By Keagan LeJeune
Louisiana’s impartial Strip, a space of pine forests, squats among the Calcasieu and Sabine Rivers at the border of East Texas. Early in its background, the quarter constructed a name as a harsh frontier the place grit and tenacity grew to become critical instruments of survival. in the course of the Louisiana buy, bureaucrats from either Spain and the USA squabbled over the precise boundary line among the 2 rival powers. either governments got rid of defense force from the contested land to prevent warfare. Intensifying its popularity, the zone served as an legit buffer area. with out the protection of an army presence, citizens fast learned they'd have to defend and govern themselves. quickly, tight-knit groups shaped, and citizens built a reliance on self, family, and neighbor.In the early 1900s, the trees increase sliced during the forests of East Texas and the previous impartial Strip, disrupting those dense groups. Mill cities sprang up, and the promise of cash lured land speculators, bushes employees, unionists, and a number of different characters, corresponding to the outlaw leather-based Britches Smith. The entrenched neighborhood citizens quickly faced not just those new group participants but additionally a dynamic cultural second that struck a defining blow within the making of the sector. That second maintains to form the place’s cultural cognizance, and other people style a lore attached to this time.In a desirable exploration of the area, Keagan LeJeune unveils the legend of leather-based Britches, paralleling the levels of the outlaw’s existence to the impartial Strip’s formation. LeJeune retells every one level of Smith’s lifestyles: his infamous earlier, his audacious deeds of theft or even generosity, his rumored connection to an area union strike—the Grabow War—significant within the annals of work heritage, and his eventual demise. because the outlaw’s lifestyles vividly unfolds, the publication additionally unearths the area’s background and cultural panorama. frequently utilizing the details of 1 small city as a consultant instance, the ebook explores how the quarter recalls and reinterprets the previous so one can navigate an international altering rapidly.Drawing from newspapers, courtroom documents, and a decade of interviews and statement, LeJeune deals a penetrating exam of the interaction among legend and position, exploring Smith’s personal existence, this distinctive old second, and the place’s mysterious panorama. The e-book additionally considers how modern gala's and other kinds of cultural background hire the legend as a cultural recourse. to stick brilliant and significant, tradition continuously re-makes itself; right here, the outlaw occupies a necessary function within the re-creation.Texas Folklore Society additional ebook quantity 23“LeJeune makes use of a truly strange procedure mixing ancient documents and bills, oral histories, historiography, and folkloric the right way to inform the tale of the Sabine Strip among Louisiana and Texas, and the legend of an outlaw named ‘Leather Britches Smith.’ He screens a wealth of data approximately western important Louisiana and the historiography of the region.”—Gary D. Joiner, writer of during the Howling desert: The 1864 pink River crusade and Union Failure within the West“This publication reminds us that Louisiana west of the Mississippi used to be a part of the western frontier. Few understand that Pat Garrett grew up in Louisiana and that Jim Bowie was once from there. leather-based Britches Smith is destined to take a spot within the pantheon of western characters. constantly for the Underdog could be of curiosity to all those who find themselves desirous about the yankee outlaw-hero.”—Barry Ancelet, writer of Cajun and Creole Folktales“Based on my adventure educating introductory folklore university classes, i do know that scholars have difficulty knowing what a legend is. LeJeune’s publication might make an outstanding textual content simply because he's taking the reader step-by-step during the evolution of the leather-based Britches legend, in a transparent and straightforward approach that starting scholars could simply grasp.”—Lee Winniford, writer of Following outdated Fencelines
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Additional info for Always for the Underdog: Leather Britches Smith and the Grabow War (Texas Folklore Society Extra Book)
Did a great oyster shell return and take these people back beneath the sea? Indigenous people in the area, especially the Caddo to the north, knew the Atakapa to be an isolated people, and even though their numbers thinned rapidly from European disease after contact, the Atakapa people continued to fuel rumor and speculation. In fact, then and now people circulate sensational tales about the Atakapa’s unusual Meanness, just across the river | 33 reputation, including the belief that they were cannibals.
We visited only briefly. She explained that her husband had known all about this stuff, but she just didn’t know much. She did pull out a cassette tape she wanted us to have. Her brother-in-law (actually her ex-brother-in-law, which might explain why she had so little information about all of this) knew a band that made an album with an interesting song she wanted us to hear. Before she came to the library, she made a copy of the original for us. I copied the cassette jacket on the library’s Xerox machine and thanked her over and over 22 | alway s for the underdog again.
Of course, each government, American and Spanish, considered area inhabitants to be its citizens and under its control; in turn, each government wanted these inhabitants to swear allegiance to it. Some residents in the area felt little impact on their day-to-day comings and goings and thus reckoned the shifts in power irrelevant; however, the governments themselves considered ownership of this land an important matter. Despite Spain’s official position that it controlled land in Texas and Meanness, just across the river | 37 Louisiana, it sensed the loosening of its grip on Louisiana and fretted that Texas may be lost as well if precautions were not taken.
Always for the Underdog: Leather Britches Smith and the Grabow War (Texas Folklore Society Extra Book) by Keagan LeJeune