Blog
December 7, 2022

My Southern Thanksgiving

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

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

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

Inglis Fletcher and the Art of Southern Writing

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

Podcast Episode 335

The Week in Review at the Abbeville Institute, November 28 - December 2, 2022 Topics: Southern women, Slavery, Southern History, Louisa McCord, Southern politics, Southern tradition https://soundcloud.com/the-abbeville-institute/ep-335?si=f0100d99aecc4ea8add54e59a78bb624&utm_source=clipboard&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=social_sharing
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December 2, 2022

The Attack on Leviathan, Part V

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

Heroes, Heroines, and/or Villains

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

The Political Economy and Social Thought of Louisa S. McCord

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

Southern Humor in Congress

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

Those Pesky Southern Women

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

Podcast Special: Yankee Thanksgiving

Our modern Thanksgiving holiday was born in New England. This may not be news, but the way it became a "national" holiday might surprise you, particularly when you know that the South resisted Thanksgiving precisely because it was a New England holiday created to oppose Christmas. https://soundcloud.com/the-abbeville-institute/yankee-thanksgiving?si=b42f6782f85a4b29afea1fc3cfe8c7d8&utm_source=clipboard&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=social_sharing
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November 22, 2022

Thanksgiving: A Yankee Abolitionist Holiday

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

The Yankee Origins of Modern Thanksgiving

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

Podcast Episode 334

The Week in Review at the Abbeville Institute, November 14-18, 2022 Topics: Confederate Symbols, Southern History, Southern Tradition, Abraham Lincoln, United States Constitution https://soundcloud.com/the-abbeville-institute/ep-334?si=459be718dbfb4bf9a05a499623b10d01&utm_source=clipboard&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=social_sharing
Blog
November 18, 2022

And So It Goes…

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

The Bootlegger

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

Left Libertarians, Dobbs, and the Ninth Amendment

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

A Jewish Perspective on the Arlington Confederate Monument

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

Suppression of Free Speech at Poplar Forest

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

Podcast Episode 333

The Week in Review at the Abbeville Institute November 7-11, 2022 Topics: Confederate Symbols, Confederate Monuments, Southern Tradition, Southern Politics, Southern Culture https://soundcloud.com/the-abbeville-institute/ep-333?si=d3db5916185f42ef8311082d39c31686&utm_source=clipboard&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=social_sharing
Blog
November 11, 2022

Hollywood Hates the South: Southern Accents Edition

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

Ropes and Swimming Holes

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

The Arlington Confederate Monument

The Naming Commission has recommended the removal of the Arlington Confederate Monument. This would not only be a historical travesty and a barbaric leveling of art, it would lay waste to the very message the monument was intended to convey: fraternity, healing, and reconciliation. Tell your Representative you want to stop this heinous act of cultural destruction. https://youtu.be/IwST0QslHLs
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November 9, 2022

Preserving the Garden

John Devanny discusses the Southern tradition at the Abbeville Institute Summer School, July 5-8, 2022 at Seabrook Island, SC https://youtu.be/0JphvzkJxT0
Blog
November 8, 2022

Remember 1994

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

Southerners Riding the Red Wave

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

Podcast Episode 332

The Week in Review at the Abbeville Institute October 31 - November 4, 2022 Topics: Southern Tradition, Southern Religion, Southern Literature, Southern Cooking, Southern Culture, Confederate Symbols, War for Southern Independence https://soundcloud.com/the-abbeville-institute/ep-332?si=1e9c6640c7d44d6dbd7542628340b404&utm_source=clipboard&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=social_sharing
Blog
November 4, 2022

Cook’s Cave

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

Mary Randolph: The South’s First Celebrity Chef

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

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

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

Statesmen vs. Vandals

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

The Poetry of Edgar Allan Poe

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

Podcast Episode 331

The Week in Review at the Abbeville Institute Oct 24-28, 2022 Topics: Southern tradition, Southern culture, Southern politics, Northern studies https://soundcloud.com/the-abbeville-institute/ep-331?si=7447380358be43f2a2a0a913b5467374&utm_source=clipboard&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=social_sharing
Blog
October 28, 2022

Dark Age Patriotism

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

An Inheritance of Love

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

How the North Prolonged and Profited from Slavery, Part II

Don Livingston discusses Northern profit and interest in slavery at the Abbeville Institute Summer School, July 5-8, 2022, at Seabrook Island, SC. https://youtu.be/ZUsclaam8Dc
Blog
October 25, 2022

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

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

Do Motives Matter?

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

Podcast Episode 330

The Week in Review at the Abbeville Institute Oct 17-21, 2022 Topics: Southern history, Southern symbols, Cancel Culture, Northern Studies https://soundcloud.com/the-abbeville-institute/ep-330?si=7a20def61ce844e7b6223c88045b1399&utm_source=clipboard&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=social_sharing
Blog
October 21, 2022

Shermanized

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

How the North Prolonged and Profited from Slavery, Part I

Don Livingston discusses Northern profit and interest in slavery at the Abbeville Institute Summer School, July 5-8, 2022, at Seabrook Island, SC. https://youtu.be/xeLF8Qxef_c
Blog
October 19, 2022

Douglas Southall Freeman

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

Carpetbaggers

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

Never the Twain

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

Podcast Episode 329

The Week in Review at the Abbeville Institute, Oct 10-14, 2022 Topics: Southern Political Tradition, Southern History, Southern Tradition https://soundcloud.com/the-abbeville-institute/ep-329?si=351d6dcd5a9f4e0abdbf80d637aea947&utm_source=clipboard&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=social_sharing
Blog
October 14, 2022

Driving Through Southern Maryland, Part 3

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

History vs Lies

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

Podcast Episode 328

The Week in Review at the Abbeville Institute, Oct 3-7, 2022 Topics: Southern History, Southern Tradition, the War, Sovereignty, Cancel Culture https://soundcloud.com/the-abbeville-institute/ep-328?si=2c8df96e9b214ac98eca508febafc6b0&utm_source=clipboard&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=social_sharing
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October 12, 2022

The South as a Unique Region

Sam Smith discusses Southern religion at the Abbeville Institute Summer School, July 5-8 2022 at Seabrook Island, SC https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ERgF6Yqmszk
Blog
October 11, 2022

Good Directions

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

Forms of Nationalism in Early America

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

The Attack on Leviathan, Part 4

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

We’ve Been Lied To

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

A Tale of Two Monuments

Tom DiLorenzo discusses Abraham Lincoln and the Lincoln Memorial, from the 2022 Abbeville Institute Summer School at Seabrook Island, SC, July 5-8, 2022 https://youtu.be/m0IMmRegyc4
Blog
October 4, 2022

The Rainmakers

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

Southern Resistance to the European Concept of Sovereignty

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

Podcast Episode 327

The Week in Review at the Abbeville Institute Sept 26-30, 2022 Topics: Southern History, Southern Culture, Cancel Culture, The War, Northern Studies https://soundcloud.com/the-abbeville-institute/ep-327?si=4e2ebd96dfdb4b6795fa6e7aaadc9072&utm_source=clipboard&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=social_sharing
Blog
September 30, 2022

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

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

Big Bang Blues

Tom Daniel discusses blues music, from the 2022 Abbeville Institute Summer School at Seabrook Island, SC, July 5-8, 2022 https://youtu.be/NZ9_hcxfpLw Note: The views expressed on abbevilleinstitute.org are not necessarily those of the Abbeville Institute.
Blog
September 28, 2022

