Thursday, August 10, 2017
This sketch of Calloway Collins, grandson of "A FULL-BLOODED CHEROKEE" accompanied the article by Will Allen Dromgoole on her trip to Newmans Ridge. See scan below.
This sketch is found in Wikipedia article on the Melungeons. Who sketched this and who added it to Wikepedia. Where did this sketch come from? There is more that a 'subtle' difference in these two sketches. Why does the second one say it is a 'typical Melungeon' it looks nothing like Calloway Collins? It says it was "Drawn from a photograph taken by Will Allen Dromgoole" but the above is the sketch made by the artist that accompanied Ms Dromgoole to Newmans Ridge.
Why does the 'Typical Melungeon" appear August 31st in Nashville newpspaper and 'Calloway Collins' whose grandfather was full blood Cherokee appear in the Oregon newpspaper two weeks later?
Did Dromgoole's artist sketch both of these? Is the second one the man Dromgoole refers to as 'King" in THE LAST OF THE MALUNGEONS
Saturday, August 5, 2017
Indians of Hancock County, Tennessee
The Cherokee Boundary of 1785 went through Sneedville as did the Kentucky Road [Wilderness Trail] as the map below shows.
I have not found the source for this nor can I vouch for it's accuracy;
John Reed Swanton's Indians of the Southeastern United StatesBulletin 137 of the Bureau of American Ethnology,Smithsonian Institution, 1946.
''Swanton reported that there were three bands of the Yuchi (Uchee or Euchee): a southern one centered near the present Macon, Georgia; a middle one near the present Talladega, Alabama; and a northern one centered on Newman's Ridge in Hancock County, Tennessee. The northern band were not among the Yuchi forced to relocate in Indian Territory in the 1830s. They were settled on the Qualla Reservation with the Eastern Cherokee band and allowed one representative on the tribal council. All deliberations were in Cherokee, which none of the Yuchi understood (understandable, since Cherokee belongs to the Iroquoian language stock and Yuchi to the Siouan one). After two years of feeling like strangers among the Cherokees, the Yuchi left and returned to Newman's Ridge.''
It is interesting though that the "Emassees and Malunjins show up together in Dothan, Alabama.
THE EMASSEES AND MALUNJINS
One tribe of Indians and a community of mixed breed Indians were unmolested by the whites. These were the Uchees or Emassees, kinsman of the Seminoles or Creeks, who lived at the mouth of the Emassee or O'Mussee or Mercer creek near Columbia, and the Malunjins, a mixed breed community residing some three to six miles northeast of Dothan toward Webb even as late as 1865. Where the Malunjins came from nobody knows; where they were dispersed to is the limbo of forgotten men. B. P. Poyner, Sr., father of Houston County Probate Judge, S.P.Poyner, was born in the Malunjins' community. Some of these mixed breed Indians brought milk to Mr. Poyner's mother while he was an infant. The Emassees were allied by affinity with the Creeks and Seminoles yet during all of Alabama's territorial and state days were friendly to the whites. Only a squatter white family settled here and there and lived in old Henry County prior to 1817. Save for these squatters there were no white settlers in Henry County at the time of the Creek War of 1812-13. The Alabama Lawyer: Official Organ State Bar of AlabamaBy Alabama State BarPublished by The Bar, 1942
On November 6, 1837, the Hawkins County Land Platt Book records the survey for James Livesay of 500 acres of land on an "Indian village on the waters of Painter [Panther Creek] on the north side of Clinch River."
THE MORRISTOWN GAZETTE
NOTES AND DOTS
Sneedville, Aug. 16, 1878.To the Editor of the Morristown Gazette :
Where the village of Sneedville is situated was once an Indian town. There are any quantity of flints half finished, scattered about over a wide extent in and around the village, showing that this was a place where they manufactured darts for their arrows, with which they killed their game. Many battle-axes, tomahawks, pestles, and remnants of Instruments and vessels of pottery used by the aborigines have been picked up in years gone by, so that now they are seldom found. Within a quarter of a mile of the court-house there is still visible a round-shaped knoll which may be a mound. It was once much sharper than it now is, so sharp that cattle never resorted to it for rest. It has been ploughed over and cultivated; and is now very much flattened.. I have seen many mounds, and am inclined to express it as my opinion that this - is a regular mound. Right here, allow me to say that I am in correspondence with the officers of the Smithsonian Institute, Washington, D. C, who request me to collect all evidences of these singular formations, and transmit information and specimens to them. which I am doing, and respectfully request those who have any Indian battle-axes, tomahawks, arrow heads pottery, or other implements or trinkets once in posession of the Indians who formerly roamed over this country as "lords of creation," to send them to me at Morristown.
Monday, June 19, 2017
from WVLT in Knoxville Tennessee was posted this morning. This is
typical of the pieces being put out by television, magazines, books,
speakers, etc., and it is plain ridiculous.
This journalist called Vardy the 'chief cook and bottlewasher of the Melungeons' and it was no doubt Vardy and Peggy Collins who told him the "Legend of the Melungeons."
"The legend of their history, which they carefully preserve, is this. A great many years ago, these mountains were settled by a society of Portuguese Adventurers, men and women--who came from the long-shore parts of Virginia, that they might be freed from the restraints and drawbacks imposed on them by any form of government. These people made themselves friendly with the Indians and freed, as they were from every kind of social government, they uprooted all conventional forms of society and lived in a delightful Utopia of their own creation ....... These intermixed with the Indians, and subsequently their descendants (after the advances of the whites into this part of the state) with the negros and the whites, thus forming the present race of Melungens."Ok so where is the SECRET? Exactly what was it they were 'afraid to tell' the journalist? Where was their "self-preservation" in 1848? Why would they create this 'legend' if it were not true and exactly what secret could they be hiding? They said they were Portuguese adventurers who mixed with the Indians. It was no more dangerous to be an 'Indian' than it was to be African, both would have been enslaved or marched off to the reservation. Just a few generations before this the Indians were capturing and cooking the pioneers.
They said they mixed with whites and BLACKS when they got to Tennessee! What was the SECRET, what were they hiding, what did they forget on purpose?
These people were hardy pioneers who had lived in the mountains, fought in the Revolution, fought off Indians, the tax man, etc. They were probably forced off their lands in Louisa County in the 1740s and many of them came from the Indian trading families. Some were at Jamestown in early 1600s. And people expect us to believe they were AFRAID to tell who they really were?
J.G. Rhea to Martha Collins - 1918
"Now about the Collins boys, I knew when I was a boy Navarrh, or as he was called, "Vardy" Collins was a fine old patriarch, said to be of Portuguese Nationality coming to this country with De Soto
How could it be that "we can't go back far enough" to validate the Portuguese mixed with the Indians when the deSoto journals are full of stories of the Portuguese [and Spanish and Genoans] mixing with the Indians? "We can't go back far enough" to find how they got here? The deSoto journals tell exactly how they got here, how Andre de Vasconcelos received a ship for his Portuguese sailors from deSoto.
