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July 4- What Exactly are We Celebrating?

On July 2, 1776 the Continental Congress voted to declare independence from the English Crown. A committee of five men was selected to put an ordinance of secession into written form, and on July 4 of that year, the Congress voted to approve what would be known as the Declaration of Independence. Interestingly, and largely unknown, as Kevin Gutzman notes…
Carl Jones
July 4, 2014
Blog

Why Vicksburg Canceled the Fourth of July – For a Generation

From May through early July 1863, Vicksburg, Mississippi, a strategically important city on the Mississippi River, was besieged by Federal forces under the command of General Ulysses S. Grant, and by a flotilla of gunboats in the river commanded by Admiral David Porter. The city was surrounded by outlying Confederate lines of defense, but the Union forces also shelled the…
Karen Stokes
July 2, 2014
Blog

Rose of Dixie

Few American authors wrote as many stories set in the old South as William Sydney Porter, who used the pen name, “O.Henry.” There are differing versions of how and why Porter chose the nom de plume O. Henry, each with varying degrees of credibility. Suffice it to say that he is considered one of America's great writers of fiction, and…
Gail Jarvis
July 1, 2014
Blog

Party Down South

The trailer (end of the piece) for the second season of Country Music Television’s “Party Down South” (a rehash of MTV’s “Real World,” but with stand-in hicks instead of angsty, edgy musicians and models) represents what most Americans – and many woefully misled Southerners – believe about Southern culture. The term “country” is repulsive to me. As the great rock…
Review Posts

Bounty

Bullace and scuppernong Wild flavours and perfumes Important among harvests. Wild strawberry and low-bush huckleberry. Perfume of chionanthus and sweetshrub, Better than barter and trade, Sky-song of geese, Pattern of butterfly wings, bearing no bar code – Early remembrance they, Glad of return Renewing the mind, in circling year, Past all beginnings, Beyond all stars.
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Rebel Yell

Notwithstanding Ole Miss fans, those opening few bars of “Dixie” sends chills down the back of every good Southerner everywhere. By the time the notes hit the phrase “land of cotton,” it makes you want to throw back your head and rip out a good rebel yell. It feels good to do it. It feels right to do it. There’s…
Tom Daniel
June 30, 2014
Review Posts

Slavery and State’s Rights

Speech of Hon. Joseph Wheeler, of Alabama. From the Richmond, Va., Dispatch, July 31, 1894 Causes Of The War. Opposition of the Southern Colonists to Slavery, and Their Devotion to the Union--Advocates of Secession. On Friday, July 13th, 1894, the House of Representatives being in Committee of the Whole, on appropriations and expenditures, and having under consideration the bill to…
Joseph Wheeler
June 27, 2014
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Carolina Day

Throw thy bold banner to the breeze! Front with thy ranks the threatening seas Like thine own proud armorial trees, Carolina! – Henry Timrod June 28th is an official holiday in the state of South Carolina, although outside of Charleston, it has almost entirely been forgotten. South Carolina's Code of Laws, 53-3-140, reads as follows: June twenty-eighth of each year,…
Paul C. Graham
June 27, 2014
Clyde Wilson Library

John Taylor’s Inquiry into the Principles and Policy of the Government of the United States, Part 2

We now approach the heart of Taylor's Inquiry: recent times had created a new type of privileged order exercising dominion in a new way. This was the “paper and patronage aristocracy,” a form of government that had been perfected by England. John Adams had completely failed to notice the new type of regime (although, in fact, he actually wrote most…
Clyde Wilson
June 26, 2014
Clyde Wilson Library

John C. Calhoun and Slavery as a “Positive Good:” What Calhoun Did Not Say

In what became the United States, servitude of people of the black African race existed for about two and a half centuries. The subject of American slavery is today so entertwined with unhealthy and present-centered emotions and motives—guilt, shame, hypocricy, projection, prurient imagination, propaganda, vengeance, extortion—as to defy rational historical discussion. Curiously, the much longer flourishing of African bondage—in the…
Clyde Wilson
June 25, 2014
Blog

The Republic of Alabama

The Republic of Alabama existed for a little less than a month in 1861. When the popularly elected Alabama Secession Convention of 1861 voted to secede from the Union, the State operated as a sovereign political community and freely joined the Confederate States of America as an independent State. The Confederate Constitution recognized the sovereignty of each State in its…
Brion McClanahan
June 24, 2014
Blog

Hollywood’s New South

(Part 5 of a 6-part series on the South in cinema) Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4. As you know, the folks who dominate the American movie industry regard the South only as the weirdest and most dangerous part of that unknown territory between the JFK runways and L.A. International. Besides, Yankees since the 17th century have regularly…
Clyde Wilson
June 24, 2014
Review Posts

Ft. Sumter: The First Act of Aggression

Too often a narrative is passed from one person to the next until it becomes accepted as fact or “common knowledge.” In the society that we live in critical analysis is rarely applied, and so a notion that if scrutinized would be exposed as silly (or worse), instead becomes “fact.” Such is the case with the situation at Ft. Sumter…
Carl Jones
June 23, 2014
Blog

Who Should Play Hank?

Tom Hiddleston, an English actor best known for playing Loki in the Thor and Avengers movies, has been cast to play country music icon Hank William Sr. in an upcoming movie about Williams’ life. Hank Williams’ grandson, Hank Williams III, recently made waves when he panned the selection of Hiddleston and suggested that the American icon should be played by…
Dan E. Phillips
June 23, 2014
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When Good Men Do Nothing

On June 18, 1954, Albert Love Patterson, attorney general nominate for Alabama, was gunned down while getting into his car in a dark ally in Phenix City, Alabama. He had campaigned for months on a pledge to clean up corruption and organized crime in the State, but principally in Phenix City, a town once called the "wickedest city in America."…
Brion McClanahan
June 20, 2014
Blog

Hollywood–South by West

Part 4 in a 5 part series. Part 1, Part 2, Part 3. In 1902 the Philadelphia aristocrat Owen Wister published what has been called “the first true Western novel.” It was set in Wyoming and entitled The Virginian: A Horseman of the Plains. Think about it. What is “a Virginian” doing in Wyoming? In fact, Wister was right on…
Clyde Wilson
June 20, 2014
Clyde Wilson Library

John Taylor’s Inquiry into the Principles and Policy of the Government of the United States, Part 1

John Taylor (1753–1824) of Caroline County, Virginia, is the most important, profound, prophetic and neglected American political thinker of the Revolution and early national period. To explore his thinking is, for a twenty-first century American, an adventure in time travel. We return home amazed—much enlightened about our forefathers' world and with new perspectives on our own. Taylor is the Jeffersonians’…
Clyde Wilson
June 19, 2014
Blog

Southern Nicknames

One of the unwritten great things about the South is our obsession with colorful nicknames. Everybody’s got one, and some people are blessed with several. If you’re Southern and you don’t have a nickname, then there might be something wrong with you. Maybe it goes back to the end of the Civil War when Yankee troops were stalking around looking…
Tom Daniel
June 19, 2014
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“When the American Nation Finds Itself Culturally . . .”

