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SharePrint Media File

Type: Video

Series Title West Virginia: A Film History

Filmmaker Mark Samels

Company West Virginia Humanities Council

Format DVD


President Rutherford B. Hayes’ wife, Lucy, a leader in the Women’s Christian Temperance Union, replaced champagne at state dinners with lemonade.

Hayes sent federal tax collectors into the mountains to crack down on moonshine. Known as revenuers, the agents hired informants to spy on their neighbors, disguised themselves as land buyers and led armed raids on stills.

Mountain people, once known for their hospitality, became more suspicious of strangers.

Ronald Eller: The earliest settlers frequently welcomed strangers into their communities and into their homes. A rider traveling through the mountains could stay almost anywhere, be welcomed into a cabin and be offered the best bed and the best meal and music in the evenings. The suspiciousness of outsiders is a phenomenon that actually began to occur in the late nineteenth century. Then you begin to find the stories of the suspiciousness and the fear of outsiders because mountain people had come to see outsiders at that point as someone who has come to take advantage of you and not always to be neighborly toward you.

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