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ConcentricGroove t1_j2s2m09 wrote

It's impossible to know the authentic old west since popular culture latched onto it seemingly instantly and pulp fiction even in the 1880s about the old west proliferated. Tourists and journalists and novelists toured the western towns looking for the old west and its icons. Many played up to the interest and became caricatures of themselves for the dough.


Bakelite51 t1_j2t2bp6 wrote

Travel through middle of nowhere New Mexico far from the tourist traps. There are still towns that look straight out of the 1880s. One bar with a hitching post and one general store that sells everything and cowpokes and outfitters who still sleep on the range at night.


FluorideLover t1_j2v8teg wrote

It’s so true! As a Texan, I only knew Davy Crockett from the Alamo but I got into history in college and learned he was kind of a poser fake Wild West guy at the time. Blew my mind


ConcentricGroove t1_j2v9swr wrote

I think a lot of them have genuine cred but later played the role for the sake of fame & fortune. Even Benjamin Franklin, viewed by the French court as a rustic, took on the role to gain popular support.


FluorideLover t1_j2vanwx wrote

Yes, exactly. He in fact did do a few years of cowboy work but most of his life wasn’t that way. He was in both a state Congress and then later US Congress. He only joined the Texas Revolution bc he lost his re-election. He played up that Wild West reputation when he wrote his autobiography.