In Appalachia: Property is Theft

Black and white photo of hillside being excavated, with trees on their sides and forest surrounding

George Vincent

Tan cover of magazine reading "Southern Exposure: Solving America's Energy Crisis, The Southern Syndicate Behind Watergate, Florida: Love it or sell it: Electric Utilities: the fight for public control, Special Report from Appalachia." And photo of coal miner next to drawing of electrical socket.

This article originally appeared in Southern Exposure Vol. 1 No. 2, "Special Report from Appalachia." Find more from that issue here.

If I had to answer the question, “What is slavery?” and if I were to answer in one word, “murder,” I would immediately be understood. I would not need to use a lengthy argument to demonstrate that the power to deprive a man of his thoughts, his will and personality is a power of life and death, and that to enslave man is to murder him. 

Why, then, to the question, “What is property?” may I not likewise reply “theft,” without knowing that I am certain to be misunderstood, even though the second proposition is simply a transformation of the first?

—Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, 1840

Because it comes from over a century ago, and from another country, we might not think Proudhon’s statement means anything for understanding the South today. We might understand the first part of it: when we think of the South, deeply aware of the historical and continuing exploitation brought to our consciousness by the civil rights movement and the present black struggles, we think of slavery and may know of what Proudhon meant when he said “murder.”

But most southerners lack a sense of similar exploitation based on a traditional notion of property, and therefore the answer “theft” is not understood. I would suggest, however, that we find in Appalachia today an exploitation of land and people and a growing movement of resistence that can help us recognize what this French activist meant when he said of slavery and property, “the second proposition is simply a transformation of the first.”

The images most often associated with Appalachia are those of poverty, but not of oppression: hillbilly, hunger, poor health, mountains destroyed, dreariness, maybe a sense of injustice, but surely nothing so strong as slavery. The problem with such images is that Appalachia is not poor. Within its boundaries lies the immense wealth of coal, which in today’s industrial society is clearly black gold.

Appalachia delivers more than 70% of the coal consumed in the United States and provides 15% of the nation’s energy. Last March, the President’s Council on Environmental Quality reported that

Appalachian coal is generally “of a high quality and in demand for steam electric plants, coke and gas plants, and exports.” (Fifteen percent of the region’s coal—about $675,000,000 worth—is exported annually to Canada and Japan.) But the report says that at current rates of production, there are enough reserves to last for several hundred years.

Appalachia isn’t poor. But its people are. (Per capita income still remains a scant 50% of the national average.) The people are poor because they don’t own-and scarcely benefit-from the wealth of their region. Large, absentee, corporate property owners do. Increasingly associated with the giant energy conglomerates, it is these property owners who daily cart away the area’s riches. 

Consider the evidence for the areas of Tennessee, Kentucky, and West Virginia that produce most of Central Appalachia’s coal:

·      In five major coal-producing counties of northeast Tennessee, nine corporations, all but one controlled from the outside, own 34% of the land  surface and approximately 85% of the coal wealth.

·      In eleven major coal-producing counties of east Kentucky, thirty-one individuals and corporations control 80% of the coal wealth.

·      In fourteen major coal-producing counties of West Virginia, containing over half of the state’s coal reserves, twenty-five landowners control 49% of the land area. Ten companies control 31% of the land. While more than 1,000 coal companies operated in West Virginia in 1966, 75% of the tonnage produced came from the 25 largest firms.

The owners of Appalachia’s resources don’t keep them because they can’t sell out. On the contrary, as Dun’s Review of Modern Business observed in 1965, before the most recent coal boom, “for all their small numbers . . . these coal royalists hold what may well be one of the most lucrative investments in all of America.” And a report prepared for the Appalachian Regional Commission reminds us of who these royalists are: almost twice as much capital flowed out of Central Appalachia as into it in 1967 and “entered the financial markets centered around New York.”

Appalachia is rich, but its people are poor. Other folks--those who own the property that contains the coal, those who take it away to produce the energy that makes wealth for “the other America”-are the ones who possess the riches.

In Appalachia, property is theft.


The American Association of London

We can understand the meaning of this relationship of poverty amid plenty by looking closely at the example of Clear Fork Valley, stretching between Pine Mountain and Cumberland Mountain, lying on the border of Kentucky and Tennessee. Here one can see the results of corporate exploitation at its worst. Once a booming mining area, automation and strip-mining have left 30% of the work force unemployed. Mountains are gouged by the relentless blade of the bulldozer and blasts of dynamite. Streams are filled with silt; timber and wildlife are destroyed. Not just land, but a way of life is eroding. Thousands have been forced to leave to find homes and jobs in the cities. For those who remain, houses are poor and incomes for over 70% are less than $4,000 annually.