"In the month of April, of the year 1538, the adelantado (deSoto) delivered the ships over to the captains who were to go in them. He took a new and good sailing ship for himself and gave one to Andre de Vasconcelos, in which the Portuguese went" (Here)
The Portuguese definitely mixed with the Indians, just as Vardy Collins told the journalis in 1848. From the de Soto Journals (Found Here)
- They captured a hundred head, among Indian men and women. Of the latter, there, as well as in any other part where forays were made, the captain selected one or two for the governor and the others were divided among themselves and those who went with them.
- As soon as the governor had crossed the stream, he found a village called Achese a short distance on. Although the Indians had never heard of Christians they plunged into a river. A few Indians, men and women, were seized,
- At the time of his departure, because of the importunity of some who wished more than was proper, he asked the cacique for thirty Indian women as slaves.....The Indians gave the governor thirty Indian women and the necessary tamemes [for DeSoto's men to wed then populate his planned settlement at Mobile Bay].
And this piece wants us to believe they 'forgot on purpose' who they were when they told the journalist in 1848 exactly who they were, they didn't forget anything.
Fifteen years before deSoto there was Lucian deAyllon who brought 600 colonist and 100 slaves to Winyah Bah and the Pee Dee River, most researchers agree some of these people, including the slaves went off to live with the Indians along the Pee Dee River, only 150 people returned to Spain. (Early Contacts)
Twenty six years after deSoto Juan Pardo explored the same area of the Pee Dee River as deAyllon and deSoto. There are many articles of Pardo's soldiers "indiscretions" with Indian women and at least two marriages between soldiers and the Indian women.
Is it really a leap to believe the Melungeons are descendants of these Portugese and Indian men and women? To date the only court documented case of Melungeons was in Hamilton Co., Tennessee and it is reported and documented they were on the Pee Dee River in early 1700s. (The Famous Melungeon Case)
They told this same story to Will Allen Dromgoole who published The Four Branches in 1890, The Gibson and Collins were Indians, the Goins were African and the Denham were Portuguese. This is the exact "legend' told to the journalist 50 years before. (The Melungeon Tree and It's Four Branches)
Again in 1897 the legend was repeated to Rev. C. H. Humble, in an article "A Visit to the Melungeons.
"The first settlers here were the great grand parents, Varday Collins, Shephard Gibson, and Charley Williams, who came from Virginia it is said, though other say from North Carolina. They have marked Indians resemblances in color, feature, hair, carriage, and disposition.
The second settlers were from North Carolina; they were the Goans, Miners, and Bells; they were charged with having negro blood in them and, before the war, were prosecuted on this ground for illegal voting, but were acquitted. They explained their peculiarities by claiming a Portuguese origin.
Later Came Jim Mullens, an Englishman, who married a Collins, and whose son John married Mehala Collins, to be referred to again. Jim Moore, a British sailor, also settled here, and married a daughter of old Charley Gibson,"
Lacking the Portuguese Denham this is the same 'legend' they told in Dromgoole- The Indians, Africans, Portuguese and English, just as they had told the journalist in 1848.
This is not one of those "theories of origin" - this is exactly who they said they were and where they came from. There is no SECRET there is no MYSTERY!
These myths that 'they said they were Portuguese to hide African ancestry is a joke. They told journalists every chance they got exactly who they were, they said they mixed with blacks in 1848 they were NOT covering up nothing! The only mystery is why are these people in Vardy/Newman's Ridge allowing this so called mystery to carry on, promoting secrets and lies? Yes, lies, because if they don't believe the 1848 Legend of the Melungeons, as told by Vardy Collins, or the history told to Dromgoole by Calloway Collins or Beatty Collins who gave the information to C.H. Humble then yes, they are reducing their ancestors to a bunch of deceitful, lying pioneers hiding their African ancestry!
Monday, June 12, 2017
Thomas Gibson died in Henry County, Virginia in 1780, his will written on January 3rd it names his wife, Mary, and only one daughter, Cuzziah. Zackeriah King, Joel Gibson and Lambert Dotson were named as executors. Joel and Charles More along with Joseph Nicols were witness to the will. On March 23, 1780 it was probated and the records show; exhibited by Joel Gibson who gave bond with Lambeth Dodson and Champain Gibson as his securities. Further records shows On 22 June 1765, according to the Pittsylvania County patent book, Lambeth patented 400 acres on the main fork of Mayo River which he transferred to George Gibson on 19 September 1766. Lambeth entered 228 acres in Guilford County, North Carolina on 9 January 1779 (Rockingham formed from Guilford in 1785). It was surveyed 10 June 1779 by Joshua Smith, with William Kellam and Joel Gibson acting as chain carriers. The grant was issued 1 March 1780, 228 acres below and in the fork of Mayo River, beginning at a poplar on the south bank of the North Fork of Mayo in the Virginia line, adjoining Joel Gibson and Philip Angling, and including the improvements of Thomas Gibson and Esaw Dodson. On 9 July 1784, Lambeth Dodson of Henry County, Virginia sold 153 acres of this tract to Zachariah King of Guilford County, North Carolina. From Pittsylvania County Court Records - Applications to raise dams for grist mills is George Gibson on Crooked Creek dated June 1772.
Champ Gibson was born in 1746 and married to Elizabeth, last name unknown, by 1774 when his daughter Jane was born. He is first found in records in Henry County when he appears on the record of Thomas Gibson's will in 1780. A deed on both sides of Hickory Creek on the Mayo River between Champ and Robert Means shows him in Rockingham County, North Carolina by 1786. Champ Gibson's 191 acres on Hickory Creek was divided among his ten sons and daughters in 1820. Champ Gibson was found in Halifax County in 1771 See Notes
The children of Champ and Elizabeth Gibson
(i) In 1823 Jemima Gibson living in Hawkins County gave power of attorney to Tyre Gibson of Hawkins County, Tennessee. Tyre Gibson may be the same man bailed out of the Lee County jail in 1822 and possibly a brother of Vardy's wife, 'Spanish Peggy Gibson? Was Jemima married to Tyre Gibson?
(ii) Alexander Gibson married Charlotte Jinkins on February 11th 1820, lived in Rockingham
(iii) James Possibly moved to Tennessee
(iv) Margaret married William Moore and resided in Rockingham County.
(v) Jane married Johnson Goin and remained in Rockingham also. Likely the source of many of the Goinstown Indians.
(vi) Fanny married Ansel Rogers by 1831 - Ansel and Fanny were living in Washington Co., Virginia (Rockingham Co., North Carolina Deed Book 2dC p 202 in 1832)
(vii) Elizabeth married Randal Riddle moved to Hawkins Co., Tennessee (Rockingham Co. Deed Book 2dF p392)
(viii) Chaney married James Harris (Rockingham Co., NC Deed Book 2dG p58 in 1836)
(viiii) Pleasant Gibson served in the War of 1812 Lived in the Goinstown community on the Rockingham and Stokes County border until the 1850s and then moved over to what would become Quaker Gap Township in Stokes County. In 1826 he bought the rights of sister Chaney and her husband James Harris, 19 acres on Hickory Creek and in 1832 bought the 19 acres of his sister Fanny Rogers.
