PIKEVILLE, Ky. — A pen and ink sealed the end of Appalachia's most infamous bloody feud instead of a shotgun and bullets.
Descendants of the Hatfield and McCoy families gathered Saturday in Pikeville to sign the truce, making a largely symbolic and official end to a feud that had claimed at least a dozen lives from the two mountain families.
"We ask by God's grace and love that we be forever remembered as those that bound together the hearts of two families to form a family of freedom in America," says the truce, signed by more than 60 descendants.
Reo Hatfield of Waynesboro, Va., came up with the idea as a proclamation of peace.
"We're not saying you don't have to fight because sometimes you do have to fight," Hatfield said. "But you don't have to fight forever."
The more than a century of feuding between the McCoys of Kentucky and Hatfields of West Virginia is believed to have its origins in a dispute over a pig.