June 9, 2023

Cowell to Judea

I pulled up to my great uncle's house around 7:30 on a Saturday morning. Our goal was to find mushrooms, but what it evolved into was so much better than any sackful of morels could ever be! We left his house and headed to Cowell, on Highway 7, and took the dirt road that winds back down the mountain. As…
June 8, 2023

The Putrid Sink of Today’s Jeffersonian Scholarship

Historians today with interest in historiography—what is often characterized simply and somewhat misleadingly as the history of history—seem to be in general agreement that the aims and methods of “historians” over millennia have changed. Study of history, as the argument goes, unquestionable shows that. There was yesterday’s history, there is today’s history, and there will be tomorrow’s history, and there…
June 7, 2023

Recognising the Southern Tradition

A review of Writing on the Southern Front: Authentic Conservatism for Our Times (Routledge, 2017), by Joseph Scotchie. Joseph Scotchie’s knowledge of Southern thought in the 20th century and beyond is both encyclopedic and insightful--a rare combination. He surveys a body of Southern writing that is a major unrecognised achievement of American culture. This collection of reviews, articles, and talks…
June 6, 2023

Mary Boykin Chesnut as Novelist

I’m going to talk about Mary Boykin Chesnut. I want to ask you, how many of you know her famous epic, sometimes called A Diary from Dixie, sometimes called Mary Chesnut’s Civil War? How many of you have heard those names? I’d like to see a show of hands. Well, less than half. I was expecting a few more. How…
June 5, 2023

Memorial Day, What it Means, and Why

Observing Memorial Day 2023, like millions of other Americans I recall the sacrifices of those who selflessly gave their lives in far off places like Guadalcanal or the Hurtgen Forest or Anzio beach. Some remain in neatly kept cemeteries in France or other countries. In many cases, those men did not understand fully “why” they were engaged in conflict, save…
June 2, 2023

James Dickey and Charlotte Holbrook

Families in the South connect in complicated ways.  James Dickey was the famous author of the 1970 novel, Deliverance, about 4 Atlanta men who take canoes down a north Georgia river and become violently entangle with the local mountain men.  James Dickey himself appears at the end of the movie version (1972) in the character of the Sheriff, with a…
June 1, 2023

George Washington and the Constitution, A Reflection

Things are seldom what they seem and therefore, beware “simple” or “easy” solutions to problems and questions that are themselves neither simple nor easy. In other words, when one is presented with what seems an obvious explanation of something that is itself anything but obvious, one should take care lest in grasping at “the answer,” one fails to understand the…
May 31, 2023

A Critique of the Modern Historiographical Method

Recent surveys clearly demonstrate why “Civil War” history is so skewed to support Leftist ideology. Leftist ideologues dominate the modern history discipline by a 33:1 margin. Gone is any semblance of balance so necessary to the free exchange of ideas. Gone is the opportunity for reasoned evaluation of all viewpoints regarding secession and war. Gone is the very opportunity for…
May 30, 2023

Jefferson’s Plan for “Healthy” Cities

In a prior essay, “Thomas Jefferson’s Prophetic Anti-City Sentiments” (Abbeville), I wrote about Jefferson’s dislike of cities—the larger, the worse. In this essay, I discuss his plan making cities healthy—viz., if there must be cities, Jefferson’s plan for what we can do keep corruptions from them. Yellow fever, in 1793, struck Philadelphia, then the capitol of the United States. There…
May 29, 2023

Unholy War

A review of Union Terror: Debunking the False Justifications for Union Terror Against Southern Civilians in the American Civil War (Shotwell Publishing, 2023), by Jeffrey Addicott. There have been a number of good books exposing the extent and brutal nature of the Union army’s war against  civilians in its invasion and conquest of the South. Karen Stokes, Walter Brian Cisco,…
May 28, 2023

Ep. 1: What is a Southerner?

Clyde Wilson defined a Southerner in the 1990s. This offered a great inaugural episode of The Essential Southern Podcast.
May 26, 2023

Salty Joe

Reaching back in my memory banks, there are many people whom I am forever indebted to. I’ve spoken of my uncle Lynn Carl, and his memory shall forever be with me, along with a host of other great folks who helped shape the man I was to become throughout my young life. I feel I should do an article on…
May 25, 2023

White Trash: Who Woulda Thought?

I made the online “mistake” recently of speaking of the Bush bunch here in Texas as “carpetbagging with a white trash persona.” It was part of a reply on Facebook-- the Walmart of mental magic for clear-headed and erudite gray matter scrubbing --to someone who had pointed out how George Bush (the boy) and his gang of the dishonorable had…
May 24, 2023

Effie Lou

She was old all my life; 76 when I was born, 87 when I first met her. When she spoke, it sounded like a swarm of bees hovering over a thick patch of clover. She was blind and feeble and had to be led around by the arm. But there was rarely a Sunday that went by for a hundred…
May 23, 2023

Faulkner the Southerner

A review of Faulkner the Southerner (Abbeville Institute Press, 2023) by James E. Kibler What more can be said than what has already been said about the life and work of William Faulkner? For decades, scholars and lay enthusiasts alike have written a myriad of books (and even more articles) analyzing the techniques that formed, and the influences and beliefs…
May 22, 2023

Defending Dixie’s Land

It is a well-established truth that the South, despite being under the ban of righteous mainstream “America” for two centuries, has always attracted admirers from outside. Intelligent and earnest admirers from above the Potomac and Ohio and from across the sea. It is still happening even in these terrible times when the South has been banished to one dark little…
May 19, 2023

The Mystery of the Great Seal of the Confederacy

In my April account of the British territory of Bermuda and its intimate relationship with both the South and the Confederacy, I had omitted one important factor . . . Bermuda’s role concerning the great seal of the Confederate States of America. The unusual history of the seal was so complex that I certainly felt the story merited its own…
May 18, 2023

Thomas Jefferson’s Prophetic Anti-City Sentiments

Thomas Jefferson, it is well known to historians, had marked anticity sentiments. “I am not a friend to placing growing men in populous cities,” writes Jefferson to Dr. Caspar Wistar (21 June 1807), “because they acquire there habits; partialities which do not contribute to the happiness of their after life.” Years earlier (23 Sept. 1800), he says to Dr. Benjamin…
May 17, 2023

What Should Be Removed from Arlington National Cemetery?

The Naming Commission of the Department of Defense has made the ill-considered determination to remove Moses Ezekiel’s monument from Arlington National Cemetery. It leads one to wonder if they even know who he was. Moses Ezekiel was the first Jewish cadet to be admitted to the Virginia Military Institute (VMI). After his graduation, he went to Europe and became a…
May 16, 2023

Unnoticed Facts About the War Between the States

The great internal bloodletting of 1861—1865 is still a central event and great dividing line in American history. In our discourse today, both high and low, it is now pervasively declared that that great event was simply about suppressing “treason” and “slavery.” This is an abuse of history, using it as a weapon to enforce a party line rather than…
May 15, 2023

David Blight, Neo-Confederate

Editor's Note: On May 9, 2023, Art History Professor Erin Thompson published a piece at The Nation gleefully announcing that Arlington Cemetery will finally be rid of its "racist" Confederate monument. The piece is indicative of the current level of scholarship by modern mainstream academics. Most of it centers on Tweets that attacked her public joy--also through a Tweet--at the…
May 12, 2023

Legal Justification of the South in Secession

From Confederate Military History, Vol I, 1899. The Southern States have shared the fate of all conquered peoples. The conquerors write their history. Power in the ascendant not only makes laws, but controls public opinion. This precedent should make the late Confederates the more anxious to keep before the public the facts of their history, that impartial writers may weigh…
May 11, 2023

Three Run Creek

It was the best fishing hole on Three Run Creek for a half mile either way. The black folks that lived and worked on Papa’s place, and their kinfolks up and down the road, knew its whereabouts, but that’s about all. Not that it was a secret, it just happened to be almost inaccessibly deep in Three Run Swamp. The…
May 10, 2023

“I’d Gone with Mississippi”

In July I’m having my Southern Literature Club read Shelby Foote’s central chapter on the Gettysburg Campaign found in the second part of his literary masterpiece, The Civil War: A Narrative. When filmmaker Ken Burns began work on his greatest film, The Civil War documentary series, (which remains to this day PBS’s most watched presentation with 40 million viewers. I…
May 9, 2023

An Honorable Cause

America is now governed as an ever more centralised nation/state with an increasingly imperialist and left-authoritarian character.  But America as a society and a people is no longer coherent. A people, according to St, Augustine, are those “who hold loved things in common.”  By that reading Americans are not  a people. A recent poll indicates that 44% of Southern people…
May 8, 2023

Singing Billy Walker and Amazing Grace

We're here to talk about the man who's responsible for “Amazing Grace,” but I want to build a base first so you'll appreciate the song better, because the song's being attributed, I think, by people who are rewriting history, whether willfully or ignorantly (and I think it’s ignorantly, because we haven't done our work). We need to give the story…
May 5, 2023

A Righteous Cause at San Jacinto

The Battle of San Jacinto was brief (less than a half-hour) and decisive. Santa Anna and his Mexican army were decisively defeated a few miles east of what is now Houston, Texas. It became known as Sam Houston’s “retreat to victory.” It essentially cleared the way for Texas as an independent republic. The Texans had recently declared independence (March 2,…
May 4, 2023

The “Confederates Were Traitors” Argument is Ahistorical

Supporters of the Erasure & Destruction Commission, aka Renaming Commission, are fond of displaying their ignorance regarding the legal framework of the United States under the Constitution. Never is their misguided misapprehension more evident than when they declare that the Confederates were “traitors”. The charge is so unarguably counterfactual as to be absurd. While forgiveness (not forgetfulness) should be our…
May 3, 2023

Monticello as a Southern Pleasure Garden

(A selection from Thomas Jefferson and the Fine Arts) Jefferson did not consider husbandry to be a fine art, certainly because husbandry did not aim at beauty, but yield. Nonetheless, the gentleman farmer could make his entire estate a garden. As Philip Southcote, designer of an estate at Woburn in Surrey, England, said, “Why may not a whole estate be…
May 2, 2023

Voices of the Confederacy

A review of Voices of the Confederacy: True Civil War Stories from the Men and Women of the Old South (Knox Press, 2022) by Samuel W. Mitcham, Jr. All too often we approach our history looking at the grand sweep of events and personages.  Politicians, generals, battles and a few interesting tidbits thrown in for good measure.  We realize, of…
May 1, 2023

A Southern James Bond Goes to School

Southern fiction has a new  hero—Tom Ironsides makes his  appearance in book form in Perrin Lovett’s work The Substitute (Shotwell Publishing, 2023). Sequels and prequels are in the offing. Ironsides is a sort of James Bond, but a much better man.  He is a master of his former craft as a CIA operative, although he has progressively developed a realisation…
April 28, 2023

Why The Confederacy Fell?