Within that same valley in Bell County, Kentucky, and Claiborne County, Tennessee, approximately 85% of the land-50,000 acres-is owned by a single company, the American Association, Ltd., of London, England. From its land, over 2.2 million tons of coal a year are carted off, mostly to two electric utilities, the Georgia Power Company and the Duke Power Co. And from the royalties on that coal, thousands of dollars are exported each year to the company’s London headquarters. The chairman of the company’s Board of Directors, Sir Denys Flowerdew Lowson, a former Lord Mayor of London, controls an estimated 88 such companies around the globe, and he is personally listed as chairman of forty. Ironically, the American Association is one of the smallest of his concerns: while to the people of Clear Fork Valley, the company represents tax evasion, destruction of land and jobs, and the denial of a future, for Sir Lowson, the company’s listed value represents a pittling one half of one percent of his estimated personal wealth.

The foreign nature of the British-owned American Association should not detract from viewing its similarities to other absentee property owners of Appalachia. Rather, the historical development of this micro-colony of Clear Fork Valley is a model for understanding Central Appalachia. And by understanding the micro-colonial relationship, we can learn something of similar relationships of the South to energy conglomerates.


The Making of a Micro-Colony

It is an irony of history that many of the first settlers to come to the mountains around Cumberland Gap were the rebels. Here in the Appalachias they found a place to escape the rapid industrialization of England and Europe, and to establish a new way of life free from the exploitative social relations which they had known before. As Jack Weller describes in Yesterday’s People, some of the settlers came from the Levellers movement in Britain, where they had challenged the power of their English landlords, and came “in rebellion against a form of government that imposed its rules from the top.“

But the freedom of the frontier mountains was changed in the late 1800’s when coal and iron ore were discovered and demanded to feed the new wave of industrialization. In the Cumberland Gap area, it was a young Scottish-Canadian capitalist, Alexander Arthur, who forsaw the Gap as an iron, coal and steel center. Backed by capital from Britain’s Baring brothers, a company was formed, the American Association, Ltd. It quickly transformed the Yellow Creek Valley of Kentucky into  a coal town of Middlesborough, named after its British counterpart. 

In the short space of four years (1888-1892), an incredible $20,000,000 of British capital poured into the area. Railroads, furnaces, industries, hotels, streets, lavish halls were built. Thousands of people many fresh from England, others from the East and the South-surged into the region. The town was quickly dubbed “The Magic City of the South,” and by 1892 its magic was valued on the British stock exchange at over $40,000,000. Founding father Alexander Arthur, who came to be known as “Duke of the Cumberlands,” proclaimed to a group of investors on November 11, 1890, “This is but a transfer of British business to American soil.”

And, indeed, they did acquire soil-an estimated 80,000 acres in the Yellow Creek, Clear Fork and other valleys rich in timber and coal. The most famous historical account of the development of the area, Wilderness Road by Robert Kincaid, simply says the company acquired the land in a few months. In fact, modern-day courthouse deeds show perfected titles. But there is more to the story: residents describe, still with anger, how the agents tricked, threatened, or forced the mountaineers to give up their land. Some people, not knowing or caring about the value to the industrial world of the wealth beneath them, “voluntarily” sold the land for fifty cents or a dollar an acre. An entire mountain-from which Consolidated Coal now supplies Georgia Power over one million tons of coal and the American Association almost $200,000 annually-was reportedly traded to an agent of the company for a hog rifle. 

But other mountaineers were victims of legal tricks. One method, oral history reveals, was to have someone jailed and then offer to post bond in return for his land. Where there was resistance, force was used. Residents tell stories of how the company men would burn their fathers out if they would not sell. And, though many of the courthouse records of this era have burned or disappeared, it is not uncommon for a local Appalachian to look out from the front porch of his company-owned house and remark, “See that mountain over yonder? They stole it from my daddy.”

“Property is Theft,” but to endure, theft has to be legitimized. In Middleboro, as in the modern era, the tools of legitimacy were the concentration of power in the hands of a few and an ideology of boom and progress to attract the support of the many.

