One issue I’ve encountered so far when explaining my thesis to my peers is my utilization of the term “Florida Cracker.” These are the pioneer families whom Marjorie wrote about. However, throughout our history, especially recently, the label “cracker” has incurred negative connotations, even though the term was originally adopted by Florida natives as a term of pride. Historian Dana Ste. Clair does an excellent job explaining what a cracker is in the context of Florida history, which is the context Marjorie uses for her writing.
As part of my research, I will conduct interviews with park rangers at Dudley Farm, to gain more insight into what particularly characterized the Crackers, and what their everyday life was like. I am hoping that by using this footage in the documentary component of my thesis, I can help dispel some of the myths about these pioneer folks.
The Crackers were and still are a widely misunderstood breed of people. They came to Florida from Georgia and the Carolina’s in hopes of finding a refuge from the harsh realities of the Civil War. Marjorie strives to portray them as a noble people, and tries to draw empathy from her audience.