Of all people to go to when attempting to answer the question of why the Confederacy fell, there is probably no one more qualified than Jefferson Davis himself, the first and last president of the Confederate States of America. In an excerpt from his work, The Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government, he writes, "The act of February 17,…
April 27, 2023

Lincoln and Fort Sumter

From The Journal of Southern History Vol. 3, No. 3 (Aug., 1937), pp. 259-288 When the Confederate batteries around Charleston Harbor opened fire on Fort Sumter in the early morning hours of April 12, 1861, they signaled the beginning of the most calamitous tragedy in the history of the American people. Because the Confederate authorities ordered the attack it is…
April 26, 2023

The Moral Underpinning of Jeffersonian Republicanism

Liberty for Jefferson is a concept readily grasped, but one, he learns throughout the decades, of great difficulty in application. It is easy to understand what it means for government to be only minimally involved in the affairs of its citizens—to be involved in directing its foreign affairs and in protecting citizens’ liberties—but difficult to put into praxis such thin…
April 25, 2023

Alabama Weekend

In the summer of 2009, I was hired by a studio out of Mobile, AL to play piano on a couple country albums for these two brothers, Micky and Dickie as I recall. Though the booking was originally only supposed to be for one day, it ended up taking three due to those fella’s odd dietary habits. Apparently they were…
April 24, 2023

We’re Still Here

It’s hard to believe, but John Shelton Reed’s classic sociological study The Enduring South was first published a half century ago. I long ago gave my copy to a student, but, as I remember, Reed’s findings pointed to a persistent identification of a great many people as Southerners by use of various opinion surveys. Persistent peculiar Southern aspects of behaviour…
April 21, 2023

Faulkner Among the Puritans

Originally published in The Sewanee Review Vol. 72, No. 1 (Winter, 1964), pp. 146-150 William Faulkner wrote romances, not novels; of this those who study and write about Mr. Faulkner are now, it seems, agreed. Had our great-grandmothers read his fiction, they would have been astonished by this critical consensus. But "romance" is an elusive word, subject to periodic metamorphosis…
April 20, 2023

What the South Has Done About Its History

From The Journal of Southern History, Vol. 2, No. 1 (Feb., 1936), pp. 3-28. The South has often been referred to as a virgin field for the historian. Other sections of the country have written almost the minutest details of their history or suffered others to do it, even to magnifying the Boston Tea Party and Paul Revere’s Ride into…
April 19, 2023

Why They Hate Thomas Jefferson

The essay is included in Writing on the Southern Front: Authentic Conservatism for Our Times (Taylor and Francis, 2018). Thomas Jefferson is America’s favorite whipping boy. Not among the public, which remains either ambivalent or blissfully ignorant of most history. But this certainly is the case among the jealous elites. Nowadays, Jefferson is even more despised than such longtime bogeys…
April 18, 2023

When Civil Rights Activism Runs Afoul

In recent years, Thomas Jefferson, father of University of Virginia and first citizen of Charlottesville, has been the target of vitriolic assaults from countless persons, scholars among them, and groups in America. What is most surprising is that many of the assaults today come from persons or groups in or around his hometown, Charlottesville, where, one might expect, the citizens…
April 17, 2023

Marion and His Men

Editor's Note: This selection is from William Gilmore Simms's The Life of Francis Marion and is published in honor of his 217 birthday, April 17. Marion's career as a partisan, in the thickets and swamps of Carolina, is abundantly distinguished by the picturesque ; but it was while he held his camp at Snow's Island, that it received its highest…
April 14, 2023

A Southern Response to the Nashville School Shooting

‘One day Saint Polycarp saw the ruler sitting in his chair and watching as the blood of Christians flowed like water.’—From the life of Martyr Polycarp of Alexandria (+4th century) The murder of six innocent Christians at the Covenant School in Nashville, Tennessee, by a deranged young woman in the grips of the demonic ideology of transgenderism seems to have…
April 13, 2023

Burning Head of Coals

Last week during the public comments segment of a Zoom meeting with an Army subcommittee advising Arlington National Cemetery about the future of its Confederate (Reconciliation) Memorial designed by Moses Ezekiel, I learned that some other countries are more respectful of their former opponents than is the Army’s Renaming Commission that wants to remove the memorial. Theron Walker of Charleston,…
April 12, 2023

A Tale of Two Black Seamen

In early 1864 Brigadier-General Robert F. Hoke was tasked with liberating the enemy-occupied and fortified town of Plymouth on the Roanoke River in northeastern North Carolina. He began formulating his attack with the naval assistance of the still-incomplete ironclad ram CSS Albemarle, which was literally built in a cornfield well upriver from Plymouth. The unfinished ship had its steam up…
April 11, 2023

The Confederate State of Bermuda

A year before the 1939 film version of Margaret Mitchell’s Southern classic “Gone With the Wind” premiered at Loew’e Grand Theater in Atlanta, Georgia, producer David O. Selznick and screenwriter Jo Swerling flew to the island of Bermuda aboard a Pan-American “Clipper.” There they spent the next two months working to finish the script for their epic film about the…
April 10, 2023

The Confederate Constitution, Part II

From the 2005 Abbeville Institute Summer School. Continued from Part One. Over the course of the 20th Century, the States have been increasingly sidelined. Everything is considered through a national lens and said to have a national scope. Consider, for example, the Seventeenth Amendment, which gave us the direct election of senators. In a recent Supreme Court case, the State…
April 8, 2023

Podcast Episode 350

The Week in Review at the Abbeville Institute March 27 - April 7 Topics: Southern History, Southern Tradition, Southern Culture
April 7, 2023

Vindicating the Dead

I rarely go to movies anymore for the obvious reason that there is little worth seeing these days.  However, Facebook seems to understand my tastes and has recently inserted into my feed ads for a movie called The Lost King.  The movie is about Philippa Langley’s passionate effort to find the remains of King Richard III and to determine his…
April 6, 2023

Could Jefferson Have Done More to End Slavery?

It is today all too customarily asserted that anyone who owned slaves in the pageantry of American history was racist. The argument goes something like this: Slave-owning is a racist practice, so, anyone owning slaves is racist. There is, of course, much to unpack in the argument. First, it wrongly assumes that all slavery comprised Whites owning Blacks. Second, it…
April 5, 2023

Judah P. Benjamin and Canadian States’ Rights

One of the most absurd claims heard today is that the South’s defense of “States Rights,” was only a defense of the ”right to own slaves.” This is a claim from extreme ignorance of the South’s Jeffersonian philosophical tradition. A philosophical tradition that prevailed at the founding where tension existed between those who wanted the Union to be a centralized…
April 4, 2023

Why the Confederacy Could Not Succeed

Many books over the years have given me insights into history—insights that occasionally cause things to come together to produce a “Road to Damascus” moment. Recently the remembrance of one caused me to revisit my long-held belief that the attempt by the States of the South to establish a confederated republic upon the North American continent was doomed to failure…
April 3, 2023

The Tower on the Tyger

“Do fish swim in a whiskey barrel?” was the only logical response when Brandon Meeks, the Bard of Southern Arkansas, asked me to represent the new Southern journal Moonshine & Magnolias at the Upcountry Literary Festival held in Union, SC. You see, Dr. James Everett Kibler was set to receive the William “Singing Billy” Walker Award for Lifetime Achievement in…
March 31, 2023

Return to Red Rock

Seems like it was only yesterday. I was a teenager in high school at Mt. Judea (pronounced “Mount Judy”), Arkansas, and I was the one who had to call and get permission from a local good ol' boy and landowner who owned the summit of Red Rock mountain in Vendor. He never failed to give us the OK, and then…
March 30, 2023

The Establishment Love of “Racism” in Southern History

It is the task of historians to create what might be dubbed useful “fictions”—the “isms” of history, like colonialism, imperialism, liberalism, stadialism, and medialism. What is an ism? Philosopher and psychologist William James is noted for stating that an infant’s first experiences with the world are essentially “a blooming buzzing confusion.” As the infant matures and interacts with adults, he…
March 29, 2023

Thy Troy Has Fallen

In recent research, I accidentally happened upon this beautiful, touching story of a dying poet’s tribute to Robert E. Lee, and thought readers would find it interesting. Like Lord Acton, the English poet Philip Stanhope Worsley was an admirer of the Confederacy and General Robert E. Lee. According to the Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Worsley was born in Greenwich…
March 28, 2023

Spin and Suppression

Dr. James McPherson is one of the leading historians of the post-60’s era. He received his Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University in 1963, with the Highest Distinction. He is Professor Emeritus of United States History at Princeton University where he taught for 25 years, and a former president of the prestigious American Historical Association. His book “Battle Cry of Freedom”…
March 27, 2023

Pleasant Acres

Weddings and funerals are two events that seem impervious to meticulous planning. They almost never go off without a hitch, and yet the end result still obtains. Usually. This morning I woke up thinking about the time I almost got lynched at the Pleasant Acres Funeral Home. Caleb was a young man in our congregation who’d had a pretty rough…
March 24, 2023

