National Geographic : 1962 Jul
and one of them came to me for help." He paused. "People are like that." "What did you do?" "I obliged." In the early days revenuers were after manufacturers of pressed tobacco as well as moonshiners. There was an excise tax on pressed tobacco, too. People in Cades Cove grew tobacco and twisted it for family use. Elijah Oliver sometimes pressed his to bacco, not to sell but to give as presents to friends. Someone informed on him, and he was summoned before the Federal court in faraway Knoxville. Elijah was "mighty shook up," his grandson told me, as he left the Cove for his trial. He was gone several days, and when he returned, he related how he had told the whole truth to the judge. The judge said, "Elijah Oliver, I'm setting you free. Twist and press all you want. You're not the kind of man we're after." T HE MOUNTAIN PEOPLE made straight backed chairs with seats of thin, narrow strips split out of white oak or hickory and dressed to a smooth finish. The posts were green; the rounds, or rungs, were seasoned. No nails or glue were used. Once seasoned, posts and rounds were inseparable. These chairs, tilted so as to rest on the back posts, were used as rockers. They lasted for 81 "There was serenadin' on Christmas Eve. Men and boys would go from house to house." Charlie Myers recalls festive times now gone. Without farming, much of the Cove would return to woodland. Hugh and Vera Lee Myers still work the land. The secret of America's strength is in people like those in the Cove. KODACHROMESBY'NATIONAL GEOGRAPHICPHOTOGRAPHERTHOMAS NEBBIA © N,G.S.