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Southern Culture

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The Power of Place: True South

If you watch college football, there’s a good chance you’ve seen, or seen an ad for, TrueSouth, a television series on the SEC Network. The show is hosted by John T. Edge, author and director of the Southern Foodways Alliance. If, for some reason, you don’t like college football, you should still turn to the SEC Network for this show.…
Elizabeth Stice
February 3, 2023
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Why Lee Still Matters

In Richmond, there’s a movement afoot to rename the Robert E. Lee Memorial Bridge. At Charlottesville, a statue to the Confederate general was removed last year. In Abilene, Texas, Lee Park, named after the general, has been changed to that of a local football coach. The list could go on and on, as we’ve all seen. But let’s step back…
Stephen Davis
January 25, 2023
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The Echoes

The echoes are still there, for those who will listen. I’ve often spoke of my home and how I was blessed to be raised in a closed society of family and friends. The world was the Big Creek Valley, and Vendor, Arkansas was home. The people I learned from were all well known to me, even if they passed long…
Travis Holt
January 24, 2023
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Did Thomas Jefferson Have a Sexual Relationship with Bob Hemings?

The children of Elizabeth “Betty” Hemings—a slave owned by Thomas Jefferson’s father-in-law, John Wayles, a white English sea captain—occupied a special place at Jefferson’s Monticello. That might be because six of Betty’s 10 children—Robert, James, Thenia, Critta, Peter, and Sally—were said to be fathered by John Wayles. Yet we do not know about paternity in either case. Much depends on…
M. Andrew Holowchak
January 17, 2023
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The Soul of the South

My wife is from Atlanta, so we visit Georgia frequently. In addition to downtown Hotlanta with its nauseating CNN Studio Tours and “World of Coca-Cola,” I’ve become acquainted with beautiful old towns in Marietta, Alpharetta, Roswell, and Dahlonega. I’ve explored the Chattahoochee, Stone Mountain, and various historic houses, plantations, and churches across North Georgia. I’ve seen the Braves, the Yellowjackets,…
Casey Chalk
January 10, 2023
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The Backcountry Wisdom of Lester Flatt

Oh, I can't tell the boys from the girls And friends it's really messing up my world They all wear long hair and bouncy curls And I can't tell the boys from the girls You might be inclined to think the above might originate from some clever conservative podcaster such as Matt Walsh or Michael Knowles, reflecting on the confusing…
Casey Chalk
January 5, 2023
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Boy Meets Girl

I grew up in a family that couldn’t seem to sire any offspring that wasn’t a manchild. So apart from the matrons of the clan, we boys had little exposure to the strange ways of womenfolk. As it stood, I knew next to nothing about reading moods. Or even that moods were the sort of thing that needed interpretation. This…
Brandon Meeks
January 4, 2023
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Thomas Jefferson and the Proper End of a Good Life

After giving a talk on Jefferson's conceptions of reason and the moral sense at UVa (11 Apr. 2015), a gentleman brought up the issue of slavery and mentioned how he found unpalatable Jefferson’s repeated claim, especially later in life, that he refused to do more to eliminate the heinous institution because the time was not yet right. The gentleman, of…
M. Andrew Holowchak
January 2, 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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A Southern Christmas Sampler

If you're like my family, you probably start playing Christmas music as soon as the calendar hits November 1, and you keep it on rotation through the 12 Days of Christmas in January. The classics from the Big Band and post World War II era are staples, but most are written for a distinctively Northern audience. Traditional Christian hymns also…
Brion McClanahan
December 15, 2022
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Sitting on a Gold Mine

My obsession with the South often has me wishing that I had been born there or that I could find at least one ancestor that served the Confederacy, but I have had to content myself with loving it from afar and luxuriating in its wealth through the usual channels available to outsiders.  My family is very accommodating of my passion…
Julie Paine
December 12, 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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My Southern Thanksgiving

I’ll Take My Stand contains a vivid description of rural Southern life by Andrew Lytle: “The Hind Tit,” which I always associate with my Thanksgiving memories, despite its not being specifically about Thanksgiving. (The title refers to the poor nourishment left to the “runt” Southern States by the American empire after the War Between the States.) The farm life that…
Terry Hulsey
December 7, 2022
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The Attack on Leviathan, Part V

XIII. The Dilemma of the Southern Liberals Originally published in The American Mercury, 1934 “The Dilemma of the Southern Liberals” Back when wild-eyed suffragettes were on the losing end of Oklahoma Drills with King George V’s horse, Vanderbilt and Sewanee were Southern football giants, and the Bull Moose Party was hawking the square new deal, Southern liberals—all hopped up on…
Chase Steely
December 2, 2022
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The Political Economy and Social Thought of Louisa S. McCord

From the 2011 Abbeville Institute Summer School. The name of the lady I'm introducing today, the Southern intellectual Louisa Susanna Cheves McCord, or as she's usually called, Louisa S. McCord, is generally not well known today. In the antebellum era she was the author of numerous essays on political economy and social issues. Her other writings included poetry, reviews, and…
Karen Stokes
November 30, 2022
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Southern Humor in Congress

The halls of Congress today are seldom filled with the sound of laughter.  The humor that pervaded congressional proceedings over a century ago has now given way to only angry shouts and hateful partisan rhetoric engendered by a variety of ever-growing regional, political, racial and social differences.  Not that such divisions did not exist during the latter half of the…
John Marquardt
November 29, 2022
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Those Pesky Southern Women

Washington Post columnist Karen Attiah is frustrated by how poorly the Democrats performed in her native Texas. Attiah, who has a penchant for racially provocative punditry, notes in an 11 November column that besides white men, “there is another group that consistently supports the GOP’s anti-woman, do-nothing-about-dead-kids stance, and that is White women. Seriously, what gives?” White women, observes Attiah,…
Casey Chalk
November 28, 2022
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The Bootlegger

When I talk about where and how I grew up, folks, even a bit older than me, assume that not only am I from another state, they imagine I must be from another century. Case in point. My home county is dry. I don’t mean that we get little rain, I mean that we have no legal alcohol. This is…
Brandon Meeks
November 17, 2022
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Hollywood Hates the South: Southern Accents Edition

Where can we hear the worst southern accent of all time? Is it Tom Hanks as the lovable but stupid Forrest Gump? Is it SNL alum Dan Akyroyd in Driving Miss Daisy? How about the mess present in Django? Often, British, Irish or Scottish actors will nail a southern accent before Hollywood even thinks of hiring a southerner (see Vivien…
Sara Sass
November 11, 2022
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Ropes and Swimming Holes

He was old and black...negro...colored he'd say and he had been for a good while.  "I know you."  He said.  "You watch me thru de windah."  I nodded as our first conversation concluded. He drove his old mule down the newly-paved asphalt roads, begrudgingly regal on an old scrap tire his plow rested...the point hidden inside the body of the…
William Platt
November 10, 2022
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Mary Randolph: The South’s First Celebrity Chef

My grandfather keeled over dead from a heart attack at the age of 54 after a long battle with arteriosclerosis. If you are not up on your medical jargon, that means the hardening of the arteries. I remember my parents’ telephone-the old black rotary dial type that weighed ten pounds and had a real metal bell-ringing obscenely early one Saturday…
R. Ashley Hall
November 3, 2022
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James Henley Thornwell, R. L. Dabney, and the Shaping of Southern Theology

From the 2004 Abbeville Institute Summer School It's a privilege for me to be here. I've enjoyed the sessions very much so far. In fact, after the sessions yesterday I had to go and rewrite my conclusion just from things that I learned, especially about locality, localism, and patrimony. Just fascinating. Today I want to talk about James Henley Thornwell,…
Samuel C. Smith
November 2, 2022
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Dark Age Patriotism

“Now at the height of modern progress, we behold unprecedented outbreaks of hatred and violence; we have seen whole nations desolated by war and turned into penal camps by their conquerors; we find half of mankind looking upon the other half as criminal. Everywhere occur symptoms of mass psychosis. Most portentous of all, there appear diverging bases of value, so…
Lafayette Lee
October 28, 2022
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An Inheritance of Love

I recently found myself sitting next to an old classmate from my Virginia high-school on an airplane flight (for whatever serendipitous reason, these bizarre things happen to me with some regularity). It was particularly timely: this year marks the twentieth anniversary of my high-school graduation. I recognized the woman immediately — we probably shared ten classes together between seventh and…
Casey Chalk
October 27, 2022
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Driving Through Southern Maryland, Part 3

Part 1 and Part 2 It’s easy to be transported back in time in Charles County. Rural roads meander through woods, across streams and between fields, some adorned with tobacco barns. Sprinkled throughout this typical Southern Maryland countryside are historic sites, villages, and quiet churches. The final resting places of settlers and patriots, churchyards tell their own story of regional…
Brett Moffatt
October 14, 2022
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History vs Lies

History is an art in a sense. That is, it is not mathematically provable. The mathematician (I am one, at least through some bit of graduate studies) must prove something logically (there are certain basic rules of logic—contrary to reflections from “the squad,” et al). If he can’t prove it, it simply means it is not provable true, nor is…
Paul H. Yarbrough
October 13, 2022
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Good Directions

The fella that runs the local feed store is a Cajun from Ville Platte, Louisiana. He moved up here to Arkansas because the woman he met in the personal ads said she could abide thickets and pine trees but would not tolerate bayous or raising a coonass baby. I stopped by the store yesterday because I needed some laying pellets…
Brandon Meeks
October 11, 2022
BlogReview Posts

The Attack on Leviathan, Part 4

X. American Heroes Originally published as “A Note on American Heroes” in the Southern Review (1935). Whatever else we lack, we do not lack great memories. We have heroes, and we want to possess them affectionately as a mature nation ought. The American mind is divided against itself. Our approach to “what terms we may possess our heroes” is as…
Chase Steely
October 7, 2022
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The Rainmakers

Uncle Dude and Aunt Lura lived across the field beside us when I was growing up. They were both born between the two World Wars and lived through the Depression. Dude was born at the foot of Mount Saint Helens, Lura was born in the same room where she died in the Arkansas Delta. They had lots of odd superstitions…
Brandon Meeks
October 4, 2022
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Like Phil Harris Said, “That’s What I Like About the South”

I write a lot about the South. But then it seems necessary if you think “conservative.” That is conservative, not necessarily Republican. Conservatives aligning themselves with Republicans do so because politics is a realm of life much like the environment where dogs live; that is wherever they (dogs) can accredit their lives best.  Conservatives are much like working dogs: Bird…
Paul H. Yarbrough
September 30, 2022
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Big Bang Blues

Tom Daniel discusses blues music, from the 2022 Abbeville Institute Summer School at Seabrook Island, SC, July 5-8, 2022 https://youtu.be/NZ9_hcxfpLw Note: The views expressed on abbevilleinstitute.org are not necessarily those of the Abbeville Institute.
Tom Daniel
September 29, 2022
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Happy Birthday Senator Sam

