West Virginia University Press

West Virginia Classics

John Smith, Will Wordsworth

Published by: West Virginia University Press

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West Virginia Classics

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Folk-Songs of the South

Collected Under the Auspices of the West Virginia Folk-Lore Society

Edited by John Harrington Cox

Folk-Songs of the South: Collected Under the Auspices of the West Virginia Folk-Lore Society is a collection of ballads and folk-songs from West Virginia. First published in 1925, this resource includes narrative and lyric songs that were transmitted orally, as well as popular songs from print sources. Through 186 ballads and songs and 26 folk tunes, this collection archives a range of styles and genres, from English and Scottish ballads to songs about the Revolutionary and Civil Wars, the opening of the American West, boat and railroad transportation, children’s play-party and dance music, and songs from African American singers, including post-Civil war popular music. The original introduction by Cox contains vibrant portraits of the singers he researched, with descriptions of performance style and details about personalities and attitudes. With a new introduction by Alan Jabbour, this reprint renews the importance of this text as a piece of scholarship, revealing Cox’s understanding of the workings of tradition across time and place and his influence upon folk-song research. 

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History of the American Negro

West Virginia Edition

A. B. Caldwell

History of the American Negro: West Virginia Edition is a collection of biographies of African American men and women at the beginning of the twentieth century. Edited and published by A. B. Caldwell, the History of the American Negro collection includes seven volumes that richly describe the lives of citizens in Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Washington, DC, and West Virginia.  In a statement printed in the first volume of this series, Caldwell wrote that his intent in publishing this collection was neither “comprehensive nor exhaustive,” yet he was determined to shed light on the  “successful element unrecorded” of black Americans in the United States. As the 7th volume in Caldwell’s collection, History of the American Negro: West Virginia Edition chronicles the struggles and triumphs of everyday African Americans in West Virginia during the post−World War I era.  A resource for genealogists, historians, and citizens alike, this history provides a detailed account of the often overlooked lives of ordinary men and women.

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The Shenandoah

Julia Davis

In 1945, West Virginia author Julia Davis penned The Shenandoah as part of the Rivers of America Series, a landmark collection of books written by literary figures over a period of thirty years. In this classic reprint, now with an introduction by Christopher Camuto, Davis tells the history of the Shenandoah Valley and River, drawing on her own research and the experiences of ancestors who settled and lived in the area. Her book provides a poetic vision of both the river and the valley, preserving a fragment of America’s landscape.

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Uncle Abner

Master of Mysteries

Melville Davisson Post

First published in 1918, Uncle Abner: Master of Mysteries is an anthology of detective stories written by Melville Davisson Post. The popular stories within this collection were serialized in national magazines such as the Saturday Evening Post in the early 20th century. Uncle Abner is an amateur detective in present-day Harrison County, West Virginia. Throughout his journeys around this antebellum wilderness, long before the nation had a proper police system, the honest Uncle Abner is confronted by murders and mysteries that cannot be ignored. With uncanny intuition, impressive logic, and keen observation of human actions, Uncle Abner is Melville Davisson Post’s most celebrated literary creation and is considered to be one of the most important texts in American detective and crime fiction. This new edition contains an introduction by Craig Johnson, author of the Walt Longmire novels.

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West Virginia

Its Farms and Forests, Mines and Oil-Wells

J. R. Dodge

West Virginia: Its Farms and Forests, Mines and Oil-Wells celebrates the state of West Virginia. Originally published in 1865 as a series of studies on mineral resources, observations on agriculture, and interviews with businessmen, West Virginia details the industrial statistics, terrain, and population of a state during its infancy. With no record of natural wealth or reported transactions of agriculture or geography prior to this overview, West Virginia sparked the curiosity of non-residents, enticing investment and settlement through descriptions of abundant natural resources and an agreeable industrial condition. With an introduction by Kenneth R. Bailey, this new edition reminds us of the state’s alluring beginning and rich, yet often exploited development.
 

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