Mark Twain Dismantles Teddy Roosevelt

For generations, both mainstream and armchair historians alike have perpetuated a variety of myths about Teddy Roosevelt. According to their interpretations, Roosevelt practically defeated the Spanish in 1898 by himself, dug the Panama Canal with his bare hands, and took on the evil, monopolistic corporations against all odds and in spite of his wealthy upbringing. However, not all of his…
March 23, 2023

Union Terror

A review of Jeffrey Addicot, Union Terror: Debunking the False Justifications for Union Terror Against Southern Civilians in the American Civil War (Shotwell Publishing, 2023). As an attorney and terrorism expert, Dr. Jeffrey Addicott’s new book, Union Terror, focuses on the legal standards of conduct by soldiers toward civilians applicable during the American Civil War. It cites incidents when Northern…
March 22, 2023

America’s Most Embattled Emblem

A review of John M. Coski, The Confederate Battle Flag: America’s Most Embattled Emblem. (Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2005). John M. Coski received his Ph.D. in history at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia in 1987. He was a historian at the Museum of the Confederacy in Richmond, Virginia from 1988 until it merged with…
March 21, 2023

[Southern] History Matters

Granted that there is a longstanding tradition of promoting the pro-life cause precisely by appealing to Equality and Human Rights.  At the same time, it is worth remembering that the actual battles of abortion have had at least as much to do with far less fashionable principles such as federalism, constitutional limits, and states' rights.  Through Roe v. Wade, the…
March 20, 2023

Hollywood Lies

World War II was a large factor in my early childhood. I lived with my grandmother. My father and his two brothers were in harm’s way (as were the uncles on my mother’s side of the family). We followed the newspapers and radio every day. Every day I took a 3-foot metal pipe, which was my rifle, into the adjacent…
March 18, 2023

Podcast Episode 348

The Week in Review at the Abbeville Institute, Mar 13-17, 2023 Topics: John C. Calhoun, The Confederate Constitution
March 17, 2023

Irish Confederates

Seemingly everything possible has already been written about the climactic battle of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania—three nightmarish days of intense combat in early July 1863—that determined America’s destiny. Consequently, for people craving something new beyond the standard narrative so often repeated throughout the past, they were sorely disappointed by the new Gettysburg titles released for the 150th anniversary. In fact, this unfortunate…
March 16, 2023

The Last Words

A review of The Last Words: The Farewell Addresses of Union and Confederate Commanders to Their Men at the End of the War Between the States by Michael R. Bradley (Charleston Athenaeum Press, 2022) The idea for this book came when Mrs. Susan Harris asked Dr. Michael Bradley, “Is there a book about what officers said to their men when…
March 15, 2023

The University of Virginia

Circumstantially Southern, Scientifically American (A Story Told in the Present Tense) When Thomas Jefferson retires from the presidency after his second term and following the example of George Washington, he cannot merely withdraw to his residence at Monticello and oversee his plantation. Retirement and withdrawal are not in his DNA, as it were. He does what he can do, while…
March 14, 2023

The Confederate Constitution of 1861, Part I

From the 2004 Abbeville Institute Summer School You know, you should ask yourself, “Why is the Confederacy so important?” Not only from a historical perspective, but also prospectively, what is it about the Confederacy and the leaders of that time that should encourage not only us people with Southern sympathies, but all people who are interested in good government generally,…
March 13, 2023

The South in a Revolutionary Time

How should a Southerner face existence in a degenerating American regime in which the traditions of our identity as a  people are a prime target for destruction?  The persistence of current attacks would seem to guarantee that the South before long will be as if it never existed. There is no short and clear answer to this dilemma, but it…
March 11, 2023

Podcast Episode 347

The Week in Review at the Abbeville Institute, March 6-10, 2023 Topics: the War, Reconciliation, Reconstruction
BlogMedia Posts
March 10, 2023

Loving a Home

Carey Roberts on "Loving Home" and the Southern Tradition from the 2022 Abbeville Institute Summer School, July 5-8, 2022, Seabrook Island, SC
March 9, 2023

Friday Lights Out

I still remember my first fight. Though raised in a God-fearing home that took the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth seriously, my folks were convinced of the “two cheeks” rule. That is, after having been smitten on the one, the Christian may oblige an assailant to double up on the second, but after that it’s our turn to commence smiting…
March 8, 2023

Memorials to a Lie

Reconcile: verb – 1st definition: restore friendly relations between; cause to coexist in harmony. Reconciliation: noun –1st definition: the restoration of friendly relations. For years, many beautiful Confederate monuments and sculptures have come under attack and been dismantled and possibly even destroyed. The one presently in the WOKE culture’s cross-hairs is a monument erected in our “national cemetery” – otherwise known as the purloined property of…
March 7, 2023

Washington and Lee’s Prescient Tom Wolfe

Tom Wolfe was one of the most insightful writers and novelists of the second half of the twentieth century. He was also a Washington & Lee graduate who sometimes championed politically incorrect viewpoints, a context in which he was ahead of his time. Today’s W & L faculty and administrators would do well to take note. In 1970, he published…
March 6, 2023

Was Randolph Jefferson Just a “Muddy Boots Farmer”?

In 2011, Bernard Mayo edited the collection of letters between Thomas Jefferson and younger brother Randolph in Thomas Jefferson and His Unknown Brother Randolph. In the short book, Mayo proffers a four-page introduction to the thin correspondence. The letters exchanged, says Mayo, “are primarily interesting because they reveal Thomas Jefferson’s solicitousness: his “affection, patient kindness, and desire to help a…
March 4, 2023

Podcast Episode 346

The Week in Review at the Abbeville Institute Feb 27 - Mar 3, 2023 Topics: Secession, Federalism, Decentralization, United States Constitution
March 3, 2023

Southern Artist and Historian

African American Gregory Newson, a talented artist, was raised in New York but now lives and does his work in South Carolina.  He has made contributions, both in art and writing, to Confederate history that deserve to be better recognised. In 2016 he published Get Forrest, a beautifully illustrated biography. One could not ask for a more fair and interesting…
March 2, 2023

The No-So-Enlightened Patriarch of Monticello

A Review of Annette Gordon-Reed and Peter Onuf’s Most Blessed of the Patriarchs (Liveright, 2016) by M. Andrew Holowchak While Pete Onuf’s somewhat incoherent 2007 book on Jefferson, The Mind of Thomas Jefferson—it is mere a rag-tag collection of his thoughts on various topics related to Jefferson—betrays unsubtly a bitter, even angry, Onuf, intent in belittling Jefferson, his 2016 collaboration…
March 1, 2023

Defining American Sovereignty

I. Introduction The debate over secession and states' rights has been a contentious issue in American history, dating back to the colonial period. From the earliest days of the Republic, some states argued that they had the right to nullify federal laws they deemed unconstitutional and even to secede from the Union if the federal government became too oppressive. This…
February 28, 2023

The Evil of Unmitigated Rights

What happens when there is no clear “right answer?” What happens when one can be “sort of” right (or wrong)? What is the redress demanded when a strongly declared viewpoint is not nearly as correct as first believed? In other words, what does one do when reality is not so “cut and dried” as one first believed and one has…
February 27, 2023

The University of the Southern Cause

The Confederacy and Naples Some years ago (summer 1974) when I was completing a doctorate in history and political science in Europe, I made a journey south from Rome to the Italian city of Naples. Earlier, before traveling to Europe on a Richard Weaver Fellowship, I had managed to read two engrossing volumes on the Bourbon monarchy of the Kingdom…
February 25, 2023

Podcast Episode 345

The Week in Review at the Abbeville Institute February 20-24, 2023 Topics: Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, Southern Conservatism, Reconstruction, the War, Southern Culture
February 24, 2023

The Same Old Faux Cons

We already can see the faux conservative movement seepage oozing from the political sewers. The ilk of presidential wannabees begin to whistle and flash their sexy thoughts reminding us of some fictitious “founding” of a “nation.” And how they love the flag and “our troops” and the rest of their usual bovine excreted piles of patties. They wouldn’t understand the…
February 23, 2023

The Destruction of Washington Street Methodist as a Metaphor

As Northern victory drew near in 1865, on the night of February 17/18 troops under General William T. Sherman set fire to the Washington Street Methodist Church in Columbia, South Carolina. Legend has it – highly plausible – that the soldiers intended to burn down the First Baptist Church. But when approached and queried by Union soldiers as to the…
February 22, 2023

It’s Washington’s Birthday, Not President’s Day

Cindy L. Arbelbide, a historian of holidays, has written, “Historic dates, like stepping stones, create a footpath through our heritage. Experienced by one generation and recalled by those to come, it is through these annual recollections that our heritage is honored.” The celebration of the birthday of George Washington began during his lifetime and continued after his death. He was…
February 21, 2023

Southern Quakers?

If we want a better understanding of the United States Civil War, we need a comprehensive overview of the southern culture which existed before the four years of the civil war.  This article is written for the purpose of connecting us to a few more variables that influenced elements of southern culture in the United States, starting with the following…
February 20, 2023

Lincoln and Marx

In today’s fast-paced society, much communication has been truncated into a few hundred ”tweets.” Far too many words have been needlessly abbreviated. All manner of proper names reduced to acronyms and newscasts have become little more than a cacophony of biased sound bites. Even the concept of history has fallen victim to this maddening trend, with the complexities of major…
February 18, 2023

Podcast Episode 344

The Week in Review at the Abbeville Institute, Feb 13-17, 2023 Topics: Republican Party, War Crimes, Southern Tradition, Emancipation
February 17, 2023

The Gift

On the day of Her Late Majesty’s Funeral, I rose a great while before daylight in order to tune in to the broadcast. Since I still had half an hour or so before the service started, I decided to go ahead and say morning prayer. After looking all over the house for my prayer book, I remembered that I had…
February 16, 2023

Getting the Truth “Out There”

The fictitious “history” of the great conflict between the two sections of the (formerly) “united” States has been ongoing for a long, long time. The present narrative, however, has been changed greatly in the last decade or so. Older folks such as myself remember that the whole conflict was “summed up” in what became known as The Grand Bargain, a…
February 15, 2023

“What Shall Be Done With The Blacks?”

