Triplett Tragedy, The
DESCRIPTION: On Christmas the Triplett brothers are drinking Marshall Triplett's wife tries to stop a fight, but Lum Triplett stabs him to death. Lum meets Marshall's son Gran and confesses. Gran beats him; he dies. Gran is sentenced to 18 months on the chain gang.
AUTHOR: Lyrics: Ed Miller/tune: traditional
EARLIEST DATE: 1962 (recorded by Sophronie Miller)
LONG DESCRIPTION: On Christmas the Triplett brothers are drinking together when a fight breaks out. Marshall Triplett's wife tries to stop them, but Lum Triplett stabs him to death. Lum goes away, intending to surrender, but he meets Marshall's son Gran, a deputy, and confesses the murder. Gran beats him severely and takes him to jail, where his injuries become inflamed and he dies. The brothers are buried together; Gran is arrested and sentenced to 18 months on the chain gang. Listeners are warned about the perils of drink
KEYWORDS: fight violence abuse crime homicide law prison punishment revenge death drink brother family
Dec. 25, 1909: Marshall Triplett of Elk, NC is stabbed to death by his brother, Columbus (Lum) Triplett during a fight over whiskey. Lum attempts to surrender to Marshall's son Granville, a deputy; despite Lum's pleas for mercy and refusal to fight back, Granville beats and kicks him and takes him to the jail at Boone, where he dies, either as a result of his injuries or possibly from a heart attack.
Mar. 20, 1910: After Sophronie Triplett, Lum's widow, testifies that her husband was subject to heart trouble, which might have caused his death rather than the beating, Granville Triplett is sentenced to 18 months on the chain gang; he seems to have served only 3 months of his sentence.
FOUND IN: US(SE)
Sophronie Miller, "The Triplett Tragedy" (on Watson01)
cf. "Claude Allen" (tune)
NOTES: The singer, Sophronie Miller, was the widow of Columbus Triplett; this is the only ballad of which I'm aware that was verifiably collected from one of the principals in the story it relates. - PJS
I don't know if this is the Ed(ward B.) Miller who is also credited with "The Rich Man and Lazarus," but time and place make it possible. - RBW
Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Song List
Go to the Ballad Index Instructions
Go to the Ballad Index Bibliography or Discography
The Ballad Index Copyright 2017 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.