The Crime of Malachia Hayden:

Justice and Racial Identity in a Blue Ridge Community

Les M. Brown

There are no African American families in North Cove today. Only one diminutive elderly woman remains of the more than one hundred blacks who lived there before the turn of the century.1 She is a domestic worker for a white couple, and has lived in their house for sixty years. Maggie Hayden is the daughter of Bill and Mamie Hayden, one of several African American families who, since before the turn of the century, lived and raised families in the Ashford community in western North Carolina. The community is nestled in the north end of North Cove, between Linville and Honeycutt mountains of the Blue Ridge, about twenty miles north of Marion, the county seat of McDowell County..

The broad fertile valley flanking the North Fork of the Catawba River lies at the foot of the Appalachian Escarpment; its lovely scenery is dominated by the impressive rock formation called Hawksbill on a ridge beyond the head of the valley. North Cove lies in the valley paralleling the geographic barrier of Linville Gorge. The valley was relatively isolated by the geologic features surrounding it until improvement of its only access, U.S. Highway 221, in the 1930s. The rich land had furnished a comfortable life for the white agrarian settlers who arrived in the 1700s and who owned most of the land. The big productive farms were carved out of land once occupied by Cherokee and Catawba Indians2 and acquired by land grants or low cost purchase after the Revolutionary War.3 The land was generally occupied by the same families throughout the nineteenth century. By the twentieth century the hollows flanking the valley were occupied by descendants of slaves, and by whites who worked on the large farms. Some blacks and whites, as in other Appalachian communities, supplemented their income by making whiskey or helping the still operators.4 The less affluent black and white families were generally not clustered by race but were dispersed around the perimeter of the valley. Prior to 1940, North Cove was generally divided into three social, economic and racial classes. The white owners of large tracts of land enjoyed economic prosperity, owned large, well kept homes and were little affected by the depression. The economically deprived whites and African Americans were sharecroppers, laborers or moonshiners. Both blacks and whites earned comfortable incomes working on the railroad or at Campbell Lime Quarry, at the north end of the valley.

Whiskey was deeply rooted in the mountains bordering the foothills. The abundance of distillers in Western North Carolina is well documented by Miller in Revenuers and Moonshiners.5 In 1810, Burke County, which included much of McDowell County at the time, had 110 legal distilleries and produced over 20, 000 gallons of whiskey. In 1859 a resident of Yancey County, just over Honeycutt Mountain from the North Cove, stated that he had legally sold 1,200 gallons of whiskey in Shelby and Charlotte, North Carolina and in South Carolina.6 The North Cove owner of a large farm, John Seawell Brown, in the late 1800s, grew corn which he used in his taxed distillery. A clear mountain stream that was on his property continues to bear the name "Stillhouse Branch," and remains in the Brown family. The mash residue was fed to hogs which were also sold.7 With the onset of a national depression in 1890, tax-evading moonshiners who increased in the face of strong Federal revenue enforcement.8 persisted through prohibition in the 1920s and well beyond the middle of the twentieth century. Whiskey production and sales apparently played a significant role in local politics. Bootlegging "joints" blatantly existed into the 1950s, and were ignored by local authorities in McDowell County. In fact, local authorities used whiskey to buy votes in elections. As a youngster living in North Cove, I was well aware that a local resident delivered jugs of whiskey to voters from the McDowell County sheriff, who was running for reelection. There seemed to be little local concern about the operation of illegal distilleries, and in fact, the moonshiner was even viewed as an integral part of local life. Residents viewed the moonshiner with a grudging attitude of respect, even fear for his self sufficiency and resistance to interference by authority and government. And, of course, there was abuse of alcohol by both blacks and whites, regardless of class, who depended on the continued availability of whiskey from moonshiners of North Cove after prohibition.

William L. Montell, author of The Saga of Coe Ridge, explains the general pattern of how blacks and whites lived in relationship to one another in rural Appalachia. Many early Appalachian settlers had their origins as indentured white servants, slaves and the disenfranchised poor who, angered by their exploitation, rebelled against "established practices in Colonial America. The hills, in their exquisite isolation, became havens for the disenchanted black and white---." Although the freedom of Appalachian blacks was limited as elsewhere, they enjoyed a lifestyle and individualism that mollified the deep south oppression they sought to escape. Montell notes that the African American community of Coe Ridge in Kentucky took advantage of the practice of moonshining to sustain community in the face of white opposition to the colony, resisting the pressures that caused the Great Migration from other black settlements in Appalachia. The outcast blacks and a few disenfranchised whites colonized Coe Ridge from Antebellum time until about 1950.10 In North Cove, however, whites dominated the moonshining industry, leaving no room for blacks to subsist on the practice. At best they were sometimes employed by moonshiners.

