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Rob Neufeld posted a discussion

In 1937, ex-slaves in Asheville bore witness

Interviews with former slaves in Asheville strike the heartby Rob Neufeld             Every day we see and feel the beauty of the world and of humanity.  But history sometimes shows us how wrong things can go, and we wonder why we are vulnerable to such aberrations.            One of the most powerfully distressing examples of human cruelty and suffering comes from the testimony of M.L. Bost, an African American former slave who moved to Asheville from Newton, and spoke with Marjorie Jones of…See More
3 hours ago
Doris Anne Beaulieu posted a blog post

Woodsmen Day

Woodsmen Day ( Poem)Sport using handsaws With a toothed edge blade One or two handed sawingOn a woodsmen fair dayTraditional log rolling Is a lumberjacks technique Style used in river drivingThe illustration is uniqueSpringboard tree is branchless With live action you can’t beat Platform board is dangerousA risk if you competeBlock ax chopping Is a loggers sport indeed Hard on your back swingingBe careful of your feetWoodsmen day activities Is part of the fair you see I bring it all to my…See More
17 hours ago
Rob Neufeld commented on Deborah Worley-Holman's photo
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Peter McClay "M.C." Worley

"Great photo, Deborah!  Have you got some stories and details?"
Monday
Rob Neufeld posted discussions
Sunday
Christine Lajewski posted a blog post

Discussing JHATOR at UCC in Norwell, MA

JHATOR was chosen as the summer read for the book club at the United Church of Christ in Norwell, MA.  Today, the Rev. Deborah Spratley hosted an author's brunch and discussion of the book with me and members of both the book club and writer's group at the church.One of the first things I learned from the group members, who are approaching the book from a Christian POV, is that starting the book with Anat, the vulture, was unsettling for most of them.  Of course, that is the point of Chapter…See More
Sunday
Rob Neufeld posted discussions
Saturday
Jerald Pope posted an event
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The Backyard as Metaphor: Poems on Cattle, Gardening & Goats: a Poetry Reading and Discussion with Tina Barr at Monte Vista Hotel

August 21, 2014 from 5:45pm to 7pm
The Black Mountain Author’s Guild will present nationally known poet, Tina Barr, this Third Thursday at 6pm at the Monte Vista Hotel. Ms. Barr will read a twenty minute series of poems set in Black Mountain, and will follow the reading with a discussion of her process for generating ideas in poems, with lots of audience interaction.  She will bring in a series of drafts demonstrating her revision process, from rough draft to published poem, and talk about fictionalizing elements so they move…See More
Aug 12
Doris Anne Beaulieu posted a blog post

Wishing Witch

Wishing WitchMy Halloween screenplay is funny as can be It’s funny how witchcraft is what we need to seeBrewing up trouble with all your classmates The teacher will get angry, make no mistakeCrazy riddles from a child can be so scary Being her classmate leaves you feeling waryYou may start a princess and end as a boar As her riddles will leave you in an uproarWill you return to normal after all this nonsense Is the question that has everyone in suspenseYou may not have believed in the…See More
Aug 11
City Lights Bookstore posted an event
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Timm Muth to Present His Fantasy Novel at City Lights Bookstore

August 30, 2014 from 3pm to 4:30pm
Jackson County resident, Timm Muth will read from and sign his new fantasy novel on Saturday, August 30th at 3 p.m. at City Lights Bookstore.  Disciple of the Flames chronicles the story of Darn, whose life as a herder’s son was hard, dirty and not in the least adventurous. Fate intervenes when on a journey with his father, a stranger saves Darn from a near fatal rousting by local bullies, eventually leading to Darn’s induction into a powerful religious and military order: The Disciple of…See More
Aug 9
Malaprop's Bookstore Cafe posted events
Aug 9
Doris Anne Beaulieu posted blog posts
Aug 7
Sharon Gruber posted an event
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Social Function of Narrative in Appalachian Society with Charlotte Ross at Ferguson Auditorium - A-B Tech Campus

August 9, 2014 from 2pm to 3:30pm
Presented by the Asheville History Center - Smith McDowell House in conjunction with the exhibition Hillbilly Land:  Myth and Reality of Appalachian Culture currently on view at the Smith McDowell House. Made possible through a grant from the North Carolina Humanities Council.See More
Aug 6
Caralyn Davis posted a blog post

New Essay Published at Dr. TJ Eckleburg Review

My new essay "A Damn Fine Female Body Part" is live at the Doctor TJ Eckleburg Review. It is NSFW, covering the topics of curse words, sexual objectification, and the actor Norman Reedus of The Walking Dead, all in under 2,000 words! See More
Aug 5
Deborah Worley-Holman posted a photo

Peter McClay "M.C." Worley

My grandfatherm M.C. Worley 1894-1983 who was a musician and instrument maker.
Aug 5
Dave Turner posted a blog post
Aug 4
Rob Neufeld posted a discussion

Book discussions in WNC, August 2014

WNC BOOK DISCUSSION CALENDAR, AUGUST 2014Friday, August 1BOOK CLUB: The Best? Books book club holds a book discussion at the College Walk Retirement Center, 100 N. College Row, Brevard, 10:30 a.m. Call 884-3151, ext. 226.Saturday, August 2 Sunday, August 3ROYAL BOOK CLUB: The ROYAL Book Club meets to discuss “Darius and Twig” by…See More
Aug 3

2nd Amendment protects need for militias? How has that worked?

Armed citizen conflicts included rash acts in WNC

by Rob Neufeld

 

            A member of “The Read on WNC” has linked me to a YouTube video, “The Battle of Athens: Restoring the Rule of Law,” which he says is “the real reason why we have the 2nd Amendment.”