Certainly, the American Association had the power in the boom town. It retained controlling interest in everything-banks, industry, railroads, even the Four Seasons Hotel. Anyone who had or wanted any part of the benefits of the new society was dependent on the will of those few in control. And with dependency came a supporting ideology of progress, civilization and social improvement. Arthur himself set the tone:

I would say that America needs this place and our Anglo-American money, experience and push. . .  We have also the sinews of body and of money and stand ready, clean-cut, and vigorous, for a generation of progress and success in manufacture, arts, and sciences. Come and join hands with us in the great enterprise which is worthy of us all, native or foreign-born though we may be. 

The New York Times and other papers applauded the development. For Harpers Magazine the project represented “a summing up of the past and prophecy of the future . . . the last of the mountaineers passing away before the breath of civilization.”

For the American Association, the combination of monopoly and ideology fused to protray its owners not as colonizers or controllers, but as conscientious contributors to a social good. A Scribners Magazine article in 1890 reflected this social view: The company, it said, “leases its mining and other properties but does not and will not sell them. This fact is evidence of the interests which it has and will always have in the prosperity of Middleboro.” The company controls the coal commerce from “the raw state of the earth’s bed until the final and finished result is in the hands of the consumer. ... To this parental character of the American Association,” the article concluded, “and to the comprehensive protection with which it pursues the course of industry is largely due the prosperity of Middleboro.”

Those who benefited from the dependency, responded to the “parental character” with appropriate loyalty. In 1891, the local newspaper gave prominent coverage of a three hour mass meeting held to express appreciation to the officers of the American Association. Held at the Opera Hall, it was “the largest and most enthusiastic meeting” ever witnessed in the town.

Meanwhile, the intrusion and colonization of mountain culture were either ignored, justified as a social cost,” or pitied. The literature of the city’s development says little of its effect on the mountain people. But one 1905 account describes the colonization of the free mountaineer in terms frighteningly similar to what one might hear today: 

The Association has between 200 and 300 tenants of mountain people and are on the best of terms with them. The Association has not always treated them fairly and justly, but has gone out of its way to assist and to encourage; they have responded by being true friends, assisting the Association in protecting its property. It is much regretted that these people have not yet got the advantage of schools and churches to which they are entitled.

The Yellow Creek and Clear Fork Valleys had been colonized. Through the power of property, the propertyless had been made the powerless. Not only is property theft; it is the ability to legitimize itself and become acceptable.

But the glory of the Magic City of the South didn’t last long. Money from London dried up. The American financial panic of 1893 hit the hills of Central Appalachia. “It may be doubted if ever in the history of boom towns there had been so great a collapse,” remarked a Middleboro newspaper in retrospect. The properties in the town were auctioned off and the 80,000 acres of the American Assn, were mortgaged to the Central Trust Company of New York for $1,500,000. Then in 1894 a strange thing happened. A federal court ordered a public auction of the 80,000 acres and appointed a Mr. J.H. Bartlett autioneer. At that point, the American Association changed the Limited at the end of its name to Incorporated, yet retained essentially the same stockholders. And in the auction, the “new” company bought back its land for a mere $25,000. Shortly thereafter, J.H Bartlett became General Manager of the American Association, Inc. The strange transaction didn’t go unnoticed. Creditors of the American Association, Ltd., sued, claiming fraud, rigging of federal courts and perjury. Unfortunately, the outcome of the suits is unknown: the records went up in flames in one courthouse and disappeared from another.

Though the company had lost its property, it had not lost the power to steal it again. Middlesboro as a company town was gone, but the American Association had retained 80,000 acres of surrounding coal-rich mountain land.


A Modern Colony

Last summer Lewis Lowe looked out at his small one-half acre of land located along the Clear Fork Creek, now covered with strip-mine silt. For the past few years, he had not been able to farm much on his land. “Strip-mine mud . . . nothing will grow in it,” he said bitterly. And, today, he was thinking of leaving, of moving out of the mountains where he had lived

nearly seven decades. “You’d think we were animals or something, the way they’ve treated us . . . the strippers and the Association.”

His life represented much of what had happened since the Middlesboro bust. For 46 years, along with hundreds of others like him, Lewis had worked “from sunup to sundown, worked in almost every mine around, I did.” Then it was other companies, those that leased from the Association, that were the “villains”-they owned the stores, ran the mines, built the houses, extracted most of the profits.

