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Folklore: Hatfields v. McCoys - explained?

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Goose Gander 06 Apr 07 - 01:06 AM
BanjoRay 06 Apr 07 - 04:18 AM
JohnInKansas 06 Apr 07 - 04:42 AM
Scoville 06 Apr 07 - 09:20 AM
GUEST,meself 06 Apr 07 - 12:30 PM
Joe Offer 22 Jul 12 - 11:59 PM
kendall 23 Jul 12 - 03:38 AM
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Subject: Folklore: Hatfields v. McCoys - explained?
From: Goose Gander
Date: 06 Apr 07 - 01:06 AM

Hatfields v. McCoys - a medical explanation

I'm skeptical, but there it is if anyone's interested.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Hatfields v. McCoys - explained?
From: BanjoRay
Date: 06 Apr 07 - 04:18 AM

I believe they all had a terrible itch in their trigger fingers.
Interesting stuff.
Ray


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Hatfields v. McCoys - explained?
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 06 Apr 07 - 04:42 AM

As the more careful commentors suggest, a medical/physical disposition toward a particular behaviour can be one factor in a "familial trait," although in this case "feudin' an' fightin'" was something of a local tradition in the area.

The one "most ignorant" comment:

Medical folks like to find these kinds of explanations. Like the Salem witchcraft thing. That book came out about how that was caused by wheat that was grown that had this parasite or mold or fungus or something that caused everybody in Salem to go nuts," she said.

That is personally offensive, since I first proposed the ergotamine theory of the Salem witches when I matched up symptoms cited in gran'pappy's 1898 veterinary manual - for the behaviour of sheep with ergot poisoning - with the "witches" behaviour cited in the early Salem transcripts, (ca. 1948). As nobody much listened to a 9 year old kid, it was several decades before "the book" was published, although I thought it was "common understanding" for most of those several decades.

And:

1. the people in Salem didn't grow wheat. They grew almost exclusively barley, which is much more susceptible to the ergot fungus than wheat is. A "historian" shouldn't make that mistake.

2. it wasn't a matter of the "whole town going nuts" (at least initially) but a matter of a few person behaving in ways that the people couldn't understand or explain - so that later on mob hysteria (never blamed on the fungus) took over. A "historian" shouldn't make that mistake either.

John


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Hatfields v. McCoys - explained?
From: Scoville
Date: 06 Apr 07 - 09:20 AM

I'll assume that her specialty is regional or 19th-century and not New England or 17th century.

I wouldn't take it too personally, though: There does seem to have been a fashion lately for back-diagnosing famous people with various conditions (sometimes at the prompting of medical scholars and sometimes not). Zachary Taylor and the alleged poisoning. Lincoln and Marfan's. Probably every eccentric in history has been posthumously diagnosed as Asperger's or bipolar disorder.

People get interested in something and then try to explain it within the boundaries of their own expertise and experiences; if you're a doctor or biologist who gets a bee up his nose about something like that, the odds are pretty good that you'll look for a genetic or toxicological cause. (I was a history major. I'd look for a cultural cause. My brother is an archaeologist. He'd look for a cultural cause and then go excavate some cabin foundations, looking for evidence.) Most of them seem not to pan out, though.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Hatfields v. McCoys - explained?
From: GUEST,meself
Date: 06 Apr 07 - 12:30 PM

On the other hand, some of them do seem to pan out. The Salem witch scare being related to ergot poisoning, for example - as far as I can tell anyway, which is from about here to the door ...


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Hatfields v. McCoys - explained?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 22 Jul 12 - 11:59 PM

There's a new album out called Famous for Killing Each Other: Music from and inspired by the Hatfields and McCoys it's by Kevin Costner (the actor) and Modern West. There's a sample here (click).

Despite the fact that it's a recording made by a movie star, it sounds pretty good.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Hatfields v. McCoys - explained?
From: kendall
Date: 23 Jul 12 - 03:38 AM

There was little or no law in those days, so, little or no consequences.
The most popular theory is, a Hatfield stole a pig that belonged to the McCoys.


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