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A shocking murder lays bare fissures running through the founding myths of the American republic


On an autumn day in 1895, eighteen-year-old Loyd Montgomery shot his parents and a neighbor in a gruesome act that reverberated beyond the small confines of Montgomery's Oregon farming community. The dispassionate slaying and Montgomery's consequent hanging exposed the fault lines of a rapidly industrializing and urbanizing society and revealed the burdens of pioneer narratives boys of the time inherited.


In Pioneering Death: The Violence of Boyhood in Turn-of-the-Century Oregon, Peter Boag examines the Brownsville parricide as an allegory for the destabilizing transitions within the rural United States at the end of the nineteenth century. While pioneer families celebrated and memorialized founders of western white settler society, their children faced a present and future in frightening decline. Connecting a fascinating true-crime story with the broader forces that produced the murders, Boag uncovers how Loyd's violent acts reflected the brutality of American colonizing efforts, the anxieties of global capitalism, and the buried traumas of childhood in the American West.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Series page, Title, Copyright, Dedication
  2. pp. i-vi
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. In Small and Large Things Remembered
  2. pp. ix-xiv
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  1. Prologue. "A Scene of Wholesale Butchery": A Document of Rural Ethnology
  2. pp. 1-20
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  1. PART 1. "Aided by Boys upon Horseback, Who Carried Lanterns": Boyhood in Rural Oregon
  2. pp. 21-24
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  1. 1. "The Hope and Life of the Nation": Boys and Families on the Republican Landscape
  2. pp. 25-43
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  1. 2. "A Child, Sick with Scarlet Fever": The Traumas and Violence of Rural Childhood
  2. pp. 44-60
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  1. 3. "Spare the Rod and Spoil the Child": The Bad-Boy Problem and the Montgomery Parricide
  2. pp. 61-90
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  1. PART 2. "One by One They Are Dropping Like the Autumn Leaves": Agricultural Decline, Dying Pioneers, and Parricide
  2. pp. 91-94
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  1. 4. "The Pinching Economies of Life": The Agrarian Crisis and the Murder of Parents
  2. pp. 95-122
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  1. 5. "His People Being Pioneers": Parricide in an Age of Death and an Era That Celebrated Killing
  2. pp. 123-152
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  1. PART 3. "We're Going to Hang Him Right Here, on This Tree": Killing Loyd Montgomery
  2. pp. 153-155
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  1. 6. "The Scaffold Is All Framed and Ready to Be Put in Place": Executing a Boy on an Altar of Global Capitalism
  2. pp. 156-168
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  1. 7. "At 14½ Minutes His Heart Ceased to Beat": A Boy's Life from 4:30 p.m., 19 November 1895, to 7:26 a.m., 31 January 1896
  2. pp. 169-212
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  1. Epilogue. "The Case of Loyd Montgomery Does Not End with His Death": Burying a Boy and Digging Up the Past
  2. pp. 213-222
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 223-264
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  1. Bibliography
  2. pp. 265-284
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 285-301
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Additional Information

ISBN
9780295749990
Related ISBN(s)
9780295749983
MARC Record
OCLC
1261768275
Pages
314
Launched on MUSE
2022-05-20
Language
English
Open Access
No
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