Hermann Keyserling was an Austrian writer quite well-known internationally in the early 20th century for his philosophical works and travel accounts. After an extended visit to the U.S., he published in 1929 an essay in a popular American magazine which included this passage: “When the American nation finds itself culturally, the hegemony will inevitably pass over to the South. There…
Clyde Wilson
June 19, 2014
Clyde Wilson Library

Southern Culture: From Jamestown to Walker Percy

"Nations are the wealth of mankind, its generalized personalities; the least among them has its own unique coloration and harbors within itself a unique facet of God's design." —Alesandr Solzhenitsyn James Warley Miles was librarian of the College of Charleston in the mid-nineteenth century. He was also an ordained Episcopal priest. Miles had spent some years in the Near and…
Clyde Wilson
June 18, 2014
Blog

Bellamy’s Pledge

The Pledge of Allegiance is neither a sacred American tradition nor a patriotic duty, but a relatively recent piece of propaganda penned specifically to eradicate the memory of America’s revolutionary heritage and to indoctrinate the American people into believing lies about their history. If General George Washington ever heard the Pledge, he would not have put his hand on his…
Blog

You Should Have Seen It In Color

For any historian, seeing or hearing the past, holding it in your hand, is almost euphoric. We trudge around cemeteries, carefully handle old letters, documents, and newspapers while every word drips like nectar from the pages, visit historic houses and museums to “hear” the artifacts talk—to feel the past—and pour over old photographs and paintings to understand the humanity of…
Brion McClanahan
June 17, 2014
Blog

Rednecks

You can count me out of the trendy Redneck Renaissance going on. I guess I’m one of the silent minority who doesn’t feel any pride or respect for being called a redneck. I’m absolutely as Southern as I can be. I’m definitely a country boy, and I’m filled toe to top with Southern pride, but I’ll be darned if I’m…
Tom Daniel
June 17, 2014
Review Posts

Ode: Sung on the occasion of decorating the graves of the Confederate dead, at Magnolia Cemetery, Charleston, S. C., 1866

Sung on the occasion of decorating the graves of the Confederate dead, at Magnolia Cemetery, Charleston, S. C., June 16, 1866 Sleep sweetly in your humble graves, Sleep, martyrs of a fallen cause!— Though yet no marble column craves The pilgrim here to pause. In seeds of laurels in the earth, The garlands of your fame are sown; And, somewhere,…
Henry Timrod
June 16, 2014
Review Posts

Senator Sam

This essay is from Brion McClanahan and Clyde Wilson's Forgotten Conservatives in American History (Pelican, 2012). In 1973, Senator Sam Ervin of North Carolina was perhaps the most respected and popular member of the United States Congress. His role in the televised Watergate hearings as chairman of the Senate Select Committee led one member of Congress to remark that he…
Brion McClanahan
June 16, 2014
Blog

We’re Them Ol’ Boys Raised on Shotguns

When the Celtic people of Ireland, Scotland, Wales and Northern England began coming in large numbers to what would become the United States, the Puritans and Cavaliers were already here. These latter groups were astounded to some degree by these new settlers. If Puritans were more “communal” and Cavaliers were more hierarchical, the Celts were individualists almost entirely. The former…
Carl Jones
June 16, 2014
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American Soccer Fandom as Cosmopolitan Affectation

Recently, Major League Soccer announced that it would be expanding into Atlanta. I like to tease soccer fans, because they’re so sensitive, so I took the occasion to get off a few good jabs at my soccer loving virtual friends. I suggested that If Atlanta has any self-respect left as a Southern city, then soccer should fail here as the…
Dan E. Phillips
June 13, 2014
Blog

Ukrainian Dixie Flag

When the fascist regime ruling Ukraine banned the use of the Russian language, arrested Ukrainians with dual Russian citizenship, and tore down Russian war memorials to the liberation of Ukraine from Nazi occupation, Crimea, a semi-autonomous region of eastern Ukraine, voted to secede from the Soviet state onto which she had been grafted in 1954 and return to her Russian…
Review Posts

John William Corrington: A Literary Conservative

This essay originally appeared at the Front Porch Republic. Marietta, GA. It was the spring of 2009. I was in a class called Lawyers & Literature. My professor, Jim Elkins, a short-thin man with long-white hair, gained the podium. Wearing what might be called a suit—with Elkins one never could tell—he recited lines from a novella Decoration Day. I had…
Allen Mendenhall
June 12, 2014
Blog

On Being Asked About

If I ever got started writing about Southern good manners, I’m not sure I could stop. I’ve heard it said that the South is the country’s last outpost of good manners, and it’s a topic that deserves special and exhaustive treatment. However, I overheard my wife talking to someone yesterday, and I can’t pass up this small opportunity. As I…
Tom Daniel
June 12, 2014
Clyde Wilson Library

Can the South Survive?

(I’ll Take My Stand 75th anniversary conference, Franklin, Tennessee) The Twelve Southerners have been justly praised for their powers of prophecy. In reading ITMS once more after several years, it struck me that their description of the unhappy tendency toward the massification of American life and mind—what they called industrialism—is even more precisely accurate in 2005 than it was in…
Clyde Wilson
June 11, 2014
Blog

Clyde N. Wilson

Most people don't know, but today (June 11) is Clyde Wilson's birthday. I had the honor of being Clyde's last doctoral student. I first met Clyde in the Spring of 1997 as a senior in college trying to decide where to attend graduate school. My top choices were South Carolina and Alabama, Clyde Wilson or Forrest McDonald. My advisor as…
Brion McClanahan
June 11, 2014
Blog

“I cannot speak of my dead so soon.”

After his release from imprisonment in 1867, President Jefferson Davis journeyed to Canada where he met several Confederate leaders in exile at today’s Niagara-on-the-Lake, directly across the river from Old Fort Niagara. Available from the Niagara Historical Society is Nicholas Rescher’s excellent “Niagara-on-the-Lake as a Confederate Refuge.” After Mr. Davis became somewhat stronger he travelled to Niagara and Toronto, to…
Bernard Thuersam
June 11, 2014
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King Numbers

June 2 was John Randolph of Roanoke's (1773-1833) birthday. We at the Abbeville Institute missed it during our week dedicated to Jefferson Davis, but the two could have been celebrated in tandem. Davis's cause in 1861 was no less than what Randolph consistently championed during his long career in the United States Congress. The "American Burke" as he has been…
Brion McClanahan
June 10, 2014
Review Posts

The Doctrine of State’s Rights

This piece originally appeared in the North American Review, February 1890. To DO justice to the motives which actuated the soldiers of the Confederacy, it is needful that the cause for which they fought should be fairly understood; for no degree of skill, valor, and devotion can sanctify service in an unrighteous cause. We revere the memory of Washington, not…
Jefferson Davis
June 6, 2014
Blog

De Tocqueville and the South

I’ve been perplexed about Tocqueville’s posture towards the South for quite some time. On the surface, he seems to have a rather dismal view of the South. However, a more penetrating reading of Democracy In America* opens up new possibilities. Consider the following: First, according to Tocqueville, the “seed of complete democracy” has its origin in New England. But there…
Marshall DeRosa
June 6, 2014
Blog

Mo’lasses

This piece originally appeared in the May 30, 2014 edition of the The Bowling Green Daily News. When chef Josh Feathers was growing up in Tennessee, his grandmother always had a jar of sorghum syrup in the cupboard. But he never gave much thought to it, or its significance to Southern culture. That didn't happen until he'd grown up, moved…
Michele Kayal
June 5, 2014
Review Posts

The Importance of Reading in the Digital Age

Were it not such a looming and very possible prospect on our collective cultural horizon, a discussion of the demise of the book in its traditional form, that is, a compendium of knowledge bound in the confines of paper, cloth, and glue, would be not only amusing but almost surreal. The book has always been with us, ever since Mr.…
Randall Ivey
June 4, 2014
Blog

Farewell

Delivered by Jefferson Davis on 21 January 1861 before leaving the United States Senate. I rise, Mr. President, for the purpose of announcing to the Senate that I have satisfactory evidence that the State of Mississippi, by a solemn ordinance of her people in convention assembled, has declared her separation from the United States. Under these circumstances, of course my…
Jefferson Davis
June 4, 2014
Clyde Wilson Library

Nullification Reconsidered

With the destructive evil of centralized power becoming every day more evident and 10th Amendment resolutions appearing in various State capitals, publication this month of the second volume of Professor W. Kirk Wood's magisterial three-volume "Nullification:A Constitutional History, 1776-1833" is serendipitous. For the first time in a half century and long past due, serious people are beginning to search for…
Clyde Wilson
June 2, 2014
Blog

Conservatives for War Criminals?

