Friday, December 2, 2016

It was a night to air grievances. When it was over, one man lay dead and a former mayor was charged with the murder

Brownsboro, Tex., June 19, 1960

Everybody who could squeeze into the high school study hall was there. Men and women and children crammed the hot room like sardines, and overflowed into the hall. If you counted the people out on the school's green lawn, you'd guess 200 were there altogether. Not one of them was smiling.

There was anger in that room -- the cat fighting, scratching, crazy kind of madness that prompts little children to pull a favorite rag doll apart, rather than let each other play with it. This time, the rag doll was the Brownsboro, Tex., public school system, and grown men were playing tug of war with it. The Board of Education met at 7 p.m. Thursday, June 16, and the public was invited. It was hot, inside and out.

The high that day hit 90, with a strong dose of humidity. It was still 88 at sundown. Clammy heat was like death hanging in the air, prodding the sweating, angry people, pricking their tempers, pushing them toward violence. Thus have riots and mobs always simmered into boiling rage.

Everyone in Brownsboro had picked his side. There were those who came to the meeting to take sides, and there were those who stayed at home taking sides. An oldtimer who suatted in shade near the school entrance muttered, "They's them that tries to make out their minds ain't set, but give 'em a little fuss, and they'll bristle like hogs. Yep, ever' man in town's branded one side or t'other."

The Jacksons were there. Clarence taught agriculture in the high school, and there was a Jackson boy who'd complained to some of the school board members about the 33 seniors not getting their diplomas this year. The diploma fiasco had started a month before graduation when the school board fired Home Bass, who'd been superintendent in Brownsboro for 23 years. The seniors petitioned the board to place Bass' name on their diplomas, refusing to accept the new man's signature. The situation was still stalemated, with officials claiming the diplomas never arrived from a Houston printer, the post office protesting they did arrive, and the graduates bitterly refusing any without Bass' signature.

The Jackson boy was one of a group who called on new school board member Charles C. Rahm, an osteopathic doctor, and comparative newcomer in town. Rahm, they said, refused to hear their complaint, threatened to eject them from his office, and signed a police complaint against them for "disturbance." The charge was still pending as townspeople pushed into the high school for the public board meeting.

Homer Bass, the controversial exsuperintendent, stayed home, but his sister was there. She was Mrs. Clarence Jackson, wife of the agriculture teacher. Clarence Jackson's brother, Thurman, and his whole family, found space together in the study hall. Thurman Jackson and his wife had been school teachers in Beaumont, Tex. They'd resigned their positions to come home to Brownsboro when Jackson's mother-in-law became seriously ill. Thurman was operating the Birdwell Lumber Yard for her. Brother Clarence continued teaching agriculture in the hometown.

Like Clarence, Thurman was vitally interested in the school. He and his wife were trained teachers, and they had two daughters in the Brownsboro school system. All the Jacksons gathered for this meeting. They were solidly entrenched behind the banner of ousted superintendent, Homer Bass.

A Negro man stepped into the stream of crowding spectators, and let himself be swept into the room. Inside, he took a position against the rear wall, and stood waiting for the time when the board might hear a complaint from Bullock, Brownsville's (Brownsboro's) segregated school for colored children. The newly organized anti-Bass school board had just refused to rehire nine of Bullock's 14 teachers!

Bill Barton and his wife were there. Barton had long been a member of the school board. In the April 2 public election, he lost. His place went to an anti-Bass man.

W. B. Knight wasn't there. He'd been president of the school board before the April 2 election. He'd served six terms on the board. But his place had gone to another of Dr. Rahm's anti-Bass men.

Lanky, graying, Knight preferred to wash his hands of the whole mess, now that he'd been voted out. He tended his service station, across the alley from Dr. Rahm's new osteopathic clinic, and tried to put the problems of the school board out of his mind.

He was probably at the station now, selling a tank of gas, although he couldn't really forget what was going on a block and a half away, in the well-kept brick and concrete school building he'd helped build.

Homer Bass and W. B. Knight deliberately missed the meeting. They hoped the school system could weather this furor and survive. They didn't want to heap coals on the fire. But their friends, their kin, the people they'd served, packed the study hall a hundred strong. The school board regulated the educations of 1000 students.

In addition to the Jackson brothers and their families, Bill Barton, and the group from Bullock school, there were dozens like Jack Brewer, George Rash, Clarence Hatton, and Bill Melton. There was Arlin Boles, nephew of C. C. Boles, present school tax collector and a long time friend of the Bass family.

Twenty-three years ago, before Homer Bass became superintendent, his brother R. T. Bass, had been superintendent for seven or eight years. One day, R. T. Bass and C. C. Boles went to Athens, Tex., to negotiate a land lease, in connection with the school being consolidated. They stayed in an Athens hotel. That night R. T. Bass started down the stairs from his room, lost his footing and fell the length of the stairway, breaking his neck.

That incident, now 23 years old, had triggered the first distrust against his brother, Homer Bass.

First, there was unfounded gossip that R. T. Bass was under the influence of alcohol when he fell to his death. People who didn't know either brother accused them of excessive drinking.

Second, the school board made Homer Bass superintendent, promoting him from another Texas school in preference to a Brownsboro teacher who was expecting the job. Backers of the overlooked candidate never forgot, even after their man chose another business, worked at it, and retired.

Old timers who remembered these ancient but still smoldering resentments attended the meeting, backing up Dr. Rahm and his new school board. Dr. Rahm and his group had additional, more powerful support.

