Stone showed how the Victorian era media shaped the way the world would forever view the participants of the Hatfield-McCoy Feud and gave an historical timeline leading to those days. Joseph Hatfield was the first clan member born in America, circa 1739.
"At the time the Hatfield family came to Appalachia the Tug River Valley area was the western frontier. You are talking about the era of the pioneer, the era of Davy Crockett and Daniel Boone. By the 19th century more immigrants arrived in Appalachia making the local region a cultural and ethnic melting pot," he said.
Ideas about the Hatfields and McCoys and the infamous feud they participated in were formed by media misrepresentation as much as historical fact, Stone noted as he displayed an infamous photo of the Hatfield Family.
"Right before they took this photo, they asked them to go back inside and get some guns and pose with them," Stone noted.
There are many theories and stories about what led to the feud and that in his opinion some were more romanticized than others, including a dispute over a pig, a dispute over a fiddle, the romance of Johnse and Rosanna McCoy and other incidents, but he felt that the more serious theories such as an incident in the Civil War and a lawsuit by a Pike County attorney named Perry Cline probably were the most valid causes of the feud.
Stone pointed out that there were also many theories about how Anderson Hatfield wound up being nicknamed "Devil Anse" too, including possible reference to a Civil War battle at a lace called Devil's Backbone and rumors that Anderson was a well known prankster who liked to "bedevil" people.
Stone said he felt a retaliation over a Civil War sniping incident which led to the indirect injury and death of Harmon McCoy was probably the root cause of the feud itself and later disputes just made things worse.
"I'd hate to think these people got that bent out of shape over a pig," Stone quipped, explaining that Hatfield beat Lawyer Cline in a lawsuit and that Hatfield had much valuable timber property that Cline lusted over and that Cline used his influence with the governor of Kentucky to get warrants issued on Anderson and other Hatfield family members and sent Bounty Hunters across the river to bring them back