Kentucky Blood Feud - The Murder of Daniel Bates | 1

American History Tellers

By Wondery

Kentucky Blood Feud - The Murder of Daniel Bates | 1

Wednesday, 11 December

The longest and bloodiest feud in American history erupted in the 1840s in Clay County, Kentucky — where it raged for nearly a century and ultimately claimed more than 150 lives. The Clay County War, also known as the Baker-Howard Feud, pitted four families against each other: the powerful Garrads and Whites, who assembled vast wealth mining salt, and the less influential Bakers and Howards. In time, the Garrards would align with the Bakers, and the Whites with the Howards. 

At first, the families got along, cooperating in the back-breaking work involved with extracting salt in the Appalachian region. But as the economy collapsed and new technologies led to new competition from the outside, the families would find themselves increasingly competing for survival — and a single act of violence would be enough to spark a conflict that spanned generations. 


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