Senator Sam Ervin of North Carolina was arguably one of the most important political figures of the twentieth century. His commitment to the Constitution and willingness to stare down executive power during the 1973 Watergate hearings place him among the great conservative voices in Senate history. Ervin was first and foremost a Tar Heel. He considered his election to the…
Brion McClanahan
September 27, 2022
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Give Me That Old Time Rebellion

A while back, some of the folks at Abbeville Institute turned out a fine anthology of the greatest Southern rock melodies of the present day. Music, of course, like most everything else, changes with the times and there were other golden eras for country music that gave the listeners of their day a far different sound and put them in…
John Marquardt
September 19, 2022
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The Federalist Crucible

From the 2004 Abbeville Institute Summer School. Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson have dinner. It looks like funding an assumption of State debts by the general government is not going to go through, and Hamilton’s very worried because U.S. stock is plummeting in the international finance markets. So, a deal is struck. Jefferson will put pressure on his people to…
John Devanny
September 16, 2022
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Destroying the Past to Change the Present

On June 17th, 2015, a deranged white man, Dylan Roof, attacked an all-black prayer meeting in a South Carolina church killing nine of the participants. Of course, most rational, intelligent (that is, ordinary) Americans saw the mass shooting as another opportunity for the “gun violence” crowd to demand an end to the rights of law-abiding Americans to own guns; and…
Valerie Protopapas
September 15, 2022
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The Cry of the Vanquished

Owen Wister’s novel Lady Baltimore is the story of a Northern man spending time in South Carolina around 1905.  He is not your typical arrogant Yankee, but openly acknowledges the modern decay he sees in the North and is sympathetic to the South.  He is staying in a boarding house with a variety of guests; they include Juno, an elderly…
Julie Paine
September 12, 2022
BlogConferencesMedia Posts

Loving Home

Loving Home by Carey Roberts from the 2022 Abbeville Institute Summer School, July 5-8, 2022 at Seabrook Island, SC https://youtu.be/48dJnuFhfHc Note: The views expressed on abbevilleinstitute.org are not necessarily those of the Abbeville Institute.
Carey Roberts
September 9, 2022
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Vendetta Over Alabama

Originally published at barelyablog.com In the mid-1950s my family arrived in Athens, Alabama, I being eleven, my father a mathematician working at the Army Ballistic Missile Agency in nearby Huntsville. Athens was small, the county seat of Limestone County. The town square had the courthouse in the middle with the statue of a Confederate soldier and a Baptist church. The…
Fred Reed
September 7, 2022
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The Confederate Army and God

This article was first published by Crossfire: The Magazine of the American Civil War Round Table and is republished by permission. Introduction The United States Civil War produced some very dark days in American history. Ideas and values separated the North and the South. The whole world watched as America was at war with itself. Having been established as a…
David Crum
September 2, 2022
BlogReview Posts

The 200 Most Important Confederate Books

In 1978, Georgia native Richard Harwell--older brother of the famous baseball broadcaster Ernie Harwell--published In Tall Cotton, a list of the 200 most important Confederate books. He asked fellow Georgian E. Merton Coulter to write the introduction knowing that this list would provide a valuable resource to those seeking to understand both Southern history and the Confederacy. Modern establishment historians…
Brion McClanahan
August 31, 2022
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The Red Ripple

Why the red wave will NOT be.  The typical contemporary Republicans lie for support, then reveal their lies. The Democrats just lie. The resignation of Dr. Ann Hunter McLean from her Youngkin appointment to the Virginia Historic Resources Board is a product of the same mentality wherein Ronald Reagan was deceived in 1981 insofar as Bob Bennett’s replacing M.E. Bradford.…
Paul H. Yarbrough
August 25, 2022
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The Better Men

John William Corrington (1932—1988) of Louisiana was a prolific author of poetry, stories, and novels. And, as with Faulkner, making a living in commercialised American “culture”  required him to expend talent in Hollywood on movie and television scripts. Corrington has received some recognition, but no less an authority on Southern literature than M.E. Bradford has said that his reputation falls…
Clyde Wilson
August 22, 2022
BlogReview Posts

Confessions of a Copperhead

A review of Confessions of a Copperhead: Culture and Politics in the Modern South (Shotwell Press, 2022) by Mark Royden Winchell The concept of the South as a peculiar and singular region of America, indeed not quite American except in its vices of racism and violence, is something of an industry in the halls of academia. Numerous university centers and…
John Devanny
August 18, 2022
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The Decaying Distillery

Very few things in my native Fairfax County are especially old. That’s unfortunate, given the county’s founding (1742) predates the United States of America, and boasts the homes of Founding Fathers George Washington and George Mason. Yet post-World War II development rapidly changed the character of the county, and many of the old properties were sold and their ancestral homes…
Casey Chalk
August 15, 2022
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When Things Go South

“When things go south” is a phrase that typically means matters have taken a turn for the worse.  Well, things have gone south in my family for a while now, and I couldn’t be happier.  That is because I literally mean, gone South, and I feel more at home than I ever imagined possible.  For things to go South, they…
Julie Paine
August 11, 2022
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Aunt Elizabeth, the Desert Fox, and General Jackson

Raised on a tobacco farm at the edge of the Chinquapin Forest in Southern Maryland, my Aunt Elizabeth for much of her life attempted to divest herself of her rustic upbringing.  When she graduated from nursing school, she married and subsequently lived for long spells in South America and Europe.  In spite of all this, fortunately, she never succeeded in…
J.L. Bennett
August 8, 2022
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The Attack on Leviathan, Part 3

VI. Still Rebels, Still Yankees Originally published as two essays in the American Review and can be found in the anthology Modern Minds. Many will recognize this chapter’s title from another book of Davidson’s collected essays with the same title published in 1957. Davidson begins recollecting a meeting of Southern writers in Charleston, SC. In 1932, Davidson penned a brief…
Chase Steely
August 4, 2022
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The South’s Drink

Several years ago, my wife and I visited a distillery in rural Virginia that made the only whiskey in the Old Dominion that possesses legislative approval to make something called  “Virginia Whiskey.” It’s a good product, though it requires the taster to accept the fact that it doesn’t taste much like Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey (I’d offer there are hints…
Casey Chalk
July 26, 2022
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A Hard Line Ozark Man

I sit here, watching the fading sun over the Ozarks hills, not too far from where I was raised. Last night, we had an annual birthday bash for an old family friend, and I got the opportunity to sit and visit with many of the older generation that I grew up around. The most notable, a long visit with a…
Travis Holt
July 22, 2022
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The Attack on Leviathan, Part 2

I. The Diversity of America Parts of this chapter (along with several others) are from “Sectionalism in the United States,” Hound and Horn, VI (July-September, 1933). The link to Davidson’s “Sectionalism” essay provides some context of its genesis—some of which is a smidge uncomfortable. In The Idea of the American South (1979), Michael O’Brien portrays Davidson as a misfit compared…
Chase Steely
July 15, 2022
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A Bushel of Poke Salad and a Gallon and a Half of Coal Oil

Uncle Jim didn’t care much for Lyin’ Ed and nobody really knew why. Some speculated that it had to do with the fact that both had been sweet on Aunt Ginny decades earlier. Others reckoned that it stemmed from a schoolyard rivalry that had followed them into adulthood and now into old age. Aunt Ginny once gave voice to the…
Brandon Meeks
July 14, 2022
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The Glorious Revolution of 1688 and the Origins of Southern Constitutionalism

From the 2004 Abbeville Institute Summer School On April 10th, 1606, King James I of England (and VI of Scotland) granted letters of patent to Sir Thomas Gates and others, thereby establishing two companies for the settlement of colonies along the Atlantic coast of North America, which was then called Virginia in honour of the Virgin Queen, Elizabeth I. The…
John Graham
July 7, 2022
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Marking the Wolf

'Yates Standridge, who recently escaped from the state convict farm, where he was serving what practically amounts to a life sentence for murder, declared that he never will return to the penitentiary, according to residents of the sparsley settled hills of Newton County, where Standridge makes his home. These hill people say Standridge recently spent two weeks in that section…
Travis Holt
July 1, 2022
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Holding Heritage Groups Responsible

When the assault on Southern heritage with the destruction of monuments, symbols and heroes began, I wrote a letter to the President of the Civil War Trust as a member of that group attempting to determine the course the Trust would take in this matter. Sadly, the gentleman did not even have the courtesy to respond even in a form…
Valerie Protopapas
June 30, 2022
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Elvis Has Left the Building

The Baz Luhrmann Elvis movie is as good as it is frustrating. The movie might serve as a good introduction for those who don't know much about Elvis (which, sadly, is becoming most people). I say it might because it is more than likely that viewers will come away knowing more about Col. Tom Parker, Elvis' manager, than Elvis himself.…
Aaron N. Coleman
June 29, 2022
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Mother Jones

Some people won’t believe in something they haven’t seen, others refuse to believe in something precisely because they have. When it came to the question of religious egalitarianism, I reckon my people were firmly in the latter category. Even as a boy I knew that there were as many kinds of religions in our small Southern town as there were…
Brandon Meeks
June 23, 2022
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Randolph Shotwell in War and Prison

We live in a regime with an industrial output of lies about Southern history, so we should let our forebears speak for themselves whenever we can.  I have been reporting  on little known  Southern books and here is another. Randolph Shotwell in the 1880s put together some materials for his an account of his extraordinary life,  using his diaries, letters…
Clyde Wilson
June 17, 2022
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The Problem of Singular “They”

As I grow older my appreciation for the wisdom of my parents increases. As the United States descend daily further into madness, I find myself torn between being glad they aren’t here to be angered and tormented by the tragedy, wickedness, and vicious idiocy of the times, and a strong desire to profit from their counsel and advice. They were…
Earl Starbuck
June 16, 2022
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Moonshine

Moonshine, though often associated with Appalachia, is also an integral part of the Ozarks culture. Growing up in the hills of Newton County, Arkansas, I lived a privileged life. I got to know a good amount of my ancestors, and hear their stories and experiences. Though most of them were straight laced, hard-working and proud folks, I would occasionally hear…
Travis Holt
June 15, 2022
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Recommended Books about the South and Its History

A friend recently asked me for a list of good books about the South and “the Late Unpleasantness” which he could share with his two sons, one of whom will be entering college this fall, and the other who will be a high school senior. I began naming some volumes, at random. But my friend stopped me in mid-sentence and…
Boyd Cathey
May 31, 2022
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The Worst Street Corner in America

Mako Honda recently told the Washington Post that she and her husband Ryan Finley live on “the worst street corner… across the U.S.” You might speculate that the couple live somewhere in Los Angeles, which retains the notoriety of having the three most dangerous neighborhoods in the United States. Or perhaps they live somewhere in inner-city Chicago like West Garfield…
Casey Chalk
May 30, 2022
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This Land is Ours

It’s hell, sittin’ here. I grew up in the hills of Newton County, Arkansas, the place that my direct line had hacked out and settled in the 1850s, when the first white settlers moved in. Being a native Ozarker has its advantages and disadvantages. When I married and moved one county north, it almost seemed like sacrilege. The next phase…
Travis Holt
May 24, 2022
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An Adopted Valley Virginian

