Shades of John Brown

john brown

Southerners who honour their Confederate forebears have often been admonished:  “Get over it.  You lost!”    The admonishers often do not follow their own advice.  As a modest but earnest  advocate  of Southern heritage, I  have quite often been threatened, usually anonymously, with harm to my person and a renewal of the  extermination campaign against my people.  I once received from Portland, Maine, a package containing a chamber pot  labeled  “Robert E. Lee’s Soup Tureen.”  Not to mention the present hysteria which Paul C. Graham has aptly named “Confederaphobia.”

Here is an interesting example from 1904.  A woman named Blanche Boies entered the Kansas state capitol  with an axe concealed under a cloak.  She rode the elevator to the fifth floor headquarters of the Kansas Historical Society and proceeded to chop up a large picture of “Custer’s Last Stand,”   a painting that had been commissioned by the Annheuser-Busch brewery of St. Louis, copies of which were at one time said to be in every tavern in America.

Asked to explain her actions, Ms. Boies  said:  “I concluded to chop the name of the secesh firm off, with no ill will toward the rest of the picture.”  This lady was a well-known follower of militant prohibitionist Carrie Nation.   Somehow she thought that a Missouri brewer must have been  secessionist, highly unlikely for St. Louis people with German names.  And somehow she had  associated  the evil demon rum with the late Confederacy.

What she chopped was likely a copy.  The original, for which a rather obscure artist was paid $30,000, seems to have been lost.  Just a few years later Union and Confederate veterans met cordially on the field of Gettysburg and other places.

About Clyde Wilson

Clyde Wilson is a distinguished Professor Emeritus of History at the University of South Carolina where he was the editor of the multivolume The Papers of John C. Calhoun. He is the M.E. Bradford Distinguished Chair at the Abbeville Institute. He is the author or editor of over thirty books and published over 600 articles, essays and reviews and is co-publisher of www.shotwellpublishing.com, a source  for unreconstructed Southern books. More from Clyde Wilson

You might also enjoy these articles...