“The Dead Man's Journey”

Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1958 (Burt)
Keywords: travel Indians(Am.) homicide
Found in: US

Description

It was in the spring of (?) Just a little before the war was o'er, That 'twas mine the mail bags to transport." The singer and Josh Murphy set out from Stevenson's Post; Murphy is killed by Indians. The path comes to be called Deadman's Journey

Notes

The dating on this piece is curious and difficult. Burt's text dates it to (18)54, but the next line says "Just a little before the war was o'er," which implies 1864. And the destination was "Totten Fort," which -- if Burt is correct in assuming this is Fort Totten -- was not established until 1867.

There is also the problem of the Indian tribes listed. The event took place in North Dakota (the supposed singer, Carlie Reynolds, was a historical person who died at the Little Bighorn), but the piece mentions Chippewa (Ojibwe) and Sioux (Dakota) -- and that territory was entirely Sioux. - RBW

References

  1. Burt, pp. 140-141, "(The Dead Man's Journey)" (1 excerpted text)
  2. BI, Burt140