“The Ashland Tragedy (II)”


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


It's not clear to me why Laws accords this full status as a traditional ballad; as with The Ashland Tragedy (III), the only source is Thomas. Her text begins,

Come dear people from far and wide

And lend a willing ear to me

While I relate the cruel facts

Of Ashland's greatest tragedy. - RBW

Historical references

  • 1881 - 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 F26, "The Ashland Tragedy II"
  2. Thomas-Makin', pp. 156-158, "The Ashland Tragedy" (1 text)
  3. DT 806, ASHLAND2
  4. BI, LF26


Author: Elijah Adams wrote either this or "Ashland Tragedy I" (Thomas lists "Ashland Tragedy II"; Cox seems to prefer "Ashland Tragedy I")
Earliest date: 1939 (Thomas)
Found in: US(Ap)