Monthly Archives: August 2013

Bloody Breathitt Finds Its Scapegoat

In the past, violent death had been a divider, but now it was a uniter. Bad Tom Smith had been a “feudist,” but as part of an affair in another county, and it was probably a relief to many that the crime of passion for which he was hanged was unconnected to past power struggles. Unlike so many killings before it, Bad Tom Smith’s execution was a civically consensual, apolitical killing. Almost no one questioned it as a legitimate form of violence.


Listen Here: Appalachian History Weekly podcast posts today

We post a new episode of Appalachian History weekly podcast every Sunday. Check us out on the Stitcher network, available on mobile phones, in-car dashboards and tablets worldwide. Just click below to start listening: We open today’s show with a guest post from Deborah L. Helms. Helms is the secretary for North Alabama’s Skyline Farms […]


The Aracoma Story –an Appalachian ‘Romeo & Juliet’

Except for the fact that West Virginia as an entity didn’t exist at the time, it is true a Shawnee leader named Aracoma (1742-1780), married to a white man named Boling Baker (1738-?), was in charge of the Shawnee tribes east of the Ohio River from 1777-80.

Then there’s that title of ‘princess’ to contend with. Shawnee Heritage cites Aracoma not as a princess, but as a Chalakatha (Shawnee branch) village Head Woman.

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