Monday, November 17, 2008

The Hatfields and the McCoys

For nearly 30 years the area around Tug Fork, Kentucky was the site of a bloody feud between two families during the late 19th Century. The feud between the Hatfield family and the McCoy family would leave more than a dozen people dead and cause their family names to be infamously linked forever.
The feud's roots grew during the Civil War, when the families found themselves fighting on opposite sides during the war, despite some intermarriages between the two clans. The episode that seems to have touched off the worst of the feuding was a land dispute in which the ownership of a single pig was at stake because of where it was kept near property line borders. The argument was between the McCoys and a man named Bill Stanton. Stanton, was related to both families. When he was awarded ownership of the pig in court, it infuriated the McCoys. Stanton would later die at the hands of two other members of the McCoy family.

Later incidents would result in property damage, beatings, fires and outright murders. Due to the intermarriages and some alliances between the families, sometimes members turned against their own blood and fought on the opposite side. The feuding continued until an instance of brutality in 1891 which finally gained enough attention that state militia became involved, and 9 Hatfields found themselves on trial. A truce was declared between the families at this point.

Pay a visit to Tug Fork and find out what modern science has discovered as the possible actual cause of the feud.

-Tom G

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I don't know how, but this feud was a well known piece of history in New Zealand when I was a kid.