(x) Stephen married Elizabeth Moore on February 25th 1816 and remainedin Rockingham County and received a pension for service during the War of 1812
I am researching the family of Ansel Rogers and his wife, Fannie (or Frances) Gibson. Ansel was born about 1766, likely in Cumberland County, VA and was the son of Prudence Rogers. I would love to connect with anyone searching these lines! I have a fairly extensive set of data on them I'm more than willing to share.
He and mother Prudence moved to Campbell County, VA by 1780s where they bought land - near a Jenkins family. By 1810, Ansel is in Henry County, VA where he marries Frances GIBSON, the daughter of Champ GIBSON.
Ansel and his family are known as "free persons of color" or "mulatto" at least through 1870 census when some of his lines become "white". I can find court and military records for grandsons of his which call themselves "Portuguese".
Ansel and Frances were parents of the following (documented via grandson, James Ansel Rogers of Stone County, MO's failed application on the Guion Miller roll for recognition as a Cherokee). (note: although there is history of native american in many branches of the family, I have seen no connection to the actual Cherokee nation and with the source of the family
in Cumberland Co, VA in mid 1700s, I doubt that claim myself).
Children of Ansel and Frances Rogers:
- Prudence Rogers, b 1810; lived Washington County, VA/Sullivan Co,TN [WC,
VA or SC, TN]
- James Rogers (m. Rebecca SHAVER), b 1825; lived WC, VA and SC, TN
- Solomon Rogers ? not sure where he lived
- Nancy Rogers (WHO DID SHE MARRY??) likely born around 1820 and
supposedly lived in Lee County, VA
- Elizabeth Rogers b. about 1820 (married Martin SHAVER); lived in WC, VA
but he moved to Scott Co, VA after her death
- Julia Rogers; born around 1818 but not sure who she married
- Ruth Rogers; lived in SC, TN
- Lettie Rogers b. ca 1822 lived in WC, VA - one census record called her
occupation "fortune teller" (remained "colored" or "black" in census records
- Nathaniel B. Rogers b. 1818 - Lived at Louisville, KY (remained
"colored" in census until death)
- Spicey Rogers (married Squire SHAVER) was in SC, TN but then disappears.
Guion Miller application claims she was in "Big Sandy, OH" in 1906
- George W. Rogers b. 1826 lived at Lawrence Co, OH (remained "black" or
"indian" in census records until death) Note: although almost certainly the
son of Ansel, he was not mentioned in James Rogers' application.
(From Gary Burnette)
Message: Would be delighted to correspond further on any of these families. Elizabeth (Gibson) Riddle, widow of Randolph Riddle, moved from Rockingham Co., NC, to Hawkins Co., TN, in the mid-1840s, with her children; it's not clear whether Randolph died in NC or TN. (He was alive in 1842 when they sold their Rockingham Co. land together.) Elizabeth is listed in the 1850 census heading a large family; nearby is her sister, Chaney (Gibson) Harris, in the household of Chaney's son Cornelius Harris. Apparently they had gone to TN together. Why Hawkins? Chaney and Elizabeth already had an older sister, Jemima Gibson, who had been living there since at least 1822....
G.C. Waldrep III
Notes for RANDOLPH RIDDLE:
Lewis Goins was in Hawkins County 1850-55 had son John Lewis born 1855, they were from Goinstown, Rockingham County, NC., Lewis is probably a grandson of Jessee Going, Jessee believed to be related by marriage to John Riddle son of Moses and Mary Ridley, Riddle. Jesse Gowen paid f.50 to Thomas Crawley for land located on Daltons Creek and on the Stokes County line Oct 27, 1797 and on the same day John Riddle/Ridley paid Crawley f25 for land adjoining Jesse Gowen, Rockingham, NC deed book E, page 209. Most if not all of these
Rockingham County Riddles were children and or grandchildren of John Riddle, his son Randolph who married Elizabeth Gibson later moved from Rockingham County to Hawkins County, Tn., Randolph Riddle's son James Austin Ridley married Nancy L. Going about 1839 in Rockingham County, NC. I regard John
Riddle a brother to William (Tory) Riddle and sons of Moses and Mary Ridley/Riddle of Orange County, NC and Henry County, Va.
According to John Ridley/Riddle's Pension application (S9069) Soldier was born near Flat River in NC, John Ridle and William Ridle are both recorded on the 1773 Montgomery County, Virginia tax list of John Montgomery, both John and William took Oath of Allegiance in Montgomery County in 1777.
John Riddle moved from the Grayson County, Virginia area of Montgomery County shortly after the time of William Riddles capture on Riddle Knob and death, which was April 1781. John moved to Henry County and joined the Rev. Army in August 1781 and was at Yorktown at the surrender of Cornwallis. His
movements show a relationship with William Riddle even to the possibility that he was part of his gang on Riddle Knob. Jack Goins
Lewis Goins was born around 1813 in Rockingham County, North Carolina and is likely the son of Johnson and Jane Gibson Goins, grandson of Champ Gibson. Around 1855 Lewis left Rockingham County and removed to Rogersville, Tennessee where his mothr's sisters, Elizabeth (Riddle) and Chaney (Harris) had moved some time before.
11 Dec 1895
Lewis Goins, an aged and well known citizen of our county, died at the residence of Harris Bell, on Cave Ridge near town, Tuesday night after an illness of about 6 weeks, aged 84 years. Until his last illness Mr. Goins had never been sick but two days before in all his life, and was an exceptionally well preserved man. He was very dark complected and claimed to be of Portugese stock. He was a member of the Baptist Church. The remains were interred at Cedar Grove near the River. (Distant Crossroads, Volume 19, number 3, 2002)
John Goins had land on Blackberry Creek, William King and Zachariah King also had land on Blackberry Creek. Zachariah King was mentioned in the will of Thomas Gibson in 1780 along with Joel and Champ Gibson. James is possibly the father of Johnson Goins who married to Champ Gibson's daughter about 1795. These King, Gibson and Goins families are found in East Tennessee later.
Am searching for information on and/or descendants of Pleasant Gibson, s/o Champ & Elizabeth Gibson of Rockingham Co., b. c1783, served in War of 1812, lived in the Goinstown community on the Rockingham/Stokes line until the 1850s, when he moved over to what would become Quaker Gap Twp. in Stokes. Wife's name was Nancy--apparently no extant marriage bond. Known children: Leathy (c1825/28, unm.); Charlotte "Dolly" (c1819-92, m. William Belton); Jeremiah (b. c1820, m. Nancy Lybass); Delila (b. c1831/35, unm.); Robert (b. c1827/30, m. Catherine Cox); Annie (1837-1907, m. Patrick Farmer); and Abner (b. c1838, m. Martha Thrower, lived in Surry Co.). (Bounty Land for War of 1812 mentioned in brother Stephens pension app jp)
By 1870 the Cornelius Harris and Obediah Riddle family moved to Paoli, Orange County, Indiana.
