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Folklore: Duffy's Cut Mass Grave Found

GUEST,TIA 24 Mar 09 - 09:54 AM
GUEST,mg 24 Mar 09 - 01:30 PM
GUEST,mg 24 Mar 09 - 03:23 PM
Noreen 24 Mar 09 - 03:41 PM
Neil D 24 Mar 09 - 03:58 PM
GUEST,mg 24 Mar 09 - 04:05 PM
TIA 24 Mar 09 - 10:06 PM
TIA 24 Mar 09 - 10:37 PM
Kent Davis 25 Mar 09 - 12:05 AM
Keith A of Hertford 25 Mar 09 - 05:22 AM
GUEST,mg 25 Mar 09 - 01:27 PM
GUEST,mg 25 Mar 09 - 01:28 PM
Big Mick 25 Mar 09 - 01:43 PM
GUEST,scots irish 24 May 09 - 08:01 AM
maire-aine 24 May 09 - 10:39 AM
GUEST,TIA 25 Jun 09 - 11:48 PM
GUEST,Dani 26 Jun 09 - 07:14 AM
GUEST,TIA 24 Aug 10 - 10:52 PM
Sandra in Sydney 25 Aug 10 - 03:17 AM
GUEST,mg 25 Aug 10 - 04:56 PM
GUEST,TIA 26 Aug 10 - 06:05 PM
GUEST,TIA 10 Apr 11 - 05:41 PM
GUEST,TIA 24 Feb 12 - 02:02 AM
GUEST,TIA 24 Feb 12 - 02:04 AM
mg 24 Feb 12 - 11:39 AM
GUEST,TIA 09 Mar 12 - 11:44 PM
Desert Dancer 11 Mar 12 - 12:38 PM
Sandra in Sydney 12 Mar 12 - 02:37 AM
Jack Campin 12 Mar 12 - 11:55 AM
Desert Dancer 24 Mar 13 - 08:51 PM
Sandra in Sydney 25 Mar 13 - 03:50 AM
GUEST,JTT 25 Mar 13 - 12:50 PM
Neil D 06 May 13 - 12:11 AM
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Subject: Folklore: Duffy's Cut Mass Grave Found
From: GUEST,TIA
Date: 24 Mar 09 - 09:54 AM

The 57 Irish railroad workers in the Wally Page song (Christy Moore version here)
have just been found.


177 years in an unmarked mass grave


Watch for breaking news here:

www.duffyscutproject.com


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Duffy's Cut Mass Grave Found
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 24 Mar 09 - 01:30 PM

It seems like with DNA studies they could at least give the probable surnames of the men or at least narrow it down.

My perhaps distant cousin Dennis Garvey does this sort of work. You can google him.

I have a song about the later Irish (and it mentions Chinese..who probably had it even worse) railway workers if anyone wants it (my own ancestors). mg


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Duffy's Cut Mass Grave Found
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 24 Mar 09 - 03:23 PM

Here is more

http://www.aoh61.com/history/Tracking_History.htm

And what would we have done with an epidemic in our midst? I still think it is a miracle the Irish were even allowed in the country, prejudice or not, and the only reason I am alive. Prejudice is really entertwined with fear of epidemics and violence. It is hard to separate. It is easy to condemn, until one is faced with Ebola perhaps carried by someone on the bus, TB passed on by people at the health clinic...MRSA all over the place. It is something not talked of when people talk of prejudice, but it is practically an innate, and very realistic, fear that we have.

