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Southern Culture

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Backwards in a Sideways World

This article was originally printed at Tony Woodlief's website, Sand in the Gears. When I was twelve, we were evicted from our house in Florida, a consequence either of Reaganomics or our failure to pay rent for three months, depending on whose story you wanted to believe. We faced a long, hungry drive back to North Carolina. A neighbor, also…
Tony Woodlief
April 21, 2016
Review Posts

Charles Carroll of Carrollton: The Southern Irish Catholic Planter

A slightly different version of this essay is Chapter Eleven in Brion McClanahan, The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Founding Fathers (Regnery, 2009).  This essay is offered as a Southern celebration of St. Patrick's Day. Charles Carroll of Carrollton has one of the more interesting stories of the Founding generation. He was one of the wealthiest men in the colonies…
Brion McClanahan
March 17, 2016
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Manifesto of Old Men and Simple Preachers

Over time a man, if he is perceptive, comes to certain conclusions.  The most startling is that the greatest truths were spoken to him throughout his life by ordinary men, simple preachers, old men sitting around drinking soda and eating peanuts, his father.  These men, if beneficiaries of a culture and community that embraces common-sense as a virtue, know truths…
Barry Clark
February 23, 2016
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“Dar’s nuttin’ lak de ol’-time ways”

Many people are familiar with the Slave Narratives from the Federal Writers Project of the 1930s. While some historians reject them for what has been called gross inaccuracies due in large part to the many positive memories of the institution (the negative accounts are always used), they have become the standard source for firsthand information on the institution from the…
Brion McClanahan
February 5, 2016
Clyde Wilson Library

The Way We Are Now

I promised to keep you updated on our government’s radio ads. In the latest, the Department of Justice offers you its benevolent services for any problem you might be experiencing with school bullies. * * * * I may not be a good American. I have never watched a Super Bowl or an NBA championship, never been to Las Vegas,…
Clyde Wilson
February 3, 2016
Review Posts

European Influences in the South

This essay is a chapter from The South in the Building of the Nation series, History of the Social Life. The solidarity of public opinion in the South has been so often commented upon that it is difficult to realize the heterogeneous elements employed in making her population. The "solid South" is not only a political but in many respects…
Edwin Mims
February 2, 2016
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The Heritage of the South

This essay served as the concluding chapter to Page's biography of Robert E. Lee, published in 1908. I stood not a great while ago on the most impressive spot, perhaps, in all Europe: beneath the majestic dome of the Invalides where stands the tomb of Napoleon. It was a summer evening, and we descended the steps and stood at the…
Thomas Nelson Page
January 25, 2016
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“We want not Gascons, but Southern gentlemen, honorable, high-toned men of strict integrity and straight hair.”

Gentlemen of the Historical Society of Mecklenburg (1876): Our president has appropriately introduced the series of historical lectures with the inquiry, why so few have attempted to preserve the record of the great events in the history of North Carolina, and to. embalm the memories of the illustrious actors therein. Perhaps, it may not be amiss in me to pursue…
Daniel Harvey Hill
December 15, 2015
Clyde Wilson Library

The Virginia Roots of American Values

"There is Jackson standing like a stone wall. Rally behind the Virginians." — Barnard Elliott Bee A Review of Pursuits of Happiness: The Social Development of Early Modern British Colonies and the Formation of American Culture, by Jack P. Greene, Chapel Hill and London: University of North Carolina Press, 1988, 284 pages. We were British colonists for a long time.…
Clyde Wilson
December 9, 2015
Review Posts

The Same Old Stand?

This essay was published in Why the South Will Survive: Fifteen Southerners Look at Their Region a Half Century after I'll Take My Stand, edited by Clyde Wilson, 1981. When the Southern Agrarians took their stand, they did it stoutly, on two feet. Some emphasized the "Southern," others the "Agrarian," but fifty years ago it seemed that the two loyalties, to the South…
John Shelton Reed
December 1, 2015
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A New Reconstruction: The Renewed Assault on Southern Heritage

This article was originally printed in the Nov/Dec 2015 issue of Confederate Veteran Magazine. In June 2015, after the depraved shootings in a Charleston, South Carolina, black church, a frenzied hue and cry went up and any number of accusations and attacks were made against historic Confederate symbols, in particular, the Confederate Battle Flag. Monuments, markers, flags, plaques, street and…
Boyd Cathey
November 19, 2015
Review Posts

