June 14, 2024

Mr. Trump and the Old Dominion

Recent polls conducted by Roanoke College and Morning Consult show Mr. Biden and Mr. Trump in a dead heat in the presidential race in Virginia. Mr. Trump lost Virginia to Hilary Clinton by five percentage points, a bit more than 200,00 votes, and was buried under a Biden landslide in the state by a margin of over nine percentage points…
June 13, 2024

Southern Sacrifice

In Vietnam, 13,262 Southerners in the US Army died. On a per capita basis this is 12% more than the rest of the country. In other words, Southerners were 31% of the total US population and accounted for 36% of the Army deaths in Vietnam. A similar story is true for Korea. Southerners accounted for 35% of the deaths in…
June 12, 2024

The 19th Century Ecclesiastical Debate Over Slavery – Part 3

Ecclesiastical organizations, both North and South, had by the early 19th century developed sensitivities uncomfortable with the institution of slavery. This discomfort was sourced in common Enlightenment ideals regarding liberty and natural law but took on sectional distinctions which led to conflict. An ideological fervor swept the North which influenced a radicalism that played loosely with any consideration of traditional…
June 11, 2024

Thomas Jefferson and the Other (Black) Patrick Henry

Thomas Jefferson bought the 57-acre tract of land including the Natural Bridge of Virginia in 1774—the year he produced his vitriolic Summary View of the Rights of British America—for a pittance. Except for the bridge, which Jefferson considered to be one of the natural wonders of the world, a mirabile visu, the land around the bridge was not much arable…
June 10, 2024

When Lincoln Changed the War’s Pretext from “A Question Upon Slavery”

State Dept. Documents Prove Abolition Neither the Aim Nor the Cause of the Conflict On April 1, 1861, Secretary of State William H. Seward sent President Abraham Lincoln a memorandum entitled “Some thoughts for the President’s consideration.” “My system is built upon this idea as a ruling one,” Seward wrote, “namely that we must Change the question before the Public…
June 7, 2024

Jefferson on Gentlemanly Farming

In The Gentleman Farmer, Being an Attempt to Improve Agriculture, By Subjecting It to the Test of Rational Principles, Lord Kames (Henry Home) distinguishes between the practice and the theory of farming. The former, which concerns only effects, is rightly a branch of Natural History. The latter, which concerns causes, is rightly a branch of Natural Philosophy. Most writers treat…
June 6, 2024

The South and World War II

Being Southern is a good thing. People around the world have long recognised that. Those who love the South must present a POSITIVE front, celebrate the South, and avoid being simply AGAINST. Nothing can be more irrelevant and counter-productive to the cause of the South than to get wrapped up in ideologies from the ugly history of central and eastern…
June 5, 2024

Old Trucks

Tom T. Hall, country poet and philosopher of the common man, once said, “Ain't but three things in this world that's worth a solitary dime: old dogs and children and watermelon wine.” I wouldn’t argue with that much, but I would propose the addition of a possible fourth category. Old trucks. My truck is now old enough to be in…
June 4, 2024

Polish Confederates and the Principle “For Our Freedom and Yours”

The history of Poles' participation in the formation of the American Republic, especially participation in the American War of Independence, has been perfectly documented by Polish and non-Polish researchers. For example, there are extensive biographies of Tadeusz Kosciusko and Casimir Pulaski. Unfortunately the contribution of Poles in the period of the Civil War still remains a topic for broader discussion,…
June 3, 2024

In Memoriam: Jefferson Davis

To those who were not actors in the events of the period from 1860 to 1865, it is almost impossible to present a complete and vivid picture of the revolution by States which was practically inaugurated by the action of the convention of the people of South Carolina, on December 20, 1860. So much has been done by the war,…
May 31, 2024

The 19th Century Ecclesiastical Debate Over Slavery – Part 2

When we dichotomize the 19th century ecclesiastical debate as “Southern “pro-slavery” and Northern “anti-slavery,” it must first be pointed out that these two titles are heavily nuanced in meaning. They did not mean that a virtuous North was committed to the welfare of blacks while an evil South delighted in their human bondage. Neither side believed that slavery abstractly considered…
May 30, 2024

African-American Slavery in Historical Perspective

A review of African American Slavery in Historical Perspective (Shotwell Publishing, 2024) by Clyde N. Wilson This is an extremely important book because putting slavery in historical perspective puts the lie to the worthless presentist history regurgitated ad nauseam by academia and the fake news media. You can not learn from history when the history being taught is a fraud.…
May 29, 2024

Confederates Weren’t Traitors

Professor Williams’ argument (“Naming Commission Historian Rationalizes Name Changes in Campus Talk,” news, May 14) that the Confederate soldier is odious because he committed treason when killing Union soldiers collapses at its premise. He was not a traitor. First, almost 300 officers left the Federal Army during the secession crisis and 270 joined the Confederacy. None were charged with treason. Second,…
May 28, 2024

Jefferson v. Hamilton: A Northern versus Southern Feud?

As one enters Monticello, one is greeted by a bust of Jefferson facing a bust of Alexander Hamilton—“opposed in death as in life”—both by Italian sculptor Giuseppe Ceracchi. The statue of Hamilton is life-size, while the statue of Jefferson is a bit larger, and that suggests not merely Jefferson’s opposition, but political victory over Hamilton. What were the reasons for…
May 27, 2024

Dirty Work and Decoration Day

In 1853, a newly elected, twenty-six year old State representative stood to defend his "Negro Exclusion" bill against bitter attacks by anti-slavery legislators in his State. He made this a centerpiece of his campaign in 1852, railed against "Negro equality" and supported the 1850 Fugitive Slave Act. The bill found support from the majority of the people of his State,…
May 24, 2024

The Lincolns in the White House

A review of The Lincolns in the White House (Pangaeus Press, 2023) by Kevin Orlin Johnson Kevin Orlin Johnson is a brilliant researcher who has doggedly pursued original source material for the truth about Abraham Lincoln. And it doesn’t matter how many libraries he has to visit and how many un-indexed collections of papers written with quill pens he has…
May 23, 2024


The officer of regular troops intrusted with the duty of quickly raising levies for immediate war service is often too prone to think that his one great endeavor should be to “set them up” and so instruct them in drill as to make them look as much 1ike regulars as possible. As a matter of fact, he almost invariably fails…
May 22, 2024

Lynchburg’s Noiseless Musical Genius

Julia Winston Ivey, on September 15, 2020, quietly passed away at her house on Parkland Drive in Lynchburg, Virginia. She was a remarkable musical talent, an internationally lauded pianist in her prime years, yet her death created only a small stir in Hill City and her funeral, at her gravesite, was sparsely attended. The irony of her hushed passing is…
May 21, 2024

The 19th Century Ecclesiastical Debate Over Slavery – Part One

It is almost impossible for 21st century Christians, much less deeply biased contemporary historians, to comprehend that nineteenth century Southerners could, with any sincerity or justification, defend the compatibility of Christianity with the institution of slavery. For the past six decades historians have spilled much ink conjuring up images of insincere and hypocritical commitment on the part of Southern Christians’…
May 20, 2024


I have lived for more than half a century in a region of Lexington County, South Carolina, known as “the Dutch Fork.” So called because it was settled in the early 1700s by German (Deutsch) farmers looking for good soil. “Fork” because it  begins  in the fork of the Broad and Saluda rivers. The original settler families are still there,…
May 17, 2024

The Neoconservative Disorder

The recent controversy over the Israeli incursion into the Gaza strip has also revealed some deep fissures within the Conservative Movement. For despite the massive support for the Israeli invasion from both establishment Democrats and Republicans, there have been cautionary voices raised on the Right, in particular, by significant journalists such as Tucker Carlson (via his popular podcast) and Candace…
May 16, 2024

Cicero and the South

William Byrd II of Westover on the James River in Colonial Virginia lived a full generation before Thomas Jefferson, but they are comparable in their intellectual pursuits. Byrd had perhaps the largest library in the colonies, certainly below the Potomac River, and he began each day by reading, usually ancient authors, Greek or Roman, in the original languages. Private diaries…
Patrick HenryBlog
May 15, 2024

Did Jefferson Really “Hate” Patrick Henry?

Writes Thomas Jefferson to Leavit Harris concerning Patrick Henry (11 Oct. 1824): I never heard anything that deserved to be called by the same name with what flowed from him, and where he got that torrent of language is unconceivable. I have frequently shut my eyes while he spoke, and, when he was done, asked myself what he had said,…
May 14, 2024

The Second Battle of Atlanta

My brother and I have often fantasized about combining western North Carolina (my birthplace and my extended family’s home since the 1820’s), eastern Tennessee, and north Georgia into a new state.  What a stronghold of conservatism she would be!  We had always thought that Atlanta, the largest metropolitan area in the South, would be the economic hub of our new…
May 13, 2024

Never Reconciled: Boston’s Revenge

“Then the Lord said unto me, out of the north an evil shall break forth upon all the inhabitants of the land.”  Jeremiah. 1:14. Harvard University has a memorial to all its students who were killed in military service, including several Nazis. The only omission is of  some Americans---Confederates. I know of about a dozen Confederate generals who attended Harvard,…
May 12, 2024

These Women

It was after one of those big family get-togethers when I heard Grandaddy say it. We menfolk had made our way into the living room after helping clear the dining room table of dirty dishes. Dad gathered up the Dixie cups on which we had inscribed our names with a Sharpie marker. The “fine china,” Grandmother called it. My uncle…
May 10, 2024

Wendell Berry’s 400-Year-Old Debts

Love of cultivated land is a gift—born not from the unbridled wilds but the furrows of tilled soil. This gift, neither wrought nor feigned, cannot be bought nor swapped like an old mule, but rather, is bestowed upon us as a boon from our shared Agrarian Patrimony. Wendell Berry is a fortunate heir and shares his Southern heirloom generously through…
May 9, 2024

Looking for Samuel, I Found George and Bobby…I Think

Since the 1600s the people of the Northern Neck (NNK) of Virginia and of St. Mary's County, Maryland have been connected—not separated—by the Potomac.  They have married each other; they have battled common enemies together: the British in 1776 and 1812 and the Yankees in 1861.  Though they were on the same side in The War, in later years, St.…
May 8, 2024

The Southern Origins of Anesthesia

Some call it eureka, that moment of inspiration when an imaginative brain makes a connection no one else made. Dr. Crawford W. Long of Georgia possessed this gift when he discovered that ether could be used as an anesthetic in surgery—a long sought remedy after hundreds of years of suffering. What led to Dr. Long’s discovery? First, let’s meet the…
May 7, 2024

Scopes’ Scoops and Yankees

Gregg Jarrett like most of the “journalists” on Cable TV writes a book and, apparently, as part of   his remuneration, can market the book through the cable broadcast (marketing is the backbone of selling books). In this case, he has written something called The Trial of the Century. This version was such a grand event that it apparently, in Jarrett’s mind,…
May 6, 2024