But in the 1950’s came the coal slump. For a variety of reasons, the deep-mines closed down. In 1952 there were 1,230 coal mining jobs in the county; by 1958 there were only 282. Most of the men had to leave the Valley to try to find work in the cities of the North. The American Association made no attempt to provide, or even allow, alternatives. Lewis had wanted to stay and did until the company told him one day, in the dead of winter, that he, his wife, and six kids would have to leave in three days. The strippers were coming in and they used bulldozers: people only got in the way. Twice Lewis was evicted, forced to leave the land that he had tilled with his hands, leave his home, garden, and spring that were now to be buried by the company’s machines. Finally, in 1960 he had saved enough money for the small place where he once again tried to create a peaceful home that he could call his own. But now the stripping had caught up with him again, and he was thinking of giving up, of leaving for good.

Here in the life of a single miner is a human example of what is meant by “property is theft.” Those with property had manipulated, denied and finally, defeated his will, expression and pride as a human. Here, also is an example of the insidious power of absentee corporate ownership that is the murder of Appalachia.

We have already witnessed the fundamental economic form of theft. In the Valley today, over two million tons of coal a year leave to provide over 10% of Georgia Power’s coal-all from the land owned by a single London based company. Much of the coal is deep-mined from a single Consolidated Coal mine, owned, in turn, by Continental Oil. The rest comes from strip-mining operations, originally owned by a set of mountain elite, but now increasingly acquired by the energy conglomerates. Royalties of all the mining, from 20 cents to one dollar a ton, are carted away to offices off Bank Street in London’s financial district. The result, of course, is an inequity of wealth, yet most of America today has accepted the ideology of its legitimacy. 

There are other forms of theft, growing from that inequity of property, that inevitably means inequity of power. Consider several examples: 

Property tax evasion. Traditionally (and theoretically) the normal social mechanism for sharing or redistributing wealth is taxation. For local governments property taxation is the major source of revenue and, supposedly, property is taxed at an equal rate such that those with large amounts of valuable property pay more than the owners of small amounts of less valuable property.

But it has not worked out that way in the Clear Fork Valley. The American Association owns 17% of the land surface of Clairborne County and perhaps 90% of the county’s coal reserves. Yet, in 1970, its 44,000 acres provided only 3% of the local revenue. Even after citizens organized and demanded that the law be enforced, the situation remained similar. Vast acres of untouched coal reserves were being appraised at $25.00 an acre, less than the least expensive farmland in the county.

Claiborne County is not an exception. In 1971, the nine land companies that controlled 35% of the land surface and about 85% of the coal reserves in Tennessee’s five major coal-producing counties accounted for less than 4% of the local revenues. In West Virginia, Kentucky, and Virginia-despite laws to the contrary in each state-property taxation has failed to reap the benefits of the land’s immense wealth for the local government.

The local, small, non-mineral holders pay not just an unfair share of taxes, but they also pay in innumerable ways for the destruction of their roads, streams, and lives as the wealth is taken away. These are the very counties of America that need local revenues the most. Yet the amount they have available for education, health, welfare, housing, and basic services is far below the national average. Property means not just poverty for the propertyless, it means the power to avoid traditional forms of sharing that property. Theft of revenue means more than a loss of money. In Appalachia it means the loss of the resources for building local communities. 

Strip-mining Theft. The American Association hosts more strip-mine operations that any other landowner in Tennessee. Almost 5,000 acres of its land have been laid to waste by the devastating dozer-dynamite duo. In Central Appalachia itself, an esitmated 600,000 acres of strip-mined land has been left unreclaimed. As in the Clear Fork Valley, most stripping is done on the property of absentee owners who escape the consequences of their actions. 

To many outside the mountains, stripping is viewed as an environmental issue-and indeed it is. The strip-miner literally blasts away the sides or top of a mountain. Debris is bulldozed over the side, and the exposed coal is shoveled out. While the process is fast and highly profitable, it leaves the mountain a gaping sore; ecological cycles are upset; timber may take several hundred years to recover; streams and wells are contaminated. Reclamation is expensive and rarely carried out. It is, as some have put it, “like putting lipstick on a corpse.”

To many Appalachians, though, stripping is more than an environmental issue. It is an economic one. Folks look back to the days of the deep mines when there was work. “We’ve been deprived of our livelihood,” says J.W. Bradley, a former deep-miner and now a leading figure in the anti-strip mine effort. “The strippers came in under falsehoods and stole our jobs from us,” he says. And, in fact, the Report of the President’s Council on Environmental Quality in March, 1973, observes that if stripping in the mountains were stopped today, three times as many jobs in Appalachia would be available, and probably at higher wages. For people who have built their lives around the freedom and confines of the mountains and streams, stripping is the destruction of an entire culture. Presided over by the absentee property owner, stripping is theft of both a means and a way of life.