Virginia First

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

Thomas Jefferson, Southern Man of Letters, Part I

There was a popular ragtime song in the 1940s and ‘50s, derived from an old minstrel tune, that went like this: Is it true what they say about Dixie? Does the sun really shine there all the time? Do sweet magnolias blossom 'round every door? Do the folks eat possum till they can’t eat no more? If you really want…
Clyde Wilson
November 4, 2015
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Ferrol Sams and Run With the Horsemen

Do men read fiction anymore? In my youth I remember visiting other boys’ homes and finding novels from their fathers – you know, Zane Grey, Louis L’Amour, Ernest Hemingway, Ian Fleming. In my own family there were no books, and I can confidently state that not one of my forebears had read even 50 books, fiction or nonfiction, not even…
Terry Hulsey
November 2, 2015
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John William Corrington and Southern Conservatism

This piece was originally published at The American Conservative. When John William Corrington died in 1988, Southern conservatives lost one of their most talented writers, a refined Cajun cowboy with a jazzy voice and bold pen whose work has since been unjustly neglected. A lawyer and an English professor, an ambivalent Catholic and a devotee of the philosopher Eric Voegelin,…
Allen Mendenhall
October 29, 2015
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Sayings By or For Southerners, Part XX

To compel a man to subsidize with his taxes the propagation of ideas which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.--Jefferson When did the South ever lay its hand on the North?--Calhoun . . . it remains true that the bulk of modern monopoly or quasi monopoly is not the result of always irresistible economic forces, but simply the…
Clyde Wilson
October 28, 2015
Clyde Wilson Library

Chronicles of the South

Introduction to Chronicles of the South: In Justice to So Fine a Country “The South” is a Problem. A Big Problem. This has been true at least since the 1790s when Mr. Jefferson and his friends rallied to put the kibosh—only temporarily, alas—on New England's attempt to reinterpret the new Constitution and set up a central government powerful enough to…
Clyde Wilson
October 21, 2015
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The War to Prevent Southern Independence and Other New Tomes

Thanks for the “Amateurs” “Amateur” has come to mean “inferior” to most people today. But the term originally meant someone who was as good as a professional but did not take money for performance. Fortunately, Dixie has always had and still does have many able “amateur” historians. This is a good thing since most of the paid “professional” historians these…
Clyde Wilson
September 30, 2015
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He Loved To Tell The Story: An Appreciation of William Price Fox (1926-2015)

From personal experience I can draw any number of anecdotes that would vividly personify William Price Fox, the South Carolina novelist, story writer, and chronicler of the South who died in April at age eighty-nine, a few days following his birthday, another vibrant person claimed by the scourge of Alzheimer’s. This occurred in 1988. I hitched a ride with Bill…
Randall Ivey
September 21, 2015
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From Under the Rubble: The Wearin’ of the Cross

This article was originally published by the Fleming Foundation. In simpler times when our world was young, we used to sing, "It's a Barnum and Bailey world/Just as phony as it can be." Now we might just as well call it an Obama and Osama world: It's still phony but a lot more dangerous than circus lions. A Palestinian Muslim…
Thomas Fleming
September 14, 2015
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M.R. Ducks

Years ago I was introduced to my wife’s grandmother. This small but formidable woman lived in Columbus, Ohio, a descendant of tough, blue collar shanty Irish. We got to talkin’ about the experience of the Irish in America, the Democratic Party’s abandonment of regular folk, why you never can really trust a Republican, and wouldn’t it be great if Pat…
John Devanny
September 7, 2015
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ISIS Punks and USA Vandals

This article was originally published at the Fleming Foundation. When the Islamic State blows up the Temple of Bel in Palmyra, the UNESCO (the cultural arm of the United Nations) condemns the act as a war crime.  UNESCO’s director-general declared that in destroying ancient monuments, IS was “seeking to deprive the Syrian people of its knowledge, its identity and history.”…
Thomas Fleming
September 3, 2015
Review Posts

The War for Southern Independence: My Myth or Yours?

In the antebellum era, Matthew Carey, Philadelphia publisher and journalist, was the most zealous and articulate advocate of a protective tariff to raise the price of imported goods so high that American manufacturers would be guaranteed a closed internal market that would provide them with growth and profits. He believed fervently that this was necessary to build a strong country.  …
Clyde Wilson
September 1, 2015
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Japan and the South

When William Faulkner visited Japan in 1955 to attend a literary symposium in Nagano, he noted certain parallels between the aftermath of the Confederacy’s defeat in 1865 and that of Japan’s a century and a half later. In an address, “To the Youth of Japan,” Faulkner summed up these mutual experiences by saying; “My side, the South, lost that war,…
John Marquardt
August 27, 2015
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People Along the Way: Dan Smoot