While teaching at the University of Virginia, William Faulkner once remarked: “'I like Virginia and I like Virginians because Virginians are all snobs, and I like snobs. A snob has to spend so much time being a snob he has little left to meddle with you, and so it's very pleasant here." Perhaps Faulkner should have spent more time in…
Casey Chalk
May 16, 2022
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Honorable and Courageous Patriots

Delivered at the Stone Mountain Confederate Memorial Park for the Confederate Memorial Day remembrance held April 30, 2022. Thank you for taking time today to consider the deeds and lessons of our long-dead ancestors. When Confederate commemoration began, it was a memorial to people who were known to those living.  Today, it is unlikely that there is a person here…
Martin O'Toole
May 12, 2022
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The Fox Hunt

I’ve heard tell that fox hunting is the sport of kings. Be that as it may, in the hills of Arkansas it is largely the purview of fools and knaves. There are no aristocrats. No gaudy outfits. No prized horses. In fact, there are usually no horses at all. Perhaps stranger still, no guns. Unless someone totes a side arm…
Brandon Meeks
May 11, 2022
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No Capitulation: A Call to Southern Conservatives

This piece was originally published at Chronicles Magazine and is reprinted here by permission. The following speech critical of the conservative establishment is one that I did not give at The Charleston Meeting, in Charleston, S.C., whither I was invited by its organizer Gene d’Agostino, as a speaker for the evening of April 14. After espying copies of my book…
Paul Gottfried
May 2, 2022
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Why Were the Articles of Confederation Dissolved?

I'm going to talk about the way the Articles of Confederation functioned, how people acted under the Articles, and the three reasons why I think the Articles were dissolved. The signers of the Articles of Confederation were not happy with what was finally implemented. Indeed, once the Articles were sent to the States, it took nearly four years before they…
Carey Roberts
April 29, 2022
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God’s General

Neither side in the War for Southern Independence produced a finer or more morally upright man than Richard Montgomery Gano. He was the descendent of a distinguished military/evangelical family. His great-grandfather, John Allen Gano, was born in New Jersey and became a Baptist preacher. He joined the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War, where he was known as “the fighting…
Samuel W. Mitcham
April 28, 2022
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The Legend of the Dogwood

My grandmother is the closest thing to a saint I have ever known. She is good and kind. She gives herself away until she is all but spent. She has always worked hard and loved harder. She prays and goes to church. And I’ve only known her to cuss when it thunders. But like many of the medieval saints, her…
Brandon Meeks
April 27, 2022
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Southern Poets and Poems, Part XX

William Gilmore Simms, Part 2 The Green Corn Dance Come hither, hither, old and young--the gentle and the strong, And gather in the green corn dance, and mingle with the song-- The summer comes, the summer cheers, and with a spirit gay, We bless the smiling boon she bears, and thus her gifts repay. Eagle from the mountain, Proudly descend!…
Clyde Wilson
April 22, 2022
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Kith and Kin: The Enduring Ethic of the South

From the 2016 Abbeville Institute Summer School. So, what I have to say is gonna be, I think, somewhat maybe tedious.  I've tried to boil down stuff I've been working on for years, many chapters of a book project, and sometimes when you boil things down, it's not like distilling rose petals. You don't get the fine essence, what you…
Thomas Fleming
April 19, 2022
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The Pride of Kentucky…and Maryland

There are disagreements on the subject, but I wholeheartedly believe that Bardstown, Kentucky is “where bourbon was born.”   Many of the first bourbons, however, were variations on old rye whiskey recipes brought to the Bardstown area by settlers from Maryland.  Among them were people named Dant, Mattingly, Medley, Wathen, Pottinger, Miles, Willett and Beam, all families associated with the earliest…
J.L. Bennett
April 15, 2022
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Dirt

When I was a boy I was convinced that when God decided to make the world He started with Arkansas. The Tigris and Euphrates rivers were merely nicknames for the Ouachita and the Mighty Mississippi that hemmed in our corner of the Delta. And the first man, Adam, likely lived somewhere between West Memphis and the Louisiana line. After all,…
Brandon Meeks
April 14, 2022
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Rough Music

In the mid-1760s, violent criminal activity began to spread throughout the sparsely populated interior of the colony of South Carolina. Residents in these areas, alarmed at what was occurring, pled with the government for assistance. None would be forthcoming. Instead, individuals residing in the area turned toward the idea of communal, ritual punishment to stem the tide of criminal activity.…
Nicole Williams
April 13, 2022
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The Keeper of the Family Story

The advent of my coming and going to another world was not through a portal handcrafted from a felled silver-barked tree of old, but the factory-made casket of my Father. My people bury in several places–my Father, a stone’s throw from Sarah Cannon, right down the street from where Tate was roused to write his Ode. He died at 61…
Chase Steely
March 17, 2022
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The Silent Killer

I started playing the piano when I was 11. My family wasn’t musical and didn’t own a piano. So every afternoon when the bus dropped me off from school I would walk the mile from my house to my grandmother’s house. She had an old upright with so many missing bits of ivory that it looked like a snaggle-toothed kid…
Brandon Meeks
March 16, 2022
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The Hog Killin’

A dozen years ago or so, I was pastoring a small country church in the smallest county in the state of Mississippi. After church, one of the deacons said, “We’ve got a big dinner set on. You wanna come eat? Gonna be good.” “Sure,” says I. His name was Gabe. He was chairmen of the deacon board, pater familias to…
Brandon Meeks
February 28, 2022
Blog

Southern Distinctiveness

Have you ever accidentally used the wrong mushrooms in a recipe inducing you to think the South is some type of hallucination? Me neither–I reckon we aren’t enlightened enough to grasp such concepts. Until recently, I never pondered ideas like “regional consciousness” or “Southern distinctiveness”—truth be told, “provincial” seemed too overdressed to feel comfortable amongst my hand-me-down vocabulary—and not a…
Chase Steely
February 24, 2022
Blog

The South Has No Culture?

I once broke up with a girl because of the South. Well, sort of. We had been dating for a month or so, and she invited me to come visit her parents, who were living in central Virginia. Her father was a widely respected and well-known U.S. Army officer. The family had recently moved to Virginia after many years stationed…
Casey Chalk
February 17, 2022
Blog

An Alabama Christmas

Christmas can be both a wonderful and awful time of the year for many of us.  The holiday has become one associated with worries over holiday debt, sadness from loss, concerns over gatherings, and add into that the calamities of the last few years: the pandemic, politics around the dinner table, and now, worries over the supply chain.  Contrary to…
Nicole Williams
December 24, 2021
Blog

When Hollywood Rode Right

Although Hollywood is now considered a monolithic bastion of leftist and “woke” political and cultural sentiment with almost no dissent tolerated, it was not always that way, at least not to the degree that exists today. Go back sixty years ago, and that progressivist uniformity was not as apparent. Certainly, “Tinseltown” was never a haven for conservative and traditionalist cinema,…
Boyd Cathey
December 10, 2021
Blog

Andrew Lytle and the Order of the Family

Andrew Nelson Lytle—novelist, dramatist, essayist, and professor of literature—extolled the order of the family, which by the 1930s he thought all but spent, precisely because it was rooted in the very concept of divine order that the modern world had decried and rejected. As patriarchy deteriorated, as acceptance of divine supremacy vanished, the family languished, and with it the community…
Mark G. Malvasi
December 8, 2021
Blog

Mississippi–A Warning for Virginians

The proud folks of The Old Dominion turned their state from Blue back to Red in their recent governor’s election. Even more dramatic is the fact that in the last twelve months, voters in various Virginia counties voted overwhelmingly to keep their Confederate monuments! In nine out of nine ballot referendums, the voters spoke, and they spoke with a loud…
James Ronald Kennedy
November 30, 2021
Blog

Thanksgiving 2021

The Thanksgiving holiday always puts me in mind of the history of this country from its hopeful beginnings as thirteen separate colonies, through its tortured periods of strife and conflict, until our own day when the very existence of the Framers’ design seems to be coming apart at the seams. Yet, we still have hope, and we still celebrate our…
Boyd Cathey
November 29, 2021
Blog

Windy

Of all the giants that strode through my childhood, some loom larger than others: Some due to their innate kindness or acts towards me, some for the wisdom they imparted or their willingness to share life experiences, and some simply due to the fact of just how damn likeable they were. But there are a few who loom large for…
Travis Holt
November 26, 2021
Blog

An Able Address Against Conscription

Editor's Note: This speech was delivered in 1917 and was published in the September issue of Watson's Magazine. Mr. Chairman and Gentlemen: Deeply impressed with the gravity of this occasion, and an earnest desire to preserve the liberties of my people and our common country, I beg to submit, that — The First Amendment to the Constitution of the United…
H.W. Johnston
November 19, 2021
Blog

A New Civil War?

By 1860 our country was so hopelessly divided that it broke up, and only by force was it kept unified. While the North and South had profound political, economic, and moral differences, institutional slavery being paramount, the two halves had a great deal in common, so much so that after the bloodletting and rage subsided, we were able to come…
M.C. Atkins
November 17, 2021
Blog

Southern Hospitality in Asia

Many years ago I spent five fantastic weeks in Boston during the fall. Though I had heard about the explosive colors of autumn in New England, it truly was a sight to see. So too were the two games I attended at Fenway Park, only a year after the Red Sox swept the Rockies in the World Series. But the…
Casey Chalk
November 15, 2021
Blog

The Devils in the Demonstrators

  I was chairman of the Annual Confederate Flag Day at the North Carolina State Capitol in March of 2019 when our commemoration was besieged by several hundred screaming, raging demonstrators—Antifa-types and others. It took a mammoth police escort for us to exit the surrounded Capitol building. I clearly recall the disfigured countenance, the flaming eyes, the foul imprecations of one of…
Boyd Cathey
November 12, 2021
Blog

Social Time in Old Virginia

Editor's Note: Often considered one of the more important "Lost Cause" post-bellum narratives, Letitia Burwell's A Girl's Life in Virginia Before the War offers a captivating glimpse of life in the Old South. Her grandfather had been Thomas Jefferson's private secretary and her father served in the Virginia legislature ten times. Americans often marvel at the social mores and customs…
Letitia M. Burwell
November 10, 2021
Blog

American Monuments

Editor's Note: Former Abbeville Institute summer school student Jon Harris and his Last Stand Studios produced this original documentary about American monuments and the ongoing American iconoclasm. It features Abbeville Institute scholars Donald Livingston, Brion McClanahan, Bill Wilson, Philip Leigh, and Kirkpatrick Sale. From the website: "Our next project, American Monument, will explore the good, true, and beautiful qualities represented…
Abbeville Institute
November 8, 2021
Blog

Why Do They Hate The South?