By the 1940s the few large farms of North Cove were fragmented as owners divided the land among their heirs, a process that began elsewhere in North Carolina much earlier. As farming became insufficient to support their families, those who inherited the smaller tracts of land were forced to commute to developing textile and furniture industries in the small mill town of Marion, about twenty miles away. The heirs to the land held on to their small acreage to raise gardens and a few cows for their own subsistence or, just as importantly, to maintain and use the land as a connection to the past. Many farm descendants tried to hold on to their pride as they now worked fixed hours beside those who had once lived in the hollows surrounding the farms. A few found work on the Clinchfield Railroad and in the small lime quarry where Bill Hayden worked.9 As a result of the loss of the agrarian way of life, the African Americans who had worked on the farms were gradually forced to leave the cove

As in other Southern Appalachian valleys, the topography of North Cove lent itself to social and economic stratification. Typical Appalachian families, black and white, lived in the hollows and on meager pieces of land, regarded as residual by the owner of the cove's large farms which still operated under a more southern tradition of slavery and its aftermath. Clearly African Americans worked in domestic capacities for white farm owners in North Cove well into the twentieth century. A distinct class break existed between farmers in the big valley floor, and the blacks and whites of the surrounding hollows; however, if oral history reflects reality, little apparent racial strife existed in the community. North Cove possibly reflected the generality that in slave-holding states in Appalachia, fewer black--white conflicts developed than in the southern piedmont and coastal plains.11

However, non violent racism existed and is still reflected in oral tradition and in patronizing and derogatory language of whites, including commonalities such as racial stereotyping jokes and slang language. The occurrence of one race-related violent act in North Cove serves as a focal point around which we may examine the transitions that occurred in a mountain community during the first half of the twentieth century. In any case, the Haydens and other black families in North Cove found themselves in the twilight between two worlds and two very different times.

Maggie Hayden, the sole surviving child of Bill and Mamie Hayden, had two brothers, Malachia and Paul. According to Maggie, Paul died of appendicitis at the age of twenty one. She and her white employer indicate that doctors would not operate on her brother because their father could not pay for the operation. Apparently when Paul's appendix ruptured on Sunday, his father did not have the money to pay for the life saving surgery. Although he tried to persuade the doctor to operate on his son, promising to get the money the following Monday, the doctor insisted on waiting until the money was in hand. As a result Paul died.12

However, This is the story of Malachia Hayden, who in 1941, at the age of twenty eight was imprisoned for killing John McBee, a white North Cove farmer. The incident reflects past and present racial attitudes and highlights events that led to the exodus of African Americans from North Cove.

Bill Hayden, Malachia's father, worked at the quarry as a "powder man," an explosives expert. His wife, Mamie, was a housewife who sometimes worked in the homes of local whites. The family had lived in the cove since around the turn of the century. Maggie is not sure of their origins. When asked if she knew if any of the African Americans who occupied the "Cove" in the early 1900s were descendants of area slaves, Hayden said that she did not know of any.13

The shooting of John McBee took place in 1941 on the Clinchfield Railroad near his small frame house, built on an unproductive steep slope, on the side of Linville Mountain. Bill and Mamie Hayden, who lived about one mile away, owned their own modest, well maintained two story home on a few acres of flat, fertile land beside the railroad tracks just where Linville Mountain intersects the valley floor. They lived quietly within the mostly white community, trying to raise their family. Most of the other North Cove African Americans also owned their own homes which, however, were located in the hollows or on the slopes of Honeycutt Mountain, across the North Fork of the Catawba River, on the opposite side of the valley from Linville. The fragmentation of the North Cove farms eliminated most opportunities for full time agricultural employment for African Americans. The young black men of North Cove, including Malachia Hayden, were limited to occasional jobs in the small lime quarry or part time work for whites.