Dan Smoot never considered himself to be a Southern conservative, though he was born and reared in Missouri and spent his early adult life in Texas.  He was one of the leading conservative voices in the 1960s and hosted a weekly television program titled "The Dan Smoot Report." There were once principled men who were willing to carry the conservative…
Brion McClanahan
August 20, 2015
Clyde Wilson Library

A Sacrifice for His People: The Imprisonment of Jefferson Davis

In 1866 Margaret Junkin Preston of Lexington, Virginia, a sister-in-law of Stonewall Jackson, wrote a poem she called “Regulus.” Regulus was a Roman hero who was tortured by the Carthaginians but never yielded his honour or his patriotism. Her verse, which did not mention Jefferson Davis by name, was a reflection on the imprisonment of President Davis—a tribute to Davis’s…
Clyde Wilson
August 19, 2015
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Digging For Southern Roots

With all due apologies to Samuel Clemens, I like to think of myself as a Connecticut Confederate. Therefore, I was delighted to find recently that, in addition to being a self-made devotee of the “Lost Cause” and an ardent admirer of the South in general, I also have at least two actual ancestors who served gallantly in the Confederate Army…
John Marquardt
August 17, 2015
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Another Look at the Confederate Battle Flag

Recently Mr. Donald Fraser wrote a column in my hometown newspaper, the Northeast Georgian, titled “Battle Flag Promotes Hate, Not Heritage.” He opened his article expressing a twinge of fear that he would probably not make many friends. I am glad, however, he is willing to say what he believes even at the expense of offending others, a luxury often…
Samuel C. Smith
August 7, 2015
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Why Yankees Won’t (And Can’t) Leave the South Alone

This essay was first published in Southern Partisan in the Winter, 1985. Southerners rarely while away their leisure hours by contemplating Yankees, for there is no point in thinking of unpleasant things if one is not obliged to do so. Yet the practice does have value; to some extent, at least, we are defined by those attributes which set us…
Forrest McDonald
August 6, 2015
Clyde Wilson Library

A Jeffersonian Political Economy

Your other lecturers have pleasant and upbeat subjects to consider. I am stuck with economics, which is a notoriously dreary subject.   It is even more of a downer when we consider how far the U.S. is today from a Southern, Jeffersonian political economy which was once a powerful idea. Economics as practiced today is a utilitarian and materialistic study. It…
Clyde Wilson
July 29, 2015
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The Southern Accent

https://youtu.be/XPfOL4wUuMU Thanks to Tom Daniel for shooting me this video.  This was made when the History Channel had real history in its program lineup.  Charlie Daniels narrates the segment.  For those looking to read more into this subject, please read David Hackett Fischer's seminal Albion's Seed: Four British Folkways in America (America: a cultural history) and Cleanth Brooks's The Language…
Brion McClanahan
July 27, 2015
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The Real History of Tap Dancing

After an enforced retirement due to a bad back, and moving to the Deep South to get away from the madness of living inside the DC Beltway in Virginia most of my life, and the cold winters, I had the typical delusion that I wanted a vegetable garden, a big one. I brought in tons of a rich humus to…
Arnie Lerma
July 24, 2015
Review Posts

An Effective Diplomat

One of America's most successful diplomats of the 20th century, was Horace C. Holmes, who spent over 30 years in the diplomatic service. Most of that time was spent in what are now called Third World countries, where he became known for being able to change the minds of those he was trying to help---even though most were firmly convinced…
Joscelyn Dunlop
July 21, 2015
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Our Noble Banner

The Confederate battle flag is protean. It is a powerful symbol that has entered the world’s consciousness. “Protean,” going back to the classical Proteus, is defined as “readily taking on varied shapes, forms, or meanings.”   And as “having a varied nature or ability to assume different forms.”   The flag’s power   is very real, but engenders a different feeling according to…
Clyde Wilson
July 20, 2015
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The “Hawaiian Prophet” from South Carolina

South Carolina is not known for great surfing, but a native son named Alexander Hume Ford (1868-1945) is credited with the revival, preservation, and promotion of that sport. The scion of an old South Carolina family, he was the son of Georgetown County planter Frederick W. Ford (1817-1872) and Mary Mazyck Hume. His mother died at the time of his…
Karen Stokes
July 16, 2015
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Afterthoughts on the Lowering of the Confederate Battle Flag in Columbia

This article was orgininally printed in the Unz Review and is reprinted here with permission from the author. Yesterday afternoon I heard a black civic leader in Columbia, South Carolina being interviewed about the just completed removal of the Confederate Battle Flag from the statehouse grounds. The lady from FOX who did the interview wanted to know about the satisfaction…
Paul Gottfried
July 15, 2015
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Nothing is Sacred

