Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Family Feud!

Humans attract each other, and that attraction leads to interaction. While the interaction can lead to wonderful things such as business ventures, marriages, and other various collaborations, there can be a negative side.

Humans being humans we have a certain amount of vanity and pride, with some of us having a smidge more than others. Sometimes we won't admit we are wrong, and we won't take any sort of responsibility for our actions.

Feuds usually begin over something very simple but often escalate to insults, violence, and even murder. Full scale wars have been fought over family feuds including Britain's War of the Roses.

Feuds were so common during earlier times; societies often instituted rules and laws to help settle them. The process of dueling actually came about to settle disputes.

In 1804, Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton had different opinions regarding the direction our nation should take. Their differences developed into personal attacks and ongoing bitterness, and eventually led to a duel with Hamilton dying.

Although Aaron Burr became a New York state representative, a New York district attorney, a U.S. Senator and Vice President during Thomas Jefferson's administration, he's often only remembered as the man who killed Alexander Hamilton in a duel.

A larger feud in American history involved the settlement of the American West. During the 1880s the Pleasant Valley War was fought in Arizona between sheep herders and cattle ranchers over grazing land and property boundaries.

The Tewksbury family had a large sheep ranch while the Grahams on the adjoining property had cattle.

Their boundary dispute resulted in over 20 deaths and led to them employing mercenaries to do much of the dirty work including Tom Horn. By the end of the feud the Tewksbury family was extinct and only one member of the Graham family was left.

The most infamous feud in American history has to be between the wealthy pro-Confederate Hatfield family and the working class pro-Union McCoys.

While the war certainly gave the two families something to squabble about, the feud really picked up in 1878 when there was a disagreement over a pig.

Yes, a pig led to an all-out war including murder, beatings and kidnappings. Later on, there was a Romeo and Juliet plot twist when Roseanna McCoy had an affair with one of the Hatfield boys.

This led to more murders on both sides, even though the relationship between the lovers was short-lived.

The feud finally reached its pinnacle in 1888 during what is remembered as the New Year's Night Massacre.

The Hatfield faction attacked a McCoy cabin at night, killing the children, beating the mother and burning the house down. The governors of both West Virginia and Kentucky called out the militia to contain the situation and several folks were prosecuted and received life sentences. By 1891, the families ended the feud with a truce, and today both sides actually attend reunions together.

Douglasville residents have also been known to have disagreements. I mean, they ARE human, right?

One particular disagreement occurred early on in Douglas County history, eleven years after the birth of the county to be exact. In 1881, a feud involved a family-neighbor fuss that had been going on for two years over a fence line that resulted in each side chalking up one death and one injury.

Just like the Hatfield-McCoy feud, a pig was involved.

The involved parties were William H. Mitchell and James F. Cook who owned adjoining property along Burnt Hickory Road...

THANK YOU for visiting “Every Now and Then” and reading the first few paragraphs of “The Family Feud“ which is now one of the 140 chapters in my book “Every Now and Then: The Amazing Tales of Douglas County, Volume I”.

Visit the Amazon link by clicking the book cover below where you can explore the table of contents and read a few pages from the...and make a purchase if you choose!


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