I regularly get bulk e-mails from a website called Clash Daily, which is run by a fellow named Doug Giles. Their stuff is your typical Tea Partyish fare, but it tends toward a more in-your-face attitude. It also has a masculine vibe with frequent articles about guns, hunting, etc. Of course, it often contains the unfortunately typical advocacy of military…
Dan E. Phillips
June 2, 2014
Blog

Whistlin’ Dixie Loud Enough to Brag

Many music fans believe Southern rock died in 1977 when Lynyrd Skynyrd’s plane crashed in the Mississippi woods. Certainly, there were Southern bands that had some commercial success afterward—Molly Hatchet, .38 Special, Charlie Daniels, Hank Williams, Jr.—but the Southern sound quickly disappeared from mainstream rock music and was replaced by the pop-driven scene out of Los Angeles and New York.…
Brion McClanahan
May 30, 2014
Blog

Hollywood’s South — 20th Century Wars

(3rd in a 5-part series) Hollywood’s treatment of Southerners in the vast output of World War II movies is a mixed bag. There is a fair amount of favourable portrayal of Southerners. This doubtless reflects the good will with which the American public entered the war and its recognition that we were needed and doing our part or more. On…
Clyde Wilson
May 30, 2014
Blog

Whistlin’ Dixie Loud Enough to Brag

Many music fans believe Southern rock died in 1977 when Lynyrd Skynyrd’s plane crashed in the Mississippi woods. Certainly, there were Southern bands that had some commercial success afterward—Molly Hatchet, .38 Special, Charlie Daniels, Hank Williams, Jr.—but the Southern sound quickly disappeared from mainstream rock music and was replaced by the pop-driven scene out of Los Angeles and New York.…
Brion McClanahan
May 30, 2014
Blog

Hollywood’s South — 20th Century Wars

(3rd in a 5-part series) Hollywood’s treatment of Southerners in the vast output of World War II movies is a mixed bag. There is a fair amount of favourable portrayal of Southerners. This doubtless reflects the good will with which the American public entered the war and its recognition that we were needed and doing our part or more. On…
Clyde Wilson
May 30, 2014
Review Posts

A Compact Theory?

States’ rights are anathema to the historical profession, viewed as nothing more than a specious pretext for chattel slavery. A prominent, Pulitzer-winning court historian of the “Camelot” Administration dubbed states’ rights a “fetish.” Another Pulitizer-winning scholar of what he outrageously terms the “War of Southern Aggression” claims that to Southerners, “liberty” was just a code word for “slavery.” A past…
Blog

“Liberty Ought to be the Direct End of Your Government”

One of the greatest American statesmen, Patrick Henry, was born on this day (May 29) in 1736. Jefferson once said that Henry single-handedly delivered Virginia to the cause of independence. He also said that Henry was the laziest reader he knew, and modern critics consider Henry to have been nothing more than a sliver-tongued, hayseed demagogue. Certainly, he did not…
Brion McClanahan
May 29, 2014
Blog

“Liberty Ought to be the Direct End of Your Government”

One of the greatest American statesmen, Patrick Henry, was born on this day (May 29) in 1736. Jefferson once said that Henry single-handedly delivered Virginia to the cause of independence. He also said that Henry was the laziest reader he knew, and modern critics consider Henry to have been nothing more than a sliver-tongued, hayseed demagogue. Certainly, he did not…
Brion McClanahan
May 29, 2014
Blog

Confederate Hollywood Part 2

In Part 1 we demonstrated how during Hollywood’s Golden Age nearly every Northern-born major star willingly portrayed a sympathetic and admirable Confederate character. That phenomenon has continued up to the present. Admirable Confederates still appear played by major actors. What has changed in recent times is that there have been evil Confederates appearing more often on the screen and the…
Clyde Wilson
May 28, 2014
Blog

Confederate Hollywood Part 2

In Part 1 we demonstrated how during Hollywood’s Golden Age nearly every Northern-born major star willingly portrayed a sympathetic and admirable Confederate character. That phenomenon has continued up to the present. Admirable Confederates still appear played by major actors. What has changed in recent times is that there have been evil Confederates appearing more often on the screen and the…
Clyde Wilson
May 28, 2014
Review Posts

Caveat, America, Emptor

Probably no man in America in 1800 knew more about, or cared more passionately for, republicanism than Thomas Jefferson. It was the common belief that a true republic had to be of a fairly limited size, on the model of the Greek republics, in which Athens, at perhaps 200,000 was the largest, or the Italian republics of the middle ages,…
Kirkpatrick Sale
May 27, 2014
Blog

Ron Maxwell’s Civil War Classics

Dear Civil War enthusiasts, students, re-enactors, historians, friends, Over a lifetime of reading and research, I've accumulated an amazing collection of short stories written about the war, a priceless treasure trove of Civil War fiction written by both obscure and famous American authors over the hundred and fifty years since the war was fought. These stories are ideal for films…
Ronald F. Maxwell
May 27, 2014
Blog

“You is kind. You is smart. You is important.”

They say that writing is good for the soul, and my soul needs something good. So, I think it’s time I talked about being one of the Southern white babies raised by a black maid. Sometimes, I forget that I not only grew up during the Civil Rights struggle, I grew up in the middle of it. It wasn't something…
Tom Daniel
May 27, 2014
Blog

Ron Maxwell’s Civil War Classics

Dear Civil War enthusiasts, students, re-enactors, historians, friends, Over a lifetime of reading and research, I've accumulated an amazing collection of short stories written about the war, a priceless treasure trove of Civil War fiction written by both obscure and famous American authors over the hundred and fifty years since the war was fought. These stories are ideal for films…
Ronald F. Maxwell
May 27, 2014
Blog

“You is kind. You is smart. You is important.”

They say that writing is good for the soul, and my soul needs something good. So, I think it’s time I talked about being one of the Southern white babies raised by a black maid. Sometimes, I forget that I not only grew up during the Civil Rights struggle, I grew up in the middle of it. It wasn't something…
Tom Daniel
May 27, 2014
Review Posts

The Antique Dealer

I arrived at the tiny Episcopal church just minutes before the service. As I got out of the car, dressed in my best seersucker suit, all eyes of those waiting outside of the church shot towards me. They stood, fans in hand, in the shadow of the looming church, some shedding polite tears, others yawning in wait for the long…
Rachel Miller
May 26, 2014
Blog

The Other Side of Slavery

The concept of a faithful slave goes against today's authorized slave narratives. Before the social upheavals of the 1960s, it was still permissible to depict different reactions of slaves towards their masters; all slaves didn't have to be portrayed as resentful. Admittedly, most slaves wanted freedom and many slaves were mistreated and consequently bitter towards their masters. Indeed there were…
Gail Jarvis
May 26, 2014
Blog

The Other Side of Slavery

The concept of a faithful slave goes against today's authorized slave narratives. Before the social upheavals of the 1960s, it was still permissible to depict different reactions of slaves towards their masters; all slaves didn't have to be portrayed as resentful. Admittedly, most slaves wanted freedom and many slaves were mistreated and consequently bitter towards their masters. Indeed there were…
Gail Jarvis
May 26, 2014
Clyde Wilson Library

Inventing a New Nation at Gettysburg

Few actors in history have been hallowed in as many points of the political compass as Abraham Lincoln. During the 1930s, portraits of Lincoln appeared at New York City rallies of American fascists and in the publications of American Communists. He was also the favourite of the most reactionary industrialists and the most advanced liberals of the time. “Getting Right…
Clyde Wilson
May 23, 2014
Blog

Albion’s Seed: Cavaliers and Puritans

Random observations from reading David Hackett Fischer's Albion's Seed (which I've not yet finished)- Ain't, betwixt, innards, unbeknownst- These are words that originated in the Southern and Western parts of England, and which came to America with the people who migrated to the American South. Y'all and "dawg" denote the pronunciations that would lead to what is now known as…
Carl Jones
May 23, 2014
Blog

Albion’s Seed: Cavaliers and Puritans

Random observations from reading David Hackett Fischer's Albion's Seed (which I've not yet finished)- Ain't, betwixt, innards, unbeknownst- These are words that originated in the Southern and Western parts of England, and which came to America with the people who migrated to the American South. Y'all and "dawg" denote the pronunciations that would lead to what is now known as…
Carl Jones
May 23, 2014
Blog

