Miners, Moonshiners, and Men of the Mountains: The Effect of Violence in Central Appalachia Through the Reconstruction Era

Ellen Tuttle, Salve Regina University

Document Type Article


The United States, a nation once divided, was forced to reunite in the wake of the Civil War. While the rest of the country propelled toward industrialization, the rural region of Central Appalachia remained untouched and secluded. As Victorian society and industrialization broke into and invaded the Appalachian mountains, the lifestyle and traditions of the mountain people fell under scrutiny. The mining and moonshining industries, in addition to notorious family feuds and the ways of Appalachian life, became largely to blame for widespread violence in the region and, as a result, created stereotypes that are still widely used today.