Monthly Archives

September 2023


Master of the Metaphor

“Nietzschean nuggets and verbal furbelows” in Henry Wiencek’s Master of the Mountain Henry Wiencek in his introduction to Master of the Mountain: Thomas Jefferson and His Slaves begins metaphorically, “Thomas Jefferson’s mansion stands atop his mountain like the Platonic ideal of a house: a perfect creation existing in an ethereal realm, literally above the clouds.” And the metaphors just keep…
M. Andrew Holowchak
September 29, 2023

Damnyankees and Old Southern Gentlemen

In the summer of 1863 Confederate soldiers began arriving at Point Lookout Prison, located at the southernmost tip of the Western Shore of Maryland.  Too many of these men were to perish there, the captives not of a nation in desperate economic straits, cut off from the rest of the world, but of a wealthy one with access to open…
J.L. Bennett
September 28, 2023

Divorcing Ourselves from Akhil Reed Amar

Editor's note: This piece originally ran as a five part series at The Independent Institute. Just a month ago, National Review (the supposed Gray Lady of the Right) ran a piece by Yale’s Akhil Reed Amar entitled Declaring Independence from Thomas Jefferson. The piece is a paean to centralized power imbued with presentism as Amar virtue signals and plays the role of Pied Piper as…
William J. Watkins
September 27, 2023

The Truth About Tariffs

Most Civil War and Reconstruction Era historians dismiss Southern complaints about tariffs, both as a cause of the War and of postbellum Southern poverty. They contend that the only impact of the tariffs was to raise the price of domestic goods protected by such tariffs. The price inflation, they argue, affected all Americans, not just Southerners. Although most concede that the domestic…
Philip Leigh
September 26, 2023

Jefferson Davis on Trial

The Boston Daily Adviser, July 25, 1865, stated exactly what was on the line: “If Jefferson Davis is innocent, then it is the government of the United States which is guilty; if secession has not been rebellion, then the North in stifling it as such, has committed a crime.” That the question was even asked tells us that the legality…
Rod O'Barr
September 25, 2023

My Dad was a Joker

My dad was a joker.  It was one of his favorite words.  He had lots of favorite words and phrases.  Some of them you will be introduced to in this story.  By a joker, I mean a funny joker.  He always had something running in the background...some program on autopilot and you couldn't tell if it was bothering him or…
William Platt
September 22, 2023

Reassessing John Tyler

It’s pretty safe to assume that Mark Levin hates President John Tyler. Listening to Levin on his radio show, his television program, or in interviews, he routinely names Tyler as a failed President and one of the country’s worst, each and every time he gets a chance. In 2013, when asked by Neil Cavuto on Fox News where he thought…
Ryan Walters
September 21, 2023

Barber Wanted: Dead or Alive

“Did your barber die?” This is what my Grandmother said to me last week during Sunday dinner. Being one of those dear old things who thinks it undignified to be openly critical, she always comes sidling up to criticism through the back door. So between spooning mashed potatoes onto my plate and ladling brown gravy over them, she commenced telling…
Brandon Meeks
September 20, 2023
BlogReview Posts

A Revolution Too Far

A review of Southern Reconstruction (Yardley PA: Westholme, 2017) by Philip Leigh Today, when partisans of America’s two corrupt political parties throw simpleminded “history lessons” at one other, Philip Leigh has written something quite remarkable: a sober and measured account of Reconstruction. This is all the more noteworthy since Reconstruction has been a sacred cow for five or more decades.…
Joseph R. Stromberg
September 19, 2023

Where Have All the Cowboys Gone?

