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 zone constructed a name as a harsh frontier the place grit and tenacity turned imperative instruments of survival. throughout 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 conflict. Intensifying its attractiveness, the sector served as an legit buffer quarter. with out the safety of an army presence, citizens speedy learned they'd have to shield and govern themselves. quickly, tight-knit groups shaped, and citizens constructed a reliance on self, family members, 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 staff, 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 group individuals but in addition a dynamic cultural second that struck a defining blow within the making of the zone. That second keeps to form the place’s cultural awareness, and other people type a lore attached to this time.In a desirable exploration of the area, 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 earlier, 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 lifestyles vividly unfolds, the publication additionally finds the area’s background and cultural panorama. frequently utilizing the details of 1 small city as a consultant instance, the publication explores how the area recollects and reinterprets the earlier with the intention to navigate an international altering rapidly.Drawing from newspapers, courtroom files, and a decade of interviews and remark, LeJeune bargains a penetrating exam of the interaction among legend and position, exploring Smith’s personal lifestyles, this exact 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; the following, the outlaw occupies a necessary position within the re-creation.Texas Folklore Society additional booklet quantity 23“LeJeune makes use of a truly strange process mixing historic documents and debts, oral histories, historiography, and folkloric how you can 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 in the course of the Howling desolate tract: The 1864 purple 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 comprehend 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 might be of curiosity to all those who find themselves eager about the yankee 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 e-book might make an exceptional textual content simply because he is taking the reader step-by-step throughout the evolution of the leather-based Britches legend, in a transparent and straightforward method that starting scholars might simply grasp.”—Lee Winniford, writer of Following outdated Fencelines
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Additional resources 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.
Instead, his wiry body that had seen its share of work and the gleam in his eyes struck people, impressing upon them a desire to give Goob his due respect. 3 Unfortunately, Goob died before I could ever meet him, but stories about him circulate to such an extent that I suspect many who have never met him still know him. People still describe Goob’s skill as hunter and woodsmen. They tell that he was an expert wolf hunter, a person who knew the “old ways,” and, perhaps most importantly, an individual versed in many of the events constructing the town’s history.
In another example, during one interview a man began his story mindful of Ramos’s work. His feet on an ottoman in his front room, his body planted in his recliner, his back tilted just enough off the chair’s back to guarantee that I remain engaged in what he has to say— the man started his account of the outlaw, “We don’t really know who he was. Ralph Ramos . . claimed that his name was Ben Myatt and he was [from] around somewhere near Clarksville, Texas. ” People may start with Ramos’s work, but they have their own bit of information to tell and often feel strongly enough about it to share.
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