“The Ashland Tragedy (I)”


Three robbers break into the Gibbons house. Fanny Gibbons, a friend, and Bobby Gibbons are killed. The robbers (fail in an) attempt to burn the house. One is lynched, the others sentenced to hang. Three locals are killed by soldiers guarding the robbers


Cox offers details on this crime, and notes that his informant learned it from a printed sheet some five years after the event. It is likely that this (or perhaps "The Ashland Tragedy II") was a broadsheet distributed at the execution of the two murderers.

Cox's text of this piece begins,

Dear father, mother, sister, come listen while I tell

All about the Ashland tragedy, of which you know full well,

'Twas in the town of Ashland, all on that deadly night,

A horrible crime was committed, but soon was brought to light.

There seem to be no extant tunes for this item, but I suspect it belongs to the "Charles Guiteau" tune family. - RBW

Historical references

  • 1884 - Ellis Craft and William Neal hung for their part on the "Ashland Tragedy" (the third robber, George Ellis, had earlier been lynched)

Cross references


  1. Laws F25, "The Ashland Tragedy I"
  2. JHCox 36, "The Ashland Tragedy" (1 text)
  3. Burt, pp. 58-59, "The Ashland Tragedy" (1 text)
  4. DT 737, ASHLANDM
  5. Roud #2263
  6. BI, LF25


Author: Elijah Adams wrote either this or "Ashland Tragedy I" (Thomas lists "Ashland Tragedy II"; Cox seems to prefer "Ashland Tragedy I")
Earliest date: 1918
Found in: US(Ap,So)