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Scarborough Society’s April 9 program features Appalachian scholar

ISSUED: 26 March 2015
MEDIA CONTACT: Valerie Owens

SHEPHERDSTOWN, WV — The Scarborough Society of Shepherd University will sponsor a program featuring Appalachian scholar and historian Brandon Kirk on Thursday, April 9, at 7 p.m. in the Scarborough Library reading room. Kirk will discuss his book Blood in West Virginia: Brumfield v. McCoy. The program is free and open to the public. A dessert reception will follow the lecture.

Kirk’s analysis of the Lincoln County Feud is the first comprehensive examination of a quarrel which rivaled the Hatfields and McCoys. The conflict began over personal grievances between Paris Brumfield, a local distiller and timber man, and Cain Adkins, a preacher, teacher, doctor, and justice of the peace. The dispute overtook the Appalachian community of Hart, West Virginia, leaving at least four dead and igniting a decade-long vendetta.

A descendant of the original feudists, Kirk offers insight into the battle that transpired in his own hometown as he profiles characters and their individual perspectives, bringing these mountaineers to life. Blood in West Virginia has garnered praise from Appalachian historians and authors, including Homer Hickam, acclaimed author of the novel Rocket Boys.

Kirk is an scholar of Appalachian feuds and Southern violence. He is a graduate of Marshall University, where he specialized in social studies education and Appalachian and Southern history. Kirk currently serves as an assistant professor of American history at Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College, where he gives lectures on Appalachian history. In addition to having written more than 50 Appalachian-themed articles for regional newspapers and books, Kirk has contributed to the PBS series West Virginia and offered expertise for participants in the History Channel series Hatfields and McCoys.

The Scarborough Society, sponsored by the Shepherd University Foundation, serves to support the Shepherd University’s library acquisitions, technology, and programs. Membership is open to all interested supporters of the Scarborough Library. For further information about the lecture series or the Scarborough Society, contact the Shepherd University Foundation at 304-876-5397 or visit

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