The History of Our Southern People

The history of the Southern people, in its broad and significant dimensions, is still to be written. A lot of good history (and a lot of bad history) has been written about the South, but the over-arching theme of most of  this writing has been to treat the South as a peculiarity. The North is normal, the South is to…
May 3, 2024

The Real Myth America

In early 2023, accused plagiarist and Twitter (Princeton) historian Kevin Kruse published Myth America, a book that promised to replace “myths with research and reality.” You see, Kruse and his co-authors—many of whom are social media “celebrities” for their attacks on “conservative” scholarship—argued that, “The United States is in the grip of a crisis of bad history. Distortions of the…
May 2, 2024

Jefferson vs. Hamilton, Again

During the French Revolutionary War, President George Washington asks Jefferson’s advice on whether the US ought to respect its treaties with the French government, which was a monarchy prior to the revolution and months after the clean divorcement of the head of King Charles XVI from his body. The request is sensible, for the government of France, formerly monocratic, promises…
May 1, 2024

Wingless Chickens

The great Georgian writer of the mid-twentieth century Flannery O’Connor famously described herself as a “hillbilly Thomist,” a nod both to her Southern origins and her dedication to the medieval theologian and philosopher Thomas Aquinas. However much yankee intellectuals thumbed their noses at the South, the hillbilly moniker was not a little discordant given the well-educated O’Connor hailed from a…
April 30, 2024

A Forgotten Southern Poet–Columbus Drew

Columbus Drew (1820—1891) was born in Washington D.C to parents who had recently immigrated from England. A journalist as a young man, he was persuaded in 1855 to go to the slowly growing State of Florida and establish a newspaper at Jacksonville. From that time on he was loyal to Florida through the hard days of the Confederacy and Reconstruction…
April 29, 2024

Purple Haired Harpies and the Decline of the Historic South

I found the following article of interest, so I am passing it on.  It symbolizes for me, in iconic fashion, another major reason that the millennia-old inherited society around us is collapsing, to be replaced by a monstruous, dystopian Gulag, a counter-reality where our tried-and-true verities are unceremoniously dumped onto the ash heap of history. Just the other day I…
April 26, 2024

Two-Lane South

I learned to drive in a pasture. The speed limit didn’t matter; that orange Allis Chalmers tractor could only go so fast on uneven ground. Sweetheart, my grandmother, told too many tales of reckless young boys whose turns on the lumbering machines led to disfigurement and death, so I didn’t try anything too adventurous. That is, until my mother let…
April 25, 2024

America’s Prophet

This piece was originally published at Cormac McCarthy died at his home in Santa Fe last Tuesday, June 13 (2023), at the age of 89. He was our greatest living novelist, an apocalyptic prophet and diviner of violence, and will forever stand with the likes of Melville and Faulkner as the chief American mythmaker of his time. Born in…
April 24, 2024

Why “Democracy” Has Failed–And How to Fix It

Democracy in America has failed. In spite of the lack of any reference to “democracy” in both the American Constitution and its Declaration of Independence, the United States has institutionalized the democratic principle to become its world exemplar, which according to some intellectuals is henceforth to be the sole pattern for all governments on earth. Francis Fukuyama, a neoconservative until…
April 23, 2024

Jefferson as the “Architect of American Liberty”

In Jefferson: Architect of American Liberty, (Basic Books, 2017), John B. Boles offers us another biography of Thomas Jefferson. In his brief introduction, he mentions that his aim is to present Jefferson as “politician, party leader, executive; architect, musician, oenophile, gourmand, traveler; inventor, historian, political theorist; land owner, farmer, slaveholder; and son, father, grandfather.” He cautions readers that his portrait…
April 22, 2024

Washington’s “Unforgivable Sin”?

I have once again embarked upon a topic of historical research. Over the years, a particular individual having caught my attention results in my almost monomaniacal concentration upon the chosen object of study. My present interest arose after watching a replay of the old TV drama, The Crossing, a well done though moderately fictionalized version of George Washington’s attack on…
April 19, 2024

He’s Southbound, Lord, He’s Comin’ Home to You

Dickey Betts died. If you need to read a biographical tribute, turn elsewhere.  While there are plenty of cookie-cutter articles about Dickey Betts all over the place, the perspective found here is from a fellow musician, a fellow guitarist, and a fellow Southerner who never met Dickey Betts or ever even saw him perform.  But, oh, what an influence he…
April 18, 2024

The Farm

The first time I saw the inside of a prison was in 1999; I was 16. I hadn’t knocked over a fruit stand or been caught stealing hubcaps, I was just an unsuspecting teenager playing piano for a Louisiana gospel group. One Wednesday evening in October, my pastor and leader of the band gathered us up after prayer meeting and…
April 17, 2024

Reconstruction Historiography: Ideology vs. History

Reconstruction is the single most confusing and controversial period in American history. The tinderbox of race relations and the new organization of the central government and the states were not reformed reasonably or to the satisfaction of anyone involved, or to any faction that engages the history today. Explanations and justifications for the extreme policies, punitive laws, and social experimentation…
April 16, 2024

Rethinking Southern Poetry

"Works of fiction--novels and poetry--can mean more to a people than all the political manifestos and reports from all the think tanks and foundations ever established by misguided philanthropy." Tom Fleming, 1982 I take this quote seriously. So should anyone interested in the Southern tradition or in a larger sense Western Civilization. Fleming implored his reader to do so, for…
April 15, 2024

The Fasola Fellowship

I’m not deaf to the vibrant Country music chatter. Got opinions, but on social media, I made a vow: don't discuss the current thing. Yet, the discourse reminded of something. Donald Davidson was a man of tradition. He liked the old way. Saw a kinship between song meant for singing and verse meant for reading, a stance rare among his…
April 12, 2024

Happy Birthday, Thomas Jefferson!

At the request of friend John Spear Smith (1785–1866, figure below), who named a newborn child after him, Thomas Jefferson, in a letter (21 Feb. 1825) that he pens some one and one-half years prior to his death, offers philosophical advice to the newborn child, Thomas Jefferson Smith. The missive takes the form of an epistolary trilogy: an advisory letter,…
April 11, 2024

Yankee Cain and Southern Seth

Southerners have often been mocked for their agrarian simplicity by Yankee-minded folks.  We know the insults well by now:  hicks, hillbillies, rednecks, and so on.  But Dixie should not be ashamed of this.  We ought rather to delight and exult in it. Richard Weaver gives us good ground for doing so in his contrast of the Northern/Yankee and Southern types:…
April 10, 2024

Republic or Democracy

Back in 1966, the conservative activist and F.B.I. operative Dan Smoot produced a short film, A Constitutional Republic, Not a Democracy.  Anybody who calls the United States a democracy, he said, is trying to subvert the Constitution of the United States — we’re not a democracy; we’re a republic. Probably because there are supposed to be two political parties here,…
April 9, 2024

Saving a Remnant

Nothing is more indicative of the ongoing degradation of American  culture than the fate of the once noble Commonwealth of Virginia—not long ago widely admired as the mother of States and Presidents—inseparable from Patrick Henry, Washington, Jefferson, Lewis and Clark, Lee and Jackson. Now shallow, opportunistic politicians ignorant of American foundations swarm in every Southern State. In Virginia they have…
BlogReview Posts
April 8, 2024

The Gentleman From Virginia

A review of John Randolph of Roanoke (Louisiana State University Press, 2012) by David Johnson One might assume that John Randolph of Roanoke, who may be the most singular individual in American political history, would be the subject of numerous biographies. The earliest attempt to capture something of the man was Powhatan Bouldin’s Home Reminiscences, written in 1878, a book…
April 5, 2024

Jefferson on “Nation Building”

On July 19, 1823, Adamantios Koraïs—preeminent Greek scholar (1748–1833), philosopher of education, polyglot (Ancient Greek, Latin, Hebrew, Dutch, French, and English), and revolutionist—writes to Thomas Jefferson for “help from men truly free.” Circumstances in Greece are parlous. Greeks, under Turkic yoke since the middle of the fifteenth century, are in the midst of a revolution, begun in 1821, and Greeks…
April 4, 2024

Cowboy Carter and Cultural Appropriation

At the time of the Super Bowl in February, 2024, pop singer Beyoncé Knowles released two new singles that sounded a little different than her usual stuff. One of those two singles called Texas Hold ‘Em went to number 1 on the Billboard Hot Country chart and eventually number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. In late March, Beyoncé followed…
April 3, 2024

Soured on the South

I grew up in Virginia, though my accent, apart from a few words and phrases, is almost indistinguishable from my friends from California, Massachusetts, and Michigan. For many Southerners, especially in the Upper South, all that remains of that once rich linguistic heritage are such expressions as “y’all,” “yonder,” and “if I had my druthers.” For that, we can thank…
April 2, 2024

Independence or Subjugation

In the middle of July, 1864, Chickamauga, Missionary Ridge, and Kennesaw Mountain had been fought and Sherman was at the gates of Atlanta. In Virginia, Grant had fought Lee for two months and had lost as many men as Lee had in his entire army at the beginning of the campaign, and was now investing Petersburg. Jubal Early's Second Corps…
April 1, 2024

Reconciled No More

The U.S. Army’s removal of the Reconciliation Monument from Arlington, with the approval of your Congress, is nothing less than an attempt to remove the Southern people from American history. The lead instigator in this atrocity seems to have been a general with a funny name, not a West Pointer and not a soldier but a bureaucrat.  One of many…
March 29, 2024

True Virginia Ham

In February 1820, a native Virginian then residing in Richmond wrote a letter to a good friend in Princeton, New Jersey. One of his topics in the missive was how best to prepare a hog for dinner: Altho’ I am sick and harassed with much business I must write soon, least your pork should be too long in brine. .…
March 28, 2024

A Confederate in Paris

In March 1861, Ambrose Dudley Mann, a native of Virginia, left the Confederate States of America on a diplomatic mission to Europe, where he remained for the next four years. After his country was defeated in the war, he resolved that he could never return to his native soil unless he returned to an independent South, and so he resided…
March 27, 2024

What Did Jefferson Really Look Like?

