In coverage of the Florida GOP primary, I heard a commentator get his knickers in a knot over the term, “cracker.” You see, in some circles, calling a white person the “C” word is akin to calling a black person the “N” word. But in Florida, it means something else. Cracker refers to the original settlers of Florida, hearty and hardworking pioneers who herded cattle by cracking whips. Cracker Cowboys rode Cracker Horses and with the help of Cracker Dogs, drove Cracker Cattle. I suspect they even ate Cracker Crackers. The point is, descendants of these early Floridians proudly call themselves Crackers today with not a hint of self-consciousness. The Florida Cracker Horse is alive and well, too, and just might be the closest thing we have to the near-mythical Spanish Jennet, whose genetics found their way to America courtesy of the Spanish Conquistadors and live on in numerous gaited breeds here.
Frederic Remington left us this painting of Florida Cracker Cowboys.
Great article on derivation of the term: http://homepages.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~fcc/main/what's_a_cracker.htm
Keep your eyes open for my upcoming TV show on the Florida Cracker Horse.
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