Several North Cove white men, including John McBee, were reputed to have operated illegal distilleries during the time of the Hayden incident. Local oral history indicates that McBee was a belligerent racist, a violent man who not only made whiskey but drank heavily, often intimidating the young African Americans of the community. Oral accounts have McBee shooting at the feet of Malachia Hayden to make him dance.14 Even so, Malachia apparently helped McBee operate his illegal still.15

McBee was villainous to almost legendary proportions. According to one witness, McBee once slashed a black man across the face at the local general store, a focal place for community interaction of both blacks and whites.16 There is no indication that the authorities were called to investigate the incident. Having gotten his nose cut off in a fight, he is said to have sat before a mirror, and sewed it back on with a needle and thread.17

McBee frequently harassed black youngsters, according to ninety year old W. Guy Lonon,18 who recalls that McBee, was a "big old rough man, known for getting into fights," especially related to drunkenness. "The community was better off because Malachia killed McBee" says Lonon. In contrast, "There was not a better man in the world than John McBee until he got drunk; then there was no meaner man" says Carl Durham.19 McBee's wife, however, was highly respected by the community. "She was a God fearin' woman," says Durham.22 She and her children moved away from the Cove after John's death but returned to homecoming at a local church several times before her death. Some of the McGee's five children still return to visit people they knew in the Cove.

Supposedly, McBee told a neighboring farmer that if he wanted to get rid of any (n---) to let him know, and he would take care of it.20. One local story, told by both black and white sources, relates that McBee discovered some black youngsters swimming in the creek on his neighbor's farm. Accosting them, he shoved the head of one of the youngsters under water. Hayden, fearing for the child's life, pulled McBee off the child, whereupon McBee swore that he would kill him. Fearing that McBee would make good on his promise, Hayden's African American friends, Hubert and Ernest Sellers, convinced Malachia to kill McBee before he killed Malachia. However, they may have set Hayden up because they also hated and feared McBee.21

Although no other incidents of violence between African Americans and whites in North Cove have been discovered in interviews and oral tradition, the passive acceptance of McBee's behavior and temperament toward blacks cannot be overlooked. We may only speculate as to why the community tolerated the violent acts and blatant racism of McBee. His neighbors may have simply feared him enough to avoid a challenge. Regarding conflicts between McBee and blacks, "I just stayed out of their way," says Otis Lonon,23 proprietor of the general store. However, traditional racist attitudes, not exclusive to North Cove, likely placed blacks in a subordinate position that did not warrant interference in the minds of the community. African Americans were patronized, tolerated and used, but not protected against whites, even mean, violent ones. Malachia Hayden and the other blacks had no sense of being secured by the law or by an outraged community. Protection and even retribution could be only by their own hands.

Ernest and Hubert Sellers provided Hayden with the sixteen gauge shotgun used in the killing. On December 26, 1941, Hayden was positioned on a railroad cut-bank above John McBee's house. When McBee came out of the house, Hayden shot him in the abdomen. McBee died about a week later of complications from the gunshot wound.24 All three of the young men were arrested and charged with first degree murder. Even though all oral accounts indicate that they persuaded Malachia to kill McBee, the Sellers brothers were later acquitted after turning state's evidence against Hayden.25 At the trial, Dr. F. B. Watkins, from the state psychiatric hospital in Morganton, testified that Hayden was "weak-minded and in a class between an idiot and a moron." According to Dr. Watkins, Hayden had the mental capacity of a nine year old, but could distinguish right from wrong. He said Hayden was "the type of a person who could easily be led to do a thing."26 Hayden initially pled not guilty by insanity but changed his plea to second degree murder. The change of plea may have been to avoid the death penalty.

Hayden received a sentence of twenty seven to thirty years27, serving nineteen years before his release in 1960. After his release, he worked at odd jobs around the cove for a few weeks, then died at the age of forty-seven after a short illness of "acute yellow atrophy of the liver, suspected methyl alcohol poisoning."28 According to Carl Durham,29 Hayden died from drinking poison alcohol. Hayden made "a run" of home-brew in a wash tub, and the lead from the galvanizing poisoned him. The use of the word "suspected" in the death certificate, may lend some credence to oral history, and suggests a lack of thoroughness of the post mortem analysis performed on an African American who was viewed as mentally handicapped, a former convict and a drunk.