Any sensible, reasonable person is deeply saddened by the atrocious and tragic murder of nine innocent, people while they attended a Bible study in Charleston, SC. Such tragedy is unthinkable, and I am joined by the overwhelming majority of people across the South in extending my most heartfelt condolences to the families of these folks, and to their community at…
Carl Jones
July 10, 2015
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Whiskey

As a teenager, I always loved Sydney J. Harris’ syndicated newspaper column called “Things I Learned En Route to Looking Up Other Things.” I’m still fascinated with the concept of finding important information through the backdoor. The power of derailment on the internet is intoxicating, and I love getting side-tracked when I’m supposed to be being productive. I think most…
Tom Daniel
July 9, 2015
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The Southern Cradle: A Review of The Other Irish by Karen F. McCarthy

The sub-title of Karen F. McCarthy’s highly readable The Other Irish: The Scots-Irish Rascals Who Made America sums up the book’s tone and scope: “The Scots-Irish Rascals Who Made America.” This is a general introduction to the Scots-Irish contribution to the history and culture of the United States, with special attention to their role in shaping the South. As the…
Mike C. Tuggle
July 6, 2015
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Caitlyn Jenner and the New South

It is not necessary to detail Bruce Jenner’s transformation into Caitlyn Jenner. Suffice it to say that we have been informed that Bruce’s inner self was at war with his physical self. With the assistance of modern medicine, Bruce was physically modified into Caitlyn. This is not to say that Bruce the male was transformed into Caitlyn a female. Nevertheless,…
Marshall DeRosa
July 2, 2015
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Mississippi Beaming

(1991) Oxford, Mississippi – I lost count of just how many times the University of Mississippi band played “Dixie” last Saturday while the Rebels were upsetting Georgia 17-13. The number had to be in the double figures, however. There were 31,000 at the game. Everybody who wasn’t from Georgia had a Confederate flag. Before the game began, there had been…
Lewis Grizzard
June 29, 2015
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New From Southern Pens 3

The Report from Dogwood Mudhole Franklin Sanders is a well-known Southern leader and spokesman.   In 1995 Sanders, his wife, children, and grandchildren moved lock, stock, and barrel to Wayne County, Tennessee, determined to return to the land and learn to be farmers. Their adventures in this epic agrarian quest are being recorded by Sanders in a trilogy. The first volume…
Clyde Wilson
June 25, 2015
Clyde Wilson Library

America’s Red-Headed Stepchild

This piece was originally published on 3 July 2014 and is reprinted in light of current events. Are you puzzled and irritated by the viciousness and falsity of most of what is being published these days about the South and Southern history? The beginning of all wisdom on this subject is to know that in American public speech and so-called…
Clyde Wilson
June 24, 2015
Review Posts

Way Down in the (Southern State of) Missouri

“Way down in Missouri…Journey back to Dixieland in dreams again with me…” – Lyrics from the “Missouri Waltz” (The Official Missouri State Song) by James Royce Shannon. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6qtymMIAUKQ A cultural identity crisis can be an absolutely terrible thing that can often have ramifications that transcend the time in which it was spawned. Such a trend can lead to the cultural…
Travis Archie
June 23, 2015
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The Sesquicentennial of the War for Southern Independence as Symbolic of the Fallen State of the South

With the Sesquicentennial of the epic war of American history winding down, many may think this War no longer particularly relevant and we can move on to more current concerns. Such an attitude, which I dare say prevails among most Americans, Southerners included, ignores the watershed importance of the War known by any number of names, the “Civil War,” the…
William Cawthon
May 19, 2015
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“…The Patriotic Gore, That Flecked the Streets of Baltimore?”: Musings on the Baltimore Riot by a Native Son

The recent riots in Baltimore gave most Americans pause as they struggled to make sense of the violence that tore at the fabric of some of the city’s most impoverished and desperate neighborhoods.  President Barack Obama moved swiftly to enlighten Americans that the origins of the violence in Baltimore could be traced back to the days of Jim Crow and…
John Devanny
May 15, 2015
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New From Southern Pens, Part 2

Maryland Redeemed Everybody knows that our national anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner,” was written by Francis Scott Key as he watched the British attack on Fort McHenry in Baltimore harbor during the War of 1812. Almost nobody knows the rest of the story. In 1861, Key’s grandson, Francis Key Howard, was locked up in Fort McHenry.   Howard wrote: “The flag which…
Clyde Wilson
May 8, 2015
Review Posts

Was Jefferson a “Scientific Racist”?

