Yearly Archives: 2013

Johnny Mull, Fiddler of the Mountains

But Johnny did not limit his playing to Clay County and dances on Tusquittee. No Sir! When he was in his early twenties he took off to Canton, OH, and got a good paying job at Timken Roller Bearing Company. That was exactly what his older brother, Joseph David (1900-1992), had done when he was 22 years old. I always thought if my daddy, (Joseph) had not gone up to Canton to find work, Johnny might never have left the mountains. But you never know what life will hand out to you!

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President Andrew Jackson’s rise from the Waxhaws

The Waxhaws was the scene of prolonged white-Indian violence that had largely ended by the time Jackson was born. While periodic conflict occurred in the area, Jackson was not subjected to a violent childhood that produced a lifelong hatred of Native Americans. He grew up, however, around relatives and neighbors who certainly would have conveyed their experiences to him.

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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 guest author Mark R. Cheathem. Dr. Cheathem is an associate professor of history at Cumberland University. […]

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Esau Scrip and the Shoe Room

Esau was issued only to women, and it was a form of scrip that would enable a women to purchase food for her children during the time that her husband couldn’t work. But it was only good for 30 days, and if her husband went back to work within those 30 days, then the company in their kindness would forgive the debt. And if he did not go back to work at the end of 30 days, then the scrip became a loan that was due and payable in full on day 30. And of the course the women didn’t have jobs or scrip or money, and so they had to pay it back—and it was a collateralized loan—and the women themselves were the collateral. Their physical selves would be used to pay the debt.

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New 5-Woman Play about the Walker Sisters

It is clear that Soland appreciates the Walker Sisters’ way of life. “Our ancestors worked hard so we wouldn’t have to live like that. If they only knew, we needed to work hard in order to appreciate what we’ve been given.” She adds, “Now it seems what’s most appreciated, what’s most precious, has dissolved into the rolling rivers whose sound no one no longer really hears.”

The Walker Sisters were some of the last living residents inside what is now known as the Smoky Mountain National Park. They appreciated the mountain life with an appreciation the author longs for. With the help of Lisa Soland’s play on the life of the Walker Sisters, maybe we too can live what a quiet and simple life in these beautiful mountains of Eastern Tennessee might have been like.

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