What the Transcendentalists Sought to do to the South

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

Happy Birthday Senator Sam

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

The Stranger in Gray

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

Podcast Episode 326

The Week in Review at the Abbeville Institute, Sept 19-23, 2022 Topics: Cancel Culture, Northern Studies, the Constitution, Southern Tradition, Confederate Monuments https://soundcloud.com/the-abbeville-institute/podcast-episode-326-mp3
Blog
September 23, 2022

John Reagan Was Right

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

A Hispanic Confederate

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

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

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

The Southern Constitutional Tradition

Brion McClanahan discusses the Southern constitutional tradition, from the 2022 Abbeville Institute Summer School at Seabrook Island, SC, July 5-8, 2022 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2TCufOUlq_4 Note: The views expressed on abbevilleinstitute.org are not necessarily those of the Abbeville Institute.
Blog
September 19, 2022

Give Me That Old Time Rebellion

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

Podcast Episode 325

The Week in Review at the Abbeville Institute Sept 12-19, 2022 Topics: Southern Tradition, Southern Culture, Cancel Culture, Southern Politics https://soundcloud.com/the-abbeville-institute/ep-325
Blog
September 16, 2022

The Federalist Crucible

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

Destroying the Past to Change the Present

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

Biden’s Political Slavery

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

History by Emotion

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

The Cry of the Vanquished

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

Podcast Episode 324

The Week in Review at the Abbeville Institute, Sept 5-9, 2022 Topics: Federalism, United States Constitution, Southern Tradition, Southern Culture https://soundcloud.com/the-abbeville-institute/ep-324?si=437e52939fb0486e8aa31e53914712a4&utm_source=clipboard&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=social_sharing
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September 9, 2022

Loving Home

Loving Home by Carey Roberts from the 2022 Abbeville Institute Summer School, July 5-8, 2022 at Seabrook Island, SC https://youtu.be/48dJnuFhfHc Note: The views expressed on abbevilleinstitute.org are not necessarily those of the Abbeville Institute.
Blog
September 8, 2022

Calhoun and the 21st Century

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

Vendetta Over Alabama

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

Old State Rights

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

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

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

Podcast Episode 323

The Week in Review at the Abbeville Institute, August 29 - Sept 2, 2022 Topics: Southern history, Southern tradition, Southern religion https://soundcloud.com/the-abbeville-institute/ep-323
Blog
September 2, 2022

The Confederate Army and God

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

Follow the Money

Tom DiLorenzo discusses Abraham Lincoln and the War, from the 2022 Abbeville Institute Summer School at Seabrook Island, SC, July 5-8, 2022 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wr5Tj4CcMT8
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August 31, 2022

The 200 Most Important Confederate Books

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

Jefferson Davis on Robert E. Lee

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

McCulloch v. Maryland

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

Podcast Episode 322

The Week in Review at the Abbeville Institute, Aug 22-26, 2022 Topics: Southern history, Reconstruction, Confederate monuments, Southern politics, John C. Calhoun https://soundcloud.com/the-abbeville-institute/ep-322
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August 26, 2022

“His Richest Legacy to Posterity”

From Gustavus Pinckney, Life of John C. Calhoun. The attentive reader will not have forgotten that in the letter of Mr. Calhoun in reference to his acceptance of the Secretaryship of State he made mention of a project which he had in mind for leisure hours in the home routine to which at that time he looked forward. The home…
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August 25, 2022

The Red Ripple

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

For the Fairfax County Confederate Dead

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

Northern Negrophobia

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

The Better Men

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

Podcast Episode 321

The Week in Review at the Abbeville Institute, Aug 15-19, 2022 Topics: Southern literature, Southern tradition, Southern culture, Southern politics https://soundcloud.com/the-abbeville-institute/ep-321?si=6946f8f8370b4e718851ad8f571ec26f&utm_source=clipboard&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=social_sharing
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August 19, 2022

William Faulkner: The Greatest American Writer

Professor Bill Wilson explains why William Faulkner should be universally regarded as America's greatest writer. Hint: It wouldn't have been possible without Mississippi. https://youtu.be/1CxUkCAxNAY
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August 18, 2022

Confessions of a Copperhead

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

The Federalists and the Philadelphia Convention

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

Capitulation in Virginia

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

The Decaying Distillery

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

Podcast Episode 320

The Week in Review at the Abbeville Institute, Aug 8-12, 2022 Topics: Southern history, Reconstruction, Southern Culture, Southern Tradition https://soundcloud.com/the-abbeville-institute/ep-320?si=fb340de708a248db816dfc49c3f78545&utm_source=clipboard&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=social_sharing
BlogClyde Wilson Library
August 12, 2022

Emancipation and Its Discontents

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

When Things Go South

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

The War that House Built

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

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

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

Aunt Elizabeth, the Desert Fox, and General Jackson

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

Podcast Episode 319

The Week in Review at the Abbeville Institute, Aug 1-5, 2022 Topics: Southern History, Southern Tradition, Southern Culture https://soundcloud.com/the-abbeville-institute/ep-319
BlogClyde Wilson Library
August 5, 2022

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

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

The Attack on Leviathan, Part 3

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

NASCAR Goes Sissy

“As with so many other episodes in early American history, the true story of the so-called Whiskey Rebellion has been purposefully scrubbed from the collective American memory and replaced with a cleaner, more pro-statist version reaffirming one of the core tenets of that doctrine: federal law always trumps conflicting state statutes.” Joe Wolverton, The Abbeville Institute, “A Little Whiskey Rebellion.”…
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August 2, 2022

Lord Lyons and the Sectional Conflict, 1859-1861, Part 1

In 1859 the Union of American States entered the final stages of its greatest crisis, one that would eventually split the country in two. America was then a young republic but growing larger and stronger with each passing year. Yet North and South were growing apart, seeing the world through a different lens. The North was more industrial, while the…
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August 1, 2022

The Religious Foundations of a Redeemer

From the 2004 Abbeville Institute Summer School. After the decision was made to build a new capital on land granted by Virginia and Maryland, George Washington gave the task of sorting through proposals for the Federal buildings to Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson was very, very conscious of the enormity of what was about to happen. He wanted to…
BlogPodcast
July 30, 2022

Podcast Episode 318

The Week in Review at the Abbeville Institute, July 25-29, 2022 Topics: Southern history, Southern literature, Southern Tradition, Southern Culture, the War https://soundcloud.com/the-abbeville-institute/ep-318
BlogClyde Wilson Library
July 29, 2022

My Life as a Southern Historian–Becoming Nobody

As we progress into old age, our perspectives tend to change. Things that occupied most of our active life--accomplishments and “the bubble reputation” are seen to be  less important than family and friends. I suspect that even accumulating money loses some of its flavor as the years move on, although I don’t really know about that. This reflection is provoked…
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July 28, 2022

Second Hand Memories

Memory is the thing with which we forget. I tend to believe that Memory lives in those deep crevices in the soft pink tissue of the brain; in the darkness of the crooked rows that look to have been dug by a plow mule with the blind staggers. A man can be going along, thinking a thought, and Memory will…
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July 27, 2022

Ideas Have Consequences

Palatial Porches and Dying Civilizations I take great pains to ensure that the devilish tempo of modern life never breaches my portico. Life should always be in adante, and I like to imagine that the haint blue of the porch repels the unclean spirits of prestissimo. A fine porch can make you feel like King Solomon, and a fine man…
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July 26, 2022

The South’s Drink

Several years ago, my wife and I visited a distillery in rural Virginia that made the only whiskey in the Old Dominion that possesses legislative approval to make something called  “Virginia Whiskey.” It’s a good product, though it requires the taster to accept the fact that it doesn’t taste much like Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey (I’d offer there are hints…
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July 25, 2022

