of his friends hoped for his recovery. He, himself, anticipated death, and freely spoke of it. The funeral will take place from his late residence at 11 o’clock on Saturday, and at the Cathedral at 11 ½. The flags on all public and some private buildings are at half-mast, and a general gloom prevails throughout the city.

The Albany Argus this morning contains he following article, giving the cause of Mr. Cassidy’s death: “About two years ago symptoms were developed of trouble in the kidneys, and at times he had apprehensions as to what might grow of it. Last Monday there was most unmistakable evidence of a suppression of the urinary secretions. This condition of the system continued until Wednesday, when very grave apprehensions were entertained concerning him. He grew weak and faint and for a time his condition was alarming. During the evening he rallied and a reaction set in, the vital organs resuming their functions. At 10 o’clock his physicians found him much improved, and their fears were to a great extent exchanged for hope. His body became warm, his pulse improved, and a general improvement was observable. During all this time his mind was entirely unclouded, and his nervous system unaffected. At 12 ½ o’clock he had continued to improve. His voice was strong, and he conversed with those about him even with cheerfulness. He inquired aout matters in which he felt an interest, and exhibited new strength. He rested quietly until toward 4 o’clock, when he showed signs of uneasiness and weakness. At this those about his bedside felt alarmed, but, before their fears could be manifested in attempts to afford relief, he had passed away, his attendants not even knowing the precise moment of his death. The cause of this sudden and unexpected change is believed by his physicians to have been the formation of a clot in the heart, or embolism, to use a term now becoming familiar with the public, thus causing immediate death. He was attended by Dr. Thomas Hun, and Dr. Swinburne and Dr. Edward Hun were consulting physicians.”

New York Times January 24, 1873