Cincinnati: U.P. James, [1854?]. xiii, [1 blank], -112 pp. Stitched in original printed golden wrappers [light edge wear, spine reinforced, printed spine title]. Wrapper title reads: "Kentucky Tragedy! A History of the Blood Renconters, Street Fights, Battles, &c., Extending Through a Number of Years, in Which Many Persons Were Killed, and Others Seriously Wounded, Known as 'The Hill and Evans Feud,' in Garrard County, KY." Rear wrapper and inner front wrapper list U.P. James books for sale. Very Good.
"The feud, which started over a female slave, resulted in many killings and is one of the more famous of all such affairs. Lt. Thompson, the author of the startling work, shortly afterward tried to outdo the subtitle when he brutally murdered his mother, brother, and sister and paid for the crime on the scaffold." [Eberstadt] The first edition was published in Louisville earlier in 1854. This offering, one of the "nice copies in yellow wrappers" [Jillson], is the first issue of the second edition. Thompson dedicates it "to the good, great, and chivalric people of Kentucky."
This Kentucky feud was a multi-decade marathon, which Thompson traces in detail. It "grew out of the return of a female slave which Dr. Hezekiah Evans hired from John Hill." [Jillson] The earliest account of trouble began with Dr. Hezekiah Evans hiring a negro woman from John Hill, and Hill then arranging the woman's flight from Evans so that he could have her for himself. In the resulting confrontation John Hill hit Evans in the head with a hickory stick. Later conflicts escalated, and the feud progressed from bloody to deadly.
Thompson calls both families "belligerent," recounting how the Hill family drew strangers into the fray by giving "little dancing parties... to collect crowds of the floating loafers of the country... pleasantly detained them with the fiddle's charm, and the bold spirit of Bacchus, and with the embraces of women of no enviable reputation."
Howes T198. Jillson 125. Coleman 1699. 134 Eberstadt 366 [Louisville]. Not in Thomson. Item #37460