Segments in this Video

"Hillbilly Hare" (02:31)


The Bugs Bunny cartoon portrayed the Hatfield/McCoy feud, helping to establish a negative hillbilly stereotype. The true story behind the feud is complex and highlights the impact of industrialization on rural communities.

Tug River Valley (02:56)

The Hatfield and McCoy families were among early white settlers in Central Appalachia and led a pioneering lifestyle. Anderson Hatfield was born on the Virginia side of the border; Randolph McCoy moved his family to the Kentucky side. Valley residents formed a "tight knit" community. (Credits)

Civil War Impact (02:40)

War divided the Tug River Valley community; West Virginia voters elected to join the Union. Borderland areas experienced raids and terror, and Anderson joined a militia unit to protect his family. Randolph's brother was found murdered; some Hatfields blamed Anderson's unit.

Industrialization and Profitability (03:39)

After the war, Central Appalachia became an area of interest for investors. Anderson felled trees along Grapevine Creek. Perry Cline claimed he was trespassing and stealing his inheritance, but eventually relinquished a portion of the land.

Hatfield Timber Company (03:17)

Anderson was an ambitious and savvy businessman who provided jobs. Randolph resented Anderson's success; a court case involving a hog may have increased animosity.

Norfolk and Western Railroad (02:31)

In 1881, Frederick Kimball arrived in Central Appalachia to inspect a coal seam. He convinced the railroad board to build a spur into the area.

Appalachian Culture (04:59)

In 1882, Tug River Valley residents gathered for election day in Pike County Kentucky. An argument between a Hatfield relation and Tolbert McCoy occurred and Ellison Hatfield intervened; Ellison was stabbed and shot. Constables were assigned to take the McCoy brothers to Pikeville jail.

Hatfield Retaliation (04:09)

Anderson and his posse captured the McCoy brothers; Sally McCoy plead for mercy. Ellison died and Anderson and his men shot the McCoys; many saw the situation as "an eye for an eye." The "New York Times" reported the Hatfield/McCoy conflict.

Economic Growth (04:49)

After Norfolk and Western made its first coal shipment from southern West Virginia, Kimball announced extension plans. Investors sought landownership in Tug River Valley; John Mayo used broad-form deeds to obtain mineral rights. Cline was a member of Pike County's elite circle.

McCoy Seeks Revenge (04:31)

In 1886, Cap Hatfield was alleged to have killed Randall's nephew. Cline revived the case against Anderson and his posse for the deaths of the McCoy brothers. Simon Buckner sent an extradition request but was denied. Cline sent "Bad Frank" Phillips to capture the Hatfields.

New Years' Day Raid (03:10)

In 1888, Cap and a group of armed men exchanged gunfire with Randall and set the McCoy cabin on fire; two McCoys died and Randall's wife was critically injured.

West Virginia Raids (02:24)

Phillips captured six men and killed a Hatfield ally; newspapers reported the feud. Anderson sold land along the river to a coal agent, moved higher into the mountains, and built a fort with armed guards.

"An American Vendetta" (04:20)

In 1888, journalist T.C. Crawford interviewed Anderson; his articles, and resulting book, were not completely factual. The "Cincinnati Inquirer" made the story national news. Media coverage portrayed mountain people in a negative light, helping capitalism.

Appalachian Industrialization (02:29)

By 1890, Norfolk and Western rail lines cut through land formerly owned by Anderson. Coal mining and logging changed the landscape and local lifestyle.

Hillbilly Stereotype (03:28)

Randall remained in Pikeville until he died in 1914; the memory of the feud haunted him. Anderson died in 1921; family members reinvented their lives. The Hatfield/McCoy feud helped fuel a negative image of Appalachian people.

Credits: The Feud (01:01)

Credits: The Feud

For additional digital leasing and purchase options contact a media consultant at 800-257-5126
(press option 3) or

The Feud

3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



The feud between the Hatfields and McCoys is perhaps the most famous family conflict in American history. As legend has it, two neighboring families in the backwoods of Appalachia waged a crude and bloody war against each other over a stolen hog, an illicit romance, and longstanding grudges. Yet the events that took place near the end of the 19th century between the Hatfields and McCoys are part of a much richer and more complex narrative of the American experience. Anderson Hatfield and Randolph McCoy, the patriarchs of the legendary feud, were entrepreneurs seeking to climb up from hardship after fierce economic competition and rapid technological change had turned their lives upside down. When members of both families took their grievances to court, their dispute escalated into a war between two families and a struggle between two states. The Feud reveals more than an isolated story of mountain lust and violence between "hillbillies" - the Hatfield-McCoy feud was a microcosm of the tensions inherent in the nation's rapid industrialization after the Civil War.

Length: 54 minutes

Item#: BVL193063

Copyright date: ©2019

Closed Captioned

Performance Rights

Prices include public performance rights.

Not available to Home Video, Dealer and Publisher customers.