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Boll Weevil BluesCotton, Myth, and Power in the American South$
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James C. Giesen

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780226292878

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226292854.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 16 September 2021

Cultures of Resistance in Texas and Louisiana: Tenants Make Sense of the Boll Weevil

Cultures of Resistance in Texas and Louisiana: Tenants Make Sense of the Boll Weevil

Chapter:
(p.26) Chapter 2 Cultures of Resistance in Texas and Louisiana: Tenants Make Sense of the Boll Weevil
Source:
Boll Weevil Blues
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226292854.003.0002

This chapter presents a demographic snapshot of tenancy in Texas and Louisiana at the time of the boll weevil's initial spread. Just as USDA and state officials attempted to manipulate news of the boll weevil to garner more support for their projects, tenants used the boll weevil myth to create a better life in the rural South. Demonstration agents announced both the boll weevil's threat and trumpeted what they presented as their unique ability to provide solutions to the pest. Despite the insect's limited location and the local variations in its ability to destroy the precious fiber, a range of people had spread news across the nation of its ravenous appetite and its wholesale transformation of cotton farming in Texas and Louisiana. The boll weevil had influenced local agriculture in Louisiana. It is observed that the boll weevil did more damage in rainy years, and on land where there were ample hibernation spots.

Keywords:   boll weevil, Texas, Louisiana, tenants, cotton farming, agriculture

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