Dr. Paul Gottfried's speech at the annual Confederate Flag Day commemoration in the historic 1840 North Carolina State Capitol House of Representatives chamber on March 3, 2007 is remarkably prescient and topical for us today. Much history has passed in the last fourteen years, much of it very damaging and destructive of those Southern and Confederate traditions and inheritance we…
Boyd Cathey
November 5, 2021
Blog

Remembering John C. Calhoun

Though John C. Calhoun was a distinguished American statesman and thinker, he is little appreciated in his own country. Calhoun rose to prominence on the eve of the War of 1812 as a “war hawk” in the House of Representatives and was the Hercules who labored untiringly in the war effort. While still a congressman, he was the chief architect…
John Devanny
October 26, 2021
Blog

Poor Poe

At the University of Virginia, Room No.13 on the fabled Lawn is reserved as a permanent shrine to Edgar Allan Poe, who reportedly lodged in the room during his brief time on campus (or “the grounds,” as we say). One wonders what Poe, though a proud Virginian, would think about this honor — he was not terribly happy with his…
Casey Chalk
October 25, 2021
Blog

Tradition and Culture

Our farm was a broadly covered area of green stalks, blanketing the ground for hundreds of acres all around. In a slow-motion explosion, day-by-day, week-by-week, the land revealed the white birth of cotton, the king crop of the Mississippi Delta. There were great vines of honeysuckle on one side of the house. The aroma seemed more noticeable in the open…
Paul H. Yarbrough
October 21, 2021
Blog

Our Solemn Task as Southerners

  Over the past several years I have been writing essays for several publications and media outlets regarding Southern and Confederate history and heritage, and, in particular, about the growing assault on the symbols of that history and heritage. None of what I wrote—nothing I put into print—should have seemed that unusual or radical. My thoughts and observations could have…
Boyd Cathey
October 18, 2021
Blog

Beautiful Losers

When T.S. Eliot said that there are no lost causes because there are no won causes, he probably was not thinking of American conservatism. Nearly sixty years after the New Deal, the American right is no closer to challenging its fundamental premises and machinery than when Old Rubberlegs first started priming the pump and scheming to take the United States…
Sam Francis
October 13, 2021
Blog

Eminent Southrons and Cinematic Slander

This essay was originally published in the August 1995 issue of Chronicles magazine. Some folks have been kind enough to notice my absence from these pages, and a few have been even kinder and expressed regret at it. The fact is that my wife Dale and I are working on a book. It will be called 1001 Things Everyone Should…
John Shelton Reed
October 12, 2021
Blog

Steppin Back

The locusts descend upon the land. Not the literal ones, but a kind much worse, in my estimation. The urbanites, long disenchanted with the social upheaval of late, have begun to migrate to the country. My home county, Newton County, Arkansas, is sadly not immune, though we are largely blessed. Rugged and in the remote mountains of northwest Arkansas, my…
Travis Holt
October 7, 2021
Blog

Once Upon a Time

The following is an excerpt from an article by a man named Troy Cauley. It is titled “Hindsight” and was first printed in the Southern Partisan over 30 years ago. If one can appreciate anything beyond “modernity” as to life’s heart such as: family, tradition, manners, love, friendship and at the same time cease worshipping gold, silver, technology, “industrial revolutions”…
Paul H. Yarbrough
October 1, 2021
Blog

The Voices

We’ve all heard some cliché joke about ‘voices in our head’, usually posted over and over again on Facebook or quoted by someone who hasn’t quite figured out just how tired that concept is. But this isn’t about some comic concept of ‘voices in one’s head’, but rather something that has haunted me for some time. I long ago accepted…
Travis Holt
September 23, 2021
Blog

What Makes This Musician Great?–The Balfa Brothers

In a significant departure for this series, the 9th installment of What Makes This Musician Great will focus on a band instead of one musician, and more appropriately, a band of brothers.  The Balfa Brothers were a Cajun band of real-life brothers Rodney, Dewey, Will, Harry, and Burkeman.  They learned music from their father, who was a Louisiana sharecropper, and…
Tom Daniel
September 22, 2021
Blog

A Good Southerner is Hard to Find

Perhaps it was after watching yet another film depicting the South as irredeemably backwards and bigoted. Or perhaps it was after reading yet another round of commentaries denigrating Robert E. Lee because Lee was a traitor (so were the American revolutionaries, technically), a defender of a slave owning society (as most societies were before the nineteenth century), and ultimately a…
Casey Chalk
September 21, 2021
Blog

I Will Make My Lineage Known

Regarding Afghanistan. There is nothing to say that has not been said better by those, both believers and heretics, better versed in the theology of the “American century,” the “rules-based world order” over which the “indispensable nation” has presided since the largely peaceful dismantling of the godless authority in Russia. And with what such shambolic and shameful consequence: the collapse…
Enoch Cade
September 20, 2021
Blog

Gaul Was Divided in Three

Editor's note: The following story was told by "Private" John Allen, a Congressmen from Mississippi from 1885-1901. "I want to tell you of the greatest legal victory of my life," said Allen once to a group of congressmen. "It was down in Tupelo, just after the war. I was at that time a practicing lawyer—that is, I practiced when I…
John M. Allen
September 3, 2021
Blog

The Carolina Couch Controversy

Originally published in the March 1998 issue of Reason magazine. Local busybodies target the front porch. In the small-town American South porch sitting was once a nearly universal pastime. As a place for sipping tea or Co’ Cola, smoking or dipping, telling stories, courting, and watching lightning bugs, the front porch was unsurpassed. Southern porches have been celebrated in song…
John Shelton Reed
August 30, 2021
Blog

Staying Home

Americans have a weird relationship with their roots. Most folk want to be from somewhere, but they often don’t want to be in that somewhere. As someone who has unusually old roots in Northern Virginia — perhaps one of the most transient parts of the country — I think I might witness this more than most. Few people who live…
Casey Chalk
August 23, 2021
Blog

You Lost. Get Over It

The opponents of Southern heritage often repeat the trope: “You lost, get over it.” One of them told me that it was “ironic” that we honor both the US and CS flags. But of course, the postbellum states of the CSA were annexed into the reunited USA. They were forced back into the Union. Therefore, thirteen of the stars on…
Rev. Larry Beane
August 17, 2021
Blog

The Old South and the New

This essay was originally published in the February 1936 issue of The American Review. Years ago, during the World War, I traveled from Chicago by way of Cincinnati to Montgomery, Alabama, in the company of a group of young ladies from the North who were visiting their men-folk encamped at Camp Sheridan. None of them had been South before, and…
Frank L. Owlsley
August 5, 2021
Blog

What It Means to be a Southerner

Editor's Note: In an effort to "explore what is true and valuable in the Southern tradition," we offer an explanation of what it "meant to be a Southerner" in 1958. This raises the questions of what has and has not changed in the South and if themes in this essay can still be applied to the twenty-first century Southerner. This…
Robert Y. Drake
August 3, 2021
Blog

The End of America?

I have a good friend who continually asks me what I think are the prospects for sensible, conservative—that is, normal—folks in these parlous times, what I think will happen to these United States, and particularly, what will happen to the South. In response to his questioning, I can’t give a satisfactory answer, at least one nicely tied-up and tidy like…
Boyd Cathey
August 2, 2021
Blog

How Southerners Committed Cultural and Political Suicide

Many Southerners are familiar with James “Ron” Kennedy and his brother, Walter “Donnie” Kennedy, who are prolific writers and staunch defenders of (what is left of) Southern tradition and heritage. Among the titles of their books are, most notably: The South Was Right! (newly revised edition 2020),  Punished With Poverty: The Suffering South, and  Yankee Empire: Aggressive Abroad and Despotic…
Boyd Cathey
July 19, 2021
Blog

The Happy Land of Cannan

The happy land of Caannan may be a Biblical story, but for some of us, it truly was fact. Growing up on the land my ancestors settled in the 1850s was a true blessing. It gave me common ground, a heritage, a place and, most importantly, a history. My people were among the first white settlers in the 1850s in…
Travis Holt
July 9, 2021
Blog

Defending the West Against the Barbarians

Sometimes readers will ask me: “Why did you write on that? What were you trying to say?” My response has always been that just about everything I attempt to convey, to write, is in some way connected to and comes under a broad heading of “the defense of Western Christian civilization and culture.” Thus, everything, from my staunch defense of Confederate…
Boyd Cathey
June 17, 2021
Blog

A Southern Song, A Southern Heritage–Canceled

“When we talk about the War it is our history we are talking about, it is a part of our identity.  To tell libellous lies about our ancestors is a direct attack on who we are.” —from Lies My Teacher Told Me by Clyde N. Wilson “The Story of Maryland is sad to the last degree.” —Jefferson Davis In the…
J.L. Bennett
June 14, 2021
Blog

Western Civilization-Post Scriptum

I once wrote an article on the problems arising from what I termed “group condemnation.” I believed that in attempting to warn people of dangers lurking in the culture, those who blamed “groups” rather than individuals tended to lose credibility. To speak against the Jews or the blacks or any “group” rather than individuals within those groups often resulted in…
Valerie Protopapas
June 8, 2021
Blog

Academy of Southern Music

My name is Tom Daniel, and I’m a happy guy.  I’m naturally optimistic, and I love talking about all the good things that come from the South.  I get discouraged when I see Southerners who keep falling into that same trap where they only want to talk about the years 1861-1865.  When there are 400 years of Southern culture to…
Tom Daniel
June 1, 2021
Blog

Time

“How time changes everything.” This quote came from the lips of a fairly surprised man of around 80, my dear great-uncle Carl Ray, as we descended into the valley of his childhood.It  had been some four decades or better since he had been around the old home places where he grew into a man. The people who own it now…
Travis Holt
May 28, 2021
Blog

“Aggressive Abroad and Despotic at Home”

Seventy-six years ago, on May 8, 1945, at 2301 hours, Central European Time, World War II in Europe officially ended. Although the war would continue in the Pacific Theatre for several more months, May 8 marked the dramatic end of what was certainly the most horrific and disastrous land war in history. European culture was changed irrevocably. A civilization which…
Boyd Cathey
May 25, 2021
Blog

Listening to Miss Eudora

For Christmas, I gave my granddaughter a compilation of Eudora Welty’s novels. She’s an avid reader and tore into the book as soon as she unwrapped it. The short stories, however, were not included. Yesterday, we drove to a large national bookstore chain ( aka quasi toy store and puzzle shop) to purchase one of Miss Welty’s finest Why I…
Blog

Robert E. Lee: The Educator

Continued from Part 3.  “And of all the officers or men whom I ever knew he came (save one other alone) the nearest in likeness to that classical ideal Chevalier Bayard…And if these, our modern, commercial, mechanical, utilitarian ages, ever did develop a few of these types of male chivalric virtues, which we attribute solely to those 'ages of faith,' Robert E. Lee was…
Earl Starbuck
May 12, 2021
Blog