Theft of Alternatives. As if the theft of wealth, taxes and services, of a means and way of life were not enough, another theft, perhaps the most insidious, is the denial of alternatives to the people of Appalachia. Large blocks of land are unavailable to the mountaineer. It isn’t enough to say that Lewis Lowe can go elsewhere. There aren’t any elsewheres in the mountains. Alvarado E. Funk, the general manager of the American Association in the Valley, has announced a policy of depopulation. “The people would be better off, and we would be better off, if they would be off our lands.”

People in Clear Fork Valley are trying to find alternatives. A non-profit community development council has sought for five years to provide the alternative by building new industry and homes. Yet for five years, they have been denied any land upon which to build. Just last year, the American Association would not even consider freeing one-half acre of its 50,000 in the Valley for a health clinic. Large blocks of land kept unused also deny the possibility to build roads and sewers and thus the chance to attract industry or expand facilities. Development of the land as recreation retreats for city folks simply means more outmigration of Appalachians by the blade of the bulldozer. The mountains are being depopulated for the enjoyment of urbanites fleeing the crowds.


A Modern Energy Colony

The current expansion of energy companies in Appalachia and the South has a number of parallels with the development of the Middlesboro micro-colony. The history of the earlier activities of energy conglomerates can help us understand the current economic “boom” and “energy crisis.”

The first similarity between now and the 1890’s is that the energy combines, or their representatives, particularly the oil firms, are buying up all the land and mineral rights they can get, both in Appalachia and the West. James Ridgeway’s book The Last Play gives a good account of the recent mergers: Consolidated Coal by Continental Oil, Island Creek Coal by Occidental Petroleum, Peabody Coal by Kennecott Copper, etc. And in some instances, the form of barter reminds us of the 1890’s. One company reportedly offered an Indian tribe in Montana a health clinic in return for the rights to several hundred million dollars worth of minerals.

A second similarity is the manner in which the increasing concentration of resources in a few hands is supported, justified and concealed by a prevailing ideology: the progress, prosperity and national defense of the country depends on meeting bigger and bigger energy demands. With only 6% of the world’s population, the United States already consumes 46% of the world’s energy. With the capacity to advertise, create demand and control supply, the energy companies can raise the fear of an energy crisis, and they can make it self-sustaining-and profitable.

Again, as in the case of Middlesboro, the combination of dependency and ideology makes support for the energy industry an emotional issue with overtones of loyalty to home and country. In rapid succession, all the major weeklies ran cover stories on the “energy crisis.” Nixon announced a new plan that involved more tax loopholes, relaxation of environmental controls, in short, more social thievery to end the crisis. Under an emotional appeal of not wanting to curtail growth, lose jobs or have the lights grow dim, Americans were told to accept such steps as necessary for the good of the nation. As in Middlesboro, little attention is given by the press or public to the destruction of a land and people back at the source of the energy supply.

What, then, is the modern colony? It is theft by the property owner of the resources, of taxes and the base for community services, of a means and way of life, of the possibilities of choice for the mountaineer. As in the 1890’s, it is either ignored or rationalized to the rest of the nation by an ideology of progress. But beneath the ideology is the dependency of the propertyless and the destruction of a land. In Appalachia, the corporate property holder, as the slave owner, possesses the power to deprive “will and personality,” a power of life and death. In Appalachia, property is theft.

But it is not just people in the mountains who will be victims of the current energy boom-crisis. The urban public will and is suffering from the social theft of the energy conglomerates. Consider a few examples.

Labor. The Georgia Power Company’s union and race relations policies, and Shell Oil’s response to the demands of its refinery workers for better working conditions, show that in the name of an “energy crisis” exploitation of workers can be reenforced. Just as in the coalfields, the demands of labor are discounted as minor compared with the national needs for energy supplies.

The Consumer. The growing monopoly within the energy industry means that prices can be increased to the consumer without bringing any benefit back to the coalfields. Usually it is the function of the Federal Power Commission to control price increases of electricity. But hidden within their regulations is a provision known as the fuel-adjustment clause. It provides that whenever the cost of fuel (coal) goes up, the price of power (electricity) can be similarly raised so the full increase in fuel prices is passed on to the consumer. The effect is that the price hike of the stripper in Appalachia is passed directly to the urban consumer, but the increased profits do not come back to mountain people.

