Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts



Major Professor

Paul H. Bergeron

Committee Members

William Bruce Wheeler, Charles W. Johnson


During the 1890s, a series of extra-legal and illegal activities known as "whitecapping" occurred in Sevier County, Tennessee. While the early episodes were based on traditional responses to deviant behavior in rural communities, whitecapping reflected the loss of community within the county. This study examines the relationship of whitecapping and community in Sevier County and how it changed during the 1890s. The several, often contradictory, social conditions which affected the life of every Sevier Countian are also examined to show the decline of community consensus during this period. Finally, the events galavanizing public opinion against the whitecaps are analyzed to understand their enduring effect on community in Sevier County.

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