Tag

Southern History

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The (Self)-Righteous Cause

It is common in Civil War circles to hear about the so-called “Lost Cause”, variously termed a myth or a narrative. Are those two terms synonymous? Let’s look. Dictionary.com defines myth as: “a traditional story, especially one concerning the early history of a people or explaining some natural or social phenomenon, and typically involving supernatural beings or events.” On the other hand, using…
John Scales
July 19, 2024
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And He Shall Be Leevonne (And He Shall Be a Good Man)

Mr. Leevonne Mitchell was my teacher. I graduated from Auburn High School in 1978, and he was technically and officially my Speech teacher in 10th grade. But, man, he was SO much more than that… Recently, I was talking with some classmates about him, and we all realized that as much as we owed that man, we knew absolutely nothing…
Tom Daniel
July 16, 2024
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A Man of the South

With Father’s Day 2024 come and gone, I have had the opportunity to consider the coincidence that occurred that weekend – namely my watching two superb westerns from different decades, Anthony Mann’s Man of the West from 1958 and Clint Eastwood’s The Outlaw Josey Wales from 1976.  As a longtime aficionado of the western, I should, of course, have already…
Randall Ivey
July 10, 2024
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John Tyler, Son of Virginia

From the Confederate Veteran, January 1916: John Tyler, distinguished Virginian and tenth President of the United States, has received fitting, though long-deferred, honor from the country he served. Fifty-three years after his death the United States government has erected a handsome monument at his last resting place, in the shades of beautiful Hollywood Cemetery, at Richmond, Va., that sacred and…
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20th Century American Historians

Dr. Clyde N. Wilson is known to many through his association with the Abbeville Institute and his long tenure as editor of The Papers of John C. Calhoun. Some might have read Why the South Will Survive: Fifteen Southerners Look at Their Region a Half Century after I'll Take My Stand. The well-versed have likely read his Southern Readers Guide…
Chase Steely
June 28, 2024
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Jefferson and the Four Faces of Liberty

Precisely what Jefferson means by “liberty” is a matter of considerable debate among scholars. Merrill Peterson in “Thomas Jefferson and the National Purpose” says that liberty for Jefferson was a code of restraint on sovereignty, exercised by a few or many. Thus, liberty involved minifying and decentralizing government. “He was the first to see that strength, the progress, even the…
M. Andrew Holowchak
June 27, 2024
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Polish Confederates and the Principle “For Our Freedom and Yours”

The history of Poles' participation in the formation of the American Republic, especially participation in the American War of Independence, has been perfectly documented by Polish and non-Polish researchers. For example, there are extensive biographies of Tadeusz Kosciusko and Casimir Pulaski. Unfortunately the contribution of Poles in the period of the Civil War still remains a topic for broader discussion,…
Karol Mazur
June 4, 2024
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In Memoriam: Jefferson Davis

To those who were not actors in the events of the period from 1860 to 1865, it is almost impossible to present a complete and vivid picture of the revolution by States which was practically inaugurated by the action of the convention of the people of South Carolina, on December 20, 1860. So much has been done by the war,…
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The 19th Century Ecclesiastical Debate Over Slavery – Part 2

When we dichotomize the 19th century ecclesiastical debate as “Southern “pro-slavery” and Northern “anti-slavery,” it must first be pointed out that these two titles are heavily nuanced in meaning. They did not mean that a virtuous North was committed to the welfare of blacks while an evil South delighted in their human bondage. Neither side believed that slavery abstractly considered…
Rod O'Barr
May 31, 2024
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African-American Slavery in Historical Perspective

A review of African American Slavery in Historical Perspective (Shotwell Publishing, 2024) by Clyde N. Wilson This is an extremely important book because putting slavery in historical perspective puts the lie to the worthless presentist history regurgitated ad nauseam by academia and the fake news media. You can not learn from history when the history being taught is a fraud.…
Gene Kizer, Jr.
May 30, 2024
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Jefferson v. Hamilton: A Northern versus Southern Feud?