Cheesehead Secessionists

In April, several members of the Wisconsin Republican Party inserted a resolution in the State Party platform expressly recognizing the right of their State to secede from the Union. It was voted down May 3, but the move received national press. The Daily Beast published an article on both the resolution and modern secession movements in Vermont and Alaska, and…
Brion McClanahan
May 22, 2014
Blog

Hair Cane Creek

In a recent Abbeville blog, I wrote about the correct pronunciation of the racetrack located in Talledega, Alabama, and I think it struck a familiar chord with some readers. Or it might have been a nerve – it was hard to tell. All in all, I received some very positive feedback. One person even wondered to me why we continue…
Tom Daniel
May 22, 2014
Blog

Cheesehead Secessionists

In April, several members of the Wisconsin Republican Party inserted a resolution in the State Party platform expressly recognizing the right of their State to secede from the Union. It was voted down May 3, but the move received national press. The Daily Beast published an article on both the resolution and modern secession movements in Vermont and Alaska, and…
Brion McClanahan
May 22, 2014
Blog

Hair Cane Creek

In a recent Abbeville blog, I wrote about the correct pronunciation of the racetrack located in Talledega, Alabama, and I think it struck a familiar chord with some readers. Or it might have been a nerve – it was hard to tell. All in all, I received some very positive feedback. One person even wondered to me why we continue…
Tom Daniel
May 22, 2014
Review Posts

The Unemancipated Country: Eugene Genovese’s Discovery of the Old South

This essay originally appeared in the Summer 2014 issue of Academic Questions (Volume 27, Number 2). On 26 September 2012, Eugene Dominic Genovese, one of the most influential and controversial historians of his generation, passed away at age eighty-two after a lengthy struggle with heart disease. His principal writings focused on the history of slavery and the Old South. Roll,…
Robert L. Paquette
May 21, 2014
Blog

A Little Banjo Pickin’

Excerpted from “The Banjo Entertainers, Roots to Ragtime, A Banjo History,” by Lowell H. Schreyer, Minnesota Heritage Publishing, 2007, pages 5-36. The James River valley of Virginia was a locale of banjo activity in the early 1800s. That river led to the city of Lynchburg. Only 25 miles away was the Clover Hill community in Buckingham County, part of which…
Lowell H. Schreyer
May 21, 2014
Blog

A Little Banjo Pickin’

Excerpted from “The Banjo Entertainers, Roots to Ragtime, A Banjo History,” by Lowell H. Schreyer, Minnesota Heritage Publishing, 2007, pages 5-36. The James River valley of Virginia was a locale of banjo activity in the early 1800s. That river led to the city of Lynchburg. Only 25 miles away was the Clover Hill community in Buckingham County, part of which…
Lowell H. Schreyer
May 21, 2014
Blog

Centennial Wars

Fifty years ago the master narrative of the Civil War Centennial failed to synchronize with the momentous 1960s Civil Rights movement. It minimized the roles of slavery and race. Instead the War was characterized as a unifying ordeal in which both sides fought heroically for their individual sense of “right” eventually becoming reconciled through mutual sacrifice. Slavery was considered only…
Philip Leigh
May 20, 2014
Blog

Centennial Wars

Fifty years ago the master narrative of the Civil War Centennial failed to synchronize with the momentous 1960s Civil Rights movement. It minimized the roles of slavery and race. Instead the War was characterized as a unifying ordeal in which both sides fought heroically for their individual sense of “right” eventually becoming reconciled through mutual sacrifice. Slavery was considered only…
Philip Leigh
May 20, 2014
Review Posts

A Bostonian on the Causes of the War, Part IV

Part IV (Final) from a section of Dr. Scott Trask’s work in progress, Copperheads and Conservatives. Part I. Part II. Part III. Massachusetts’ Politics It is one of the perils and paradoxes of democracy that it often bestows disproportionate power and influence upon a minority. Two-party democracies are the most susceptible to this reversal of the familiar and rather tiresome…
H. A. Scott Trask
May 19, 2014
Blog

The Lyrics or Melody in Southern Music?

About ten years ago, one of my colleagues suggested to me that Americans listen to music differently than people from around the globe. According to his way of thinking, Americans favor lyrics and beat exclusively to all other aspects of music, and ignore things like harmonic structure (what some people might call chord changes), melody, dynamics, instrumentation, song-form structure (verses,…
Tom Daniel
May 19, 2014
Blog

Truth

At the annual reunion of the Alabama Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans I sat at the head table looking out at so many of my friends, compatriots and brothers of the South. It occurred to me that we share many commonalities beyond the lone fact that our ancestors all served under the same standard in a war that took place…
Carl Jones
May 19, 2014
Blog

The Lyrics or Melody in Southern Music?

About ten years ago, one of my colleagues suggested to me that Americans listen to music differently than people from around the globe. According to his way of thinking, Americans favor lyrics and beat exclusively to all other aspects of music, and ignore things like harmonic structure (what some people might call chord changes), melody, dynamics, instrumentation, song-form structure (verses,…
Tom Daniel
May 19, 2014
Review Posts

At the Grave of General Francis T. Nicholls (1834-1912)

St. John's Episcopal Church, Thibodaux, Louisiana Fenced off by iron and antebellum oaks These April graves grow fragrant in the sun. Sprung dandelions, puffballs, and buttercups Tremble against the fissured concrete urns Whose lichen-blotched worn bowls of measured earth Hold lilies bloomed and risen from the dead. And there where other tombs have sunken in Or tilted with the shiftings…
David Middleton
May 16, 2014
Blog

Confederate Hollywood—Those Were the Days!

Having passed my allotted three score and ten, I realise that I have spent too much time watching movies. I can only hope that come judgment a merciful Lord will forgive my frivolous wasted hours. My excuse is that cinema has been the major literary form of my time, a powerful influence on the ideas, attitudes, values, and behaviour of…
Clyde Wilson
May 16, 2014
Clyde Wilson Library

Rethinking the War for Southern Independence

(13th Annual Gettysburg Banquet of the J.E.B. Stuart Camp, SCV, Philadelphia) We human beings are peculiar creatures, half angel and half animal, as someone has said. Alone among creatures we have a consciousness of ourselves, of our situation, and of our movement through time.We have language, and by symbols can communicate knowledge to one another and across generations. We can…
Clyde Wilson
May 14, 2014
Clyde Wilson Library

Three Cheers for the President (Jimmy Buchanan)!

The historians have put out another one of those ratings of Presidents – the great, the near great, etc. I always hoped that I would be asked to participate in that survey so I could start a boomlet for the truly greatest – John Tyler. But, alas, I was never asked. My disappointment has been assuaged, however, on seeing that…
Clyde Wilson
May 14, 2014
Clyde Wilson Library

Devolution

Equipped with an abundant knowledge of history, Michael Tuggle has cast a discerning eye on the trends of the present. Not the ‘trendy’ trends but the real ones, those which can guide our steps into the future (as far as the future can be known to us mortals). The trends suggest to him something very hopeful – the probability and…
Clyde Wilson
May 14, 2014
Blog

On the Hunt

One of the greatest examples of the Southern tradition is a love of the great outdoors. When I was a kid in the 4th Grade, I loved reading about Confederate heroes, but I was also fascinated by the stories about famous pioneers and mountain men like Jim Bridger, Davy Crocket and Daniel Boone, the latter of whom I proudly count…
Carl Jones
May 14, 2014
Review Posts

A Bostonian on the Causes of the War, Part III

Part III from a section of Dr. Scott Trask's work in progress, Copperheads and Conservatives. Part I. Part II. Warnings of the Wrath to Come Southerners were by no means alone in deprecating the antislavery agitation. The northern anti-abolition movement was far stronger than the movement it opposed. Many northern leaders accurately forecast the consequences of agitation. In his annual…
H. A. Scott Trask
May 13, 2014
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“It’s a Trick General, There’s Two of Them!”

