White Caps and Bluebills

·          While I was talking to a Hatcher cousin he mentioned the members of gangs called the Blue Bills and The White Caps that existed between (1887-1893). Books have been published about what went on in Sevier County Tennessee in the late 1800's. One book entitled "White Caps" was written by Ethelred W. Crozier, published in 1899 by Bean, Warters & Gaul Printers and Binders, Knoxville, TN pp. 1-217.

·         The story tells of a group or gang of well-meaning people of Sevier County TN who decided to take the law into their own hands and punish people who this gang thought were un-fit citizens. The gang called themselves the White Caps. They wore white caps that covered their faces while they carried out the punishment they decided needed to be given. Many people knew who these men were, many being well-known businessmen of Sevier County. At first many people approved of this gang. But as time passed the gang started beating people who had done nothing wrong. Even so most of the non-gang members didn't like what was going on, they were afraid to speak up against the activities of the White Caps.

   William and Laura Whaley were killed by the White Caps in the presence of their young child. Never-the-less as things the White Caps did, like killing people, intensified, James Arron Henderson a young doctor living in Sevierville organized a gang to oppose the White Caps. This gang was called the Blue Bills. This name came from the caps worn by this gang that were blue in color, not covering their faces.

Some members of the White Caps gang were convicted sentenced and hanged for crimes committed by members of the White Caps.

·         The people involved were in their opinions keeping the citizens of the area living an honest and descent manor. The residents of this area of Sevier County to this day live a very private existence and do not favor outsiders. Hence they took over their problems as they saw them to fix by themselves. 

·         I had not heard of these gangs so I have tried to gather information on this subject. My cousin said his family had a copy of a book on the subject but I have not been able to see it yet.

·         As I have studied history, groups have traditionally taken the vigilantly approach to such situations.

·         If you wish here are links to further research.

























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