Southern Founders


Washington’s “Unforgivable Sin”?

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

Republic or Democracy

Back in 1966, the conservative activist and F.B.I. operative Dan Smoot produced a short film, A Constitutional Republic, Not a Democracy.  Anybody who calls the United States a democracy, he said, is trying to subvert the Constitution of the United States — we’re not a democracy; we’re a republic. Probably because there are supposed to be two political parties here,…
Kevin Orlin Johnson
April 10, 2024

What Did the Founders Intend? Ask a Canadian

Critical to the debate regarding the right of secession is where, in the minds of the founders, did sovereignty reside. Were the States sovereign principals and the federal government their created agent? Or was the federal government sovereign and the States its created agents? State sovereignty prevailed for most of the 70 years after the founding, but political prejudice and…
Rod O'Barr
November 3, 2021

Disunion Then and Now

The delegates who gathered in Philadelphia to revise the Articles of Confederation, presumptuously shelving that document, concluded their work on the proposed U.S. Constitution on September 17, 1787.  On another September 17th three quarters of a century later, the quarrels that had commenced at that gathering were to continue in a cornfield at the foot of the Appalachian Mountains. One hundred…
J.L. Bennett
October 22, 2021

Patrick Henry: The Real Indispensable Man

After finishing a biography titled, Patrick Henry: Champion of Liberty, by John Kukla, I am convinced that Mr. Henry, Colonel Henry, nay, Governor Henry is the real father of our country instead of the beloved General, President George Washington. As I become more familiar with the particular history of Old Dominion and her role and that of her leading citizens…
Julie Paine
October 20, 2021

The Father of Representative Government in America

It is not the purpose of this article to set forth any new discovery, nor to present any reflections which are especially startling or original. The purpose is, to emphasize a neglected fact of American history; a fact attested by ancient records, narrated in historical works, and familiar to historians; yet a fact the full significance of which is not…

Independence Day and the Preservation of History

July 4, “Independence Day,” has become for most Americans little more than another holiday, a day off from work, and a time to barbecue with family and friends. Yet, the Declaration of Independence and the day we set aside to commemorate it should make us reflect on the sacrifices of the men who signed it and what they intended. Representatives from…
Boyd Cathey
July 5, 2021

Was Secession Treason?

Recently an acquaintance of mine remarked that the Confederate statue in her hometown should be removed from its present place of honour and relocated to the Confederate cemetery which is presently (and sadly) in a state of neglect. The statue should be moved, she said, because while the boys who fought and died during the Late Unpleasantness deserve to be…
Earl Starbuck
September 18, 2020

The Myth of Tom and Sally

In 1993 the Washington Post published an article on research being conducted by an accomplished Richmond lawyer named Robert Cooley. According to this article, among many additional details in regard to the subject, Cooley had been working with scholars for years to examine land deeds owned by the descendants of Thomas Jefferson, for the purpose of investigating specifically what land…
H.L. Dowless
October 17, 2019

Make America States Again

I am honored to speak at the graduation from high school of these young men and women who were once my students and who are now my friends. We’ve grown so close, in fact, I’ve decided to graduate with them! Over the last few weeks, as the day of my departure grew near, many of these dear friends have thanked…
Joe Wolverton
June 21, 2019

The Inescapable Anti-Americanism of the Left

It’s telling indeed that while everyone, irrespectively of political partisanship, can’t refer to “racism” enough, few people, if any, want to spend any time at all talking about “anti-Americanism.” The remotely curious should want to know why the topic of anti-Americanism has seemed to have fallen into disrepute. I have a theory: Democrats and the left would prefer not to…
Jack Kerwick
May 29, 2019
Review Posts

The True Heirs of the Founding Fathers’ Vision

A Review of Beyond Slavery: The Northern Romantic Nationalist Origins of America’s Civil War (Shotwell Publishing, 2019) by Walter Kirk Wood In the post-War between the States mythology supported by the victors, the Antebellum South was Satanic and subject to “slave power,” the alleged immense power of the plantation owners and their demonic desire to perpetuate slavery at all costs.…
Michael Potts
March 5, 2019

Steady Hand at the Wheel

Thomas Johnson was born in Calvert County, Maryland, on his father's lands near the mouth of St. Leonard's Creek. He was the son of Thomas and Dorcas Sedgwick Johnson and the grandson of Thomas Johnson, barrister, who was the first of the line to reside in Maryland, having fled there after running away with a chancery ward. All of these…
M.E. Bradford
December 7, 2018

What if We Listened to the Southern Founders?