A question remains as to whether the outcome of this case represented equal justice. Was Hayden's action malicious, or was he provoked to kill McBee by McBee himself and by the Sellers men, especially in consideration of the psychiatric evidence? Given the racial climate of the time, it is likely that he could have expected little more consideration than he got. Although lynchings and violence against blacks historically were less common in the Appalachian mountain counties and more northern states than in the Cotton Belt,30 violence against African Americans, including lynching, was common in the South after the Civil War, peaking shortly after the turn of the century.31 Aggression against blacks was provoked by infractions ranging from serious crimes to vague "slights" perceived by white individuals as threats to their public standing.32 Violence against blacks in the South increased again during World War I due to the white perception that blacks were attempting to exploit the social conditions created by the war to gain dominance. African Americans were commanding better wages in the absence of people at war, and they were participating in the war.33

After the war, the "Great Migration" of African Americans out of the South began. Contributing factors included a Northern industrial loss of cheap European laborers, and the subsequent need for a new Northern labor pool. The Great Depression of 1929 brought about an upheaval of social and cultural behavior that contributed further to the breakdown of the social foundation supporting the toleration of unpunished lynchings and violence against blacks.34 Although the violence did not entirely end, the loss of laborers for the fields of the South brought economic concerns and movements toward appeasement of the blacks. A significant decline in mob violence during and after World War II is well documented, owing, among other factors, to a decline in the effectiveness of the Ku Klux Klan and more active resistance to violence by state and federal government.35 The development of Southern academic institutions, a liberalization of journalism, and an anti-violence movement within the churches all slowly eroded overt acts of violence against blacks.36 With efforts of the clergy and organized groups such as the CIC, (The Commission on Interracial Cooperation) of and the fledgling NAACP, the judicial system responded with harsh sentences for those convicted of violent acts against blacks.37 We may only surmise as to whether the judgment against Hayden was reasonable for that time, whether the Sellers should have been completely exonerated, or whether a lesser sentence should have resulted based on self defense or overwhelming provocation . In today's legal climate, it seems that the outcome may have been different.

The reasons Hayden killed McBee and the exact events are a mosaic of oral tradition, fading memories, newspaper accounts of the incident, and court records. "Malachia helped Mr. McBee make liquor, and some of them got drunk and were gambling. Malachia didn't own no gun but Hubert and Earnest did. They gave the gun to Malachia, and he was foolish enough to do it," says Hayden's sister, Maggie. She indicates that her brother and McBee drank together and they had a "fallin' out over something."38 According to Virgle Bates, the Sellers brothers plotted the killing by luring McBee out to walk down the railroad with them to get some peach brandy. They had stationed Hayden on the bank with the gun and told him that they would step away from McBee as a signal to shoot him.39 According to the local newspaper, on Thursday, December 26, the Sellers brothers called McBee out of his house, and as they were walking together toward the railroad cut, Hayden fired.40 Virgle Bates, a youngster at the time, still remembers seeing McBee fall.

Hayden's younger sister, Maggie, who was not at home at the time, learned of the shooting on the following weekend. In the midst of her family's grief and shame came the fear that someone may want revenge. She remembers sitting terrified in her parent's home as they listened to the gunfire of local white men celebrating the New Year.41 The men were shooting into the air only as a part of their New Year's tradition. There are no indications that anyone actually threatened the family. The fear of repercussion, whether justified or not, likely stems from the long history of white revenge against blacks for offenses, often much more insignificant than killing. No evidence exists of any attempts to exact revenge against either Hayden or the Sellers brothers. The Sellers probably left the community after the incident, but one oral account has them returning later.42 Most likely the whites of the North Cove did not seek revenge on Hayden or the Sellers men because of the reputation of McBee, the changing attitudes toward violence against blacks, and the limited racial interaction of mountain communities. The shooting of John McBee occurred less than three weeks after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. The residents may well have been focusing their attention on impending war and the new enemy.