As one enters Monticello, one is greeted by a bust of Jefferson facing a bust of Alexander Hamilton—“opposed in death as in life”—both by Italian sculptor Giuseppe Ceracchi. The statue of Hamilton is life-size, while the statue of Jefferson is a bit larger, and that suggests not merely Jefferson’s opposition, but political victory over Hamilton. What were the reasons for…
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Forrest

The officer of regular troops intrusted with the duty of quickly raising levies for immediate war service is often too prone to think that his one great endeavor should be to “set them up” and so instruct them in drill as to make them look as much 1ike regulars as possible. As a matter of fact, he almost invariably fails…
Garnet Wolseley
May 23, 2024
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The 19th Century Ecclesiastical Debate Over Slavery – Part One

It is almost impossible for 21st century Christians, much less deeply biased contemporary historians, to comprehend that nineteenth century Southerners could, with any sincerity or justification, defend the compatibility of Christianity with the institution of slavery. For the past six decades historians have spilled much ink conjuring up images of insincere and hypocritical commitment on the part of Southern Christians’…
Rod O'Barr
May 21, 2024
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Deplorables

I have lived for more than half a century in a region of Lexington County, South Carolina, known as “the Dutch Fork.” So called because it was settled in the early 1700s by German (Deutsch) farmers looking for good soil. “Fork” because it  begins  in the fork of the Broad and Saluda rivers. The original settler families are still there,…
Clyde Wilson
May 20, 2024
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Cicero and the South

William Byrd II of Westover on the James River in Colonial Virginia lived a full generation before Thomas Jefferson, but they are comparable in their intellectual pursuits. Byrd had perhaps the largest library in the colonies, certainly below the Potomac River, and he began each day by reading, usually ancient authors, Greek or Roman, in the original languages. Private diaries…
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Did Jefferson Really “Hate” Patrick Henry?

Writes Thomas Jefferson to Leavit Harris concerning Patrick Henry (11 Oct. 1824): I never heard anything that deserved to be called by the same name with what flowed from him, and where he got that torrent of language is unconceivable. I have frequently shut my eyes while he spoke, and, when he was done, asked myself what he had said,…
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Wendell Berry’s 400-Year-Old Debts

Love of cultivated land is a gift—born not from the unbridled wilds but the furrows of tilled soil. This gift, neither wrought nor feigned, cannot be bought nor swapped like an old mule, but rather, is bestowed upon us as a boon from our shared Agrarian Patrimony. Wendell Berry is a fortunate heir and shares his Southern heirloom generously through…
Chase Steely
May 10, 2024
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Looking for Samuel, I Found George and Bobby…I Think

Since the 1600s the people of the Northern Neck (NNK) of Virginia and of St. Mary's County, Maryland have been connected—not separated—by the Potomac.  They have married each other; they have battled common enemies together: the British in 1776 and 1812 and the Yankees in 1861.  Though they were on the same side in The War, in later years, St.…
J.L. Bennett
May 9, 2024
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The Southern Origins of Anesthesia

Some call it eureka, that moment of inspiration when an imaginative brain makes a connection no one else made. Dr. Crawford W. Long of Georgia possessed this gift when he discovered that ether could be used as an anesthetic in surgery—a long sought remedy after hundreds of years of suffering. What led to Dr. Long’s discovery? First, let’s meet the…
Lorene Leiter
May 8, 2024
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The History of Our Southern People

The history of the Southern people, in its broad and significant dimensions, is still to be written. A lot of good history (and a lot of bad history) has been written about the South, but the over-arching theme of most of  this writing has been to treat the South as a peculiarity. The North is normal, the South is to…
Clyde Wilson
May 6, 2024
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The Real Myth America

In early 2023, accused plagiarist and Twitter (Princeton) historian Kevin Kruse published Myth America, a book that promised to replace “myths with research and reality.” You see, Kruse and his co-authors—many of whom are social media “celebrities” for their attacks on “conservative” scholarship—argued that, “The United States is in the grip of a crisis of bad history. Distortions of the…
Brion McClanahan
May 3, 2024
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Reconstruction Historiography: Ideology vs. History

Reconstruction is the single most confusing and controversial period in American history. The tinderbox of race relations and the new organization of the central government and the states were not reformed reasonably or to the satisfaction of anyone involved, or to any faction that engages the history today. Explanations and justifications for the extreme policies, punitive laws, and social experimentation…
George Bagby
April 17, 2024
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Saving a Remnant

Nothing is more indicative of the ongoing degradation of American  culture than the fate of the once noble Commonwealth of Virginia—not long ago widely admired as the mother of States and Presidents—inseparable from Patrick Henry, Washington, Jefferson, Lewis and Clark, Lee and Jackson. Now shallow, opportunistic politicians ignorant of American foundations swarm in every Southern State. In Virginia they have…
Clyde Wilson
April 9, 2024
BlogReview Posts

The Gentleman From Virginia

A review of John Randolph of Roanoke (Louisiana State University Press, 2012) by David Johnson One might assume that John Randolph of Roanoke, who may be the most singular individual in American political history, would be the subject of numerous biographies. The earliest attempt to capture something of the man was Powhatan Bouldin’s Home Reminiscences, written in 1878, a book…
John Devanny
April 8, 2024
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A Confederate in Paris

