“Claude Chafin’s book, The Messenger, recounting his grandfather Andrew Chafin’s youthful days running urgent messages—and more than a few meals—between Devil Anse Hatfield’s house on Island Creek and the hideouts of his sons, offers an eye-opening new perspective on the latter days of the infamous Hatfield-McCoy feud. Andrew was a favorite of his uncle Devil Anse, who swore the boy had a sixth sense for danger and taught him how to shoot and hunt. Along the way, Andrew saw a thing or two he shouldn’t have. Thanks to Claude Chafin, the boy messenger’s memories are now captured for posterity.”
--Dean King, author of The Feud
In 1892, at the age of six, Andrew Lee Chafin went to live with Anderson “Devil Anse” Hatfield in order to attend school. His life would never be the same.
The Hatfield-McCoy feud had been over for four years, but that didn’t stop bounty hunters and state officials from trying to hunt down Devil Anse’s sons, Cap and Johnse, to punish them for the roles they played during the course of the fighting.
From the age of nine, Andrew Chafin—author Claude Chafin’s grandfather—served as the link between the elder Hatfield and his sons. Despite the danger, he delivered food and messages back and forth through the rugged mountains on horseback. He encountered bears, wildcats, and bounty hunters, but he never wavered in seeking to carry out his mission. Until now, his story—that of a remarkable young man—has gone untold.
Join Claude Chafin as he traces his family’s history and explores the critical role his grandfather played in the history of the famous feuding clans.