But there were stories of courage by a blacksmith and some nuns in that situation. mg


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Duffy's Cut Mass Grave Found
From: Noreen
Date: 24 Mar 09 - 03:41 PM

www.duffyscutproject.com

Fascinating.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Duffy's Cut Mass Grave Found
From: Neil D
Date: 24 Mar 09 - 03:58 PM

It will be interesting to see if any of the remains show signs of blunt trauma injury or other evidence of violence. It's odd that all 57 ended up dead when in even the worst breakout of cholera 40-50% should have survived. At the time Irish immigrants were being blamed for bringing cholera to America and were sometimes killed pre-emptively to stop its spread. There should be some interesting follow up on this in the next weeks. I will follow this story with interest.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Duffy's Cut Mass Grave Found
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 24 Mar 09 - 04:05 PM

It gets worse. They think some might have been thought dead with "cold cholera" but still alive when buried. mg


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Duffy's Cut Mass Grave Found
From: TIA
Date: 24 Mar 09 - 10:06 PM

There is a name for already for one:
John Ruddy, 16 yrs. old, from the Inishowen Penisnula, Co. Donegal.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Duffy's Cut Mass Grave Found
From: TIA
Date: 24 Mar 09 - 10:37 PM

Oops. Some confusion. John Ruddy could have been 18, but he is the youngest passenger on the ship John Stamp that brought the men to Philadelphia, and the skull and teeth are those of a very young fellow.

Back to music - the Watson brothers are pipers, and wrote a song: Lament for the 57. I'll try to find midi or tadpoles.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Duffy's Cut Mass Grave Found
From: Kent Davis
Date: 25 Mar 09 - 12:05 AM

Neil D.,

Do you have any references for your statement that, "At the time Irish immigrants...were sometimes killed pre-emptively to stop [cholera's] spread"? I would be interested and probably many others would be also.

Kent


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Duffy's Cut Mass Grave Found
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 25 Mar 09 - 05:22 AM

More info here.(About cut not killing for quarantine)
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/foyle_and_west/7961564.stm


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Duffy's Cut Mass Grave Found
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 25 Mar 09 - 01:27 PM

There very well could have been murder, but 100% rather than 60% fatalities might not have been remarkable..these were men from a famine-part of Ireland after a long sea voyage, probably emaciated to start with, immediately put to work apparently, malnourished, overworked, crowded into a little shanty, probably not enough blankets, protection from weather etc. The higher survival rate might have referred to a well-fed population with people caring for them. mg


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Duffy's Cut Mass Grave Found
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 25 Mar 09 - 01:28 PM

I guess some of the nuns died too that came to care for them..and the ones who didn't couldn't hire transportaion back to PHiladelphia but had to walk back, I read without food or water. mg


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Duffy's Cut Mass Grave Found
From: Big Mick
Date: 25 Mar 09 - 01:43 PM

Very similar to the story of Grose Ile near Montreal. It was said that more died than lived on those voyages, and of the sick ones that were taken into quarantine, more of those died than survived. They are buried in the mass graves of Grose Ile marked by the huge Celtic Cross. Many of those brave French Canadians that were trying to save these poor souls died in the fight. Some of you have heard me do Brendan Nolan's epic song on this, titled "Far From Their Homes". I believe it to be the most powerful song about the subject ever written. I am working an arrangement of it now for our CD coming out later this year.

You may be correct that 100% of the Duffy's Cut men died from cholera, but that would be an amazing figure. It will be interesting to read the results of the autopsies. I will be surprised if they don't find some foul play, it is the amount of it that I am anxious to hear.

All the best,

Mick


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Duffy's Cut Mass Grave Found
From: GUEST,scots irish
Date: 24 May 09 - 08:01 AM

Would like to point out to the person who obviously doesnt know any Irish History - the famine did not start until 1847 so your theory doesnt hold up to scrutiny.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Duffy's Cut Mass Grave Found
From: maire-aine
Date: 24 May 09 - 10:39 AM

"The Irish Census Commissioner listed 24 failures of the potato crop in various parts of Ireland between 1728 and 1837. In 1821 and 1822 the potato failed completely in Munster & Connaght, and extensive failures occurred each year from 1832 through 1837."

This was from the script of a dramatization that we did in Detroit in 1997, for the 150th anniversary of the 1847 famine.

