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Louisiana’s Neutral Strip, an area of pine forests, squats between the Calcasieu and Sabine Rivers on the border of East Texas. Early in its history, the region developed a reputation as a harsh frontier where grit and tenacity became indispensable tools of survival. During the Louisiana Purchase, bureaucrats from both Spain and the United States squabbled over the exact boundary line between the two rival powers. Both governments removed militia from the contested land to avoid war. Intensifying its reputation, the region served as an official buffer zone. Without the security of a military presence, residents quickly realized they would need to protect and govern themselves. Soon, tight-knit communities formed, and residents developed a reliance on self, kin, and neighbor.
In the early 1900s, the timber boom sliced through the forests of East Texas and the former Neutral Strip, disrupting these dense communities. Mill towns sprang up, and the promise of money lured land speculators, timber workers, unionists, and a host of other characters, such as the outlaw Leather Britches Smith. The entrenched local residents soon confronted not only these new community members but also a dynamic cultural moment that struck a defining blow in the making of the region. That moment continues to shape the place’s cultural consciousness, and people fashion a lore connected to this time.
In a fascinating exploration of the region, Keagan LeJeune unveils the legend of Leather Britches, paralleling the stages of the outlaw’s life to the Neutral Strip’s formation. LeJeune retells each stage of Smith’s life: his notorious past, his audacious deeds of robbery and even generosity, his rumored connection to a local union strike—the Grabow War—significant in the annals of labor history, and his eventual death. As the outlaw’s life vividly unfolds, the book also reveals the area’s history and cultural landscape. Often using the particulars of one small town as a representative example, the book explores how the region remembers and reinterprets the past in order to navigate a world changing rapidly.
Drawing from newspapers, court records, and a decade of interviews and observation, LeJeune offers a penetrating examination of the interplay between legend and place, exploring Smith’s own life, this unique historical moment, and the place’s mysterious landscape. The book also considers how contemporary festivals and other forms of cultural heritage employ the legend as a cultural recourse. To stay vibrant and meaningful, culture constantly re-makes itself; here, the outlaw occupies a vital role in the re-creation.
Texas Folklore Society Extra Book Number 23
“LeJeune uses a very unusual approach blending historical records and accounts, oral histories, historiography, and folkloric methods to tell the story of the Sabine Strip between Louisiana and Texas, and the legend of an outlaw named ‘Leather Britches Smith.’ He displays a wealth of information about western central Louisiana and the historiography of the region.”—Gary D. Joiner, author of Through the Howling Wilderness: The 1864 Red River Campaign and Union Failure in the West
“This book reminds us that Louisiana west of the Mississippi was part of the western frontier. Few know that Pat Garrett grew up in Louisiana and that Jim Bowie was from there. Leather Britches Smith is destined to take a place in the pantheon of western characters. Always for the Underdog will be of interest to all those who are fascinated with the American outlaw-hero.”—Barry Ancelet, author of Cajun and Creole Folktales
“Based on my experience teaching introductory folklore college courses, I know that students have trouble understanding what a legend is. LeJeune’s book would make an excellent text because he takes the reader step by step through the evolution of the Leather Britches legend, in a clear and simple way that beginning students would easily grasp.”—Lee Winniford, author of Following Old Fencelines
About the Author:
KEAGAN LeJEUNE is Professor of English and Folklore at McNeese State University. Born in Louisiana, he has studied and traveled Louisiana’s Neutral Strip for more than a decade and has completed an annotated bibliography of research on the region. LeJeune has served as President of the Louisiana Folklore Society. He lives in Lake Charles, Louisiana.
Titolo: Always the Underdog
Casa editrice: University of North Texas Press,U.S.
Data di pubblicazione: 2010
Condizione libro: New
Descrizione libro University of North Texas Press, 2010. Condizione libro: Very Good. First Edition. Former Library book. Great condition for a used book! Minimal wear. Codice libro della libreria GRP70617103
Descrizione libro University of North Texas Press. Hardcover. Condizione libro: Very Good. Book shows a small amount of wear - very good condition. Codice libro della libreria G1574412884I4N00
Descrizione libro University of North Texas Press, 2010. Hardcover. Condizione libro: Good. Hardcover w/jacket. Light shelf wear on jacket and boards. Unmarked pages. Tulsa's best used bookstore. Located on South Mingo Road since 1991. No-hassle return policy if not completely satisfied. Codice libro della libreria mon0000238707
Descrizione libro University of North Texas Press, 2010. Hardcover. Condizione libro: Used: Very Good. Ex-library hardcover no dj (blue boards) in very nice condition with the usual library markings and attachments. Text block clean and unmarked. Tight binding. Codice libro della libreria UTA1625099
Descrizione libro Condizione libro: Good. Always for the Underdog: Leather Britches Smith and the Grabow War (Texas Folklore Society Extra Book). Codice libro della libreria Grb1930460
Descrizione libro University of North Texas Press., 2010. Hardcover. Condizione libro: Fine. Condizione sovraccoperta: Very Good. HARDCOVER; small tear at top of rear dustjacket; o/w book in fine condition. Book. Codice libro della libreria 009328
Descrizione libro University of North Texas Press, 2010. Hardcover. Condizione libro: Used: Good. Codice libro della libreria SONG1574412884
Descrizione libro University of North Texas Press, 2010. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. book. Codice libro della libreria M1574412884
Descrizione libro Univ of N Texas, Denton, 2010. Cloth. Condizione libro: Near Fine. Condizione sovraccoperta: Near Fine. First Edition. xix + 220 pp. including index, bibliography, author's Preface, maps, photo & other illustrations. Along the Louisiana Texas border during the timber industry's labor wars it was not possible to distinguish the lawmen from the outlaws, but the workers recognized which side the owners were on. This is Extra Book No. 23 from the Texas Folklore Society. Slight shelf wear to book & unclipped jacket. Size: 8vo. Codice libro della libreria 0005081
Descrizione libro University of North Texas Press, Denton, 2010. Hardcover. Condizione libro: Fine. Condizione sovraccoperta: Fine. First Edition. Hardcover, Beige Dust Jacket with Green Spine and White Spine Lettering, Pictorial Front Illustratons with Black Lettering, Texas Folklore Society Extra Book Number 23, Appendices, Notes, bibliography, Index, 220 pp. The story of the Louisians Neutral Strip, East Texas near the Sabine River, the timber boom of the early 1900's, labor strife, and the outlaw Leather Britches Smith - a bloody combination. A bright, tight copy. Size: 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" Tal. Codice libro della libreria 012967