There was the Brownsboro banker, tall, well built and distinguished looking. he had fallen out with Superintendent Bass and the old school board more than 15 years ago. In those days, the state was slow in sending payroll cash to the Brownsboro bank. Sometimes, it arrived days late. The teachers complained that the local banker bowed his back and refused to cash their checks until he had the cash from the state. The school official wound up by moving their entire banking business to an Athens bank, 17 miles away. They've kept their banking business in Athens ever since. Last year, the school budget ran about $287,000, money the Brownsboro bank never touched.

Five years ago, Bass' enemies banded together. There was an attempt to send Homer Bass to the penitentiary for misappropriation of school funds. He was cleared in district court, but his enemies appealed the suit through the court of civil appeals in Dallas and through the supreme court in Austin, before they gave up.

Many of Bass' friend were old Brownsboro High graduates who had Bass' name on their diplomas. Many of them had neglected to vote in the April 2 election, primarily because they hadn't expected Dr. Rahm to gain control so easily.

After the election, two local citizens had circulated petitions asking the board members to resign. Of the approximately 900 voters in the district, 613 signed. The citizens had these petitions with them now, in the study hall, awaiting their chance to place them before the board.

The new president, Ivan H. Long, called the meeting to order. His fellow board members, ranged alongside of him, included David Brand, J. P. Parker, Herman Mayfield, board secretary Dr. Rahm, and Wayne Smith (the only Bass supporter still on the board).

Dr. Rahm wore a handsomely tailored suit and silk necktie despite the oppressive heat. He was six feet tall, slender, and neat as a store mannequin. His long fingers, osteopath's fingers, strong and well controlled, rested motionless on the table.

"Cool as a cucumber," someone whispered, pointing to him.

"Why not?" was the neighbor's reply. "I've heard he's been carrying a pistol on him for days. I don't know who called the deputy sheriffs here from Athens, but I'm glad they came."

Look closely, and you could spot the three lawmen. They were scattered through the room, slightly bigger than their neighbors, more watchful, less talkative, and each wearing an exaggerated air of calm indifference. This was the second time they'd been called to a Brownsboro school board meeting.

"Rahm doesn't look at all ruffled, even in this heat," one woman said.

"That's the big city in him. How long has he been here? Four or five years, isn't it? And he's still more like Tyler society than Brownsboro comfort. You'd think he'd hate it here. I wonder why he ever came here, to a little old town with 600 population."

"I heard they made it hot for him in Tyler."

"That's not true. He got divorced there, that's all. He pays his ex-wife alimony, and he came here and married his nurse."

"Is this new wife the one who has Bass blood? Why'd she let him side against Homer?"

"She's Homer's cousin, I think. Who knows why families will split like that?"

"I'd never had thought, three months ago."

Dr. Rahm's strong opposition to Superintendent Bass had surprised everyone in town, especially Homer Bass himself, who in March, 1960, had been the one to recommend the doctor for the school board. Rahm was then mayor of Brownsboro, a comparatively simple position in a town so small.

The vacancy resulted from the resignation of Preston Gideon, who resigned because his nephew was going to be a math teacher in the district. At the time Superintendent Bass told the board he thought Dr. Rahm had the qualifications to replace Gideon, and the board voted him in; three were for Rahm, two against, and President W. B. Knight abstaining.

At first, the doctor said little at the meetings. But gradually, his opposition to the superintendent took shape. Every recommendation Homer Bass made, Rahm opposed. he continually used authority that was formerly vested in the superintendent. When a hepatitis outbreak threatened to become and epidemic, Dr. Rahm protested when Bass consulted the county health department rather than himself.

During the April election campaign, the anti-Bass group beat the bushes, visited homes, and worked as if being on the school board was a $10,000-a-year job. Dr. Rahm's supporters asked the teachers, in a friendly way, for whom they planned to vote.

All of this activity reminded Homer Bass that some time earlier Dr. Rahm had asked him how he planned to vote in the mayoralty race. Bass had been frank. "I can go along with you, Dr. Rahm, but not with the two commissioners running with you."

One of the commissioners was a son of the Brownsboro banker!

Was this the reason for Dr. Rahm's opposition to Bass now? Homer Bass didn't know. But when he was asked to resign, he refused. When they fired him, effective before the end of the school term, with two months extra pay, he protested, and appealed to the state school board in Austin - the Texas Education Agency - on grounds that his contract had two years left.

Dr. Rahm and his board promptly hired a new superintendent, H. D. Larkin, retired former dean of Henderson County Junior College.

This was the tense situation that existed the night of June 16 as the crowd in the study hall grew quiet and the board began its routine business. The pro-Bass forces waited their turn. The anti-Bass citizens, not certain what might erupt, were restless and watchful. Most of an hour was gone when the board asked for old business.

The Negro man against the rear wall took a step forward and raised his hand. After 30 minutes in that hot room, his dark face glistened with perspiration. His friends from Bullock school stood and moved near him to signal their support of what he was going to say.

"Sirs," he began respectfully, "We from Bullock request that the board review its decision not to rehire nine out of our 14 teachers. We feel some explanation is in order."

Ivan Long glanced up and announced, "We don't have to give you a reason."

He rapped the gavel and called for other business. A fellow board member produced a folder of unpaid bills for the board's action. The crowd protested.

Long had to call for quiet. The reading of the bills began. It seemed to take an eternity. At intervals, the crowd grew restless and began murmuring, but Long brought them back to order. It was about 8 o'clock when they finished with the bills and voted to pay them. Thurman Jackson, the former Beaumont schoolteacher now turned lumber yard manager, had listened carefully to each item. He arose from his seat beside his wife and daughters, and asked to speak.