Maryanne


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Duffy's Cut Mass Grave Found
From: GUEST,TIA
Date: 25 Jun 09 - 11:48 PM

Despite the actual finding of bones, funding for the recovery and sorting of the remains, and their return to families in Ireland has been denied by the NEH, and other USA agencies. These guys are doing it completely on there own time and dime. Maybe it is time to solicit Bono, Bob Geldoff, Elvis Costello, Sinead O'Connor or ???????


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Duffy's Cut Mass Grave Found
From: GUEST,Dani
Date: 26 Jun 09 - 07:14 AM

looking for updates.

Love the story of the three dancing ghosts : )

http://www.philly.com/philly/news/local/20090325_Bones_may_be_from_19th-century_gravesite.html


Dani


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Duffy's Cut Mass Grave Found
From: GUEST,TIA
Date: 24 Aug 10 - 10:52 PM

Interesting new developments...

http://www.cnn.com/2010/CRIME/08/24/pennsylvania.graves.mystery/index.html?hpt=C2


here


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Duffy's Cut Mass Grave Found
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 25 Aug 10 - 03:17 AM

Last month's story has disappeared into the big black hole of the www, so I've extracted a few pars from this one. (ps. the dancing ghosts refer to a story the twin's grandfather told about the cholera epidemic)

=======

"Duffy's Cut," as it's now called, is a short walk from a suburban cul-de-sac in Malvern, an affluent town off the fabled Main Line. Twin brothers Bill and Frank Watson believe 57 Irish immigrants met violent deaths there after a cholera epidemic struck in 1832.

They suspect foul play.

"This is a murder mystery from 178 years ago, and it's finally coming to the light of day," Frank Watson said

...

In 2002, the brothers began digging and searching. They found forks and remnants of a shanty and, in 2005, what Bill Watson calls the "Holy Grail" -- a pipe with an Irish flag on it.

They knew they were close, but Bill said they knew they needed "hard science" to get them to the next step.

The science came from Tim Bechtel, a geophysicist, who learned about the project from a colleague at the University of Pennsylvania who had heard the Watson brothers speak. The friend knew Bechtel could provide the missing link in the brothers' excavation efforts.

Bechtel's work included earth scans, which can help detect what's underground without digging or drilling.

........

...collected bones from seven skeletons unearthed at Duffy's Cut, including four skulls. The trays and containers of bones occupy a long, wide table in the back of a lecture room at the University of Pennsylvania Museum in Philadelphia.

Poring over the bones with her green spectacles sitting low on her nose, Monge said she has focused her attention on the skulls, adding that they have provided crucial clues to what might have killed the Irishmen at Duffy's Cut.

"This skull has a little divot on what would have been the side bone of the skull," she said, holding it up. "That little divot is something that didn't happen when they excavated it out of the ground."

With just one divot on one skull, she was reluctant to jump to conclusions. But as more skulls surfaced, a pattern started to form. Holding the second skull, Monge said with confidence: "This person was clunked on the head at around the time of death."

Two weeks ago, a new piece of evidence came up from the ground at Duffy's Cut: A skull with a perforation that could be a bullet hole. "In fact, we can see some nice cracked edges that do look very much like a bullet hole," Monge observed.

Monge and the team will soon test the skull for the presence of lead. The source could be a bullet or an ax. Either way, she said, "If they had cholera, it didn't kill them. I would say something else killed them, but they might have had cholera, too."

...........


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Duffy's Cut Mass Grave Found
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 25 Aug 10 - 04:56 PM

I have been wondering...Alice is a great artist. I wonder if we could take up a collection from various sources and commission her to paint a picture of them as they would have been before cholera/foul play...mg


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Duffy's Cut Mass Grave Found
From: GUEST,TIA
Date: 26 Aug 10 - 06:05 PM

I'm in!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Duffy's Cut Mass Grave Found
From: GUEST,TIA
Date: 10 Apr 11 - 05:41 PM

Dropkick Murphys just put out a song about this "Hardest Mile".
Actually a great tune. And they seem to have the story just right.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7FU9Vh5fovc


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Duffy's Cut Mass Grave Found
From: GUEST,TIA
Date: 24 Feb 12 - 02:02 AM

Seven are going to be re-buried in consecrated ground on March 8.
Many cannot be recovered because they are too close to the active tracks.
This ground will be consecrated with the lads in-situ.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Duffy's Cut Mass Grave Found
From: GUEST,TIA
Date: 24 Feb 12 - 02:04 AM

And to answer Big Mick's question...100% of those recovered show clear evidence of a violent end.