21 Mar 1771 Road Order: George Combs appointed Surveyor of the Road leading from Boyd’s Road to Roberts’ Road...ordered that he, with male tithables belonging to Moses Hendrick, William Echols, Sr., John Anderson, Mead Anderson,
Shadrach Gowing, Harry Hereford, John Chapman, John Hood, Nipper Adams, William Donathan, Thomas Spencer, William Mays, Nathan Sullins, Charles Henderson, George Wood, George Stubblefield, Daniel Easely, Stephen Easely, Joshua Adams, Thomas Lovelace, Samuel Wilson, George Brown, Champ Gibson, and William Chandler, do forthwith lay open and
clear the said Road, and they then return to their former road. (Halifax County, VA, Court Orders, 7:80)
[Feb 1761 Deed: William Eckhols, Jr., and wife Rachel, to Moses Hendrick, all of Halifax County, for £19, 222 acres in Halifax County on Polecat Creek where said Moses now lives, adjoining Hugh Moore’s line–being a patent to Hugh Miller, who conveyed to said Eckhols... /s/ William Eckhols, Jr. Wit: Joseph Collins, William Marchbanks, Owen Brady. (Halifax County, VA, Deeds
Joel Gibson on Buffallo Creek and Mayo - Champ Gibson on Hickory Creek and Mayo and Crooked Creek in upper right hand corner in Henry County is where George Gibson had land in 1772, probably from Lambert Dodson.
North Carolina Abstracts of State Grants
March 1, 1780 - Joel Gibson 282 acres on north side of Mayo join Philip Angelin
March 1, 1780 - Lambeth Dodson 228 acres below and in fork of Mayo joining Virginia line Both sides of S fork opposite land of Joel Gibson.
March 1, 1780 - Champ Gibson 300 acres on both sides of Hicory Creek of Mayo River joining Alexander Lyell and both sides of (several) creeks.
March 1, 1780 - James Brison 400 acres on the south side of Mayo river joining the sd river below the Mouth of Buffaloe Creek, both sides of (several) branches, and both sides of the sd Creek Opposite (land) of Joel Gibson and Andrew Gibson.
Wednesday, May 17, 2017
Rosanna Collins Perkins
Fielden, and brother Shepherd Collins, called Rosanna PERKINS their sister, on Cherokee applications. Fielden and Shepherd are sons of John Collins and Louisa Cole, therefore Rosanna is daughter of John Collins and Louisa Cole also. The grandparents are Shepherd and Polly Collins and Valentine and Mariah Cole.
Note: Fielden Collins names his sister Rosann PERKINS [married to John Riley Perkins -1897] in 1907, parents John Collins and Louisa Cole
She married to E. E. Guin [Elza McGuin] on May 7, 1893 and had two sons; Benjamin and Tom McGuin.
On December 10, 1897 she married to Riley Perkins
|Marriage Date||10 Dec 1897|
Both of these records show Rosanna's name as COLLINS, they are found on the 1900 census living in Salyersville, Kentucky with sons Benjamim 1895, Tom born 1896 [both listed as Perkins] and Sarah K., born 1899.
|Home in 1900||Salyersville, Magoffin, Kentucky|
|Number of Dwelling in Order of Visitation||396|
Leander Cole married Rosenna COLE, daughter of John Cole and Nancy Barnett in 1890 in Magoffin County, Kentucky. Susie, daughter of John Cole and Nancy Barnett, names her sister Rosanna COLLINS who was married to Leeander Cole/Collins in 1907.
In 1900 Leander and wife Rosa Cole are living in Abbot, Floyd County, Kentucky. Rosanna had these children; Junie Nov 1890, Eddie May 1893, Lewis Nov 1895, Gincy 1898 and Lindsy May 1900.
This is Leeander and Rosanna Cole in 1900 Census
|Home in 1900:||Abbott, Floyd, Kentucky|
|Number of Dwelling in Order of Visitation:||250|
Clearly Rosanna COLLINS married to John RILEY PERKINS is not the same as Rosanna COLE who married to Leander COLE. Both women are on the 1900 with their husbands and children.
The confusion surrounding these two couples stems from the fact that Leeander went by the name COLE and COLLINS
Both of these documents call LeeAnder a COLLINS and in 1915, 2 years after Leeander died Rosanna married to William RILEY Perkins the widow of Barbara Wadkins/Watkins. Rosanna, widow of Leeander used his name of COLLINS.
WILLIAM Riley Perkins married Barbara Watkins/Wadkins 26 Sep 1885 in Magoffin County, Kentucky. In 1900 this family was living in Abbot, Floyd County with the following children; Riley Perkins wife Barbery -Lindy Aug 1886, -Gracie Oct 1889, --- -Nellie Oct 1890, -Bertha Dec 1893, -Lola Oct 1895.
In the 1920 Census the children of Barbara Wadkins and the children of Leeander Cole are in the household of William RILEY Perkins and Rosanna Cole Collins. The two sons of Leeander are called 'step sons' to William Riley Perkins, widow of Barbara, and his children with Barbara are in the household called 'daughter.'
THE DEATH CERTIFICATE
This is the death certificate that has been attributed to Rosanna Collins, daughter of John Collins and Louisa Cole, and wife of John Riley Perkins, but in fact this death record belongs to Rosanna COLE widow of Leeander Cole/Collins and William Riley Perkins
This is the death certificate that has been attributed to Rosanna Collins, daughter of John Collins and Louisa Cole, and wife of John Riley Perkins, but in fact this death record belongs to Rosanna COLE widow of Leeander Cole/Collins and William Riley Perkins
This is not Rosanna, wife of John Riley Perkins. Both are found on the 1940 Census in Magoffin Co., Kentucky living with their widowed daughter, Mary Cole and grandchildren, Rosanna COLLINS PERKINS was not dead in 1937.
Riley Perkins, son of 'Dickie Perkins' and Mary Wright died December 29, 1945 in Lakeville, Magoffin County, Kentucky. On his death certificate it states he was "married" meaning his wife Rosanna who is living with him 5 years earlier did not die in 1937.
The above death record is obviously of Rosanna Cole daughter of John Cole and Nancy Barnett, widow of Leeander Cole and married to William Riley Perkins.
This is the obituary of Sarah K., daughter of John Riley Perkins and Rosanna Collins, as recorded in the above census.
The above death record is obviously of Rosanna Cole daughter of John Cole and Nancy Barnett, widow of Leeander Cole and married to William Riley Perkins.
This is the obituary of Sarah K., daughter of John Riley Perkins and Rosanna Collins, as recorded in the above census.