The primary source record is clear. A main reason 19th century Southerners were forced to defend slavery as a practical matter was the absolute unwillingness of the North to allow dispersion and integration of the freed people across the Union and its territories. A chronic Northern racism was intent on keeping all blacks bottled up in the South if freed.…
February 14, 2023

A Jefferson Styled Love Letter

Thomas Jefferson was never comfortable in allowing direct expression of his emotions. When he did, the results were general catastrophic—e.g., his tongue-tied attempts at expressing his love as a youth to Rebecca Burwell and his seeming inability emotionally to recover himself after the passing of his wife Martha on September 6, 1782. Jefferson eventually accepted a post as delegate to…
February 13, 2023

America’s Real Peculiar Institution

From the 2005 Abbeville Institute Summer School. When John C. Calhoun spoke of slavery as “the peculiar institution,” he didn't mean to say that there was anything peculiar about slavery, as it has been interpreted since. He only meant to say that slavery was peculiar to the Southern States in the same sense that whaling fleets were peculiar to New…
February 11, 2023

Podcast Episode 343

The Week in Review at the Abbeville Institute Feb 6-10, 2023 Topics: the War, Abraham Lincoln, Slavery, Southern History, Southern Culture, Republican Party
February 10, 2023

Front Porch Sittin’

I have an obsession with old pictures. I have inherited and hoarded many of them in my travels. Amongst these pictures, I often find a common backdrop of a beautiful, simple white-sided Ozark home with white roof supports. One of these pictures was taken in the mid-1990s or so and shows four generations of my Holt family (myself included) perched…
February 9, 2023

The Republican Reign of Terror

From the 2005 Abbeville Institute Summer School. My subject is the Northern Reign of Terror in the Summer of 1861. But before we get to the actual atrocities, I have to set up why they happened by getting into the mind, not of the whole North, but of the Republican North. There is much evidence that Republicans conceived the War,…
February 8, 2023

Lincoln and Coincidence?

Oct 12, 1861, Confederate ambassadors James Mason and John Slidell set sail for England, Mason to be Minister to England and Slidell Minister to France. They were bound for England via Cuba where they boarded a British packet ship the HMS Trent. Was it mere coincidence that a Union warship, the San Jacinto, was notified by the US Consul in…
BlogReview Posts
February 7, 2023

Can Jefferson’s America Return?

A review of Chaining down Leviathan: The American Dream of Self-Government, 1776–1865 (Abbeville Institute Press, 2021) by Luigi Marco Bassani Bassani begins his book with a sockdolager. “This book is not part of the 1619 project. It is an intellectual history that barely mentions the problem of slavery. If you believe that American history is nothing but a cover up…
February 6, 2023

The Wrong Question

An article appeared on January 20th, 2023, touching upon the assault on the “Reconciliation” monument in Arlington National Cemetery. The monument has been labeled as “Confederate” and therefore resides in the cross-hairs of the present Woke Nation. Author Allen Brownfeld entitled the piece: Removing the Confederate Memorial From Arlington: What Would Lincoln or Grant Think? Of course, the contretemps about…
February 4, 2023

Podcast Episode 342

The Week in Review at the Abbeville Institute Jan 30 - Feb 3, 2023 Topics: History, Southern History, the War, Cancel Culture, Thomas Jefferson
February 3, 2023

The Power of Place: True South

If you watch college football, there’s a good chance you’ve seen, or seen an ad for, TrueSouth, a television series on the SEC Network. The show is hosted by John T. Edge, author and director of the Southern Foodways Alliance. If, for some reason, you don’t like college football, you should still turn to the SEC Network for this show.…
February 2, 2023

“The Thinking Power Called an Idea”

As the duties of the various members of a president’s cabinet in Jefferson’s day were much less fixed than they are now, Jefferson was often asked by President Washington to do many tasks that that would seem strange for today’s Secretary of State to do. One such task was to oversee an office directing the granting of patents for new…
February 1, 2023

The 518

The names, below, are a few of the 375,000 Confederate soldiers about whom Union soldier and president of the United States, William McKinley, said: . . . every soldier's grave made during our unfortunate civil war is a tribute to American valor . . . And the time has now come . . . when in the spirit of fraternity…
January 31, 2023

The Naming Commission Comes for West Point

Created by the fiscal 2021 national defense authorization act, the Naming Commission’s duties included recommending procedures for renaming Department of Defense assets “to prevent commemoration of the Confederate States of America or any person who served voluntarily” with them. While nine U.S. Army posts named for Confederates have received the most attention, the commission’s “remit” extends much further. In fact,…
January 30, 2023

A Morsel of Genuine History

“A Morsel of genuine History, a thing so rare as to be always valuable.” ---Thomas Jefferson Recently a young professor wrote that Confederates had slandered and “dehumanised” Northern soldiers by giving them an unfavourable image.  Dehumanisation.  How awful and unfair! Those righteous Northern soldiers having their feelings hurt by mean old Southerners. A relevant fact is that the Yankees had…
January 28, 2023

Podcast Episode 341

The Week in Review at the Abbeville Institute Jan 23-27, 2023 Topics: Robert E. Lee, Confederate Monuments, Cancel Culture, Southern History, the War  
January 27, 2023

The Death of Bully

Oh to be here. Alabama College in the middle of January with the Christmas dances rested up from and the Valentine’s dance at Mississippi State yet to come. A joy. The girls down the hall bragging about their dates but a better one to shut them down. Charles. Tall, dark, and handsome even if he is not six foot three.…
January 26, 2023

A Modern Black Man’s Confederate Journey

A review of Robert E. Lee's Orderly, A Modern Black Man's Confederate Journey by Al Arnold (Newson Publishing, 2015) I think it is safe to say that there isn’t a man alive who loves the South, particularly Mississippi, more than Al Arnold.  Over the Christmas season, I had the pleasure of making his acquaintance through a live Facebook interview conducted…
January 25, 2023

Why Lee Still Matters

In Richmond, there’s a movement afoot to rename the Robert E. Lee Memorial Bridge. At Charlottesville, a statue to the Confederate general was removed last year. In Abilene, Texas, Lee Park, named after the general, has been changed to that of a local football coach. The list could go on and on, as we’ve all seen. But let’s step back…
January 24, 2023

The Echoes

The echoes are still there, for those who will listen. I’ve often spoke of my home and how I was blessed to be raised in a closed society of family and friends. The world was the Big Creek Valley, and Vendor, Arkansas was home. The people I learned from were all well known to me, even if they passed long…
January 23, 2023

Our Hate Confederates Moment

The Confederacy makes up a sizable and interesting chunk of American history. Not only interesting but often regarded as admirable.  Admiration for the Confederacy’s brave struggle against great odds and its noble leaders has lasted for generations and is worldwide. Its admirers have even included some of the best of the men who fought against it. Wiping the Confederacy from…
January 21, 2023

Podcast Episode 340

The Week in Review at the Abbeville Institute Jan 16-20, 2023 Topics: Robert E. Lee, Martin Luther King, Southern Conservatism, Stonewall Jackson, Thomas Jefferson, Southern Politics, Southern Tradition
January 20, 2023

An Englishman Meets General Jackson

Henry Wemyss Feilden, born in England in 1838, was the younger son of Sir William Feilden, a baronet. Young Henry entered the British Army, and after serving in India and China for a number of years, he decided to resign his commission and volunteer for service in the army of the Confederate States of America. On a winter night in…
January 19, 2023

Robert E. Lee, Arlington, and the Ministry of Truth

It is difficult to monitor the level of awareness of the effort to destroy the Confederate Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery. Moses Ezekiel, a Jewish Confederate Veteran, who created this work of art, is buried below the monument along with three other veterans. This hate-filled and apparently anti-Semitic agenda, pushed by Ty Seidule, is not unique in American history. The…
January 18, 2023

A Sleepy Night in Georgia

History begins with, "In the beginning…." for many of us.  Modern analysis of history begins, today it seems, with T.V. historians (most of them aren't really) who seem to perceive only that the American South which they consider an evil section not just of the United States but of the world globe has attempted to destroy any measure of the…
January 17, 2023

Did Thomas Jefferson Have a Sexual Relationship with Bob Hemings?

The children of Elizabeth “Betty” Hemings—a slave owned by Thomas Jefferson’s father-in-law, John Wayles, a white English sea captain—occupied a special place at Jefferson’s Monticello. That might be because six of Betty’s 10 children—Robert, James, Thenia, Critta, Peter, and Sally—were said to be fathered by John Wayles. Yet we do not know about paternity in either case. Much depends on…
January 16, 2023

MLK, Russell Kirk, and the Ignominy of Modern Conservatism

For the past forty years (officially since 1986) the third Monday in January has been celebrated as a federal holiday, Martin Luther King Day. Federal and state offices and many businesses either close or go on limited schedules. We are awash with public observances, parades, prayer breakfasts, stepped-up school projects for our unwary and intellectually-abused children, and gobs and gobs…
January 14, 2023

Podcast Episode 339

The Week in Review at the Abbeville Institute, Jan 9-13, 2023 Topics: The War, Southern Culture, Southern Music, Southern Tradition, Southern Art
BlogMedia Posts
January 13, 2023

The Birth of Southern Music in Cavalier Virginia

Tom Daniel discusses the origins of both Southern and American music at the 2022 Abbeville Institute Summer School, July 5-8, 2022 at Seabrook Island, SC
January 12, 2023

A Better Light

Once, a mother watching her child searching diligently for something and seeing that she was having no success in her search, asked the tot where she had lost the missing item. The child replied, “I lost it over there,” pointing to the other side of the room. Somewhat confused, the mother said, “But if you lost it over there, why…
January 11, 2023

Stonewall Jackson and Institutional Antisemitism?