A newspaper in Chillicothe, Ohio, in 1887 and in 1902 stated that Sally Hemings’ last child, slave Eston Hemings, resembled Thomas Jefferson. Just how that resemblance was established is unclear. Eston Hemings died in 1877; Thomas Jefferson, in 1826. So, the newspaper was reporting that one person that had been dead for 10/25 years resembled another that has been dead…
March 26, 2024

Lincoln Studies and a Stacked Deck

Back in 1949, two researchers, J. S. Bruner and Leo Postman, wanted to sort out the relationship between what we see and how we interpret what we see. They did a proper study of it — “On the Perception of Incongruity: A Paradigm”, Journal of Personality, 18:206 ff. (1949), if you want to look it up. Bruner and Postman asked…
March 25, 2024

The North’s Victory Unmasked

An aspect of preserving the Southern tradition is rescuing books of wisdom that have been lost and forgotten. That is the case with The United States Unmasked,  published in 1879 by Gabriel Manigault (1809—1888). Manigault was born in Charleston to distinguished patriot families on both sides and married into another such family.  After serving in the defenses of Charleston and…
March 22, 2024

Good Stock

As soon as I walked through the door I could smell it. The thick, pungent aroma of collard greens and smoked ham hock cooked low and slow for hours. Simple fare, born of necessity, but it remains one of my favorite meals. And despite the humble nature of the ingredients, it is nothing short of delicious. It’s Sunday afternoon. That…
BlogReview Posts
March 21, 2024

Patriotism and the History of Prejudice

A review of The Need to Be Whole: Patriotism and the History of Prejudice (Shoemaker + Company, 2022) by Wendell Berry I had heard of Wendell Berry for quite some time, and though I had an idea of what he was for—‘what I stand for is what I stand on’—I had never read him. I believe that my very first…
March 20, 2024

The Original Meaning of the 14th Amendment

On Friday, March 15, the Abbeville Institute hosted a webinar on the legal scholar Raoul Berger and the original meaning of the Fourteenth Amendment. Brion McClanahan hosted legal scholars Allen Mendenhall, William Watkins, and Jesse Meriam for a round table discussion on the Berger, the amendment, and Reconstruction. If you want to learn more about the fraudulent "ratification" of the…
March 19, 2024

Southern Nationalism

A leftwing scribbler on some website recently called me “a White Nationalist.” He thought that was a conclusive judgment. But I am not now and never have been a “White Nationalist.” I have long been called a Southern nationalist, but that is a different matter. The Southern people are real. White nationalism is merely a Yankee ideology, an abstraction with…
March 18, 2024

Calhoun’s “Richest Legacy to Posterity”

From Gustavus M. Pinckney, The Life of John C. Calhoun The attentive reader will not have forgotten that in the letter of Mr. Calhoun in reference to his acceptance of the Secretaryship of State he made mention of a project which he had in mind for leisure hours in the home routine to which at that time he looked forward.…
March 15, 2024

A Favorite Southern Trio

A few years back, I came to Louisiana for the first time. Being an Indiana Hoosier, I had no idea what dishes were native to this region, aside from gumbo and crawfish. The first Southern meal my Louisiana family introduced me to was red beans and rice. I didn’t know what to expect, but as soon as I took my…
March 14, 2024

President Davis in Chains

The lamp was always lit So I could sleep but fitfully They'd let me have no chair And only narrow cot, No screen for chamber pot. My worn and skimpy coat Was all they would alot. In silence I could bear The torture of the lamp, the cold, The oozing damp and mold, But when they ushered in the four…
March 13, 2024

Jefferson and the Indians

I came into possession of Anthony Wallace’s book, Jefferson and the Indians: American Indian Policy in the Formative Years on November 1, 2010. Since then, I have thrice tried to read the book, but I could never get beyond the introduction, and that, for me, is unusual, even when it comes to books, especially books on Jefferson. In his introduction,…
March 12, 2024

A New Classic Southern Novel

The highest and most lasting achievement of 20th century American literature is Southern fiction. The great Southern writers present an imagined but realistic world. Unlike usually solipsistic Northern fiction, that world includes families over several generations centered in real places, historical context, memorable characters, and the challenging moral complexity of genuine human living. This great Faulknerian/Agrarian story-telling tradition continues into…
March 11, 2024

What If Secession Happens Now?

Recently a private polling company called YouGov conducted a survey asking Americans if they advocated the secession of their home state from the United States.  North and South, Democrat and Republican, the distribution was fairly consistent, averaging out to 23 percent in favor of their state’s secession. The survey, as reported on March 6 in the London Daily Mail, didn’t…
March 8, 2024

1934: The Last Rebel Yell

In 1934, FDR was the first President to visit Roanoke County, Virginia, since George Washington had 200 years before as a young surveyor and soldier. FDR was to race through Salem (our home town) on his way to honor the new World War I veterans’ hospital nearby. The locals crowded about a right turn where his car had to slow…
March 7, 2024

What’s a Road

Native Americans once traversed their paths before the founding of the nation. A teenage George Washington traveled them as a surveyor in the mid-eighteenth century. Enslaved blacks built fieldstone walls that line some of them. And Union and Confederate armies once clashed upon them. I’m talking about the gravel roads of Loudoun County in northwest Virginia. If you know anything…
March 6, 2024

Remember the Alamo

I was watching some old true crime story on one of the cable channels recently. Probably a rerun, though I don’t keep up with T.V. and its general blather. As a rule, T.V. is about as entertaining and educational as two goats eating weed grass without disturbing the dandelions. And the “news” is even worse. Anyway, this crime had taken…
March 5, 2024

Elias Cornelius Boudinot and Confederate-Indian Relations

From the establishment of Jamestown in 1607, until the sundering of the Union, a period of roughly 250 years, English, and later American, governments had a very poor record in relations with Native American tribes. In 1861, however, a new “white” government emerged in the American South, the Confederate States of America. The new Southern Republic sought to gain an…
March 4, 2024

The Birth of Jaffa and the Death of History

There have been a lot of things spoken of Goldwater, from lunatic to nationalist and everything in between. While most historians, on both the right and the left, tend to focus on these well placed propagandist terms, the few points that get perpetually overlooked by any analyst are the significant points of who he was, his own personal platform, how…
March 1, 2024

How to Roast a Possum

There are few kinds of critters that roam the countryside where I live that I haven’t eaten at least once. Deer, squirrels, armadillos, raccoons, wild hogs and the like. I haven’t always liked them, but sometimes it was all we had. In the late 80’s, my folks lost their jobs at the mill due to a strike and if we…
February 29, 2024

The Gaslighting Commission and American History

This month marks 160 years since a relatively unrecognized, but noteworthy, battle between Union and Confederate forces in which black soldiers participated in relatively large numbers. The noteworthiness was not in terms of strategic significance, consequential results, exceptional leadership, or recognized valor. Rather, Olustee was the battle in which a relatively recent phenomenon – black U.S. soldier regiments – probably…
February 28, 2024

The Use and Misuse of History

“I am heir to  the greatest civilization the world has ever known. I’d like to defend it but I wouldn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings.” --Alice Teller “By 2050—earlier probably—all real knowledge of Oldspeak will have disappeared.  The whole literature of the past will have been destroyed….shall exist only in Newspeak versions, not merely changed into something different, but actually…
February 27, 2024

Jefferson on the Pleasure of Pleasure Gardening

Thomas Jefferson, like others of his day, was a patron and admirer of the fine arts, which were “fine” because they were autotelic—viz., enjoyed as ends in themselves. The number of the Fine Arts was a matter of debate in his day. To granddaughter Ellen Wayles Randolph (10 July 1805), President Jefferson writes: I must observe that neither the number…
February 26, 2024

I am the South

I AM THE SOUTH (After Padraig Pearse, Mise Eire) I am the South: I am older than Helena's dead. Great my glory: I that bore Jackson and Lee. Great now my shame: My children that bartered a mother. Great now my sorrow: My true sons betrayed. I am the South: I am lonelier than Helena's dead.
February 23, 2024

Why the North Wanted to Preserve the Union

One of the reasons for forming the United States in 1789 was to permit the thirteen states to trade among themselves with minimal interference. One example of interference occurred two years earlier when New York state unilaterally increased customs fees and assessed heavy clearance fees on vessels arriving from—or bound to—New Jersey and Connecticut. Similar disputes affected others among the…
February 22, 2024

Forgotten Southern Wisdom

Over the years I  have occasionally encountered references to Edward P. Lawton’s book The South and the Nation. I was never able to find it until recently when  I was able to get a copy from  a company in India called Skilled Books.  This reprint is nicely printed and bound without any date or copyright  information. Lawton was from Savannah,…
February 21, 2024

Self-Evident Truths

Armies sometimes crush liberty, but they cannot conquer ideas. Jabez L. M. Curry (Lieutenant colonel, CSA, 1861-1865) From the African continent to the shores of America, the people coercively enslaved were victims of government action, inaction, or a combination of the two. Whether the government is led by a tribal chieftain or a so-called representative government, all governments are political…
February 20, 2024

Thomas Jefferson’s “Holy War”

In a singular letter late in life to John Wayles Eppes (6 Nov. 1813), Thomas Jefferson describes the American Revolution as a “holy war.” He writes, “If ever there was a holy war, it was that which saved our liberties and gave us independance.” The letter rather mundanely concerns Jefferson’s abhorrence of banks and paper money. The letter I consider…
February 19, 2024

The Closed Book of Southern Literature

Until the publication of Jay B. Hubbell’s great The South in American Literature 1607-1900 (Duke University 1954), nobody remembered many of the South’s great writers, apart from Edgar Allan Poe and, if only by deprecation, maybe Joel Chandler Harris.  Now nobody remembers Jay B. Hubbell. Hubbell’s work extends beyond scholarship through antiquarianism practically to archaeology.  The chief reason why modern…
February 16, 2024

Remembering an American President

From Varina Davis, Jefferson Davis: A Memoir (1890) Mr. Davis’s apparent feebleness had been accompanied by enough increase in weight to encourage my hopes of his health improving. He never stooped, but retained his fine soldierly carriage, and always walked with a light, firm step, and with apparent ease; his voice was sweet and sonorous as ever. A slight deafness…
February 15, 2024

Immigration, Race, and Poverty in the North

Mass immigration played a large role in the War for Southern Independence in some obvious ways. It provided a workforce for large scale industrialization, it populated the Midwest and created a large population and economic advantage when war did come, it brought large Catholic and Lutheran populations to the north threatening Yankee cultural purity, and it brought the neo-Marxists 48’ers…
February 14, 2024

Lincoln Sells His Slaves

“The literature on Abraham Lincoln is vast, but it isn’t very good.”  You have to love a book with a first sentence like that!  The book is Kevin Orlin Johnson’s The Lincolns in the White House. While he has some interesting history of the Executive Mansion (the White House) the author is not limited to that one place and  short…
February 13, 2024

Lincoln on Stilts

Thomas DiLorenzo, the President of the Mises Institute, has already reviewed Paul C. Graham’s Nonsense on Stilts: The Gettysburg Address and Lincoln’s Imaginary Nation (Shotwell Publishing 2024) in characteristically excellent fashion, but the book is so insightful that some further comments are warranted. It is clear that Graham has a philosophical turn of mind and is a master of linguistic…
February 12, 2024

Rowan Oak, June 1998

High circling hawk was clue: This is your home My kinsman true. Allspice bush in cedared yard Gave evidences too Green would and blue, The red-tail, far too far to hear Its brittle cry (But at my hone outside the window high, Persimmon perched, we're eye to eye-- Same hawk, same cry.) I leave the hawk behind And walk the…
February 8, 2024

How Northern Stupidity and Plundering Saved a Southern City

Lynchburg, Virginia, today displays many markers of its Civil War history. There are several signs in and around the city that indicate where Confederate forces were placed in defense of the city. There is a statue of a Confederate infantryman at the top of Monument Terrace. In Riverside Park, what is left of the hull of Marshall, which carried the…
February 7, 2024

New York v. Tennessee

You’ve probably already seen the video of a mob beating up two New York City police officers. The incident happened about 10 days ago in broad daylight in Times Square, one of the most prominent public places and tourist attractions in New York. The video shows two officers apprehending a suspect who resists arrest and is wrestled to the pavement,…
February 6, 2024

Monument Desecration in the U.S.: “If It’s Not Love….”

