The Final Chapter of a Grisly Tale of the Frontier, including decapitations, descriptions of the exploits of Samuel Mason, Anthony Butler, and the curious costume of Major Stewart, plus how Little Harpe met his fate.
The Harpes’ most infamous atrocity, a high speed chase 1799-style, and Micajah’s bloody end
Outcasts even from the cutthroat river pirates, the Harpes wander the region and leave more bodies in their wake, even while a religious revival is sweeping the area.
From the Wilderness Road to Cave-in-Rock, the Harpes leave a trail of bodies.
Wiley and Micajah Harpe, the bloodiest outlaws of the Old Frontier, left a trail of bodies and a murky history. I’ll be telling this story over 5 episodes.
Here’s a partial bibliography of the sources I used:
The Outlaws of Cave-in-Rock, Otto Rothert. 1922.
(By far the best secondary source, and an invaluable road map to other sources.)
The Outlaw Years, Robert M. Coates, 1930
Westward Into Kentucky, Daniel Trabue
(The memoir of a Kentucky pioneer whose son was a victim of the Harpes.)
The Sarah McClendon Letters at TnGenWeb.
Spawn of Evil, William Wellman
How the West Was Lost, Stephen Aron
Between the Lines: Banditti of the American Revolution, Harry M. Ward
The Draper Papers, which are only available on microfilm at university libraries
There are a bunch more, mostly 19th Century works accessed through Google Books. I’ll be adding to the list as time permits.
Thanks for checking out the site.