Recently, David Bernstein, the author of Woke Antisemitism: How a Progressive Ideology Harms Jews, remarked: “When you have an ideology that pretends to know exactly who the oppressors are and who are the oppressed, and you have an ideology that conflates success with oppression . . . then Jews who do, on average, better than the mean, are going to…
January 10, 2023

The Soul of the South

My wife is from Atlanta, so we visit Georgia frequently. In addition to downtown Hotlanta with its nauseating CNN Studio Tours and “World of Coca-Cola,” I’ve become acquainted with beautiful old towns in Marietta, Alpharetta, Roswell, and Dahlonega. I’ve explored the Chattahoochee, Stone Mountain, and various historic houses, plantations, and churches across North Georgia. I’ve seen the Braves, the Yellowjackets,…
January 9, 2023

The Glory Days of the Kanawha Canal

Southern essayist and former Lynchburger Dr. George W. Bagby (1828–1883) described departure of one of the bateaux on a trip from Richmond to Lynchburg on the Kanawha Canal, while he was then a lad, in a short piece titled “Canal Reminiscences”: At last we were off, slowly pushed along under the bridge on Seventh Street; then the horses were hitched…
January 7, 2023

Podcast Episode 338

The Week in Review at the Abbeville Institute, Jan 2-6, 2023 Topics: Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson, Lincoln Myth, Southern Tradition, Southern Literature, Southern Music
January 6, 2023

The Lincoln Myth and Civil Religion

From the 2005 Abbeville Institute Summer School. My topic for this morning is the “Lincoln Myth and Civil Religion,” and my intention is to try to understand this very loose term “civil religion” in order to see how it is that a man such as Abraham Lincoln could become not only the primary voice beckoning America to accept and remain…
January 5, 2023

The Backcountry Wisdom of Lester Flatt

Oh, I can't tell the boys from the girls And friends it's really messing up my world They all wear long hair and bouncy curls And I can't tell the boys from the girls You might be inclined to think the above might originate from some clever conservative podcaster such as Matt Walsh or Michael Knowles, reflecting on the confusing…
January 4, 2023

Boy Meets Girl

I grew up in a family that couldn’t seem to sire any offspring that wasn’t a manchild. So apart from the matrons of the clan, we boys had little exposure to the strange ways of womenfolk. As it stood, I knew next to nothing about reading moods. Or even that moods were the sort of thing that needed interpretation. This…
January 3, 2023

Another Eyewitness to Union War Crimes

Dr. Daniel H. Trezevant, The Burning of Columbia, S.C., edited by Karen Stokes. Shotwell Publishing, 2022. Dr. Trezevant was a respected Columbia physician who experienced fully the Yankee robbing and burning of South Carolina’s capital by Sherman’s army in February 1865.  He wrote a series of newspaper articles just after, which became a pamphlet. Although there was a facsimile edition…
January 2, 2023

Thomas Jefferson and the Proper End of a Good Life

After giving a talk on Jefferson's conceptions of reason and the moral sense at UVa (11 Apr. 2015), a gentleman brought up the issue of slavery and mentioned how he found unpalatable Jefferson’s repeated claim, especially later in life, that he refused to do more to eliminate the heinous institution because the time was not yet right. The gentleman, of…
December 17, 2022

Podcast Episode 337

The Week in Review at the Abbeville Institute, Dec 12-16, 2022 Topics: Southern Culture, Christmas, Thomas Jefferson, Southern History, the War, Cancel Culture
December 16, 2022

Christmas, A Southern Tradition

The ever-widening chasm that separates the North and the South today has a long history with many fissures, but one would hardly consider the celebration of Christmas to be one of them. However, in the years prior to the founding of America’s first English colonies in Virginia and Massachusetts, Christmas was a highly controversial subject in Great Britain, and that…
December 15, 2022

A Southern Christmas Sampler

If you're like my family, you probably start playing Christmas music as soon as the calendar hits November 1, and you keep it on rotation through the 12 Days of Christmas in January. The classics from the Big Band and post World War II era are staples, but most are written for a distinctively Northern audience. Traditional Christian hymns also…
December 14, 2022

Testimony on Northern War Crimes

In response to an article about the Southern holocaust that occurred during the so-called “Civil War,” I wish to bring forth testimony from a Southern hero who was shunned by the South—or most of it—after he went with Grant in 1872 and Hayes in 1876, finally becoming a member of the Republican Party in that year. Previously, Col. John Singleton…
December 13, 2022

Jefferson’s “Textured Republicanism”

Both parties, says Jefferson to Abigail Adams (11 Sept. 1804), agree that the proper object of governing is the public good, yet they disagree concerning how it is best to promote that good. One fears most the ignorance of the people; the other, the selfishness of rulers independent of them. Which is right, time and experience will prove. We think…
December 12, 2022

Sitting on a Gold Mine

My obsession with the South often has me wishing that I had been born there or that I could find at least one ancestor that served the Confederacy, but I have had to content myself with loving it from afar and luxuriating in its wealth through the usual channels available to outsiders.  My family is very accommodating of my passion…
December 10, 2022

Podcast Episode 336

The Week in Review at the Abbeville Institute, Dec 5-9, 2022 Topics: Southern tradition, the War, Yankees, Northern Studies, Southern Culture
December 9, 2022

Rev. William S. Plumer: Union Traitor or Faithful Preacher?

William S. Plumer, born in 1802 in Pennsylvania, was a renowned Presbyterian pastor and theologian. Though he was raised and spent many years in the North, he held the pulpit of several Southern churches before the war between the states broke out. It was during his time in the South that many people, including some within his own church, accused…
December 8, 2022


In North Carolina and South Carolina native observers have noticed a phenomenon frequent enough to have a label--Halfbacks. This does not refer to football.  It refers to well-to-do Northerners who have moved to Florida, become discontented, and moved halfway back. The coastal areas of the two States are full of gated communities of mini-mansions already occupied by Northerners who the…
December 7, 2022

My Southern Thanksgiving

I’ll Take My Stand contains a vivid description of rural Southern life by Andrew Lytle: “The Hind Tit,” which I always associate with my Thanksgiving memories, despite its not being specifically about Thanksgiving. (The title refers to the poor nourishment left to the “runt” Southern States by the American empire after the War Between the States.) The farm life that…
December 6, 2022

A “Cretinous” Construal of Jefferson’s “Diffusion Argument”

While attending a talk at Poplar Forest on Thomas Jefferson and the Missouri Crisis in the summer of 2019, the speaker, a historian at one of the local universities in Lynchburg, broached Jefferson’s letter to Congressman John Holmes (22 Apr. 1820) about eradication of the institution of slavery by diffusion. This historian called the argument, without further commentary, pure poppycock.…
December 5, 2022

Inglis Fletcher and the Art of Southern Writing

Inglis Clarke (20 October 1879 – 30 May 1969) grew up in Edwardsville, Illinois, a small town populated by many displaced Southerners. She had deep ancestral roots in northeastern North Carolina and, particularly, the Albemarle region. Young Inglis’ grandfather, who described the Tar Heel State as “that valley of Humiliation, between two mountains of Conceit,” sparked her interest in North…
December 3, 2022

Podcast Episode 335

The Week in Review at the Abbeville Institute, November 28 - December 2, 2022 Topics: Southern women, Slavery, Southern History, Louisa McCord, Southern politics, Southern tradition
December 2, 2022

The Attack on Leviathan, Part V

XIII. The Dilemma of the Southern Liberals Originally published in The American Mercury, 1934 “The Dilemma of the Southern Liberals” Back when wild-eyed suffragettes were on the losing end of Oklahoma Drills with King George V’s horse, Vanderbilt and Sewanee were Southern football giants, and the Bull Moose Party was hawking the square new deal, Southern liberals—all hopped up on…
December 1, 2022

Heroes, Heroines, and/or Villains

It was a perfect day to spend outside.  Tree leaves were riding the gentle currents of a fall breeze like giant snowflakes, reflecting the orange, red and gold of a warm autumn sun.  Being of African, Native American and European descent, I was attending a Civil War Re-enactment, the only place where I can enthusiastically share the history of my…
November 30, 2022

The Political Economy and Social Thought of Louisa S. McCord

From the 2011 Abbeville Institute Summer School. The name of the lady I'm introducing today, the Southern intellectual Louisa Susanna Cheves McCord, or as she's usually called, Louisa S. McCord, is generally not well known today. In the antebellum era she was the author of numerous essays on political economy and social issues. Her other writings included poetry, reviews, and…
November 29, 2022

Southern Humor in Congress

The halls of Congress today are seldom filled with the sound of laughter.  The humor that pervaded congressional proceedings over a century ago has now given way to only angry shouts and hateful partisan rhetoric engendered by a variety of ever-growing regional, political, racial and social differences.  Not that such divisions did not exist during the latter half of the…
November 28, 2022

Those Pesky Southern Women

Washington Post columnist Karen Attiah is frustrated by how poorly the Democrats performed in her native Texas. Attiah, who has a penchant for racially provocative punditry, notes in an 11 November column that besides white men, “there is another group that consistently supports the GOP’s anti-woman, do-nothing-about-dead-kids stance, and that is White women. Seriously, what gives?” White women, observes Attiah,…
November 23, 2022

Podcast Special: Yankee Thanksgiving

Our modern Thanksgiving holiday was born in New England. This may not be news, but the way it became a "national" holiday might surprise you, particularly when you know that the South resisted Thanksgiving precisely because it was a New England holiday created to oppose Christmas.
November 22, 2022

Thanksgiving: A Yankee Abolitionist Holiday

From the book, Thanksgiving: An American Holiday, An American History (Facts on File, 1984). The long-standing practice of delivering political sermons on Thanksgiving Day, which made Thanksgiving both a revolutionary holiday and the occasion of Federalist era political contention, now made Thanksgiving the tool of free-soilers and abolitionists. Thanksgiving was, above all, a New England holiday, and New England was…
November 21, 2022