What do pro-Israel Jewish Americans, Italian Americans, and American Southerners have in common?  First and most obviously, they have proud traditions based on Judeo-Christian ethics.  Judaism, Catholicism, and Protestantism, the predominant religions in the groups, share belief in God though there are many and complex variations in their beliefs and practices.  Second, another important thing they have in common is…
February 5, 2024

Democrats Did Not Keep Lincoln Off the Ballot

Democrat activists in Colorado and Maine dictatorially kicked Trump off the primary ballot in those states.  Historically ignorant Neocons had a field day, labeling the Left as “Neo-Confederates.” Fox News Jesse Watters ranted, “Democrats booted Lincoln off the ballot in 10 states.” Declaring that “history always has a way of repeating itself,” he continued, “Just like Southern Democrats did to…
February 2, 2024

Mr. H

When I was in school, many of my teachers were from North Carolina, one of them Miss M., a large and rather loud woman with steel-grey hair.  We liked her much better than her predecessor, the Chicagoan with the prominent nose who mocked our country speech.  We also liked our North Carolinian physical education teacher, a right pleasant person.  And…
February 1, 2024

Will Southern Literature Survive?

A few weeks ago, a man in our town was hospitalized because he was beaten upside the head with a horseshoe by his ex-wife. As I understand it, she showed up to her ex-husband’s family reunion as the “Plus One” of his second cousin. The incident occurred when the assailant found out that her ex, who hadn’t paid child support…
BlogReview Posts
January 31, 2024

Stewards of History

Caryl Johnston is a contemporary Southern writer who has so far not received as much recognition as she merits.  That lack was partly corrected in 2021 when the Abbeville Press published her Stewards of History: Land and Time in the Story of a Southern Family. Then last year her fourth volume of verse, Storyteller in Times Square, appeared. Stewards of…
January 30, 2024

Red Warren and Grandpa

A few days ago, I attended the annual Robert E. Lee Banquet in Virginia. I felt so at home and surrounded by Southern comrades who shared my values. We all had a grand time. In these trying days, it is very difficult to stand up for traditional Southern values. I often think of my mentor Cleanth Brooks--whose grandfather was a…
January 29, 2024

God Bless Texas

On Friday, 26 January, Slate magazine ran a piece entitled “GOP Governors Invoke the Confederate Theory of Secession to Justify Border Violations.” Slate has an interesting definition of “border violations.” A sensible, normal person would think that meant crossing the border illegally. Slate uses the phrase to refer to Texas Governor Greg Abbott, who has taken steps to guard his…
January 27, 2024

Ep. 8: Remembering “Stonewall”

The Essential Southern Podcast is back for 2024. Our first episode of the year, "Remembering Stonewall" is out now on YouTube, Spotify, and Apple Podcasts. Subscribe, like, comment, and leave a review where you can. In 1895, "Stonewall" Jackson's widow, Mary Anna Jackson, penned her "Memoirs of Stonewall Jackson" as a tribute her her late husband. This selection is a…
January 25, 2024

A Misunderstood Southern Hero

We Southerners  have our heroes, Lee, Jackson, Hampton, Longstreet, Hood, Pettigrew, and the list goes on. But few of us look to the likes of William Quantrill as hero material, most likely due to his fighting  tactics not being in line with with “gentlemanly” warfare. He is generally denigrated for his planning and execution of the raid on Lawrence, Kansas. …
January 24, 2024

Remembering John Taylor of Caroline

Prophet of Encroaching Tyranny John Taylor of Caroline was a man of the American Revolution. During the fight for independence, he served in the Continental Army and Virginia militia. He left the latter at the end of the war with the rank of lieutenant-colonel. Military life molded his character as it did for so many other men, but the enduring…
January 23, 2024

Jefferson’s Use of Grids and Octagons was Racist?

Irene Cheng's "The Racial Geometry of the Nation: Thomas Jefferson's Grids and Octagons" is indicative of the wokeist/Postmodernist plight of academic scholarship today vis-à-vis Thomas Jefferson. There is a smoothness to the essay and a structure, and there are sprinkled in several “technical” terms to give the essay quasi-intellectual feel. Yet that is on the level of “feel.” Careful critical…
January 22, 2024

Remembering “Stonewall”

From Mary Anna Jackson, Memoirs of Stonewall Jackson (1895) in honor of "Stonewall" Jackson's birthday. My own heart almost stood still under the weight of horror and apprehension which then oppressed me. This ghastly spectacle was a most unfitting preparation for my entrance into the presence of my stricken husband; but when I was soon afterwards summoned to his chamber,…
January 19, 2024

Lee in Darkness

Lee, “a public nuisance” “Not marble nor the gilded monuments . . .” Shakespeare, Sonnet 55 “It is history that teaches us to hope.” Robert E. Lee A century and more he stood alone Atop his column, elevated, grave, Arms folded, in full military dress, Looking hard north from where “those people” came. Now workers come, in bulletproof vests and…
January 18, 2024

Ol’ Fred

FRED CHAPPELL was America's greatest living writer. Of that I have no doubt, not that the modern miasma of contemporary letters offered him much serious competition.  (His only rivals for the epithet were Cormac McCarthy, now passed, and Wendell Berry, nearing ninety.) He was a master of most every major literary genre - poetry, fiction, criticism, et al. His scope…
January 17, 2024

Southerners Built Panama

Colonel William Crawford Gorgas, son of Confederate general Josiah Gorgas, Jefferson Davis’ chief of ordnance, was already a world renowned doctor before he ever set foot in Panama. In the final days of the Spanish–American War, Gorgas was Chief Sanitary Officer in Havana, where he eradicated yellow fever and malaria by identifying its transmitter: the Aedes mosquito. (Previously, people had…
January 16, 2024

Blaming the Tool

There is an old maxim from a better time: “It is a poor workman who blames his tools.” The idea is, of course, that some people who fail at an effort in which they engage are more than likely to blame “circumstances” rather than themselves. I have found this maxim helpful in matters far more esoteric than mere physical labor…
January 15, 2024

King Day and the Abolition of America

For the past eight years, each January for the Federal holiday celebrating Martin Luther King (whose birth date is January 15), I send out a cautionary essay that I first began researching back in 2016. What I have been attempting to do, with increasing urgency, was remind readers, specifically so-called “conservatives,” that King and his holiday are emblematic of the…
January 12, 2024

Deep South, High Art

Growing up in rural southern Arkansas, I believed that art was as foreign to our people as a goose egg is to the North Pole. My part of the Arkansas Delta was nothing but cotton fields and pine trees that stretched so far one could be forgiven for thinking there was nothing at all on the other side, that the…
January 11, 2024

Lincoln’s Prisoners

Within two months of taking office, in the midst of what he termed a “rebellion” and an “insurrection” against the national authority, the President of the United States took an extraordinary action. Sending a letter to the army’s commanding general about the deteriorating situation, the commander-in-chief authorized the suspension of habeas corpus, a legal safeguard that requires a detained citizen…
January 10, 2024

Baron Munchausen Redux

Editor's note: John Marquardt published his farewell recently, but he thought this needed to be discussed and as such is his postscript. As I wrote in my 2015 Abbeville article, a century prior to the War of Secession, Rudolf Rase, a German pseudo-scientist and notorious swindler, wrote a book entitled "Baron Munchausen’s Narratives of His Marvelous Travels and Campaigns in…
January 9, 2024

The Kingdom of Callaway

Any casual student of history will be familiar with the two primary antagonists of the War for Southern Independence: the Confederate States of America and the United States of America rump state.  There was one additional participant, however, of which few are aware: Callaway County, Missouri.  On October 27, 1861, Federal officers representing the United States of America and Colonel…
January 8, 2024

Setting Aside Historical Accuracy

The recent video, “The Fall of Minneapolis,” by journalist Liz Collin and Dr. J.C. Chaix, is chillingly eye-opening. The documentary, following the book, “They’re Lying: The Media, The Left, and the Death of George Floyd, is painstakingly researched. It shows convincingly that the four officers, who were involved in the arrest of George Floyd on the day of his passing,…
January 5, 2024

Robert E. Lee and the DOD

Every once in a while, I read a book that is so flawed, biased and outright wrong that I can hardly finish it. Such is the case with “Robert E. Lee and Me” by Tyrus Seidule. I have always sought to give those who disagree me a fair hearing. Occasionally I may even learn something. But in Mr. Seidule’s case,…
January 4, 2024

The Confederate Gold, FOUND!