Twenty years ago this Spring, I lost the greatest friend I never met, Lewis Grizzard. Throughout the 1980’s, Lewis Grizzard was literally the voice of the Deep South as he vocalized many of the feelings and frustrations many Southerners shared about remaining proudly Southern in a growingly intolerant culture, and he made us laugh our butts off in the process.…
Tom Daniel
May 13, 2014
Review Posts

Democracy, Liberty, Equality: Lincoln’s American Revolution

Several months ago, The American Conservative magazine reviewed Forgotten Conservatives in American History, a book I co-authored with Clyde Wilson, and one reader left an online comment about the book. Normally, I do not discuss responses to reviews, but this one caught my eye, in particular because the reader admits that they know little about conservatism yet think they are…
Brion McClanahan
May 12, 2014
Blog

Honouring Our Fathers

Presented at the SC Sons of Confederate Veterans’ Confederate Memorial Day Commemoration South Carolina Statehouse, Columbia, South Carolina 03 May 2014 It is my high honour and distinct privilege to be addressing you on this day and at this place; honouring the memory of our fathers at the Confederate soldiers’ monument—with its sentinel ever vigilant, eyes northward—flanked by the flag…
Paul C. Graham
May 12, 2014
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St. Elmo

Most people who visit or live in Columbus, Georgia probably don't realize that one of the most famous houses in American literature sits on a back street near Lakebottom Park in the midtown section of the city. The impressive Greek revival home, first named El Dorado, was built by Colonel Seaborn Jones between 1828 and 1833. Jones' daughter married Hennry…
Brion McClanahan
May 9, 2014
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Starry-Eyed Varlet

Tito Perdue is a self-described “problematic author” and “cultural reactionary.” His novels are bitter and amusing accounts of a Western civilization that seems hell-bent on suicide. But that culture is haunted by Perdue’s literary alter ego, Lee Pefley, a man who acts as both a Jeremiah and cultural guerilla fighter. Pefley’s sorties apparently arise out of pure outrage, with no…
Mike C. Tuggle
May 9, 2014
Review Posts

“Monsters of Virtuous Pretension”

When I was a child growing up in Kirkwood Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia, I was fascinated by three works of Atlanta public art: The Cyclorama next to the Atlanta Zoo, is a 358 foot wide and 42 foot tall painting of the Battle of Atlanta, July 1864, the largest painting in the world – longer than a football field…
David Aiken
May 8, 2014
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College Football

Yankees don’t understand the Southern obsession with college football, and if they don’t understand it, then they naturally believe there’s something wrong with it. As for me, I don’t hate hockey. I’ve just never been exposed to it enough to like it. I know enough about it to know that it was a horrible mistake once to attempt staying awake…
Tom Daniel
May 8, 2014
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Remember the Alamo!

T.R. Fehrenbach, author of the magisterial classic Lone Star: A History of Texas and Texans, passed away late last year in San Antonio at the age of 88. I recently came by chance across his obituary in The New York Times, which is a museum quality specimen of the intellectual and ethical defects of current American journalism and “scholarship.” The…
Clyde Wilson
May 7, 2014
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The Real Cornerstone Speech

From Bernard Thuersam's website: Senator Robert Toombs and the Cornerstone of the Confederacy “GENTLEMEN OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY: I very much regret, in appearing before you at your request, to address you on the present state of the country, and the prospect before us, that I can bring you no good tidings. We have not sought this conflict; we have…
Bernard Thuersam
May 7, 2014
Review Posts

A Bostonian on the Causes of the War, Part II

Part II from a section of Dr. Scott Trask's work in progress, Copperheads and Conservatives. Part I. Historical Survey Lunt believed that the celebrated Northwest Ordinance of 1787, which prohibited slavery in the territories north of the Ohio River and east of the Mississippi, had been a mistake. It was not because he believed slavery could have been profitably introduced…
Blog

The “Fighting Bishop” of Louisiana

Leonidas Polk was born in Raleigh, North Carolina in 1806, the son and grandson of Revolutionary War heroes. His family was of Presbyterian Scots-Irish descent and had become successful in the plantation economy of the colonial South. His cousin, James K. Polk, later became President of the United States. In his late teens, Leonidas received an appointment to the United…
Roger Busbice
May 6, 2014
Review Posts

Blue Girl

In swirl of broken lives in flood She stands solitary island In midwinter war eddy – Frail fixed point in blue, Bare-arms purple-blotching with cold. My father saw her there, And holds her in memory, To warm for half century Delicate figure etched in frost Of Alpine snow meadow, Where troop trains Mass and pass unheeding. No notice she seems…
Blog

Cliven Bundy and American Politics

Cliven Bundy recently stepped in it with his impolitic racial comments. The unfortunate comments are nevertheless an opportunity to learn some important lessons about American politics. First, the punditry’s reaction to the comments manifests the success of Critical Race Theory (CRT) in shaping public discourse and policy. CRT maintains: that racism is engrained in the fabric and system of the…
Marshall DeRosa
May 5, 2014
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“I Make American Citizens and Run Cotton Mills to Pay the Expenses.”

The Callaway Gardens visitors center in Pine Mountain, Georgia shows a film explaining the history of the Callaway family, their conservation efforts, and the Gardens itself. At one point, the film directly refutes the conservation ethos made popular by Gifford Pinchot and Teddy Roosevelt, namely that private individuals ruin land while governments protect and preserve it. The Gardens are hailed…
Brion McClanahan
May 5, 2014
Review Posts

A Bostonian on the Causes of the War, Part I

Part I from a section of Dr. Scott Trask's work in progress, Copperheads and Conservatives. Academic historians continue to regard their work as one of scientific objectivity, one of the corollaries being that the more removed the historian is from the events he or she describes the more reliable the finished work. John Lukacs has argued against such dogma. He…
Review Posts

The Real Robert E. Lee

I was disappointed to hear of the demands of a group of Washington & Lee law students to ban the flying of the Confederate battle flag and denounce one of their school’s namesakes, General Robert E. Lee, as “dishonorable and racist.” This latest controversy appears to be yet another example of the double standard and prejudice against anything “Confederate.” Why,…
Blog

Reconsidering Alexander H. Stephens

Limited by a popular and academic culture at the beginning of the 21st century that denigrates the past and places too much confidence in the present, the thoughtful student of Georgia politics and history should not be surprised that Alexander Stephens (February 11, 1812-March 4, 1883), Confederate Vice-President and American statesman, has often been neglected. One possible remedy to the…
Blog

Southern Night Life

Although I’m not a mountain man, and I would never dare call myself smart enough to be a farmer, I do live on a farm back in the woods of Alabama. I hear people all the time referring to the various types of “night life” they encounter where they live, and I know they’re talking about restaurants, bars, clubs, and…
Tom Daniel
May 1, 2014
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The Art of Southern Manliness

What attributes make a man? More importantly, what made a Southern man? Two famous Southern men had much to say about this. George Washington and Lighthorse Harry Lee, Robert E. Lee's father, spilled ink on the subject, Washington in a short book titled Rules of Civility and Decent Behavior in Company and Conversation and Lee in letters to his eldest…
Brion McClanahan
April 30, 2014
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Moonshiners

Stewart, Bruce E. Moonshiners and Prohibitionists: The Battle over Alcohol in Southern Appalachia. Lexington: The University of Kentucky Press, 2011. Interest in southern Appalachian history and culture is growing in the academy. Moonshining is one particular area that is beginning to fascinate both the scholar and history buff. From the popular Discovery Channel show “Moonshiners,” to the growing number of…
Samuel C. Smith
April 30, 2014
Review Posts

The Cliven Bundy Saga: How Congress Snatched The Power To Claim Lands

You have to hand it to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV). His soft-spoken demeanor and reputation for decorum continue to survive his ad-hominem vitriol like the following, said about rancher, constituent and grandfather Cliven Bundy and friends. “They’re nothing more than domestic terrorists.” In case you didn’t hear that bromide the first time, Reid doubled down. “I repeat: what…
Mike Church
April 29, 2014
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Muscle Shoals Has Got The Swampers

Have you ever wondered about that cryptic third verse of “Sweet Home Alabama?” The music industry of Muscle Shoals, Alabama is almost a perfect encapsulation of the Southern experience – Yankees can’t figure out where it came from, and Southerners know exactly where it came from. Of course, “Muscle Shoals” refers to the entire quad-city area of northwest Alabama along…
Tom Daniel
April 29, 2014
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Reconstruction…of a Football Team?