The Yankee Origins of Modern Thanksgiving

From the book, Thanksgiving: An American Holiday, An American History (Facts on File, 1984). New England’s unique culture—featuring free schools for every child, a religious tradition in which ordinary folk wrestled with complex theological questions and two centuries of self-government—produced in the early nineteenth century a generation of young people uniquely well fitted to fill the demand for educated professionals…
November 19, 2022

Podcast Episode 334

The Week in Review at the Abbeville Institute, November 14-18, 2022 Topics: Confederate Symbols, Southern History, Southern Tradition, Abraham Lincoln, United States Constitution
November 18, 2022

And So It Goes…

And so, the final blows fall around us, in our institutions and on our streets, and we can say as God Himself once said, “It is finished.” He said it of His great work of redemption, but we can now say it of the noblest experiment of government ever attempted by man—the “united” States of America. As in all things,…
November 17, 2022

The Bootlegger

When I talk about where and how I grew up, folks, even a bit older than me, assume that not only am I from another state, they imagine I must be from another century. Case in point. My home county is dry. I don’t mean that we get little rain, I mean that we have no legal alcohol. This is…
November 16, 2022

Left Libertarians, Dobbs, and the Ninth Amendment

Interest in the Ninth Amendment has been renewed with the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization (2022), in which the Court held that the Constitution contains no fundamental right to abortion.  Many abortion proponents have turned to the Ninth Amendment in criticizing the decision.  For example, Damon Root at Reason described the decision as “an   …
November 15, 2022

A Jewish Perspective on the Arlington Confederate Monument

The Advisory Committee on Arlington National Cemetery has recommended the removal of the 32-foot-tall memorial to Confederate veterans buried there on the grounds that it is “riddled with racist iconography” and perpetuates the Lost Cause narrative. The following letter was sent today to the Committee. — JAB On March 19, 1841, at the consecration of its new synagogue in Charleston,…
November 14, 2022

Suppression of Free Speech at Poplar Forest

On November 3, 2022, in response to an invitation of group of Thomas Jefferson mavens, I went to Jefferson’s get-away residence at Poplar Forest. I was asked to join their tour, to begin at 12:30 p.m., and to field questions after the tour. I was asked also to bring any books on Jefferson that I wished to sign and to…
November 12, 2022

Podcast Episode 333

The Week in Review at the Abbeville Institute November 7-11, 2022 Topics: Confederate Symbols, Confederate Monuments, Southern Tradition, Southern Politics, Southern Culture
November 11, 2022

Hollywood Hates the South: Southern Accents Edition

Where can we hear the worst southern accent of all time? Is it Tom Hanks as the lovable but stupid Forrest Gump? Is it SNL alum Dan Akyroyd in Driving Miss Daisy? How about the mess present in Django? Often, British, Irish or Scottish actors will nail a southern accent before Hollywood even thinks of hiring a southerner (see Vivien…
November 10, 2022

Ropes and Swimming Holes

He was old and black...negro...colored he'd say and he had been for a good while.  "I know you."  He said.  "You watch me thru de windah."  I nodded as our first conversation concluded. He drove his old mule down the newly-paved asphalt roads, begrudgingly regal on an old scrap tire his plow rested...the point hidden inside the body of the…
BlogMedia Posts
November 9, 2022

The Arlington Confederate Monument

The Naming Commission has recommended the removal of the Arlington Confederate Monument. This would not only be a historical travesty and a barbaric leveling of art, it would lay waste to the very message the monument was intended to convey: fraternity, healing, and reconciliation. Tell your Representative you want to stop this heinous act of cultural destruction.
BlogMedia Posts
November 9, 2022

Preserving the Garden

John Devanny discusses the Southern tradition at the Abbeville Institute Summer School, July 5-8, 2022 at Seabrook Island, SC
November 8, 2022

Remember 1994

The problem now is the same as it was in 1994, the same as it was in 1980 (Reagan) and 2016 (Trump). The greatest Republican measure of conservatism that creates “waves” as opposed to pond-stills, e.g. Ford, Romney, McCain, Bush (any one of the New England preppies, carpetbagging Bush clan), is in the South. The real South. Not the South…
November 7, 2022

Southerners Riding the Red Wave

America’s talking heads on the right and left are predicting a conservative “red wave” in the 2022 midterm elections. They predict that “conservatives” will take control of both Houses of Congress. If, and that is a big if, it happens, what opportunities will it present to those of us who want to put an end to modern Reconstruction’s anti-South cancel…
November 6, 2022

Podcast Episode 332

The Week in Review at the Abbeville Institute October 31 - November 4, 2022 Topics: Southern Tradition, Southern Religion, Southern Literature, Southern Cooking, Southern Culture, Confederate Symbols, War for Southern Independence
November 4, 2022

Cook’s Cave

Introduction The Civil War served as the deadliest conflict in U.S. history. Most scholars agree there were around fifty to one hundred major battles. Outside of these major engagements were skirmishes ranging from the coast of Maine, to the desert of New Mexico, to the Ozarks of Missouri and Arkansas. While the historical battles ultimately led to the Union winning…
November 3, 2022

Mary Randolph: The South’s First Celebrity Chef

My grandfather keeled over dead from a heart attack at the age of 54 after a long battle with arteriosclerosis. If you are not up on your medical jargon, that means the hardening of the arteries. I remember my parents’ telephone-the old black rotary dial type that weighed ten pounds and had a real metal bell-ringing obscenely early one Saturday…
November 2, 2022

James Henley Thornwell, R. L. Dabney, and the Shaping of Southern Theology

From the 2004 Abbeville Institute Summer School It's a privilege for me to be here. I've enjoyed the sessions very much so far. In fact, after the sessions yesterday I had to go and rewrite my conclusion just from things that I learned, especially about locality, localism, and patrimony. Just fascinating. Today I want to talk about James Henley Thornwell,…
November 1, 2022

Statesmen vs. Vandals

In the 20th century, there was no doubt that that section of the country most patriotic, most “American” and most “Christian” in its moral values was the South. Also called “The Bible Belt,” the states of the South had more flags, more patriotic displays and more pride in America and its institutions than any other region in the nation. Percentage-wise,…
October 31, 2022

The Poetry of Edgar Allan Poe

Originally published in The Sewanee Review, Spring, 1968, Vol. 76, No. 2 (Spring, 1968), pp. 214-225 In 1948 T. S. Eliot, in a lecture “From Poe to Valery”, said in substance that Poe’s work, if it is to be judged fairly, must be seen as a whole, lest as the mere sum of its parts it seem inferior. There is…
October 29, 2022

Podcast Episode 331

The Week in Review at the Abbeville Institute Oct 24-28, 2022 Topics: Southern tradition, Southern culture, Southern politics, Northern studies
October 28, 2022

Dark Age Patriotism

“Now at the height of modern progress, we behold unprecedented outbreaks of hatred and violence; we have seen whole nations desolated by war and turned into penal camps by their conquerors; we find half of mankind looking upon the other half as criminal. Everywhere occur symptoms of mass psychosis. Most portentous of all, there appear diverging bases of value, so…
October 27, 2022

An Inheritance of Love

I recently found myself sitting next to an old classmate from my Virginia high-school on an airplane flight (for whatever serendipitous reason, these bizarre things happen to me with some regularity). It was particularly timely: this year marks the twentieth anniversary of my high-school graduation. I recognized the woman immediately — we probably shared ten classes together between seventh and…
BlogMedia Posts
October 26, 2022

How the North Prolonged and Profited from Slavery, Part II

Don Livingston discusses Northern profit and interest in slavery at the Abbeville Institute Summer School, July 5-8, 2022, at Seabrook Island, SC.
October 25, 2022

W.J. Cash: the Portrait of Dorian Gray as a Young Southern Man

I, thankfully, studied history and political theory at a Southern university at a time not that long ago when those predisposed to a more classical Southern worldview could hold those positions in class. We would be challenged, yes. We had professors who were more liberal than we were, naturally, but as long as we could well defend our positions, we…
October 24, 2022

Do Motives Matter?

A friend of mine translated a book on Lincoln written by Karl Marx in which her first installment was a refutation by Marx of the European press’s contention that the assault by the North on the South was not about slavery but economic and political power. Of course, one cannot divorce the issue of slavery from either consideration, but Marx…
October 22, 2022

Podcast Episode 330

The Week in Review at the Abbeville Institute Oct 17-21, 2022 Topics: Southern history, Southern symbols, Cancel Culture, Northern Studies
October 21, 2022


Editor's Note: This poem was delivered by Miss Lucy Powell Harris at a concert give by the pupils at the Houston Street Female High School in Atlanta, Georgia, May, 1st, 1866. It was originally written by L. Virginia French, the daughter of a prosperous Virginia family. She relocated to Tennessee and became a teacher after her mother died and her…
BlogMedia Posts
October 20, 2022

How the North Prolonged and Profited from Slavery, Part I

Don Livingston discusses Northern profit and interest in slavery at the Abbeville Institute Summer School, July 5-8, 2022, at Seabrook Island, SC.
October 19, 2022

Douglas Southall Freeman

From the 2011 Abbeville Institute Summer School. The topic I chose was “Douglas Southall Freeman, a Southern Historian's Historian.” But I could have all kinds of meanings. It could be he's a Southern historian’s historian, or he's a Southern historian’s historian. He's also a Southern historian's military historian, because most of the topics that he wrote about were military oriented.…
October 18, 2022


When you read Raleigh, what comes to mind? How about Charleston? Nashville? Birmingham? One can almost hear the ring of iron in the name “Birmingham”. Waves splash at the sound of Charleston. The raucous theatres of Nashville ring back when country music was “country western”. Raleigh conjures images of tar, pork and tobacco. So what happened to these industries that…
October 17, 2022