Carry Me Back to Old Virginny

In the early 1870s, a young pre-law student at Howard College was inspired by classmate and future wife, Mamie Friend. James Alan Bland would listen to the homesick sentiments of Mamie and her home in tidewater Virginia. During a trip to meet Ms. Friend’s family the two sat down together with pen, paper, and a banjo. Bland composed his song…
Blog

Robert E. Lee: The Father

Continued from Part I. “He was a superb specimen of manly grace and elegance…There was about him a stately dignity, calm poise, absolute self-possession, entire absence of self-consciousness, and gracious consideration for all about him that made a combination of character not to be surpassed…His devotion to his invalid wife, who for many years was a martyr to rheumatic gout,…
Earl Starbuck
April 28, 2021
Blog

Beginning with History

Any fool can write history, and many do.  Please do not assume that I mean by this statement to vaunt the “expert” and slight the amateur.  In writing history the amateur is sometimes gifted, and there is no more pestiferous fool than the smug, pretentious “expert” who thinks of his own mind as the repository of ultimate truth.  What a…
Clyde Wilson
March 29, 2021
Blog

Southern Reflections on Being Neighborly

A white house sits on the outskirts of a small town in upstate South Carolina. It is modest in both size and appearance, and rather old, and in front of it next to the highway is a large cross which appears to have taken some money and effort to erect. There is a sign which invites any passerby to stop…
Tom Hervey
March 26, 2021
Blog

I Listen

I read this piece to the Jackson Writers Guild a year ago. Since then, we’ve not been able to meet. Here it is again. A southern writer can collect more stories from a back-porch conversation than from hours of creative writing instruction or a ten-day cruise through the Panama Canal. It’s especially true on Friday night when everybody kicks backs,…
Averyell A. Kessler
March 19, 2021
Blog

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
Blog

The Termite Infestation of American History

As part of its campaign to pander to the important and urgent needs of African-Americans with extremely divisive yet ultimately performative identity politics, the Biden-Harris administration has announced that it will resume Barack Obama’s decision in 2015 to remove Andrew Jackson from the twenty-dollar bill and replace him with Harriet Tubman. Jonathan Waldman’s celebratory and condescending column in The Washington…
James Rutledge Roesch
March 12, 2021
Blog

Now Is The Best Time To Be Southern

These past several years, we Americans have been living in an accelerating anti-cultural vortex. Day by day the Yankee juggernaut gains steam. Once content with carpetbombing Hanoi and Baghdad, the Yankees are now taking their civilizational demolition derby back South, where it all began. Topple the Southern statues, spraypaint the Southern monuments, mock the Southern accents and folkways, and cancel…
Jason Morgan
March 10, 2021
Blog

A Yankee Who Understood Southerners

“Dear me, what’s the good of being a Southerner?” asks one of the characters on the very first page of Henry James’ nineteenth-century novel The Bostonians. Though this question may not be the most important theme of James’ widely-hailed book, the idiosyncrasies and paradoxes of the South serve as a backdrop for the entire story. Indeed, James, a native New…
Casey Chalk
March 9, 2021
Blog

German POWs and Civil Rights

I have written here before about my beloved hometown of Tuskegee, Alabama.  Forgive me if you’ve read this before, but Tuskegee was unique among small rural Southern towns because of its large, well-educated, and fairly empowered Black population.  I wish I could find the reference source for this data, but years ago I read that the Black-to-White ratio in Tuskegee…
Tom Daniel
March 8, 2021
Blog

A Look Into Our Future

Consider the work of God: for who can make that straight, which He hath made crooked? Ecclesiastes 7: 13 Scott Howard, in his book The Trans-gender Industrial Complex, says on pages 164-5: The so-called Enlightenment made man the center of the universe, a premise no less ridiculous than the not-long-discarded geocentric theory. When man is the center of the universe, he is God -…
H.V. Traywick, Jr.
March 5, 2021
Blog

The Lord Gives

It was a late night in Boone County, Arkansas when me and my newly married wife attended a party not far from our home in Lead Hill. The ol' boy that invited us had built a fire and we were all sitting around, drinking and telling stories, feeding the fire and enjoying the camaraderie, when his granddaughter walked out with…
Travis Holt
March 3, 2021
Blog

Secession’s Magic Numbers, Part One

A serial review of books numbering the States after a dissolution of the Union. American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America by Colin Woodard; ISBN: 978-0-14-312202-9, Penguin, September 25, 2012, 384 pages. American Nations is simply the most brilliant book I have ever read on American history. Almost every page is compact with some…
Terry Hulsey
February 23, 2021
Blog

Cajun Music

If these were normal times, we’d all be unpacking our Mardi Gras gear right about now.  Purple, yellow, and green would be everywhere, and I would be writing about how the first (and oldest) Mardi Gras in North America was in Mobile, Alabama, and not New Orleans.  But things went a little haywire recently, and Mardi Gras got canceled.  However,…
Tom Daniel
February 16, 2021
Blog

Reforming the Southern Man

I am not from where I live, yet I have a deep fear that where I live won’t be where I live for very much longer. The god of progress bears down on our town like cavalry upon the steppes. There is not a whole lot one can do outside of seeking divine intervention, much like a Magyar farmer in…
Rev. Benjamin Glaser
February 5, 2021
Podcast

Podcast Episode 246

The Week in Review at the Abbeville Institute, Jan 25-29, 2021 Topics: Southern Tradition, Slavery, Southern History, Southern Music, Southern Culture https://soundcloud.com/the-abbeville-institute/episode-246
Brion McClanahan
January 30, 2021
Blog

From Eternity into Time

From Eternity into Time Mighty the Wizard Who found me at sunrise Sleeping, and woke me And learn’d me Magic! Great the Master, And sweet the Magic, When over the valley, In early summers, Over the mountain, On human faces, And all around me, Moving to melody, Floated The Gleam…              - Tennyson, “Merlin and the Gleam” (7)   When I…
H.V. Traywick, Jr.
January 29, 2021
Blog

Rock ‘n Roll has a Southern Accent

Rock ‘n Roll may be the most significant cultural export in American history.  There is no doubt that American culture, for good and bad, has had an enormous impact on global culture, and Rock ‘n Roll is one of our most iconic contributions.  Around the world, people don’t hear Rock ‘n Roll and think of Switzerland or Brazil or Thailand. …
Tom Daniel
January 27, 2021
Podcast

Podcast Episode 245

The Week in Review at the Abbeville Institute, Jan 11-22, 2021 Topics: Reconciliation, Southern Politics, Southern Culture, Southern History https://soundcloud.com/the-abbeville-institute/episode-245
Brion McClanahan
January 23, 2021
Blog

American by Birth, Southern by the Grace of God

The old saying: “American by birth, Southern by the grace of God” certainly applies to me. I’m an ethnic Southerner who was raised in the north – but who, for the past 25 years (with the exception of my three year educational exile to the permafrost of Fort Wayne, Indiana) has lived in the Deep South.  In fact, for the…
Rev. Larry Beane
January 21, 2021
Blog

VMI Test Case for the Country

In May of this year, George Floyd died; seven months later, the Virginia Military Institute (VMI) removed its statue of Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson from its prominent position at the nation’s oldest state-supported four-year military college. The two events – one in Minnesota’s largest city, the other in Virginia’s picturesque Shenandoah Valley – had nothing to do with one another.…
Forrest L. Marion
January 7, 2021
Blog

Meditations on a Couple of Old Postcards

I saw a pile of household goods on the side of the road a couple of days ago, as I was picking up a friend to take him to the store. It was a blighting image that I gazed on with disdain. I asked him what was that, and he said his neighbor was cleaning the house, and it was…
Cliff Page
January 6, 2021
Blog

The Blundering Generations and the Crisis of Legitimacy

Crises of legitimacy are rarely resolved without some resort to violence. The European experience in the seventeenth century is generously populated with examples: The English Civil War, Le Fronde I and II, The Thirty Years War, The Great Deluge that rocked Eastern Europe and the Polish Commonwealth. Even the Glorious Revolution, that peaceful coup launched by Anglicans and Whigs against…
John Devanny
December 18, 2020
Blog

A Grandfather’s Love

Most all of us who were fortunate enough to know our Grandfather has experienced his love. It may be expressed in many ways, whether it be a spoken ‘Well done’ or an ‘I love you’, or by a physical ‘pat on the back’ or a hug. But most expressions of our Grandfather’s love are something we hold close, and will…
Travis Holt
December 15, 2020
Blog

Identity Politics and the Southern Gentleman

Earlier this year, shortly after the sad and unfortunate death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, I witnessed an especially peculiar example of one of the many thousands (perhaps millions?) of debates on social media regarding race in America. In this case, both of the virtual combatants were white males — one was a young, recent graduate of an Ivy League…
Casey Chalk
December 10, 2020
Blog

Less Than Five Miles

The life of a man is something that runs deep in all history. Before the war on gender roles, man and woman had a clear, defined boundary that all recognized and respected. Man was the provider, and woman, the nurturer and homemaker. A story and role as old as time. But, what of the physical boundaries of a man? My…
Travis Holt
November 30, 2020
Blog

The Southern Remnant

‘There has always been this fallacious belief: “It would not be the same here; here such things are impossible.” Alas, all the evil of the twentieth century is possible everywhere on earth.’ – Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn ‘In each one of us there lurks such a liberal, wheedling us with the voice of common sense. The road to totalitarian domination leads through…
James Rutledge Roesch
November 11, 2020
Blog

A [r]epublican in Exile

In Washington, D.C., while serving as Secretary of War in the 1850s, Jefferson Davis met Ambrose Dudley Mann, a native of Virginia who was the Assistant Secretary of State (and the first man to hold that office). The two men were drawn to each other immediately and became fast friends for the rest of their lives. In her biography of…
Karen Stokes
November 5, 2020
Blog

The Power of the Powerless

‘The first step in liquidating a people is to erase its memory. Destroy its books, its culture, its history. Then write new books, manufacture a new culture, invent a new history. Before long the nation will begin to forget what it is and what it was. The world around it will forget even faster.’ – Milan Kundera ‘I personally think…
James Rutledge Roesch
November 4, 2020
Blog

The Calhoun Monument Deserved Legal and Historical Protection

As some business owners and residents on King Street described it, “Charleston was raped” on the night of May 30, 2020, as mobs looted and burned the Holy City, turning so-called “peaceful protests” violent. Following numerous calls to remove the John C. Calhoun Monument and repeal the South Carolina Heritage Act, Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg took a resolution to the…
Stewart O. Jones
October 30, 2020
Blog

Dumping Dixie Beer

There’s a popular meme floating around the internet that has a middle-aged, pot-bellied, suburban male standing by a charcoal fire with the caption below reading, “I just want to grill for God’s sake!” It has been seen as both an ideal (men just want to go about their weekly business without intrusion by the pet causes of the day) and…
Christopher J. Carter
October 29, 2020
Blog

Hank Williams Was Their Prophet and Tradition Was Their King

The story I’m about to tell is one of the many coming from the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas. Hardscrabble existence was a way of life with our pioneers, and it was no different in my own bloodline. The Holts, James Simpson, and sons settled on a land grant in Newton County, Arkansas in the 1850s. They were some of the…
Travis Holt
October 21, 2020
Blog

