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Hillsville remembered : public memory, historical silence, and Appalachia's most notorious shoot-out / Travis A. Rountree.

"On March 14, 1912, Hillsville, Virginia, native Floyd Allen (1856-1913) was convicted of three criminal charges: assault, maiming, and the rescue of prisoners in custody. What had begun as a scuffle between Allen's nephews over a young woman ended with him being charged as the guilty party after he allegedly hit a deputy in the head with a pistol. When the jury returned with the verdict, Allen stood up and announced, 'Gentleman, I ain't a-goin.' A gunfight ensued in the crowded courtroom which claimed the lives of the judge, prosecuting attorney, sheriff, a juror, and a witness, and wounded seven other people. The men of the Allen family fled the scene, but detectives from the Baldwin-Felts Detective Agency apprehended the men two months later. The state of Virginia put Floyd and Claude Allen to death by electrocution the following spring. Within days of the shoot-out, local and national media sensationalized the event, maligning the Allen men as rough, uncouth residents of impoverished Appalachia. More than a century later, the 'Hillsville Massacre' - as it was dubbed - continues to impact the citizens and communities of the area as local newspapers recirculate the sordid story and give credence to annual public reenactments that continue to negatively impact the national perception of the region. Hillsville Remembered: Public Memory, Historical Silence, and Appalachia's Most Notorious Shoot-Out is the first book-length scholarly review of the Hillsville Massacre. This comprehensive study examines a variety of sources written about and inspired by the event and casts light on how the incident helped reinforce the nation's conception of the region through depictions of this sensational moment in history. Author Travis A. Rountree uses rhetorical analyses to trace and reflect on the texts and contexts surrounding the events that have been reported, preserved, interpreted, and reinterpreted with different voices in various formats. In all, this book provides an extensive analysis of the Hillsville Massacre and reveals new understandings of the production of memories and stories that evolved from the event"-- Provided by publisher.

Record details

  • ISBN: 9780813197227
  • Physical Description: 182 pages : illustrations (black and white) ; 22 cm
  • Publisher: Lexington : University Press of Kentucky, [2023]

Content descriptions

Bibliography, etc. Note:
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Formatted Contents Note:
"The many untruths": newspaper representations of the 1912 Hillsville, Virginia, courthouse shoot-out -- Performing Hillsville, part one: rhetorical discourse on the Allen ballads -- Performing Hillsville, part two: rhetorical uptake of Frank Levering's shoot-out plays -- "Feelings are still very strong": sites of public memory in Hillsville, Virginia -- "I wish you had not thought to come here": feminine silences, pleas, and community rhetorics from the 1912 Hillsville, Virginia, courthouse shoot-out.
Subject: Allen family.
Allen, Floyd, 1857-1913.
Gunfights > Virginia > Hillsville > Public opinion.
Gunfights > Virginia > Hillsville > History > 20th century.
Trials (Assault and battery) > Virginia > Hillsville > History > 20th century.
Collective memory > Appalachian Region, Southern.
Collective memory > United States.
Appalachians (People) > Public opinion.
Narration (Rhetoric) > Social aspects.

Available copies

  • 1 of 1 copy available at Adams County Library System.


  • 0 current holds with 1 total copy.
Show Only Available Copies
Location Call Number / Copy Notes Barcode Shelving Location Status Due Date
Gettysburg Library 362.88 ROUNTREE (Text)
Memorial: This book is donated in memory of Lynn Haner Skopic by Her Friends at the Book Club -- "Do not think of me as gone; I am with you still in each new dawn"
35740636067399 New Nonfiction Available -

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