And Rosanna Collins, wife of John Riley Perkins, mother of above Sarah Perkins Nickell.
Friday, March 17, 2017
Hancock County - Moonshine, Feuds & Malungeons
ACTUAL MANNERS AND WAYS OF THE MEN AND WOMEN
From The New York Sun - November 29th 1891
Contrast Between the Facts and the Stories of Novelists -- Dwelling, Food, and Dress -- The Use and the Flavor of Mountain Dew -- The Law Breaking Malungeons.
SNEEDVILLE, Nov. 26. -- It has been known that the great westward tide of
These mountaineers have of late years got much attention from writers of romances. And these writers of romances, being for the most part persons of surprising talent, have got much credit for realistic writing of fiction. Their use of the dialect, their portrayal of mountain life and character have been regarded as faithfully natural and lifelike. This esteem has, however not been shared by those who are familiar with the mountains and the mountaineers for many years. East Tennesseeans who have hunted through the mountains and have lived in mountain cabins for weeks and months say that the romancers have taken wide liberties with the dialect and with the people themselves to make a better story.
It may be said in the beginning that the mountaineers of whom this article speaks are not at all like the persons of the mountain romance. There are no beautiful women with wide eyes and minds full of idealizing. There are no men of especial comeliness. Love is passion pure and simple. Hatred is neither stagy
This however, far from detracting from interest in these people, adds to it immeasurably. Human nature here is on the surface, acting and speaking, the former more out of all proportion than the latter as naturally and as frankly as the most ardent lover of plain speech could desire. The mountaineers are hospitable, or else they turn away the traveler at the point of a gun. They grasp the hand or they meet the outstretched hand with the knife blade. They have clear and strong ideas of right and wrong as the mountains reveal them. They detest the machinery of law and permit each man to be the arbiter and avenger of his own wrongs. Their women are as virtuous as could be expected, and often virtuous beyond expectation. Both men and women are rough, uncouth, brave, freedom loving, haters of innovation of government, good clothing, and the life of cities.
To a dweller upon Manhattan Island, the people of these mountain districts seem hardly real. It is not easy to understand, without experience, a region where all men go forth armed, where murders are of almost daily occurrence, and where the law never attempted to assert its authority. The man of the city goes forth to hunt once a year, and then takes a gun or so and handles it with a fair degree of skill at best. Yet, only a day and a night's journey from New York one will find men who carry a gun as a city man carries an umbrella or cane, who can use it an incredible distance with the skill and accuracy that a good billiard player shows with his cue. These men go forth to seek the beast and birds of the forests sometimes, but the real use of the gun or pistol is in attack upon or defense against the bearer's fellow-beings of the same community. Every man is prepared for war at an instant's notice, and no man hesitates to take a life if he believes it necessary.
When such a state of affairs is described, one would at once infer that such people would be exceedingly uncomfortable to visit. Yet the fact is that the life and property of a stranger are as safe in the wilds of the mountains as in Central Park. A milder, more hospitable set of people would be hard to find. their faces are gentle, their voices pleasant and ever cordial. If they see that the stranger comes in simplicity and good faith they will do anything for him. It is only where their rights are concerned and by rights must be understood most sensitive and delicate distinctions unknown in the jostling crowds of cities- that they show ferocity. Any one whose incredulity is aroused by the gentle and harmless exterior of the mountaineers has but to learn their past history or to see a mountain disturbance to believe all that has been said of these people and more than has been said of these people and more than is generally credited to them.
It is the purpose of this article to speak of one small county of East Tennessee which is a fair type of the wild mountain region. In this county no white man has ever been hanged. Yet, since the war no less than 150 men have been shot down in the most deliberate fashion. Within the past year 10 murders have been committed and no adequate punishment has been or ever will be given to the murderers. There is no man above 16 years of age who does not own one or more weapons- Winchesters, Spencers, Colts and the like. Most of those men seldom go abroad without being well armed. The glistening barrel of the gun and the lump made by the pocket pistol are such common sights that they cease to attract attention. This county, though one of the smallest in the state, is about the worst. Its history would read like the history of an Italian principality in the Middle Ages.
Toward the northeastern corner of Tennessee is Hancock County, a small triangle upon the map, and crossed by several high mountain ranges. It lies just over the border line from Virginia, with the Cumberland Mountains upon the northwest and the Great Smoky Mountains in full view to the east and south. There are no railroads in this county, and until the few last years there were rare arrivals or departures. The nearest railroad point even now is 20 miles away, across mountain roads that are difficult in rainy weather and impassible in winter. At all seasons of the year the scenery from the tops of Newman's Range, on Powell's Mountain is unsurpassed, even by the views in the heart of the Great Smoky Range. There are the Cumberland Mountains on one side and the towering and mist veiled Great Smoky Mountains on the other. Between lie smaller ranges covered by a sea of forests. In the spring, summer and autumn not a house is to be seen, only here and there thin and lazy columns of smoke to tell where the lonely cabins are hidden. The skies, the sunsets, the moonlight nights are serene, soft and beautiful.
The county-seat is a hamlet called Sneedville, a half-hearted scattering of little frame houses in a sort of basin formed by a curve in Newman's Ridge, which lies to the south and southwest. There are perhaps 150 people in Sneedville and its only brick building is a court-house, which looks extravagant, splendid and lonesome by contrast with the surroundings. Part of this court-house is given over to a jail, which is seldom inhabited. The floor of the cell room is bolted a chain. When they have an especially dangerous prisoner this chain is fastened about his leg and bolted so that it can be removed by filing only.
Before these three staples come whisky. Without it mountain life would not be what it is. A lover of good whisky would object to the use of that name in connection with what these mountaineers drink. But the mountaineers themselves speak scornfully of the stuff they get when they make rare visits to the larger towns. They prefer this oily horror that smells like coal oil and tastes like a concentrated essence of brimstone. They drink it in great quantities, and before each meal a tin cup full of it is passed from father to son, daughter, grandson, child, and mother. They say that it opens the stomach up for food. To one not used to it, it seems to be opening the stomach to the winds of heaven. And in this frightful stuff lies the real secret of those mountain feuds that begin in sullen and morbid brooding, and end in corpses riddled with bullets.
The most respectable houses in Hancock county are in Sneedville. The mountain cabins are desolate and dreary and open to the weather. Not long ago the writer sat in a cabin on the side of Newman's Range. As the cabin was far up the mountain side a cold wind blew around and through it. There were two rooms and a loft. One room was used as a kitchen, the other room and loft for all other household purposes. Nineteen persons, 12 of whom were the children of the heads of the household, slept under that small, crazy roof. Men and women slept in the same room, not to speak of several wretched dogs which had fought with the human beings for food at the table an hour or so before.