Gaslighting Dixie’s Stateless People

Since 2015, it has become standard fare for the left to accuse President Trump of “Gaslighting,” meaning that the President uses his position of power to provide false data to confuse and therefore dominate Americans. The term originated from a 1930s Broadway play which was made into a movie “Gaslighting” in 1944 staring Ingrid Bergman. In the movie, the husband…
James Ronald Kennedy
October 7, 2020
Blog

The Eyes of Our Fathers

Coming from a small, truly united community, I have many places that are dear to me that I often visit. One of these is a small city, located in the town where I grew up. But this is no ordinary city: it’s a resting place for people who have gone on before us. As I walk through Smith Cemetery at…
Travis Holt
October 2, 2020
Blog

Sampson County and the Defense of Western Civilization

Sampson County is a large, mostly rural county in southeastern North Carolina. Like most non-metropolitan areas of the state, it tends to be conservative, in fact, a long-time bastion of the modern Republican Party in a sea of traditionally Democratic-voting counties. But Sampson County illustrates what is occurring all over the Southland. And in microcosm in certain ways it symbolizes…
Boyd Cathey
September 30, 2020
Blog

The Guns of September

Reminiscences and Ramblings of a Novice Wing-Shooter It was the First of September, 2019 and there I sat, in the pre-dawn twilight, half asleep and fighting the near irresistible temptation, provided by the comfortable blanket of darkness that enveloped me, to “rest my eyes”. I guess that’s what you get for having longtime friends (and, soon-to-be hunting companions) over the…
Travis Archie
September 24, 2020
Blog

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
Blog

Thirty Pieces of Silver

“Do you mean to tell me, Katie Scarlett O'Hara, that Tara, that land, doesn't mean anything to you? Why, land is the only thing in the world worth workin' for, worth fightin' for, worth dyin' for, because it's the only thing that lasts.” Once there was a common theme among our ancestors, and it was a simple one: land is…
Travis Holt
September 21, 2020
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A Land Without Heroes

What if there were 15.3 million dead American soldiers? Imagine it. Legions of the unburied down rows of summer corn, strewn along riverbanks, and discarded on roadsides. And imagine if many of the boys’ bodies had lain there for months or even years, for the fighting was so fierce and the resources so few that only the fortunate lay in…
Duncan Killen
September 15, 2020
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Damn Right You Should Listen to the Blues

“The blues ain’t nothin’ but a good man feelin’ bad,” according to “Negro Blues,” penned in 1913. There’s no question about the “feelin’ bad” part. The genre is defined by its twelve-bar tune with the distinctive flatted third and seventh notes on the major scale (producing the “blue” note) coupled with lyrics of misery, injustice, and even sometimes self-loathing. One…
Casey Chalk
September 9, 2020
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Requiem For A Quiet Man

Growing up in the Arkansas Ozarks, I early on found out I had a love for history; the history of my people. It was passed down to me in short snippets, in stories told between the older generations that revolved around love, tragedy, learning experiences, or sometimes just comedic encounters or sayings. My Grandfather would often quote an older man…
Travis Holt
September 1, 2020
Blog

General Orders No. 9

Have any of you all heard about the film, "General Orders No. 9" ? It's a visual & musical tone poem—an experimental film which appeared in 2011. The filmmaker, Robert Persons, took 11 years to make it. It concerns his musings about the Deep South, mostly Georgia, but also includes abutting parts of Mississippi & Alabama. This strange film struck…
Alphonse-Louis Vinh
August 31, 2020
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The Simple Things

I was raised in one of the poorest counties in North West Arkansas, where my ancestors settled in the 1850s and scratched a living out of poor, rocky hillsides. They raised their families, fought in the war, battled famine and drought and came out ahead, leaving their children small, improved farms. They taught them the joy of being independent, finding…
Travis Holt
August 18, 2020
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The Remnant, Part I

How long will you torment my soul, and break me in pieces with words? These ten times you have reproached me; you are not ashamed that you have wronged me. And if indeed I have erred, my error remains with me. If indeed you exalt yourselves against me, and plead my disgrace against me, know then that God has wronged…
Blog

The Deep Identity of the South

Editor's Note: The Abbeville Institute does not endorse or support the views of Alexander Dugin on race, religion, or government, and Mr. Garlington offers his philosophical positions on identity in the broad concept of the term. The Russian philosopher Alexander Dugin lists three kinds of identity in his book Eurasian Mission – diffused, extreme, and deep.  The diffused identity is…
Walt Garlington
June 30, 2020
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An Interview with Clyde Wilson, Part III

“Southerners who still value their heritage but don’t know what to do about it in such a hostile environment. They are our audience.” DM: What is your best short answer to people who say the War for Southern Independence was all about slavery and nothing but slavery? Should we come at this from an offensive posture, rather than being defensive,…
Clyde Wilson
June 16, 2020
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Old Hope

      When the sick brain with crazy skill                Weaves fantasies of woe and ill. Returning nostalgically for a moment to the presidential debacle—excuse me, "campaign”—of 2003-4, let us recall the headline on the front page of the Nov. 5, 2003 Washington Post which read, "Rivals Demand Dean Apology." An apology, that is, for a remark made by the then…
Jonathan Chaves
May 18, 2020
Blog

Mixing It Up

Allen Mendenhall interviews John Shelton Reed. AM:  John, I really appreciate this interview.  Your latest book is Mixing It Up: A South-Watcher’s Miscellany.  I noticed that you dedicated the book to Beverly Jarrett Mills.  She was helpful to me over recent years, and I wish I had known her much earlier and far longer. I sense that she and others, like…
Allen Mendenhall
May 11, 2020
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Plodding Through the “ills of life”

Especially in unsettling times, it is helpful for Christians to examine the lives of faithful saints of old, who finished their race well. One brother and father in the faith, today perhaps remembered in Baptist circles and in North Carolina, was Elder Martin Ross. As a young man, Ross served as a soldier in the Continental Army in the war…
Forrest L. Marion
April 29, 2020
Blog

Every Southerner Needs This Magazine

On various occasions I’ve made references to Chronicles Magazine and cited articles printed in it. Remarkably, Chronicles is the only print magazine of stature (it is also online) in America which has represented and aired traditionalist conservative viewpoints, in depth and intelligently, now for forty-four years. Edited by Dr. Paul Gottfried (Raffensperger Professor of Humanities, Emeritus, Elizabethtown College), the magazine includes some of the finest writers…
Boyd Cathey
April 22, 2020
Review Posts

Individual Responsibility and Guilt

A review of Learning from the Germans: Race and the Memory of Evil (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2019) by Susan Neiman Susan Neiman is a philosopher who has written well-regarded books on Kant and on the problem of evil. Last year she published a book with an unusual title: Learning From the Germans: Race and the Memory of Evil.  Neiman…
David Gordon
March 24, 2020
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Can the Southern Tradition Save America?

“Where you gonna be when half of California riots? Where you gonna run to when the lights go out? I won’t be hangin’ out in California, I won’t try it. Buddy I’ll be up and headed South.” Jamey Johnson The Wuhan virus has sparked a renewed interest in the Southern tradition. No one is saying that, but it’s true. Donald…
Brion McClanahan
March 23, 2020
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A Southerner’s Movie Guide, Part XIV

19.  Our Speech The experts will tell you that there is more than one Southern accent.  This is true, but they all gather together as a marker of Southern that has been widely recognised for a long time---like barbecue.   For Hollywood a Southern accent usually is outre’, a sign of ignorance or villainy as discussed in preceding chapters. On the…
Clyde Wilson
March 19, 2020
Review Posts

Kentucky Hobbits

A review of The Hobbit Party: The Vision of Freedom That Tolkien Got, and the West Forgot (Ignatius Press, 2014), by Jonathan Witt and Jay W. Richards. Russell Kirk often said that his true formation as a conservative had more to do with reading the novels of Sir Walter Scott than anything else. We also know from James Kibler’s work,…
Garrett Agajanian
March 17, 2020
Blog

A Southerner’s Movie Guide, Part XII

16.  EXECRABLES. The Worst Movies about the South: A Small Selection The competition here is fierce. We can only provide a sample of some of the worst.  A few examples out of a vast field, many of them presenting a ludicrously distorted South.  (X)  The Southerner (1945). This movie was made by a famous French director while a refugee in…
Clyde Wilson
March 5, 2020
Blog

A Southerner’s Movie Guide Part XI

15.  Twentieth and Twenty-First Century Southerners:  Films for the Family The major movie stars of the 1930s through the 1970s came from the East and Midwest.  Nevertheless, there was a strong presence of native Southerners in the top ranks:  Oliver Hardy, Ava Gardner,  Randolph Scott, Joseph Cotten, Jeffrey Hunter,  Miriam Hopkins, John Payne (an almost forgotten Virginian star of film…
Clyde Wilson
February 27, 2020
Blog

Confederate Christmas

It was Thursday, Christmas day of 1862, and the guns at Fredericksburg had fallen silent just ten days before with over ten thousand Union soldiers of the Army of the Potomac and half that number of Confederates from the Army of Northern Virginia lying dead or wounded beyond the city. That night, a twenty-one year old cannoneer from Richmond, Lieutenant…
John Marquardt
February 21, 2020
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A Southerner’s Movie Guide, Part X

12.   Southerners in the Late 19th  and Early  20th Centuries **The Yearling (1946).  This is an all-time favourite about family life on the Florida frontier and a troublesome pet deer.  Seldom noticed is that the father, Gregory Peck, is a former Confederate soldier.  The film is based on the novel by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings.  Another fine Rawlings book about her…
Clyde Wilson
February 20, 2020
Blog

Finding Dixie

Fear not. Dixie lights are merely hiding under a bushel, as it says in the song we teach our children in Sunday School. Grass roots are sprouting. “Woke” tries to get her toe in the door, but in small Southern towns memories and traditions are strong. Here are five examples. In my small Southern town, the first sentence of the…
Barbara Lawter
February 14, 2020
Blog

A Southerner’s Movie Guide, Part IX

11.  Post-bellum and Westerns There  are two  interesting,  important,  and  little  noticed features of films about  the South  in the  period  after the War for Southern  Independence.  First, until recent times they generally portray the mainstream view of “Reconstruction” as corrupt and oppressive that prevailed before the Marxist coup in American history writing.   Carpetbaggers are shown as vicious, greedy, and…
Clyde Wilson
February 13, 2020
Blog

Rebuilding from the Rubble

‘ . . . you know onlyA heap of broken images . . .’--T. S. Eliot, The Waste Land I.  Destruction The description of the South as a land that has fallen into desolation is familiar to many.  Sometimes this historical reality is presented to us in unfamiliar ways, however.  For instance, in his short story ‘Jericho, Jericho, Jericho’, originally…
Walt Garlington
January 29, 2020
Blog

