Travis Rountree discussing and signing Hillsville Remembered: Public Memory, Historical Silence, and Appalachia’s Most Notorious Shoot-Out

Monday, May 22, 2023 - 7:00pm
161 Lexington Green Cir
Lexington, KY 40503

Travis Rountree discussing and signing Hillsville Remembered: Public Memory, Historical Silence, and Appalachia’s Most Notorious Shoot-Out

Monday, May 22 at 7pm ET 

Location: Joseph-Beth Lexington 

Join us for Travis Rountree discussing and signing Hillsville Remembered: Public Memory, Historical Silence, and Appalachia’s Most Notorious Shoot-Out. Optional RSVP is below, but not required to attend the event.

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 that killed five people and wounded seven others. The state of Virginia put Floyd and Claude Allen to death by electrocution the following spring. More than a century later, the event 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.

In this first book-length scholarly review of the Hillsville shoot-out, author Travis A. Rountree examines various media written about and inspired by the event and explains how the incident reinforced the nation's conception of Appalachia through depictions of this sensational moment in history. In all, this book provides an extensive analysis of this historic conflict and reveals a new understanding of the shaping of memories and stories from the event.

 

Travis A. Rountree is an assistant professor of English at Western Carolina University. His writings have appeared in North Carolina Folklore Journal, Appalachian Journal, Journal of Southern History, and Storytelling in Queer Appalachia: Imagining and Writing the Unspeakable Other.

 

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