The Ballad of Confederate Abolitionists

I am a descendant of a family of Confederate soldiers, and I have been told I should be embarrassed.  A liberal activist told me recently that all Confederates were racist degenerates who deserve nothing except desecration of their statues and memorials.  I usually avoid deep discussions of this topic on social media, because the predicted result is that people don’t…
BlogPodcast
July 23, 2022

Podcast Episode 317

The Week in Review at the Abbeville Institute, July 11-22, 2022 Topics: Southern Founders, Southern History, Southern Politics, the War https://soundcloud.com/the-abbeville-institute/ep-317?utm_source=clipboard&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=social_sharing
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July 22, 2022

A Hard Line Ozark Man

I sit here, watching the fading sun over the Ozarks hills, not too far from where I was raised. Last night, we had an annual birthday bash for an old family friend, and I got the opportunity to sit and visit with many of the older generation that I grew up around. The most notable, a long visit with a…
BlogReview Posts
July 21, 2022

The Encyclopedia of Confederate Generals

A review of The Encyclopedia of Confederate Generals (Regnery History, 2022) by Samuel Mitcham The valor of the Confederate Army is one of the greatest stories in American history. Southerners needed brilliant leaders because they faced such overwhelming odds. They were outnumbered four to one and outgunned a hundred to one. The author’s purpose of the book is to make…
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July 20, 2022

Attacking George Washington

In yet another attack on American history and heritage, the George Washington University in Washington, D.C. is changing the name of their sports team, which is known as the Colonials. GW Today, the University’s official online news source, reported, “The George Washington University Board of Trustees has decided to discontinue the use of the Colonials moniker based on the recommendation…
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July 19, 2022

Herald of Liberty

Aberrant as it has become, when the young Thomas Jefferson spoke or wrote of what he termed, “my country,” he was not referring to the empire of England or what became the United States of America. He was referencing his native State of Virginia. Sixteen years ago, at the suggestion of Clyde Wilson in his book From Union to Empire:…
BlogClyde Wilson Library
July 18, 2022

A View of the Constitution

From the 2004 Abbeville Institute Summer School. St. George Tucker is a significant member of the Revolutionary generation, the Founding Generation, and he was looked to by Jefferson and Madison as the judge of Jeffersonian democracy, the man who saved the judiciary from false doctrines in his View of the Constitution and his other writings. Tucker’s View was published in…
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July 15, 2022

The Attack on Leviathan, Part 2

I. The Diversity of America Parts of this chapter (along with several others) are from “Sectionalism in the United States,” Hound and Horn, VI (July-September, 1933). The link to Davidson’s “Sectionalism” essay provides some context of its genesis—some of which is a smidge uncomfortable. In The Idea of the American South (1979), Michael O’Brien portrays Davidson as a misfit compared…
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July 14, 2022

A Bushel of Poke Salad and a Gallon and a Half of Coal Oil

Uncle Jim didn’t care much for Lyin’ Ed and nobody really knew why. Some speculated that it had to do with the fact that both had been sweet on Aunt Ginny decades earlier. Others reckoned that it stemmed from a schoolyard rivalry that had followed them into adulthood and now into old age. Aunt Ginny once gave voice to the…
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July 13, 2022

The Lost Cause of Conservatism

The history of political parties in America is as old as the United States itself and while the seeds of England’s Whig and Tory Parties goes back to 1679, those in America even predated the rise of most such factions in Europe by several decades. However, for half a century many of America’s founding fathers, particularly those in the South,…
BlogReview Posts
July 12, 2022

The Confederate Navy

A review of Roster of North Carolinians in Confederate Naval Service: Confederate States Navy & Marne Corps (Scuppernong Press, 2021) Compiled and edited by Lt. Colonel (Ret.) Sion H. Harrington III. The monumental series, North Carolina Troops, 1861-1865: A Roster, began during the “Civil War” Centennial in 1961, under the direction of Dr. Louis Manarin, and has continued until recently,…
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July 11, 2022

The Lyric Poet of Georgia

No one acquainted with the poetical literature of the late war can have forgotten the noble contributions to it of Dr. Francis Orray Ticknor, of Columbus, Ga. "The Virginians of the Valley" and "Little Giffin" are alone sufficient to prove that Dr. Ticknor was a genuine poet, and he has left behind him ( for alas! he died two years…
BlogPodcast
July 9, 2022

Podcast Episode 316

The Week in Review at the Abbeville Institute, July 4-8, 2022 Topics: Lincoln, Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson, Southern History https://soundcloud.com/the-abbeville-institute/ep-316?utm_source=clipboard&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=social_sharing
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July 8, 2022

The Attack on Leviathan, Part 1

“In 1938 appeared the clearest and most courageous of the Agrarian documents, Donald Davidson’s Attack on Leviathan.” – Richard M. Weaver Russell Kirk tells the story of discovering Davidson’s book in 1938 as a sophomore at Michigan State in the introduction for its reprint in 1991. Kirk writes, “The book was so good that I assumed all intelligent Americans, or…
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July 7, 2022

The Glorious Revolution of 1688 and the Origins of Southern Constitutionalism

From the 2004 Abbeville Institute Summer School On April 10th, 1606, King James I of England (and VI of Scotland) granted letters of patent to Sir Thomas Gates and others, thereby establishing two companies for the settlement of colonies along the Atlantic coast of North America, which was then called Virginia in honour of the Virgin Queen, Elizabeth I. The…
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July 6, 2022

Why We Didn’t Need the 1776 Commission Anyway

To anyone devoted to the political revitalization of Western Civilization, and a re-founding of the Anglo-American tradition within this context, Michael Anton has no doubt been a breath of fresh air of late. He is an articulate thinker, a brilliant polemicist, and, by all accounts, a decent man—crucial assets for anyone devoted to the uphill climb of the “paleoconservative” cause.…
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July 5, 2022

Lincoln’s Repudiation of the Declaration of Independence

Perhaps the biggest falsehood ever pedaled about Abraham Lincoln is that he was devoted to the principles of the Declaration of Independence.  Exactly the opposite is true; he repudiated every one of the main principles of the Declaration with his words and, more importantly, his actions.  In our time the odd and ahistorical writings of Harry Jaffa and his “Straussian”…
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July 4, 2022

The Jefferson Hemings Myth

Did Thomas Jefferson father any children with Sally Hemings? The historical profession argues, yes. But the evidence does not support this conclusion as Professor M. Andrew Holowchak explains in this video. https://youtu.be/GweMqp4zdjw
BlogPodcast
July 2, 2022

Podcast Episode 315

The Week in Review at the Abbeville Institute, June 27-July 1, 2022 Topics: Reconstruction, Southern History, Confederate Symbols https://soundcloud.com/the-abbeville-institute/ep-315?utm_source=clipboard&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=social_sharing
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July 1, 2022

Marking the Wolf

'Yates Standridge, who recently escaped from the state convict farm, where he was serving what practically amounts to a life sentence for murder, declared that he never will return to the penitentiary, according to residents of the sparsley settled hills of Newton County, where Standridge makes his home. These hill people say Standridge recently spent two weeks in that section…
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June 30, 2022

Holding Heritage Groups Responsible

When the assault on Southern heritage with the destruction of monuments, symbols and heroes began, I wrote a letter to the President of the Civil War Trust as a member of that group attempting to determine the course the Trust would take in this matter. Sadly, the gentleman did not even have the courtesy to respond even in a form…
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June 29, 2022

Elvis Has Left the Building

The Baz Luhrmann Elvis movie is as good as it is frustrating. The movie might serve as a good introduction for those who don't know much about Elvis (which, sadly, is becoming most people). I say it might because it is more than likely that viewers will come away knowing more about Col. Tom Parker, Elvis' manager, than Elvis himself.…
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June 28, 2022

