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Northern Studies

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The Lincoln Myth and Civil Religion

From the 2005 Abbeville Institute Summer School. My topic for this morning is the “Lincoln Myth and Civil Religion,” and my intention is to try to understand this very loose term “civil religion” in order to see how it is that a man such as Abraham Lincoln could become not only the primary voice beckoning America to accept and remain…
William Wilson
January 6, 2023
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Christmas, A Southern Tradition

The ever-widening chasm that separates the North and the South today has a long history with many fissures, but one would hardly consider the celebration of Christmas to be one of them. However, in the years prior to the founding of America’s first English colonies in Virginia and Massachusetts, Christmas was a highly controversial subject in Great Britain, and that…
John Marquardt
December 16, 2022
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Rev. William S. Plumer: Union Traitor or Faithful Preacher?

William S. Plumer, born in 1802 in Pennsylvania, was a renowned Presbyterian pastor and theologian. Though he was raised and spent many years in the North, he held the pulpit of several Southern churches before the war between the states broke out. It was during his time in the South that many people, including some within his own church, accused…
David Crum
December 9, 2022
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Halfbacks

In North Carolina and South Carolina native observers have noticed a phenomenon frequent enough to have a label--Halfbacks. This does not refer to football.  It refers to well-to-do Northerners who have moved to Florida, become discontented, and moved halfway back. The coastal areas of the two States are full of gated communities of mini-mansions already occupied by Northerners who the…
Clyde Wilson
December 8, 2022
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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…
Diana Karter Appelbaum
November 22, 2022
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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…
Diana Karter Appelbaum
November 21, 2022
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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,…
Valerie Protopapas
November 18, 2022
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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…
M. Andrew Holowchak
November 14, 2022
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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…
Al Benson
September 28, 2022
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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?…
Philip Leigh
September 23, 2022
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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…
Philip Leigh
August 23, 2022
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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…
Carey Roberts
August 1, 2022
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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
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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”…
Thomas DiLorenzo
July 5, 2022
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“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…
Boyd Cathey
May 17, 2022
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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…
John Marquardt
May 10, 2022
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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…
Shaan Shandhu
May 9, 2022
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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…
Brion McClanahan
April 25, 2022
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Misdirected Outrage

The federal government facilitates fundraising for traitors. That’s the claim made by the Washington Post’s Joe Davidson in a 14 January column. This occurs, says Davidson, through the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC), a philanthropic funding operation managed by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) which enables federal employees to donate to charities they choose through automatic payroll deductions. This may…
Casey Chalk
January 25, 2022
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White Supremacy, Yankee Style

In the warped minds of today’s so-called “woke,” even such an evocative holiday song as Irving Berlin’s “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas” can take on a far different connotation than when Bing Crosby sang it eight decades ago.  Going back much further in time, the simple “OK” hand gesture which has been in use around the world for well…
John Marquardt
December 9, 2021
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John Rock and Yankee Hypocrisy

John Rock was an American teacher, doctor, dentist, lawyer and abolitionist. Rock was one of the first African-American men to earn a medical degree. In addition, he was the first black person to be admitted to the bar of the Supreme Court of the United States. On January 23, 1863, John Rock made a speech at the annual meeting of…
Rod O'Barr
November 11, 2021
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The Reparations Rip-Off

      In the dis-United States today, far too many of its people have now lost all sense of proportion and as movie magnate Richard Rowland said over a century ago . . .“the lunatics have taken over the asylum.” What was formally accepted as standard American history and sociology are now being replaced with the 1619 Project and…
John Marquardt
October 6, 2021
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Our Marxist Revolution

Thomas Carlyle said that it takes men of worth to recognize worth in men (1). Among the many worthy men across Western Civilization who recognized the worth of General Robert E. Lee was Sir Winston Churchill who summed it up, saying Lee was one of the noblest Americans who ever lived and one of the greatest captains in the annals…
H.V. Traywick, Jr.
October 4, 2021
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The National Archives Labels the Constitution “Racist”

I suppose I shouldn’t have been surprised. After all it was completely logical, the inevitable result of the insane “woke” political correctness that has been building and raging, largely unabated, in the United States now for years. Indeed, in my regular columns and essays I have been writing that this insanity, spread and imposed like a highly contagious and fatal…
Boyd Cathey
September 29, 2021
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Lincoln’s Total War

