04-24-2015, 11:06 AM #1
MA - U.S.'s 1st literary depiction of cold case murder?
Perhaps the William Cullen Bryant poem
....... "The Murdered Traveller"
When spring, to woods and wastes around,
Brought bloom and joy again,
The murdered traveller's bones were found,
Far down a narrow glen.
The fragrant birch, above him, hung
Her tassels in the sky;
And many a vernal blossom sprung,
And nodded careless by.
The red-bird warbled, as he wrought
His hanging nest o'erhead,
And fearless, near the fatal spot,
Her young the partridge led.
But there was weeping far away,
And gentle eyes, for him,
With watching many an anxious day,
Were sorrowful and dim.
They little knew, who loved him so,
The fearful death he met,
When shouting o'er the desert snow,
Unarmed, and hard beset;--
Nor how, when round the frosty pole
The northern dawn was red,
The mountain wolf and wild-cat stole
To banquet on the dead;
Nor how, when strangers found his bones,
They dressed the hasty bier,
And marked his grave with nameless stones,
Unmoistened by a tear.
But long they looked, and feared, and wept,
Within his distant home;
And dreamed, and started as they slept,
For joy that he was come.
So long they looked--but never spied
His welcome step again,
Nor knew the fearful death he died
Far down that narrow glen.
THE MURDERED TRAVELLER.
Some years since, in the month of May, the remains of a
human body, partly devoured by wild animals, were found
in a woody ravine, near a solitary road passing between the
mountains west of the village of Stockbridge [MA]. It was
that the person came to his death by violence, but no traces
could be discovered of his murderers. It was only recollected
that one evening, in the course of the previous winter, a traveller
had stopped at an inn in the village of West Stockbridge; that
he had inquired the way to Stockbridge; and that, in paying the
innkeeper for something he had ordered, it appeared that he had
a considerable sum of money in his possession. Two ill-looking men
were present, and went out about the same time that the traveller
proceeded on his journey. During the winter, also, two men of shabby
appearance, but plentifully supplied with money, had lingered
for awhile about the village of Stockbridge. Several years afterward,
a criminal, about to be executed for a capital offence in Canada,
confessed that he had been concerned in murdering a traveller in
Stockbridge for the sake of his money. Nothing was ever discovered
respecting the name or residence of the person murdered.]
And others in the region (iberkshires.com):
Cold Case Expert Offers Thoughts on Unsolved Local Murders
04-24-2015, 11:45 AM #2
The alleged killing -- described by Bryant in the note above -- reminds in some of its details of that related by Laurie Lee over a century later in his Welsh memoir 'Cider with Rosie':
Public Death, Private Murder
04-25-2015, 11:31 AM #3
Quick! O ye poetry lovers -- quick now; name three masterly poets who must have known this one, above.
What say ye? "Hardy, Frost, and Housman"?? Correct!
Now -- briefly state, for each, why.
04-25-2015, 03:30 PM #4Registered User
- Join Date
- Sep 2014
Thanks for posting this; I remember reading Bryant's "Snowbound" and "Thanatopsis," but I'm not familiar with "Murdered Traveller." Looking forward to digging in a little more!
04-25-2015, 10:34 PM #5
04-28-2015, 03:09 AM #6
A bit of digging will excavate a fairly recent cold case in the above-mentioned Stockbridge MA,
hugely interesting in its own right, and with much online to see; AFAIK it lacks a thread on WS.
05-25-2015, 07:55 PM #7
By wfgodot in forum Recently Sentenced and BeyondReplies: 5Last Post: 07-28-2016, 07:31 PM
By PFF in forum Missing ArchivesReplies: 0Last Post: 05-05-2009, 06:33 PM
By Old Broad in forum News that makes you smile!Replies: 1Last Post: 06-16-2006, 11:50 PM