Monthly Archives

March 2024


True Virginia Ham

In February 1820, a native Virginian then residing in Richmond wrote a letter to a good friend in Princeton, New Jersey. One of his topics in the missive was how best to prepare a hog for dinner: Altho’ I am sick and harassed with much business I must write soon, least your pork should be too long in brine. .…
Forrest L. Marion
March 29, 2024

A Confederate in Paris

In March 1861, Ambrose Dudley Mann, a native of Virginia, left the Confederate States of America on a diplomatic mission to Europe, where he remained for the next four years. After his country was defeated in the war, he resolved that he could never return to his native soil unless he returned to an independent South, and so he resided…
Karen Stokes
March 28, 2024

What Did Jefferson Really Look Like?

A newspaper in Chillicothe, Ohio, in 1887 and in 1902 stated that Sally Hemings’ last child, slave Eston Hemings, resembled Thomas Jefferson. Just how that resemblance was established is unclear. Eston Hemings died in 1877; Thomas Jefferson, in 1826. So, the newspaper was reporting that one person that had been dead for 10/25 years resembled another that has been dead…
M. Andrew Holowchak
March 27, 2024

Lincoln Studies and a Stacked Deck

Back in 1949, two researchers, J. S. Bruner and Leo Postman, wanted to sort out the relationship between what we see and how we interpret what we see. They did a proper study of it — “On the Perception of Incongruity: A Paradigm”, Journal of Personality, 18:206 ff. (1949), if you want to look it up. Bruner and Postman asked…
Kevin Orlin Johnson
March 26, 2024

The North’s Victory Unmasked

An aspect of preserving the Southern tradition is rescuing books of wisdom that have been lost and forgotten. That is the case with The United States Unmasked,  published in 1879 by Gabriel Manigault (1809—1888). Manigault was born in Charleston to distinguished patriot families on both sides and married into another such family.  After serving in the defenses of Charleston and…
Clyde Wilson
March 25, 2024

Good Stock

As soon as I walked through the door I could smell it. The thick, pungent aroma of collard greens and smoked ham hock cooked low and slow for hours. Simple fare, born of necessity, but it remains one of my favorite meals. And despite the humble nature of the ingredients, it is nothing short of delicious. It’s Sunday afternoon. That…
Brandon Meeks
March 22, 2024
BlogReview Posts

Patriotism and the History of Prejudice

A review of The Need to Be Whole: Patriotism and the History of Prejudice (Shoemaker + Company, 2022) by Wendell Berry I had heard of Wendell Berry for quite some time, and though I had an idea of what he was for—‘what I stand for is what I stand on’—I had never read him. I believe that my very first…
James Rutledge Roesch
March 21, 2024

The Original Meaning of the 14th Amendment

On Friday, March 15, the Abbeville Institute hosted a webinar on the legal scholar Raoul Berger and the original meaning of the Fourteenth Amendment. Brion McClanahan hosted legal scholars Allen Mendenhall, William Watkins, and Jesse Meriam for a round table discussion on the Berger, the amendment, and Reconstruction. If you want to learn more about the fraudulent "ratification" of the…
Abbeville Institute
March 20, 2024

Southern Nationalism

A leftwing scribbler on some website recently called me “a White Nationalist.” He thought that was a conclusive judgment. But I am not now and never have been a “White Nationalist.” I have long been called a Southern nationalist, but that is a different matter. The Southern people are real. White nationalism is merely a Yankee ideology, an abstraction with…
Clyde Wilson
March 19, 2024

Calhoun’s “Richest Legacy to Posterity”

From Gustavus M. Pinckney, The Life of John C. Calhoun The attentive reader will not have forgotten that in the letter of Mr. Calhoun in reference to his acceptance of the Secretaryship of State he made mention of a project which he had in mind for leisure hours in the home routine to which at that time he looked forward.…
Gustavus M. Pinckney
March 18, 2024

