Bill Mullins wrote:The information about the Alabama Central Railway and Lanier and Selma is legit.
Bill you should make up your mind. First you say the author doesn't know Alabama well enough to have lived there, because he gets the first name of Pettus wrong, and now you are saying he is legit. The author of this story was intimately familiar with Alabama. Just because he gets a first name somewhat wrong doesn't mean he made up all the other facts. The details of the story make it clear that whoever wrote it was intimately familiar with Alabama and thus very likely spent a good duration of time there.
Bill Mullins wrote:
Still no reference for . . . Augustus.
If I had a group of stories, and I could show that a bunch of them were quoting previously published stories, I wouldn't assume that the ones I didn't have earlier versions of were original stories; I'd just figure that I hadn't found the originals yet.
Clearly at the very least some stories are definitely his own.
"Clearly"? Nothing clear about this. There is no evidence that any of the stories in this book are original works by Eugene Edwards.
None of the articles you found prove that Eugene Edwards wasn't the author of the stories in the newspapers.
Let us analyse the situation a bit more carefully. Bill [edited] Mullins says that Edwards cobbled together the stories from different newspapers. If that is so then one would expect that the stories are written in different styles, because they were authored by a random group of writers. My preliminary analysis of the stories shows that they are quite uniform in style, at least many of them, suggesting that the author is one and the same and that it is not a random collection of other people's stories. With that I do not mean that Edwards experienced all the stories firsthand himself. I am referring to the writing. I am claiming that the stories were written by Edwards and that these are for the most part his words, except where he quotes folks.
Second problem with the random compilation theory: How would somebody in the 19th century learn of these stories? There wasn't any newspaper search engine available back then. The only way was to actually read the newspapers and keep clippings. The newspapers that have been identified so far are:
- The Illustrated American, June 29, 1895
- The Albany Law Journal, August 20, 1898
- The Record-Union, Sacramento, California, May 13, 1895
- The Times, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Sunday, November 7, 1897
- New Ulm weekly review., December 16, 1891
- St. Paul daily globe., July 23, 1893
- The Lafayette advertiser., May 10, 1890
This spans the entire US, from East to West coast. Is it really likely that Edwards read all of these newspapers? I don't think this is a likely scenario. The much more likely explanation is that the source of many of these stories is Edwards himself.