Billy Jackson: A Young Man’s Journey and Passion in a Young America

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Adams was a political theorist in the Age of Enlightenment who promoted republicanism and a strong central government. His innovative ideas were frequently published. He was also a dedicated diarist and correspondent, particularly with his wife and key advisor Abigail. He was the father of John Quincy Adams.

For other uses, see John Adams disambiguation. Attributed [ edit ] Old minds are like old horses; you must exercise them if you wish to keep them in working order. Our whole terrestrial Universe ought to be summarily comprehended in his Mind. Misattributed [ edit ] Statements originally made by others, that have become wrongly attributed to John Adams.

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Wikipedia has an article about: John Adams. Even the fragile grasses that did survive on the surrounding prairie were often ravaged by roaming stray longhorn cattle. It was often jokingly said the land was so dry that bushes used to follow dogs around. It was an austere and lonely life for those who had chosen to live there.

Between his labors, young Billy Jackson always enjoyed talking with the passing men. They were a welcome relief from his tedious and back-breaking work. With his dark auburn hair that seemed to combine the colors of the common red dirt and the brown seeping oil patches of the landscape, his deep-set eyes matched the product of the booming coal mines that were located a few miles away, Billy looked like he was part of the land.

By hiding in the root cellar, Billy had survived, but there were still nights when he often would wake from his nightmares of whoops, hollers, cussing and screams. His Choctaw mother had died of cholera when Billy was very young. All Billy had remembered of her was her sweet, almost always smiling eyes and how soft her hands always felt. When she died, he had for the first and only time in his life, seen his father cry.

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Though still in his teens, Billy had grown into a tall and strong young man. His uncle who was now also his guardian, worked him hard, almost like a slave, so that his muscles had grown and hardened until he was as tough as a bull hide saddle.

Billy Jackson: A Young Man’S Journey and Passion in a Young America

His hands had become as calloused and as strong as the steel-toothed coyote traps his uncle set around their chicken coop. The farm that the two had worked was acres of arid West Texas land. They had struggled to raise a few animals mostly hogs for meat and chickens for eggs to sell , some wheat, maybe a patch of peas, some potatoes and corn, but it was very hard work on that small farm for him and his uncle and they had to survive.


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The first cold spell hitting the prairie signaled that it was time to slaughter the hogs. Then the two would drag over a fifty-five gallon tub and carefully place it under a strong branch of one of the large oak trees on the property, then they would hoist it by chain and pulley a foot or two off the ground. The tub was then filled with water from their well and a large fire was started underneath to heat it to a boil. Billy and his uncle would then attach a block and tackle to a big limb hanging over the vat. This process was repeated several times until the skin was clean, smooth and the hog could be dressed out and quartered.

Hams and the back side meat were then taken to the smokehouse, cured with a combination of sugar and salt while the remainder were usually ground later into sausage with spices. The trimmed excess fat was then usually melted and rendered into lard and cracklings. When the hard work was finally over, he was exhausted from the heat and the labor, all Billy wanted was to rest. All that his uncle was thinking about was his celebrating the end of the task with drink and perhaps a pretty young new whore in town that he had been thinking about.

Joad Jackson was a very large heavily-muscled man. He had a constant scowl on his face and could often become a very mean drunk. Once they had owned a very productive Guernsey milk cow, but on one of his frequent binges over a weekend, his uncle had traded her for a half case of whiskey and an hour with another whore. When Billy asked him what happened to their cow, he got rewarded by being backhanded across the face! When Joad would drink, Billy knew a beating would probably be coming his way.

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No one ever knew what had made Joad Jackson so mean. There were rumors. Maybe it is this damned prairie. This damn place sours a lot of people. Another man said, Maybe it was his brother dying that way and leaving him with that kid to raise up.

Or, if they got drunk enough, they would mention the most probable cause. Shit, you and I both know that it was his wife sneaking off with that traveling salesman, the one that was selling that feed and farm equipment. After years of hard work under the blazing Texas sun, Billy was often mistaken for an Indian or a Mexican by strangers and newcomers, those who saw only his arms and perhaps his face from a distance. The wide-brimmed straw hat that shaded his face and neck also kept his features relatively pale. With his olive complexion, deep-set brown eyes with long lashes and cheekbones set high on his face, he had grown into a very good-looking young man.

Damn you boy! I told ya them damn fucking chickens should have been fed earlier! What the fuck is the matter with you? Look at what they did to the damn pea patch again! Joad Haggard stood unsteadily out in the vegetable patch, slurring his words. He scowled at Billy, who involuntarily winced when he saw Joad reach for his whip.

He had strongly felt the fight-or-flight reflex, but he knew neither one would work. He had already tried running twice before and his reward each time was a beating even worse than the usual. The last time, his uncle had found him trying to hide down by the creek behind a large willow tree, is when he had caught him trying to conceal himself. It took a week for the pain to subside and for the wounds to heal.

This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue? Upload Sign In Join. Save For Later. Create a List. Summary A young Texas lad growing up on a small farm in the s, sets out to explore America when he decides it was time to explore the world. Read on the Scribd mobile app Download the free Scribd mobile app to read anytime, anywhere. The Farm 2. The Shawnee Trailhead 3.

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The Ramrod 4. The Wagon Train 6. Westward 7. Petey And His Friend 8. The Jail 9. The Prisoner San Francisco The Hacienda At Monterey The Corrida Inamorata The Elopement The Jackals