In March 1861, Ambrose Dudley Mann, a native of Virginia, left the Confederate States of America on a diplomatic mission to Europe, where he remained for the next four years. After his country was defeated in the war, he resolved that he could never return to his native soil unless he returned to an independent South, and so he resided…
Karen Stokes
March 28, 2024
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The North’s Victory Unmasked

An aspect of preserving the Southern tradition is rescuing books of wisdom that have been lost and forgotten. That is the case with The United States Unmasked,  published in 1879 by Gabriel Manigault (1809—1888). Manigault was born in Charleston to distinguished patriot families on both sides and married into another such family.  After serving in the defenses of Charleston and…
Clyde Wilson
March 25, 2024
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Southern Nationalism

A leftwing scribbler on some website recently called me “a White Nationalist.” He thought that was a conclusive judgment. But I am not now and never have been a “White Nationalist.” I have long been called a Southern nationalist, but that is a different matter. The Southern people are real. White nationalism is merely a Yankee ideology, an abstraction with…
Clyde Wilson
March 19, 2024
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Calhoun’s “Richest Legacy to Posterity”

From Gustavus M. Pinckney, The Life of John C. Calhoun The attentive reader will not have forgotten that in the letter of Mr. Calhoun in reference to his acceptance of the Secretaryship of State he made mention of a project which he had in mind for leisure hours in the home routine to which at that time he looked forward.…
Gustavus M. Pinckney
March 18, 2024
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A New Classic Southern Novel

The highest and most lasting achievement of 20th century American literature is Southern fiction. The great Southern writers present an imagined but realistic world. Unlike usually solipsistic Northern fiction, that world includes families over several generations centered in real places, historical context, memorable characters, and the challenging moral complexity of genuine human living. This great Faulknerian/Agrarian story-telling tradition continues into…
Clyde Wilson
March 12, 2024
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1934: The Last Rebel Yell

In 1934, FDR was the first President to visit Roanoke County, Virginia, since George Washington had 200 years before as a young surveyor and soldier. FDR was to race through Salem (our home town) on his way to honor the new World War I veterans’ hospital nearby. The locals crowded about a right turn where his car had to slow…
Joscelyn Dunlop
March 8, 2024
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What’s a Road

Native Americans once traversed their paths before the founding of the nation. A teenage George Washington traveled them as a surveyor in the mid-eighteenth century. Enslaved blacks built fieldstone walls that line some of them. And Union and Confederate armies once clashed upon them. I’m talking about the gravel roads of Loudoun County in northwest Virginia. If you know anything…
Casey Chalk
March 7, 2024
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Remember the Alamo

I was watching some old true crime story on one of the cable channels recently. Probably a rerun, though I don’t keep up with T.V. and its general blather. As a rule, T.V. is about as entertaining and educational as two goats eating weed grass without disturbing the dandelions. And the “news” is even worse. Anyway, this crime had taken…
Paul H. Yarbrough
March 6, 2024
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The Birth of Jaffa and the Death of History

There have been a lot of things spoken of Goldwater, from lunatic to nationalist and everything in between. While most historians, on both the right and the left, tend to focus on these well placed propagandist terms, the few points that get perpetually overlooked by any analyst are the significant points of who he was, his own personal platform, how…
Justin Pederson
March 4, 2024
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The Use and Misuse of History

“I am heir to  the greatest civilization the world has ever known. I’d like to defend it but I wouldn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings.” --Alice Teller “By 2050—earlier probably—all real knowledge of Oldspeak will have disappeared.  The whole literature of the past will have been destroyed….shall exist only in Newspeak versions, not merely changed into something different, but actually…
Clyde Wilson
February 28, 2024
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Forgotten Southern Wisdom

Over the years I  have occasionally encountered references to Edward P. Lawton’s book The South and the Nation. I was never able to find it until recently when  I was able to get a copy from  a company in India called Skilled Books.  This reprint is nicely printed and bound without any date or copyright  information. Lawton was from Savannah,…
Clyde Wilson
February 22, 2024
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Self-Evident Truths

Armies sometimes crush liberty, but they cannot conquer ideas. Jabez L. M. Curry (Lieutenant colonel, CSA, 1861-1865) From the African continent to the shores of America, the people coercively enslaved were victims of government action, inaction, or a combination of the two. Whether the government is led by a tribal chieftain or a so-called representative government, all governments are political…
Marshall DeRosa
February 21, 2024
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Remembering an American President

From Varina Davis, Jefferson Davis: A Memoir (1890) Mr. Davis’s apparent feebleness had been accompanied by enough increase in weight to encourage my hopes of his health improving. He never stooped, but retained his fine soldierly carriage, and always walked with a light, firm step, and with apparent ease; his voice was sweet and sonorous as ever. A slight deafness…
Varina Davis
February 16, 2024
BlogReview Posts