A review of The Rebel and the Rose: James A. Semple, Julia Gardiner Tyler, and the Lost Confederate Gold, by Wesley Millett and Gerald White, ‎Cumberland House Publishing, August 24, 2007. Millett and White have written a terrific “three-‘fer”: A wartime romance, a history of the flight from Richmond, and an economic reckoning of the Southern Treasury. They have succeeded,…
January 3, 2024

Go South, Young Man

There is a venerable American tradition — at least as old as Alexis de Tocqueville — to contrast the energy, ingenuity, and virtue of the North with the slow, backward, hypocrisy of the South. In Tocquevile’s influential work Democracy in America, published in 1831, we read: “The banks of the Ohio River provided the final demonstration… time and again, in…
January 2, 2024

Blame Republicans

In February 2000, Republican presidential candidate John McCain told “Face the Nation” that he considered the Confederate Battle Flag to be “offensive” and a “symbols of racism and slavery.” Candidate George W. Bush remarked that while he considered the display of the flag to be a state issue, he refused to allow Confederate symbolism at the Texas statehouse and had…
December 27, 2023

Christmas in Dixie

Editor's Note: This is our final post of 2023. I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. We will be back January 2, 2024. Until we meet again.... The older that I get, it seems the less I enjoy the Christmas season. So much is now packed into the month of December, that it is hard to…
December 26, 2023

Christmas Reflections

As Christmas 2023 rapidly approaches I am put in mind of a short poem, “The Broad Winter,” written some seventy years ago by English poet, Jack Clemo. It may seem a bit odd to cite this work during the Christmas Season, but I will explain. Here it is: “The darkness comes as you foretold. You hear the fretful moan, The…
December 25, 2023

Dear Santa

When I came home from the grocery store yesterday I found an envelope taped to my front door. It was blank but sealed. I assumed it was a bill left by my landlord, so I laid it on the coffee table and went to work cooking supper. But about the time the beans came to a simmer curiosity got the…
December 22, 2023

A Southern Christmas Carol

During the Advent, or Christmas, season, I enjoy hearing and singing Advent hymns, or Christmas carols, which celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I always look forward to this every year. One which I enjoy hearing and singing was written in Northern Virginia, where I am from and where I live. The Protestant Episcopal Theological Seminary…
December 21, 2023

An Open Letter for Arlington National Cemetery Confederate Monument

I recently finished reading The Need To Be Whole by Wendell Berry, and it has inspired me to write to you in protest of the imminent—if not actually underway as you read these very words—removal of the Arlington National Cemetery Confederate Monument. I am certain that you have already encountered many arguments in favour of the monument. You have heard…
December 20, 2023

A Confederate Lady at Castle Pinckney and Battery Wagner in Charleston Harbor

Since I became a member of the Charleston Chapter 4 of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, I have had the honor of working as a volunteer at our museum in historic Charleston, South Carolina. One aspect of that work involved an inventory of the museum’s rich, remarkable treasure trove of manuscripts and printed material. Having authored a book some…
December 19, 2023

South Carolina Debates the Union

Editor's Note: This 1830 speech from Whitemarsh B. Seabrook shows that South Carolina's commitment to the original Constitution was not solely based on arguments against slavery. Mr. Chairman—I am not aware that I ever attempted to address you with feelings like those which now influence me. The momentous character of the controversy between this state and the federal government, the…
December 18, 2023

O. Henry: The Short Story Writer of America

Editor's Note: O. Henry's "The Gift of the Magi" is one of the most popular Christmas short stories, but most modern Americans know little about the author or his Southern background. O.Henry posted caricatures of the local carpetbagger in the drugstore window. He also said that when he heard “Dixie” he did not celebrate but only wished that Longstreet had…This…
BlogReview Posts
December 15, 2023

Who is the Real Thomas Jefferson?

Who is the real Thomas Jefferson? Historians have attempted to answer this question since "Sage of Monticello" died in 1826. Jefferson has been the symbol of nearly every political movement in America, even if he would have disagreed with their positions. He has been described as a radical, a progressive, a liberal, an agrarian, a populist, a libertarian, a conservative,…
December 14, 2023

VMI and the American Empire

The instances are innumerable, their details vast. To exist outside and apart is to be a threat, a West Berlin just visible over the parapet. All distinction must submit. There is no more dialogue as once offered to Melos, there is no longer even the illusion of choice: your old god must be displaced, your plinth must be empty, and…
December 13, 2023

Sally Hemings’ Bedroom

“Historians have made a discovery just in time for the July 4th holiday” (2018), writes Natalie Dreier of the National/World News. “They have found the living quarters for Sally Hemings, the enslaved woman who bore six children to one of the country’s founding fathers, Thomas Jefferson.” Where at Monticello is this bedroom? Michael Cottman of NBC News says that Hemings’ bedroom was…
December 12, 2023

The Fall of Minnesota

Anyone who wants to judge how far into corruption our present U.S. regime has sunk needs to view the documentary “The Fall of Minneapolis” which covers the George Floyd case and the official reaction to it. Before the evidence was even finalised, the President of the United States, the Vice-President of the United States, the then Speaker of the U.S.…
December 11, 2023

What Was the War About?

Names tell a lot, and that conflict had many names. The one that seems to have stuck is “The Civil War.” But is this an accurate description? Civil wars by definition are wars waged between two or more factions within a country struggling for control of the government (1). But Robert E. Lee was not fighting to take over the…
December 8, 2023

A Southern Memoir

Dr. Virginia Abernethy, retired from the Psychiatry Department of Vanderbilt University, is still going strong at age 90, as evidenced by her lively memoir, Born Abroad:  A Patriot’s Tale of Choice and Chance (Arktos: 2023). From a family of Virginian origins, she was, due to her father’s work, born in Havana and spent her childhood in Buenos Aires.  She still…
December 7, 2023

Prayerful Warrior

In the years following the defeat of the Confederacy, Robert E. Lee emerged as the face of the Lost Cause. In many respects, Lee embodied a defeated South: strong, stubborn, but simply outmanned. However, this interpretation of defeat as a matter of mere numbers and arms did not rest well with many Southerners. To them, the war was a battle…
December 6, 2023

Abraham Lincoln–War Criminal

We frequently read today about war crimes, such as bombing hospitals. In World War II Britain bombed civilians in Dresden and dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In war, we are told, “anything goes.” Abraham Lincoln followed this barbaric policy, and those who treat him as a “hero” have much to answer for. In his definitive book War Crimes…
December 5, 2023

An Affectionate Farewell

This is a footnote to my most recent offering at the Abbeville Institute regarding the sayonara being given to far too much of Southern culture, heritage and history that is now being swept away by the ever-growing tsunami of mindless social justice rage. You might well ask what could possibly have led a person who was born and largely bred…
December 4, 2023

Willmoore Kendall’s Battle Lines

Few men would confuse the late Willmoore Kendall for a Southern gentleman. The son of a blind Oklahoma Southern Methodist preacher, the conservative political philosopher married three times, and carried on numerous affairs. A regular contributor to National Review, Kendall was once caught with a copy girl in the office of a colleague in NR spaces. He was an alcoholic,…
December 1, 2023

Bronze is the Mirror of Form

With the Thanksgiving of 2023 in the rearview mirror, I am still thankful for the over 9000 Americans who submitted comments around the removal of the Confederate Memorial in Arlington Cemetery. Only 10% of the comments supported the decision to remove the memorial. Over eight thousand Americans wrote in defense of the Confederate Memorial, and over 364 people mentioned grave…
November 30, 2023

The Great Awakening in Wilson County, Tennessee

It is often said that “a watched pot doesn’t boil”.  Today I’d like to alter that saying to “A watched pot doesn’t boil over.”And I’d like to add that “A watched pressure cooker doesn’t blow up.” The idea here is to prevent a situation from getting out of hand and making a mess in the environment.  This article is to…
November 28, 2023

What is the Future of the Southern Tradition?

What is the future of the Southern tradition? This question presents a pressing problem for Americans in the twenty-first century. To those who reduce the Southern tradition to treason and slavery, the answer would be simple: it must be eradicated. Unfortunately, these people dominate the academic and political classes in American society. The near decade long pogrom on Southern symbols…
November 27, 2023

Lincoln’s Quest for Empire

Many Americans cherish the image of Honest Abe Lincoln: a lad born in humble circumstances who succeeded by hard, sleeves-rolled-up work; became President, fulfilling his lifelong goal of freeing the slaves, meanwhile saving government of, by and for the people; and was martyred and wafted to Heaven by angels. This image is folklore, no more related to the facts of…
November 22, 2023


I believe that the Marriage Supper of the Lamb will be a potluck. The Saints will come from afar, bearing covered dishes, and reclining at table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. But there will be no tofu, for it will have its part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone. The course of my life can be charted…
BlogReview Posts
November 21, 2023

Outside the Gates of Eden

William Faulkner once said of his own work that he was just “a failed poet.” Of course, Faulkner is at the lasting peak of American culture in his portrayal of mankind’s striving and endurance and cannot be any kind of failure. The only thing I have in common with Faulkner is that we both write in prose—me being a very…
November 20, 2023

Profiteering from Farcicality

In August 2019, The New York Times, prompted by a notion of Nikole Hannah-Jones, began its 1619 Project—an attempt to rewrite completely America’s history by considering the year 1619 as the real birth of the American nation. In the words of New York Times Magazine editor-in-chief, Jay Silverstein: 1619 is not a year that most Americans know as a notable…
November 17, 2023

The South in the Interpretation of the Constitution

Editor's Note: This chapter is republished from The South in the Building of the Nation series (1909). In the making of the American Nation, the Southern states have played a conspicuous part-a part which has not received proper recognition at the hands of historians at home or abroad. This neglect of the South is largely the result of the views…
November 16, 2023

“I die in the service and defense of my country!”

I just finished John Headly's book "Confederate Operations in Canada and New York."  It's a good read and provides great insight into Confederate operations in New York and other northern states. I highly recommend it. But this piece isn't about Headly. It's about John Yates Beall, acting master in the Confederate States Navy. In this book, Headly poignantly describes the…
BlogReview Posts
November 15, 2023

African Founders and Albion’s Seed

I've often been asked a variation of the same question: "If you had to choose one American history book to recommend, what would it be?" The answer is simple: David Hackett Fischer's Albion's Seed. I don't make this suggestion lightly. There are other fascinating and important works to consider, but Fischer presents a compelling tale of early American culture that…
November 14, 2023

What Would Jefferson Do?

One of the most difficult tasks of any historian is to show how knowing history is today relevant—that is, to show that history is heterotelic, that it is not its own end. The “Father of History,” the Greek Herodotus, who chronicled the events of the Persian War (490–479 B.C.) and aimed to cover both Greek and Persian motives, writes (my…
November 13, 2023

No to War

Editor's Note: On 5 April 1917, Representative Claude Kitchin of North Carolina rose and delivered a manly speech in opposition to Woodrow Wilson's call for a declaration of war against Germany. He was one of five Southern members of Congress who opposed the war resolution. Kitchin prophetically predicted that if she became involved in the war, America would be forced…
November 9, 2023

The Peanut Gallery

I never want another dog. As I made the 30 mile trek home from the veterinarian’s office with the stiff body of my 14 year old cur dog, Katie, beside me, I remember muttering those words through hot tears. “They’re a damned inconvenience is what they are,” I argued to myself. Making an oral list of reasons in case I…
November 8, 2023

An Educator’s View on Preserving the Arlington Confederate Monument

Despite being a young, developing discipline in America, historic preservation, as it continues to grow, is of vital importance to the very fabric of this nation. Historic lands, buildings, and monuments do not just represent a window into time that best exemplifies the quality of life and happenstance of the past but also offers a teaching opportunity for future generations.…
November 7, 2023

From Mayberry to Nashville

What do a popular country group and the Vanderbilt Agrarians have in common? West Virginian Arlos Smith penned the song Mayberry for the pop-country group Rascal Flatts. There are striking similarities between the Agrarian manifesto I’ll Take My Stand (ITMS) and the song Mayberry, but I couldn’t find any evidence that the work of the Agrarians had any influence on…
November 6, 2023

“A Southside View of Slavery”

Within the purview of post-1950’s modern historiography, anything proclaimed in defense of the South is labeled “Lost Cause Myth” - a product of the “Lost Cause School” of thought. The term “Lost Cause” originates from the title of an 1866 book written in defense of the South but is now applied pejoratively to an entire category of Southern apologetics. Today,…
November 3, 2023

Standing Against the Totalitarian Horde, At Home and Abroad

A few weeks ago a close acquaintance of mine wrote an impassioned letter intended for publication in a South Carolina newspaper. Unfortunately, but not unexpectedly, his letter was not printed by any media source in the state….Not because it was crude or appeared to incite violence; not because he employed foul language or insulting attacks against opponents. Indeed, the letter…
November 2, 2023

The Truth About the Secession Documents

If the lie did not begin with Ty Seidule, he popularized it in his 2015 Prager U. video: “The secession documents of every single Southern state made clear, crystal clear, that they were leaving the Union in order to protect their peculiar institution of slavery.” This falsehood is repeated regularly by the ignorant and informed alike. Seidule was the head…
November 1, 2023

Is the American Experience Conservative?