Pete Hegseth’s Hopeful War on “Education”

Pete Hegseth has a book out, Battle for the American Mind, which among other promotions and revelations has taken on the chore (however “Johnny-come-lately”) of denigrating the general process of education in this country. First, and foremost I would say, hooray for Mr, Hegseth. And to his efforts, I say, good hunting, Sir.  And when you finally tree this coon,…
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June 27, 2022

An Open Letter to the Valentine Museum

On June 24, 2022, Mr. William J. Martin, Director of the Valentine Museum in Richmond, gave notice that the damaged, desecrated, and vandalized statue of Confederate President Jefferson Davis – on loan from the Black History & Cultural Center of Virginia - would be displayed by the museum within its core exhibit. The purpose stated by the Valentine is for…
BlogPodcast
June 25, 2022

Podcast Episode 314

The Week in Review at the Abbeville Institute, June 20-24, 2022 Topics: Nullification, Supreme Court, Southern Politics, Reconstruction, 14th Amendment https://soundcloud.com/the-abbeville-institute/ep-314
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June 24, 2022

The Stupid Party Betrays the South…Again

It did not dawn on me until I walked out to my mailbox Monday, June 20…and there was no mail. “What’s up?” I thought. “It’s Monday, and I always get mail on Monday, since it piles up on Sunday when there is no delivery.” What had happened, I wondered. Then, I witnessed one of those special delivery postal agents who…
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June 23, 2022

Mother Jones

Some people won’t believe in something they haven’t seen, others refuse to believe in something precisely because they have. When it came to the question of religious egalitarianism, I reckon my people were firmly in the latter category. Even as a boy I knew that there were as many kinds of religions in our small Southern town as there were…
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June 22, 2022

The Principles of ’98

From the 2003 Abbeville Institute Summer School This morning we’re talking about the two greatest losers in American history. “Loser’s History” is the only history that needs to be told. With the winners, you know everything about it, even if you don’t care to know it; just turn on the History Channel. My suggestion is to never watch the History…
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June 21, 2022

Juneteenth

The reason your bank was closed yesterday: cultural appropriation and virtue signaling On February 25, 2021, Senator Edward J. Markey (D – Mass) introduced a bill which would become public law on June 17, 2021 under President Joe Biden.  It was entitled the “Juneteenth National Independence Day Act”. The Democrat-led initiative was co-sponsored by 60 senators, 40 of whom were…
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June 20, 2022

Ulysses S. Grant’s Failed Presidency

Below is a footnote-free version of the Preface from my U. S. Grant's Failed Presidency (2019). Ulysses Grant's presidency deserves a fresh analysis because modern historians and biographers have praised him too much. Initially, their "rehabilitation" of his previously mixed reputation concentrated on his military performance during the Civil War, but more lately it has included his presidency. In 1948,…
BlogPodcast
June 18, 2022

Podcast Episode 313

The Week in Review at the Abbeville Institute, June 13-17-2022 Topics: Slavery, Moonshine, the War, Reconstruction, Southern Tradition https://soundcloud.com/the-abbeville-institute/ep-313?utm_source=clipboard&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=social_sharing
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June 17, 2022

Randolph Shotwell in War and Prison

We live in a regime with an industrial output of lies about Southern history, so we should let our forebears speak for themselves whenever we can.  I have been reporting  on little known  Southern books and here is another. Randolph Shotwell in the 1880s put together some materials for his an account of his extraordinary life,  using his diaries, letters…
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June 16, 2022

The Problem of Singular “They”

As I grow older my appreciation for the wisdom of my parents increases. As the United States descend daily further into madness, I find myself torn between being glad they aren’t here to be angered and tormented by the tragedy, wickedness, and vicious idiocy of the times, and a strong desire to profit from their counsel and advice. They were…
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June 15, 2022

Moonshine

Moonshine, though often associated with Appalachia, is also an integral part of the Ozarks culture. Growing up in the hills of Newton County, Arkansas, I lived a privileged life. I got to know a good amount of my ancestors, and hear their stories and experiences. Though most of them were straight laced, hard-working and proud folks, I would occasionally hear…
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June 14, 2022

Dixie Africanus

Black slaves toiling in the fields of large plantations, gentlemen in frock coats and ladies in hoop skirts relaxing on the verandas of large mansions . . . all set in places named Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland and Mississippi. Most would imagine this to be a picture of the antebellum American South, but they would be mistaken, as it would…
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June 13, 2022

They Also Arrived in Bondage

Tommie D. Boudreau, chairwoman of the African American Heritage Committee of the Galveston Historical Foundation in Galveston, Texas, recently stated that the Juneteenth national commemoration “gives an accurate picture of United States history because so much has not been shared. African Americans are the only immigrants that were forced to come to America – or the colonies. This gives people…
BlogPodcast
June 11, 2022

Podcast Episode 312

The Week in Review at the Abbeville Institute June 6-10, 2022 Topics: The War, Abraham Lincoln, Confederate Constitution, Southern Film, Slavery, Southern Humor https://soundcloud.com/the-abbeville-institute/ep-312
Blog
June 10, 2022

Setting Lincoln Straight

On March 7, 1862, Lincoln sent to congress and congress passed a joint resolution offering pecuniary aid to any State that would initiate gradual emancipation. However, no funding had been passed, only a declaration of intent. The offer fell on deaf ears in all the slave States, including those still in the Union. This prompted Lincoln to call a meeting…
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June 9, 2022

Remembering Gods and Generals

Lest we forget, it has been nineteen years since the film “Gods and Generals” was released to screens across the United States—to be exact, on February 21, 2003—almost ten years after the release of the blockbuster film, “Gettysburg.” “Gods and Generals” was based on the historical novel by Jeff Shaara, while “Gettysburg” was based on a work by his father,…
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June 8, 2022

The Intruder

I suppose that most men would like to think that they could shoot someone to defend life and limb. But I expect that many wonder if they actually could pull the trigger if it came down to it. This was certainly true of me. It is almost a truism that every house in the South contains more guns than people.…
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June 7, 2022

The Last Americans to Believe in the Voluntary Union of the States

“If there is to be a separation , then God bless them both, & keep them in the union if it be for their good, but separate them if it be better.” Thomas Jefferson, Letter to John C. Breckenridge, Aug. 12, 1803, regarding the New England secession movement “No state . .  can lawfully get out of the union .…
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June 6, 2022

The Confederate Constitution

From the 2003 Abbeville Institute Summer School I come from a somewhat different mold and my thought processes on these issues have changed a bit over the last couple of years. I have written on American jurisprudence and I have detected what I would deem to be ominous trends in American case law, and also in international law. I also…
BlogPodcast
June 4, 2022

Podcast Episode 311

The Week in Review at the Abbeville Institute, May 30-June 3, 2022 Topics: Southern History, Jefferson Davis, War for Southern Independence, Cancel Culture, John C. Calhoun https://soundcloud.com/the-abbeville-institute/ep-311?utm_source=clipboard&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=social_sharing
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June 3, 2022

Jefferson Davis: American Statesman

Most people don't know anything about Jefferson Davis other than he was the President of the Confederate States of America. His great-great grandson, Bertram Hayes-Davis, explains why Davis should be highly regarded among all Americans today. https://youtu.be/RAKw8U_PBAc
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June 2, 2022

W.E.B. DuBois’s Selective Moral Outrage

In March of 1928, W.E.B. DuBois published a short essay attacking the character of Robert E. Lee in a publication created by DuBois called The Crisis. This magazine was also the official publication of the NAACP, which was also co-founded by DuBois, and (according to their November 1910 premier issue) had the expressed goal of setting forth “those facts and…
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June 1, 2022

