Tag Archives: feuds

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.

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John Amis starts a feud with the North Forkers

(part 2 of 2) In April 1806 John Amis, who lived along the Kentucky River’s Middle Fork, went elk hunting in the area where his cattle were wintering. He discovered some cattle from North Fork farms grazing in what he thought were grass fields reserved for him and his cohorts. Amis proceeded to stab about […]

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John Amis settles on Kentucky River’s South Fork

“That’s a god-damned lie!” cried out Joel Elkins as John Amis spoke to those gathered in the Clay County court. He reached behind the door, grabbed William Strong’s gun, purposely loaded and placed there, then shot and killed Amis. Accounts differ as to why John Amis was in that Kentucky court on August 5, 1807, […]

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Home Guards lead to post Civil War feuds in Fentress County, TN

“No section of the great Civil War suffered so enduringly as that which was the boundary line between the sections, and no part of the boundary suffered more from devastations of war in the passing to and fro of armed forces and from the raids of marauding bands, than did Fentress County, TN. “Before the […]

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He answered the call, not by a natural death

‘Wright’s Fork of the long ago — McRoberts of Today’ by Burdine Webb September 4th, 1941 edition of The Mountain Eagle [KY] “A few days ago I saw Wright’s Fork and the town of McRoberts that lies along its waters, Shea’s Fork, Chopping Branch, Tom Biggs and Bark Camp– but it was a different picture […]

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