The Hangings At Wise
I love history. My home town of Wise is wealthy with stories about the past. I read every book I can about my home's past with earnest. Some of my favorite authors are Luther F Addington and James Taylor Adams. I could not leave out the great John Fox Jr who's book Trail of The Lonesome Pine is very well known. The play is still performed in Big Stone Gap and is the longest running outdoor drama in the country. While in school a few years back and working on a paper about capital punishment I found some great history. I had heard the stories of the hangings here in Wise, then known as Gladeville. While doing research I found some wonderful accounts of these events. The stories are well written and easy to understand. Luther Addington penned a great round up of these hangings. What a great blogger Mr Addington would have been! His work The Hangings at Gladeville(Now Wise) is a wonderful example of this. In under 5000 words he tells of 6 hangings. He uses the words of Charles Renfro and John Fox to give his accounts. I hope you take the time to read it. You will learn about the murderous Red Fox, who preached his own funeral and said he would rise on the third day. He preached dressed in a white gown and death cap. You will learn about a group known as the Wise County Vigilantes that Renfro belonged saying:
"When I was made a member of the Wise County Vigilantes back there in 1892, I little dreamed that I was to become the scaffold maker or noose knot tier for all the six men who were to die on the gallows in my country. But it was that way.
The Vigilantes had been organized in Big Stone Gap, Virginia by Josh Bullitt as a protection against the bad men of the hills when the first coal boom came. John Fox, Jr., the author of the Trail of the Lonesome Pine, was a member of the guard, I recollect.
You will read about the First Black Man Hanged named Jim Foy. George Robinson Hanged Twice is also included. Two more accounts titled Innocent Man Hanged and They Hanged a Preacher will amaze you. All of this in a read lasting just a few minutes. Yes Addington would have been a magnificent blogger. I hope the Virginia Blog Carnival Readers enjoy this taste of writings about my home. You can find more at this great site here. Enjoy.