A Favorite Southern Trio

A few years back, I came to Louisiana for the first time. Being an Indiana Hoosier, I had no idea what dishes were native to this region, aside from gumbo and crawfish. The first Southern meal my Louisiana family introduced me to was red beans and rice. I didn’t know what to expect, but as soon as I took my…
Arianna Brindle
March 15, 2024

President Davis in Chains

The lamp was always lit So I could sleep but fitfully They'd let me have no chair And only narrow cot, No screen for chamber pot. My worn and skimpy coat Was all they would alot. In silence I could bear The torture of the lamp, the cold, The oozing damp and mold, But when they ushered in the four…
James Everett Kibler
March 14, 2024

Jefferson and the Indians

I came into possession of Anthony Wallace’s book, Jefferson and the Indians: American Indian Policy in the Formative Years on November 1, 2010. Since then, I have thrice tried to read the book, but I could never get beyond the introduction, and that, for me, is unusual, even when it comes to books, especially books on Jefferson. In his introduction,…
M. Andrew Holowchak
March 13, 2024

A New Classic Southern Novel

The highest and most lasting achievement of 20th century American literature is Southern fiction. The great Southern writers present an imagined but realistic world. Unlike usually solipsistic Northern fiction, that world includes families over several generations centered in real places, historical context, memorable characters, and the challenging moral complexity of genuine human living. This great Faulknerian/Agrarian story-telling tradition continues into…
Clyde Wilson
March 12, 2024

What If Secession Happens Now?

Recently a private polling company called YouGov conducted a survey asking Americans if they advocated the secession of their home state from the United States.  North and South, Democrat and Republican, the distribution was fairly consistent, averaging out to 23 percent in favor of their state’s secession. The survey, as reported on March 6 in the London Daily Mail, didn’t…
Kevin Orlin Johnson
March 11, 2024

1934: The Last Rebel Yell

In 1934, FDR was the first President to visit Roanoke County, Virginia, since George Washington had 200 years before as a young surveyor and soldier. FDR was to race through Salem (our home town) on his way to honor the new World War I veterans’ hospital nearby. The locals crowded about a right turn where his car had to slow…
Joscelyn Dunlop
March 8, 2024

What’s a Road

Native Americans once traversed their paths before the founding of the nation. A teenage George Washington traveled them as a surveyor in the mid-eighteenth century. Enslaved blacks built fieldstone walls that line some of them. And Union and Confederate armies once clashed upon them. I’m talking about the gravel roads of Loudoun County in northwest Virginia. If you know anything…
Casey Chalk
March 7, 2024

Remember the Alamo

I was watching some old true crime story on one of the cable channels recently. Probably a rerun, though I don’t keep up with T.V. and its general blather. As a rule, T.V. is about as entertaining and educational as two goats eating weed grass without disturbing the dandelions. And the “news” is even worse. Anyway, this crime had taken…
Paul H. Yarbrough
March 6, 2024

Elias Cornelius Boudinot and Confederate-Indian Relations

From the establishment of Jamestown in 1607, until the sundering of the Union, a period of roughly 250 years, English, and later American, governments had a very poor record in relations with Native American tribes. In 1861, however, a new “white” government emerged in the American South, the Confederate States of America. The new Southern Republic sought to gain an…
Ryan Walters
March 5, 2024

The Birth of Jaffa and the Death of History

There have been a lot of things spoken of Goldwater, from lunatic to nationalist and everything in between. While most historians, on both the right and the left, tend to focus on these well placed propagandist terms, the few points that get perpetually overlooked by any analyst are the significant points of who he was, his own personal platform, how…
Justin Pederson
March 4, 2024

How to Roast a Possum

There are few kinds of critters that roam the countryside where I live that I haven’t eaten at least once. Deer, squirrels, armadillos, raccoons, wild hogs and the like. I haven’t always liked them, but sometimes it was all we had. In the late 80’s, my folks lost their jobs at the mill due to a strike and if we…
Brandon Meeks
March 1, 2024