The Nullification Crisis

Going back to Jefferson, you can say that Jefferson’s vision of radical Federalism was of a libertarian Federalism, based on the rights of local self-government circumscribing and limiting their agent, the Federal government, whose referent is not a single people, but the peoples of the various States. It’s strange that in the writings from the Founding period, the plural of…
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May 31, 2022

Recommended Books about the South and Its History

A friend recently asked me for a list of good books about the South and “the Late Unpleasantness” which he could share with his two sons, one of whom will be entering college this fall, and the other who will be a high school senior. I began naming some volumes, at random. But my friend stopped me in mid-sentence and…
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May 30, 2022

The Worst Street Corner in America

Mako Honda recently told the Washington Post that she and her husband Ryan Finley live on “the worst street corner… across the U.S.” You might speculate that the couple live somewhere in Los Angeles, which retains the notoriety of having the three most dangerous neighborhoods in the United States. Or perhaps they live somewhere in inner-city Chicago like West Garfield…
BlogPodcast
May 28, 2022

Podcast Episode 310

The Week in Review at the Abbeville Institute, May 23-27, 2022 Topics: United States Constitution, Federalism, Southern Tradition, Reconstruction https://soundcloud.com/the-abbeville-institute/ep-310?utm_source=clipboard&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=social_sharing
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May 27, 2022

Commander in Chief of the Reds, Blues, and Wars

Katy Pavlich commented on the Five recently that President Biden needed to do something about the southern border problem as it was his responsibility as Commander-in-chief. Now, Ms. Pavlich, in my opinion, is one of the more clued-up and sager among the groups or individuals who are trotted out as either regulars or contributors on Fox. As a rule, she…
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May 26, 2022

President Grant’s Free Homes

  Although most modern biographies attribute the corruption in Grant’s Administration to venal advisors who took advantage of the President’s innocent naivety, those biographers tend to ignore early examples of Grant’s own dubious conduct through which he set low ethical standards for others in his Administration to follow. One incident was the sale of his “I Street” residence in Washington…
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May 25, 2022

The Neighbor

Robert Frost tells us that “good fences make good neighbors.” I suppose there is some truth to that. But I met the best neighbor I ever had the night his fence row burned to the ground. At the time, I was living in Forrest County, Mississippi. Pastoring a country country church that was the product of three earlier splits. Of…
Blog
May 24, 2022

This Land is Ours

It’s hell, sittin’ here. I grew up in the hills of Newton County, Arkansas, the place that my direct line had hacked out and settled in the 1850s, when the first white settlers moved in. Being a native Ozarker has its advantages and disadvantages. When I married and moved one county north, it almost seemed like sacrilege. The next phase…
Patrick HenryBlog
May 23, 2022

The Anti-Federalists and the Ratification Debates

From the 2003 Abbeville Institute Summer School. I’m going to be talking about the Anti-Federalists. The first question we might ask is: “Who were the Anti-Federalists and why did they take the position they took?” Today, historians are never happy just to study the writings, speeches, correspondence, and other documents produced by the protagonists of an era or a battle.…
BlogPodcast
May 21, 2022

Podcast Episode 309

The Week in Review at the Abbeville Institute, May 16-20, 2022 Topics: Southern Culture, Southern Tradition, the War, Nationalism, Southern Politics https://soundcloud.com/the-abbeville-institute/ep-309?utm_source=clipboard&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=social_sharing
Blog
May 20, 2022

Armistead Burt: A Friend to Jefferson Davis

On a recent visit to Abbeville, South Carolina I visited the Burt-Stark House, one of the main historic attractions of the town and the prime reason for my visit there. Followers of the Abbeville Institute website who also have an interest in Jefferson Davis may know that Abbeville claims it as the site of Davis’ last war council on May…
Blog
May 19, 2022

Acknowledging the True Cost of the War

Alfred Emanuel Smith (1873 – 1944) was an American politician who served four terms as Governor of New York and was the Democrat Party’s candidate for president in 1928. Smith grew up on the lower east side of Manhattan and resided in that neighborhood for his entire life and though he remained personally incorrupt, as with many other New York City…
BlogReview Posts
May 18, 2022

Blacks in Gray

A Review of Blacks in Gray Uniforms (Arcadia, 2018) by Phillip Thomas Tucker South Carolina Confederate history is my area of research, so I was interested to come across the book Blacks in Gray Uniforms, which gives information on some black Confederate soldiers from the Palmetto State, and I wanted to bring it to the attention of the readers of…
Blog
May 17, 2022

“National Unity” is a Mirage

Now, after what may have been a racially-motivated mass shooting in Buffalo (May 14) by a deranged young man, new insistent calls go out for the government to fight “white nationalism” and “right wing domestic terrorism.” Attorney General Merrick Garland has already signaled more than once that this is the nation’s major challenge—not the illegal drugs epidemic, not the rampant…
Blog
May 16, 2022

An Adopted Valley Virginian

While teaching at the University of Virginia, William Faulkner once remarked: “'I like Virginia and I like Virginians because Virginians are all snobs, and I like snobs. A snob has to spend so much time being a snob he has little left to meddle with you, and so it's very pleasant here." Perhaps Faulkner should have spent more time in…
BlogPodcast
May 14, 2022

Podcast Episode 308

The Week in Review at the Abbeville Institute, May 9-13 2022 Topics: Abraham Lincoln, Northern Studies, Slavery, Secession, Civil War https://soundcloud.com/the-abbeville-institute/ep-308/s-O6QI3ZTYJt5?utm_source=clipboard&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=social_sharing
Blog
May 13, 2022

In the Saddle with Stonewall

The best of the many Confederate memoirs, in my opinion, are those of General Richard Taylor (Destruction and Reconstruction) and Admiral Raphael Semmes  (Memoirs of Service Afloat and Ashore). There are also many excellent women’s diaries and memoirs, perhaps a subject for another occasion.  Taylor and Semmes were men in high places, intelligent and experienced, keen judges of character, and…
Blog
May 12, 2022

Honorable and Courageous Patriots

Delivered at the Stone Mountain Confederate Memorial Park for the Confederate Memorial Day remembrance held April 30, 2022. Thank you for taking time today to consider the deeds and lessons of our long-dead ancestors. When Confederate commemoration began, it was a memorial to people who were known to those living.  Today, it is unlikely that there is a person here…
Blog
May 11, 2022

The Fox Hunt

I’ve heard tell that fox hunting is the sport of kings. Be that as it may, in the hills of Arkansas it is largely the purview of fools and knaves. There are no aristocrats. No gaudy outfits. No prized horses. In fact, there are usually no horses at all. Perhaps stranger still, no guns. Unless someone totes a side arm…
Blog
May 10, 2022

Boston, Home of the Bean, Cod, and Slaves

In a penitent act of fiscal flagellation, Harvard University recently reported that it was establishing a hundred million dollar “Legacy of Slavery Fund” in an effort to atone for its century and half history of using enslaved people.  In the report, it was cited that from its founding in 1636 until 1783, when the Massachusetts Supreme Court declared slavery to…
Blog
May 9, 2022

Lincoln’s 2nd Inaugural

It has been over a century and a half since Lincoln’s assassination did much to deify his image and place him as the centerpiece of the American Pantheon. Such behavior is hardly unexpected; as the leader of his country during America’s deadliest war, a war directed towards enacting unprecedented changes in the structure of government and American society, Lincoln’s partisans…
BlogPodcast
May 7, 2022

Podcast Episode 307

The Week in Review at the Abbeville Institute May 2-6, 2022 Topics: Southern Politics, Southern Conservatism, Southern Literature https://soundcloud.com/the-abbeville-institute/ep-307/s-RQm1hRyONDA?utm_source=clipboard&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=social_sharing
BlogReview Posts
May 6, 2022

Arm in Arm

A review of Arm in Arm (Mercer, 2022) by Catharine Savage Brosman Our conscious civilisation begins with Homer and is firmly anchored in Virgil, Dante, the French troubadours, and the Viking bards.  Its deepest expressions are in verse.  William Faulkner may have had something like this in mind when he  lamented that he was “only a failed poet.” That is…
Blog
May 5, 2022

“What right have we to be generous with the money of our constituencies to help a foreign people?”

