There is quite a large race or class of people in America, for whom we scarcely seem to have a parallel in England. Of pure white blood, they are unknown or unrecognisable in in towns; inhabit the fringe of settlements and the deep, quiet places of the country; rebellious to all labour, and pettily thievish, like the English gipsies; rustically ignorant, but with a touch of wood-lore and the dexterity of the savage. Whence they came is a moot point. At the time of the [Civil] war, they poured north in crowds to escape conscription; lived during summer on fruits, wild animals, and petty theft; and at the approach of winter, when these supplies failed, built great fires in the forest, and there died stoically by starvation. They are widely scattered, however, and easily recognised. Loutish, but not ill-looking, they will sit all day, swinging their legs on a field-fence, the mind seemingly as devoid of all reflection as a Suffolk peasant's, careless of politics, for the most part incapable of reading, but with a rebellious vanity and a strong sense of independence. Hunting is their most congenial business, or, if the occasion offers, a little amateur detection...By their names ye may know them, the women figuring as Loveina, Larsenia, Serena, Leanna, Oreanna; the men answering to Alvin, Alva, or Orion, pronounced Orrion, with accent on the first. Whether they are indeed a race, or whether this is the form of degeneracy common to all backwoodsmen, they are at least known by a generic byword, as Poor Whites or Low-downers.

Robert Louis Stevenson, The Silverado Squatters, The Hunter's Family

Stevenson's accounts of his travels in the United States (The Amateur Emmigrant, The Old and New Pacific Capitals, The Silverado Squatters) contain many fascinating and profound insights into the American character.

The "race" to which Stevenson refers here is not, of course, a race. It is a subspecies, Homo Sapiens Stultus, found in large numbers in northern Wisconsin and in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. They remain much as Stevenson described them, except that they have found new ridiculous names for themselves, usually lifted from soap operas or fifty-cent "Name Your Baby" books vended at convenience store checkouts.

Stevenson describes a different but equally revolting subspecies that inhabits the east coast of the United States; and yet another vile and degraded subspecies that inhabits California.

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