Tag

George Washington

Blog

Jefferson vs. Hamilton, Again

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

Washington’s “Unforgivable Sin”?

I have once again embarked upon a topic of historical research. Over the years, a particular individual having caught my attention results in my almost monomaniacal concentration upon the chosen object of study. My present interest arose after watching a replay of the old TV drama, The Crossing, a well done though moderately fictionalized version of George Washington’s attack on…
Valerie Protopapas
April 22, 2024
Blog

The Man Who Was George Washington

There is nothing more scholastically problematic than attempts to draw comparisons between and/or among the figures of history. Such an effort can be considered even vaguely accurate only if and when the people being juxtaposed are of the same time period. In that case, at least, the circumstances surrounding them may be fairly equitable! But even that is not always…
Valerie Protopapas
October 12, 2023
Blog

Divorcing Ourselves from Akhil Reed Amar

Editor's note: This piece originally ran as a five part series at The Independent Institute. Just a month ago, National Review (the supposed Gray Lady of the Right) ran a piece by Yale’s Akhil Reed Amar entitled Declaring Independence from Thomas Jefferson. The piece is a paean to centralized power imbued with presentism as Amar virtue signals and plays the role of Pied Piper as…
William J. Watkins
September 27, 2023
Blog

George Washington and the Constitution, A Reflection

Things are seldom what they seem and therefore, beware “simple” or “easy” solutions to problems and questions that are themselves neither simple nor easy. In other words, when one is presented with what seems an obvious explanation of something that is itself anything but obvious, one should take care lest in grasping at “the answer,” one fails to understand the…
Valerie Protopapas
June 1, 2023
Blog

The Evil of Unmitigated Rights

What happens when there is no clear “right answer?” What happens when one can be “sort of” right (or wrong)? What is the redress demanded when a strongly declared viewpoint is not nearly as correct as first believed? In other words, what does one do when reality is not so “cut and dried” as one first believed and one has…
Valerie Protopapas
February 28, 2023
Blog

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

Cindy L. Arbelbide, a historian of holidays, has written, “Historic dates, like stepping stones, create a footpath through our heritage. Experienced by one generation and recalled by those to come, it is through these annual recollections that our heritage is honored.” The celebration of the birthday of George Washington began during his lifetime and continued after his death. He was…
Timothy A. Duskin
February 22, 2023
Blog

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…
Carey Roberts
October 10, 2022
Blog

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…
Timothy A. Duskin
July 20, 2022
Blog

Southern Patriotism and Foreign Military Interventions

Is it un-patriotic for Southerners to question American military intervention? This is a perplexing question for those raised during the Cold War. For us, it was a battle to defeat atheistic communism—an evil power attempting to force its will upon the world. We were raised and educated by the World War II generation for whom patriotism was intricately linked to…
James Ronald Kennedy
December 29, 2021
Blog

Washington vs. Lee

L. Q. C. LAMAR TO THE VICKSBURG COMMITTEE OXFORD, Miss., Dec. 5, 1870. To Col. William H. McCardle, and others, Committee, etc., Vicksburg, Miss. GENTLEMEN: When, on the occasion of Gen. Lee's death, I received your invitation to deliver an address on the 19th of January next, at the city of Vicksburg, the strongest impulses prompted me to an immediate…
Blog

Driving Through Virginia’s Historic Triangle, Part II

George Washington, Patrick Henry, and Thomas Jefferson trod the roads of this area as the colony of Virginia grew. George Mason, James Madison and Richard Henry Lee sat in the public houses debating political events. British royal governors, the comte de Rochambeau, Marquis de Lafayette and the Baron von Steuben were just a few of the many Europeans passing across…
Brett Moffatt
July 29, 2019
Review Posts

George Washington: A Biography

A review of George Washington: A Biography in Seven Volumes (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1948-54) by Douglas Southall Freeman This is the definitive George Washington biography and is for the serious reader. The life of Washington is in chronological order. Think of this book as reading, rather than watching, a TV series about Washington. If you decide to commit…
Jeff Wolverton
May 14, 2019
Blog

A Little Whiskey Rebellion

“I plainly perceive that the time will come when a shirt shall not be washed without an excise.”— Representative James Jackson of Georgia, speech against the Whiskey Tax delivered on January 5, 1791 in the House of Representatives As with so many other episodes in early American history, the true story of the so-called Whiskey Rebellion has been purposefully scrubbed…
Joe Wolverton
February 22, 2019
Blog

Washington and Lee: Southerners

Abbeville Institute scholar Dr. William Wilson presents a talk on the congruity between Washington and Lee at our 2016 Abbeville Institute Summer School. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wkgsJc9KCyQ
William Wilson
February 22, 2018
Blog