There had been a general drunk and a dance after supper, for which the men and women had sunk exhausted or stupefied into bed. The door was wide open. The kitchen door not being upon hinges had been set aside when supper began. There were great clinks between the logs of the walls and a cold wind blew through the house. The writer could look out over the dark red embers of the back log and through the chimney wall to the great moon lit valley two miles away. He could look up through the floor of the loft, through the roof of cloudless mountain sky. Outside there was a profound stillness, broken by no sound, silent as though the world had suddenly paused breathless. Inside, there arose at intervals snorts and snores and moaning breaths from the sleepers, the mountaineer leading and the women joining in feebly but effectually. at times this sound of humanity at rest rose to a fearful loudness. Again there would be a pause which let the death like silence of the mountains penetrate the room. As this mountaineer had once read a book upon the diseases of the horse and had a library of one book - a school physiology - he bore the title of "Doc." He was a simple, foolish person, handy with a gun.
There are no saloons in this county. Each man keeps his jug or bottle and gets it refilled at the distillery. Moonshine whisky is scarce now, the government having at last convinced the mountaineers that the licensed still is the safest and best. But these licensed stills are wild and rough, and have the warlike appearance of the old moonshine stills. Just now there are perhaps a dozen of them in Hancock county. There was a time when a revenue collector could stand on Powell's Mountain and see in the valley and hollows below him the smoke of a score of illicit stills, safe from him because the trees made it impossible to mark the places whence the smoke came, and also because the guns of the mountaineers made the discovery almost assuredly fatal.
From time to time the chief point for the producing of corn whisky has moved from one part of the country to another. It has been noticed that the riots, feuds and murders follow the stills. Wherever the most corn whisky is used, there the most violence occurs; and it is not strange that such whisky should put men into moods where life seems of trifling value. A feud generally starts from some trivial incident of a drunken brawl. The aggrieved person keeps drinking, falls to brooding, then tells his friends that he proposes to kill so and so. The threatened man hears of it, arms himself more carefully, and makes threats in return. The two men meet, and there is a fight or a murder. Friends and relatives take it up, and soon the whole mountain region is ringing with shots and the leaves are spotted with blood. The feud sometimes dies out for a while but soon begins to rage again, until wounds, deaths and funerals are distributed far and wide. Sometimes it is one branch of a family against another, more often one family against a rival family.
Aside from the feuds there are isolated murders which sometimes go no further than one or two deaths. Again they may be the foundation of quarrels and fights innumerable. Wherever a man has taken another man's life, he never leaves his home unprepared for an avenging relation of the murdered man. He is cautious about walking into no matter how friendly a crowd of the dead man's relations. He does not stand near a window unless he is sure that no one can draw a bead on him from its outlook. All the men in this region wear top pockets. They form convenient bolsters for short barreled pistols, and may lead to a false sense of security in the minds of foes. The knife is not so much in use as formerly. It gives an unfair advantage to strength and is less deadly. the pistol and the gun are the favorite weapons. The pistol may be carried in the top pocket. If too long in the barrel, it is slung in a holster suspended from a strap about the shoulders. Another favorite place for carrying it is in the waistband of the trousers just over the stomach and concealed by the waistcoat pulled down over it. the inside coat or waistcoat pocket has many friends. The gun is carried across the pommel of the saddle when riding, across the knees when driving or sitting, over the right forearm, barrel pointing forward and down when walking about. At home it stands in a corner near the chair of the owner or else just over the door on the inside. Some households in Hancock county can muster 10 guns, not to speak of knives, pistols and axes. The women often join in the fray, but the men never attack them, however great the provocation. Indeed, unless there is special distress the women take to the woods at the first attack upon the house and lie hidden there until the time comes for looking to the wounded.
Women learn to take death philosophically in this region. There are scores of widows and orphans. In the cities the father is the breadwinner, and his loss means hardships, sufferings and toil. Therefore, grief at death in cities is keen and pressing. In these mountain wilds one member of the family is as much a provider as another. A death means one less to help, and grief, therefore, is not so long enduring. Even where it is keen it does not express itself in shrieks and tears. It is silent and sullen. There are consoling thoughts that the death will be soon and properly avenged. The men do not avenge murder, however, so often through grief for the murdered as through the force of the mountain custom, which says that a murder is a stain until the murderer is killed.
The first inhabitants of Hancock county, or, to be accurate, of what is now called Hancock county, were the strangest, most mysterious people that have ever settled any part of this country since its discovery. They are still there in greater numbers than ever before, and in as great mystery. These people are called Malungeons. They are a revengeful race, part white, part Indians, part negro. The negro strain is not spread thorough the whole race, as are the Indian and Caucasian strains, but is confined to a few families. These Malungeons are tall, broad, powerful people, with straight black hair, swarthy complexions, small eyes, high cheek-bones, big noses, and wide, flat mouths. They look more like Indians than like white men. They are proud of their Indian blood, and will kill any man who comes calling them negroes. They came from North Carolina early in this century and could not then explain how they originated. Of course, there are many stories, but none seems to be satisfactory. In 1834 an attempt was made to bar them from voting, because of the alleged negro blood. They carried the matter into the courts, and the man who was the test plaintiff proved that he was Indian and Portuguese, and had no negro blood in his veins. After this the matter was dropped and the Malungeons were allowed to vote.
It is from these Malungeons that the feud spirit came. They were cunning, malicious, implacable, murderous. They were the original makers of illicit corn whisky. They taught the art and the hatred of government taxes to all the mountain people of this region. They were the first to fight the revenue officers and the last to give up open defiance. When they came they settled on the slope of Newman's Ridge, in the Blackwater Creek Valley, and on the opposite slope of Powell's Mountain. They kept to themselves for many years, and had no intermarriages with the other settlers until the last 20 or 25 years. they all had arms; they fought among themselves, and resisted to the death outside interference. A decade or so before the Civil War they were making moonshine whisky in the dark hollow of Powell's Mountain; they were carrying on bitter feuds, and were setting a most vicious example to the early white settlers, who by their very coming to such a shut-in part of the world rapidly lost touch with civilization.
Of these Malungeons there were originally three families- the Gibsons, the Mullens, and the Collinses. Early in the history of this race a great feud arose between the Gibsons and the Collinses. Old Buck Gibson and Old Vardy Collins put their heads together and made a great plot. Gibson fixed Vardy with soot or paint so that he looked like a genuine negro. Then they went up into Virginia, Gibson offering Vardy for sale. He soon found a purchaser. As Vardy was a finely-built, strong man, Gibson got $1,100 for him. Of this $500 was in cash and the balance in a team, a wagon and store goods.