Charge! and Remember Jackson

Lieutenant-General Thomas Jonathan ‘Stonewall’ Jackson was the greatest martyr of our Cause, the first icon of the War for Southern Independence. He was the archetypal Christian soldier; there is infinite wisdom to be gleaned from his life. In death, he has ascended to the status of myth; even in life, as a chaplain once expressed, “Nobody seemed to understand him…when…
Neil Kumar
January 22, 2020
Blog

The Cyber Rebel

William Gibson surprises people when they meet him. The writer who coined the terms “cyberspace” and “megacorp,” whose dystopian novels re-invented science fiction in the 80s, and was lauded in The Guardian (UK) as “the most important novelist of the past two decades,” greets people with a slow, easygoing Southern drawl – not the voice one would expect from a…
Mike C. Tuggle
January 17, 2020
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Education and the South

Theories of education in any land are never easily divorced from the prevailing ideas regarding civics and economics. Education's function, particularly toward the young, will become merely to render them fit to partake in the civic and economic institutions of a nation. Thus its methods and goals will be shaped by these spheres. The end result is a reciprocal relationship…
Robert Hoyle
January 15, 2020
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As the Year 2020 Begins–Southerners Take Stock

As 2020 commences it is perhaps appropriate that we take stock—that we take a look globally at just where we are, politically, culturally, religiously. All our basic and fundamental social institutions are under tremendous stress, if not outright attack, not just legally and politically, but far more insidiously, in how they are defined and how they affect us. Our very…
Boyd Cathey
January 13, 2020
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The Left’s March Through Southern Institutions

A photograph of the University of Mississippi Majorettes graced the cover of the September 24, 1962, issue of the popular national magazine, Sports Illustrated. This national magazine thought nothing of showing college majorettes wearing gray, quasi Confederate, uniforms while carrying numerous Confederate Battle flags. In 1964 the Louisiana State Archives in conjunction with the State Superintendent of Public Education and…
James Ronald Kennedy
January 6, 2020
Blog

A Southerner’s Movie Guide, Part III

5. Spielberg’s Amistad (1997) If Amistad is not yet a household word like ET or Jurassic Park, it soon will be with the power of Steven Spielberg behind it.  (When I started this review awhile back, that was my first sentence, but I may have been wrong.  Late reports indicate the box office is lagging.)  Amistad is really two movies.…
Clyde Wilson
December 19, 2019
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Is Nikki Haley Trying to Back Pedal on the Confederate Flag?

Back in 2015 when Dylan Roof shot those black folks in their church in Charleston, South Carolina no one was quicker to denounce the Confederate flag than the governor of South Carolina, Nimrata Haley. Almost instantaneously she had the Confederate Battle Flag removed from the capital grounds in Columbia, and she said: “I think the more important part is it…
Al Benson
December 18, 2019
Blog

Not Just Whistling Dixie

There are few Southern hearts that still fail to skip a beat or two when a military band strikes up “Dixie,” the de facto national anthem of the Confederacy and the song that has undoubtedly become the one most closely associated with the antebellum South.  This, however, was not the case with the creator of that iconic tune, Daniel Emmett,…
John Marquardt
December 13, 2019
Blog

A Southerner’s Movie Guide, Part II

Symbols Used ** Indicates one of the more than 100 most recommended films. The order in which they appear does not reflect any ranking, only the convenience of discussion (T)   Tolerable but not among the most highly recommended (X)   Execrable. Avoid at all costs                                 3. The Colonial and Revolutionary South Colonial and Revolutionary Southern history does not have a…
Clyde Wilson
December 12, 2019
Review Posts

Real Southern Sport

A review of Maxcy Gregg’s Sporting Journals, 1842-1858 (Green Altar Books, 2019) Suzanne Parfitt Johnson, Editor. Foreword by James Everett Kibler, Jr. The exploration of everyday life in a given historical period is often based upon the letters, diaries, and business ledgers and journals of the past.  Historians in the last four to five decades have also incorporated the findings…
John Devanny
December 10, 2019
Blog

Front Porch Braggin’ Rights

My new neighbor Ozzie, who grew up in the Bronx, thinks that the South is a place “without much culture.”  Ozzie acts as if he is an expert on the subject, even though his Southern experience has been confined to living in the D.C. suburbs for a few years before retiring out here to the Blue Ridge Mountains last year.…
Ben Jones
December 9, 2019
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A Southerner’s Movie Guide, Part I

A man only has room for one oath at a time.  I took an oath to the Confederate States of America.” John Wayne, The Searchers “We are going to hit the Yankees where it’ll hurt him most---his pocketbook.” Van Heflin, The Raid “I’m sure glad I aint a Yankee.” Randoph Scott, Belle Starr “I ain’t never been ‘round no Yankees…
Clyde Wilson
December 5, 2019
Blog

Something of Value

An excerpt from North Carolina author Robert Ruark’s best known novel reads: “If a man does away with his traditional way of living and throws away his good customs, he had better first make certain that he has something of value to replace them.” Ruark grew up in Wilmington where he learned to hunt and fish with his grandfathers in…
Philip Leigh
December 4, 2019
Blog

Steel Creek Church and the Airport

Early this past summer the historic Steele Creek Presbyterian Church, near the city of Charlotte, North Carolina, closed its doors for good. The church, the second oldest in Mecklenburg County, having been founded in 1760—nearly 259 years ago—by hardy Scots settlers to the region, merged with another Presbyterian Church in the area, Pleasant Hill. The classic 1889 Gothic-revival style brick structure…
Boyd Cathey
December 2, 2019
Review Posts

Does the South Exist?

A Review of The Idea of The American South, 1920-1941, (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1979) by Michael O’Brien. I have an invitation to extend to Michael O’Brien, the British author of The Idea of the American South, 1920-1941. At his convenience, I would like Mr. O’Brien to accompany me to a small establishment (one of those notorious Southern "fighting and…
James J. Thompson, Jr.
November 19, 2019
Blog

Overextending Political Loyalties

One of the two commandments the Lord Jesus Christ gave to His disciples to follow was to love our neighbor as ourselves.  However, in the modern United States of America, we no longer have neighbors.  We either have ideological allies; or we have ideological opponents, who keep us from enjoying the right to say or do this or the right…
Walt Garlington
November 8, 2019
Blog

The South Starts Here

You know, as a kid who grew up without electricity, a telephone or indoor plumbing, it continues to amaze me that I posted a picture of a sign in front of a gas station/store down on the Eastern Shore of Virginia, added some thoughts of my own, and several hundred thousand people saw it and shared it and debated it…
Ben Jones
October 21, 2019
Blog

What Price Prosperity?

The news media rarely, if ever, focuses on the impact on society and culture the price of economic growth. Nor do politicians.   This begs the question, what price is extracted from society and culture in the pursuit of economic growth, in particular, when the central and state governments along with the central bank play key roles, namely in the of…
Nicole Williams
October 16, 2019
Blog

Stranger in a Strange Land

I recently relocated--with any luck, temporarily--to a sprawling metroplex of a city of almost seven million, within an even more massive state. I’d believed I understood globalism and loss of identity. I thought I had made an uneasy peace with the reality of modernism and destruction of memory.  I had no idea.  Not only is there no regional culture here—one of…
Leslie Alexander
October 14, 2019
Blog

Whatever Happened to Democracy?

Those of us whose experience goes back a way into the last century, can remember when “democracy” was the main theme of American discourse.  A million tongues proudly and repeatedly declared that America was the Democracy, exemplar and defender of that sacred idea to all the world.  Hardly anyone dared to question that sentiment.  It saw us through two world…
Clyde Wilson
October 7, 2019
Blog

Gunston Hall Boxwoods

George Mason, like Thomas Jefferson and George Washington, was happiest at home, either in the fields and woods, with a good book by the hearth, or entertaining neighbors and family.  Living close to the soil, time was measured by the rhythms of nature. The flow of the seasons brought different activities: planting and harvesting, fishing and hunting, visiting neighbors in…
Brett Moffatt
September 30, 2019
Blog

A Love of Place

Southerners love home. This is true of many people throughout history, but place has, in part, defined the South. The earliest settlers to what became the South championed its Utopian physical qualities: warm weather, a long growing season, bountiful plant and animal life. Bad weather, disease carrying insects, and dangerous wildlife were annoyances to be tolerated if not overcome. Southern…
Brion McClanahan
September 20, 2019
Blog

Mass Barbecue is the Invasive Species of Our Culinary Times

This article originally appeared on www.TheAmericanConservative.com.  Copyright 2019 From the colonial era well into the 20th century, large public barbecues were an institution across the South, from the Chesapeake eventually to Texas. Although these occasions could be linked to campaigns or celebrations of one kind or another, they could also be just an excuse for people to get together, to…
John Shelton Reed
September 19, 2019
Blog

Rediscovering Heritage

Lack of attachment to culture, heritage, and tradition is the death of a nation. As a child, I had very little in-depth knowledge of my family’s history. Most of my extended family had died from old age by the time of my birth except for my maternal grandfather, Nelson Pace and great aunt, Mary Paul Pittman Smyrl, both natives of…
Nicole Williams
August 28, 2019
Review Posts

The C.S.A.

A review of The C.S.A. Trilogy (Independent, 2018) by Howard Ray White. A beautiful thought experiment for Southerners. The year is 2011, the 150th anniversary of the founding of the Confederate States of America.    Celebrants are gathering in the capital, Davis, located where Alabama, Mississippi, and Tennessee come together. Confederates have every reason to celebrate. They have a free, prosperous,…
Clyde Wilson
August 27, 2019
Blog

No Eulogies

In I Kings 21, we see that Naboth did not feel that he had the right to sell the family land no matter how much money King Ahab offered. The land was not his except as a trust from his forefathers to the generations yet unborn." ~~RJ Rushdoony We have come to the place were every year another noble Southern…
Robert Hoyle
August 8, 2019
Blog

The Case for the Confederacy

This essay was originally published in The Lasting South (Regnery, 1957). Recently when Bertrand Russell was a speaking-guest of the Richmond Area University Center, its director, Colonel Herbert Fitzroy, drove the philosopher from Washington to Richmond over Route One. After some miles the usually voluble Russell grew silent, and nothing would draw him out. Then, as if emerging from deep…
Clifford Dowdey
August 7, 2019
Blog

Conan the Southerner?