Delivered by Oscar Underwood of Alabama in the House of Representatives May, 1902. Mr. UNDERWOOD. Mr. Speaker, on Saturday last, when this bill came from the Senate, it was proposed that it should be taken up at once and considered by the House without, going through the usual channels of consideration. I insisted that lie-fore action was taken by the…
Blog
May 4, 2022

The Unconstitutional “National Guard”

Speech delivered by Senator A.O. Bacon of Georgia, December, 1902. Mr. President: Of course, I think the amendment offered by the Senator from Ohio , which has now been accepted, makes this section less objectionable. I might agree, however, with what the Senator from Wisconsin stated yesterday, that with this amendment the section is of not very much practical operation.…
Blog
May 3, 2022

President Grant is Overrated

A recent article in the politically conservative National Review about Ulysses Grant’s presidency by historian Allen Guelzo is merely another example of unjustified claims that he was a virtuous champion of black civil rights. To be sure, Grant promoted Southern black suffrage but that was because he knew they were nearly certain to vote for him and his Republican Party.…
Blog
May 2, 2022

No Capitulation: A Call to Southern Conservatives

This piece was originally published at Chronicles Magazine and is reprinted here by permission. The following speech critical of the conservative establishment is one that I did not give at The Charleston Meeting, in Charleston, S.C., whither I was invited by its organizer Gene d’Agostino, as a speaker for the evening of April 14. After espying copies of my book…
BlogPodcast
April 30, 2022

Podcast Episode 306

The Week in Review at the Abbeville Institute, April 25-29, 2022 Topics: Southern Tradition, Confederate History, Articles of Confederation, Southern Family https://soundcloud.com/the-abbeville-institute/ep-306?utm_source=clipboard&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=social_sharing
Blog
April 29, 2022

Why Were the Articles of Confederation Dissolved?

I'm going to talk about the way the Articles of Confederation functioned, how people acted under the Articles, and the three reasons why I think the Articles were dissolved. The signers of the Articles of Confederation were not happy with what was finally implemented. Indeed, once the Articles were sent to the States, it took nearly four years before they…
Blog
April 28, 2022

God’s General

Neither side in the War for Southern Independence produced a finer or more morally upright man than Richard Montgomery Gano. He was the descendent of a distinguished military/evangelical family. His great-grandfather, John Allen Gano, was born in New Jersey and became a Baptist preacher. He joined the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War, where he was known as “the fighting…
Blog
April 27, 2022

The Legend of the Dogwood

My grandmother is the closest thing to a saint I have ever known. She is good and kind. She gives herself away until she is all but spent. She has always worked hard and loved harder. She prays and goes to church. And I’ve only known her to cuss when it thunders. But like many of the medieval saints, her…
Blog
April 26, 2022

So VMI Isn’t Structurally Racist After All

The Washington Post’s Ian Shapira and his social justice allies in Richmond and Lexington, Virginia, must be worried, big-time. For nearly two years running, their Axis-Against-VMI has enjoyed remarkable success: forcing an honorable VMI superintendent to resign; removing Lt. Gen. “Stonewall” Jackson’s statue, and his name from Jackson Arch; renaming buildings and recontextualizing the past; inserting divisive ideology into courses;…
Blog
April 25, 2022

Did the Confederacy Oppose the Rule of Law?

Today is Confederate Memorial Day in Alabama. Most Americans believe the War and Southern history are synonymous, so much so that to many, the War has come to define the South. If you are reading this post and have followed the Abbeville Institute for any length of time, you know that our mission to "explore what is true and valuable…
BlogPodcast
April 23, 2022

Podcast Episode 305

The Week in Review at the Abbeville Institute April 18-22, 2022 Topics: Southern Politics, Southern Tradition, Secession, Southern Culture https://soundcloud.com/the-abbeville-institute/ep-305?utm_source=clipboard&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=social_sharing
Blog
April 22, 2022

Southern Poets and Poems, Part XX

William Gilmore Simms, Part 2 The Green Corn Dance Come hither, hither, old and young--the gentle and the strong, And gather in the green corn dance, and mingle with the song-- The summer comes, the summer cheers, and with a spirit gay, We bless the smiling boon she bears, and thus her gifts repay. Eagle from the mountain, Proudly descend!…
Blog
April 21, 2022

Triumph and Subjugation

In 1935 Lyon Gardiner Tyler – descendant of 10th President John Tyler – wrote: “The old Union was a union of consent; the present Union is one of force. For many years after the war, the South was held as a subject province, and any privileges it now enjoys are mere concessions from its conquerors, not rights inherited from the…
Blog
April 20, 2022

Common Cause and Common Fate

Mr. President--I fully concur with the gentleman from Montgomery, in the propriety of immediately passing the resolution now under consideration. All the powers of the State of Alabama should be pledged to aid in resisting any attempt to coerce a seceding State back into the Union. Sir, the Southern States recognize the right of secession. It constitutes the very essence…
Blog
April 19, 2022

Kith and Kin: The Enduring Ethic of the South

From the 2016 Abbeville Institute Summer School. So, what I have to say is gonna be, I think, somewhat maybe tedious.  I've tried to boil down stuff I've been working on for years, many chapters of a book project, and sometimes when you boil things down, it's not like distilling rose petals. You don't get the fine essence, what you…
Blog
April 18, 2022

A Red Wave? So What?

There is a vast political swell among some ill-informed conservatives that the great mid-term elections will come and a tide of goodness (spelled R-E-P-U-B-L-I-C-A-N) will sweep over the grand land, often puerilely referred to as “American exceptionalism,” for everyone. Everyone but conservatives, however. Yes, that’s what I meant.  Conservatives are republicans. Republicans are Republicans. They aren’t goodness or even good. They…
BlogPodcast
April 17, 2022

Podcast Episode 304

The Week in Review at the Abbeville Institute, April 11-15, 2022 Topics: the War, Secession, Slavery, Southern Culture, Southern Tradition https://soundcloud.com/the-abbeville-institute/ep-304?utm_source=clipboard&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=social_sharing
Blog
April 15, 2022

The Pride of Kentucky…and Maryland

There are disagreements on the subject, but I wholeheartedly believe that Bardstown, Kentucky is “where bourbon was born.”   Many of the first bourbons, however, were variations on old rye whiskey recipes brought to the Bardstown area by settlers from Maryland.  Among them were people named Dant, Mattingly, Medley, Wathen, Pottinger, Miles, Willett and Beam, all families associated with the earliest…
Blog
April 14, 2022

Dirt

When I was a boy I was convinced that when God decided to make the world He started with Arkansas. The Tigris and Euphrates rivers were merely nicknames for the Ouachita and the Mighty Mississippi that hemmed in our corner of the Delta. And the first man, Adam, likely lived somewhere between West Memphis and the Louisiana line. After all,…
Blog
April 13, 2022