Never the Twain

In today’s America, to paraphrase Rudyard Kipling, North is North, and South is South, and never the twain shall meet. This dichotomy, of course, was not always the case, for after the many years of bitter sectional rancor and four years of bloody internecine warfare that took place over half a century before, the North and the South finally managed…
October 15, 2022

Podcast Episode 329

The Week in Review at the Abbeville Institute, Oct 10-14, 2022 Topics: Southern Political Tradition, Southern History, Southern Tradition
October 14, 2022

Driving Through Southern Maryland, Part 3

Part 1 and Part 2 It’s easy to be transported back in time in Charles County. Rural roads meander through woods, across streams and between fields, some adorned with tobacco barns. Sprinkled throughout this typical Southern Maryland countryside are historic sites, villages, and quiet churches. The final resting places of settlers and patriots, churchyards tell their own story of regional…
October 13, 2022

History vs Lies

History is an art in a sense. That is, it is not mathematically provable. The mathematician (I am one, at least through some bit of graduate studies) must prove something logically (there are certain basic rules of logic—contrary to reflections from “the squad,” et al). If he can’t prove it, it simply means it is not provable true, nor is…
October 12, 2022

Podcast Episode 328

The Week in Review at the Abbeville Institute, Oct 3-7, 2022 Topics: Southern History, Southern Tradition, the War, Sovereignty, Cancel Culture
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October 12, 2022

The South as a Unique Region

Sam Smith discusses Southern religion at the Abbeville Institute Summer School, July 5-8 2022 at Seabrook Island, SC
October 11, 2022

Good Directions

The fella that runs the local feed store is a Cajun from Ville Platte, Louisiana. He moved up here to Arkansas because the woman he met in the personal ads said she could abide thickets and pine trees but would not tolerate bayous or raising a coonass baby. I stopped by the store yesterday because I needed some laying pellets…
October 10, 2022

Forms of Nationalism in Early America

From the 2004 Abbeville Institute Summer School My first lecture is going to be a bit of a story, but this story is not going to be one where there's a hero at the center of it. Instead this is gonna be a story about nationalism, what nationalism is and the categories of nationalism that were present during the early…
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October 7, 2022

The Attack on Leviathan, Part 4

X. American Heroes Originally published as “A Note on American Heroes” in the Southern Review (1935). Whatever else we lack, we do not lack great memories. We have heroes, and we want to possess them affectionately as a mature nation ought. The American mind is divided against itself. Our approach to “what terms we may possess our heroes” is as…
October 6, 2022

We’ve Been Lied To

Much of what we’ve gotten from our “history” books has been wishful myth. Those who are the victors in wars and other world situations get to write the “history” books, in which they make themselves look good and their enemies look bad. The bad things they’ve done are either ignored or swept under the rug while their enemy’s faults are…
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October 5, 2022

A Tale of Two Monuments

Tom DiLorenzo discusses Abraham Lincoln and the Lincoln Memorial, from the 2022 Abbeville Institute Summer School at Seabrook Island, SC, July 5-8, 2022
October 4, 2022

The Rainmakers

Uncle Dude and Aunt Lura lived across the field beside us when I was growing up. They were both born between the two World Wars and lived through the Depression. Dude was born at the foot of Mount Saint Helens, Lura was born in the same room where she died in the Arkansas Delta. They had lots of odd superstitions…
October 3, 2022

Southern Resistance to the European Concept of Sovereignty

From the 2004 Abbeville Institute Summer School. So, our friend Don Livingston asked me to bring a European perspective on the problems of the Southern decentralist tradition. Today, I want to address what I would call, “What They Were Up Against: The Modern State and Federalism.” One of the greatest errors of mainstream Anglo-American political studies, from the history of…
October 1, 2022

Podcast Episode 327

The Week in Review at the Abbeville Institute Sept 26-30, 2022 Topics: Southern History, Southern Culture, Cancel Culture, The War, Northern Studies
September 30, 2022

Like Phil Harris Said, “That’s What I Like About the South”

I write a lot about the South. But then it seems necessary if you think “conservative.” That is conservative, not necessarily Republican. Conservatives aligning themselves with Republicans do so because politics is a realm of life much like the environment where dogs live; that is wherever they (dogs) can accredit their lives best.  Conservatives are much like working dogs: Bird…
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September 29, 2022

Big Bang Blues

Tom Daniel discusses blues music, from the 2022 Abbeville Institute Summer School at Seabrook Island, SC, July 5-8, 2022 Note: The views expressed on are not necessarily those of the Abbeville Institute.
September 28, 2022

What the Transcendentalists Sought to do to the South

In 1860 your average Southerner did not have, by far, the same worldview as his Northern counterpart. He was, thanks to solid preaching in Southern pulpits, extremely doubtful about the “goodness” of human nature. He believed in the sovereignty of God and the sinfulness and depravity of man. He knew enough of man’s fallen nature to realize that secular political…
September 27, 2022

Happy Birthday Senator Sam

Senator Sam Ervin of North Carolina was arguably one of the most important political figures of the twentieth century. His commitment to the Constitution and willingness to stare down executive power during the 1973 Watergate hearings place him among the great conservative voices in Senate history. Ervin was first and foremost a Tar Heel. He considered his election to the…
September 26, 2022

The Stranger in Gray

Outside of Portland, Maine, sits the small town of Gray. During the Civil War, the population was around 1,700 residents. While Gray has experienced growth, the area gives the vibe of a typical small American town. Though Maine is one of the least-populated states in the nation today, surprisingly, Mainers played a pivotal role in the U.S. Civil War, seeing…
September 24, 2022

Podcast Episode 326

The Week in Review at the Abbeville Institute, Sept 19-23, 2022 Topics: Cancel Culture, Northern Studies, the Constitution, Southern Tradition, Confederate Monuments
September 23, 2022

John Reagan Was Right

Texas Senator John Regan was right when he argued in the chamber three months before the opening Civil War shots at Fort Sumter: “Suppose the people of the South would today voluntarily surrender $3 billion in slave property and send their slaves at their expense to the free states, would you accept them as freemen and citizens of your States?…
September 22, 2022

A Hispanic Confederate

Because the ethnic diversity of the Confederate Army is not appreciated by many historians, Jason Boshers, the commander-in-chief of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, and J. Brian McClure, the commander of the Louisiana Division of the SCV, declared September “Confederate Hispanic Heritage Month.” The ethnically diverse Confederate Army included Irish dock workers in the Louisiana Tigers, the German Fusiliers who…
September 21, 2022

Removing The Confederate Memorial At Arlington Isn’t About Racial Reconciliation, It’s About Political Power

Amid the steady stream of horrible economic news this week you might have missed a rather bland headline from the Associated Press: “Panel advises removal of Confederate statue at Arlington.” The news itself, that an independent commission charged with renaming U.S. military bases with Confederate names has recommended the Confederate memorial at Arlington National Cemetery be dismantled and removed, might seem painstakingly…
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September 20, 2022

The Southern Constitutional Tradition

Brion McClanahan discusses the Southern constitutional tradition, from the 2022 Abbeville Institute Summer School at Seabrook Island, SC, July 5-8, 2022 Note: The views expressed on are not necessarily those of the Abbeville Institute.
September 19, 2022

Give Me That Old Time Rebellion

A while back, some of the folks at Abbeville Institute turned out a fine anthology of the greatest Southern rock melodies of the present day. Music, of course, like most everything else, changes with the times and there were other golden eras for country music that gave the listeners of their day a far different sound and put them in…
September 17, 2022

Podcast Episode 325

The Week in Review at the Abbeville Institute Sept 12-19, 2022 Topics: Southern Tradition, Southern Culture, Cancel Culture, Southern Politics
September 16, 2022

The Federalist Crucible

From the 2004 Abbeville Institute Summer School. Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson have dinner. It looks like funding an assumption of State debts by the general government is not going to go through, and Hamilton’s very worried because U.S. stock is plummeting in the international finance markets. So, a deal is struck. Jefferson will put pressure on his people to…
September 15, 2022

Destroying the Past to Change the Present

On June 17th, 2015, a deranged white man, Dylan Roof, attacked an all-black prayer meeting in a South Carolina church killing nine of the participants. Of course, most rational, intelligent (that is, ordinary) Americans saw the mass shooting as another opportunity for the “gun violence” crowd to demand an end to the rights of law-abiding Americans to own guns; and…
September 14, 2022

Biden’s Political Slavery

Joe Biden’s “address to the nation,” delivered September 1, 2022, was one of the most illuminating—as in revealing—speeches ever given by a president since Lincoln’s speech in which he falsely declared that the Union preceded and created the states. Biden’s speech, as in Lincoln’s speech, was full of emotion and ideological passion, supported by a fawning press but totally absent…
September 13, 2022

History by Emotion

I presume the decision by the U.S. Postal Service leadership didn’t sound like a difficult one, especially in 2022. In Montpelier Station, Virginia, a post office was operating in a building where signs reading “White” and “Colored” hung over two separate doors. The signs were a historical artifact, and were intended to direct visitors to an exhibit about historical racial…
September 12, 2022

The Cry of the Vanquished

Owen Wister’s novel Lady Baltimore is the story of a Northern man spending time in South Carolina around 1905.  He is not your typical arrogant Yankee, but openly acknowledges the modern decay he sees in the North and is sympathetic to the South.  He is staying in a boarding house with a variety of guests; they include Juno, an elderly…
September 11, 2022

Podcast Episode 324

The Week in Review at the Abbeville Institute, Sept 5-9, 2022 Topics: Federalism, United States Constitution, Southern Tradition, Southern Culture
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September 9, 2022

Loving Home

Loving Home by Carey Roberts from the 2022 Abbeville Institute Summer School, July 5-8, 2022 at Seabrook Island, SC Note: The views expressed on are not necessarily those of the Abbeville Institute.
September 8, 2022