This tragic story unfolded partially because of racism, alcohol abuse, and a lack of a stable African American support infrastructure in the fragmented black community in North Cove at the time. The African American School in North Cove was located in Mountain View Baptist Church, a small frame building on Swofford Road. The one room school served grades one through six. If a black child continued the pursuit of an education, he or she had to move away, as many did. Furthermore, with developing railroad technology, the fragmentation of the large farms, and the subsequent shift of labor to the textile and furniture mills of Marion, the African American families began moving away. The abandonment of the quarry and the closing of their school and church around 1935 removed the last hope for community. The vacant church burned shortly thereafter. Hayden, the Sellers brothers and a few elderly blacks remained in the cove with little support, not even a church. Only odd jobs occupied the time of the young men. It is easy to understand how they fell victim to alcohol abuse and vagrancy. The oral reports of violent and tragic deaths of four of the six Sellers brothers, one sister and of the mother who was killed when run over by a car,43 underscore the tragic lives of one family. The aftermath of the break-up of black communities in Appalachia has apparently not been kind to the families affected. William H. Turner notes that poverty, official neglect, and social fragmentation have resulted from the massive black out-migration.44

The young black men of North Cove were, as H.L.Gates said of the Coleman boys in his landmark work, Colored People, "the last generation----born, and bred under segregation. Cradle to the grave segregation." But unlike the Colemans, the Sellers and Haydens had little African American infrastructure for support. Their neighbors were moving away, taking common social bonds with them. In Gates' African American community, the young men "carved out a dark-chocolate world, a world as nurturing as the loamy soil of Nemo's garden down at the bottom of Rat Tail Road. The tangle of family ties served as the netting that covered the garden's yield, setting it off from the chaos."45 And, as William H. Turner says of his own African American heritage, "The rituals of 'black nationalism' were no more to one than the reincarnation of church, homecomings, family reunions, and other pooling activities we'd long practiced to provide ourselves a kind of safety net and to reinforce and renew our communal values." The North Cove blacks had lost their fragile safety net of church and school.

The family life and exodus of the Scott family from North Cove offer a comparison with the Sellers and Haydens. Seawell Scott and his wife Maude were sharecroppers on the farm of Henry Seawell and Mary English Brown after his employment as a cook on "a ditcher" for the Clinchfield Railroad.46 They lived in a hollow in a small tar-paper covered house on Honeycutt Mountain, not far from the Brown farm. with their five children, four girls and one boy. Their only son died as a child, of some illness described by Gaye Scott Ramsey, one of the daughters, as "hives that wouldn't go in." Now sixty four, Ms Ramsey, tells of her father's teaching the children. At the age of ten or eleven, she began attending the nearest black school in Marion, about twenty miles away. Gaye and her sisters rode to school with Omar Wiseman, a local white man who worked in Marion. Ms. Ramsey notes that she skipped the first two grades, then skipped the fifth and sixth grades as well.47 Seawell and Maude Scott moved their family to Marion when the large farm of Seawell and Mary Brown was fragmented upon their deaths in the 1946. The mine had closed, local jobs on the railroad were giving way to consolidation of railroad operations in a few towns along the line, and the church and school had closed. The Scotts found work in the small foothills town where their daughters were in school.

The bonds between the Scotts and their Euro-American Neighbors appeared to have been strong. It is likely that Seawell Scott was named for Seawell Brown, a white farmer, and Gaye Scott Ramsey says that she was named for Gaye Brown Moore, a daughter of Seawell Brown. Ms. Ramsey says, "We used to go down there and eat jelly biscuits." She also notes that she and her sisters played with Wanda and Cheryl Swofford, white children who lived nearby. Gaye knows nothing of her family origins, relating only that they were in North Cove for a long time. Her grandfather, Sherman Scott, also lived in North Cove. When asked about the interactions of African Americans and whites in North Cove, Ms Ramsey emphasizes that her family and the Brown family got along well. However, she avoids generalizations about race relations beyond that of her own family and the Browns.48 Oral communications and memories of residents suggest that the Scotts, concerned about their children's education and secure employment, broke away from their ancestral home for what they hoped would be a better life.

