Tag Archives: appalachia

John Henry was hammering

“John Henry was hammering on the right side, The big steam drill on the left, Before that steam drill could beat him down, He hammered his fool self to death.” —stanza 7 from one of the earliest written copies of the John Henry ballad, prepared by a W. T. Blankenship and published about 1900. He’s […]

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I tried to get her to sing all the song

John Jacob Niles composed the Appalachian influenced Christmas carols The Carol of the Birds, The Flower of Jesse, What Songs were Sung, Jesus, Jesus, Rest Your Head, and Sweet Little Boy Jesus. I Wonder As I Wander, one of his most popular carols, illustrates the working methods of this inveterate collector of homegrown musicality: “I […]

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The Creek Indians of Boiling Spring, AL

“Boiling Spring” The Anniston Times, December 30,1932 by Bessie Coleman Robinson Our county abounds in beautiful springs, but no other surpasses Boiling Spring in beauty. It is located on the Manning Christian Place, originally called the Caver Place, situated in the Choccolocco Valley a few miles east of Oxford. In early days this spring gushed […]

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Blackburn went to the serpent box and got the two copperheads out

As the day was coming to a close and the evening was drawing on people started to the church. They came from the hollows and mountains where they lived. That night Lester Raines took two copperheads that Blackburn had caught early that week for the church service. Lester had a hole dug out in the […]

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I closed my eyes and bent my head to receive the stroke of the tomahawk

On the 8th of March, 1782, William White, in sight of Fort Buckhannon [ed.-in modern day Upshur County, WV], was shot from his horse, tomahawked, scalped and lacerated in the most frightful manner by the Indians. White’s companions Timothy Dorman and his wife were captured. After the killing of White and capture of the Dormans, […]

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