Calhoun and the 21st Century

In 1957, Senator John F. Kennedy issued a report on the five most important Senators in United States history. He included John C. Calhoun, and while he understood the historical controversy it might create, Kennedy insisted that Calhoun's "masterful" defense "of the rights of a political minority against the dangers of an unchecked majority" and "his profoundly penetrating and original…
September 7, 2022

Vendetta Over Alabama

Originally published at In the mid-1950s my family arrived in Athens, Alabama, I being eleven, my father a mathematician working at the Army Ballistic Missile Agency in nearby Huntsville. Athens was small, the county seat of Limestone County. The town square had the courthouse in the middle with the statue of a Confederate soldier and a Baptist church. The…
September 6, 2022

Old State Rights

From Thomas Ritchie: A Study in Virginia Politics by Charles Henry Ambler Ritchie was not a genius. Either of the others of the great "Democratic Triumvirate" of political editors, Francis P. Blair of the Washington Globe, or Edwin Croswell of the Albany Argus, was his equal in natural ability. Possibly John Hampden Pleasants, Duff Green, and even others surpassed him…
September 5, 2022

Government’s ‘worst enemy’? George Washington himself pointed to partisanship

This piece was originally published at By H. Lee Cheek and Sean Busick America’s Founders did not agree on much. They were not a monolithic group of men. Further, some of the things they did agree on make us uncomfortable today. Those who are in the habit of citing what “The Founders” thought as gospel would do well to…
September 4, 2022

Podcast Episode 323

The Week in Review at the Abbeville Institute, August 29 - Sept 2, 2022 Topics: Southern history, Southern tradition, Southern religion
September 2, 2022

The Confederate Army and God

This article was first published by Crossfire: The Magazine of the American Civil War Round Table and is republished by permission. Introduction The United States Civil War produced some very dark days in American history. Ideas and values separated the North and the South. The whole world watched as America was at war with itself. Having been established as a…
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September 1, 2022

Follow the Money

Tom DiLorenzo discusses Abraham Lincoln and the War, from the 2022 Abbeville Institute Summer School at Seabrook Island, SC, July 5-8, 2022
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August 31, 2022

The 200 Most Important Confederate Books

In 1978, Georgia native Richard Harwell--older brother of the famous baseball broadcaster Ernie Harwell--published In Tall Cotton, a list of the 200 most important Confederate books. He asked fellow Georgian E. Merton Coulter to write the introduction knowing that this list would provide a valuable resource to those seeking to understand both Southern history and the Confederacy. Modern establishment historians…
August 30, 2022

Jefferson Davis on Robert E. Lee

Remarks of President Davis at the Meeting of the Confederate Soldiers and Sailors held at the First Presbyterian Church, Richmond, Virginia, November 3, 1870, for the purpose of organizing the Lee Monument Association, as reported in the Richmond Dispatch for Nov. 4, 1870. Robert E. Lee was my associate and friend in the military academy, and we were friends until…
August 29, 2022

McCulloch v. Maryland

Editor's Note: This essay was written by Spencer Roane under the pseudonym Amphictyon in 1819. I. To the Editor of the Enquirer : SIR: I have read with considerable attention the opinion pronounced by the Chief Justice of the U. S. in the case of McCulloch against the State of Maryland. In that opinion we are informed, First, That it…
August 27, 2022

Podcast Episode 322

The Week in Review at the Abbeville Institute, Aug 22-26, 2022 Topics: Southern history, Reconstruction, Confederate monuments, Southern politics, John C. Calhoun
August 26, 2022

“His Richest Legacy to Posterity”

From Gustavus Pinckney, 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. The home…
August 25, 2022

The Red Ripple

Why the red wave will NOT be.  The typical contemporary Republicans lie for support, then reveal their lies. The Democrats just lie. The resignation of Dr. Ann Hunter McLean from her Youngkin appointment to the Virginia Historic Resources Board is a product of the same mentality wherein Ronald Reagan was deceived in 1981 insofar as Bob Bennett’s replacing M.E. Bradford.…
August 24, 2022

For the Fairfax County Confederate Dead

Editor's note: Delivered by Congressman John Warwick Daniel at the dedication to the Confederate monument at the Fairfax County, Virginia courthouse October 1, 1890. The monument stood on the courthouse square "upon Fairfax soil" on a lot purchased so the "grassy mound at the base of this monument now covers the remains of two hundred heroes." Funds were collected in…
August 23, 2022

Northern Negrophobia

No doubt the media and the activists tearing them down justify the destruction of Confederate monuments on the premise that the South fought to perpetuate slavery and the North entered and fought the Civil War to end it. Today’s academics are comfortable acquiescing to that false public impression because it serves their anti-Southern agenda. Only if directly asked, “Did the…
August 22, 2022

The Better Men

John William Corrington (1932—1988) of Louisiana was a prolific author of poetry, stories, and novels. And, as with Faulkner, making a living in commercialised American “culture”  required him to expend talent in Hollywood on movie and television scripts. Corrington has received some recognition, but no less an authority on Southern literature than M.E. Bradford has said that his reputation falls…
August 20, 2022

Podcast Episode 321

The Week in Review at the Abbeville Institute, Aug 15-19, 2022 Topics: Southern literature, Southern tradition, Southern culture, Southern politics
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August 19, 2022

William Faulkner: The Greatest American Writer

Professor Bill Wilson explains why William Faulkner should be universally regarded as America's greatest writer. Hint: It wouldn't have been possible without Mississippi.
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August 18, 2022

Confessions of a Copperhead

A review of Confessions of a Copperhead: Culture and Politics in the Modern South (Shotwell Press, 2022) by Mark Royden Winchell The concept of the South as a peculiar and singular region of America, indeed not quite American except in its vices of racism and violence, is something of an industry in the halls of academia. Numerous university centers and…
August 17, 2022

The Federalists and the Philadelphia Convention

We have before us The Federalist Number 10. I'd like to say a word about The Federalist. As you know, it was here (in Philadelphia) that the Constitution, that infamous document, was signed. It was a document that was already well on its road to destruction in my mind. When people ask me, “Well, when did the Constitution die?” I…
August 16, 2022

Capitulation in Virginia

The resignation of Dr. Ann Hunter McLean from her Youngkin appointment to the Virginia Historic Resources Board is of seismic consequence for the Governor and his administration and for the Commonwealth. The Governor and his team were on the ropes in a very tight race in which the electoral outcome was in the balance. His low-key campaign worked to draw…
August 15, 2022

The Decaying Distillery

Very few things in my native Fairfax County are especially old. That’s unfortunate, given the county’s founding (1742) predates the United States of America, and boasts the homes of Founding Fathers George Washington and George Mason. Yet post-World War II development rapidly changed the character of the county, and many of the old properties were sold and their ancestral homes…
August 13, 2022

Podcast Episode 320

The Week in Review at the Abbeville Institute, Aug 8-12, 2022 Topics: Southern history, Reconstruction, Southern Culture, Southern Tradition
BlogClyde Wilson Library
August 12, 2022

Emancipation and Its Discontents

There is an interesting little noted fact of African American history that would alter current standard views if it were ever to be properly recognised.  The U.S. African American population was in many measurable respects worse off fifty years after emancipation than it had been before the War Between the States. The census of 1900 showed that the average life…
August 11, 2022

When Things Go South

“When things go south” is a phrase that typically means matters have taken a turn for the worse.  Well, things have gone south in my family for a while now, and I couldn’t be happier.  That is because I literally mean, gone South, and I feel more at home than I ever imagined possible.  For things to go South, they…
August 10, 2022

The War that House Built

It might truly be said that the death, funeral and burial of Thomas Jefferson’s American republic came about at the hands of the nation’s three most prominent wartime presidents . . . with Abraham Lincoln digging the grave, Woodrow Wilson constructing the coffin and Franklin Roosevelt performing the final interment of America’s body politic. As to the wars themselves, while…
August 9, 2022

Lord Lyons and the Sectional Conflict, 1859-1861, Part 2

By early January 1861, South Carolina had seceded from the Union and stood alone as an independent republic. In the ensuing weeks, six additional Southern States would follow suit. Lame-duck President James Buchanan did nothing to stop the dissolution of the Union, mainly because he did not believe he had any authority to coerce a state, but also preferring to…
August 8, 2022

Aunt Elizabeth, the Desert Fox, and General Jackson

Raised on a tobacco farm at the edge of the Chinquapin Forest in Southern Maryland, my Aunt Elizabeth for much of her life attempted to divest herself of her rustic upbringing.  When she graduated from nursing school, she married and subsequently lived for long spells in South America and Europe.  In spite of all this, fortunately, she never succeeded in…
August 7, 2022

Podcast Episode 319

The Week in Review at the Abbeville Institute, Aug 1-5, 2022 Topics: Southern History, Southern Tradition, Southern Culture
BlogClyde Wilson Library
August 5, 2022

George W. Kendall of New Orleans–America’s First War Correspondent

In the long range of history the war correspondent, a journalist embedded with a fighting army, is a fairly recent development.  George Kendall was the pioneer.  He was  with Winfield Scott’s army during the U.S/Mexico War 1846—1848, from Vera Cruz to Mexico City.  Like the soldiers he faced sickness and was wounded. His 215 dispatches from Mexico were the primary …
August 4, 2022

The Attack on Leviathan, Part 3

VI. Still Rebels, Still Yankees Originally published as two essays in the American Review and can be found in the anthology Modern Minds. Many will recognize this chapter’s title from another book of Davidson’s collected essays with the same title published in 1957. Davidson begins recollecting a meeting of Southern writers in Charleston, SC. In 1932, Davidson penned a brief…
August 3, 2022

NASCAR Goes Sissy

“As with so many other episodes in early American history, the true story of the so-called Whiskey Rebellion has been purposefully scrubbed from the collective American memory and replaced with a cleaner, more pro-statist version reaffirming one of the core tenets of that doctrine: federal law always trumps conflicting state statutes.” Joe Wolverton, The Abbeville Institute, “A Little Whiskey Rebellion.”…