Shame.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Duffy's Cut Mass Grave Found
From: mg
Date: 24 Feb 12 - 11:39 AM

I can't believe there is not an engineering solution to shoring up the tracks while they dig out a small section..if that is the concern, which of course it would have to be..and of course safety of whoever was doing the digging as trains were going by...of course they would have to dig up the entire system of tracks in eastern US to the Rockies to get every Irishman buried there..and likewise Chinese coming east...although with the Chinese they say they did save their bones in railroad cars because of an agreement with China to return them..and not to forget others we don't even know about...African Americans, Poles, Germans, etc. they used to say underneath every railroad tie was an Irishman..mg


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Duffy's Cut Mass Grave Found
From: GUEST,TIA
Date: 09 Mar 12 - 11:44 PM

RIP to the four lads and one woman who finally got a decent burial today.
Beautiful scene.
Hundreds came.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Duffy's Cut Mass Grave Found
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 11 Mar 12 - 12:38 PM

NPR had a story about it today on Morning Edition Sunday. (There's no transcript at the link at the moment, but I expect there will be later today. Audio is available.)

Forgotten Irish laborers finally laid to rest

~ Becky in Tucson


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Duffy's Cut Mass Grave Found
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 12 Mar 12 - 02:37 AM

Thanks TIA & Becky for keeping us up to date


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Duffy's Cut Mass Grave Found
From: Jack Campin
Date: 12 Mar 12 - 11:55 AM

How come nobody's named the killers?

The railroad company must have records of who was supervising the job.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Duffy's Cut Mass Grave Found
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 24 Mar 13 - 08:51 PM

Not much update in this, but a nice article from the NY Times:

With Shovels and Science, a Grim Story Is Told

It concludes:
A year ago this month, the remains of four Irishmen and one Irishwoman, 180 years dead, were buried beneath a limestone Celtic cross in a cemetery just outside Philadelphia. The search for their shantytown comrades continues; Mr. Bechtel has already found a "very concentrated anomaly," 30 feet deep, that the team hopes to excavate sometime this year.

Meanwhile, research by Dr. Patterson and Dr. Monge found that some Ruddys in County Donegal are known to have a certain dental variance: the absence of an upper right first molar. That fact, coupled with the passenger list from the John Stamp, prompted the decision by the research team to ship back to Ireland the remains of the first victim they had found.

Three weeks ago, the Watson brothers joined a small crowd gathered in a church cemetery in the small Donegal town of Ardara. They prayed and sang under a limestone sky, as a young laborer, late of Duffy's Cut, received his delayed but proper burial.


~ Becky in Long Beach


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Duffy's Cut Mass Grave Found
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 25 Mar 13 - 03:50 AM

thanks for posting, Becky


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Duffy's Cut Mass Grave Found
From: GUEST,JTT
Date: 25 Mar 13 - 12:50 PM

So, reading the story, the cholera didn't arrive with the lads, but they came down with it while working on the cut. (In the 19th century people didn't know that cholera was caused by dirty drinking water - it was thought to be transmitted by miasmic vapours). They were quarantined, and some obviously became frightened by the hostility shown to them; they tried to escape and were slaughtered.
For interest, here's a Ruddy from Inishowen, who probably looks much like the Duffy's Cut lads.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Duffy's Cut Mass Grave Found
From: Neil D
Date: 06 May 13 - 12:11 AM

I reopened this thread to inform anyone interested that the upcoming episode of the PBS series "Secrets of the Dead" will deal with Duffy's Cut. This Wednsday at 10PM on my local affiliate.


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