Although Seawell Scott made a valiant effort to pull his family out of poverty, the little frame house where Gaye Scott Ramsey lives with her sister, Gertrude, shows little evidence of significant economic progress. The Scott family plight seems to bear out Turner's observation that African Americans of Appalachia have made little economic progress since the 1980 census.49 Although she does not communicate with one sister and notes that another lives in the nearby town of Drexel, Ms. Ramsey has developed a personally satisfying social life built around her church, where she plays the piano. She also enjoys being a part of the traveling "Baptist Community Choir." Perhaps the next generation will realize advantages sought by Gaye's father and by those who have worked for social justice. Ramsey, now single, has two grown children: a son who recently finished twenty years in the military, and a daughter who, upon recently finding employment, was moving from Gaye's home to another nearby town.50

The only vestiges of the African American families of North Cove today are two barely visible, deteriorating cemeteries on the flank of Honeycutt Mountain. Most of the graves have only crude rock markers for members of the Owens, Douglas, Hayden, Sellers, Murphy, Scott and Fullwood families buried there.51

Only Maggie Hayden is left. She greeted me in her white maid's uniform, still calling the people she has lived with for sixty years Mr. and Mrs. Lonon. Two years ago she had pneumonia and a heart attack. She was taken, unconscious, to the hospital in Marion where her doctor told the Lonons that she would never recover, but that even if she did, she would be a "vegetable." He advised them to disconnect life-support. The Lonons adamantly refused and changed doctors.52 Maggie slowly recovered and is now spry, bright and in reasonably good health. Her memory is clear as she supports stories of the violent deaths of the Sellers brothers and relates her memories of Malachia and the other black families of the cove.

Maggie Hayden rides with a friend from Spruce Pine to her church in Marion.53 The Saturday that I interviewed her, Maggie was getting ready to go with the Lonons to the local white Methodist church for their ninety first birthday celebration. Ruth Lonon says, "I don't know what we'd do without Maggie and she needs us too, so I guess it works out pretty well."54 Otis Lonon, noted that on one occasion when Maggie, the only black person attending a community meeting at the fire station, hugged him. "That's the only time I have ever been hugged by a black person." Lonon remarked 55

Laws of equal opportunity employment, affirmative action, a struggle toward desegregation and integration of schools, and possibly a more mature and sensitive legal system today might have prevented this tragic story of displacement of families, of violence and loss of freedom and life. However, even though little racial violence has occurred in North Cove in recent times, the frequent use of racially derogatory language and the telling of racial jokes, as elsewhere in the rural south, are still common among whites. Oral evidence seems to suggest that the cultural values of individuals in rural Appalachia, as elsewhere in the South, have not kept pace with the national collective sense of morality reflected in legal reform. Furthermore, evidence of extreme racism has recently arisen in some Appalachian communities where such evidence was not formerly visible.56 The tragic story of Malachia Hayden and John McBee underscores that racism, alcohol abuse and loss of community support have tremendous impact on lives. The written records of the incident and oral accounts of the story told by the people of the community serve to unify one bit of the history of North Cove. The oral history of Malachia's story goes far beyond the skeletal newspaper accounts of the incident. Stories shared by people "can serve as a historical record, where written accounts have not been preserved."57 Malachia's story illustrates the point made by Allen and Montell in From Memory to History: Using Oral Sources in Local Research, that oral records, unlike impersonal formal history and public records of events add the intimate human element to tragic events that shape people's lives. "Written records speak to the point of what happened, while oral sources...provide insight into how people felt about what happened."58

The veneer of benevolence, mutual tolerance and restraint on the part of both whites and blacks that was especially evident in the majority of North Cove citizens at the time of the killing continues today. The veneer, however, was and still remains over a deep racial disparity. African Americans in North Cove as elsewhere have shown remarkable restraint in the face of generations of racist jokes, derogatory language and continued conscious and unconscious conditioned racism. In the past as in the present, African Americans have had to overcome years of ingrained attitudes which individuals project through humiliating and subtle non-violent ways that public laws cannot control.


1. U.S. Census, McDowell County, North Carolina 1870.

2. Mildred B Fossett, History of McDowell County (Marion, N.C: McDowell County, American Revolution Bicentennial Commission, 1976), pp. 1-5.

3. H. Tyler Blethen and Curtis W. Wood, Jr., From Ulster to Carolina: The Migration of the Scotch Irish to Southwestern North Carolina (Raleigh North Carolina Division of Cultural Resources Division of Archives and History), p. 50.

4. William L Montell, The Saga of Coe Ridge: A Study in Oral History, (Knoxville: The University of Tennessee Press, 1970).

5. Wilbur R. Miller, Revenuers and Moonshiners (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1991).

6. John C. Inscoe, Mountain Masters, Slavery, and the Sectional Crisis in Western North Carolina (Knoxville: The University of Tennessee Press, 1989).

