I must agree with BanjoRay (28 Nov. 01) as to the necessity of information sources, facts, deductions and etc. so the world can make it's mind up about who John Henry was and where the various tunnels in various states fit in, because I am somewhat of a truth addict myself.
In fact I live in Leeds, AL and have recently read in "only" the area Leeds News that a local movie mogul named Jerry Voyles plans to make a movie/docudrama about the life and times of John Henry based on the research of Dr. John Garst that "John Henry was a real man, and not a fable that worked and died on the Oak Mountain Tunnel in the Dunnavant area of Leeds" where he battled the steam driver. I thought than a docudrama was based on some degree of fact?
So far based on the limited information (which is normal) reported in the Leeds News, I noted nothing more than hearsay, speculation, supposition and conjecture woven together with convoluted logic as to the relationship between Leeds, AL and the legend of John Henry. Recently these gentlemen (Garst and Voyles) stated to the Leeds city council that their proposed movie would "help put Leeds on the map".
I would hope that before some definitive movie was made as an issue of fact that some form of academic proof would be offered as evidence of the supposed conclusions with an opportunity of academic and/or legal rebuttal. Otherwise this supposed factorial movie/docudrama appears to be nothing more than an attempt to promote a tourist attraction….$$$$. After all there are other areas in the country, for whatever reasons, that have claimed a John Henry connection first.