The Journal of Julius Rodman
Extracts from the Journal of a "Julius Rodman" first appeared in Burton's Gentlemen's Magazine
from January, 1840, and continued to appear for six months until June. The journal purported to detail a 1792 expedition led by Julius Rodman up the Missouri River toward the Far North. This 1792 expedition, if true, would have made Rodman the first European to cross the Rocky Mountains.
But in fact, Rodman was a fictitious character invented by Edgar Allan Poe. To create this ruse Poe penned the entire journal, relying heavily on sources such as Washington Irving's Astoria
and Lewis and Clark's History of the Expedition
to give his account a veneer of authenticity.
Poe's motive for perpetrating this elaborate hoax is unclear.
- John J. Teunissen and Evelyn J. Hinz. "Poe's Journal of Julius Rodman as Parody." Nineteenth-Century Fiction, Vol. 27, Issue 3 (Dec., 1972): 317-338.
Text copyright © 2002 Alex Boese