Daniel W. Patterson, 1997–1998 | National Humanities Center

Daniel W. Patterson (NHC Fellow, 1997–98)

Project Title

Cultural Interpretation of 18th-Century Scotch-Irish Gravestones in the Carolina Piedmont

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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Fellowship Work Summary, 1997–98

Daniel W. Patterson worked on his book using gravestone carvings of "Scotch‑Irish" settlers in Pennsylvania and the Carolina Piedmont between 1730 and 1810 as a window into their social history and culture. He also researched and wrote five chapters of another book, a study of a murder that took place in the North Carolina mountains in 1831 and left a legacy of traditional legends, a ballad, and since 1900 an increasing body of newspaper articles, poems, videos, plays, and novels. He gave a number of lectures, including a presentation of a folklife documentary video (jointly produced with Tom Davenport Films), on "The Ballad of Frankie Silver," to the Chapel Hill Senior Citizens Center; "Being a Joines," a talk using this folklife video to discuss documentary filmmaking for the Film Criticism course in the Department of English, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; "Revealing Images: Eighteenth‑Century Scotch‑Irish Gravestone Carvings in the Carolina Piedmont," at the Department of Art at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; a screening of the video "The Balad of Frankie Silver," and a talk, "The Ballad and the Legends of Frankie Silver: The Search for a Woman's Voice," for the American Folklore Society; and "Shaker Religious Folksong," at Catawba College. At the Appalachian Studies Conference he was a panelist in a session on Frankie Silver and presented the film "The Ballad of Frankie Silver." At the Shaker Museum in South Union, Ky., he gave the keynote speech, "Unsimple Simple Gifts: Shaker Religious Folksong," at the Shaker Music Workshop.