Rough Music

In the mid-1760s, violent criminal activity began to spread throughout the sparsely populated interior of the colony of South Carolina. Residents in these areas, alarmed at what was occurring, pled with the government for assistance. None would be forthcoming. Instead, individuals residing in the area turned toward the idea of communal, ritual punishment to stem the tide of criminal activity.…
Blog
April 12, 2022

The War of Secession

A line from Shakespeare asked, “What’s in a name?” In the case of the great American conflict of 1861, the name by which it has become generally known is, of course, the "Civil War." This term was, however, only occasionally used during the war, such as Lincoln’s reference in his 1863 Gettysburg Address that the country was “engaged in a…
Blog
April 11, 2022

A Dangerous Rock Rolling Down Hill

Part 6 in Clyde Wilson’s series “African-American Slavery in Historical Perspective.” Read Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, and Part 5. “He who controls the past controls the future.  He who controls the present controls the past.”  George Orwell “Live asses will kick at dead lions.”  Admiral Raphael Semmes In the long run of history, the story of…
BlogPodcast
April 9, 2022

Podcast Episode 303

The Week in Review at the Abbeville Institute, April 4-8, 2022 Topics: Secession, Union, Woke History, Slavery, Southern Literature https://soundcloud.com/the-abbeville-institute/ep-303/s-qYnlgLQYJE8?utm_source=clipboard&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=social_sharing
Blog
April 8, 2022

Indentured Servitude in Early America

French politician and author Jean-Nicholas Démeunier, in 1786, published his Essai sur les États-Unis. Prior to its publication, the essay, intended for Encyclopédie Méthodique, was in the words of Jefferson’s secretary William Short in a letter to William Nelson (25 Oct. 1786), “as false as might be expected from a man who had made the Abbe Raynal his model, and…
Blog
April 7, 2022

The Constitutionality of Secession

To begin with, it is hornbook law* that the signatories to any contract or compact, are all accorded the same rights; that is, no signatory of such an agreement has more—or fewer—rights than any other signatory. Neither does this fact have to be stated in the document; it is understood. If the Party of the First Part is permitted to…
Blog
April 6, 2022

Poe’s Battle with Puritan Boston

I've learned a good deal about Poe's paternal and maternal backgrounds; I had never really pursued that; the biographies don't. But I found that Poe's grandfather had immigrated to America in about 1750 from Drung, County Cavan, Ireland. To put that on the board for you, that's about 75 miles Northwest of Dublin, so it’s sort of in the center…
Blog
April 5, 2022

Emancipation After the War

Part 5 in Clyde Wilson’s series “African-American Slavery in Historical Perspective.” Read Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4. Early in Reconstruction the staunch Unionist William Sharkey was appointed governor of Mississippi by Andrew Johnson.  Sharkey said that he believed that half the African American population of the state had perished in the war.  This may not be…
Blog
April 4, 2022

The Gathering Mystique of Union

‘Union’  neither denotes nor explicates a form of government. It is a word estranged in both the commonplace and the legal arts. There is no constraint to the daily rumble of social or personal definition. Any two or more people can form a 'union', even without using the word. At law ‘union’ is not a term of art. Rather it…
BlogPodcast
April 2, 2022

Podcast Episode 302

The Week in Review at the Abbeville Institute, March 21 - April 1, 2022 Topics: American History, Neo-Abolitionism, the War, Woke Culture, Slavery, New South, Reconstruction https://soundcloud.com/the-abbeville-institute/ep-302/s-gLn42tchtze?utm_source=clipboard&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=social_sharing
Blog
April 1, 2022

Til Hazel’s Virginia

On March 15, John T. “Til” Hazel Jr. died in Broad Run, Fauquier County, Virginia. There’s no reason why you should necessarily know the name, though if you have spent any time in the Northern Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C., you have witnessed first-hand his tremendous influence. Joel Garreau in his 1992 book Edge City: Life on the New Frontier…
Blog
March 31, 2022

Neo-Abolitionist Historiography

  From our 2008 Summer School, Northern Anti-Slavery Rhetoric In some respects, the title of this lecture, “Post 1960’s Neo-Abolitionist Historiography,” is a lie.  I’m actually going to start earlier than the 1960’s, but I promise you we’re not going to lengthen it out any more than that. A lot of this is going to be a cautionary tale for…
Blog
March 30, 2022

The Beer Thief

The little town of Canton, just off of I-20 in east Texas, is home to the world’s largest flea market. Thousands of booths and vendors have been selling their wares in that 400 acre field for about a century now. A man with a few dollars in his pocket can find stuff he never needed and never knew he wanted…
Blog
March 29, 2022

Emancipation

Part 4 in Clyde Wilson’s series “African-American Slavery in Historical Perspective.” Read Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3. Many Americans doubtless tend to assume a rosy view of emancipation, of brave boys in blue rushing into the arms of newly freed slaves to celebrate the day of Jubilee while handing out Hershey bars to children. Nothing could be further…
Blog
March 28, 2022

The 1862 Louisiana Native Guard

In April 1861, a public meeting was held in New Orleans, Louisiana to discuss Governor Thomas O. Moore's call for volunteers to defend the South against the invading Union army as the War Between the States was just beginning. This particular meeting did not consist of white men, however. It was led and attended by what the newspapers called the…
Blog
March 25, 2022

Music in Camp

Originally published in 1898 in The Ridpath Library of Universal Literature, Vol. XXII by John Clark Ridpath THOMPSON, John Reuben, an American journalist and poet, born at Richmond, Va., October 23, 1823; died in New York, April 30, 1872. He was graduated at the University of Virginia in l845, studied law, and in 1847 became editor of the Southern Literary…
BlogReview Posts
March 24, 2022

The Dreadful Frauds

A review of The Dreadful Frauds: Critical Race Theory and Identity Politics, (Shotwell Publishing, 2022) by Philip Leigh In one hundred pages, author Philip Leigh has given us a scathing indictment of Critical Race Theory, Identity Politics, and the corrupting influences of both on America’s two hundred and fifty year meritocracy. It exposes the power politics of the Victimhood Olympics…
Blog
March 23, 2022

Lincoln, Putin, and Yankee Hyopcrisy

At the writing of this article, the ongoing struggle between Ukraine and Russia has most people’s attention.  While prayerfully hoping for a peaceful settlement of this conflict, it is difficult to overlook the actual hypocrisy of the Federal government and U. S. media as they deal with the reported issues such as “saving the union,” “secession,” and “war crimes.”  It…
Blog
March 22, 2022

A War to Free the Slaves?

Part 3 in Clyde Wilson's series "African-American Slavery in Historical Perspective." Read Part 1 and Part 2. In 1798 Thomas Jefferson wrote to John Taylor: “It is true that we are completely under the saddle of Massachusetts and Connecticut, and that they ride us very hard, cruelly insulting our feelings as well as exhausting our strength and substance.” He added…
BlogPodcast
March 19, 2022

Podcast Episode 301

The Week in Review at the Abbeville Institute, March 14-18, 2022 Topics: Southern History, Slavery, Lincoln, the War, Segregation, Southern Culture, Southern Tradition https://soundcloud.com/the-abbeville-institute/ep-301?utm_source=clipboard&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=social_sharing
Blog
March 18, 2022

Segregation on Track: Plessy v. Ferguson

In most minds today, the word segregation and the term “Jim Crow” immediately evoke a picture of the American South at the start of the Twentieth Century. It is, however, a false image that has been carefully crafted over the years to mask the actual genesis of the legal separation of black and white races in public facilities. This is…
Blog
March 17, 2022

The Keeper of the Family Story

The advent of my coming and going to another world was not through a portal handcrafted from a felled silver-barked tree of old, but the factory-made casket of my Father. My people bury in several places–my Father, a stone’s throw from Sarah Cannon, right down the street from where Tate was roused to write his Ode. He died at 61…
Blog
March 16, 2022

