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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
GUEST,John Garst Origin Of John Henry--part TWO (240* d) RE: Origin Of John Henry--part TWO 22 Dec 11

WV Hypothesis:
John Henry raced a steam drill and died at Big Bend Tunnel, on the C & O, in Summers County, WV, ca 1871 (1870-72).

Weak Test:
Given the WV hypothesis, is all if the John Henry evidence plausible?

The frequent appearances of Big Bend Tunnel and the C & O in versions of "John Henry" are plausible.

The Virginia evidence, such as it is, is plausible. Men named "John Henry," white houses, railroads, and steam drills were all commonplace. They need not have had anything to do with the John Henry of tradition.

The Jamaica evidence is plausible. The tradition came there from the USA.

The observed testimonial disagreements between men who had worked at Big Bend Tunnel and who had been in a position to know whether or not John Henry had been there are *not* plausible.

The Alabama evidence is *not* plausible. It is too coherent and the names involved are too rare for it to have arisen without a basis.

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