Monthly Archives

January 2016


Podcast Episode 11

The Week in Review at the Abbeville Institute, Jan 25-29, 2016. Topics include the Southern tradition, Southern cooking, Southern politics, Thomas Jefferson, Southern education, and Robert E. Lee.
Brion McClanahan
January 30, 2016

Old South Education before the War to Destroy Southern Civilization

In the Old South, only those children whose parents thought they needed education, attended school; many did not.  Of those who did not, many were taught at home to read or to read and write.  A higher percentage of Southerners than Northerners attended college, though students in Southern colleges were more interested in making and enjoying social contacts than in…
George Crockett
January 29, 2016

Huey Long’s Potlikker Recipe

In Louisiana history and folklore, Huey Pierce Long occupies a very special niche.  To be depressingly brief, he was born and reared in north-central Louisiana’s hardscrabble Winn Parish where, in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, contrariness, populism and socialism were dominant.  Charismatic and unscrupulous but unquestionably brilliant, Huey secured a law degree and entered politics.  With a knack…
Roger Busbice
January 28, 2016
Clyde Wilson Library

It’s True What They Say About Dixie

Throughout most of American history region has been a better predictor of political position than party. That aspect of our reality has been neglected and suppressed in recent times as the rest of the country has conspired or acquiesced in transforming the South into a replica of Ohio. Yet the notorious squeak vote on the ObamaCare bill shows that the…
Clyde Wilson
January 27, 2016
Review Posts

Jefferson and the Barbary Pirates

President Thomas Jefferson’s first inaugural address articulated his philosophical manifesto: “Peace, commerce, and friendship with all nations – entangling alliances with none.” These basic maxims were stressed repeatedly by Jefferson, who cherished a commercially free country that would avert the costly European wars of the past. Optimally, Jefferson hoped to avoid foreign conflicts completely. Jefferson had long championed the idea…
Dave Benner
January 26, 2016

The Heritage of the South

This essay served as the concluding chapter to Page's biography of Robert E. Lee, published in 1908. I stood not a great while ago on the most impressive spot, perhaps, in all Europe: beneath the majestic dome of the Invalides where stands the tomb of Napoleon. It was a summer evening, and we descended the steps and stood at the…
Thomas Nelson Page
January 25, 2016

Podcast Episode 10

The Week in Review at the Abbeville Institute, Jan 18-22, 2016. Topics: Political Correctness, Robert E. Lee, Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson
Brion McClanahan
January 23, 2016

Lee the Philosopher

This essay was originally published in The Georgia Review, Vol. II, No. 3 (Fall 1948), 297-303. As the Civil War assumes increasingly the role of an American Iliad, a tendency sets in for its heroes to take on Fixed characterizations. Epithets of praise and blame begin to recur, and a single virtue usurps the right to personify the individual. In…
Richard M. Weaver
January 22, 2016
Review Posts

Stonewall Jackson

  This essay is excerpted from the Preface to Stonewall Jackson: The Man, the Soldier, the Legend (1997) by James I. Robertson, Jr. Thomas Jonathan Jackson’s walnut bookcase at the Virginia Historical Society contains six shelves filled with the volumes he collected. Almost in the center of the case stand three works side by side. The one in I he…
James I. Robertson, Jr.
January 21, 2016
Clyde Wilson Library

Robert E. Lee and the American Union

"And the cause of all these things was power pursued for the gratification of avarice….." -- Thucydides Lee made few political statements, as befits a soldier. When he did it was almost always in private and in response to questions. The most important of such statements is his letter to Lord Acton after The War, which will be treated later.…
Clyde Wilson
January 20, 2016

Robert E. Lee: Gallant Soldier, Noble Patriot, True Christian

January 19 will mark the 209th anniversary of the birth of Robert E. Lee in 1807, one of the most respected and revered military leaders in American history. That respect and reverence extends over most of the world, wherever military leadership is studied. Lee’s birthday is an official state holiday in Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Florida. It was also an…
Mike Scruggs
January 19, 2016

American Hypocrisy

I was watching the national news immediately after the San Bernardino terror. A sympathetic host was interviewing a refined Muslim gentleman, who was given more than ample time to explain that his faith and its symbols were being misrepresented by the terrorists’ holocaust. But consider: The Koran contains the words of Allah whose many commandments therein call for the extermination…
Herbert Chambers
January 18, 2016

Podcast Episode 9

The Week in Review at the Abbeville Institute, Jan 11-15, 2016.  Host Brion McClanahan discusses Harper Lee, Southern literature, Southern Jews, Reconstruction, and political correctness.
Brion McClanahan
January 16, 2016

The Untold Story of Reconstruction

Widely praised for his 2009 Cotton and Race in the Making of America, author Gene Dattel recently wrote an article titled “The Untold Story of Reconstruction,” in the September 2015 edition of The New Criterion. Although predicting that the present Reconstruction Sesquicentennial shall result in “reams of material blaming the South for our racial conundrum” he concludes that all the…
Philip Leigh
January 15, 2016

