The song "The Hero of Canton" contains the following lines:

He saw the Mudders' lament
And he saw the magistrate taking
Every dollar and leaving five cents
So he said, "You can't do that to my people"

The words "my people" made me wonder - was Jayne originally from Canton before he robbed the magistrate and fled? Was there really any way in which the mudders of Canton were "his people", or was that just part of the myth?

Please mark spoilers from any episodes beyond Out of Gas; I'm still in the middle of my first watch of Firefly!


2 Answers 2


Probably not.

Jayne's birthplace hasn't been revealed.

However, several pieces of dialogue from Jaynestown imply that he isn't from Canton.

JAYNE Oh, listen, Mal -- I was in Canton a few years back, I might have made me a few enemies thereabouts.


JAYNE Look, Mal, I got no ruttin' idea. I was here a few years back, like I said. Pulled a second-story, stole a lot of scratch from the magistrate up on the hill. But things went way South. I had to hightail it. They don't...put you on a pedestal in town square for that.


JAYNE Uh...I'm no good with words. Don't...don't use 'em much, myself. (crowd chuckles) But I want to thank you all for being here, and for thinking so much of me... Far as I see it, you people been given the shortest end of the stick ever been offered a human soul in this crap-hill 'verse....But you took that end... well, you took it. And that's... well, I guess that's something.

He also doesn't react when Wash insults the town. Knowing Jayne's general attitude, he probably would if he actually came from there.

WASH We gotta go to the crappy town where I'm the hero!

In the episode, the townspeople are completely wrong about Jayne. They turn his random, unintentional actions into an act of purposeful altruism. The "his people" portion is likely them just exaggerating Jayne into a typical folk-hero.

  • 4
    The implication of the story is that they've turned Jayne into a hero by completely screwing up his story; most likely he went into Canton under cover as part of the theft.
    – KutuluMike
    Commented Jun 19, 2016 at 12:56

I think he tried to steal from the magistrate and dropped all the money getting away. He doesn't seem to know anybody there except for his ex-partner. He also seems to have a mother who knits for him embarrassing hats and she isn't mentioned there so I don't think that is where he comes from.

  • 1
    The hat is awesome. I own that hat too.
    – Nate
    Commented Jun 21, 2016 at 23:44
  • That is a shrewd hat. Commented Jun 25, 2019 at 16:19

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