Heil to the Chief

A Review of: The American Presidency: An Intellectual History by Forrest McDonald Kansas, 1994. Since the surrender at Appomattox, the South has been virtually excluded from two of the three branches of the national government. We can count on the fingers of one hand the number of Southerners who have been appointed to the Supreme Court or elected to the…
James McClellan
March 16, 2017
Review Posts

The American President: From Cincinnatus to Caesar

The great body of the nation has no real interest in party. — James Fenimore Cooper, The American Democrat, 1838 The American presidency offers many fascinating questions for historical exploration. And by historical exploration I do not mean the all-too-common form of pseudohistory that puts the presidential office at the center of our expe­rience as a people. That scenario in…
Clyde Wilson
February 23, 2017
Blog

Washington vs. Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln and George Washington stare silently at one another across the reflecting pool on the National Mall in Washington D.C., their paths inextricably linked by the historians who consider both to be the greatest presidents in American history. One is a monument, a testament to the man and his influence on American history, the other a memorial to the…
Brion McClanahan
February 22, 2017
Blog

Washington’s Rye

Every student of history knows at least a brief sketch of the Whiskey Rebellion of 1794, but most people don't realize that Alexander Hamilton's excise tax on distilled spirits hit George Washington in the wallet as well, albeit years after the rebellion. He owned the largest distillery in Northern Virginia from 1797-1799 and shipped hundreds of gallons of moonshine to Alexandria during the…
Brion McClanahan
September 23, 2016
Review Posts

Women of the Southern Confederacy

Editor's Note: A Mother's Day special dedicated to all Southern wives and mothers, this piece was originally published in 1877 in Bledsoe's The Southern Review. It is strange how we undervalue the historical interest of contemporaneous events, and how careless most persons are of preserving any record of the most stirring incidents that mark their own pathway through life. While…
Blog

George Washington

From Washington and the Generals of the American Revolution by Rufus Wilmot Griswold and William Gilmore Simms, 1847. (Editor's Note: Thank you to Simms scholar Jeff Rogers for correcting the auhtorship of this article.  Griswold, not Simms, wrote this chapter on Washington.  Simms wrote several chapters in this two volume work, notably on Southerners Pinckney, Sumner, and Moultrie). An attentive…
Rufus Wilmot Griswold
February 22, 2016
Blog

The Confederacy, Oscars, and Social Justice

"Social Justice" is one of today's manipulative phrases. In this case "justice" is defined as the equal distribution of wealth, opportunities, and privileges among all groups in a society. In past generations, the concept of "social justice" was referred to as "leveling"; a more accurate, and certainly more honest, description. Leveling is one of those Utopian goals often sought, but…
Gail Jarvis
February 4, 2016
Blog

A Tale of Two Plantations

In the 1850s, Ann Pamela Cunningham, a frail woman from South Carolina, was responsible for preserving the plantation home of George Washington, founding the Mount Vernon Ladies' Association, an organization which still maintains this historic site. Thanks to her efforts, Mount Vernon remained virtually untouched during the War for Southern Independence. Arlington Plantation, the beautiful Virginia home of Robert E.…
Karen Stokes
December 21, 2015
Review Posts

Virginia First

I. THE name First given to the territory occupied by the present United States was Virginia. It was bestowed upon the Country by Elizabeth, greatest of English queens. The United States of America are mere words of description. They are not a name. The rightful and historic name of this great Republic is "Virginia." We must get back to it,…
Lyon G. Tyler
November 6, 2015
Clyde Wilson Library

Confederate Connections

A friend of mine, a scholar of international reputation and a Tar Heel by birth, was visiting professor at a very prestigious Northern university a few years ago. In idle conversation with some colleagues, he happened to mention that his mother was an active member of the Daughters of the American Revolution and the United Daughters of the Confederacy. His…
Clyde Wilson
June 4, 2015
Review Posts

A Sympathy for Disunion

A Sympathy for Disunion "This, Mr. President, is not a government founded upon compact; it is founded upon the power of the people. They express in their name and their authority, "We the People do ordain and establish," etc, from their ratification alone it is to take its constitutional authenticity; without that it is no more than tabula rasa. "I…
Vito Mussomeli
February 24, 2015
Blog

The Lady Who Saved Mount Vernon

Born in 1816, Ann Pamela Cunningham was raised at Rosemont, a plantation on the Saluda River in Laurens County, South Carolina.  At the age of seventeen, she suffered an injury to her spine when she was thrown from a horse and was crippled for the rest of her life.  In 1853, when she was 37 years of age, she was…
Karen Stokes
December 18, 2014
Blog

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
Blog

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
Blog

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
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
Blog

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
Blog

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