"We're discussing bills, Mr. Jackson."

"Yes, that's what I want to ask..."

Outside, the heat had diminished by three degrees. It was 85, and the people who couldn't find room inside were in comparative comfort on the lawn. Inside, the temperature was still rising. Thurman Jackson mentioned several of the bills that had been read, and asked the treasurer to break them down, itemize them penny by penny.

The board members stared at the tall, scholarly Jackson. His large, studious-looking eyes leveled on them. He seemed surrounded by his supporters, his schoolteacher wife, his two junior high school daughters, his schoolteacher brother, Clarence, and Clarennce's wife who was sister to Homer Bass.

Dr. Rahm drew an imaginary circle with his long finger. His jaw muscles flexed. he glances up at President Long and shook his head almost imperceptibly. Long signaled to a deputy at the back of the room.

"This man is disrupting our meeting. Would you arrest him, please."

The officer went to Thurman Jackson's side. "Let's go outdoors," he invited.

Jackson looked around, his eyes suddenly indignant. He started to started to speak, thought better or it, and followed the deputy to the door. His daughters, grabbed at their father's hands and pushed through the crowd after him. The crowd murmured angrily.

Some men near the front stood up and shouted threateningly at the board members. Behind them, the rest of the crowd rose to its feet. Everyone began to talk at once. Chairman Long rapped for quiet, but realizing the situation was out of control, he glanced frantically toward Dr. Rahm.

Dr. Rahm made a motion they adjourn and Long so declared. The board members searched now for the faces of the deputies, but all they saw were angry fellow citizens of Brownsboro.

The deputies were busy trying to clear the room and separate squabblers. Two officers were in the hallway, keeping the exits open, and ordering the people on with shouts of "Go home, it's all over now."

Deputy Charles Majors pushed back into the room in time to see the first ruckus near the board member's table.

Ousted board member Bill Barton was wrestling with Chairman Long. Barton landed a punch on Long's face, opening a cut above Long's eye. Deputy Majors rushed to separate the two men.

Meanwhile the others got out of control. It seemed that every board member was suddenly caught up in a raging brawl. During those quick seconds it exploded. Dr. Rahm was attacked. David Brand was knocked to the floor. J. P. Parker was hit in the face by one person and slugged on the back of the head by another. He slumped to the floor unconscious. Spectators George Rash - a Bass supporter - and Gus Crow, anti-Bass - fought furiously with each other. Wayne Smith, the only Bass man on the school board, tried to help Deputy Majors break up the melee.

When the fight started, Thurman Jackson and his daughters were in the hallway. The deputy who'd been escorting him outside abandoned Jackson to run back and try to control the brawlers. Jackson glanced back in the room, saw Deputy Majors running to stop the fight and followed.

No one can say for sure why Thurman Jackson reentered the study hall. Perhaps he meant to assist Deputy Majors. Perhaps he anticipated a free punch while the season seemed open on board members. Perhaps he saw his brother, Clarence, in the midst of the fist swinging, and wanted to pull him out. The majority who saw him believed he was going to help the deputy.

Jackson's oldest daughter said later, "I tried to keep him from going back in there. But he went anyway. He stumbled over a chair and fell down."

Just as Deputy Majors succeeded in separating the brawling Long and Barton there was a gun explosion.

Majors wheeled and saw three men in a tangle behind the table. He pushed his way toward them, and began yanking them up, one at a time.

Dr. Rahm got to his feet and brushed off his suit. His thinning black hair was tousled, his eyeglasses gone, and there was a red gash gaping above his eyebrow.

Schoolteacher Clarence Jackson arose breathing heavily. The third man did not move. He lay with his head against the polished baseboard, next to the encyclopedia rack. Blood was seeping through the front of his shirt. It was Thurman Jackson.

Wayne Smith held an object in front of Deputy Majors. It was a .25 pistol. "Here, I think you'd better take this. I grabbed it away from Dr. Rahm as quick as I could, after I saw him with it."

But at least two bullets had been squeezed from it first. Thurman Jackson was hit twice. Bill Melton, a pro-Bass spectator, got a bullet through the left arm above the elbow. Deputy Majors sent for an ambulance and bent over Thurman Jackson.

He was alive by a thread. His breath came in shallow, slow shudders.

All the injured gathered in groups, waiting for ambulances from the Tyler, Tex., Medical Center Hospital, and from Athens. Jackson's family knelt weeping over his unconscious body.

Dr. Rahm was the only medical man in Brownsboro.

Thurman Jackson was pronounced dead on arrival at Tyler. A bullet had snapped his spinal cord, plowed through a lung, and lodged behind his shoulder blade.

George Rash was hospitalized with knife slashes in his abdomen and back. Both he and the uninjured Gus Crow were charged with assault with intent to murder each other.

Bill Melton was hospitalized for the bullet wound in his upper left arm.

Four members of the board had been mauled and hurt. Chairman Long's cut over his eye was treated by a doctor. David Brand and J. P. Parker - who'd been knocked unconscious - had less serious injuries. Dr. Rahm had a deep cut on his forehead. Sheriff's officers sat beside him while and emergency doctor in Athens, the county seat, patched him up. Then officers hustled him off to an undisclosed Jail.

County Attorney Mack Wallace and District Attorney Jack Hardee teamed up immediately for mass questioning of Brownsboro citizens who'd attended the fatal board meeting. They worked all night taking statements. Anybody who saw fighting was asked to put what he had seen in writing.