Who has not heard of Wounded Knee? Most know at least the general facts surrounding what is acknowledged as an atrocity committed by the army of the United States. On December 29th, 1890, the 7th Cavalry surrounded a band of Ghost Dancers—a spiritual movement of the Lakota Sioux—near Wounded Knee Creek. The soldiers demanded that the Indians surrender their weapons.…
Valerie Protopapas
September 28, 2021
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“Shrines The Heart Hath Builded”

My wife, Elizabeth, comes from a village called Greenwich in northern New York state. Among the keepsakes preserved by her family is a box of letters from her great-great uncle Reuben Stewart, a young draftee who served in the 123rd New York regiment as it marched through the South, leaving a trail of desolation, suffering, and death. One of those…
Barton Cockey
September 27, 2021
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Daniel Webster on the Expansion of Slavery

Daniel Webster was one of the most notable Northern statesmen of his day. He was an American lawyer who represented New Hampshire and Massachusetts in the U.S. Congress.  His list of accomplishments is impressive:  Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Massachusetts's 1st district; Chair of the House Judiciary Committee; United States Senator from Massachusetts; Chair of the Senate Finance Committee.…
Rod O'Barr
July 29, 2021
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Disunion Sentiment in Congress in 1794

John Taylor was born in Orange County, Virginia, in 1750, one year before James Madison, and the boys were neighbors; but Taylor afterwards moved to Caroline County, where he lived for the rest of his life, and died in 1824, at the age of seventy-four years. To distinguish him from others of the same name as himself he was called…
Gaillard Hunt
July 28, 2021
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Did Slavery End on June 19th?

After the end of the War Between the States, the Union army established the District of Texas under the command of Major General Gordon Granger. The Emancipation Proclamation had been enforced by the Union army in every other state of the Confederate States of America which it had occupied. Texas escaped Union occupation during the war and the Union army…
Timothy A. Duskin
May 10, 2021
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Honoring Calhoun

Editor's Note: This speech was delivered before the Senate on March 12, 1910, at the dedication of John C. Calhoun's statue in Statuary Hall at the United States Capitol. Address of Mr. (Henry Cabot) Lodge, of Massachusetts, United States Senate, 1910 Mr. PRESIDENT: When the senior Senator from South Carolina (Mr. Tillman), whose illness we all deplore, did me the…
Henry Cabot Lodge
March 18, 2021
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Crimes Against Humanity

It is time to consider the crimes committed against Southern prisoners of war by their federal captors. In 1903, Adj. Gen. F. C. Ainsworth estimated that more than 30,000 Union and 26,000 Confederates died in captivity (that is 12% died in the North and 15.5% in the South). However, the numbers and the death rate of Confederate prisoners were vastly…
Valerie Protopapas
March 15, 2021
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The Yankee Quarantine of Southern Blacks

Legendary financier J. P. Morgan once said: “A man always has two reasons for doing anything: a good reason and the real reason.” His meaning is that our public explanation is a noble one whereas our real reason is self-serving. Any adult knows that the maxim applies to politicians, about whom Robert E. Lee said, “They are among the most…
Philip Leigh
January 15, 2021
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Pretenses

You might call it propaganda, state lies, fraud, illusions or delusions. I prefer pretenses which afford the peddler thereof and the hapless fool who buys into them just the degree of deniability so that they can pretend that what is represented or misrepresented is respectable and a touchstone for the common weal. 1. America was founded: The country which we…
Robert Peters
January 14, 2021
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The New South

Edited by Robert Hoyle. A Discourse delivered at the Annual Commencement of Hampden-Sydney College, June 15, 1882, before the Philanthropic and Union Literary Societies. Young Gentlemen of the Philanthropic and Union Societies, and Ladies and Gentlemen of the Audience: You will credit my expression of sincere embarrassment at this time when you consider that I am attempting a species of…
Robert Lewis Dabney
November 25, 2020
Review Posts

