We post a new episode of Appalachian History weekly podcast every Sunday. You can start listening right away by clicking the podcast icon over on the right side of your screen. If you’d rather grab the show off itunes for later listening, click here:
We open today’s show with a look at an 1898 smallpox epidemic that broke out in Middlesboro, KY. The federal government sent in a division of the United States Marine Hospital Service to contain the spread of the disease. Their methods were draconian. As the Marine commandant in charge described of his troops: “They make a house-to-house inspection, examining all persons, vaccinating all who have not been protected, and in the event of the refusal of anyone to be vaccinated, the name of each person so refusing is sent in to headquarters, where they are turned over to the city authorities, where the option is given them of being vaccinated or being sent to jail, and in the latter event they are vaccinated as soon as they enter, under a law requiring all inmates of jails to be vaccinated.”
We’ll pause in between things to catch up on a Calendar of Events in the region this week, with special attention paid to events that emphasize heritage and local color.
“In these so-called modern times we tend to forget words like hallowed, honored, or consecrated,” says guest author and West Virginia native Dustin White. White describes the efforts his family had to go through to preserve a family cemetery against mountaintop removal on Cook’s Mountain in Boone County. “One might ask, what makes something like land hallowed?”
We’ll wrap things up with a short overview of the Primitive Baptist Universalists, or ‘no-hellers,’ as they’re sometimes referred to by others. Members of the PBU are quick to point out that they DO believe in hell, but solely as a factor of the temporal world, with all sin being punished in this temporal world. Their views have gotten them into tangles more than once with other branches of the Primitive Baptists.
And, thanks to the good folks at the Digital Archive, we’ll be able to enjoy some authentic Appalachian music from the PIckard Family in a 1929 recording of “The Little Red Caboose Behind the Train.”
So, call your old Plott hound up on the porch, fire up your corn-cob pipe, and settle in for a dose of Appalachian History.