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M.E. Bradford

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Steady Hand at the Wheel

Thomas Johnson was born in Calvert County, Maryland, on his father's lands near the mouth of St. Leonard's Creek. He was the son of Thomas and Dorcas Sedgwick Johnson and the grandson of Thomas Johnson, barrister, who was the first of the line to reside in Maryland, having fled there after running away with a chancery ward. All of these…
M.E. Bradford
December 7, 2018
Blog

The Americanization of James Iredell

James Iredell was born at Lewes, Sussex County, England. He was the eldest of the five sons of Francis Iredell, a Bristol merchant, and Margaret McCulloh Iredell, originally of Dublin. Young James came to the New World in 1768 because, after his father suffered a stroke in the mid-1760’s, it was necessary for the boy to leave school and accept…
M.E. Bradford
July 18, 2018
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The Fighting Gamecock: Thomas Sumter

Thomas Sumter in his encounters with the Indian na­tions enters the pages of recorded history. He had prob­ably been present at the fall of Fort Duquesne and in the campaign across the Ohio River and had learned some­thing of the red man during this early service. In any case, he was chosen to accompany Lieutenant Henry Timberlake to treat with…
M.E. Bradford
November 1, 2017
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The Nabob as Antifederalist: Benjamin Harrison of Virginia

Benjamin Harrison the Signer was born at Berkely (later called Harrison's Landing) in Charles City County, Virginia. He was the son of Benjamin Harrison and Anne Carter Harrison, daughter of Robert 'King' Carter of Corotoman. After education at the College of William and Mary this Benjamin in 1749 became the fifth in a line of planter/politicians of the same name…
M.E. Bradford
April 28, 2017
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The Window on the West

Editor's note: This piece was published less than ten years (1983) before the end of communist control of Romania. Bradford's assessment of the Romanian people well applies to the South, a region that had been defeated and "reconstructed" but still retained much of its cultural vibrancy, albeit suppressed and ridiculed by the political class. It also serves as a stark…
M.E. Bradford
January 13, 2017
Review Posts

The Theology of Secession

At the very deepest level there is a central truth about the War Between the States which is now, even by the best of Southerners, almost never mentioned, although their forefathers had once spoken of its importance continuously. Indeed, they put emphasis upon it long after the War was over. From 1850 until 1912, this explanatory assumption was a commonplace…
M.E. Bradford
June 14, 2016
Review Posts

The Lincoln Legacy: A Long View

This essay is a chapter in M.E. Bradford, Remembering Who We Are: Observations of a Southern Conservative (University of Georgia Press, 1985). With the time and manner of his death Abraham Lincoln, as leader of a Puritan people who had just won a great victory over "the forces of evil," was placed beyond the reach of ordinary historical inquiry and…
M.E. Bradford
February 18, 2016
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A Long Farewell: The Southern Valedictories of 1860-1861

This essay was originally published in Southern Partisan Magazine, 1989. As we conclude bicentennial celebration of the drafting and adoption of the Constitution of the United States, it may be hoped that we have finally arrived at the proper moment for looking back and ap­preciating the importance of those even more heated discussions of the document which occurred in the…
M.E. Bradford
November 17, 2015
Review Posts

Southern Conservatism

This article originally appeared in American Conservatism: An Encyclopedia (ISI Books). It is reprinted by permission of the publisher. Southern conservatism, as opposed to the generic American variety, is a doctrine rooted in memory, experience, and prescription rather than in goals or abstract principles. It is part of a nonnegotiable Southern identity with what it is prior to what it…
M.E. Bradford
July 21, 2014