Virginia Folk Legends

Front Cover
Thomas E. Barden
University of Virginia Press, 1991 - Fiction - 347 pages

What do devil dogs, witches, haunted houses, Daniel Boone, Railroad Bill, "Justice John" Crutchfield, and lost silver mines have in common? All are among the subjects included in the vast collection of legends gathered between 1937 and 1942 by the field workers of the Virginia Writers Project of the WPA. For decades following the end of the project, these stories lay untouched in the libraries of the University of Virginia. Now, folklorist Thomas E. Barden brings to light these delightful tales, most of which have never been in print. Virginia Folk Legends presents the first valid published collection of Virginia folk legends and is endorsed by the American Folklore Society.

 

Contents

INTRODUCTION
1
ANIMALS
31
A Horn Snake Kills a Cruel Mistress
35
The Child and the Snake
36
A Black Snake Chokes an Infant
37
The Walking Rattlesnake
38
A Race with a Panther
40
The Bear and the Panther
41
Daniel Boones Tricks on Indians
181
Ira Roberts the Strongman
182
Molly Mulhollun the Cabin Builder
183
Major Mike Wallace
185
Booker Mullins the Bear Fighter
186
Thomas Jeffersons Manners
187
Johnny Appleseed
188
Gowl James the Human Ratter
189

The Eagle and the Baby
43
Daniel Boones Dog Thrasher
44
The Faithful Dog
46
The Good Watchdog
47
Solomon the Wise Horse
48
BEGINNINGS
49
Why Negroes Hands Have White Palms
54
Why Butterflies Was Made
55
Why Colored People Work for the Whites
56
The Origin of Gypsies
57
Disobedient Sammy
58
How Vote Buying Started in Wise County
59
Why the Buzzard Is Bald
60
The Legend of the Dogwood Tree
61
THE CIVIL WAR AND EMANCIPATION
63
James Bowser Emancipation Hero
69
Mailed to Freedom
71
A Confederate Spy
72
A Premonition of Death
73
The Curse of the Carbine
74
A Yankee Drinks from a Poisoned Well
75
A Young Girl Shoots a Yankee
76
CONJURE AND WITCHCRAFT
79
A Conjurors Revenge
86
A Slave with a Magic Hoe
88
A Witch Rode a Girl to Riceville Virginia
89
Devil Bill Boggs
90
The Witch Tree
91
Montague and Duck Moore
93
A Silver Bullet for a Witch
94
Witch Mountain
96
A Witchs Gun Charms the Woods
98
Aunt Lucys Bewitched Cow
99
Cooking a Witchs Shoulder
100
A Conjured Girl Tries to Jump into the Fire ΙΟΙ
101
A Witch Gets Caught in a Store
103
GHOSTS
105
The Quakers Gold ΠΙΟ
110
Midnight Annie
112
The Headless Ghost of Griffiths Wife
114
Nancy Lovealls Ghost Pounds Coffee
115
The Old Plantation Masters Ghost
116
Converted by a Ghost
117
The Old Woman of the Pies
119
HAUNTED HOUSES
121
The Ghost That Squeaked the Door
124
The Ghosts Little Finger Bone
125
The Ficklin Field Haunted House
127
A Civil War Haunt in an Old Log House
128
The Dancing Couple
129
Ghost Chains from a Logging Accident
131
A Confederate Soldier in a Haunted Room
133
The Haunted House of Saunders
134
The Praying Ghost of the Old Barlow Place
136
The Slave Traders Haunted House
138
INDIANS
139
The Ten Indians
145
The Women Who Married Indians
146
Disturbing Indian Graves
148
Indians Kill a Pioneer Family
149
The Indian Who Lived in a Cave
150
Two Indians Killed with a Boulder
151
The Friendly Old Hog
153
The Indian Boiling Pot
154
Cry Baby and Your Mammyll Come
155
Indians Come down the Chimney
156
Indians Capture a Bride on Her Wedding Day
157
LEGENDARY PEOPLE FROM THE AFRICAN AMERICAN FILBS
159
Henry Armstrong de Forgin Man
163
Bill Cabell a Badman at de Bar
165
Justice John
168
How Railroad Bill Chased Himself to His Girls House
170
Peacock and the Soldiers
173
LEGENDARY PEOPLE FROM THE ANGLOAMERICAN FILES
177
Doc Taylors Walk with Riley Mullins
191
How Doc Taylor Got Named The Red Fox
192
MURDER AND VIOLENCE
195
A Strange Light at a Murder Site
199
The Murderous Tavern Keepers
200
Killing an Unwanted Infant
202
The Robinett Death Hole
203
A Murder Belief Solves a Crime
205
A Strange Funeral
208
PLACENAMES
211
How Dragon Run Got Its Name
216
How Bloody Branch Got Its Name
217
How Champion Swamp Got Its Name
218
How Haddixs Branch Got Its Name
219
How the Bull Run Mountains Got Named
220
How Mother Leather Coat Mountain Was Named
223
Hickory Gap and the Hickory Gap Church
224
SIMON KENTON
227
How Simon Kenton Left Home
231
Simon Kentons Growing Tree
232
Simon Kentons Exploits
233
Simon Kentons Indian Wife and Family
234
Simon Kentons Indian Disguise
235
Simon Kenton Traps a Brandy Thief
237
SPIRIT DOGS
239
A Devil Dog Comes for a Slave Owner
243
Two More Devil Dogs
244
The Death Dog
245
The Warning Dog
246
A Spirit Dog Causes a Broken Toe
248
A Devil Dog in the Path
249
The Ghost Dog on Indian Creek
250
The Dog That Turned to Rags
251
The Ghost Dog on Chinquapin Hill
252
SUPERNATURAL EVENTS
255
Dogs Chase an Invisible Creature
258
The Boat That Would Not Move
259
A Dead Wife Returns
260
Lights in the Woods
262
The Murdered Mans Hat and the Melted Snow
264
The Disappearing Old Gray Horse
265
The Haunted Woods
266
The Fiddler of Peter Cave
267
The Shower of Stones
268
The Black Cat
271
TREASURE
273
OceanBorn Mary
277
The Two Pine Trees
279
The Sign That Pointed to Gold
281
The Beverly Diamonds
282
The Story of Swift and His Compass
283
A Spirit Dog Guards Swifts Mine
284
Swifts Silver Mine
286
UNUSUAL EVENTS
287
A Curse on Whites
290
How Coxs Snow Got Its Name
292
A Scar Identifies a Slave Womans Husband as Her Son
293
The Old Negro That Flagged the Train
294
Dick the Slave Boy and the Wolves
295
Murder at the County Line
298
The Woman Dressed in Black
300
The Boy Who Turned Wild in the Woods
301
The Wild Girl
302
The Man Who Ate Live Meat
303
Roast Cat for Breakfast
304
The Naked Bull Ride
305
Caught in the Graveyard
307
A Man Dies of Earwigs
308
NOTES TO THE LEGENDS
311
A VWP Workers
339
B Legend Tellers
340
Counties Where Legends Were Collected
344
Copyright

Common terms and phrases

About the author (1991)

Thomas E. Barden, a native Virginian, is Professor of English at Toledo University. He is the author of The Travels of Peter Woodhouse: Memoir of an American Pioneer and was joint editor with Charles L. Perdue, Jr., and Robert K. Phillips of An Annotated Lsiting of Folklore Collected by the Virginia Writers Project and Weevils in the Wheat: Interviews with Virginia Ex-Slaves (Virginia).

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