In my article from last week entitled “1865 and Modern Relevance” I asserted that the outcome of the War for Southern Independence was as relevant today as it was 150 years ago. Just a few days after publication an incident involving Clemson University proved this point. A group of atheists calling itself the “Freedom From Religion Foundation” has leveled allegations…
Carl Jones
April 28, 2014
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Southern Honour and Southern History

In present day academia, one is guaranteed a celebrated career by inventing a new way to put the South in a bad light or a new twist on an old put-down. In the 1970s, Raimondo Luraghi, Eugene Genovese, and other historians were starting to pay some attention to the existence of a genuine aristocratic ethics in the Old South. Immediately…
Clyde Wilson
April 28, 2014
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James Monroe and the Principles of ’76

James Monroe was born today (April 28) in 1757. He is one of the more misunderstood and maligned Presidents of the United States. Historians typically rank him as no better than "average." This is unjust and an indictment of the historical profession. Monroe, they suggest, lacked leadership and energy in the executive office. He should have been more like Lincoln…
Brion McClanahan
April 28, 2014
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Birds of America

The antebellum American South did not have any artists of note. This misconception has been perpetuated since the end of the War in 1865, perhaps even earlier. Sully, Trumbull, Stuart, West, and even the Peale family (though originally from Maryland) are all claimed by or hailed from the North. The Hudson River School dominated the American Romantic period, and none…
Brion McClanahan
April 26, 2014
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Spring on the Farm

It feels good to be outside alongside Mother Nature as she greens, casually, lovingly transforming from those calloused, wobbly, winter-time ways into something indescribably perfect. April in Pine Mountain makes us proud to belong to a place so gracious in spring. The season matures slowly affording us the time to take a deep, emerging breath at the beginning and then…
Chris Jackson
April 25, 2014
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GRITS

Grits can simultaneously be both an item of pride and an item of derision. On the old TV show “Mel,” the cartoonish waitress Flo used to insult people by drawling out, “Kiss my grits.” In the movie “My Cousin Vinny,” Joe Pesci was able to break down the testimony of a faulty witness by challenging how fast “boiling water soaks…
Tom Daniel
April 24, 2014
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The Accommodating Mind of Wilbur Cash

A phenomenon that has always intrigued me is how certain books achieved importance not because of their literary merit or substance but because they accommodated the political trends of the time. This occurred because the Eastern establishment not only set the political trends, it also decided which books would be published, and its members wrote approving reviews of books it…
Gail Jarvis
April 24, 2014
Review Posts

Was the Fourteenth Amendment Constitutionally Adopted?

During and after the Civil War, Southerners repeatedly declared that the cause for which they fought was the "sublime moral principle" of states' rights. Given such protestations, and given the history of southern resistance to federal authority throughout the antebellum period, it is easy enough to associate states' rights exclusively with the South—but it is also mistaken. Connecticut and Massachusetts…
Forrest McDonald
April 23, 2014
Review Posts

The Eighteenth Century to the Twentieth

Judged by the quality of the men it brought to power the eighteenth-century Virginia way of selecting political leadership was extremely good; but judged by modem standards of political excellence, it was defective at nearly every point. As for voting qualifications, there was discrimination against women, poor men, and Negroes. There was no secrecy in voting, and polling places—only one…
Charles S. Sydnor
April 23, 2014
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An Ethnic Food Group?

In the mid-90’s, my wife and I lived and worked for several years in Ames, Iowa. No matter how much fun we still make of Midwesterners, we will always remember the Iowa State Fair as one of the great wonders of the modern world. Those people take their state fairs very, very seriously. For one thing, they sold beer right…
Tom Daniel
April 22, 2014
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When Doing Nothing is the Right Thing to Do

In the present judgment of history—or at least those who are counted worthy to opine on that subject—two American presidents occupy positions among the lowest and the highest with regard to their place in the nation’s pantheon of leaders. The interesting thing is that the one followed the other into office which means that the performance of their duties in…
Valerie Protopapas
April 22, 2014
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Déjà Vu All Over Again

It had to happen. It was as inevitable as the sunrise, death, taxes, politicians’ lies, and Massachusetts arrogance. The only thing surprising is that it took so long. “Students” (unnamed and unnumbered) at Washington and Lee University have demanded that the school apologise for “the dishonorable side” of General Robert E. Lee and his “participating in chattel slavery.” Further, they…
Clyde Wilson
April 22, 2014
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A Review of Paul Gottfried’s War and Democracy

War and Democracy by Paul Gottfried, Arktos, 2012. War and Democracy is a collection of 25 of paleoconservative thinker Paul Gottfried’s essays, originally published in The American Conservative, Taki’s Magazine, Modern Age, lewrockwell.com, and similar outlets. Almost all of them come from the last 15 years. Many of them are book reviews in which Gottfried gives rein to his own…
Jason Sorens
April 21, 2014
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The Terrible Swift Sword

In his book The Coming of the Glory (1949), author John S. Tillery relates that on July 14, 1868, a visitor walked into the office of Abram Joseph Walker, Chief Justice of Alabama’s Supreme Court. Walker had served as Associate Chief Justice from 1856, when the Legislature of Alabama had elected him to that post, until 1859 when he became…
Carl Jones
April 21, 2014
Review Posts

The Swamp Fox

I. "We follow where the Swamp Fox guides, His friends and merry men are we; And when the troop of Tarleton rides, We burrow in the cypress tree. The turfy hammock is our bed, Our home is in the red-deer’s den, Our roof, the tree-top overhead, For we are wild and hunted men. II. "We fly by day, and shun…
William Gilmore Simms
April 17, 2014
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Happy Birthday William Gilmore Simms

"To write from a people is to write a people---to make them live---to endow them with a life and a name---to preserve them with a history forever." --W.G. Simms The great Southern writer William Gilmore Simms was born on this day in 1806. Unlike the more famous Southern writer, the short-lived Edgar Allan Poe, Simms wrote voluminously and in every…
Clyde Wilson
April 17, 2014
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Where’s The Rest of My Ice?

Here’s another one of those things about our lives controlled by Yankees – ice quantity. Southerners love our drinks to be cold and iced to perfection. That’s why we call them “iced drinks.” The ice in the glass isn’t an afterthought, or a fringe benefit. It’s part of the very name of the drink. We don’t want a glass of…
Tom Daniel
April 17, 2014
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William Gilmore Simms on the Fate of Nations

William Gilmore Simms was a consummate Southern man of letters, excelling equally in poetry, fiction, and essay. The excerpt below is from a long piece he wrote in 1850 in the Southern Quarterly Review. Simms had in mind the hubris of the North as it engaged in intensified economic, political, and cultural aggression against the South, but his remarks are…
Clyde Wilson
April 17, 2014
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Who Wrote the Best American Ghost Story? Simms Of Course

When it comes to stories that make your hair stand on end everyone’s mind understandably goes to master of macabre Edgar Allan Poe. But what did Poe himself consider the best ghost story? Of William Gilmore Simms’s short story “Grayling, or Murder Will Out,” Poe wrote “it is really an admirable tale, nobly conceived and skillfully carried into execution—the best…
Sean Busick
April 17, 2014
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1865 and Modern Relevance

"I saw in State Rights the only availing check upon the absolutism of the sovereign will, and secession filled me with hope, not as the destruction but as the redemption of Democracy....Therefore I deemed that you were fighting the battles of our liberty, our progress, and our civilization; and I mourn for the stake which was lost at Richmond more…
Carl Jones
April 16, 2014
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Top Southern Rock Albums