Originally published by the History News Network, 11 November 2014. “In one of my seminar discussions,” writes UVA professor Peter Onuf (now emeritus) in The Mind of Thomas Jefferson, “one young woman described suddenly feeling the she ‘did not belong here,’ that Jefferson was telling her that there was no place for her in his ‘academical village.’ ” He continues,…
M. Andrew Holowchak
April 14, 2015
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The Antidote for Yankee Self-Righteous Delusional Disorder

The closing days of the sesquicentennial has offered media outlets the chance to reflect on the outcome of the War. The results were to be expected. Both “conservative” and “liberal” websites have lamented that the end of the War did not produce the sweeping political and social revolution that could have been, or in their minds should have been. Three…
Brion McClanahan
April 10, 2015
Clyde Wilson Library

What to Say About Dixie?

What to say in brief compass about the South?—a subject that is worthy of the complete works of a Homer, a Shakespeare, or a Faulkner. The South is a geographical/historical/cultural reality that has provided a crucial source of identity for millions of people for three centuries. Long before there was an entity known as "the United States of America." there…
Clyde Wilson
April 8, 2015
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Disunion in America and the Southern Confederacy

The late Richard M. Weaver, “now widely recognized as one of the most original and perceptive interpreters of Southern culture and letters, one of the century’s leading rhetorical theorists, and a founder of American conservatism,” crafted many essays still relevant today. He wrote prolifically until his death in 1963. The quote above came from the introduction of a large volume…
R.E. Smith, Jr.
April 8, 2015
Review Posts

What Makes Southern Manners Peculiar?

Southerners live in the 18th century. This common charge is not altogether false, since the peculiar habits, customs, and meanings of words found often in the American South are found also in 18th century English authors. Such a word is manners. Most English-speaking people and some Southerners use the word now in the only senses current during the past two…
Ward S. Allen
April 7, 2015
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The Old South,The New South, and The Neutered South

The phrase, "The New South", appears in the 1886 speech that Atlanta newspaper editor, Henry Grady, delivered to the New England Society in New York. In fact, the origination of the phrase is often attributed to the former Atlanta editor. Reconstruction was only a few years in the past when Grady addressed the New England Society. The South was struggling…
Gail Jarvis
April 6, 2015
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The Eternal ‘Rebel Yell’

Recently, a friend sent me a link on the Smithsonian web site to a 1930 video clip with good sonics of some aged Confederate veterans demonstrating how the famous "Rebel Yell" had sounded some 65 years earlier. All those men were at least in their late 80s, most in their 90s.  But their remarkable spirit still showed through. History and time…
Boyd Cathey
March 26, 2015
Clyde Wilson Library

Hanging with the Snarks: An Academic Memoir

There seemed to be little interest among audience members in whether the ideas I had presented were true, only whether their application would bring about results they liked. I used to have a running argument with a colleague, a great scholar now gathered to his fathers, during late afternoon seminars catered by the good folks at Jack Daniels. The argument…
Clyde Wilson
March 25, 2015
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Where the Yankees Shoot You

I used to always wonder if other Southern children were taught the same thing we were while growing up. A particular case in point is a fabulous exchange that was heard often in my family around toddlers who were learning to identify various parts of their bodies. We would ask little kids to point to their toes, and to point…
Tom Daniel
March 23, 2015
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Guns, Yankees, and Such

The antipathy of many urbanites who reside in Greater New England (think Old New England and the Midwest) toward firearms and their possessors has always left me puzzled. Aside from editorials and the parade of talking heads, I have come face to face with firearms aversion among some of my wife’s kin. And, being a “nat’ral born durn’d fool” I…
John Devanny
March 6, 2015
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“History is Nothing but a Pack of Lies We Play Upon the Dead.”

Henry Timrod, the greatest Southern poet next to Edgar Allan Poe, the "Poet Laureate of the Confederacy," died during Reconstruction in 1867 at the young age of 38. Dr. James E. Kibler, an outstanding authority on all things Carolinian and a noted author and Professor Emeritus of English at the University of Georgia, tells me that Timrod died of starvation.…
William Cawthon
March 2, 2015
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What Every Southern Boy Should Know

Some months back, my buddy Tom Daniel wrote a piece titled "What Every Southern Man Should be Able to Do.” It is a great list of recommendations, and I concur with all of it, which is why I’m swiping his idea and modifying it slightly (Come to think about it, Tom writes some great stuff, so I really should swipe…
Carl Jones
February 27, 2015
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Gentleman Bob and the Decline of the South

