Edward Jump (1832–1883), was an artist and cartoonist of the 19th century, born in Paris, France. His early life is not well documented, but he emigrated to California in 1852, attracted to the United States by the California Gold Rush.
While living in California, Jump, who was both a talented painter and cartoonist, made a living drawing commercial signs, painting portraits, and producing humorous cartoons of political figures for various publications. He worked in many places around the state, but mostly in San Francisco; there he created labels for whiskey bottles, and caricatures of contemporary figures. Jump remained active in San Francisco until October 1865, when an earthquake occurred. After moving to Washington, DC, in 1868, Jump became somewhat renowned for his artistic merits as a portrait painter. It was there that he met and married a French performer from a touring opera company. By the 1870s, Jump and his wife had moved to New York City, where he worked as a comic illustrator. Later in the decade, Jump attempted to start an illustrated newspaper in Montreal. Following the failure of this venture, Jump moved frequently, first to New Orleans, then to Cincinnati and St Louis. Finally, in 1880, Jump and his wife settled in Chicago, where he was just able to make a living by producing circus and theatrical posters.
On 21 April 1883, three years after the move to Chicago, Jump committed suicide by shooting himself in the head with a pistol, driven to depression by the state of his marriage, financial issues, and alcoholism. An article reporting Jump's death appeared in the Chicago Daily Tribune, on the day of his death. The article described how Jump wrote two final letters, one addressed to his wife, and another to a lodge in St. Louis, where he was a member.
The letter to his wife read as follows:
...My dear wife: I have to go --keep calling here for letters; there will be a good one for you from England. I am too excited to write. God bless you. Your husband,
The other read:
20 April 1883. -- Gentlemen: I belong to the Lodge of Knights of Honor, No. 100 Oak Lodge, St. Louis, Mo. If I am disfigured don't let my poor wife see me. She is nervous, and it might kill her. I want to be buried by brothers.
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