            The video re-enacts the illegal seizure of ballot boxes by a McMinn County, Tenn. political boss who wanted to avoid losing the race for sheriff in 1946; and the reclamation of those boxes by returning war veterans by force of arms.

            In the wake of the most recent mass shootings, and the strengthened call for gun control, the militia justification for personal arsenals has gained prominence.  Though the 2d Amendment protects arms ownership because “a well regulated militia” is “necessary to the security of a free state,” the concept of a militia has been expanded to any insurrectionist group opposing an oppressive government.

            Two test questions arise.  How oppressive does a government have to get for armed resistance to be justified?  And, do supporters of militias support the right of all oppressed groups to go to war against those whom they see as oppressors?

            Collateral consequences of an armed citizenship are not the subject of this article.  It should be noted, however that, in the “Battle of Athens” movie, the warfare is caused in part by two irresponsible weapons discharges—first the shooting of a poll watcher by an overanxious deputy; and then a premature firing on the county jail, where the lawmen are holed up.  The movie does not show the brutality and murders caused by an anti-government mob that the veterans could not control after deputies had surrendered.

            History is the subject of this article.  Examples of citizen-at-arms in the region help to broaden the subject.

           

The Regulator Movement

 

            Many ancestors of Western North Carolinians opposed the state colonial governors in the 1760s and 70s when tax and debt collectors pulled the kind of greedy tricks that Robin Hood had opposed going up against the Sheriff of Nottingham.  The farmers in what had then been known as the western counties (Rowan, Anson, Orange, Granville) formed the Regulator Movement.

            In 1768, the Regulators sacked Hillsborough, and symbolically put human waste on the judge’s seat and a long-dead slave at the lawyer’s bar in the courthouse.  Eastern politicians summoned the militia. 

            The conflict came to head at the Battle of Alamance, May 16, 1771, when the state’s well-regulated militia overwhelmed the Regulators’ not well-regulated one.  Each side suffered about nine deaths.  Seven Regulator leaders were executed; the rest, pardoned.

           

Polling day in Marshall

 

            In Madison County, when people were voting throughout North Carolina for or against secession on May 13, 1861, the Sheriff got drunk, bullied Unionists, and brandished a gun, writes William R. Trotter in “Bushwhackers.”  “Huzzah for Jeff Davis!” was met by cries of “Hurrah for Washington and the Union!” 

             The sheriff shot at one Unionist, who dove away, and the Unionist’s son was killed.  The sheriff ran to the second floor of a house, and said, bring it on.  The Unionist fired and wounded the sheriff.  The constable raced up the stairs, followed by the father, who pushed past the constable and finished the sheriff off. 

 

The Kirk-Holden police action

 

            In June 1870, the Republican governor, William Holden, commissioned Col. George Kirk, the notorious Civil War guerilla raider, to lead a militia unit, composed of WNC and East Tennessee men, to take over the town of Yanceyville in the wake of Klan violence (including an assassination and a lynching) against Reconstruction officials.  Asheville Republican leaders opposed Kirk’s appointment.

            Kirk arrested suspected Klan conspirators in fields and homes, ignoring habeas corpus.  When Holden heard that Kirk had tortured one man for information, he wrote Kirk forbidding such action.  The Federal government eventually enforced habeas corpus, freeing most prisoners.  Holden was impeached on Dec. 14, 1870; and removed from office, March 22, 1871.  The Republicans lost power for many years.

 

Shoot-out at Highlands Inn

 

            In 1885, the town of Moccasin, Ga. declared war on Highlands, N.C. when a Federal revenuer impounded two Moccasin bootleggers in the Highlands House (now Inn).  Armed volunteers from Moccasin bivouacked behind the Central House across the street, and warfare proceeded for three days.  A Highlands sniper killed a Georgia man from a roof, and the Georgians went home, vowing revenge.

            Highlands recruited gunmen from surrounding towns.  Moccasin responded by cutting off the trade route.  Joel Lovin, a Confederate veteran, left Highlands to resolve the stand-off and came upon the Billingsley boys in Georgia, who passed without incident.  “Uncle Lovin returned with supplies from Walhalla,” Randolph Shaffner writes in “Heart of the Blue Ridge.”

 

The Will Harris murders

 

            On Nov. 13, 1906,  Will Harris, an African American war veteran and Asheville worker, killed five men around Pack Square, fled, and was killed by a posse in a barrage of bullets.  His body was displayed in a South Main St. (now Biltmore Ave.) funeral home window.

 

Violence against African-Americans in Spruce Pine

 

            On September 26, 1923, 200 white citizens of Spruce Pine, led by a sheriff’s deputy, marched to the feldspar miners’ shanty town to evict every black citizen from the area.  News had spread that John Goss, an African-American, had escaped from a prison road crew at about the time that a 75-year old white woman reported having been raped.

            Governor Cameron Morrison called in the National Guard to enable the return of African-Americans.  African-American labor was essential to the area’s booming new industry.  Goss was sentenced in a rushed trial and executed.

 

The Marion textile mill strike

 

            ‘’For God’s sake, stop, men.  Don’t kill any more,” “Time” magazine reported McDowell County Sheriff Oscar F. Adkins shouting as his deputies shot strikers at the Marion Mill on Oct. 2, 1929, killing six. 

            Brutal conditions at the mill had led workers to engage the United Textile Workers; and they were joined by Clinchfield millworkers.  Negotiations fell apart when Clinchfield president B. Mabry Hart walked out.

            Adkins deputized anti-union factory workers, including one who had gone on a shooting rampage against factory workers in their village, Mike Lawing reported in his book, “The Marion Massacre.”

            The deputies had rifles; the workers, sticks and stones.  The first shots came from the mill gate, where deputies were stationed.  In the end, the lawmen were acquitted and union organizing did not return to Marion.

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