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 zone built 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 us squabbled over the precise boundary line among the 2 rival powers. either governments got rid of military from the contested land to prevent warfare. Intensifying its acceptance, the sector served as an authentic buffer quarter. with no the safety of an army presence, citizens fast discovered they'd have to safeguard and govern themselves. quickly, tight-knit groups shaped, and citizens built a reliance on self, relations, and neighbor.
In the early 1900s, the trees increase sliced throughout 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 alternative characters, equivalent to the outlaw leather-based Britches Smith. The entrenched neighborhood citizens quickly faced not just those new group participants but in addition a dynamic cultural second that struck a defining blow within the making of the area. That second maintains to form the place’s cultural recognition, and folks model a lore attached to this time.
In a desirable exploration of the zone, Keagan LeJeune unveils the legend of leather-based Britches, paralleling the levels of the outlaw’s lifestyles to the impartial Strip’s formation. LeJeune retells each one degree of Smith’s lifestyles: his infamous previous, 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 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 booklet explores how the area recalls and reinterprets the earlier for you to navigate a global altering rapidly.
Drawing from newspapers, court docket documents, and a decade of interviews and remark, LeJeune bargains a penetrating exam of the interaction among legend and position, exploring Smith’s personal existence, this designated ancient second, and the place’s mysterious panorama. The ebook additionally considers how modern fairs and different kinds of cultural background hire the legend as a cultural recourse. to stick brilliant and significant, tradition regularly re-makes itself; the following, the outlaw occupies an important position within the re-creation.
Texas Folklore Society additional e-book quantity 23
“LeJeune makes use of a truly strange process mixing ancient documents and debts, oral histories, historiography, and folkloric tips on how 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 crucial Louisiana and the historiography of the region.”—Gary D. Joiner, writer of Through the Howling desert: 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 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 those people who are 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 difficulty knowing what a legend is. LeJeune’s publication might make an exceptional 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 approach that starting scholars may simply grasp.”—Lee Winniford, writer of Following previous Fencelines
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Always for the Underdog: Leather Britches Smith and the Grabow War (Texas Folklore Society Extra Book) by Keagan LeJeune