About/Contact

CONTACT/CONTRIBUTE

My main focus is violent crime in Pulaski, Rockcastle, Lincoln, and Laurel counties, but I have started expanding to Garrard, Boyle, Casey, Wayne, and Whitley counties also, and I am working on covering these counties more fully. Though I have posted about homicides that happened after 1885, my main focus is on those from 1860 to 1885.

If you have any information about the following topics in relation to the above-mentioned counties and dates, I encourage you to contact me, because I would greatly appreciate any leads and additional sources. Any sources provided will be credited to you.

Topics of interest:
- Homicides in the above counties between 1860-1900*;
- mob violence, guerrilla, KKK, regulator, whitecap, "judge lynch" activity, including but not limited to lynchings, whippings, assassination attempts, notices to leave the county, and attempts to remove prisoners from county jails;
- so-called anti-kkk, anti-regulator, or vigilante mob activity;
- court martials and prosecutions (successful or not) for homicides or other violent crimes that occurred during the Civil War, said prosecutions happening either during the War or years/decades later;
- Descriptions of county jail buildings, conditions, etc;
- Jail breaks (prisoners escaping from county jails);
- election day violence, and/or politically-motivated violence;
- violent crimes involving railroad workers;
- Local letters that describe crime, or interactions with soldiers, guerrillas, homeguards, or any other bands of men;
- I am extremely interested in any local letters that mention Capt. Harper King, William King, James Baker, Allen Cooper, Noah Blankenship, Felix Bruce, Capt. James Bridgewater, Augden Bridgewater, Grove Kennedy, Elbert/Eb Kennedy, William Sellers, Walter Saunders/Sanders, James Bethurum, David Bethurum, or Hackney's Corners or Pitman's Corners (letters that mention these men or places are likely to date from 1860-1880);
- civil rights cases, including those tried in Louisville, about incidents that occurred in any of these counties;
- Freedmen's Bureau activities in these counties;
- anything about Somerset city council members being indicted for 'usurpation of office' in ~1894 (especially if you know of any crimes tangentially connected -- I found one article that asserted several murders are related to this but I haven't been able to corroborate that);
- additional info about the Rockcastle Courthouse arsons in the 1870s (here's my post on it);


Please feel free to reach out to me by email papershake.blogspot[at]gmail.com (preferred) or on Facebook, with any comments, questions, or contributions. Unfortunately, I am unable to do any ancestry.com lookups at this time.

*Please understand that I will not add a homicide to my timeline without at least one contemporary source (letter, newspaper article, pardon, death record, court record, etc). If you do not have any sources but know a victim or defendant's name and an approximate incident date, please still feel free to email me -- I will try to find a newspaper mention of it. If I cannot find any sources about it I will at least list it in my 'leads' in case I ever do.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR

My name is Dora Whitaker, I have a B.A. in History and I live in the Southern United States with my husband and our two cats.

If you would like to be informed of updates, you can do so through FacebookTwitterRSS Feed, or  you can sign up to receive an email notification whenever I make a new post (see sidebar for sign up box).

The background image is a Civil War era newspaper cart in Virginia, from the LOC online collection (Civil War Glass Negatives and Related Prints collection, Prints & Photographs Division, Reproduction No. LC-DIG-cwpb-01140).



    A CASE STUDY OF KENTUCKY VIOLENCE

    I started cataloging murders in this area after researching the murder of Elisha Whitaker who was killed by James Mize on the Rockcastle River in 1901. In doing so I found that there were several other Whitaker murders in the same area around the same time. Articles relating to the shootout between William Barnes, Robert Barnes, Emma Taylor, and William Tyree claim there was a "long-standing family feud between the Whitaker, Mize and Barnes families," however the primary article in J. W. Woodall Kills Lum Whitaker just one year prior states, "[t]here has been no family feud in that neighborhood and each tragedy was the result of separate and distinct cause."  The articles in both instances are from out-of-state papers and cite many of the same murders (and get many of the names wrong).

    So, was there actually a feud among these families? Without getting into what exactly defines a 'family feud,' I am not convinced that there was.  First, the Elisha Whitaker and Lum Whitaker murders were motivated by alcohol and gambling, respectively, and therefore not likely part of a family feud. Second, I find it odd that one year a correspondent is making it clear that these murders are "the result of separate and distinct cause[s]," and then the next year another reporter is claiming retroactively that all these deaths are the result of a long-standing feud; it seems like a very sensationalist claim, especially when newspapers throughout the country during this time were inexplicably fascinated by tales of Kentucky feuds.  Multiple family members dying violently does not automatically make their collective deaths the result of a 'family feud.' Correlation does not establish causation, and all that.

    Though my original purpose in cataloging homicides in this area was to explore the above, my continued focus and interest is to research Reconstruction era violent crime in this area of South-eastern Kentucky. This website helps me keep my research organized and backed up on something other than my hard drive.


    COPYRIGHT

    I have no intention to violate copyright, and try to accurately cite all material posted here.  If I have made an error and posted something which is copyrighted, incorrectly cited, and/or is not appropriately reproduced in quotation, please contact me.   If you are the owner or agent of the owner of material posted on this site and you want me to remove it, please contact me immediately.

    I have put an enormous amount of time into researching, transcribing, and organizing 4,000+ newspaper articles on this site, so I kindly ask that you please link back when sharing collections of articles you find here. However, if you do not want to link back to this site, I beg you to at least keep the source citation information with any articles you save from here.

    On my posts about Elisha Whitaker, Benjamin K. Bethurum, and my Hell on Wheels posts, please do NOT reproduce these elsewhere online. These posts contain original writing so I do not want them reproduced without my consent. Share a LINK instead of the text. Meaning: do NOT copy-paste the whole thing to your own facebook/ancestry/rootsweb page. Link back ONLY. This is so that I can update these posts as needed without old copies floating around elsewhere online, and also because if someone has a question or problem with the content they can contact me directly. Thank you.

    .
    Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...