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The Hatfield-McCoy Feud


Literature and Legends

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Even before it ended, the feud had become the stuff of legends . . . and Appalachian stereotypes. The Hatfield-McCoy Feud was exacerbated, especially in its later stages, by enterprising detectives, imperfectly deputized posses, sensationalizing newspaper men, and meddling lawyers. As the story became more outrageous with every telling and illustration (such as these images from American Vendetta and A Mountain Feud), West Virginia and barbaric feuding became synonymous in the minds of many. In reality, family feuds have been uncommon in the state’s history with the Hatfields and McCoys being the major exception.


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