Delivered as a lecture at the Heritage Foundation, October, 1986. Having recently urged upon my fellow conservatives the necessity for attaching a priority to distinctions and definitions, having in the Intercollegiate Review insisted that such exercises are properly antecedent to all questions of policy, I was obliged to attempt a reflection on this theme when Mr. Hart proposed it to…
October 31, 2023

Postbellum Black Suffrage

Presently, the dominant Reconstruction Era narrative portrays the Republican Party’s support for black suffrage as a moral impulse. The likelihood that it would also increase the number of Republican-loyal voters is dismissed as a convenient by product of “doing the right thing.” Today’s experienced voters, however, realize that political parties seek to increase or maintain their political power by default.…
October 30, 2023

Swords Into Plowshares

Last week, activists destroyed the Charlottesville, Virginia Robert E. Lee monument in secret. They said it was to prevent violence, but not their own. The Washington Post attended the event and documented the final moments for Lee's face. The iconoclasts fashioned it into a "death mask" and then melted it down, creating a haunting image captured by the Post's photographer. You…
October 26, 2023

What Led to Stonewall Jackson’s Unusual Quirks?

On a recent episode of the Flagrant podcast , comedian Shane Gillis went on a short rant about Stonewall Jackson. Gillis is a known history buff that frequently brings up history in his stand up comedy and talk show appearances. Even though this particular conversation covered various topics, the most interesting part was his take on Stonewall Jackson’s mental health:…
October 25, 2023

Confederate Patton

A review of Confederate Patton: Richard Taylor and the Red River Campaign, 2nd (Expanded) Edition (Columbia, SC: Shotwell Publishing, 2023), by Dr. Samuel W. Mitcham, Jr. It is hard to imagine that there is a more thorough or exciting book out there on the Red River Campaign, a/k/a Red River Expedition, that took place March to May, 1864, in the…
October 24, 2023

Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and the Attraction of Policial Decency

Scholars are wont to paint antipodally Jefferson and Madison. Most depictions show, in effect, that by psychological disposition, Madison was better suited to be a Hamiltonian Federalist than a Jeffersonian Republican. I offer a few illustrations. Merrill D. Peterson, in his Thomas Jefferson and the New Nation, states that Madison had a “more penetrating mind, sharp, probing, and persistent,” while…
October 23, 2023

The Passing of Zippy

When I first met Zippy he was a mature, chestnut-colored and very friendly male equine who had come to live with my neighbors. They had created an ample fenced-in, grassy pasture next to my property, plus a neat horse-shed where Zippy could both sleep or take safe refuge should the weather turn bad. Earlier this year Zippy reached the admirable…
October 20, 2023

You Mean You Don’t Know?

Sunday afternoons were once meant for visiting all across The South. Sometimes family and sometimes friends, but the lazy Sunday afternoon visits, after church and then dinner, were a very important part of the connectedness that we all shared. And, by the way, dinner is the meal you ate at mid-day and supper the evening meal… just to set that…
October 19, 2023

Coffee, Waffles, and Gunsmoke

This morning I struck up a conversation with an old man over breakfast at the local Huddle House. He was sitting by himself drinking a cup of coffee. He wasn’t looking for company but I had ordered a big omelet and that’s the sort of thing worth making conversation over. “Look at the size of that thing,” I said. “It’s…
October 18, 2023

The Night They Drove Ol’ Dixie Down

Has Virgil Kane Been Reconstructed? In 1865 George Stoneman was a mediocre Union general leading cavalry behind Confederate lines in Virginia. 100 years later a Canadian rock band made him famous. It took Robbie Robertson more than six months to write the song. He spent time in libraries researching the end of the war. Many say it was an anti-war…
October 17, 2023

Sayonara Aunt Jemima

Over the past several decades, anything connected with the Confederacy, as well as much of Southern culture and heritage, have all been transformed from objects of American pride into nothing more than racist pariahs that must be blown away by the winds of woke social change and cancel culture. A prime example of such objects is Georgia-born writer Margaret Mitchell’s…
October 16, 2023

Secession: Where Does it Stop?

A review of  The Free State of Jones: Mississippi's Longest Civil War (University of North Carolina Press, 2001) by Victoria E. Bynum The film loosely derived from this book has already been reviewed here by historian Ryan Walters – ably so, since he grew up in Jones County, the “free state” in that title. But the key question raised by…
BlogReview Posts
October 13, 2023

Thomas Jefferson, Architect

A review of Thomas Jefferson, Architect: Palladian Models, Democratic Principles, and the Conflict of Ideals (Yale, 2019) by Lloyd Dewitt, ed. Excluding the foreword and introduction, there are seven essays on Jefferson qua architect and a large number of plates at the book’s end. The book begins with Howard Burns’ “Thomas Jefferson, the Making of an Architect.” Burns aims at…
October 12, 2023

The Man Who Was George Washington

There is nothing more scholastically problematic than attempts to draw comparisons between and/or among the figures of history. Such an effort can be considered even vaguely accurate only if and when the people being juxtaposed are of the same time period. In that case, at least, the circumstances surrounding them may be fairly equitable! But even that is not always…
October 11, 2023

Donald Davidson and the Tennessean’s Book Page

“I can claim no ultimate wisdom in the matter. I can only say that I reviewed books in Tennessee for seven years, and during the same period persuaded a great many people to do likewise. The book page that I edited had a very modest beginning in 1924 in the Nashville Tennessean.” - Donald Davidson 1924 unfurled. The weather, customary…
October 10, 2023

Southern Memories

Much of my time growing up in the 60s South was spent with my paternal grandparents. These were some of the best times and are some of my fondest memories. My pawpaw was a mountain of a man standing nearly 6 foot 3 and weighing close to 230 pounds. He had a grip like an iron vise and with his…
October 9, 2023

Immigration and Naturalization: Are They the Same Thing?

On September 9th a federal court ordered Texas Gov. Greg Abbott to remove a 1,000-foot line of buoys from the Rio Grande. The buoys are part of Operation Lone Star—a Texas initiative to secure the state’s southern border, stop the smuggling of drugs and contraband, and interdict transnational criminal activity. Although the judge’s opinion was based on the obscure Rivers…
October 8, 2023

Ep. 6: The Meaning of Confederate Monuments

Why were Confederate monuments built? If you listen to modern establishment historians, the answer would be racism and to perpetuate the "myth of the Lost Cause." But is this true? Not if you actually read what these people said.
October 6, 2023

Farmers and Families and Football and Fools

I watched, sparingly (I was mostly playing chess against the computer) two football games recently (9-30-23) Ole Miss vs. L.S.U. and Miss State vs Alabama. The won-lost column for my Mississippi roots (which run deep and proud) was 1-1. Miss Southern lost to Texas State but they were not on the single channel that I, again sparingly, watched. I keep…
October 5, 2023

The Ride

In 1989, Papaw bought a brand new Ford pickup, white with a blue stripe. This was a gift to himself for surviving life for eighty years I suppose. That truck was the first new vehicle he had ever owned, his first ride being a two-horsepower convertible wagon with a split-rail oak seat. After leaving Murphy’s Ford dealership, his first stop…
October 4, 2023

Armageddon or Separation?

Increasingly it has become evident that the American nation, founded with such high hopes and aspirations in 1787, is expiring, dying a prolonged, painful but also virulently infectious death. Those words are very difficult to write, especially for someone whose American ancestry goes back to Virginia in 1646, and whose ancestors helped settle other Southern states, who served honorably in…
October 3, 2023

The Night of Replaced Glass

This week, new stained-glass windows at the National Cathedral of the United States were unveiled. Were these new windows a testament to the saving power of Jesus Christ? Did these windows proclaim peace? Did they show Elijah carried into the clouds, or John the Baptist in the river? Not at all. These four new windows proudly proclaim NO and FOUL…
October 2, 2023

Maxcy Gregg, Scientist, Sportsman, Soldier

We survivors sometimes forget the human cost of our failed War of Southern Independence.  The casualty rate for Confederate officers was about 25%.  For Union officers it was 10 percent, easily replaced by incoming foreigners. The loss of talented men---future outstanding leaders, writers, scientists, artists, scholars, builders, clergy, entrepreneurs--- was very near catastrophic for the future of the South.  The…
September 29, 2023

Master of the Metaphor

“Nietzschean nuggets and verbal furbelows” in Henry Wiencek’s Master of the Mountain Henry Wiencek in his introduction to Master of the Mountain: Thomas Jefferson and His Slaves begins metaphorically, “Thomas Jefferson’s mansion stands atop his mountain like the Platonic ideal of a house: a perfect creation existing in an ethereal realm, literally above the clouds.” And the metaphors just keep…
September 28, 2023

Damnyankees and Old Southern Gentlemen

In the summer of 1863 Confederate soldiers began arriving at Point Lookout Prison, located at the southernmost tip of the Western Shore of Maryland.  Too many of these men were to perish there, the captives not of a nation in desperate economic straits, cut off from the rest of the world, but of a wealthy one with access to open…
September 27, 2023

Divorcing Ourselves from Akhil Reed Amar

Editor's note: This piece originally ran as a five part series at The Independent Institute. Just a month ago, National Review (the supposed Gray Lady of the Right) ran a piece by Yale’s Akhil Reed Amar entitled Declaring Independence from Thomas Jefferson. The piece is a paean to centralized power imbued with presentism as Amar virtue signals and plays the role of Pied Piper as…
September 26, 2023

The Truth About Tariffs

Most Civil War and Reconstruction Era historians dismiss Southern complaints about tariffs, both as a cause of the War and of postbellum Southern poverty. They contend that the only impact of the tariffs was to raise the price of domestic goods protected by such tariffs. The price inflation, they argue, affected all Americans, not just Southerners. Although most concede that the domestic…
September 25, 2023