The district attorney said, "Charges will be filed for every violation of the law we can find arising out of this affray and shooting."

Dr. Charles C. Rahm, hidden in a "secret" jail to avoid a possible lynching, was charged with the murder of Thurman Jackson and assault to murder Bill Melton. Reconstructing the scene from statements and from the path of the wound and powder burns on Jackson's shirt, officers believed Jackson had stumbled over a chair and was on the floor when Dr. Rahm held him with one hand and shot him with the other.

Thurman's brother, Clarence, was charged with misdemeanor assault and battery. The same charge was filed against Clarence Hatton, a Bass man who suffered a broken hand in the fight, Arlin Boles, S. M. (Bill) Watley, ex-board member Bill Barton, and Bill Melton who was still hospitalized with his gunshot wound.

Everyone charged was pro-Bass except Gus Crow - and, of course, Dr. Rahm.

Authorities feared more violence. Approximately 50 people in the town of 600 had been angry enough to fight. Still unanswered was the $64 question as to why the board last May 31 refused to rehire nine Bullock school teachers, three out of four school bus drivers, and a janitor. Pro-Bass people said the people were not rehired because they had failed to support Rahm and his men in the supposed secret vote general election. They described Dr. Rahm as a "little Castro" who tried to run the town like a dictator when he was mayor. One of his projects, while mayor was to make the dead end alley behind his clinic a street, "to create more room for building in Brownsboro." That project had fallen through because of lack of funds and lack of interest among the townsmen.

Now the murder and violence shook all the old coals of anger, and people were more aroused than ever before. They called in four Texas Rangers and seven highway patrolmen to keep the peace in Brownsboro.

Thurman Jackson was buried on Saturday, June 18. Jackson, who'd died in the middle of a controversy, had lived, ironically, the life of a scholarly peacemaker. He'd made close friends in three different churches. Joining together to conduct his services were Rev. William Browning, Methodist; Rev. Lee Teakell, Baptist, and John Teel, Church of Christ minister.

Arlin Boles was a pall bearer the day after he paid his fine for the assault and battery charge. It cost him $25 and court costs of $19.50.

The petition to oust Brownsboro's school board remained unread, and citizens wondered what would happen to their schools. Ex-Superintendent Homer Bass and ex-school board chairman W. B. Knight understood a great deal about the machinery of the state board. The public was worried and deeply saddened by the events, as were the two former school officials.

Knight sat in the shade by his service station, across the alley from Dr. Rahm's closed and shuttered clinic. He shook his gray head.

"It's very possible the state board will take over, and that might help. I don't know if it would solve the dissension or not. But I remember a similar action at Aldine a couple years ago. The state dissolved the school board and put in a new one."

He shook his head again. "The state board took away the school's affiliation and state aid in the Aldine case."

In Austin, Commissioner of Education Dr. J. W. Edgar announced that on June 27 the state board would hold a hearing on the firing of Homer Bass.

He added that the Brownsboro board's failure to reelect more than half its Negro school teachers might result in the school's losing of its accreditation.

Homer Bass spoke of the murdered Thurman Jackson. "He had two daughter in school, and was just interested in seeing that they had a decent school to go to."

Friday, November 18, 2016

Andean Cocaine by Paul Gootenberg

Gootenberg, Paul Andean Cocaine: The Making of a Global Drug. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2008.

