Folklore Mythology

Download A Tree Accurst: Bobby McMillon and Stories of Frankie Silver by Daniel W. Patterson PDF

By Daniel W. Patterson

On a wintry evening in 1831, a guy named Charlie Silver used to be murdered with an awl and his physique burned in a cabin within the mountains of North Carolina. His younger spouse, Frankie Silver, used to be attempted and hanged for the crime. In later years humans claimed tree transforming into close to the ruins of the previous cabin used to be cursed--that someone who climbed into it might be not able to get out. Daniel Patterson makes use of this "accurst" tree as a metaphor for the grip the tale of the homicide has had at the imaginations of the local people, the broader global, and the famous Appalachian conventional singer and storyteller Bobby McMillon.

For approximately a hundred and seventy years, the reminiscence of Frankie Silver has been stored alive by means of a ballad and native legends and by way of the inside track debts, fiction, performs, and different works they encouraged. Weaving Bobby McMillon's own story--how and why he turned a taleteller and what this tale potential to him--into an research of the Silver homicide, Patterson explores the genesis and makes use of of folklore and the interaction among folklore, social and private historical past, legislation, and narrative as humans and groups try and comprehend human personality and fate.

Bobby McMillon is a furnishings and clinic employee in Lenoir, North Carolina, with deep roots in Appalachia and a lifelong ardour for studying and appearing conventional songs and stories. He has bought a North Carolina people background Award from the state's Arts Council and in addition the North Carolina Folklore Society's Brown-Hudson Folklore Award.

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Additional info for A Tree Accurst: Bobby McMillon and Stories of Frankie Silver

Example text

And said it would just howl and bark and just go. And said then it would run down the trail out of sight, and he didn’t know where it went. Well, he knew that Frankie was there then. But he kindly watched around the place till he seen her leave, and soon as she got out of sight, he went down there and investigated a little bit, and she’d boarded up the doors. So he went over to old Uncle Jake Silvers and told him that he was just suspicious— or no, he didn’t tell Uncle Jake (he was gone), he told some of the boys that was there about being suspicious what was going on, and they got a magistrate that lived there in the area, and two or three of them went back to the house.

20 By the time Bobby was a sophomore in high school, his interest in the old music was becoming a passion. It led Bobby to discover such compendiums as The Frank C. Brown Collection of North Carolina Folklore in the public library. His English teacher, Louise Walker Adderholt, encouraged his enthusiasm. She knew Bobby’s family well. ’’ Adderholt was the faculty sponsor of a folklore club Bobby organized a year later. In  she took him to a meeting of the North Carolina Folklore Society, where she introduced him to professors Arthur Palmer Hudson and Amos Abrams.

Down in Caldwell County they used to claim that she killed him with a nail to the temple. While he was asleep, she just hammered a nail in. But there was nothing in the records that survived of the trial to ever indicate that, and there was nothing in the folklore of the family and the people of Toe River itself to say that. But it’s sort of a grim tale, because it was set at the background of the new world that people had come to, and in the mountains at that time you had people that still had certain family traditions that were in flux and joined together.

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