John Brown’s Body

A Review of The Secret Six: John Brown and the Abolitionist Movement (Uncommon Books, 1993) by Otto Scott. The Leftist political violence that has engulfed the disintegrating American nation for much of the past year traces its origin on the North American continent to the infernal life of the original American terrorist, John Brown. Like the terrorists of today who…
Neil Kumar
November 17, 2020
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The Grand Alliance, a.k.a. The Deep State

The pattern for modern American politics was set by Lincoln and his cronies in the 1850s—1870s, although it took an immense war against other Americans to make it stick.  The pattern involved making the federal government (not the “Union” or the Constitution) the center of power and the fount of good (and goods).  This meant, in everyday terms, that the…
Clyde Wilson
November 16, 2020
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Slavery and Emancipation 101

The roots of the myth that slavery was primarily a white Southern institution were planted three decades prior to the War Between the States by the abolitionists in New York and New England.  This myth also included the idea that those same abolitionists of the 1830s had introduced the freeing of slaves in America.   Actually, however, the first seeds…
John Marquardt
November 13, 2020
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The False Cause Narrative

While watching a seventy-minute interview with Professor Adam Domby about his book, The False Cause, I was surprised at the number of errors, biased interpretations and even endorsement of "extralegal" conduct by anti-statue mobs. The False Cause focuses on Civil War and Reconstruction memory, particularly involving Confederate memorials. First, and foremost, Domby erroneously proclaims that the signature Confederate statues erected in Southern courthouse squares between…
Philip Leigh
November 10, 2020
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New England Slavers in Colonial America

Like any other economic exchange, the slave trade developed with a supplier, a consumer, and a trader or merchant that brought the two together. African kingdoms that had access to the western seaboard had a product, people, that they could readily be collected and sold based on labor demand, primarily from the new world during this time period. The English,…
James (Jim) Pederson
November 6, 2020
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California Secession…in 1858?

Antebellum California secession is a little known topic, but the Southern portion of the State nearly broke free from Northern California in the years just before the outbreak of war in 1861. California gained statehood in 1850 with a Senate vote of 34 ayes and 18 nays and a House vote of 156 ayes to 56 nays with Jeremiah Clemens…
Justin Pederson
October 1, 2020
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Henry Miller’s Air-Conditioned Nightmare

Travel writing about the American South is a genre of its own.   One such observer was Henry Miller, who traveled through the South in 1941.  Miller was born in 1891 in New York City and lived almost all of his life there until 1930 when he moved to Paris.  He spent almost all of the years between 1930 and 1939…
Mike Goodloe
September 22, 2020
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Cancel Culture Comes South

These violent times in which we live are in some ways unparalleled. For Southerners we have seen monuments memorializing and honoring our past heroes and history—monuments and symbols which have stood for a century—torn down and smashed by frenzied mobs, unrestrained in too many cases by a compliant or spineless government. Various writers and commentators have attempted to describe the…
Boyd Cathey
September 10, 2020
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The Kwanzaafication of America

Kwanzaa is an invented tradition. Billed as a kind of “black Christmas”—you can even buy Kwanzaa greeting cards at the store and mail them with Kwanzaa stamps—the odd holiday was created out of spite by a certain Ronald Everett in the 1960s in a fit of pique after the Watts Riots in Los Angeles. Kwanzaa begins the day after Christmas,…
Jason Morgan
September 7, 2020
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Gouverneur Morris in 1812

Northern secession was openly in the political brew again. Eleven (11) years before, Jefferson had cautioned New England's desire to secede while accepting their sovereignty to choose as they wished. Since then extensive changes had come about. Jefferson was retired and Hamilton deceased. Our landmass more than doubled with the Louisiana territory. 2 more States, Ohio and Louisiana, were added…
Vito Mussomeli
July 31, 2020
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19th Century Fake News

While Fake News may be a new term, the concept has a long history.  We have been taught that a free, independent, and ethical press is essential for a free society to function and thrive; however, in practice, the American press has typically been far from these ideals. The press has been most malicious in times of crisis, acting not…
Blog

The Strange Career of Segregation

In the beginning, there was no segregation, certainly not in the sense that we commonly use that term today. Consider in evidence our Southern distinctiveness, which is rooted in a folk culture compounded of black and white influences: our modes of speech; our rich cuisines and rites of conviviality; our varied and original musicality; our arts and crafts; our story-telling…
Jack Trotter
April 1, 2020
Review Posts

