Casey Jones And The Cannonball Express
Photograph - Photography
Note: the watermark in the lower right does not appear in the final print.
Riding the Cannonball Express train like a bat out of hell.
Train photography by Edward M. Fielding
Jonathan Luther "John" "Casey" Jones (March 14, 1863 � April 30, 1900) was an American railroad engineer from Jackson, Tennessee, who worked for the Illinois Central Railroad (IC). As a boy, he lived near Cayce, Kentucky, where he acquired the nickname of "Cayce," which he chose to spell as "Casey." On April 30, 1900, he alone was killed when his passenger train, the Cannonball Express, collided with a stalled freight train at Vaughan, Mississippi, on a foggy and rainy night.
His dramatic death, trying to stop his train and save lives, made him a hero; he was immortalized in a popular ballad sung by his friend Wallace Saunders, an African-American engine wiper for the IC.
"The Ballad of Casey Jones" is a traditional song about railroad engineer Casey Jones and his death at the controls of the train he was driving. It tells of how Jones and his fireman Sim Webb raced their locomotive to make up for lost time, but discovered another train ahead of them on the line, and how Jones remained on board to try to stop the train as Webb jumped to safety. It is song #3247 in the Roud Folk Song Index.
February 4th, 2013
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