       Andean Cocaine traces the obscure processes and transformations of the global coca and cocaine commodity chain. Gootenberg documents the traditions of the Andean coca leaf, the birth of cocaine as a medical commodity, the early twentieth-century decline of licit cocaine, and cocaine’s reemergence as a global illicit good following World War II and the decades that followed.
                The commodity chain of coca and cocaine began with the extraction of alkaloidal cocaine from the dried Andean coca leaf. This discovery by German doctoral student Albert Niemann would soon transform cocaine into a world drug commodity. Initially, cocaine was essential as a high-value medical commodity. Medical uses of cocaine included treatment of opiate addiction, hay fever, asthma, or other respiratory ailments. Cocaine’s greatest medical impact in the United States and Europe was as a local anesthetic used during surgery. In Europe, cocaine’s commodity chain was defined by the coca elixir Vin Mariani developed by Corsican physician and chemist Angelo Mariani. Cultivated by Peruvian and Bolivian peasants living in the Andean Mountains, the coca leaf would be dried and shipped to the United States or Europe for refining. Due to the herb’s limited shelf life during transportation, the alkaloidal cocaine extracted would lose potency. The development of Peruvian crude cocaine by Arnaldo Kitz accelerated the industrialization of cocaine. Kitz’s cocaine extraction method involved processing the dried leaf on location in Peru into a crude form that could withstand global shipping.
Peruvian initiative and crude cocaine became the economic lifelines that would spur the licit cocaine boom at the end of the nineteenth century and on into the twentieth. By 1900 Peru had a world monopoly on the product. Crude cocaine created a global connectedness in Andean networks of coca and cocaine. There were two major commercial chains: a German-European-Andean circuit and a United States-Andean circuit. Minor French and British nodes of cocaine science and culture also existed, but all combined to institutionalize and embed channels for the flow of research, medicine, political ideals, and influences in an attempt to monopolize and control the cocaine marketplace.
Declining medical demand and the United States’ anticocaine policies helped lead to an end of the licit cocaine era. By 1950 the illicit cocaine commodity chain was on the verge of erupting into one of the most prolific underground economies in the world. Contrary to popular belief, Colombians came to cocaine, not the other way around. Andean peasants continued to cultivate the coca bush, but by the 1970s Colombians would be responsible for the refinement and marketing of cocaine. Sociopolitical conditions in Colombia enabled narcos, like Pablo Escobar and Blanca Ibáñez, to aggressively manage the sale of cocaine in places such as Miami and Hollywood.
Nineteen Fifties-America witnessed cocaine consumption turn from an already declining licit trade to strictly illicit. Changing cultural tastes turned American drug users from harmless marijuana to the rush of cocaine. With Cuba as the pioneer test market for cocaine, the drug made an easy jump into Miami where there existed a large Cuban diaspora community already familiar with the drug. Increasing drug surveillance and international police cooperation between the United States and several Latin American countries resulted in futile attempts to end the illicit cocaine trade. Ironically, the United States policing of cocaine worked within its borders, but failed when imposed on other countries.
During the latter half of the twentieth century, several global changes occurred that unleashed the illicit cocaine boom. The first occurred in Peru. The Huallaga Valley, the central location of coca and cocaine activity in Peru, experienced a collapse of postwar development schemes. This paved the way for coca-growing peasants to actively intensify their cocaine activities. Second, the cocaine capitalism in the Andes created a rising class of Colombian narcos who crafted new heights and new markets for cocaine. Finally, Nixon-era politics and policies led to a vast new demand for cocaine. As recreational cocaine usage skyrocketed, Nixon’s politically constructed war on cocaine could not put a dent in the growing American cocaine trade or consumption. The main objective of the newly established Drug Enforcement Agency was to raise the price of cocaine to deter consumer use. Instead, the opposite happened.
Given its Andean genealogy, coca and cocaine held important cultural meanings in Peru. The scientific interest in cocaine was part of an awakening of Peruvian scientific nationalism. Lima’s medical elites and modern chemistry transformed the coca plant into medicinal cocaine in the nineteenth century. Peruvians took an herb steeped in Incan history and changed it into an exclusive and modern good. This early study of coca combined science and patriotism. Peruvian scientist’s proximity and experiences lent a privileged place as compared to scientists in Europe. With help from Peruvians like Moreno y Maíz and J. C. Ulloa, elite scientific nationalism made local and traditional coca and universal and scientifically modern cocaine into national subjects, or what Gootenberg calls “highland Andeanness.”
Peruvian scientist Alfredo Bignon’s place in the genealogy of cocaine as a world commodity cannot be underscored. His cocaine papers, published between 1884 and 1887, were investigations into coca and cocaine, but also laced with Peruvian nationalist and commercial overtones. Bignon’s prolific contributions to cocaine science rival that of Sigmund Freud. His cocaine papers were translated and published in major American, French, and German journals. Scientists like Bignon, combined with coca and cocaine, created an innate Peruvian nationalist culture and global commodity.
 Despite the turn towards Colombian narcos for its sale and marketing, the cultivation remained in the hands of coca-growing peasant population of Peru and Bolivia. Peasant cultivation knowledge did not easily progress, and as such the cultivation technology remained largely unchanged. Significant changes in the history of cocaine technology occurred when Kitz began his crude cocaine refining technique. Without question German scientists deserve a nod for their contributions in the science of coca and cocaine. The late nineteenth-century principal center of cocaine research, production, and distribution was Germany. Emmanuel Merck and others came from a well-financed and influential pharmaceutical and scientific European bloc. With modern research models, Germany was able to dominate the early coca and cocaine commodity trade.
After the epic invention by Bignon, the Peruvian migrant Kitz was able to install coca profitably into the Amazon. With nationalist undertones cocaine was promoted as a commodity by native Peruvian Augusto Durand. Even during the decline phase of cocaine during the first part of the twentieth century, Peruvian merchant Andrés A. Soberón continued the exploitation of the Andean plant and cocaine. Coinciding with the rise of anticocainism in the twentieth century, cocaine passed underground to nameless and faceless chemists and narcos who continued to develop cocaine into one of the world’s most lucrative commodities.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Columbus and Leanna Boles Clayton family picture

Leanna Boles Clayton

birth: October 12, 1862
location: Texas
death: January 15, 1905


spouse: Columbus M Clayton

family picture

1900 census


children with Columbus M Clayton:

Minnie Lee Clayton - 1881
Ella Clayton - 1883
Alexander Clayton - 1885
Lula Mae Clayton - 1888
Carl Marion Clayton - 1890
Lem Leon Clayton - 1893
John Homer Clayton - 1897
Jewel Clayton - 1898
Era Clayton 1899
Howard P. Clayton - 1901

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Isaiah Hogan and Elizabeth Smith marriage Tennessee State Marriages, 1780-2002 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2008.

