Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0025073, Tue, 11 Feb 2014 19:43:06 +0000

Remains of one Moore brother exhumed
While truffling for trifles in “The Vane Sisters” (which I am teaching later today) I set off on a quest to locate “John Moore, and his brother Bill [who] had been coal miners in Colorado and had perished in an avalanche at ‘Crested Beauty’ in January 1883.” I didn’t find much to go on, but eventually happened upon a copy of The Annual Statistician and Economist, which contained a wonderful list of 1880s calamities (“Giant powder works destroyed by explosion, 10 chinamen killed,” “Panic on Brooklyn Bridge, 12 killed,” “Steamboat Riverdale bursts her boiler, 3 killed,” etc.) including, on Jan 30, 1883 the following: “Snow slide 3 miles from Crested Butte, Col., 5 killed, 25 injured.” With that info, I did some more checking and found a newspaper account from a week later (but no names). That in turn led to a Dept of Agriculture document called “Historic Avalanches in the Northern Front Range and Central and Northern Mountains of Colorado,” which contains the attached account from the Gunnison Daily Review Press, Wed., January 31, 1883. In case you can’t access the screen shot, it gives a brief account of the avalanche striking a coal camp and lists, among the dead, a William Moore. I presume this is the Bill Moore VN placed in “The Vane Sisters.” No word of his brother John, I’m afraid!

Matt Roth

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