Outlaw heroes in the tradition of Robin Hood have been an expression of Appalachian folklore since the pioneer period.  Illegal actions to avenge a wrong or defend the honor of family or community have long been celebrated in songs and stories.  Moonshiners are perhaps the original mountain outlaw heroes, resisting oppressive government in defense of the right to make a living in hard times.  From the 1794 Whiskey Rebellion to racecar driver Junior Johnson developing his driving skills hauling illegal corn whiskey.  It’s a rich tradition represented by larger-than-life figures like Frankie Silver, of Frankie and Johnny fame, and western North Carolina’s Lewis Redman, the Prince of Dark Corners.  The tradition continues in the region’s readiness to embrace those who resist the powerful in defense of personal honor or community values.


Below is the Digital Heritage Moment as broadcast on the radio: