The Siberian Coal Mine Mystery

I come from a family of excellent story tellers. By that I mean that there may or may not be a flair for the dramatic and a tendency to exaggerate.

So it was taken with a grain of salt when a story was passed down about an ancestor on my maternal grandmother’s line, a Nova Scotia sea captain who was supposedly imprisoned in a Siberian coal mine and chained to a corpse for some time.

My mother and I mulled over the plausible feasibility of this scenario several times and deduced that clearly some details had been embellished over the years, which is only to be expected given the various generations of dramatic story tellers this legend survived.

Completely understandable.

Then we discovered The Captain’s Sea Chest, and everything changed. In the chest, I have found various newspaper articles supporting the story that Captain Joseph W. Morris was captured at sea, imprisoned, and chained to a corpse in an underground Siberian coal mine for three years.

Bit by bit, I’ll post here the various newspaper articles from around the world (this was an international story at the time) supporting this seemingly preposterous story, as well as the ones disputing it. As I make my way through the various diaries and scrapbooks left behind, hopefully more clues will surface.


Archives for “The Siberian Coal Mine Mystery of 1881”:

coming soon…

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