Moses Humphrey

  • Urban Legends
  • 1 min

By Crusader1307

 As with many American ''Tall Tales'' (eg ''Paul Bunyon'', ''Casey Jones'' etc) – these were greatly exaggerated stories of fictional people, who performed ''superhuman'' feats. Most of these ''Tales'' were told to point out specific ''heroic virtues'' or showcase a particular point or cautionary tale. Some ''Tall Tales'' were based on real persons as well (David Crockett, George Washington etc.) Moses Humphrey was one of these types. A real New York City Fireman who lived in the 1840s – Moses was a Member of ''Fire Company 40''. In the mid-19th Century New York, The City was a Tinderbox. Many such ''hero Firemen'' were known. Just why Moses was singled out may have been simply ''good natured ribbing''. As Moses became known to The Residents of The City (via ''Penny Books''), so too did His ''feats grow''.

Said to be 8-feet tall and built of stone, Moses could charge into a burning building and simply blow out the fire with His breath. He was said to have rescued ''hundreds'' – often with ''2 or 4 under His arms''. So mighty in fact, Moses could traverse The Hudson River with ''two strokes'', Moses was also a bit of a crime fighter as well. When a local Gang tried to impede The Fire Department from answering their call, Moses ''ripped up a Mulberry Tree and beat them, as if it were a simple blugeon''. The real Moses was never interviewed as to His opinion of the stories. Perhaps he was annoyed at all the jokes and fun that were heaped upon Him by His fellow Firefighters. Perhaps, His ''feats'' were used as a form of recruitment tool. Moses stories would disappear near the start of The American Civil War (1861).