Coal miners have their canaries; we have colinus virginiánus, the bobwhite quail. Like the canary that goes silent as the oxygen levels in a mine drop, so too has the quail gone silent in large swaths of the South. The decline of Gentleman Bob has been attributed to any number of factors. Wildlife biologists blame the loss and destruction of…
John Devanny
February 9, 2015
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Vindicating the South

Reprinted from Circa1865.com. The articles of Dr. Albert Taylor Bledsoe would often express “in vigorous language . . . the best types of literature of the conservative point of view” from the South. In battling against the inevitable tendencies of modernity changing the postwar South, he reminded Southerners that their civilization was one to cherish and perpetuate. Vindicating the South:…
Bernard Thuersam
January 23, 2015
Clyde Wilson Library

Confederate Flag Day

I am honoured to be back in my native State (North Carolina) where the weak grow strong and the strong grow great. We are here on this occasion both to remember our Confederate forefathers and to honour them in their heroic War for Southern Independence. We do right to remember and honour our Confederate forebears, first of all because they…
Clyde Wilson
January 19, 2015
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Travis Tritt Flies His Red Flag

Country music singer Travis Tritt recently tweeted a controversial comment in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo shooting. The tweet was in support of gun owners but at the same time took an implicit swipe at Muslims and the liberal media. The tweet has generated the predictable outrage, but also a lot of supportive replies. It is interesting that we…
Dan E. Phillips
January 16, 2015
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Stand Against “Cultural Displacement” of Lowcountry

This piece originally appeared on www.fitsnews.com. When you’re out and about in Charleston, S.C., almost everyone assumes you are not from here or that you do not have ancestral ties to the land. In any place such an assumption is made, that place’s culture is critically endangered. In the Lowcountry, there’s the proposed extension of I-526, which promises to raise…
Strom McCallum
December 23, 2014
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Sayings By or For Southerners, Part X

  What are people for? --Wendell Berry I do not view politicks as a scramble between eminent men; but as a science by which the lasting interest of the country may be advanced. --Calhoun Citizens must fight to defend the law as if fighting to hold the city wall. --Heraclitus Yea, they made their hearts as an adamant stone, lest…
Clyde Wilson
December 16, 2014
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Please “Dump Dixie”

Michael Tomasky at the Daily Beast believes “It’s Time to Dump Dixie.” Please do. He also thinks that there may be a point in the future when the South should have its independence. Hallelujah, but we tried that once and were forced to keep company with our “kind” neighbors to the North, those like Tomasky who call the South, “one…
Brion McClanahan
December 10, 2014
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Son of the South

Today, November 13, is the birthday of one of the Troubadours of Southern Rock, Toy Talmadge Caldwell of The Marshall Tucker Band. Toy was born in 1947, grew up in Spartanburg, and like his Father, served in the US Marine Corps, where he saw action and was wounded in Vietnam. He had begun playing guitar as a teen and after…
Carl Jones
November 13, 2014
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All Slavery, All the Time*

*Apologies to Jon White from whom I sole the title for this piece. Invariably, any discussion regarding the causes of the Late Unpleasantness brings forth the tortured issue of slavery. Back when I was a graduate student in the 1990s, there was still some room, though not much, for a multi-causational interpretation of the War, not so much anymore. Much…
John Devanny
November 12, 2014
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Painting the Old South

As with literature, nineteenth-century American art is dominated by the North and Northern subjects. The Hudson River School, which incidentally found its greatest inspiration from the West, and most American artists of the Romantic period hailed from the Deep North. After the North won the War, the focus for the American mind shifted North and those who had carved a…
Brion McClanahan
November 7, 2014
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Sayings By or For Southerners, Part VII

The Constitutional power of the President never was or could be formidable, unless it was accompanied by a Congress which was prepared to corrupt the Constitution. --Calhoun Devolution is not an event, it is a process. --John Davies, Welsh nationalist leader And as for unrequited love, it is seldom fatal, Shakespeare having observed with great sapience: “Men have died from…
Clyde Wilson
November 5, 2014
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Sayings By or For Southerners Part VI

When did the South ever lay its hand on the North? --Calhoun The body of a Confederate soldier was discovered near here a few days ago. I think I will go over and apologise. --Ambrose Bierce, former Union soldier Therefore I charge the young not to despise hunting or any other schooling. For these are the means by which men…
Clyde Wilson
October 28, 2014
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A Southerner Repents

