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Deadwood's Al Swearingen Manifest Evil in the Gem Theatre
Deadwood's Al Swearingen Manifest Evil in the Gem Theatre
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"This story is the result of news media observations of the Gem Theatre in Deadwood and the people who worked there, those who played there, and, more importantly, the people who did not feel comfortable or accepted anywhere else. While considering these observations, the underlying control and presence of Al Swearingen is pervading and inescapable. The Gem was the self-conceived stage of his entertainment, his natural habitat. Wading through the years and documents of the Gem's existence, I somehow could not help but conjure a visual image of Swearingen orchestrating every misdeed, violation, and death that made the Gem a spectacle of the final western frontier--a profound social statement of the moral destitution and glee of those afflicted with gold fever and the chaos only gold can create. Many misconceptions exist about Swearingen's role at the Gem, which I hope to put to rest or at a minimum demystify his role to merely confusing. This much is clear: Swearingen built the original Gem, and he also rebuilt it after the great Deadwood fire of 1879. It is seldom clear what percentage of the Gem, if any, Swearingen actually owned during any specific period of time. I am of the opinion that he relied heavily on investors. This would explain the numerous fast restarts he had after major fires, floods, and other disasters. It has also passed through my mind that Albert's twin, Lemuel, may have been a silent partner. This theory would do a lot to explain a much-later criminal attack on Lemuel"--

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