The “Energy Crisis.” Energy companies justify strip-mining destruction by claiming the need for cheap fuel to supply the consumer. Yet only about 10% of Appalachia’s coal can be stripped; the rest must be deep-mined if it is to be recovered. Moreover, stripping “for the cream” damages the rest of the mountain in ways that make “the rest of the milk” far more expensive and dangerous to mine. The consumer is being duped: the lack of a rational fuel policy today means he will have to pay more for energy in the future. Someday, as in Middlesboro, the quick, cheap profits will be over. While the companies will maintain control, the consumers will have to bear the costs of both today and tomorrow.

Thus property is not only theft of Appalachia, it is theft of labor, of consumers, and of future generations.


A Bit of De-Colonization

But there is one important difference between the Clear Fork Valley of the 1890’s and of today, if our knowledge of history is accurate. For today more people are resisting and a movement to stop the energy companies is building. The movement takes many forms. In the Clear Fork Valley, citizens have begun to challenge for the first time the American Association and its London owners. Some gains have been won, including the acquisition of company property upon which the local community development council can build.

In the five major coal-producing counties of Tennessee, Save Our Cumberland Mountains, a grass-roots organization of some 200 people has in the last two years begun to challenge forcefully the tax evasion, strip-mine destruction, economic and political controls exercised by large companies in the their areas. Led by J. W. Bradley, SOCM, like many other groups throughout the mountains, is an attempt by the people of Appalachia to regain control of their land and their lives. Whether expressed through working for union reform, fighting strip-mining, development of community-controlled industry, or demand for welfare rights, people are translating their anger into organizational movement.

Some have compared the mood in the mountains today with the pre-dawn of the civil rights movement-waiting for a spark, a leader, the right combination of social events that make such movements happen. Those who learned from the failures of the 1960’s, however, also know that such movements must come from within, must be led and fought by Appalachians and cannot be fought from the outside.

Yet, just as the 1960’s provided for non-blacks in the South a brutal awakening of consciousness to the meaning of the statement, “slavery is murder,” perhaps from the 1970’s can come a recognition that in Appalachia “property is theft.” And just as the murderers of slaves are not confined to Mississippi, so the colonizers of Appalachia are not confined there either. Perhaps, with that recognition, we can see that whether we are mountaineers, workers, consumers, rural or urban folks, we face in the energy conglomerates the same thieves. And if there can come that understanding, there can also come the hope that a movement for decolonization of Appalachia will spark, and be part of, a renewed struggle for radical change in the rest of the South and America.



1. Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, First Memoir, quoted in Selected Writings of Pierre-Joseph Proudhon,

edited by Stewart Edwards, trans. by Elizabeth Fraser (London: MacMillan & Go., 1969), p. 124.

2. F. Schmidt-bleek, “Towards a More Beneficial Use of Coal,” Appalachian Resources Project, Univ. of Tennessee, 1972.

3. Gaventa, Ormond, Thompsen, “Coal, Taxation and Tennessee Royalists,” unpublished study of the Vanderbilt Student Health Coalition, 1971.

4. Richard Kirby, “Kentucky Coal: Owners, Taxes, Profits,” a study for the Appalachian Volunteers, March 11, 1969.

5. Davitt McAteer, “Profile of West Virginia as a Colony,” unpublished study, 1971.

6. Dun’s Review of Modern Industry, April, 1965, p. 40.

7. Capital Resources in Central Appalachia, prepared for the Appalachian Regional Commission

by Checchi and Co., Washington, 1969.

8. Jack Weller, Yesterday’s People, Univ. of Kentucky Press with the collaboration of the Council

of Southern Mountains, Inc., Lexington, 1966, p. 11.

9. Speech by Arthur, November 11, 1890, published as a pamphlet by the American Association. The other historical material comes from my research in local newspapers, courthouses, library records and interviews.

10. Ibid.

11. James Allen, “Mountain Passes of the Cumberland,” Harper’s Magazine, copyright by

Harper and Brothers, 1890, p. 8.

12. “Southern Lands: Middlesborough, Ky.,” Scribner’s Magazine, November, 1890.

13. Recounted in The Middlesboro Daily News, August 19, 1965, p. C-22.

14. J. C. Tipton, The Cumberland Coal Field and Its Creators, Pinnacle Printery, 1905.

15. For further information, see “Property Taxation of Coal in Central Appalachia,” a report for

the Senate Subcommittee on Intergovernmental Relations from Save Our Cumberland Mountains, Inc., prepared by John Gaventa.

16. Schmidt-bleek, Appalachian Resources Project, University of Tennessee.