Jefferson Davis on Trial

The Boston Daily Adviser, July 25, 1865, stated exactly what was on the line: “If Jefferson Davis is innocent, then it is the government of the United States which is guilty; if secession has not been rebellion, then the North in stifling it as such, has committed a crime.” That the question was even asked tells us that the legality…
September 22, 2023

My Dad was a Joker

My dad was a joker.  It was one of his favorite words.  He had lots of favorite words and phrases.  Some of them you will be introduced to in this story.  By a joker, I mean a funny joker.  He always had something running in the background...some program on autopilot and you couldn't tell if it was bothering him or…
September 21, 2023

Reassessing John Tyler

It’s pretty safe to assume that Mark Levin hates President John Tyler. Listening to Levin on his radio show, his television program, or in interviews, he routinely names Tyler as a failed President and one of the country’s worst, each and every time he gets a chance. In 2013, when asked by Neil Cavuto on Fox News where he thought…
September 20, 2023

Barber Wanted: Dead or Alive

“Did your barber die?” This is what my Grandmother said to me last week during Sunday dinner. Being one of those dear old things who thinks it undignified to be openly critical, she always comes sidling up to criticism through the back door. So between spooning mashed potatoes onto my plate and ladling brown gravy over them, she commenced telling…
BlogReview Posts
September 19, 2023

A Revolution Too Far

A review of Southern Reconstruction (Yardley PA: Westholme, 2017) by Philip Leigh Today, when partisans of America’s two corrupt political parties throw simpleminded “history lessons” at one other, Philip Leigh has written something quite remarkable: a sober and measured account of Reconstruction. This is all the more noteworthy since Reconstruction has been a sacred cow for five or more decades.…
September 18, 2023

Where Have All the Cowboys Gone?

Twenty years ago, for reasons lost to history, I ran across the story of General “Mad Anthony” Wayne, who was returning from fighting Indians in Michigan, but took ill and died in Erie, Pennsylvania. The leaders of Erie claimed him as their own and buried him with honors… and were none too happy when his son arrived, with plans to…
September 15, 2023

A Humane Element in Southern Secession

“You and we are different races. We have between us a broader difference than exists between almost any other two races. Whether it is right or wrong I need not discuss, but this physical difference is a great disadvantage to us both, as I think your race suffer very greatly, many of them by living among us, while ours suffer…
September 14, 2023

Don’t Become North Vietnam

Dear Pentagon EIS Committee, The removal of the Arlington Confederate Monument, a genuinely considered artistic masterpiece, created by Sir Moses Ezekiel, would not be an "environmental" improvement. It is a great historic monument which was dedicated to reconciliation between the North and the South following four bitter war years where nearly 800,000 Americans died, on both sides. There has never…
September 13, 2023

A “Proof” Gone Bad in the Jefferson Paternity Issue

After the 1998 DNA study in Nature indicted Thomas Jefferson apropos of the paternity of Eston Hemings and the rest of Sally Hemings’ children, the Thomas Jefferson Memorial Foundation (hereafter, TJMF)—now merely the Thomas Jefferson Foundation—formed a committee to examine the DNA study and strands of historical evidence. In 2000, the foundation declared, “The DNA study, combined with multiple strands…
BlogReview Posts
September 12, 2023


A review of Firepower: An American Civil War Novel (Independent, 2023) by Philip Leigh It is all so simple, the establishment historian writes. The typical Southerner was an illiterate, tobacco-chewing hayseed. The South—led by a handful of West Point stalwarts—resisted for four long years because of stubbornness, bravo, and the fact that they were far too stupid to realize they…
September 11, 2023

Neither Snow, Nor Rain, Nor Gloom of War

When New York City’s Central Post Office opened in 1914, it bore the inscription that was to become the United States Postal Service’s unofficial motto, “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.” Those couriers began their official rounds in July of 1775 when the Second Continental…
September 8, 2023

Stephens’ Reflections on the “Cornerstone Speech”

Rod O’Barr’s recent blog “The So-Called ‘Cornerstone Speech’” The So-Called “Cornerstone Speech” – Abbeville Institute is really excellent. Over the years, the so-called “Cornerstone Speech” by Confederate Vice President Alexander H. Stephens has been cited as proof positive that slavery was the cause of the Confederacy. Rod O’Barr did a good job of debunking that, but he omitted one other…
September 7, 2023

The Dog Days

It was 104 in the shade yesterday–at dusk. Even in the twilight I could see the wrinkled air above the asphalt on the road, trembling echoes still hot to the touch. I sat bare chested on the front  porch in a pool of saltwater my body had just made out of pork chops and potatoes. The evening sun, now only…
September 6, 2023

Randolph Visits Monticello, with Perks

The epistolary exchange between Thomas Jefferson and Randolph Jefferson, younger by 12 years and acknowledged by almost all historians to be cognitively challenged, is sparse. It begins during Jefferson’s last year in Paris, 1789. Thomas begins the letter thus, “The occurrences of this part of the globe are of a nature to interest you so little that I have never…
September 5, 2023

The So-Called “Cornerstone Speech”

The so-called “Cornerstone Speech “delivered March 3, 1861, is one of the go-to documents of purveyors of the “Pious Cause Myth” in modern academia. This choice of title reveals their own deep-seated bias for a fabricated fashionable narrative popular among today’s academics. That narrative claims the War Against Southern independence was “all about slavery.” If you do not believe there…
September 1, 2023

Gone But Not Forgotten

Five Classic Films that Southerners Should Explore It’s no secret that Hollywood over the past three decades has not been kind to the South or to the Confederacy. The last major films that have in any way been fair or which attempted to be objective about the Confederacy were, probably, “Gettysburg” (in 1993) and “Gods and Generals” (in 2003). But…
August 31, 2023

Old Men and Honor

Old men observe and imagine the fate of the "country" that was once a relatively free group of independent states of people living freely within tribal nests of local-style Jeffersonian parlors of home and family; people who loved the land and the God who provided it. Some old men have such observations. Now in time, much past, as the fortunes…
August 30, 2023

Send in the Alabamians

"In time of war, send me all the Alabamians you can get, but in time of peace, for Lord's sake, send them to somebody else,"- General Edward H. Plummer When we think of Alabama’s military history, we most often think of The Creek Indian War and the Civil War, we think of names like Andrew Jackson and William C. Oates…
August 29, 2023

The Southerner as Historian and Vice Versa

(*first published at First Principles Journal online, April 30, 2008) Publication of a second collection of essays by Southern historian Clyde N. Wilson -- Defending Dixie: Essays in Southern History and Culture -- provides us with an occasion for surveying Wilson’s larger contributions to American and Southern history, and to the conservative movement. A native of North Carolina in the…
August 28, 2023

Where I Come From

I’m a prodigal son of sons of a mill town. When Dr. Gresham slapped my pink behind, my first ragged breath was filled with sawdust, cotton-lint, and the deep musky smell of the Georgia-Pacific paper company. Everybody I knew growing up planted row crops or cotton or picked and ginned it; cut timber or turned it into toilet tissue; or…
August 25, 2023

Deep Southern Summer Written at Midnight

Remember. This is a fought-for land There’s blood soaked in the soil. There’s tears within its waves And wails upon the shore Its tempests veil the shrieks Still heard from years of yore. There’s terror in its shades Dark places in its woods recall Much pain unthinkable. The pain must still remain It cannot sublimate so soon. The prayers of…
August 24, 2023

All the Biscuits in Georgia

The AfroTraditonalist has been interested in starting a regular fireside chat with interesting people from the various political & cultural “spheres” I interact with on the internet. Sam Burnham is a blogger and media personality from North Georgia with roots across the South, who’s purpose is “the celebration and preservation of Southern history, culture, and agrarian ideals.” He will be…
August 23, 2023

The Making of a Conservative

The student radicals and New Leftists of the 1960s and 1970s are now the ruling elite of the U.S.  They naturally celebrate themselves as the heroes of that period of American history.  But neither then or now are they representatives of the majority of the American people.  They are affluent spoiled brats who know  nothing of the life of  middle…
August 22, 2023

Sam and Cherry

They plowed the earth, they hauled heavy loads, they helped weave the fabric of their nation, Dixie.  They toiled in the hot, Southern sun, as their ancestors had, during the wars for independence, ‘76 and ‘61, during pioneer days, and as the patchwork of farms covered their native land.  They didn’t complain...much.  They worked tirelessly and for little reward.  They…
August 21, 2023

The Argument for Preserving Our Early American Symbols

Annie Gowan of The Washington Post writes of an incident a few years ago, June 2020, where a group of Portland, Oregon, protestors, gathered a high school and used bungee cords, wires, and human muscle to topple a statue of Thomas Jefferson off its pedestal and into the cement. Says 26-year-old removalist Triston Crowl, “When it came down, we could…
August 18, 2023

Look Away, Dixieland

Shortly after I returned from my first tour in Afghanistan, several friends invited me over to watch the 2008 war thriller The Hurt Locker, about an Explosives Ordnance Team serving in the Iraq War. I couldn’t make it halfway. I walked out, got in my car, and sat there, staring off into space and breathing heavily for a few minutes…
August 17, 2023

Rethinking Gettysburg

It is near universally assumed that the battle of Gettysburg determined the failure of the Southern War for Independence. But is that too facile and summary a judgment? The battle may be considered something of a turning point, especially coming at the same time that Vicksburg was starved into surrender after an eight-month attack by superior numbers aided by heavily…
August 16, 2023

The Tariff as a Motive For Secession

Pious Cause apologists often dispute the claim that the South generated most of the federal revenue in the antebellum period. Yet a prominent Northern paper certainly believed that the South generated more than half of the tariff revenue that funded the federal gov’t. If the South was allowed to secede, the Daily Chicago Times, December 10, 1860, lamented: “In one single…
August 15, 2023

How Rich Men North of Richmond Became the Cry of Middle America

Early last week hardly anyone had heard of Oliver Anthony. Now he has four of the top ten songs on Itunes. Three of his songs are being downloaded more than hits by Jason Aldean and Taylor Swift. No one in the music industry has ever risen so dramatically to prominence without radio play, corporate connections, or even a music studio.…
August 14, 2023

Victory Ruins

A Review of Victory Ruins (Amazon Digital Services, 2022) by Troop Brenegar. "Lee in the Mountains" by Donald Davidson culminates in the resonant utterance, “Unto all generations of the faithful heart.” These words also served as inspiration for the title of an elusive tome on Southern literature by M.E. Bradford. With a nod to this timeless phrase, Troop Brenegar’s Victory…
August 11, 2023

Cook That You May Conserve, Part 3

‘But what we really seek is a different kind of sustenance. We seek a cultural relic that points to an old style of “Southern-ness” that is quickly vanishing from modern American life. We seek crude essences of the frontier, unswerving backwoods mentalities, rural respect for tradition, insights into rural humor, and examples of the wild braggadocio that has created many…
August 10, 2023

