The Journal of Julius Rodman is a fictionalised account of the first travels across the Western Wilderness, over the barrier of the Rocky Mountains. This extraordinary journal details events of the most surprising nature, and recounts the unparalleled vicissitudes and adventures experienced by a handful of men in a country which, until then, had never been explored by 'civilised man'.
The first six installments of this novel were published in the Burton's Gentleman's Magazine in 1839-40, when the author was a contributing editor of the journal. When Poe left his job in June 1840, he refused to continue the novel. Extracts of Poe's work infamously appeared in 1839 Congress papers citing his account of the first passage across the Rockies by 'civilised man' as authentic. Proving to be one of Poe's more elaborate hoaxes, this reaction illuminates the extent to which his literary realism and acute attention to detail strikes a convincing background to the hero's travels.