This essay originally appeared on Fred Reed's website and is reprinted here by permission. My sins creep up on me, sent by the Devil, and beset me by surprise. I know not what to do. A month ago, in Fredericksburg, Virginia, I sat on the banks of the Rappahannock River, upon which as a stripling I had canoed and fished,…
Fred Reed
October 24, 2014
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A Front Porch Agrarian

Originally published at the Jenny Jack Sun Farm blog, August 2014. The old man in the long Lincoln Town Car died yesterday. Perry Gene Williams visited the farm nearly every single day, carefully weaving down grass paths, assessing our progress, or sometimes in his evaluation, a lack thereof. He would find which plot of land we were working and slowly,…
Chris Jackson
October 22, 2014
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Football and the South

Are you ready? Hell yea! Damn right! Hotty Toddy, gosh almighty, Who the hell are we? HEY! Flim Flam, Bim Bam, OLE MISS BY DAMN! WARNNING: Blasphemy ahead. College football has long cast a powerful spell upon the minds and hearts of the people below Mason’s and Dixon’s line. Team flags fly from cars and porches openly declaring the citizenship…
John Devanny
October 20, 2014
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Sayings By or For Southerners Part V

I never claimed a victory, though I stated that Lee was defeated in his efforts to destroy my army. --Gen. George G. Meade, Union commander at Gettysburg The army did all it could. I feel I required of it impossibilities. But it responded to the call nobly and cheerfully, and though it did not win a victory it conquered a…
Clyde Wilson
October 16, 2014
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Sayings By or For Southerners, Part IV

A good dog needs no pedigree, and if a dog ain’t any good, a pedigree don’t help him none. --Havilah Babcock Southerners are the world’s worst record-keepers. --Havilah Babcock It is true that we are completely under the saddle of Massachusetts and Connecticut, and that they ride us very hard, cruelly insulting our feelings, as well as exhausting our strength…
Clyde Wilson
October 10, 2014
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Do You Know Billy Davis and His Mamma, Grace? Me Too.

Over the past couple of weeks, a very simple act has renewed my faith in the great Southern way of life, and it involves making a new friend. It all started two weeks ago when my wife decided to sell her childhood piano. It was the piano her mother bought for her when she was a little girl just beginning…
Tom Daniel
October 9, 2014
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Sayings By or For Southerners, Part III

Reality is what continues to exist whether you believe in it or not. --Philip K. Dick There is but one rule if you want to be a man---absolutely but one---and that is to do your level best to reach a clear, correct idea of what is right, and then stick to it and fight for it, in spite of the…
Clyde Wilson
October 6, 2014
Blog

Sayings By or For Southerners Part II

Swagger and ferocity, built on a foundation of vulgarity and cowardice, those are his characteristics, and these are the most prominent marks by which his countrymen, generally speaking, are known all over the world. --The Times of London on “the Yankee breed,” 1862. We sometimes wonder if the Yankees do not get weary themselves of this incessant round of prevarication,…
Clyde Wilson
September 18, 2014
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Sayings By or For Southerners

While I could never with safety repose confidence in a Yankee, I have never been deceived by an Indian. ---Daniel Boone That cold-blooded demon called Science has taken the place of all the other demons. . . . Whether we are better for his intervention is another story. ---William Gilmore Simms The inclination to command compliance with one’s ideas is…
Clyde Wilson
September 11, 2014
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Southerners Not Welcome

California AB 2444 has cleared all legislative hurdles by overwhelming majorities (71 to 1 in the Assembly and 33 to 2 in the Senate) and is now on Governor Jerry Brown’s desk awaiting his certain signature. The bill mandates that “The State of California may not sell or display the Battle Flag of the Confederacy, also referred to as the…
Marshall DeRosa
August 28, 2014
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Porked Up Southern Culture

The Abbeville Institute is dedicated to promoting Southern culture, and doesn’t shed a single calorie denigrating others. Every article I’ve read in the Abbeville Institute blogs cheer and champion the many good things about Southern culture, and I dare anyone to find even so much as a syllable that expresses outrage at what others might be doing. Personally, I couldn’t…
Tom Daniel
August 27, 2014
Blog

Lanterns on the Levee

The books found on library shelves began changing some time ago. The intellectual interests of most Americans began to diminish, and those Americans who do have intellectual interests, normally use the Internet for research. Consequently, most books about “serious” subjects began disappearing from library shelves, being replaced with “pop culture” books. But, even before these changes, it was difficult to…
Gail Jarvis
August 26, 2014
Blog

A People Without A Heritage

For centuries the Scottish Highlanders, existing under a clan system, were apt to “revolt” against English rule. “Revolt” is the term the British used. In actuality, what the Scots were doing was “resisting” British rule, but when a government is determined to inflict control and subjugate a people, as the British were, any “resistance” to that is seen by the…
Carl Jones
August 20, 2014
Blog

