8 December 1890
A Story Like That of Samuel Brohl of Cherbuliez
HISTORY OF FAMOUS DR. TUMBLETY
He Was Originally Dobson, the Servant of Dr. Tumblety, and Assumed His Employer's Name
A few days since, the "Jack the Ripper" murders which startled all London about a year ago, and particularly the Whitechapel district, were recalled by the arrest at Scotland Yard of a certain Dr. Tumblety on whom suspicion rests at present. It will be remembered Tumblety was arrested about eight months ago, but at that time the evidence was not so clear as it now appears to be. The London police could not learn much of Tumblety's antecedents, and to the present they are trying to identify him with other crimes. It remains for the Pacific coast to furnish a record of the suspected man's early life, for here in Oakland is a gentleman who is well acquainted with his history from the time the man first launched himself into the medical profession. The story was told THE TRIBUNE'S informant by a brother of the now notorious DR. Tumblety.
Away back in the early fifties a DR. Tumblety, who had formerly been a surgeon in the British Army, came to Halifax, N.B., and opened an office in that place. He was one of the best surgeons of the day, and as a consequence his business grew to enormous proportions, and his fame spread the length and breadth of the British American colonies.
Dr. Tumblety had as servant a man by the name of Dobson. who learned considerable of medicine from his employer. About 1856 Dr. Tumblety died, and was buried at Halifax, and a few days later his servant, Dobson, quietly disappeared, and quite as mysteriously went the doctor's diplomas and several cases of his most valuable instruments. About two years later Dobson made his appearance in Boston, Mass., under the name of Dr. Tumblety, and opened an office wherein were displayed the missing diplomas. Dobson, or Dr. Tumblety as he was then known, made a speciality of diseases of women and children, and a few months later he was implicated in a scandal which caused him to disappear again for fear of his life. A year or so later the "doctor" located in New York and got into more trouble, which caused him to flit away once more, and he came to California with his brother, who was a carpenter.
When the civil war broke out, "Dr. Tumblety" returned East and committed some act of treason against the Government, for he was arrested and there was talk of mobbing him. Dobson or Tumblety made his escape from prison with the assistance of friends and went to England, where he again tried his skill at medicine, this time masquerading under another name for fear of being recognized as an impostor by the original Dr. Tumblety's friends.
The telegraphic description of the Doctor Tumblety arrested at Scotland Yard tallies exactly with that of Dobson, the servant, when he was in the United States. Dobson was a portly man with black hair and a black moustache. He was always nattily dressed and had a large dog that was his only travelling companion. This description is that of the arrested man, except that now Tumblety's hair is gray and he dyes his moustache to make it black. When arrested at Scotland Yard Tumblety had two or three thousand dollars worth of diamonds and jewelry in his possession. Those who know say there is little doubt that this man is Dobson, the former servant of the original Dr. Tumblety. That he was a specialist in women's ailments, and the fact that women were in all cases the victims of the Whitechapel murders, are facts which impress themselves upon the consideration of the detectives employed in looking up the case.