Roots of a Revolutionary Ideology

A review of Progressivism: The Strange History of a Radical Idea (University of Notre Dame Press, 2020) by Bradley C.S. Watson At the height of the Progressive Movement in 1914, William P. Merrill published a poem he called “The Day of the People Is Dawning.” The liberal Presbyterian minister and ally of Andrew Carnegie’s world peace movement bid farewell to…
Richard M. Gamble
March 31, 2020
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The Economy, Stupid

Just as the Earth revolves on its axis each day and travels around the Sun in an equally regular pattern, so has world history tended to be cyclical in nature throughout the centuries, with many episodes seemingly being repeated countless times over.  In many cases the basic cause behind such recurring cataclysmic events as war, radical changes in political systems…
John Marquardt
March 13, 2020
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A Skeleton in the Yankee Progressive Closet

The common impression about the Klan is that it is a Southern anti-Black White Supremacist group and that the group’s characteristics and methods have been consistent since its inception.  As anyone with more than a superficial knowledge of history knows, this is far from true, yet modern historians and commentators, many of the neo-conservative variety, seemingly purposely perpetuate these myths. …
Review Posts

Two Visions of America

A review of Land of Hope: An Invitation to the Great American Story (Encounter Books, 2019) by Wilfred M. McClay. Two Visions of America What is America? If America is a place, then it will have a history like other places. People will do things, those things will have consequences, other people will be pleased or embittered or indifferent, and…
Jason Morgan
February 4, 2020
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Did Republicans Bribe Voters to Elect U. S. Grant President?

Despite his unrivaled popularity after the Civil War, Republcan Ulysses Grant won the presidency merely three years later in 1868 by a popular vote margin of only 53%-to-47%. In fact, if not for the votes of ex-slaves that had only gained suffrage during the preceding twelve months, he would have lost the popular vote. Thus, he was the choice of…
Philip Leigh
November 26, 2019
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Town Line, C.S.A.

In his recent book, Call Sign Chaos : Learning To Lead, former Secretary of Defense James Mattis cited what he termed the current “tribalism” in America as the greatest threat to the nation’s future.  Mattis stated in the book that “We are dividing into hostile tribes cheering against each other, fueled by emotion and a mutual disdain that jeopardizes our…
John Marquardt
September 11, 2019
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The Statue of Liberty is Falling to Pieces, and I’m Glad

I don’t like the thing. I hate what it stands for, and I respect the givers even less than I respect the gift. Most of the problems we face today can be traced to the Statue of Liberty. If we’d just send it back to the French, crime in the streets would disappear, we’d have a surplus in the federal…
Thomas Landess
August 9, 2019
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Colonial Slavery

In 1715, Colonial Governor Charles Craven remarked that his front line troops in the fight against a hostile American Indian tribe comprised "two hundred stout negro men." Just five years prior, Indian agent Thomas Nairne wrote that the colonial militia in this same colony possessed "a considerable Number of active, able, Negro Slaves; and the Law gives everyone of those…
Brion McClanahan
July 31, 2019
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Confederate Monuments and Racism?

As noted in earlier posts, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) and many academic historians are promoting a false narrative that the Confederate statues erected between 1900 and 1920 were celebrations of white supremacy. In reality, the statues were built because the old veterans were dying-off, which is why there was also a simultaneous surge in Civil War memorial-building in…
Philip Leigh
July 26, 2019
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White Knights of the North

When the majority of people think of the Ku Klux Klan, there undoubtedly comes to mind a relic of post-Confederate racism that has now morphed into dangerous groups of rabidly anti-Black Southerners dressed in white hoods, burning crosses and waving Confederate Battle Flags. However, the real story of the White Knights of the Invisible Empire, as they were also referred…
John Marquardt
May 24, 2018
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The Essex Junto

It was the purchase of Louisiana, therefore, which gave impetus to a plan which had been creeping upon New England, aided and stimulated by the Essex Junto. They agreed that the inevitable consequences of the annexation of this vast territory would be to diminish the relative weight and influence of the Northern section; that it would aggravate the evils of…
Blog