Fire-Cured Dark Leaf

Cotton and tobacco. For years those two agricultural products were as synonymous with the South as sweet tea and grits. Cotton still is, but tobacco has fallen out of favor, though Southerners still love it and use tobacco products in greater numbers per capita than any other people in America. Tobacco, not cotton, was king in Virginia throughout much of…
Brion McClanahan
August 15, 2014
Clyde Wilson Library

Shakespeare Spoke Southern

One of the cultural markers that has identified that which we call Southern from the undistinguished mass of American nonculture is language. Obviously pronunciation is involved here, but also words, idiom, usage, style. A few years ago there was a celebrated (and therefore naturally very stupid) series on PBS on the English language. According to this series the only distinctive…
Clyde Wilson
August 13, 2014
Clyde Wilson Library

What is a Southerner?

Expert testimony in several federal court cases: Scholars in every field in the humanities and social sciences have long recognized that Southerners have formed a distinct people within the body of Americans from the earliest colonial times to the present. Authorities in history, political science, economics, sociology, folklore, literature, geography, speech, and music, have recognized and studied the significance of…
Clyde Wilson
August 13, 2014
Review Posts

Why Do They Hate the South and Its Symbols?

This article is taken from The Unz Review and was originally presented at the Confederate Flag Day in Raleigh, NC in 2007. Those Southern secessionists whose national flag we are now celebrating have become identified not only with a lost cause but with a now publicly condemned one. Confederate flags have been removed from government and educational buildings throughout the…
Paul Gottfried
August 4, 2014
Clyde Wilson Library

Those People Part 2

The flag which he had then so proudly hailed, I saw waving at the same place over the victims of as vulgar and brutal despotism as modern times have witnessed. —Francis Key Howard, a prisoner of Lincoln at Fort McHenry, 1861 Slavery is no more the cause of this war than gold is the cause of robbery. —Governor Joel Parker…
Clyde Wilson
July 15, 2014
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What Every Southern Man Should Be Able To Do

I was killing time the other day in my office looking through human interest websites (because I’m human, and I was, you know, interested), when I found an article called “25 Things Every Man Should Know How To Do,” or something like that. I forgot the exact wording because I didn’t bookmark the article, and I didn’t bookmark the article…
Tom Daniel
July 14, 2014
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“We Say Grace and We Say Ma’am”

I’m afraid we may be looking at an upcoming generation of Southern children who don’t know what it means to say “sir” and “ma’am.” It’s an interesting concept, but Southerners are certainly known for politeness, and that includes the habit of saying “sir” and “ma’am.” If a Southern child simply says a terse “yes” or “no,” (or, heaven forbid, a…
Tom Daniel
July 10, 2014
Blog

Hollywood’s South: Family Night Down Home

Last in a six part series. Part 1. Part 2. Part 3. Part 4. Part 5. As we all know, in recent times, Southerners, so far as Hollywood is concerned, are subhuman. A Southern accent or a Southern flag is a sure sign of murderous and/or stupid character. Yet it has not always been so, as we tried to show…
Clyde Wilson
July 10, 2014
Clyde Wilson Library

The Other Side of Union

The Northern onslaught upon slavery was no more than a piece of specious humbug designed to conceal its desire for economic control of the Southern States. —Charles Dickens, 1862 Slavery is no more the cause of this war than gold is the cause of robbery. —Governor Joel Parker of New Jersey, 1863 Sixteen years after publishing his classic of American…
Clyde Wilson
July 9, 2014
Blog

Confederate Coca-Cola

Today (July 8) is Lt. Col. John Stith Pemberton's birthday. While not as important to the Confederacy as John C. Pemberton, John Stith Pemberton contributed more to American culture and to the image of the New South than virtually any man who donned the gray during the War for Southern Independence. Pemberton studied medicine at the Reform Medical College of…
Brion McClanahan
July 8, 2014
Blog

The Beatles vs Alabama

On April 4, 1964, The Beatles achieved American chart success that will almost certainly never be duplicated. Only 15 artists have ever held on to the #1 and #2 spots in the Billboard Hot 100 at the same time, but that week, The Beatles topped everybody by holding on to #1, #2, and #3 all at the same time. But…
Tom Daniel
July 7, 2014
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Party Down South

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

Hollywood–South by West

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

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

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

Southern Culture: From Jamestown to Walker Percy

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

Rednecks

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

We’re Them Ol’ Boys Raised on Shotguns

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