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 heritage, the area built a name as a harsh frontier the place grit and tenacity grew to become quintessential instruments of survival. throughout 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 military from the contested land to prevent struggle. Intensifying its popularity, the sector served as an legitimate buffer quarter. with no the protection of an army presence, citizens quick learned they might have to guard and govern themselves. quickly, tight-knit groups shaped, and citizens built a reliance on self, relatives, and neighbor.
In the early 1900s, the bushes increase sliced in the course of 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 staff, unionists, and a number of alternative characters, comparable 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 recognition, and other people model a lore hooked up 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 degree 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 booklet 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 earlier to be able to navigate an international altering rapidly.
Drawing from newspapers, courtroom documents, and a decade of interviews and commentary, LeJeune deals a penetrating exam of the interaction among legend and position, exploring Smith’s personal lifestyles, this certain historic second, and the place’s mysterious panorama. The booklet additionally considers how modern gala's and other kinds of cultural historical past hire the legend as a cultural recourse. to stick vivid and significant, tradition always 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 historic files and bills, oral histories, historiography, and folkloric easy methods to inform the tale of the Sabine Strip among Louisiana and Texas, and the legend of an outlaw named ‘Leather Britches Smith.’ He monitors a wealth of data approximately western critical Louisiana and the historiography of the region.”—Gary D. Joiner, writer of Through the Howling desolate tract: The 1864 pink River crusade and Union Failure within the West
“This e-book 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 used to be from there. leather-based Britches Smith is destined to take a spot within the pantheon of western characters. Always for the Underdog may be of curiosity to all people who are fascinated about the yank outlaw-hero.”—Barry Ancelet, writer of Cajun and Creole Folktales
“Based on my event instructing introductory folklore university classes, i do know that scholars have hassle figuring out what a legend is. LeJeune’s publication could make a superb textual content simply because he's taking the reader step-by-step in the course of the evolution of the leather-based Britches legend, in a transparent and easy method that starting scholars might simply grasp.”—Lee Winniford, writer of Following previous Fencelines
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Additional info for Always for the Underdog: Leather Britches Smith and the Grabow War (Texas Folklore Society Extra Book)
Always for the Underdog: Leather Britches Smith and the Grabow War (Texas Folklore Society Extra Book) by Keagan LeJeune