corner corner Dead and Gone: Classic Crimes of North Carolina


Dead and Gone: Classic Crimes of North Carolina
by Manly Wade Wellman | Nonfiction
Registered by wingGoryDetailswing of Nashua, New Hampshire USA on 4/4/2003
Average 9 star rating by BookCrossing Members 

status (set by GoryDetails): travelling

2 journalers for this copy...

Journal Entry 1 by wingGoryDetailswing from Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Friday, April 04, 2003

9 out of 10

Wellman has been one of my favorite authors for a long time, but I knew him primarily from his horror and fantasy stories (including the wonderful collection of "John the Balladeer" stories, Who Fears the Devil). Since so much of Wellman's fiction seems based on a solid knowledge of the history of the region, it wasn't too surprising to find that he'd written non-fiction as well. This is a collection of true crime tales, told by a master storyteller, and recommended for true-crime buffs.

In his foreword Wellman explains that he intentionally excluded more recent cases (as of the writing of the book, in 1954): "...the historian may be excused if he refrains from noticing crimes of such recent date that their recounting may needlessly wound the feelings of living persons who may have been innocently involved. The earliest date, then, among crimes presently reported is 1808, and the most recent is 1914. Of all the victims - they include, among others, a Confederate general, a lovely orphan girl, a pathetic little boy, and a highly offensive political boss - perhaps two, and no more, might have survived to this time of writing had their slayers been less pressing with their attentions. Dead, too, are most of the criminals, accusers, witnesses, man-hunters, and others directly concerned. Nobody is apt to suffer agonies of the spirit if reminded of this felony or that." (Few modern writers seem to subscribe to this view, alas...)

These stories haven't achieved the widespread notoriety of cases such as the Borden murders, but each of them is fascinating in its own right, and Wellman makes a point of humanizing all of the players. And in keeping with Wellman's interest in Appalachian folk songs, two of the cases here inspired well-known ballads: "For Now I Try That Awful Road" (from the case of Frankie Silver) and "Hang Down Your Head, Tom Dula".

[In looking back through this book while setting up the bookring, I noticed with some amusement that Wellman mentioned a couple of other favorite true-crime - and "gory details" - authors: Thomas De Quincey, whose "On Murder Considered as One of the Fine Arts" may have made him more memorable than anything else he wrote, and personal favorite Edmund Pearson. The latter is referred to in a case featuring poison: "Mr. Edmund Pearson, scholarly and philosophic regarding crime as well as regarding libraries, dime novels, and the career of Theodore Roosevelt, has deplored arsenic as a lethal weapon. In a work intriguingly called Murder at Smutty Nose he refers to this compound as the favorite poison of the ignorant and unimaginative. Elsewhere in the same work he speculates on the number of imaginary rats offered as excuses by arsenic buyers with murder in their hearts." Doesn't quite convey Pearson's wry tone, but if I hadn't already been familiar with his work this reference might have made me hunt him up.] 

Journal Entry 2 by wingGoryDetailswing from Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Friday, April 22, 2005

This book has not been rated.

I'm sending this book on a bookring.

Bookray/ring instructions:

When you receive the book, please journal it, and PM the next person in line for their address so you'll have it ready when you've finished the book.

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Try and read the book promptly - ideally, within a month of receiving it. If you expect to take longer, you can request to be put at the end of the list. If you find you're swamped with other books when the person before you contacts you about the bookring, you can ask to be skipped, and then let me know whether you'd like to be moved down the list or dropped entirely. If you receive the book and find it's taking longer than you'd planned to get through it, I'd appreciate an update in its journal entries or on your profile, just to let me and the other participants know you haven't forgotten it.

When you're ready to pass the book along, please make another journal entry containing your comments about the book and stating where you've sent it, and set the book's status code to "traveling". [If you find that you're having problems contacting the next person in line, or don't think you can manage to mail the book as originally agreed, please let me know; I'll be glad to try to work something out.]


Participants in mailing order:

m7c57 [TX]
glade1 [NC]
tabby90 [NC]
weeblet [VA]
greedyreader [NJ]
caligula03 [CA]
...and back to GoryDetails in NH. 

Journal Entry 3 by wingGoryDetailswing from Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Monday, April 25, 2005

This book has not been rated.

Controlled release:

Dead and Gone is on its way to BCer m7c57 in Texas, to kick off the bookring. Hope you enjoy it! 

Journal Entry 4 by m7c57 from Rhome, Texas USA on Saturday, June 11, 2005

This book has not been rated.

Guess what showed up today!!! I think someone had already read this book before it reached me. I will try to get it read as quickly as possible so I can send it to the next person on the list.

Have a wonderful day!!! 

Journal Entry 5 by m7c57 at Fellow BookCrosser in Justin, Texas USA on Tuesday, August 23, 2005

This book has not been rated.

Released 13 yrs ago (7/29/2005 UTC) at Fellow BookCrosser in Justin, Texas USA



I forgot to list the date that I mailed this book to you. Here it is!!! 

Journal Entry 6 by wingGoryDetailswing from Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Monday, October 24, 2005

This book has not been rated.

I'm not quite sure from the previous entries whether this was mailed out in June, in August, or somewhere in between, but in any case it should have been able to get to NC from Texas by now. Since it hasn't turned up I'm afraid it may have gone missing in the mail; will just hope that it is heard from again someday. Sorry the rest of the bookring participants will miss out... 

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