Jack Tales in Appalachia


Jack Tales are fairy tales (known as Märchen in Europe) that were traditionally passed down through generations using the oral tradition. These tales usually involve a character named AJack,@ who, as the protagonist, faces any number of adventures and tasks. Although Jack Tales may be found in various regions in the United States and in some parts of the world, this pathfinder will focus on those tales that have been collected, passed, or written within the Appalachian region. In defining the Appalachian region, John C. Campbell's map of included counties from 1921 will provide an adequate area for study. This map may be found online at https://www.arc.gov/about-the-appalachian-region/. The pathfinder will primarily serve to identify the most useful resources in the W.L. Eury Appalachian Collection, the manuscript collections, and the Belk Library at Appalachian State University.

Introductory Text: 

Perdue, Charles L., Jr. Outwitting the Devil: Jack Tales from Wise County Virginia. Santa Fe: Ancient City Press, 1987. ASU APP COLL STACK GR110.V8 O88 1987.

Library of Congress Subject Headings: 

Highly Relevant:

  • Jack Tales B Appalachian Region
  • Jack Tales B Appalachian Region, Southern
  • Tales B Appalachian Region
  • Tales B Appalachian Region, Southern

Also Relevant:

  • Jack Tales
  • Jack Tales B North Carolina
  • Storytelling B Appalachian Region, Southern
  • Hicks, Orville
  • Hicks, Ray
  • Hicks, Ray, 1922
  • Hicks, Rosa

More General:

  • Jack Tales B United States
  • Folklore B North Carolina B Beech Mountain
  • Folklore B North Carolina
  • Chase, Richard, 1904
  • Chase Richard 1904 American Folk Tales And Songs


  • Hicks Family
  • Adams, James Taylor
Clipping Files Subject Headings – W. L. Eury Appalachian Collection: 
  • Storytelling
  • Hicks Family
  • Ray Hicks
  • Stanley Hicks
  • Orville Hicks
Library of Congress Call Numbers: 
  • GR105.37
  • GR108
  • PZ8.1
  • GR110
  • NX412
  • GR50

Davis, Donald. Southern Jack Tales. Little Rock: August House Publishers, Inc., 1992. ASU APP COLL STACK PZ8.1.D289 Jac 1997.

Dean, Fletcher, ed. Grandpap Told Me Tales: Memories of an Appalachian Childhood. Big Stone Gap: F. Dean, 1993. ASU APP COLL STACK GR108.A33 1993.

Haley, Gail E. Mountain Jack Tales. Boone: Parkway Publishers, 2002. ASU APP COLL STACK PZ8.1.H139 Mo 2002.

McCarthy, William Bernard, ed. Jack in Two Worlds: Contemporary North American Tales and Their Tellers. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1994. ASU APP COLL STACK GR 105.37.J32 J33 1994.

Perdue, Charles L., Jr., ed. Outwitting the Devil: Jack Tales from Wise County Virginia. Santa Fe: Ancient City Press, 1987. ASU APP COLL STACK GR 110.V8 O88 1987.

Guides, Encyclopedias, and Dictionaries: 

Brown, Mary Ellen and Bruce A. Rosenberg, eds. Encyclopedia of Folklore and Literature. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO, 1998. ASU MAIN STACKS PN41.E48 1998. [Not currently on shelf.]

Brunvand, Jan Harold, ed. American Folklore: An Encyclopedia. New York: Garland Publishers, 1996, 103-128. ASU APP COLL OVSZ GR101.A54 1996.

Jones, Alison. Larousse Dictionary of World Folklore. Edinburgh, New York: Larousse, 1995. ASU 1st FLOOR STACKS GR35.J664 1995. [Not currently on shelf.]

Wilson, Charles Reagan and William Ferris, eds. Encyclopedia of Southern Culture. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1989, 506-507. ASU APP COLL OVSZ F209.E53 1989.



Flanagan, Cathleen C. And John T. Flanagan. American Folklore: A Bibliography, 1950-1974. Metuchen: Scarecrow Press, 1977, 184. ASU APP COLL STACK Z5984.U6 F55.

Haywood, Charles. A Bibliography of North American Folklore and Folksong. New York: Greenburg (1961), 269-270. ASU APP COLL STACK Z5984.U5 H32

Ramsey, Eloise. Folklore for Children and Young People: A Critical and Descriptive Bibliography for Use in the Elementary and Intermediate School. New York: Kraus Reprint Co., 1970. ASU 1st FLOOR STACKS Z5981.R3 1970.

Abstracts and Indices: 

America: History and Life. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO. 1964-. (Updated thrice a year.) A guide to periodical literature.

Arts and Humanities Search [computer file]. FirstSearch. Dublin, Ohio: OCLC Online Computer Library Center, Inc., 1980-. (Updated weekly). Citations to more than 1,300 arts and humanities journals and to relevant articles on arts and humanities in over 5,800 social science and science journals.

MLA (Modern Language Association) Abstracts of Articles in Scholarly Journals. Firstsearch. New York: Modern Language Association. [No update frequency listed.]


Foxfire Magazine. Tiger: Foxfire Fund, Inc., 1992-. ASU APP COLL STACK GR1.F59.

North Carolina Folklore Journal. Raleigh: North Carolina Folklore Society, 1973-. ASU APP COLL STACK GR110.N8 N6.

Southern Folklore (formerly Southern Folklore Quarterly. V. 1-43, 1937-1979). ASU APP COLL STACK GR1.S65

Storytelling Magazine. Jonesborough: National Association for the Preservation and Perpetuation of Storytelling, 1989-. ASU APP COLL STACK LB1042.N377.

Compiled by: 

Compiler: Aaron Davis, 2004