With a few farewell words of praise for his fine negro, Gibson set out southward. In a day or two Vardy made his escape, washed himself, and fled fast and successfully on the trail of Gibson. There was pursuit, but Vardy was not recognized or else was not overtaken. When he got back to Powell's Mountain he found Gibson in the full enjoyment of the proceeds of the trick. Vardy called on him for a division of the spoils. Gibson flatly refused, after putting him off several times. This began a bushwhacking war between the two families, which kept up, with intervals of peace, until the breaking out of the Civil War. Sometimes the Collins tribe and the Gibson tribe joined hands against common foe, the revenue officers. But these breathing spells only gave further foment to a hatred which was kept alive at all times by the rivalry between moonshine stills. The Civil War put an end to feuds for so long that new causes had to spring up before a properly conducted feud could be again set on foot. But the Malungeons had laid the foundations with their illicit stills and their family hatreds. And the Civil War gave every one down that way a taste of fighting. The result of these things has been the 150 and more murders, each of which has something peculiarly tragic to distinguish it from the others.
Soon after the close of the Civil War the state of affairs in Hancock county attracted the attention of the Internal Revenue Department. There were about 1,500 voters in the county, representing a population of six or seven times that number of persons. Most of the people were law-abiding and quiet; but those who lived in and around the two mountain ranges which have been mentioned several times were disorderly, riotous and busily engaged in the distillation of moonshine whisky. These objectionable people were the Malungeons, the whites who had intermarried with them and the relatives of these whites. In all gorges, the hollows, the thickets, along Blackwater Creek were moonshine stills. Great rivalry existed between these stills, and sharp and often fatal encounters between proprietors and their henchmen were of daily occurrence. Before the revenue officers had time to do much more than count the columns of smoke rising from the green bosom of the mountain and valley, war had broken out and the moonshiners were at work destroying each other.
In that region there lived two desperate families of whites, the Rheas and the Rainses. There were Sam Rhea and his sons, Doll, Andy and Lee, and Big Bud Rains. They had become moonshiners and they set about driving the original moonshiners, the Malungeons out of the business. They first attacked the Mullens, who were soon reinforced by a good part of the tribe of Collins. The Rains-Rhea gang was armed with Spencer rifles of a heavy caliber, each rifle having eight shots. Each member of the gang also carried two big army pistols strapped to his waist. They not only carried on their feud against the Malungeons, but also successfully resisted the revenue officers.
Not a day passed without a battle and the people of Sneedville were soon accustomed to hearing the cracking of rifles and pistols, yells and curses up the mountainside or over in the Blackwater Valley. The Malungeons are said to have got much the worse of this feud. They lost so many in killed and disabled that for a time the Rains-Rhea gang had everything its own way. They took advantage of their success to make themselves feared and hated in all Hancock county. The end of this feud was a pitched battle in the streets of Sneedville. Nearly 100 men were killed and wounded. The houses were filled with bullet holes, and not until late in the afternoon did the Rains-Rhea gang withdraw, beaten and suppressed for the time.
A few years after that the Rheas and the Rains family had a quarrel over politics. Rhea had decided that he would carry an election that was to be held at Mulberry Gap. Big Bud Rains heard what he proposed to do and prepared to go and see that Rhea should get left. The Rheas were there in full force and outnumbered the Rains faction two to one. The Rheas fell upon the Malungeon contingent of the Rains faction and disarmed them. Big Bud Rains was in a grocery store some distance from the scene of the fight. He heard of it, and also that the Rheas were coming at the same time. When Andy Rhea, pistol in hand, stepped upon the porch of the store. Bud Rains drew a dragoon pistol, aimed it and fired full at him. The bullet ploughed across his chest and shattered the bone of his left arm and nearly tore it off. With a yell Rhea sprung at Rains, who caught him in his arms. Rhea threw his right hand, holding the pistol, over Rains's shoulder and fired it into his back. Rains dropped with a curse and died in a short time. Rhea was taken home and was not out for two months. When he did reappear his left arm was gone. Instead of being tamed by these happenings, he became more desperate than before. He and his brothers were reinforced by a certain William Fugate, known as "Bad Bill" He was nearly six feet and a half in height splendidly built and handsome, after a desperado fashion. His favorite pastime, after murder, was to ride at full tilt around a tree, with the reins in his teeth and a revolver in each hand, firing rapidly. He could put a belt around the tree every time. He had killed eight men when he joined the Rheas. With Bad Bill came Joe Epperson and Lum Coleman. They rode about killing or shooting down the friends of the Rains family. Some they whipped nearly to death. Others they invited out of their houses and shot down and riddled, shouting and cursing the while.
After this gang had terrorized Sneedville several times the Sheriff got together a force of twenty men. armed to the teeth, and went down to Rhea's house, seven miles below Sneedville. to arrest him and his brothers. When the offices arrived they found the Rheas all assembled and ready for a fight Their women and the little children had hid in the woods. There was a clearing all around the house. After some consultation the officers decided to cross this clearing on the run and storm the house. The first advance was met with a terrific volley which killed or wounded five of the attacking party. The officers started to retreat. The desperados were so elated that they leaped from the house into the clearing and again opened fire. The officers rallied and for three hours the fight raged, now in the clearing and again from behind trees and rocks. Andy Rhea was shot forty eight times before loss of blood forced him to drop to the ground. "Bad Bill" Fugate stood out after all the rest were down. He had a revolver in each hand and his aim was unpleasantly excellent, even though he was staggering about with red froth on his lips. A big ball from a Spencer rifle finally ended him. When the last shot had been fired both parties were absolutely disabled. The most desperate of the gang had fallen.
For a good many years after this the murder were isolated cases, with no more than two or three in a family killed. Four years ago, however, another feud broke out, and is still going on, although a lack of able bodied males in the two families has caused a recent temporary cessation of hostilities. This is the Green-Jones feud, which, next to the Sutton-Barndard feud is the worst that has ever caused deaths in Hancock county. Richard Green and Asa Jones were neighbors and friends. One day, about four years ago, Green saw that his hogs were limping and bleeding. He went along the mountain to find out the cause and came upon Asa Jones' son Jim stoning and dogging his hogs. "Bill! stop that thar!" yelled Green. "That ain't now way to do my hawgs!" "Keep yer hawgs to hum" said young Jones.
Green fell to cursing and then to thrashing the boy, who yelled so loudly that old Asa came. Asa separated them and took up the quarrel. He ordered Green to go home. As Green was unarmed he went away sulkily, swearing that he would have revenge. A few days afterward Green and his wife were walking along the mountain road. Green had his three month's old baby in his arms. They met up with Jim Jones driving home in a wagon. As soon as Green got within range he drew a pistol from his pocket and holding the baby in his left arm opened fire upon Jones. Three of his five shots entered Jones' body, but he managed to keep his seat until he got home. He was carried into the house and died a few days afterward.
Old Asa Jones was furious at this, and, getting together his relatives, he declared war against Green and all his tribe. They lay in wait one afternoon behind some rocks at a point where they knew Green came by with his two brothers. The first shot from the rocks warned the three Greens, and they jumped for the trees. The two parties fired at each other until dark. Richard Green was shot through the clothing. His brother James was so badly wounded in the arm that it had to be cut off. Both sides were now prepared, and for a month or two there were ambuscades and bloodshed almost every day. One morning the Jones crowd, 18 strong, got about the house of Richard Green before daylight. They surrounded it on all sides and got ready to make a battle. At daylight the besiegers raised a great shout, and the battle began. The outsiders fired and charged, the garrison was not slow in answering and repelling. One of the bravest of the garrison was little Jimmie Green, 13 years old. He not only helped his mother and sisters load the guns, but shot once or twice himself.
