This chapter focuses on debates sparked by the Angola Horror. The winter of 1867–1868 became known for railroad accidents. In the months after the inquest, the jury concluded its investigation and released a verdict, six more incidents played out around the country in which railroad passenger coaches caught fire during derailments, collisions, or equipment malfunctions, causing injury or death to passengers. Set into that string of events, the Angola wreck commanded the attention of both public and press, overshadowing the other incidents and becoming a watchword in the nation for the dangers of railroad travel. This chapter considers how Angola became a rallying cry for other people to demand accountability and the media to call for safety improvements and innovations, including better oversight of the railroads.
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