A Tree Accurst: Bobby McMillon and Stories of Frankie Silver by Daniel W. Patterson

By Daniel W. Patterson

On a wintry evening in 1831, a guy named Charlie Silver was once murdered with an awl and his physique burned in a cabin within the mountains of North Carolina. His younger spouse, Frankie Silver, was once attempted and hanged for the crime. In later years humans claimed tree turning out to be close to the ruins of the previous cabin used to be cursed--that someone who climbed into it'd be not able to get out. Daniel Patterson makes use of this "accurst" tree as a metaphor for the grip the tale of the homicide has had at the imaginations of the area people, the broader international, and the famous Appalachian conventional singer and storyteller Bobby McMillon.

For approximately a hundred and seventy years, the reminiscence of Frankie Silver has been stored alive via a ballad and native legends and by way of the inside track bills, fiction, performs, and different works they encouraged. Weaving Bobby McMillon's own story--how and why he turned a taleteller and what this tale potential to him--into an research of the Silver homicide, Patterson explores the genesis and makes use of of folklore and the interaction among folklore, social and private background, legislations, and narrative as humans and groups try and comprehend human personality and fate.

Bobby McMillon is a furnishings and clinic employee in Lenoir, North Carolina, with deep roots in Appalachia and a lifelong ardour for studying and acting conventional songs and stories. He has bought a North Carolina people background Award from the state's Arts Council and in addition the North Carolina Folklore Society's Brown-Hudson Folklore Award.

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Extra resources for A Tree Accurst: Bobby McMillon and Stories of Frankie Silver

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I realized fairly quick,’’ he says, ‘‘that they were singing some songs that people out in the community knew, that weren’t always to be found in song books. And so I began to learn just Bobby McMillon and Oral Tradition  a little bit about the different versions of things, and that really whetted my appetite. . And then I began to get my family members to sing the songs that they had heard in the days . . ’’ 20 By the time Bobby was a sophomore in high school, his interest in the old music was becoming a passion.

And the reason it was a-going down the trail out of sight, it would go down there to that old stick-out rock where his lights was buried, and carry on. So they took his remains up, and buried them. Some people said they buried them a little bit at a time, instead of taking back up what they’d already buried, that they put him in three different graves. Now, I don’t know whether that’s the truth or not. I do know that the one gravestone that they used to have to mark him is gone now or else the wind and the rain has taken the name and dates off of it.

He describes the working conditions as bad. ‘‘You burn up in the summer, and freeze a lot of times in the winter, and . . ’’ One foreman said that it’s a good thing that my brain’s inside my head or it’d be floating all around the place. But of course he’s for the company, and he thinks it’s bad to be thinking about other things. He thinks you go to thinking about music and stories, you’re going to let your job slack up or something. . He has some interest in things like that, but of course he can’t let that get in the way of his business.

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