Chapter

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

in Boll Weevil Blues

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print July 2011 | ISBN: 9780226292878
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226292854 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226292854.003.0002
Cultures of Resistance in Texas and Louisiana: Tenants Make Sense of the Boll Weevil

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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

Chapter.  7794 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of the Americas

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