Mel Bradford's outstanding tome A Better Guide Than Reason lifted that phrase from a speech John Dickinson made during the Philadelphia Convention in 1787. Dickinson worried that the delegates to what we now call the "Constitutional Convention" were insistent on crafting a document that would reinvent the government of the United States, something James Madison proposed with his now famous…
Brion McClanahan
October 10, 2018
Review Posts

The Legacy of Anti-Federalism

A review of The Other Founders: Anti-Federalism and the Dissenting Tradition in America, 1788-1828 by Saul Cornell (University of North Carolina Press, 1999). The Anti-Federalists who opposed ratification of the Constitution have not fared well among American historians and political , scientists. Nothing reveals more starkly the near-complete disinterest in Anti-Federalist thought than a bibliographical check of books and essays on…
James McClellan
September 18, 2018

The Americanization of James Iredell

James Iredell was born at Lewes, Sussex County, England. He was the eldest of the five sons of Francis Iredell, a Bristol merchant, and Margaret McCulloh Iredell, originally of Dublin. Young James came to the New World in 1768 because, after his father suffered a stroke in the mid-1760’s, it was necessary for the boy to leave school and accept…
M.E. Bradford
July 18, 2018

The Lost Tribes of the Irish in the South

Mr. President, and Ladies and Gentlemen: I am speaking but the plain truth when I tell you that I would rather be here tonight facing an assemblage of men and women of Irish blood and Irish breeding than in any other banquet hall on earth. For I am one who is Irish and didn't know it; but now that I…
Irvin S. Cobb
March 19, 2018

This is why the Founding Generation Crafted the 2nd Amendment

With the current heated debate over gun rights and the 2nd Amendment of the United States Constitution (which serves to affirm our natural rights…rights we have whether the State recognizes them or not), I thought it might be interesting to talk briefly about the Battle of Athens. If you’re like a lot of people, you probably haven’t heard about this…
Lewis Liberman
March 9, 2018

Remembering St. George Tucker

Washington, Adams, Madison, Jefferson, Franklin. All of these Founding Fathers are well known and need no first names. Tucker, however, that’s a surname of a member of the Founding Generation that isn’t familiar at all and definitely needs a first name and what a first name it is: St. George! St. George Tucker is a man whose name has been…
Joe Wolverton
January 12, 2018

George Mason and Original Intent

Every fact bearing upon the character and service of the statesmen whose genius created a model form of human government should receive a warm greeting from those who are proud of the growth, progress, and prosperity of the republic. The harmonious working of the component parts which enter into the life of the country is to-day the result of the…
Fitzhugh Lee
December 11, 2017

The Fighting Gamecock: Thomas Sumter

Thomas Sumter in his encounters with the Indian na­tions enters the pages of recorded history. He had prob­ably been present at the fall of Fort Duquesne and in the campaign across the Ohio River and had learned some­thing of the red man during this early service. In any case, he was chosen to accompany Lieutenant Henry Timberlake to treat with…
M.E. Bradford
November 1, 2017

The Nabob as Antifederalist: Benjamin Harrison of Virginia

Benjamin Harrison the Signer was born at Berkely (later called Harrison's Landing) in Charles City County, Virginia. He was the son of Benjamin Harrison and Anne Carter Harrison, daughter of Robert 'King' Carter of Corotoman. After education at the College of William and Mary this Benjamin in 1749 became the fifth in a line of planter/politicians of the same name…
M.E. Bradford
April 28, 2017

Remembering Hugh Williamson

One of the most unknown, yet substantial political leaders in the founding generation was a patriot named Hugh Williamson. In his life he surrounded himself with the most famous people in North America, and gradually became an instrumental leader who contributed to the cause of American independence. Serving the role of an intellectual erudite, military hero, and champion of republican…
Dave Benner
December 4, 2015