Hartford Wreck, The
DESCRIPTION: A train is wrecked on near Hartford, Vermont. Passenger Joseph Maigret is fatally injured and discusses his fate with his son.
EARLIEST DATE: 1931 (Flanders-NewGreen)
KEYWORDS: train wreck father death
Feb 4/5, 1887 - The Hartford Wreck
FOUND IN: US(NE)
REFERENCES (3 citations):
Flanders-NewGreen, pp. 156-159, "The Hartford Wreck" (1 text, 1 tune)
Cohen-AFS1, pp. 30-31, "The Hartford Wreck" (1 text)
Cohen-LSRail, p. 272, "The Hartford Wreck" (notes only)
NOTES: There is an account of this incident, somewhat dramatized, on pp. 148-152 of Matthew P. Mayo, Bootleggers, Lobstermen & Lumberjacks, Globe Pequot Press, 2011. Apparently, Train #50 was a night express leaving White River Junction, Vermont. The train was two hours late and Engineer Pierce tried to make up the lost time. On an icy bridge, the train came apart and several cars derailed in the snow.
There were 91 people aboard. 28 of them were killed at the scene; more than thirty others were hurt, often severely. The Central Railroad was found guilty of poor maintenance. Engineer Pierce, for his recklessness, was found guilty of manslaughter.
Flanders et al coments that "'Hartford Wreck' is a good example of an American journalistic ballad. Sadly lacking in the qualities which make good poetry, and not any too singable to boot, it was written for quick salability."
This is item dg36 in Laws's Appendix II. - RBW
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