A Killing Spree and a Hanging Tree

Maryjean Wall

in How Kentucky Became Southern

Published by University Press of Kentucky

Published in print September 2010 | ISBN: 9780813126050
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780813135410 | DOI:
A Killing Spree and a Hanging Tree

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Longfellow was bred and born in Kentucky and a horseman would have called him Roman nosed in the parlance of the turf. John Harper, the owner, called him the best thing ever on four hooves. Harper sent Longfellow into New York and New Jersey to defeat horses that the turf moguls reeled out of their stables to challenge him. Horse-racing patrons adhered to this comforting notion of Harper even after revelations of his darker side, information that fixed him squarely within the culture of violence raging all throughout border state Kentucky and the South. Harper experienced multiple encounters with crime that represented both ends of this lawless spectrum. Harper stands out as an excellent case study illustrative of the violence raging at every social and economic level throughout the state.

Keywords: Longfellow; John Harper; horse racing; violence

Chapter.  7154 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of the Americas

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