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Days of Darkness : The Feuds of Eastern Kentucky
by John Ed Pearce




Overview -
Among the darkest corners of Kentucky's past are the grisly feuds that tore apart the hills of Eastern Kentucky from the late nineteenth century until well into the twentieth. Now, from the tangled threads of conflicting testimony, John Ed Pearce, Kentucky's best known journalist, weaves engrossing accounts of six of the most notorious and long-running feuds - those in Breathitt, Clay, Harlan, Perry, Pike, and Rowan counties. Each of these feuds arose from distinctive circumstances and the clash of differing personalities, but all shared one trait - a determination to settle disputes by the gun rather than by the rule of law. Most began with petty grievances and ended only when most of the feudists were dead. Neither law enforcement officials nor the state militia occasionally sent in by an exasperated governor had much effect in stopping the bloodletting. What caused the feuds that left Kentucky with its lingering reputation for violence? Pearce asks. Who were the feudists, and what forces - social, political, financial - hurled them at each other? Did Big Jim Howard really kill Governor William Goebel? Did Joe Eversole die trying to protect small mountain landowners from ruthless Eastern mineral exploiters? Did the Hatfield-McCoy fight start over a hog? For years, Pearce has interviewed descendants of feuding families and examined skimpy court records and often fictional newspaper accounts to uncover what really happened and why. His story of those days of darkness brings to light new evidence, questions commonly held beliefs about the feuds, and puts to rest some of the more popular legends.

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Overview

Among the darkest corners of Kentucky's past are the grisly feuds that tore apart the hills of Eastern Kentucky from the late nineteenth century until well into the twentieth. Now, from the tangled threads of conflicting testimony, John Ed Pearce, Kentucky's best known journalist, weaves engrossing accounts of six of the most notorious and long-running feuds - those in Breathitt, Clay, Harlan, Perry, Pike, and Rowan counties. Each of these feuds arose from distinctive circumstances and the clash of differing personalities, but all shared one trait - a determination to settle disputes by the gun rather than by the rule of law. Most began with petty grievances and ended only when most of the feudists were dead. Neither law enforcement officials nor the state militia occasionally sent in by an exasperated governor had much effect in stopping the bloodletting. What caused the feuds that left Kentucky with its lingering reputation for violence? Pearce asks. Who were the feudists, and what forces - social, political, financial - hurled them at each other? Did Big Jim Howard really kill Governor William Goebel? Did Joe Eversole die trying to protect small mountain landowners from ruthless Eastern mineral exploiters? Did the Hatfield-McCoy fight start over a hog? For years, Pearce has interviewed descendants of feuding families and examined skimpy court records and often fictional newspaper accounts to uncover what really happened and why. His story of those days of darkness brings to light new evidence, questions commonly held beliefs about the feuds, and puts to rest some of the more popular legends.


This item is Non-Returnable.

 

Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813118741
  • ISBN-10: 0813118743
  • Publisher: University Press of Kentucky
  • Publish Date: November 1994
  • Page Count: 252
  • Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.4 x 0.95 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds


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