Twenty years ago, for reasons lost to history, I ran across the story of General “Mad Anthony” Wayne, who was returning from fighting Indians in Michigan, but took ill and died in Erie, Pennsylvania. The leaders of Erie claimed him as their own and buried him with honors… and were none too happy when his son arrived, with plans to…
Prioleau Alexander
September 18, 2023

A Humane Element in Southern Secession

“You and we are different races. We have between us a broader difference than exists between almost any other two races. Whether it is right or wrong I need not discuss, but this physical difference is a great disadvantage to us both, as I think your race suffer very greatly, many of them by living among us, while ours suffer…
Rod O'Barr
September 15, 2023

Don’t Become North Vietnam

Dear Pentagon EIS Committee, The removal of the Arlington Confederate Monument, a genuinely considered artistic masterpiece, created by Sir Moses Ezekiel, would not be an "environmental" improvement. It is a great historic monument which was dedicated to reconciliation between the North and the South following four bitter war years where nearly 800,000 Americans died, on both sides. There has never…
Alphonse-Louis Vinh
September 14, 2023

A “Proof” Gone Bad in the Jefferson Paternity Issue

After the 1998 DNA study in Nature indicted Thomas Jefferson apropos of the paternity of Eston Hemings and the rest of Sally Hemings’ children, the Thomas Jefferson Memorial Foundation (hereafter, TJMF)—now merely the Thomas Jefferson Foundation—formed a committee to examine the DNA study and strands of historical evidence. In 2000, the foundation declared, “The DNA study, combined with multiple strands…
M. Andrew Holowchak
September 13, 2023
BlogReview Posts


A review of Firepower: An American Civil War Novel (Independent, 2023) by Philip Leigh It is all so simple, the establishment historian writes. The typical Southerner was an illiterate, tobacco-chewing hayseed. The South—led by a handful of West Point stalwarts—resisted for four long years because of stubbornness, bravo, and the fact that they were far too stupid to realize they…
Samuel W. Mitcham
September 12, 2023

Neither Snow, Nor Rain, Nor Gloom of War

When New York City’s Central Post Office opened in 1914, it bore the inscription that was to become the United States Postal Service’s unofficial motto, “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.” Those couriers began their official rounds in July of 1775 when the Second Continental…
John Marquardt
September 11, 2023

Stephens’ Reflections on the “Cornerstone Speech”

Rod O’Barr’s recent blog “The So-Called ‘Cornerstone Speech’” The So-Called “Cornerstone Speech” – Abbeville Institute is really excellent. Over the years, the so-called “Cornerstone Speech” by Confederate Vice President Alexander H. Stephens has been cited as proof positive that slavery was the cause of the Confederacy. Rod O’Barr did a good job of debunking that, but he omitted one other…
Timothy A. Duskin
September 8, 2023

The Dog Days

It was 104 in the shade yesterday–at dusk. Even in the twilight I could see the wrinkled air above the asphalt on the road, trembling echoes still hot to the touch. I sat bare chested on the front  porch in a pool of saltwater my body had just made out of pork chops and potatoes. The evening sun, now only…
Brandon Meeks
September 7, 2023

Randolph Visits Monticello, with Perks

The epistolary exchange between Thomas Jefferson and Randolph Jefferson, younger by 12 years and acknowledged by almost all historians to be cognitively challenged, is sparse. It begins during Jefferson’s last year in Paris, 1789. Thomas begins the letter thus, “The occurrences of this part of the globe are of a nature to interest you so little that I have never…
M. Andrew Holowchak
September 6, 2023

The So-Called “Cornerstone Speech”

The so-called “Cornerstone Speech “delivered March 3, 1861, is one of the go-to documents of purveyors of the “Pious Cause Myth” in modern academia. This choice of title reveals their own deep-seated bias for a fabricated fashionable narrative popular among today’s academics. That narrative claims the War Against Southern independence was “all about slavery.” If you do not believe there…
Rod O'Barr
September 5, 2023

Gone But Not Forgotten

Five Classic Films that Southerners Should Explore It’s no secret that Hollywood over the past three decades has not been kind to the South or to the Confederacy. The last major films that have in any way been fair or which attempted to be objective about the Confederacy were, probably, “Gettysburg” (in 1993) and “Gods and Generals” (in 2003). But…
Boyd Cathey
September 1, 2023