In light of Tom Daniel's post "Top 11 Southern Rock Bands," I thought I would create a list of my top Southern rock albums. Many of these records are from the bands he mentions, but I included several others. How did I choose? I selected albums that have stood or will stand the test of time and that can be…
Brion McClanahan
April 16, 2014
Review Posts

‘Counsellors That Feelingly Persuade Me What I Am:’ Jefferson and Fletcher on Education

In an age such as ours—beset by the conceit that the noblest political act is individual self-actualization—any philosophic discussion of education will be tenuous and fragile. True, our time has witnessed heated debates over educational policy—over the processes through which public schools are funded, over the criteria by which educators’ performance is evaluated, over the students injured by our current…
Jefferson Viridi
April 15, 2014
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Top 11 Southern Rock Bands

I decided to rank my own favorite Top Southern Rock Bands with some added personal memories. Forgive me if your favorite is not named, but this list goes to eleven. 1) The Allman Brothers Band – Before he died, Duane Allman sure kicked a lot of musical butt. He was an early one of “The Swampers” in Muscle Shoals, and…
Tom Daniel
April 15, 2014
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Illegal, Unconstitutional, and Unjust

The historian Andrew C. McLaughlin in 1932 wrote that the British imperial system was characterized “by diversification and not by centralization....The empire of the mid-eighteenth century was a diversified empire” with power “actually distributed and exercised by various governments.” British colonies, including Ireland, “had long existed” as “bodies, corporate, constituent members of the Empire,” each with its own constitution and…
Brion McClanahan
April 15, 2014
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James Iredell: Neglected Southern Federalist

Born in Lewes, England (October 5, 1751), Iredell spent his childhood in Bristol. The eldest of five sons born to Francis and Margaret McCulloh Iredell, he was forced to leave school after his father suffered a debilitating stroke in 1766. With the assistance of relatives, Iredell came to America in 1768 to accept an appointment as Comptroller of the Customs…
H. Lee Cheek, Jr.
April 15, 2014
Review Posts

State Sovereignty and Centralism in 19th-Century Argentina

Introduction: Centers and Peripheries A look at the early history of the United Provinces of the Río de la Plata -- a political structure ancestral (partly) to the modern-day Argentine nation-state -- reveals many interesting parallels with our own experience in the United States. The European empires’ settler colonies in the New World had much in common: their European-derived populations…
Joseph R. Stromberg
April 14, 2014
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The Virus of Centralization

In my previous post on this website I addressed the Lincoln’s 1863 revelation to Governor Pierpont that the war must be protracted in order for the politically connected to rape the South of its cotton. The recent events in Nevada, during which the US Bureau of Land Management (BLM) squared off with rancher Cliven Bundy, are symptoms of a sick…
Marshall DeRosa
April 14, 2014
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War is a Racket

“It is well that war is so terrible, otherwise we should grow too fond of it.” General Robert E. Lee My wife’s grandfather was a WW II veteran. He served in North Africa, was wounded in Sicily, and was sent back into action after D-Day, which he’d missed while healing in a hospital. He didn’t talk about the war. He…
Carl Jones
April 14, 2014
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Jefferson Davis and the Kenner Mission

A few months back, I had a student ask me about Don Livingston's characterization of Jefferson Davis in a paper he presented to the Mises Institute in 1995 titled "The Secession Tradition in America." The student wondered if Livingston's statement, "Jefferson Davis was an enlightened slave holder who said that once the Confederacy gained its independence, it would mean the…
Brion McClanahan
April 14, 2014
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Lincoln’s War for Cotton

Early in the winter of 1863 Francis Pierpont, the Governor of the Restored Government of Virginia, met with President Lincoln at the White House requesting he countermand the order sending General Nathaniel P. Banks to New Orleans. Governor Pierpont argued that Union forces be focused on Richmond, with the objective of forcing the CSA Government to flee and thereby resulting…
Marshall DeRosa
April 12, 2014
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Welcome to Alabama

Just a few days ago I read a post on this blog which discussed the influence of Southern Rock on American culture in the 1970s and early 80s. Having grown up in that era, I remember it well. Skynyrd, Hank Jr and numerous others proudly proclaimed that they were unapologetically Southern. Tom Petty’s song “Rebels” from his Southern Accents Album…
Carl Jones
April 12, 2014
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Southern Rock

Lately, I've been doing a lot of thinking about Southern Rock, which is something very meaningful to me. I’m a musician (guitar), and I can play 60’s and 70’s rock, jazz, folk, and classical music very well, because I had great formal and practical training. I played in a lot of bands when I was younger, and I especially loved…
Tom Daniel
April 11, 2014
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Daniel Boone Was A Man

Daniel Boone by John James Audubon "Daniel Boone was a man, yes a big man." So began the (now not so) famous Ballad of Daniel Boone by legendary Southern actor Fess Parker. Parker portrayed Boone from 1964-1970 on the television series of the same name. It would be impossible to produce that show today. Boone is the antithesis of the…
Brion McClanahan
April 11, 2014
Review Posts

Lee in the Mountains

Walking into the shadows, walking alone Where the sun falls through the ruined boughs of locust Up to the president's office. . . . Hearing the voices Whisper, Hush, it is General Lee! And strangely Hearing my own voice say, Good morning, boys. (Don't get up. You are early. It is long Before the bell. You will have long to…
Donald Davidson
April 10, 2014
Review Posts

The Fight

IN the younger days of the Republic there lived in the county of -- two men, who were admitted on all hands to be the very best men in the county; which, in the Georgia vocabulary, means they could flog any other two men in the county. Each, through many a hard-fought battle, had acquired the mastery of his own…
Blog

Pronouncing Talladega

My commute to work was a little bit spirited the other day. First of all, I noticed a newly awakened hornet clinging to the inside of my windshield. Thank goodness it was a cool morning, because he/she never really got enough juices flowing to be active. Secondly, during my hornet-harrowing commute, I got a chance to yell at the radio.…
Tom Daniel
April 10, 2014
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BBQ and the Hillbilly Homeboy

February 2014 saw the passing of Maurice Bessinger and Tim Wilson, two Southerners who represented different elements of Southern culture: barbeque and comedy respectively. No one cooks like Southerners. This dates to the colonial period. It used to be said that Southerners dined, Yankees just ate. David Hackett Fischer noted in his significant work Albion's Seed that colonial Virginians enjoyed…
Brion McClanahan
April 10, 2014
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Sunnyside and Sleepy Hollow

April 3 was Washington Irving's birthday. While not a Southerner, Irving would have supported the South in its fight for independence in 1861 had he been alive to see it. He at least would have been opposed to coercion. Many notable New Yorkers, and for that matter Canadians, too, believed the same. Two fine treatments on this issue are Clint…
Brion McClanahan
April 9, 2014
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Don’t Hold Your Breath

Boston Residents Protesting Busing in 1974. Jonathan Kozol seems to be one of those innumerable relentless reformers who are determined to make the world resemble their idea of what it should be. American society breeds the type like the proverbial rabbits--ever since the 1830s when New England started sending out Unitarians, abolitionists, convent-burners, free lovers, vegetarians, suffragettes, Mormons, and such.…
Clyde Wilson
April 9, 2014
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Hooray for the Confederate Flag

The Rev. Al Sharpton is a darling of the national news media, primarily because he has a talent for making outrageous statements and the lack of scruples to go with it. You should keep this in mind. In today's media-saturated world, nobody can be a successful demagogue without the cooperation of the national news media. Sharpton has even outdone Jesse…
Charley Reese
April 9, 2014
Review Posts

Violating the Lieber Code: The March From the Sea

On April 24, 1863—-just three months after the cruel and retaliatory Emancipation Proclamation--Lincoln issued an order drafted by Columbia University law professor Francis Lieber that codified the generally accepted universal standards of warfare, particularly as it related to the lives and property of civilians. Among the actions it deemed to be criminal and prohibited were the “wanton devastation of a…
Kirkpatrick Sale
April 8, 2014
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Local Color

