On September 27, 1839, the battered body of a middle-aged Irishman was found by some Dakota Indian boys. The corpse washed up along the Mississippi River shore, about seven miles downstream from Fort Snelling near the ancient Indian landmark the non-Indians called Carver's Cave. It was the body of Sgt. John Hays, a popular former soldier, who, prior to his disappearance twenty-one days earlier, had been sharing a log shanty a few miles upriver from the cave with his friend and business partner, Edward Phelan (or Phalen). Before the year was over, Phelan was arrested and charged with the murder of his friend. This is the first book to focus on this historic murder and the first thorough biography of Phelan, a notorious pioneer intimately involved in the making of St. Paul and founding of Minnesota. Was he guilty? All investigative reports and records of Phelan's trial were mysteriously lost and no newspapers covered the story.