Download PDF by Keagan LeJeune: Always for the Underdog: Leather Britches Smith and the

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 grew to become necessary instruments of survival. through 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 warfare. Intensifying its popularity, the zone served as an authentic buffer area. with out the safety of an army presence, citizens speedy learned they'd have to safeguard and govern themselves. quickly, tight-knit groups shaped, and citizens constructed a reliance on self, family, 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 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 sector. That second maintains to form the place’s cultural attention, and folks 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 levels of the outlaw’s existence 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 a neighborhood union strike—the Grabow War—significant within the annals of work background, and his eventual dying. because the outlaw’s lifestyles vividly unfolds, the e-book additionally finds the area’s historical past and cultural panorama. frequently utilizing the details of 1 small city as a consultant instance, the ebook explores how the zone recalls and reinterprets the prior so that it will navigate a global altering rapidly.

Drawing from newspapers, courtroom files, and a decade of interviews and remark, LeJeune deals a penetrating exam of the interaction among legend and position, exploring Smith’s personal existence, this targeted historic second, and the place’s mysterious panorama. The publication additionally considers how modern gala's and other kinds of cultural background hire the legend as a cultural recourse. to stick vivid and significant, tradition continually 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 procedure mixing historic documents and bills, oral histories, historiography, and folkloric easy methods 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 vital Louisiana and the historiography of the region.”—Gary D. Joiner, writer of Through the Howling desolate tract: The 1864 purple River crusade and Union Failure within the West

“This publication 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 can be of curiosity to all those people who are occupied with 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 realizing what a legend is. LeJeune’s booklet could make a great textual content simply because he is taking the reader step-by-step in the course of the evolution of the leather-based Britches legend, in a transparent and easy 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


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