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 constructed a name as a harsh frontier the place grit and tenacity grew to become essential instruments of survival. throughout the Louisiana buy, bureaucrats from either Spain and the U.S. 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 sector served as an professional buffer area. with out the safety of an army presence, citizens fast learned they'd have to shield and govern themselves. quickly, tight-knit groups shaped, and citizens built a reliance on self, kinfolk, and neighbor.
In the early 1900s, the trees growth 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, trees employees, unionists, and a bunch of different characters, similar 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 area. That second keeps to form the place’s cultural recognition, and other people style a lore hooked up to this time.
In a desirable exploration of the zone, 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 previous, 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 historical past, and his eventual dying. because the outlaw’s existence vividly unfolds, the e-book additionally finds the area’s historical past and cultural panorama. usually utilizing the details of 1 small city as a consultant instance, the publication explores how the quarter recalls and reinterprets the prior in an effort to navigate an international altering rapidly.
Drawing from newspapers, court docket documents, and a decade of interviews and commentary, LeJeune deals a penetrating exam of the interaction among legend and position, exploring Smith’s personal existence, this precise ancient second, and the place’s mysterious panorama. The ebook additionally considers how modern fairs and different kinds of cultural historical past hire the legend as a cultural recourse. to stick brilliant and significant, tradition consistently re-makes itself; right here, the outlaw occupies an important function within the re-creation.
Texas Folklore Society additional publication quantity 23
“LeJeune makes use of a truly strange procedure mixing ancient documents and debts, 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 data approximately western relevant Louisiana and the historiography of the region.”—Gary D. Joiner, writer of Through the Howling desert: The 1864 purple River crusade and Union Failure within the West
“This booklet reminds us that Louisiana west of the Mississippi used to be a part of the western frontier. Few comprehend 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 should be of curiosity to all people who find themselves thinking about the yank outlaw-hero.”—Barry Ancelet, writer of Cajun and Creole Folktales
“Based on my adventure instructing introductory folklore collage classes, i do know that scholars have hassle knowing what a legend is. LeJeune’s publication may 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 straightforward manner that starting scholars could 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