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Jack Lynch, Editor

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Fourth Anniversary of the Frederick Citizen

Frederick City Growth

American Promised Land - American All

Black Frederick and Matters of Race and Politics

Dumping on the Chesapeake Bay

Common Sense Writ Large

The Next Mayor of Frederick

Democracy in Action!

Ottawa: About a Greenbelt, Transit Oriented Development and Government Fiat

Countering Alderman Imhoff's Growth Beliefs

An Alternate View of Frederick City

Growth Policy

An Acorn in the Bucket

Monocacy River Part II

Monocacy River Part I

New Market Regional Plan Affirmation

43 More!

Fish and Life

Talking Trash

Strike Three, Smoking Out!

A Green Fund Too Far, Or Not Far Enough?

Growth Back to the Future

Revisiting an Iraq War Opinion Four Years Later

Second Anniversary of the Frederick Citizen

Unrepentant Cady

Sour Grapes and Fine Wine

There's Hope for Good Government

The Democratic Fifth

The County of Feel Good

Hypocrisy Indeed

The Alliance

The Growth Machine Slate

"The Issues are Bipartisan" - David Gray

The Importance of Jan Gardner's Campaign

Form Follows Function

Route 15 Scenic Walmart

Frederick Blue

The Curtain Rises

Housing Growth, Not Smart Growth, Not Progressive Planning

Understanding Lennie Thompson

Frederick's Tale of Two Rabbi's

Wellhead Protection

Make Believe, or Desperate Duncan?

A Progressive Concept Approved...then Defeated!

Hog Wild

Anniversary of the Frederick Citizen

We're No Gwinnett County

"An Election, Not a Selection...!"  Indeed!

A Potpourri of Thoughts and Issues...

Now That the Smoke Has Cleared

Nuts

How am I to Decide on Mayor of Frederick?

Doomed To Repeat It

Frantic Orthodoxy

Stealth Candidate

Another Perfect Day for Bananafish

This Summer Election

Building Issues

Just Powers

Death Defying Election?

In the Heat

Horse Sense for Frederick County?

Kudzu and Million Dollar Homes

Bartlett's Ozone Trip

Let the Games Begin

Blood in the Water

Coffee Klatch

Archaeology in Frederick

Bizarro World

Mr. O'Malley's March

Playing All the Cards

Who are Your Friends New Market?

Mixed Use

Beijing Spring, Interrupted

Passion, People and Politics in Frederick City

Millennium project

A Frederick Leader of Distinction

APFO Under Attack

State Lands Sale

Frederick Water Sourcing

Frederick Water

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People vs. Croswell

Serving the Frederick, Maryland Community Proudly!

Hairly There by Constance Trump

West Virginia Glen Looks at Frederick

Against Gun Control by Jesse Atchison

Republican Fissures by Ted Waddelow

 Jack Lynch, Editor
Note: Commentary and viewpoints on this website are copyrighted for this sole use, and are ultimately the property of the writers themselves O Under Attack

editor@frederickcitizen.com

Note: Commentary and viewpoints on this website are the sole opinions of the writers and do not represent in any way any organizations of which they may belong, promote, or by which they are employed.


 

January 15, 2009

The Snallygaster in Frederick County

Today’s topic is not some contemporary political piece attempting to cast one of our local leaders as a monstrous blood sucking, child killing, scary beast.  While you can name your own candidates for that title, today’s article is about the historical newspaper accounts of the folk German beast schnelle geister as it appeared in our region’s tales and political life of the first half of the twentieth century.
 
I happen to work currently with a guy named Patrick Boyton, who known for his lively humor and good nature, and his video production skills, and wide ranging musical tastes – who just happened to reveal one day prior to Halloween, that he was self publishing a book on lulu.com about the Frederick County Snallygaster stories, and what causes provoked these apparent hoaxes.

In our world of urban myths and spam emails, Patrick Boyton’s revelations on the past are an easy thesis to accept.  Leave the poltergeists and doppelgangers to the hoi polloi, we have our very own international sensation – the Snallygaster!
 
In a strange confluence of old Republican values in the Middletown Valley Register newspapers, the suppression of the black vote, prohibition and moonshine making and Roosevelt ’s election and repeal, and the gothic cultural myth of the snollygoster combine.

A Jungian, if they still exist, would interpret the various bouts of Snallygaster sightings over the years as a manifestation of collective psychic stressors seeking expression via an archetype – in this case, a scary monster myth, in all its glory and subterfuge.

But our local legend suggests a political dimension to our beast – it coincides with a couple cultural trends regarding the national and international presence of the war, prohibition and illegal whiskey, the nascent NAACP, and the voting rights of blacks – our snallygaster, said to snatch up children and blacks, was a fear agent to suppress liberal tendencies and African American voting power.

It was local agrarians who seemed to first see the beast, then it was found flying over a whiskey still – one might suppose that getting your corn from a bottle could cause such apparitions.  The snallygaster of Frederick County was an inside joke among the ruling class of the place and time, a sarcastic play upon the control of local politics – historically, Middletown was a place of some political skullduggery, as recounted by Frederick’s own Judge Edward Delaplaine in his Roger Brooke Taney biography.

The suppositions of the book provide a telling reminder of the ways of culture and social control and political expression – all after its enjoyment of collecting and retelling the various historical accounts of this fantastic local legend – it is well worth a purchase and a good read!

Snallygaster: The Lost Legend of Frederick County. Check out the new book Here.

snallygaster patrick_boyntonPatrick Boyton

"For several hundred years, tales of the Snallygaster have terrified the people of Frederick County, Maryland. Described as being half-reptile and half-bird, this winged creature is said to live deep in the caves of South Mountain. Legend has it, this mysterious monster swoops down from the sky and steals children and chickens from unsuspecting farm folk. Some say it's real. Some say it's a myth. But when they see it coming, they all say... "Better run and hide...the Snallygaster's comin' to get ya!"

"Beware the Snallygaster" from the Frederick Gazette, October 2008

Frederick News Post article on Patrick's book, October 2008

 

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Check Out a lively and progressive Frederick political blog : Air It Out with George. I've recently begun posting blogs there

Chesapeake Blues on Tangier Island

July 4, 2008

Mass Burn

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Buying a Congressional Seat in Maryland's First District - Coming to the Sixth District?

Democratic Candidates on American Foreign Policy

All the King's Horses!

Campaign in Song: Bushie Head Out the Mixing Bowl

Democratic Campaign's Vertical Treadmill on Space Mission

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Prediction: Bad News for Obama, The End of Post-Racial Politics

American Exceptionalism on the World Stage

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American Blackface: Tragic Octoroon

Key to Success - Lesson for Frederick:

Republicrats Yes, Middlecrats No

Too Many Promises ...Loaves and Fishes

Identity Black and White in Frederick

Mashup 1968 - 2008: On to Texas, Out with Clinton?

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Symbol, Sense and Substance

Eight More Years

The Dollar Bubble

Judging a Candidate By Their Website

Baby, We Were Born to Bun!