The Silent Killer

I started playing the piano when I was 11. My family wasn’t musical and didn’t own a piano. So every afternoon when the bus dropped me off from school I would walk the mile from my house to my grandmother’s house. She had an old upright with so many missing bits of ivory that it looked like a snaggle-toothed kid…
Blog
March 15, 2022

Lifetime Bondage

  Part 2 in Clyde Wilson's series, African-American Slavery in Historical Perspective. Part 1 can be read here. Life was tough for everyone in the America of the 1600s and 1700s.  The 1800s saw some improvement which led people to entertain the idea of enlightenment and  progress in living conditions. Southerners were as much conscious of and happy about a…
Blog
March 14, 2022

Abraham Lincoln and the Ghost of Karl Marx

  Back in early 1981 the brilliant Southern scholar and traditionalist, Professor Mel Bradford, was the leading contender to receive President Ronald Reagan’s nomination as head of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Bradford was the epitome of the accomplished and erudite academician, yet his deep-rooted Southern and pro-Confederate beliefs disqualified him in the eyes of many national “conservatives” such…
BlogPodcast
March 12, 2022

Podcast Episode 300

The Week in Review at the Abbeville Institute, March 7-11, 2022 Topics: Southern Tradition, Robert E. Lee, Slavery, Abraham Lincoln, Southern History https://soundcloud.com/the-abbeville-institute/ep-300?utm_source=clipboard&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=social_sharing
Blog
March 11, 2022

The Once Southern City

I presume I am not the only person who thinks regularly about the strange reality of living in a part of what traditionally was the South, that is no longer really the South, like my native Northern Virginia. I think my idiosyncrasy explains why whenever I travel to a place that fits that description, I am infinitely curious about the…
Blog
March 10, 2022

African-American Slavery in Historical Perspective

Our culture’s indifference to the past---which easily shades over into hostility and rejection---furnishes the most telling proof of that culture’s bankruptcy. ---Christopher Lasch The purpose of education is to free the student from the tyranny of the present. ---Cicero The authority of those who teach is often an obstacle to those who want to learn. ---Cicero Introduction The slavery that…
Blog
March 9, 2022

The Shadow of Red Rock

Anyone who knows me knows I am obsessed with time and place. As far as time goes, I’m mainly concerned with what happened before me - those who came before and their lives in this beautiful, rural and untouched county that we call home. Time has brought changes, as it always does, and some of it is even good. However,…
Blog
March 8, 2022

Robert E. Lee and His Time

Delivered at the 2013 Abbeville Institute Summer School. What I want to do is thoroughly cover Lee in his time and in ours, and try to understand that transformation. There's more there than meets the eye, and it has to do with our understanding of Lee. If we can understand the transformation as carefully as I hope to take us…
Blog
March 7, 2022

The Preacher Who Stole Lincoln’s Past–By the Carload

On July 17, 1849, Robert Smith Todd of Lexington, Kentucky, died suddenly of cholera. He was among thousands who'd die in the world-wide epidemic that had already killed former president James K. Polk a month before and would be blamed for the death of Edgar Allan Poe a bit later. Todd's hasty death-bed will was endorsed by only one witness;…
BlogPodcast
March 6, 2022

Podcast Episode 299

The Week in Review at the Abbeville Institute, Feb 28 - March 4, 2022 Topics: Southern humor, Southern literature, Jefferson, Reconstruction, Southern agriculture, Southern Tradition https://soundcloud.com/the-abbeville-institute/ep-299?utm_source=clipboard&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=social_sharing
Blog
March 4, 2022

Stonewall Jackson’s Scabbard Speech

Originally published in the Southern Historical Society Papers, Vol. 16. 1888 While the Virginia Convention of 1861 was in session in Richmond, wrestling with the weighty problems of the day, and the grand old “Mother of States” was doing all in her power to prevent the terrible strife which her breast was so soon to bear, there occurred at Lexington,…
Blog
March 3, 2022

“Moral the Question Certainly is Not”

Filmmaker Arlen Parsa has recently undertaken a project that blots out the faces of all the signers of the Declaration of Independence in John Trumbull’s famous painting “The Declaration of Independence.” The stunt has unsurprisingly gained the filmmaker much notoriety. While the project might seem to have been a frivolous undertaking for Parsa—something to pass the time in these Coronavirus…
Blog
March 2, 2022

Reconstruction Era Chicanery

Postwar Southern reconstruction became corrupted when congressional Republicans took charge of it with the March 1867 Reconstruction Acts, almost two years after President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination. Prior to that, the process began in December 1863, while the war was still in progress. After Lincoln died and Andrew Johnson advanced to the presidency, Johnson tried to continue with a “Presidential Reconstruction…
Blog
March 1, 2022

Rage Against the [Industrial Food] Machine

In the rural Virginia town of Swoope, near the Shenandoah Valley, Joel Salatin practices common sense and ecologically sustainable agriculture on his farm, Polyface. In the wake of a COVID-19 pandemic that has drastically changed food distribution networks and disrupted the entire supply chain of the country, farming methods like Salatin’s have become increasingly desirable as we approach a dystopian…
Blog
February 28, 2022

The Hog Killin’

A dozen years ago or so, I was pastoring a small country church in the smallest county in the state of Mississippi. After church, one of the deacons said, “We’ve got a big dinner set on. You wanna come eat? Gonna be good.” “Sure,” says I. His name was Gabe. He was chairmen of the deacon board, pater familias to…
BlogPodcast
February 26, 2022

Podcast Episode 298

The Week in Review at the Abbeville Institute, Feb 21-25, 2022 Topics: Southern tradition, Southern culture, the War https://soundcloud.com/the-abbeville-institute/ep-298?utm_source=clipboard&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=social_sharing
Blog
February 25, 2022

Secession Declarations Do Not Prove the War was over Slavery

ACADEMIA'S ABSOLUTE PROOF that the War Between the States was fought over slavery is based primarily on the declarations of causes for the secession of four of the first seven Southern states to secede: South Carolina, Georgia, Mississippi and Texas. However, those four declarations prove nothing of the sort. There were 13 Southern states represented in the Confederate government. That…
Blog
February 24, 2022

Southern Distinctiveness

Have you ever accidentally used the wrong mushrooms in a recipe inducing you to think the South is some type of hallucination? Me neither–I reckon we aren’t enlightened enough to grasp such concepts. Until recently, I never pondered ideas like “regional consciousness” or “Southern distinctiveness”—truth be told, “provincial” seemed too overdressed to feel comfortable amongst my hand-me-down vocabulary—and not a…
Blog
February 23, 2022

South Carolina in 1865

There is nothing new under the sun, but there are things which have lain undiscovered, forgotten, or neglected, and these can be brought to light. In my new book South Carolina in 1865, I have collected unpublished, obscure, and neglected records which document events and conditions in the Palmetto State during the last year of the war. The most cataclysmic…
Blog
February 22, 2022

Two Southern Heroes

The Adventures and Recollections of General Walter P. Lane, A San Jacinto Veteran  (1887) John Salmon Ford, Rip Ford’s Texas  (1885, 1963) Our forebears of the antebellum South are being subjected to  pervasive dishonest slander (by both left and right) these days.  Brave and honourable people who did far more than their fair share in the creation of the United…
Blog
February 21, 2022

Beyond the Hunley

As far back as the days of ancient Greece and Rome, people have dreamed of various means of underwater travel and warfare. Over two thousand years ago, Alexander the Great even devised a type of diving bell that allowed his Macedonian troops to make surprise underwater attacks on enemy positions. It was not until two millennia later, however, that an…