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In 1883 Elsa Dutton experienced love not just once but twice. Her first love, Ennis, sadly died after being shot by a group of bandits.
Elsa was left heartbroken by Ennis’ death, as they had made plans to get married and start a life together. Despite the pain, Elsa was forced to push forward and continue her journey out West.
Elsa managed to find love once again when she met Sam, a Commanche warrior. Sam had crossed paths with the wagon train where he became enthralled by Elsa’s beauty and spirit.
The two quickly grew close to one another after Elsa challenged Sam to a race on horseback. After losing to Elsa, Sam affectionately gave her the nickname ‘Lightning with the Yellow Hair.’
Sam and Elsa decided they wanted to spend the rest of their lives with each other. They even marry each other, though they don’t have a traditional ceremony. However, the young lovers are forced to go their separate ways as Elsa’s parents insist she finishes their journey to Oregon first.
Elsa and Sam part ways, promising to reunite in Commanche country once Elsa had been to Oregon. Sadly, their love story is cut short as Elsa dies from an infection, with her final resting place being Paradise Valley, Montana.
During a misunderstanding with Lakota, Elsa is shot with a dirty arrow in her liver that leads to a deadly infection.
Sam is unaware that Elsa has died, as it was after they when their separate ways. This left fans wondering what happened to Sam. Did Sam Die in 1883? Does he ever find out what happened to Elsa?
Though not confirmed, Elsa’s husband Sam likely did not die in 1883. In the series finale of 1883, we see Sam waiting for Elsa on a horse. However, Elsa is not able to meet Sam as she sadly passes away in her father’s arms in Paradise Valley, Montana.
After Elsa passes away, we see her meet up with Sam on horseback. Together, the happy couple rides off into the open plains. As Elsa narrates, she explains that she is in her version of Heaven.
“There is a moment where your dreams and your memories merge together and form a perfect world. That is Heaven. And each Heaven is unique. It is the world of you,” says Elsa.
“The land is filled with all you hold dear, and the sky is your imagination. My Heaven is filled with good horses and open plains and wild cattle and a man who loves me,” she continues.
Many fans became worried that seeing Sam in Elsa’s afterlife means that he also died. However, as Elsa explains, each Heaven is unique to every person and a place where dreams and memories merge. With this being said, it implies that Sam can be in Elsa’s heaven without necessarily being dead.
There is no clarification if Sam is actually dead or not at the end of 1883, however, it seems given Elsa’s explanation of heaven that he is still alive.
We never learn if Sam finds out the truth of what happened to Elsa. Perhaps Sam spent time searching for Elsa and learned about her fate from the Lakota.
Some fans have speculated that Sam will make an appearance in the second season of 1923 to help Teonna Rainwater. Teonna is currently on the run after escaping the abuse of a residential boarding school she was forced to attend.
There is a theory that Teonna will come across Sam as she seeks refugee. Sam will then provide Teonna with protection from the law and help her to safety.
While the theory is interesting and would allow us to learn if Sam ever found out what happened to Elsa, it is unlikely to come to fruition. There has been no official confirmation that Sam’s character will make an appearance in 1923.