"Captivating, suspenseful & raw. An accurate depiction of life during that time. Incredible!"
Inspired by True Crimes
A black man was murdered when the Rich Mountain Road to Cades Cove was being improved, near Townsend, Tennessee, in the 1920s. The killers were going to dump his body in the fill of the road and cover it with gravel, but my Great-great grandfather, William H. Lawson Jr., objected and let them bury the man on our farm near Lawson Crossroads.
When I was growing up in the 1960s, anybody who knew about the grave called it “the N-word grave,” and in my spirit I never liked that word. I thought it was an ugly word.
I was right.
So, I made up a story to explain the mysterious grave in the woods on a ridge on our farm at Lawson Crossroads.
Martin Noble Peoples, a descendant of the murdered black man, comes to the mountains looking for answers. He meets Danny Jackson, a thirty-something year-old struggling to overcome his cruel, abusive and racist rural Appalachian upbringing. They team up, and Danny's grandmother, Laurel Mountain McLandon Jackson, finally discloses the secret she's carried nearly 80 years. It’s even more shocking than they imagined.
Local Interest/ Local Fiction