His Truth is Marching On

Social activist Julia Ward wrote “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” in 1861, the same year that Henry Timrod composed his “Ethnogenesis” (the poem which kicked off part 2 of this series). In it, she penned that God will use His “terrible swift sword” to bring judgment upon “condemners” and “crush the serpent with his heel.” The wicked this New…
Dissident Mama
March 23, 2018
Review Posts

Two Against Lincoln

A review of Two Against Lincoln: Reverdy Johnson and Horatio Seymour, Champions of the Loyal Opposition (University Press of Kansas, 2017) by William C. Harris In a speech before the Senate in 1863, James A. Bayard of Delaware stated that “The truth will out, ultimately…though they may be voted down by the majority of the hour, though they may not…
Brion McClanahan
March 13, 2018
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The New England Pharisees

“Religion, taking every mortal form But that pure and Christian faith makes warm, Where not to vile fanatic passion urged, Or not in vague philosophies submerged, Repulsive with all Pharisaic leaven, And making laws to stay the laws of Heaven!” — From “Ethnogenesis,” by Henry Timrod South Carolinian Henry Timrod penned these words in February 1861 at the meeting of the First…
Dissident Mama
March 2, 2018
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A City Upon a Hill

Recently, Business Insider editor, MSNBC contributor, and public-radio personality Josh Barro called the left’s war on American culture “annoying.” He explained that “Liberals have supplanted conservatives as moralizing busybodies.” New York Magazine‘s Jonathan Chait even tweeted support of Barro’s “sensible thoughts,” calling out the Democrats’ supposedly new-found misadventure of “liberal sanctimony.” Funny that in all his talk condemning such “moralizing,” neo-liberal Barro went on to further pontificate about the Dems suffering “from a cultural disconnect…
Dissident Mama
February 23, 2018
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“White Privilege” or “Yankee Privilege?”

White privilege has become a major leftwing talking point and justification for a plethora of progressive initiatives that can best be described as reverse racial discrimination. White privilege is the mirror image of white supremacy.  Both are evil ideas based upon race consciousness linked to a political ideology that denies the value of the individual. White supremacy is the outward…
James Ronald Kennedy
January 17, 2018
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The North and Hitler

In 1933, General Smedley R. Butler blew the whistle on an attempt by American fascists to overthrow president Franklin D. Roosevelt. In this speech he detailed the following: “I appeared before the congressional committee, the highest representation of the American people, under subpoena to tell what I knew of activities which I believed might lead to an attempt to set…
Michael Martin
January 11, 2018
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They Took Their Stand in Dixie

Advance the flag of Dixie For Dixie’s land we take our stand To live or die for Dixie And conquer peace for Dixie Anyone singing the above lyrics from the patriotic Confederate song of 1861, “Dixie to Arms,” would today, as with its earlier counterpart “Dixie,” be considered most politically incorrect and would probably ignite a firestorm of protest demonstrations…
John Marquardt
January 10, 2018
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The North Busy Rewriting History

The following is an excerpt from a 1946 pamphlet dedicated to the Public Schools of North Carolina by the Anson Chapter, United Daughters of the Confederacy in honor of its author, Dr. Henry Tucker Graham of Florence, South Carolina.  Dr. Graham was the former president of Hampden-Sydney College and for twenty years the beloved pastor of the First Presbyterian Church…
Bernard Thuersam
January 8, 2018
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The North’s Colonial Empire

The Setting Postcolonial studies have been all the rage for many decades. A great number of contributors to the field have come from India and their work wrestles (in part) with the socio-psychological situation of Indian bureaucrats in the British Raj. These functionaries were, after all, Indians of some kind working for His Majesty’s Government – not the one in…
Joseph R. Stromberg
December 20, 2017
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The Extreme Northern Position

If you listen to the modern historical profession, Southern secession in 1861 represented "treason." David Blight, Professor History at Yale University, has made this belief the part of the core of his attack on Confederate symbols. If we should not take them down because they represent "white supremacy," then they should be removed because Southerners were "traitors." Traitors to whom…
Brion McClanahan
November 16, 2017