Every Southern town has a local historian, a life-long resident who loves the tales and culture of the region and its people. They are not professionals who have been indoctrinated by the graduate programs at the university. They aren't concerned with the fashionable theories about the South and many times know more about Southern history than the leading experts. They…
Brion McClanahan
April 8, 2014
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Jackson and Ewell

General Richard S. Ewell had a reputation for being a heavy drinker, foul mouthed, and blasphemous. During the War to Prevent Southern Independence, he was under the Command of General Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson, whom he hated and referred to as "That Crazy Presbyterian." One night, he went to pay a visit to Jackson in his tent. He looked through the…
Carl Jones
April 8, 2014
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American Idol

We Southerners know a little bit about music. “American Idol,” for those who haven’t watched, is a reality-based music singing competition on the Fox Network. The very nature of what anybody would call “American music” is the definition of a blending of diverse American sub-cultures into one representative “sound,” and that alone is the definition of growing up Southern. The…
Tom Daniel
April 8, 2014
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Constitutional Deists

According to Deist belief, God does not get involved in the affairs of mankind. He built the celestial clock, wound up the spring and then walked away. There is no point in praying, since the Almighty is not listening. He apparently has other fish to fry. We are left to our own devices. Some look at the system of government…
Jonathan White
April 8, 2014
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Sweet Home Alabama

Forty years ago today, Lynyrd Skynyrd released their second album titled Second Helping. The effort contained what has become the quintessential Southern rock anthem, Sweet Home Alabama. Skynyrd, along with Georgia's The Allman Brothers Band, Tennessee's Charlie Daniels Band, and South Carolina's Marshall Tucker Band, were part of a Southern music revival in the 1970s. Being Southern was chic. Everyone…
Brion McClanahan
April 7, 2014
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Winter Rest

The consummation of farming year number six arrived abruptly, almost automatic like the next breath. The ease of external inhalation and exhalation mask a clandestine, internal arrangement intimately crafted and forever dependent on so many parts cooperating. Much like the farm days of early winter, our working hours unravel effortlessly, unrevealing of the exhaustion and feverish efficiency demanded of warmer…
Chris Jackson
April 6, 2014
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Getting Right with Mr. Hamilton?

“…the borrower is servant to him that lendeth” (Proverbs 22:7) “There is an elegant memorial in Washington to Jefferson, but none to Hamilton. However, if you seek Hamilton's monument, look around. You are living in it. We honor Jefferson, but live in Hamilton's country . . .” (George Will, Restoration: Congress, Term Limits and the Recovery of Deliberative Democracy, 1992)…
John Devanny
April 6, 2014
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Watch What You’re Doing

“Watch what you’re doing – you never know who’s watching you.” I can still hear my mama say that. No, literally – she still says that to me. I have heard people say this is not a uniquely Southern thing, and it is universal in small towns across America. I disagree, because I’ve never seen this concept applied and executed…
Tom Daniel
April 4, 2014
Review Posts

Fugitive Agrarians

I’ll Take My Stand, the classic statement of Southern Agrarianism, was first published in 1930. Since that time, it has never been out of print. You have to ask yourself why people have continued to read it. There are several good reasons why they shouldn’t. It’s a quirky book. The 12 essays—written by men of varying backgrounds and talents—are uneven…
Thomas Landess
April 3, 2014
Review Posts

Southern Conservatism and the “Gilded Age”

Russell Kirk called the early post-bellum period in American history the age of “Conservatism Frustrated.” He lamented that the leading members of the conservative mind from 1865-1918 flirted with the radicalism of their compeers both before and during the Civil War and now were left with the daunting task of closing Pandora’s Box, a Box they helped open: The New…
Brion McClanahan
April 3, 2014
Media Posts

Jefferson vs. Lincoln

This two part lecture by Abbeville Institute founder Don Livingston concentrates on the dichotomy between Thomas Jefferson's conception of Union and Abraham Lincoln's "national" argument. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1CAYAkt3KFY http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-JpuADcC2bM
Donald Livingston
April 3, 2014
Blog

My Court House and Their “Judicial Center”

When I first moved here, more than forty years ago, the county was mostly rural, inhabited by families whose land patents went back to the late 17th century and by black people with equally ancient pedigree--- the descendants of slaves, the numbers of which had been modest by South Carolina standards. Few people ever bothered to cross the river to…
Clyde Wilson
April 3, 2014
Blog

Coming Home

Many black Southerners headed North in the early twentieth century in search of a better life. Most didn't find it. Now, many are coming home. The Christian Science Monitor recently made this trend a cover story. In the early twentieth century, black Americans constituted less than five percent of the total population of every Northern State. This was not by…
Brion McClanahan
April 3, 2014
Review Posts

The Shooting Match

SHOOTING-MATCHES are probably nearly coeval with the colonization of Georgia. They are still common throughout the Southern States, though they are not as common as they were twenty-five or thirty years ago. Chance led me to one about a year ago. I was travelling in one of the northeastern counties, when I overtook a swarthy, bright-eyed, smerky little fellow, riding…
Brion McClanahan
January 1, 1970
Media Posts

Audio: Lecture Test A

http://abbevilleinstitute.org/media/lectures/2013SS_03_abb13_DL_natmcos.mp3 Download mp3 You can have some summary text about this lecture here. The .mp3 url can just be added directly to the WP content field just like this text and it will automatically convert it to the audio player. If you want to add a direct link to the mp3 you can do that as well. Also, I assume…
Brion McClanahan
January 1, 1970
Blog

Four Puzzles

Washington, where I have been living for the past six months, is an intriguing city in at least two meanings of the word. Let’s take care of the more sinister meaning first. You can’t step into a Washington elevator without hearing a conversation suddenly die. You move to the rear, smile, and stare straight ahead as the two intriguers look…
Thomas Landess
January 1, 1970
Blog

Who Controls Public Schools?

In America education has taken on many of the characteristics of a religion: the state is God and the school is that institution in which good (i.e. productive) servants of God (citizens) are formed. Democracy, we have been told since the time of Jefferson, can succeed only if the average man is educated; and in turn, general education will insure…
Warren Leamon
January 1, 1970
Blog

Sam Houston and Texas Independence

The triangular racial duel, fought for so long a time for the mastery of North America, came to an end April n, 1836, when in the battle of San Jacinto, the Anglo-American colonists of Texas won their freedom. Since that day — in some respects one of the most significant in our history — the United States has passed through…
Andrew Nelson Lytle
January 1, 1970
Blog

                                    Slavery & Abortion – A False Analogy Frequently the pro-life leadership draws a parallel between slavery and abortion.  You Say Abortion Is Legal?  The Supreme Court Also Legalized Slavery, reads one popular bumper-sticker.  The motivation for this comparison is understandable, since slavery and the Civil War occupy central places in the American historical imagination.  By gesturing toward one of…
Andrew Nelson Lytle
January 1, 1970
Blog

Another Hack Wants to Rewrite History

Tom Steyer has been one of the largest left-wing donors in recent memory. From 2014-2016 alone, he reportedly spent at least $193 million dollars to help push climate change agendas and fund Democratic candidates. In 2018, he also pledged at least $30 million to get Democrats elected with the goal of impeaching Donald Trump. Steyer also repeatedly runs campaign ads…
Michael Martin
January 1, 1970
Blog

Dixieland Despite

Dixieland Despite. Lorn, the city burns Aphelion, the world turns Cracked lips whisper, yearn Embers glow still yet Wind dying as dusk sets Illuminate her silhouette Vespertine eyes Incandescently cry All gone awry Granddaddy’s hearth turned to rust Ma-maw’s gown to dust Pecan tree reclaimed by crust Pulsing bodies, a mechanical rite Consecrated in the neon bright Drowned in squalid…
Neil Kumar
January 1, 1970
Blog

Asian Confederates?

Over the last several years the American public has been conditioned, like Pavlov’s dog, to think of white supremacy and slavery anytime they hear or see things that are connected to the Confederacy or the South. These conditioned people believe these lies because they are told to and usually without ever doing any research of there own, as I have…
Wayne Pease
January 1, 1970