Ducktown Smoke: The Fight over One of the South's Greatest Environmental Disasters

By Duncan Maysilles | Go to book overview

3
THE FARMERS
AND THE
COPPER COMPANIES
WAGE BATTLE
IN THE
TENNESSEE COURTS

Attorney P. B. Mayfield bragged that his aggressive defense strategy in Ducktown Sulphur, Copper & Iron Co. v. Barnes (1900) “resulted in all the suits, but three, being dismissed, and doubtless other suits contemplated, were delayed and abandoned.” It was not an empty boast. Margaret Madison, her son William, and J. A. Fortner were the only claimants of the ten to recover damages, and the sums they received were so small and so delayed as to make a mockery of their seven years of smoke litigation in the Tennessee courts. They had won every point of law, yet if success is measured by the money awarded, especially considering the great expense of time and trouble to obtain it, the mountaineer farmers had to admit that they lost the first round of the smoke wars to the copper industry.1

Their cause had seemed so simple at the outset, a straightforward matter of seeking compensation for crop damage caused by the smelter smoke produced by the copper companies. The laws they employed were not new and were, at first glance, a well-traveled path defined by centuries of English and American judges, a set of principles clearly set forth in the legal hornbooks used by their lawyers. The farmers then learned the hard way that almost nothing in the law is that simple. They had instead entered into a bewildering tangle of law and procedure comparable to a common feature of their mountain landscape: the laurel hell.2

Hell is an apt description for the great thickets of mountain laurel (kalmia latifolia) and rosebay rhododendron (rhododendron maximum) found on the slopes of the Ducktown Basin and throughout the Southern Appalachians. Both species are evergreen plants that grow closely together so that their woody, twisting branches are thoroughly interlocked. Being too tangled to allow walking, a person must either crawl or chop a way through them. There are many accounts of hunters and other travelers who came to appreciate their hellish features. Horace Kephart, a famed if often criticized author who wrote of the southern mountains during the time of the Ducktown smoke

-58-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Ducktown Smoke: The Fight over One of the South's Greatest Environmental Disasters
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 333

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.