“Between the time when the oceans drank Atlantis, and the rise of the sons of Aryas, there was an age undreamed of. And unto this, Conan, destined to bear the jeweled crown of Aquilonia upon a troubled brow. It is I, his chronicler, who alone can tell thee of his saga. Let me tell you of the days of high…
Joel T. Leggett
July 5, 2019
Review Posts

Dabney on Fire

A review of Dabney on Fire: A Theology of Parenting, Education, Feminism, and Government (2019) by Zachary Garris, ed. During his lifetime, Southern theologian and writer Robert Lewis Dabney was most notably known for his 1866 biography of General “Stonewall” Jackson (The Life and Campaigns of Lieut.-Gen. Thomas J. Jackson) and for his post-war apologia for the Southern cause, A…
Boyd Cathey
June 25, 2019
Blog

A Copperhead Loves the South

CONFEDERATE MEMORIAL DAY ADDRESS  22 April 2019 American by birth -- Southern by the grace of God!  I come from a true Southern state, South Dakota, and I am honored to be probably the first Dakotan to give the Memorial Day address at the capital of the Confederacy. Last week I had a conference call with a man from Michigan,…
John A. Eidsmoe
April 25, 2019
Blog

The South and the American Union

Stretching from the Potomac River across the southeastern quarter of the United States in a broad arc into the plains of Texas is a region known geographically and politically as “the South.” That this region has been distinctive by reason of its climate, type of produce, ethnic composition, culture, manners, and speech is known to every citizen of the country.…
Richard M. Weaver
April 22, 2019
Blog

The Culture of Thomas Jefferson

To the student of the Classics the most interesting thing in the Library of Congress at Washington is the considerable remnant of the library of Thomas Jefferson. On October 6, 1820, Jefferson wrote to his young grandson, Francis Eppes, "I consider you as having made such proficiency in Latin and Greek that on your arrival at Columbia you may at…
Fred Irland
April 12, 2019
Blog

Talk Radio vs. The South

Right wing radio personalities need no excuse to engage in South-bashing, but the recent events in the Old Dominion have given them free rein to indulge in their passion non-stop.  Governor Ralph Northam’s perceived hatred of “the other” quickly overshadowed his chilling, matter of fact endorsement of proposed legislation establishing new and ghoulish abortion protocols in his state, and with…
J.L. Bennett
February 27, 2019
Blog

Contested Ground: Southern Identity and the Southern Tradition

In the popular imagination the South is viewed as a region typified by racism, poverty, and ignorance save a few special islands, such as Chapel Hill and Charlotte, which lay in the archipelago of enlightenment.  There are some cracks in this edifice of Yankee bigotry, but when political and cultural wars become heated, the edifice is trotted out once more…
John Devanny
February 18, 2019
Blog

Pro-Confederate Television

In this age of political correctness it may surprise people that there were three TV series that portrayed Confederates in a good light. All three are very good and all the episodes of two of the series are available on DVD, and some of the episodes of the other series is available. The first series is Yancy Derringer. Yancy Derringer…
Jeff Wolverton
February 15, 2019
Blog

Confederaphobes

Presented at the Lee-Jackson Banquet, Finley’s Brigade Camp 1614 - Tallahassee, Florida, 19 January 2019 Prologue It seemed like just another day at the University of Wisconsin, La Crosse, for the vice chancellor of student affairs, Paula Knudson, until the phone calls, student visitors, and official “hate and bias” reports began to pour in. A truck—a semi-tractor trailer truck to…
Paul C. Graham
February 6, 2019
Blog

Is Secession the Answer?

Watching NBC’s TODAY program on Tuesday, January 23, 2019, there was anchor Savannah Guthrie demanding to know if Covington, Kentucky, Catholic High School student, Nick Sandman, wished to “apologize” for his “actions” in front of the Lincoln Memorial when confronted by Indian activist, Nathan Phillips, on January 19. The scarcely-concealed bias that characterized Guthrie’s question and the continuing media narrative—proven…
Boyd Cathey
February 4, 2019
Blog

The Southern Tradition

Many years ago the historian Francis Parkman wrote a passage in one of his narratives which impresses me as full of wisdom and prophecy. After a brilliant characterization of the colonies as they existed on the eve of the Revolution, he said, “The essential antagonism of Virginia and New England was afterwards to become, and to remain, an element of…
Richard M. Weaver
January 14, 2019
Blog

Julian Green

One summer day in Paris, France, just a year after the Great War, a former French military officer, not yet nineteen years of age was invited by his father to have a chat. Slim, handsome, and gifted, the young man knew it was time for the big talk concerning his future now that peace had returned. To help him make…
Alphonse-Louis Vinh
January 11, 2019
Blog

The Cost of Southern Cultural Genocide

The destruction of Confederate monuments and the slandering of all things Confederate is in vogue in contemporary mainline media, academia, and the political establishment. The destruction of Confederate monuments by radical mobs is similar to the radical Taliban’s destruction of Buddhist monuments and the Soviet Union’s denial of public expressions of native culture in the Baltic states—all are examples of…
James Ronald Kennedy
January 9, 2019
Blog

The Legacy of D.W. Griffith

None knew it then, but in 1915, Southern agrarian influence on the movies was at its height. The film trade had just left Fort Lee, New Jersey, only to land in the equally piously named Mount Lee, California. Of course, the latter’s new name was Hollywood, due to its Kansas prohibitionist developers, but it was also the same name as…
Norman Stewart
January 7, 2019
Blog

The Neo-Puritan War on Christmas

“Puritanism: The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy.” – H. L. Mencken “Let any man of contrary opinion open his mouth to persuade them , they close up their ears, his reasons they weigh not . . . . They are impermeable to argument and have their answers well drilled.”  – Richard Hooker, Of the Lawes of Ecclesiastical…
John Devanny
December 19, 2018
Review Posts

The Land We Love

A review of The Land We Love: The South and Its Heritage (Scuppernong Press, 2018) by Boyd Cathey I must confess that I feel a bit awkward about reviewing Dr. Boyd Cathey’s outstanding anthology, The Land We Love: The South and its Heritage. I am, as the reader may notice, mentioned in the preface, along with Clyde Wilson, as one…
Paul Gottfried
December 18, 2018
Blog

What Does the Fracturing of the American Identity Mean for the Southern Tradition?

The Abbeville Institute conducted three conferences this year on the fracturing of American national identity and what means for the Southern tradition and the Southern people. The general public knows America is coming apart and that they're anxious about it, but most don't understand why because our political leaders and the national media generally suppress its origins. We wanted to…
Donald Livingston
December 17, 2018
Blog

Southern Music is American Music

Why do Southerners continue to fall into that trap where we only talk about the years1861-1865?  There are almost 400 years of Southern culture to talk about, yet we keep limiting ourselves to just four of them.  And it doesn’t matter how much of an expert someone becomes about Fredericksburg, Yankees will always have that same ace-in-the-hole comeback, “You lost.” But…
Tom Daniel
December 14, 2018
Blog

The Tragedy of Land Use in the South

For all of the pontificating of the virtues of the South, we have increasingly seen our agrarian landscape polluted by strip malls and environmental contamination. I make the case that neither of these things are inherently Southern in character, and as I believe, are contributing negatives to the soul and character of our region. We must work to correct these…
Nicole Williams
December 3, 2018
Blog

What Country Legend Roy Clark’s Death Symbolizes for America in 2018

The news came Thursday, November 15, that country music legend, Virginia-born Roy Clark had passed away at age 85. For those either too young to know who Clark was, or who perhaps never cottoned to “country” music, for a whole generation, for twenty-four years, he was in many ways the heart and soul of the popular country music variety television…
Boyd Cathey
November 28, 2018
Blog

Why Aren’t Americans Interested in History?

The study of history cannot be neatly contained behind the tall foreboding doors of an ivory tower nor swept under the rugs of dusty corner offices housing stacks of paper. It bleeds into other fields as it serves to inform both individual and group identity. It gives context to the current world and helps one understand their place in it…
Jonathan Harris
November 9, 2018
Blog

Was the Old South Feudal?

Was the Old South Feudal? Eugene Genovese wrote several works on antebellum slavery that essentially argued the Old South was neither feudal nor capitalist. His book Fruits of Merchant Capital: Slavery and Bourgeois Property in the Rise and Expansion of Capitalism and earlier writings on slave economies postulated that the Southern mode of production was pre-capitalist and utilized a type…
Michael Martin
October 24, 2018
Blog

Southern Memories of the Good Ol’ Days

Having traveled in all fifty states, I must admit there are certain areas of this great country that continue to draw me back, time and again, to enjoy their natural beauty, pleasing climate, and their historical sites. The most fascinating place I’ve traveled is the tiny village of Barrow, Alaska, the northern most of cities in the United States. However,…
Cary Lindsay
October 12, 2018
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The Old South’s Poor Whites

There was a time, before universal white male suffrage and the closing of the frontier, when the poor whites of the South were considered shiftless and without caste. If we were to look at the South as a hierarchical system, it could be argued that the poor whites were a kind of pariah. There’s a common misconception that all whites…
Michael Martin
October 11, 2018
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Why Was General Earl Van Dorn Murdered?

In some ways, historians are like anyone else: they hate to make mistakes. But if you write enough, sooner or later, you will make a mistake—I assure you. I certainly have, but I have been more fortunate than most. Sometimes, mistakes benefit you. What I suppose are my two most significant errors to date came more than two decades apart,…
Samuel W. Mitcham
October 4, 2018
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Fighters

Editor's Note: The text is taken from Tom Skeyhill's, His Own Life Story And War Diary, a collection of interviews Skeyhill conducted with World War I Medal of Honor recipient Alvin C. York of Pall Mall, TN in the 1920s. I ain’t had much of the larnin’ that comes out of books. I’m a-trying to overcome that, but it ain’t…
Alvin C. York
September 19, 2018
Blog

End of an Era

I was saddened to hear that Phil Harris had died. I knew the man. You might say we were old friends. As a matter of fact, we first met in 1954 in Monterey, California. I was attending the Army Language School, learning Russian, and Phil was playing in the Bing Crosby Pro-Am tournament. His professional partner was Dutch Harrison, a…
Thomas Landess
August 17, 2018
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The Sounds of the Mississippi Delta and Appalachia

Because we live in such a hurried time, we hear countless “noises” but have little time to appreciate actual “sounds.” Sound is a sensation that you can feel, not just something you can hear. To understand this idea, consider how some musicians have actually played concerts for the deaf, who cannot hear the music but still feel the vibrations. These…
Michael Martin
August 16, 2018
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Anything Is Nice If It Come From Dixieland

In October 1901, President Theodore Roosevelt invited Booker T. Washington to dine at the executive mansion. This was an unprecedented move. No African-American had ever been asked to dine with the president, and while neither Roosevelt or his staff said much of the event, it was surely done in the spirit of reconciliation and Roosevelt's desire to be "the people's…
Brion McClanahan
August 15, 2018
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The Southern Muse of Ronnie Van Zant

The 1970’s were an interesting time in the South. The 1970's were the last time Southerners could be Southern without feeling the need to apologize for, or be ironic about, their Southern identity. In fact, in the 1970's, it seemed to actually go a little beyond this. We shouldn’t push this too far, but in 1970’s America there seemed to…
Jeff Rogers
August 13, 2018
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The Southern Saga

In the book The Mystery of the Wonder-Worker of Ostrog, the main character, Mladjen, a fictional representation of the modern Serb uprooted from his traditions by the lingering effects of Communism (who is very much akin to many of those inhabiting the New South, shorn of so much of their past by the all-too-present effects of Communism’s alter-ego, Capitalism), has…
Walt Garlington
August 10, 2018