The Coldest Winter

My grandfather often spoke about growing up on a poor mid-Missouri farm during the Great Depression and the period immediately following.  Thankfully, I’ve never had to experience the challenges that confronted those who lived during such trying times, so while I found the stories fascinating from a historical standpoint, I struggled to truly grasp the everyday fear, discomfort, and despair…
August 9, 2023

Black Ghosts in the White House

From the very onset of America’s European colonization, what would ultimately become the United States was never really a closely united nation. For over a century prior to their declaration of independence and secession from British rule, the American colonies in the South had numerous deep-seated disputes with their Northern counterparts over a number of issues. Many of these arguments…
August 8, 2023

The Most Effective Way

“The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their own history.” – George Orwell, 1984. Who knew the Biden administration was using this dystopian novel as a guidebook? In 2022, the Commission on the Naming of Items of the Department of Defense that Commemorate the Confederate States of America or Any Person…
August 7, 2023

Gregg Jarrett Loathes the Christian South

The United States are often presented as ‘one nation’, but that is far from the reality.  One of the most exemplary of the Vanderbilt Agrarians, Donald Davidson, even spoke of a cultural ‘cold Civil War’ that began between the North and the South after WWI drew to a close (Southern Writers in the Modern World, U of Georgia Press, Athens,…
August 4, 2023

Cook That You May Conserve, Part 2

‘Barbeques were important not only because they were popular social gatherings—in fact, they were enormously popular—but also because with their accompanying dances, and games, and speeches, and storytelling, they also served to transmit traditional culture from one generation to the next; and of course they also played an important role in the democratisation of American politics.’ —Sean Busick, ‘Political Barbecues…
August 3, 2023

From Shiloh to Sapelo: Our Past Remains Unchanged

Every day, our modern culture erases more and more reminders from our Nation’s past, however the past remains unaltered. History can be rewritten, monuments and markers removed, and names on buildings, roads, bridges, schools, and even military bases and vessels replaced with different names, BUT the past remains unchanged. Only our interpretation of the past changes. Whether our Nation’s past…
August 2, 2023

Turner’s Diner, Tire, and Lube

It’s 7:43. Merle is on the radio making empty promises. “Someday when things are good I’m going to leave you,” he sings. But we know better. I am sitting in a corner booth, surrounded by the rising tufts of Marlboros, and still trying to wake up good. Coffee stouter than napalm is dripping, slow and thick, into a pot purchased…
August 1, 2023

The Southern Culture of the Lower Midwest

Many people tend to think of regions in these United States as homogenous or collectively very defined either by border, culture, or some other parameter. However, the truth is that regional boundaries are much more fluid and crossover exists between each region abutting each other. This can be seen across the country, but is very prevalent in what is called…
July 31, 2023

Lincoln vs. George III

Independence Day is supposed to be a celebration of the principles in the Declaration of Independence and our secession from the British Empire.  Yet every one of its main principles were repudiated by Lincoln with his words and, and more importantly, his actions.  Contrary to revisionist history, Lincoln was as guilty as King George III of committing atrocities against Americans. …
July 28, 2023

Cook That You May Conserve, Part 1

‘Southern barbecue is the closest thing we have in the U.S. to Europe’s wines or cheeses; drive a hundred miles and the barbecue changes. Let’s keep it that way.’ —John Shelton Reed ‘I’ve lived in North Carolina for 60 years, but I love Texas barbecue—in Texas. I love Memphis barbecue in Memphis, Kansas City barbecue in Kansas City, and even…
July 27, 2023

A Tribute to Mark Winchell

In memory of Mark Royden Winchell (1948-2008), author of biographies of Donald Davidson and Cleanth Brooks He sits amid the facts he’s gathered in From interviews, books, archives, scattered prose Mastered at last so recollection’s pen Can resurrect the dead by what he knows. He minds the many pitfalls of his art, Wary of how some storytellers err In idolizing,…
July 26, 2023

Why We Love Thomas Jefferson

“For ever this, the tribes of men lived on earth, remote and free from the ills and hard toil and heavy sickness which bring the Fates on men. … Only Hope remained there in an unbreakable home under the rim of a great jar, and did not fly out the door; for ever that, the lid of the jar stopped…
July 25, 2023

The Kindness of Strangers, Southern Style

I currently live in the town of Cary, North Carolina, which is known, for one, as a bedroom community for our more famous neighbors in the Research Triangle: Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill. The Triangle is one of the premier high-tech centers of the country, but I contend that even so this part of North Carolina has not entirely lost…
July 24, 2023

Lee in the Closet and Dixie on the Piano

How did I meet Brigadier-General Gilbert Moxley Sorrel, you might ask?  It wasn’t easy.  As a lover of the South, I am constantly coming across new people, places, and events, but all in a most haphazard manner.  I often wish I had a guide who could start me at the logical beginning and show me how best to proceed in…
July 21, 2023

Assessing the Consilience Argument for Jefferson’s Paternity of Sally Hemings’ Children

It is too common today, vis-à-vis Jefferson’s avowed sexual involvement with Sally Hemings, to fall back on what I call the Consilience Argument: in effect, the argument everything (biological and historical evidence) argues for a relationship and nothing argues against it. That begins with the 2000 Thomas Jefferson Memorial Foundation’s 2000 study of the DNA evidence and historical evidence. They…
July 20, 2023

Secession and Economics

The following are some interesting historical tidbits from primary sources (emphasis added): Gabriel Manigault (1809-1888) was a South Carolina lawyer, author, and planter. He was a signer of the Ordinance of Secession, and he served in the South Carolina Ordnance Department with the rank of colonel. In a letter found in his family papers, Manigault writes urgently to Colonel James…
July 19, 2023

The Southern Remnant

In the summer of 2020, overwhelmed with sorrow and horror over the removal of our historical monuments, the renaming of our historical places, and the rewriting of our history, I wrote a trio, and then a duo, of essays titled ‘The Southern Remnant.’ Inspired by an anonymous writer who advised, ‘We must become living monuments,’ I exhorted others who felt…
July 18, 2023

How Does it Profit the South?

As a Southerner, I have always enjoyed the simple joy of driving down the backroads of Alabama. The black top two lanes that cut through the state are beautiful, flanked by old pecan orchards and cattle farms, where rustic tractors sit half visible behind tall grass, like monuments to our agrarian roots. Amongst the hand-painted signs and well-worn service stations…
July 17, 2023

Lincoln’s Path to War

In today’s parlance, the concept of secession not only connotes insurrection but even treason. However, in 1789, when the Constitution became the governing law of the United States, the right of secession was a hotly debated subject. Even during the two-year period of the document’s drafting and ratification, the seeds of secession were sown when some states demanded an amendment…
July 14, 2023

Cooking Lessons

Grandmother has always been the best cook in the room. From the time she was 10 years old, even if all she had to work with was a neckbone and some wild greens growing along the fence row, she has put braggable food on a plate. The baby of the clan, she started by helping her mamma feed their large,…
July 13, 2023

Jefferson and Moral Equality

In the prior section and independent of my argument on Jefferson’s first draft of his Declaration, I have shown that Jefferson observed there to be a rough sense of human equality while living in Colonial America, which did not have the social stratification of European countries. Yet the Colonists embraced the institution of slavery, where people, Whites and Blacks, were…
July 12, 2023

This “Jefferson Davis Document” is Fake

Did Jefferson Davis reply to the Emancipation Proclamation with a threat to enslave all blacks in America? That is what some historically challenged people on social media think. Their evidence is a broadside reportedly published in January 1863 by the Richmond Enquirer as "An Address to the People of the Free States by the President of the Southern Confederacy." In…
July 11, 2023

Southern Misadventures in Latin America

William Walker (1824-1860) was a man of many skills: physician, lawyer, journalist, mercenary, president. The Tennessee-born polymath completed his medical degree and legal studies before he turned twenty-five. After moving to California to work as a journalist, he concocted a plot to conquer parts of Latin America and create new slave states to join the Union. In October 1853, Walker…
July 10, 2023

A Confederate Bookshelf

Originally printed in The South to Posterity: An Introduction to the Writing of Confederate History (1951) The appended brief Reading List of books on Confederate history is designed for those who do not aspire to become specialists but wish to have a moderate familiarity with the literature. Those who make their first adventure in the field will do well to…
July 7, 2023

The Real Real Jefferson Davis

Following the suggestion of a fellow Alabama Gazette columnist, I read through “Let’s celebrate the real history of Jefferson Davis”, by Josh Moon. No surprise—it is just more “Righteous Cause” blather. The sub-title claims the South fought to “protect” slavery, yet the institution was constitutionally legal and Abe Lincoln and the Republicans stated ad nauseum that they had no intention…
July 6, 2023

The South in the Digital Age

In 2013, Edward Snowden gained international notoriety by exposing the vast spying capabilities and information network of the National Security Agency. Snowden was born in North Carolina, had a family history of civil service, and became a whistleblower when he realized that the government was using the guise of terrorism defense for “...economic spying, social control, and diplomatic manipulation.” (1)…
July 5, 2023

Jefferson and Equality

From "The disease of liberty": Thomas Jefferson on History and Liberty (Wilmington, DE: Vernon Press, 2023) “All men are created equal,” I aim to show, is the axial “self-evidence truth” that Thomas Jefferson expresses in his Declaration of Independence. What, then, is one to make of the curious, unobvious claim? That cannot be answered until one expiscates what Jefferson means…
July 4, 2023

July 4 is About History

The Hope is Southerners Will Recall. The Greater Hope is That Yankees Will Learn. Occasionally, if you tune your ears toward the radio or television with the constant chat and talk, you will pick up certain casual remarks such as just happened to be carried by David Webb the other day.  “We had a ‘Civil War’ and then moved on,”…
July 3, 2023

Agrarianism After Taylor

I was not here for Dr. Fleming’s talk, but I imagine he made the point he often likes to make: the term “agrarian” is problematic, because in European and general political terms “agrarian” suggests a group of wild-eyed radicals who want to seize and divide up other peoples’ property. Of course, this not what our Agrarians are about, but I…
BlogMedia Posts
June 30, 2023

Will the Stone Builders Rejected Become the Cornerstone?

Don Livingston discusses the Southern political tradition at the 20th Anniversary Conference, April 2023. To purchase all of the lectures, visit
June 29, 2023

Anti-Commandeering in Practice

One effective way States can resist unconstitutional encroachments from the general government is through the Anti-Commandeering Doctrine. James Madison articulated this idea in Federalist Number 46. He said States could obstruct “unwarrantable measures” emanating from “the federal government” through “refusal to co-operate with the officers of the union.” In recent years States have successfully used this rationale to defend themselves…