The Deaths at Duffy's Cut: Cholera or Cover-up?
Signs of Violence
University of Pennsylvania anthropologist Janet Monge identified the bones. And she discovered that the Duffy's Cut deaths didn't seem to be due to cholera. One skull showed a bullet hole, and another seems to have been crushed by an ax. In fact, every skeleton she's looked at shows evidence of having suffered blunt trauma at the time of death.
Neighborsor railroad managersmay have been angry at the workers for bringing cholera to the area, and many of them simply didn't like Irish Catholic immigrants. The Watsons suggest that a handful of men may have fled the quarantined camp, either out of fear of catching cholera or in search of help for themselves or their sick and dying fellow workers.
The railroad's blacksmith buried the men and burned down their shanty, which could have potentially yielded clues to the enduring mystery of Duffy's Cut. The Duffy's Cut Project is still gathering evidence, but it's possible that the remaining men were murdered, and even buried alive.