R R Smith - 1860 census

1860 census
location: Nacogdoches County, Texas
date: July 21, 1860

R R Smith  29  male  keeping grocery  Tennessee
Mary E Smith  29  female  housekeeper  Texas
Elizabeth Hogan  52  female  housekeeping  Tennessee
John Patterson  30  male  farmer  South Carolina
Anna Patterson  24  female  housekeeper  Tennessee
Samuel Patterson  6  male  Texas
Robert N Patterson  5  male  Texas
Thomas Patterson  33  male  farmer  South Carolina
Sarah Patterson  6  female  housekeeper  Texas 1860 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2009. Images reproduced by FamilySearch.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Joseph Crawford - 1870 census

location: Pleasant Hill, Sabine Parish, Louisiana
date: August 10, 1870

Joseph Crawford  43  male  white  farmer  Tennessee
Elizabeth Crawford  38  female  white  keeping house  South Carolina
Lewis N Crawford  17  male  white  works on farm  Texas
Joseph Crawford  15  male  white  at school  Texas
Robert W Crawford  13  male  white  at school  Texas
Eddy B Crawford  4  male  white  Texas
Thomas J Springer  17  male  white  works on farm  Louisiana
Keziah Feamster  15  female  white  at home  Texas
Jones Roberson  23  male  mulatto  farm laborer  Texas
Booker Bland  20  male  mulatto  farm laborer  Texas
Hayes McWilliams  17  male  black  farm laborer  Texas
Charles Crawford  11  male  black  works on farm  Texas
Silves Jones  6  female  black  at home  Virginia

"United States Census, 1870," database with images, FamilySearch( : 17 October 2014), Lewis M Crawford in household of Joseph Crawford, Louisiana, United States; citing p. 11, family 88, NARA microfilm publication M593 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 552,027.

Lewis Napoleon Crawford - death

location: Logansport, De Soto Parish, Lousiana
date: January 31, 1941

"Louisiana Deaths Index, 1850-1875, 1894-1956," database, FamilySearch( : 12 December 2014), Lewis Napoleon Crawford, 31 Jan 1941; citing Logansport, De Soto, Louisiana, certificate number 533, State Archives, Baton Rouge; FHL microfilm 626,286.

Lewis Norman Napolean Crawford

birth: Febraury 2, 1854
location: Texas
death: January 31, 1941
location: Logansport, De Soto Parish, Louisiana


spouse: Mattie Luma Whittlesey

1870 census

1900 census



children with unknown:

Rupert Loyd Crawford - 1880
Maggie Crawford - 1881
Claud Crawford - 1883
Norman Crawford - 1885
Hubbard Crawford - 1887
Earl Crawford - 1892
Averil Winifred Crawford - 1895

Dylan Taylor's great-great-great-grandfather

Louis H Crawford - 1900 census

location: Shelby County, Texas
date: June 15, 1900

Louis Crawford  head  white  male  Feb 1854  46  widower  Texas  farmer
Louis Crawford  son  white  male  Mar 1880  20  single  Texas
Maggie Crawford  daughter  white  female  Sept 1881  18  single  Texas
Claud Crawford  son  white  male  Sept 1883  16  single  Texas
Norman Crawford  son  white  male  June 1885  14  single  Texas
Hubbard Crawford  son  white  male  Nov 1887  12  single  Texas
Earl Crawford  son  male  white  July 1892  7  single  Texas
Arvil Crawford  daughter  female  white  Aug 1895  4  single  Texas

Year: 1900; Census Place: Justice Precinct 2, Shelby, Texas; Roll: 1669; Page: 11B; Enumeration District:0087; FHL microfilm: 1241669

Earl Crawford - WWII draft card

The National Archives at St. Louis; St. Louis, Missouri; Draft Registration Cards for Fourth Registration for Louisiana, 04/27/1942 - 04/27/1942; NAI Number: 576248; Record Group Title: Records of the Selective Service System; Record Group Number: 147

Earl Crawford - WWI draft card

"United States World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918," database with images,FamilySearch ( : 12 December 2014), Earl Crawford, 1917-1918; citing Houston City no 4, Texas, United States, NARA microfilm publication M1509 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 1,953,726.

Earl Crawford

birth: August 30, 1892
location: Shelbyville, Shelby County, Texas
death: October 31, 1972
location: Laurel, Jones County, Mississippi

father: Louis Norman Napolean Crawford

spouse: Mary Atlas Truitt

1900 census

World War I draft card

1920 census

1930 census

1940 census

World War II draft card


children with Mary Atlas Truitt:

Edna Earl Crawford - 1918
Helen Odell Crawford - 1920
Fred Benjamin Crawford - 1928
Mary Crawford - 1930
Walter Stuart Crawford - 1935

