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 sector built a name as a harsh frontier the place grit and tenacity turned vital 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 struggle. Intensifying its recognition, the area served as an authentic buffer sector. with out the protection of an army presence, citizens speedy learned they might have to safeguard and govern themselves. quickly, tight-knit groups shaped, and citizens constructed a reliance on self, family members, and neighbor.
In the early 1900s, the bushes growth 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 employees, unionists, and a bunch of different characters, corresponding to the outlaw leather-based Britches Smith. The entrenched neighborhood citizens quickly faced not just those new neighborhood participants but additionally a dynamic cultural second that struck a defining blow within the making of the area. That second keeps to form the place’s cultural cognizance, and other people type a lore hooked up to this time.
In a desirable exploration of the quarter, Keagan LeJeune unveils the legend of leather-based Britches, paralleling the phases of the outlaw’s lifestyles to the impartial Strip’s formation. LeJeune retells every one level of Smith’s existence: his infamous prior, his audacious deeds of theft or even generosity, his rumored connection to a neighborhood union strike—the Grabow War—significant within the annals of work heritage, and his eventual demise. because the outlaw’s existence vividly unfolds, the e-book additionally finds the area’s heritage and cultural panorama. frequently utilizing the details of 1 small city as a consultant instance, the publication explores how the quarter recalls and reinterprets the prior on the way to navigate a global altering rapidly.
Drawing from newspapers, court docket files, and a decade of interviews and commentary, LeJeune bargains a penetrating exam of the interaction among legend and position, exploring Smith’s personal lifestyles, this distinct historic second, and the place’s mysterious panorama. The ebook additionally considers how modern fairs and other kinds of cultural historical past hire the legend as a cultural recourse. to stick bright and significant, tradition continuously re-makes itself; right here, the outlaw occupies an essential function within the re-creation.
Texas Folklore Society additional e-book quantity 23
“LeJeune makes use of a truly strange strategy mixing historic documents and bills, oral histories, historiography, and folkloric ways 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 knowledge approximately western primary Louisiana and the historiography of the region.”—Gary D. Joiner, writer of Through the Howling barren region: The 1864 pink River crusade and Union Failure within the West
“This e-book reminds us that Louisiana west of the Mississippi was once 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 might be of curiosity to all people who are enthusiastic about the yankee outlaw-hero.”—Barry Ancelet, writer of Cajun and Creole Folktales
“Based on my event instructing introductory folklore collage classes, i do know that scholars have difficulty realizing what a legend is. LeJeune’s ebook could make a good textual content simply because he's taking the reader step-by-step throughout the evolution of the leather-based Britches legend, in a transparent and easy method that starting scholars could simply grasp.”—Lee Winniford, writer of Following previous Fencelines
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Extra 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