The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 43, July 1939 - April, 1940 Page: 534
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
The Crockett that emerges, in full-length portrait, is America's
first comic superman; the daddy of Tony Beaver, Paul Bunyan,
and Pecos Bill; half horse, half alligator, half snapping-turtle;
part wildcat, part steamboat, part lightning; the out-shootin'est,
out-screamin'est, out-fightin'est critter that ever drank muddy
water out of the mighty Mississippi. He is, in short, a broad bur-
lesque of the Bostonian's conception of the American backwoods-
Why those who have written on the ring-tail roarers of wilder-
ness, mountain, and plain have said so little about the satirical
intent of much of the frontiersman's boasting and tall tale telling
is difficult to understand; for the defensive purpose of many a
yarn is obvious. When the backwoodsman was called a cruel
savage, he did not waste his breath denying the charge: he de-
scribed fights after which more gouged-out eyes were picked up
than there were persons engaged. When it was said that the
frontierswoman lacked the graces of her more ornamental leisure-
class sister, the frontiersman extolled the beauties of Jersula
Stubbs, whose one eye was pretty enough for two, and whose short
leg made hillside walking easier. Or he praised the accomplish-
ments of Sal Fungus, who could "scalp an Indian, skin a bear,
grin down hickory nuts, laugh the bark off a pine tree, swim
stark up a cataract, gouge out an alligator's eyes, dance a rock
to pieces, sink a steamboat, blow out the moon . . . sing a wolf
to sleep and scratch his hide off."
The unknown writers of these sketches were certainly more
gifted than those who supply most of the popular reading today.
The language is racy, idiomatic, and not infrequently poetic:
I swore at the varmint till the tree shed all its leaves and
the sky turned yeller.
And when she sung a psalm, you'd thought all the trees
in creation war organ pipes, and a harrycane war blowin'
It is fortunate that a representative body of this material has
been made available. Crockett is a folk character of first impor-
tance, but because of the inaccessibility of the almanacs few
know him as the hero of comic legend, and few students of the
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 43, July 1939 - April, 1940, periodical, 1940; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101111/m1/570/: accessed May 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.