He was just handing his father a reloaded Spencer when a great ball from a Winchester crashed between the logs of the house and passed through his heart. The ball went clear through the body and flattened against the chimney stones. "Hurry up that gun, Jimmy!" said his father, looking around. The boy's eyes were wide open and glassy. His mouth opened and shut, his little brown hand was held hard against his breast. He fell with a crash, the gun sliding across his body. "Mother!" called Green, "they've killed your Jimmy!" and he caught up the gun to speed his grief against his enemies.
After four hours' fighting the Jones crowd was so badly crippled that it was forced to withdraw. The slightly wounded carried those who could not move. This feud is still on, and will be raging as soon as enough Greens and Joneses can be got together to make a fight. But the Sutton-Barnard feud is the most exciting and also the most brutal of any in the history of this county. Henry Sutton was formerly a revenue officer, but settled down a few years ago to the manufacture of whisky. He had three pretty daughters, who formed a sort of inside set in Sneedville society. Christmas, 1889, these girls got permission of their father to give a dance at the distillery. The result was a combination dance and spree such as Hancock county society had not had the pleasure of attending in years. The men got exceedingly drunk. Some of them amused themselves with a boar hunt, in which half a dozen of Henry Sutton's hogs were stabbed.
The morning after the dance Sutton found the bodies strewn about the yard of his distillery. He at once decided that Big John Barnard and his brothers had done the work. He was led to this belief by the fact that the Barnards, although outwardly friendly, were known to be ready at any time to open a feud. Henry Sutton's father had got drunk one day, and, quarreling with Capt. Hence Barnard, had killed him with the pole of an axe. When an officer tried to arrest the elder Sutton he had resisted so threateningly that the officer had been compelled to kill him. But the Barnards felt that unless one of them killed a Sutton the grudge would not be wiped out.
So Henry Sutton decided that Big John Barnard and his four brothers were the slayers of his hogs. He sent the Barnards word that there was going to be trouble, and a day or two later ran out into the road with a pistol, which he aimed at a man whom he mistook in the dusk for Big John. A few days after New Year's 1889, Big John and his four brothers hid themselves behind some felled trees about a mile from Sutton's distillery. They had not waited more than an hour before they espied Henry Sutton and his gauger at the distillery coming up the road. Sutton had a Winchester across the pommel of his saddle. As the two riders got opposite the logs five shots rang out. Sutton's horse jumped; Sutton rolled from the saddle to the road. As he lay there the five Barnards leaped forth and riddled the body with bullets.
The gauger clapped spurs to his horse and fled. The Barnards were arrested, and, Sutton's family being influential, a conviction and sentence of death were got against the five. After haggling about the matter for over a year all five were pardoned by Governor Taylor. They returned home and began to make trouble. Henry Sutton had left a widow, two grown sons, Tilman and Hence, and the three pretty daughters mentioned before. Tilman Sutton had married a daughter of Big Bud Rains, and had one child. Sutton was disposed to let the matter of his father's death pass for the time. But Big John Barnard said that he intended to wipe the male line of Suttons from the face of the earth. And every time he met Tilman Sutton he would stare at him in a fixed, threatening and annoying way. Tilman Sutton stood this silently for over a year, nor did he pay any attention to the threats of Big John and his brothers.
One Sunday last September there was a meeting in the Baptist Church, eight miles from Sneedville. All the mountain people went, the young men riding horseback beside their sweethearts. Tilman Sutton, his brother Hence and his brother in law Mac Rains were riding along together. Big John Barnard and his best girl came up behind them. Big John burst into a loud, jeering laugh, and made some remark about Tilman Sutton. As Big John rode by, Tilman Sutton turned in his saddle and stared him fiercely in the face. "By G----," said he, "this has got to stop!" Big John continued his laughter and rode on. Sutton's face flushed. He drew his pistol, spurred his horse and, when he was close enough to fire without endangering the girl, he put three shots into Big John's back.
This was near the meeting house and many people were soon close at hand. Big John's head fell forward upon his horse's head for a moment. Then he recovered himself and drew his pistol, jumped to the ground and braced himself for a fight. His sweetheart reined up her frightened horse and remained to 'see the fun.' Meanwhile Big John's cousin, Shad Barnard, who was behind the Suttons, spurred forward, and, drawing his pistol, shot Tilman Sutton in the back before he had lowered his revolver from shooting Big John. Tilman Sutton rolled from his horse to the road, lifted himself, staggered, tried to lift his pistol to an aim, then fell against a tree, his head rolling from side to side. Big John aimed at him and fired four times.
"Look out, John!" said his sweetheart "Here comes Mac Rains!" But she spoke to late. Before John could turn Rains had avenged his brother in law. He fired into Big John four times. John was just standing over Sutton, who had fallen, and was firing into his head. When Rains shot he fell upon Sutton's body. By this time other men rushed in, the women got around the two dead bodies, and the feud was suspended.
There is in Sneedville a little girl whose ancestors for three generations one side and for two generations on the other had died by feud violence. She is the little daughter of Tilman Sutton, who married a daughter of Big Bud Rains. Her father, Tilman Sutton; her grandfather, Henry Sutton, and his father, Sam Sutton, her mother's father, Bud Rains, and his father before him, all died violent deaths. This is only one instance in a score of Hancock county families a similar state of affair may be found, while there is hardly a family of note that has not lost one or more of its members by violence.
Then, aside from these feuds, are the murders which follow the stills about the country—the murders which arise from long years of disregard for human life. For instance, a lot of men were waylaying an enemy of one of them. They got tired of waiting for him. An inoffensive person came jogging by the old church where they were concealed. One of the waiters fired at the man and killed him. As he rolled from his horse and lay writhing upon the ground, one of the party said to the murderer: "What fur did ye do that?" "Jes to see him drop," laughed the murderer. The sentence of death was commuted to imprisonment for life, and his friends have hope of his pardon.
A short time ago Jep Wolf, his little boy and Wiley Carpenter were riding along astride of one horse. Mack Bray, who had quarreled with Wolf a few hours before in Sneedville, came up behind, aimed his gun and fired. The first bullet killed Wolf, the second went through the little boy's body and killed Carpenter. The little boy got well. Bray is not as yet punished, and as he is of the Rhea family, may get off altogether.
They say that the peaceful part of Hancock county's people - and they now include the formerly boisterous Malungeons - are getting tired of this everlasting murdering, and that there will be some lynching before long. But the feud spirit is so strong and the corn whisky so bad that those who talk peace now may be in the thick of a feud tomorrow.