Life, land, and labor on Avery Island in the 1920s and 1930s
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Avery Island, Louisiana and McIlhenny Company provide a lens through which to understand how performances of masculinity and paternalism operated in the New South and were deployed for U. S. empire-building projects. Focusing on the tenure of Edward Avery McIlhenny as President of McIlhenny Company, this paper utilizes primary documents from the McIlhenny Company & Avery Island, Inc. Archives to construct a narrative based on correspondence between E. A. and his Wall Street investment banker, Ernest B. Tracy, revealing how E.A. confronted disaster capitalism and influenced the production of cultural tourism amidst environmental and economic crises in the 1920s and 1930s.