Dylan Taylor's great-great-grandfather

Friday, October 28, 2016

Banana Cultures

Soluri, John Banana Cultures: Agriculture, Consumption, & Environmental Change in Honduras & the United States. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2005.
            Banana Cultures: Agriculture, Consumption, & Environmental Change in Honduras & the United States combines the fields of Environmental History and Economics to look at the transformation of the banana from a simple Honduran plant into a staple in American kitchens, and how the banana export trade changed cultural practices and biophysical processes that have shaped global economic institutions. In particular, Banana Cultures outlines the commodity chain analysis of the banana export trade which involves processing and transportation technologies that enabled banana companies to hasten the pace of production, distribution, and sale of bananas while cutting labor costs. The commodification of bananas made possible the mass consumption of the fruit in North America.
            The commodity chain analysis allows us to study how products change along their routes from production to consumption. The banana’s commodity chain begins on farms on the North Shore of Honduras and ends on North American tables. Capital and power were concentrated specifically in places between those farms and tables. Companies like the United Fruit Company and the Cuyamel Fruit Company exploited the resources located within this commodity chain and created a fruit for international mass consumption. The construction of railroads in Honduras decreased the transportation time of bananas, allowing the expansion of the export banana trade.
            Fruit companies also experimented with quality control measures as a way to standardize production processes. This step in the banana’s commodity chain evolved around the Gros Michel variety of banana, which because of its ultimate perishability would accrue and lose market price in just a few days. When North American markets became saturated with Gros Michel bananas, quality became important. Due to the eventual near-monopolization of banana transportation methods, fruit companies were able to control those quality standardization processes to a great extent.
            Prior to becoming commonplace in the United States, bananas were pop culture icons of the tropics. Bananas were associated with a cultural inferiority of the tropics and exotic peoples. Over the nineteenth century the symbolic meaning of the banana did not change, however the banana’s economic importance changed immensely. As stated above, the rise of fresh fruit consumption went hand in hand with a rise and shipping and transportation methods. Because of the fossil fuel era, the banana went from a novelty to a commodity in a relatively short period of time.
Advertising served an important step in the commodity chain of the banana. Notwithstanding its tropical origins, the banana helped define every-day consumer culture in the United States. Fruit company executives dealt with how to market bananas and make them more popular than ever. In 1944 the United Fruit Company launched a radio campaign featuring a singing banana dubbed Miss Chiquita. After the launch of Miss Chiquita, the Gros Michel banana was replaced by the Cavendish variety. The Cavendish and Miss Chiquita turned an agricultural commodity into a product that consumers could distinguish by brand name.
American women played perhaps the most important part in the marketing of bananas. Women were responsible for the grocery shopping in most American households and they primarily bore the responsibility of making meals. As such, fruit companies aimed advertising at American women. Recipe books and The Chiquita Banana Song helped send the message that not all bananas were the same, but that the Chiquita banana was superior. The United Fruit Company also published pamphlets extolling the nutritional benefits of the banana.
            Labor relations on the North Shore of Honduras evolved as the banana generated mass appeal in North America. Easy to cultivate and harvest, the banana was initially grown by small- and medium-scale growers. Banana growers experienced a quick and steady return on labor and capital investments. The North Shore actually experienced labor shortages in the early years of the export banana trade. In the early twentieth century, fruit companies began to dominate the landscape of banana farming. With banana plantations, control of railroads and steamships, and the ability to control quality standards, corporate fruit companies created a stranglehold on banana exportation. The story of Luis Cabelleno illustrates how a small-scale banana farmer was unable to keep up with market demand and quality standards while turning a profit. Cabelleno lost steadily lost business over a six-year period, eventually giving up banana cultivation.
            By the mid-twentieth century, labor relations had evolved on the North Shore to reflect the corporatization of the export banana trade. Fruit companies created temporary employment opportunities with cyclical layoffs during production cycles. Alongside the expansion of the Cavendish, packaging plants were able to hire women and children. On the other hand, plantation farming had a negative impact on the agricultural opportunities for the Honduran working class. It became all but impossible for ordinary laborers to find suitable land for farming. Artisan and worker organizations developed after conflicts for the only profitable lands remaining for farming.
            Temporary jobs created by the fruit companies’ expanding operations attracted the underemployed and employed. Olancho, Honduras citizen, Juan Gavilán, remembered the importance of personal contacts during the boom years of the export banana trade. A motivated laborer had little trouble finding and exchanging jobs on the banana plantations of the North Coast.
             The North Shore experienced drastic changes in the history of banana agricultural practices. Under the guiding hand of United States’ capital and technology, banana farming saw the transformation of small-scale banana farming into productive agricultural spaces. United States’ fruit companies initially focused cultivation efforts on Gros Michel. A bacterial plant disease, Panama disease, as it would be called, shifted those efforts away from Gros Michel and towards the Cavendish. After the onset of Panama disease fruit companies implemented a shift in plantation agriculture driven by banana biology, interconnected agroecosystems, and mass-market structures. Disease control became a primary focus of the fruit companies. At great expense disease-control equipment was installed on company plantations and non-company farms alike. Agricultural scientists were employed to study plant diseases, control methods, and prevention.
A major component in Banana Cultures is the disease control methods on banana plantations and the effects on laborers. With plant diseases like Panama disease and Sigatoka, fruit companies developed herbicides and insecticides to continue the export banana trade. Bordeaux mixture was made up of copper sulfate and used to combat Sigatoka. Laborers would be inundated with a mist of the Bordeaux mixture, leaving their skin and clothes a blue-green color. Cantalisio Andino worked on a North Shore banana plantation and reported the underside of his bed turning blue after working a Bordeaux sprayer. Laborers also reported respiratory illnesses that they attributed to the chemicals used on banana plantations. By the 1970s nearly every phase of banana production involved chemical involvement.

The complicated dynamic between fruit companies, laborers, Cavendish banana plants, and plant diseases prompted the greater use of fertilizers and herbicides to boost banana yields. All the while, mass market appeal in North America continued to grow. 

Friday, October 21, 2016

Selman Smith - 1910 census

1910 census
location: Leagueville, Henderson County, Texas
date: April 25, 1910

Sellman D Smith  head  male  white  20  single  Texas  farmer
Anna G Smith  sister  female  white  30  single  Texas
Sallie B Smith  sister  female  white  32  single  Texas
Una B Smith  sister  female  white  17  single  Texas
Ollie V Huston  female  white  17  single  Texas 1910 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2006.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Mary Atlas Truitt Crawford

birth: August 18, 1896
location: Texas
death: May 14, 1963
location: Monahans, Ward County, Texas

father: Alfred Joshua Truitt
mother: Bertie Truitt

spouse: Earl Crawford

1920 census

1930 census

1940 census



children with Earl Crawford:

Edna Earl Crawford - 1918
Helen Odell Crawford - 1920
Fred Benjamin Crawford - 1928
Mary Crawford - 1930
Walter Stuart Crawford - 1935