Southern Stars of David

I am a Jew. Hath not a Jew eyes? Hath not a Jew hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions? Fed with the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject to the same diseases, healed by the same means, warmed and cooled by the same winter and summer as a Christian is?    The Merchant of Venice (Act 3, Scene…
John Marquardt
January 14, 2016

Sayings By or For Southerners, Part XXIV

Totalitarianism, defined as the existential rule of Gnostic activists, is the end form of progressive civilization.--Eric Voegelin The South is the foe to Northern industry---to our mines, our manufactures, and our commerce.--Abolitionist Theodore Parker, 1861 Consolidators, supremacists, and conquerors, however, will all equally disregard any instrument, however solemn and explicit, by which ambition and avarice will be restrained and the…
Clyde Wilson
January 13, 2016
Review Posts

To the Virginian Voyage

Michael Drayton never came to the New World.  In 1606 he wrote this ode "To the Virginian Voyage," in honour of Sir Walter Raleigh's first expedition to plant a permanent settlement of English people in North America.  The poem illustrates the culture out of which the first Southerners came and almost uncannily anticipates the South that was soon to be…
Michael Drayton
January 12, 2016

Go Set a Watchman

Harper Lee betrayed the literary establishment and many of her readers with the recent publication of her novel, Go Set a Watchman.  The novel was originally written before the acclaimed, To Kill a Mockingbird and when it was published last year the literary public, readers and critics, were most impatient to read it. Many of them had reactions ranging from…
John Devanny
January 11, 2016

Podcast Episode 8

The Week in Review at the Abbeville Institute, Jan 4-8, 2016, hosted by Brion McClanahan.  Topics include Black slaveonwers, Black Confederates, Revisionism, and Political Correctness.
Brion McClanahan
January 9, 2016

Black Soldiers, North and South, 1861-1865

This articles was originally published as Chapter 27 in Understanding the War Between the States, Howard Ray White and Clyde Wilson, eds., 2015. Students will be surprised to learn of the extent to which African Americans supported the Confederate army and navy.  That will be covered in some detail in this chapter.  Also covered with be the more familiar story…
Earl L. Ijames
January 8, 2016

Black Slaveowners

  This essay is the introduction to Larry Koger's book, Black Slaveowners: Free Black Slave Masters in South Carolina, 1790-1860. Black slaveholding is a historical phenomenon which has not been fully explored by scholars. Graduate students of history are often sur­prised to learn that some free blacks owned slaves. Even historians are fre­quently skeptical until they discover the number of…
Larry Koger
January 7, 2016
Clyde Wilson Library

Black Confederates?

A review of Black Confederates and Afro-Yankees in Civil War Virginia, by Ervin L. Jordan, Jr., Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1995, 447 pages; and Black Slaveowners: Free Black Slavemasters in South Carolina, 1790-1860, by Larry Koger, Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1994, 286 pages. Black Confederates! Remember, you heard it here first. You will be hearing more if…
Clyde Wilson
January 6, 2016
Review Posts

Did Black People Own Slaves?

This article was originally printed at on March 4, 2013. One of the most vexing questions in African-American history is whether free African Americans themselves owned slaves. The short answer to this question, as you might suspect, is yes, of course; some free black people in this country bought and sold other black people, and did so at least…
Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
January 5, 2016

“Get Past Race and Fix Current Problems:” A Reply

South Carolina State Senator Katrina Frye Shealy recently declared that the state should “get past race and fix current problems.”   Dr. W. Kirk Wood, Professor History Emeritus at Alabama State University, wrote this in reply. Dear Sen. Shealy, Your recent letter to the editor of the State newspaper of 12-7-2015 (“Let’s Get Past Race and Fix Current Problems”) was welcomed…
W. Kirk Wood
January 4, 2016

Podcast Episode 7

The Week in Review at the Abbeville Institute, December 28, 2015-January 1, 2016. Topics: Southern literature, the year in review, John C. Calhoun, slavery, the Confederate Flag, Southern film, California.
Brion McClanahan
January 3, 2016
Media Posts

The Army of the Dead

Author Barbara Marthal discusses her Southern heritage through stories and song at the October 2015 Abbeville Institute Conference in Stone Mountain, GA.
Barbara Marthal
January 3, 2016
Media Posts

The Old South and the New South

Brion McClanahan discusses the continuity between the Old South and the New South and the Jeffersonian understanding of the War for Southern Independence at the October 2015 Conference in Stone Mountain, GA.
Brion McClanahan
January 3, 2016

Top Ten

Our top ten for 2015: 1. Lies My Teacher Told Me: The True History of the War for Southern Independence by Clyde Wilson 2. Was the Civil War About Slavery? by Dave Benner 3. The Dark Side of Abraham Lincoln by Thomas Landess 4. What is a Southerner? by Clyde Wilson 5. Why Do They Hate the South and Its…
Brion McClanahan
January 2, 2016

2015 in Review

Sean Hannity begins his nationally syndicated radio talk show by welcoming listeners to “the revolution.”  This is a clever marketing ploy, but nothing Hannity discusses is truly revolutionary nor that inspiring.  Many thoughtful listeners are left searching for a voice that articulates their worldview, particularly in the South. Some of these people—not just Southerners—have ended up at the Abbeville Institute. …
Brion McClanahan
January 1, 2016