Three days before Christmas in 1831, Frankie Silver killed her husband, Charles Silver, with an axe and burned his body in the fireplace. Author Perry Deane Young, whose ancestors were involved in the case, began collecting material about it as a teenager. As a college student, he was astounded to learn that most of what he had been told was actually false. Abused by her husband, Frankie killed in self defense. The laws of that time would not allow her to take the stand and explain what happened. She was unjustly hanged in July of 1833. Young proves the real crime is the way this poor woman has been misrepresented by balladeers and historians all these years.
"Perry Deane Young provides important historical background to this fascinating story... Young is able to build suspense, even for a story many of his readers may already know...By personalizing both Frankie Silver's story and his own search for it, Young has given readers an interesting and well-written book about history and the way it is created." --Lynn Moss Sanders in Appalachian Journal
"Most of my life I've heard stories about a pretty mountain lady who was hanged for nothing more serious than murdering her husband. Here, and I can say at last after one and a half centuries, is the true account, thoroughly researched and beautifully presented. It's a highroad journey into this Appalachian mystery." --John Ehle, author of The Land Breakers, The Road, The Journey of August King