7. H.S. Brown, Interview by author, 18 June 1999, North Cove, N.C.

8. Miller, Revenuers, p. 7.

9. Maggie Hayden, Interview by author, 27 February and 28 July 1999, North Cove, N.C.

10. Montell, Coe Ridge, p. vii.

11. Turner, William H. and Edward J. Cabbell, eds., Blacks in Appalachia (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1985), p.201.

12. Hayden 1999

13. Hayden 1999

14. Carl Durham, Interview by author, 30 July 1999, North Cove, N.C.; Henry Thomas Brown, Interview by author, 25 October 1998, North Cove, N.C.

15. Hayden 1999

16. Otis Lonon, Interview by author, 27 February 1999, North Cove, N. C.

17. Durham 1999; H. T. Brown, Interview by author, 25 October 1998, North Cove, N.C.

18. W.G and Ruth Lonon, Interview with the author, 28 July 1999, North Cove, N.C.

19. Durham 1999

20. H.T. Brown 1998

21. Virgle Bates, Interview by author, 27 February 1999, North Cove, N.C.

22. Durham 1999

23. O. Lonon 1999.

24. North Carolina State Board of Health, Certificate of Death, Registration District No. 56 - 50, Certificate No. 4, 82; "Gunshot Wounds Prove Fatal To North Cove Man," Marion Progress, 9 January 1941.

25. "Jones Is Found Guilty; 3 Negroes Face 1st Degree Murder Charge Next Monday," Marion Progress, 12 June

26. "Hayden Negro Changes Plea To Guilty Of 2nd Degree And Turns States Evidence," Marion Progress, 19 June 1941.

27. "Hayden Gets 27 - 30 Years In Death Case; Sellers Brothers Acquitted," Marion Progress, 26 June 1941.

28. North Carolina State Board of Health, Certificate of Death, Registration District No. 56 - 60. Registrar's Certificate No.61, 142.

29. Durham 1999

30. Fitzhugh W. Brundage, Lynchings in the New South (Chicago: The University of Illinois Press, 1959), p. 106.

31. Brundage,, Lynchings p. 14.

32. Brundage, Lynchings, p. 57,58.

33. Brundage, Lynchings p. 227.

34. Brundage, Lynchings p. 14.

35. Gail Williams O'brien, The Color of the Law: Race, Violence, and Justice in the Post-World War II South (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1999), p. 137.

36. Brundage, Lynchings, p. 211.

37. Brundage, Lynchings, p. 232.

38. (Hayden, 1999)

39. Virgle Bates, Interview by author, 27 February 1999, North Cove, N.C.

40. "McDowell Negro Admits Shooting North Cove Man," Marion Progress, 2 January 1941.

41. Hayden 1999

42. Gay Scott Ramsey, Interview with the author, 29 July 1999 Marion, N.C..

43. Hayden 1999; W. Lonon 1999

44. Turner, William H. and Edward J. Cabbell, eds. Blacks in Appalachia

(Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1985), p.201.

45. Henry Lewis Gates, Jr., Colored People (New York: Vintage Books, 1995), p. 64.

46. Ramsey 1999

47. Hayden 1999

48. Ramsey 1999

49. William H. Turner, Guest Editor, "African Americans and the Appalachian Heritage," in Appalachian Heritage, Volume 19, No. 4. Fall 1991, pp. 5-8.

50. Ramsey 1999

51. Hayden 1999

52. Hayden 1999; W. Lonon 1999

53. Hayden 1999

54. W. Lonon 1999

55. O. Lonon 1999

56. White supremacist, and counter-culture extremists have in recent years apparently been seeking refuge in the hollows of Appalachia. The number of Confederate flags along the mountain highways hints of this disturbing trend. Bumper stickers with Confederate flags and slogans of southern loyalty are a familiar sight in Appalachia. I recently passed a gate, at the mouth of a hollow in western North Carolina, which held a huge Confederate Flag, a skull and cross-bones flag and large no trespassing signs.

57. Montell, Coe Ridge, p. viii.

58. Barbara Allen and William L. Montell, From Memory to History: Using Oral Sources in Local Research (Nashville: The American Association for State and Local History, 1981), pp. 15 - 21.