Issuu on Google+

During the 1920s and ‘30s, when the effort to create Great Smoky Mountains National Park had gained traction, various special interest groups, especially the agents of tourism, engaged in misguided efforts to IN THE NICK OF TIME downplay public concern for the relocation of hundreds of Smokies residents. One pro-park group from nearby Knoxville issued a pamphlet (a copy of which is stored in the national park’s archives) that made fallacious statements about those residents and their traditional culture. How Joseph S. The pamphlet asserted that twentieth century Smok- Hall discovered the truth about ies residents were living “in the 18th century”; that “Appalachian Smokies women were weaving textiles “in ancient pat- English” and terns”; and that those residents were characterized by rescued Smoky “oddities of speech…current in Shakespeare’s time.” The first two statements echoed the words of William Mountain music, Goodell Frost, who in an 1899 Atlantic Monthly article to boot. referred to the natives of Appalachia as “our contemporary ancestors.” The pamphlet’s third statement, reflect- BY T E D O L S O N ing a belief widely held in American society during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, suggested that speech in the Smokies, like other Appalachian diTop left: Joe Hall leaving the Hannah home on Cove Creek in Haywood County, NC, after recording the Hannah brothers (in the background). Bottom right: J. J. Gregory plays the fiddle for his grandson. alects, was a remnant of an older language—Elizabethan English, which many Americans of that era believed was still lingering in more isolated pockets of Appalachia. This belief was perpetuated by late nineteenth century “local color” writers who, in nationally published fictional works set in the region, attributed the speech of Appalachian people to what then was the main point of reference for such metaphor-laden and idiom-rich language: the Elizabethan English of Shakespeare. Smokies Life O 26 Smokies Life O 27

Old Time Smoky Mountain Music CD Joe Hall Appalachian

Related publications