Dylan Taylor's great-great-grandmother

Mary Atlas Truitt Crawford portrait

Earl Crawford - 1940 census

1940 census
location: Red River Parish, Louisiana
date: April 20, 1940

Earl Crawford  head  male  white  49  married  Louisiana
Mary T Crawford  wife  female  white  37  married  Louisiana
Earl Jr. Crawford  son  male  white  13  single  Louisiana
Fred Crawford  son  male  white  12  single  Louisiana
Mary Crawford  daughter  female  white  10  single  Louisiana
Walter Crawford  son  male  white  5  single  Louisiana 1940 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2012.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Andrew Jackson Adrian

birth: May 20, 1859
location: Smith County, Texas
location: July 12, 1927

father: John David German Adrian
mother: Sarah Turner

spouse: Mary Chandler

1860 census

1870 census



children with Mary Chandler:

German Crawford Adrian - 1888
Mary Gaudie Adrian - 1891
Sarah R Adrian - 1894
Millie A Adrian - 1895
William Bertis Adrian - 1899
Andrew B Adrian - 1902
John Buchanan Adrian - 1904
Clara George Adrian - 1908
Claudia Elizabeth Adrian - 1911

Friday, October 7, 2016

Arrests Made in Drug Raid on Residence

The Cherokeean, (Rusk, Tex.), Vol. 140, No. 38, Ed. 1 Thursday, October 27, 1988 pg. 3

Thursday, October 6, 2016

William Walter Kidd

birth: November 7, 1835
location: Tennessee
death: January 20, 1933
location: Amarillo, Potter County, Texas

father: Thomas D Kidd
mother: Susan Rankin

spouse: Monterrey Jane Pate

1850 census

letter to W. A. Kidd - 1926


children with Monterrey Jane Pate:

William Walter Kidd to W. A. Kidd letter - 1926

Former Tyler Man 93 Years Old, Coming for a Visit
A few of our older citizens perhaps can recall W. W. Kidd who in the late sixties – and on up to the latter eighties, or early nineties, was a resident of Tyler. He was a carpenter, a famous carpenter. Some of his handiwork still stands. He did the wood-work on Marvin church; he built the H. H. Rowland residence which for many years stood at the end of North Broadway, and was when built accounted the finest residence in East Texas.
W. W. Kidd moved away from Tyler between 35 and 40 years ago. A few days ago W. A. Kidd of our city noted the mention of a W. W. Kidd in a newspaper, the item indicating that the subject resided at Amarillo. Mr. Kidd here addressed an enquiry to the Amarillo Postmaster. The letter was turned over to the W. W. Kidd of that city. The following is a letter received in reply to that enquiry, and The Journal reproduces it, knowing that many of the older resident here will be glad to hear from the former Tyler citizen.
Mr. W. A. Kidd,
Tyler, Texas
My dear Nephew –
Mr. Kenyon, who is our Postmaster and neighbor, handed me your letter, and I am surely glad to hear from you. I have been wanting to write you for a long time, but didn’t know the address of any of you boys. I am still in good health. I will be 93 years old in November.
My daughter and I are thinking of taking a trip in the car thru Southern Texas this fall, as I have a son residing at Austin who is a Presbyterian evangelist; and, if we do take that trip, we will stop by Tyler and spend two or three days with you and other relatives there, as I would like so much to see all of you.
Where are Pat and George and the other brothers and their children? I would be so glad to have you write and tell me about all of them.
Our town is on a big boom on account of the oil fields.
With much love and kind wishes to you and all the relatives, I am
Your Uncle,
W. W. Kidd,
910 Pierce St., Amarillo, June 5.

The Tyler Journal (Tyler, Tex.), Vol. 2, No. 6, Ed. 1 Friday, June 11, 1926

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Nancy Copeland Garner

birth: June 19, 1819
location: North Carolina
death: October 6, 1894
location: Smith County, Mississippi

father: Reuben Copeland
mother: Mary Woodard

spouse: Nathan B Garner

1850 census

1860 census

1870 census

1880 census


children with Nathan B Garner:

Eliza Jane Garner - 1841
Wiley J Garner - 1854
Samuel Joseph Garner - 1857

children's great-great-great-great-grandmother

Rufus Duncan Blackwell - 1930 census

1930 census
location: Smith County, Mississippi
date: April 8, 1930

Duncan R Blackwell  head  male  white  59  married  age @ 1st marriage: 22  Mississippi
Daily M Blackwell  wife  female  white  57  married  age @ 1st marriage: 22  Mississippi
Grover M Blackwell  son  male  white  24  married  age @ 1st marriage: 22  Mississippi
Mack Blackwell  son  male  white  19  single  Mississippi
Margret M Blackwell  daughter-in-law  female  white  19  married  age @ 1st marriage: 17  Mississippi

"United States Census, 1930", database with images, FamilySearch( : 8 December 2015), Dock R Blackwell, 1930.

Rufus Duncan Blackwell - 1940 census

location: Smith County, Mississippi
date: April 23, 1940

R D Blackwell  head  male  white  69  married  Mississippi
Adalia Blackwell  wife  female  white  67  married  Mississippi

"United States Census, 1940," database with images, FamilySearch( : accessed 4 October 2016), R D Blackwell, Beat 2, Smith, Mississippi, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 65-7, sheet 11A, family 172, Sixteenth Census of the United States, 1940, NARA digital publication T627. Records of the Bureau of the Census, 1790 - 2007, RG 29. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 2012, roll 2065.