Killings: Folk Justice in the Upper South

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University Press of Kentucky - History
" “A woman was sitting on the witness stand, and the lawyer asked her, ‘Did you, or did you not, on the night of June 23rd have sex with a hippie on the back of a motorcycle in a peach orchard?’ She thought for a few minutes, then said, ‘What was that date again?’”—from the book Lawyers have long been known as master storytellers, and those from Kentucky are certainly no exception. Veteran oral historian and folklorist Lynwood Montell has collected tales from dozens of lawyers and judges from throughout the Bluegrass State, ranging from the story about the tough Jackson County judge who fined himself for being late to court to unwelcome dogs in the courtroom. Recorded just as they have been told for generations, these stories are sometimes funny, sometimes sad or frightening, sometimes raw and harrowing, but always remarkable. Far more than collection of lawyer jokes, Tales from Kentucky Lawyers recounts the most insightful, entertaining, and occasionally heartbreaking stories ever told by and about Kentucky lawyers and their clients, covering the spectrum from arson to homicide, domestic disagreements to sexual abuse, and everything in between. Tales from Kentucky Lawyers is a valuable resource for folklorists as well as an entertaining and vivid account of the often-surprising legal world.

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Page xiv - CREEK. that there is much excellent grass land among the granite ridges. The patches of Pliocene marl here and there aid in smoothing the rougher portions of the surface. That portion of Madison Valley immediately west of Virginia City is about seventy-five miles from north to south, and ten miles from east to west, closing up at the south end and forming a fine canon through gneissic granites at the north end.
Page 9 - War bands of guerrillas and bushwhackers operated back and forth across the borderline, pillaging, robbing, and killing. They stripped the entire area bare of livestock and other movable property. Only old persons incapable of military service, widows, and small children were left at their homes. To them life was a perfect hell.
Page 3 - The country is so rough and wild that it has always been popularly known as "the wilderness." It is perhaps more nearly a wilderness in the true sense of the word than any equal-sized area east of the Mississippi River. For years the only railway connection between middle and east Tennessee was through the break in the plateau on the southern margin of the state where the Tennessee River cuts its way westward and southwestward across it. This railway, the Nashville...
Page 16 - County, Tenn. for a while, but one day he saw the old woman, who had poisoned the whiskey. This caused him to flee to Canada where he stayed a year before returning to the Little Piney Fork country.
Page 29 - Another narrator stated that she and her sister slept in the same room with their parents until the sisters were married. A male informant observed that he slept with his mother until he was 13 years old; his brother, four years older, slept with their father. I asked him if he ever felt the need for privacy during those years. "Well, not too much,
Page 16 - Christie, who was hiding in a large tree, patiently awaiting Peter's return home. In order to avoid further bloodshed, Eli decided to migrate to Jasper County, Iowa, where some ol his wife's brothers and sisters had previously settled.
Page 16 - He returned to Kentucky on horseback to find the killer of his brother and revenge the death. After days of hard riding, he arrived on Little Piney Fork to learn that Christie was no longer in the country.
Page 37 - ... stove caps from women's cook-stoves, fornications, stealing hog heads and hog faces, laundered shirts, etc.