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 historical past, the area constructed a name as a harsh frontier the place grit and tenacity grew to become necessary instruments of survival. through the Louisiana buy, bureaucrats from either Spain and the us squabbled over the precise boundary line among the 2 rival powers. either governments got rid of military from the contested land to prevent battle. Intensifying its acceptance, the sector served as an reputable buffer sector. with no the protection of an army presence, citizens quick learned they'd have to shield and govern themselves. quickly, tight-knit groups shaped, and citizens constructed a reliance on self, relations, 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, trees employees, unionists, and a number of different characters, comparable to the outlaw leather-based Britches Smith. The entrenched neighborhood citizens quickly faced not just those new neighborhood contributors but additionally a dynamic cultural second that struck a defining blow within the making of the zone. That second maintains to form the place’s cultural realization, and folks model 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 each one level of Smith’s existence: his infamous prior, 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 historical past, and his eventual dying. because the outlaw’s existence vividly unfolds, the booklet 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 sector recalls and reinterprets the prior that allows you to navigate a global altering rapidly.
Drawing from newspapers, courtroom documents, 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 designated ancient 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 continually re-makes itself; right here, the outlaw occupies an essential position within the re-creation.
Texas Folklore Society additional ebook quantity 23
“LeJeune makes use of a truly strange process mixing old files and bills, oral histories, historiography, and folkloric the way 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 knowledge approximately western significant Louisiana and the historiography of the region.”—Gary D. Joiner, writer of Through the Howling wasteland: The 1864 purple River crusade and Union Failure within the West
“This ebook reminds us that Louisiana west of the Mississippi used to be a part of the western frontier. Few be aware of 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. Always for the Underdog may be of curiosity to all those people who are thinking about the yank 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 realizing what a legend is. LeJeune’s e-book could make a superb textual content simply because he is taking the reader step-by-step during the evolution of the leather-based Britches legend, in a transparent and easy approach 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