Stewards of History

Caryl Johnston is a contemporary Southern writer who has so far not received as much recognition as she merits.  That lack was partly corrected in 2021 when the Abbeville Press published her Stewards of History: Land and Time in the Story of a Southern Family. Then last year her fourth volume of verse, Storyteller in Times Square, appeared. Stewards of…
Clyde Wilson
January 31, 2024
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Remembering “Stonewall”

From Mary Anna Jackson, Memoirs of Stonewall Jackson (1895) in honor of "Stonewall" Jackson's birthday. My own heart almost stood still under the weight of horror and apprehension which then oppressed me. This ghastly spectacle was a most unfitting preparation for my entrance into the presence of my stricken husband; but when I was soon afterwards summoned to his chamber,…
Mary Anna Jackson
January 22, 2024
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King Day and the Abolition of America

For the past eight years, each January for the Federal holiday celebrating Martin Luther King (whose birth date is January 15), I send out a cautionary essay that I first began researching back in 2016. What I have been attempting to do, with increasing urgency, was remind readers, specifically so-called “conservatives,” that King and his holiday are emblematic of the…
Boyd Cathey
January 15, 2024
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The Kingdom of Callaway

Any casual student of history will be familiar with the two primary antagonists of the War for Southern Independence: the Confederate States of America and the United States of America rump state.  There was one additional participant, however, of which few are aware: Callaway County, Missouri.  On October 27, 1861, Federal officers representing the United States of America and Colonel…
Trevor Laurie
January 9, 2024
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The Confederate Gold, FOUND!

A review of The Rebel and the Rose: James A. Semple, Julia Gardiner Tyler, and the Lost Confederate Gold, by Wesley Millett and Gerald White, ‎Cumberland House Publishing, August 24, 2007. Millett and White have written a terrific “three-‘fer”: A wartime romance, a history of the flight from Richmond, and an economic reckoning of the Southern Treasury. They have succeeded,…
Terry Hulsey
January 4, 2024
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Blame Republicans

In February 2000, Republican presidential candidate John McCain told “Face the Nation” that he considered the Confederate Battle Flag to be “offensive” and a “symbols of racism and slavery.” Candidate George W. Bush remarked that while he considered the display of the flag to be a state issue, he refused to allow Confederate symbolism at the Texas statehouse and had…
Brion McClanahan
January 2, 2024
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An Open Letter for Arlington National Cemetery Confederate Monument

I recently finished reading The Need To Be Whole by Wendell Berry, and it has inspired me to write to you in protest of the imminent—if not actually underway as you read these very words—removal of the Arlington National Cemetery Confederate Monument. I am certain that you have already encountered many arguments in favour of the monument. You have heard…
James Rutledge Roesch
December 21, 2023
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A Confederate Lady at Castle Pinckney and Battery Wagner in Charleston Harbor

Since I became a member of the Charleston Chapter 4 of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, I have had the honor of working as a volunteer at our museum in historic Charleston, South Carolina. One aspect of that work involved an inventory of the museum’s rich, remarkable treasure trove of manuscripts and printed material. Having authored a book some…
Karen Stokes
December 20, 2023
BlogReview Posts

Who is the Real Thomas Jefferson?

Who is the real Thomas Jefferson? Historians have attempted to answer this question since "Sage of Monticello" died in 1826. Jefferson has been the symbol of nearly every political movement in America, even if he would have disagreed with their positions. He has been described as a radical, a progressive, a liberal, an agrarian, a populist, a libertarian, a conservative,…
Brion McClanahan
December 15, 2023
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What Was the War About?

Names tell a lot, and that conflict had many names. The one that seems to have stuck is “The Civil War.” But is this an accurate description? Civil wars by definition are wars waged between two or more factions within a country struggling for control of the government (1). But Robert E. Lee was not fighting to take over the…
H.V. Traywick, Jr.
December 11, 2023
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Prayerful Warrior

In the years following the defeat of the Confederacy, Robert E. Lee emerged as the face of the Lost Cause. In many respects, Lee embodied a defeated South: strong, stubborn, but simply outmanned. However, this interpretation of defeat as a matter of mere numbers and arms did not rest well with many Southerners. To them, the war was a battle…
Jacob Ogan
December 7, 2023
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Abraham Lincoln–War Criminal

We frequently read today about war crimes, such as bombing hospitals. In World War II Britain bombed civilians in Dresden and dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In war, we are told, “anything goes.” Abraham Lincoln followed this barbaric policy, and those who treat him as a “hero” have much to answer for. In his definitive book War Crimes…
Llewellyn Rockwell, Jr.
December 6, 2023
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An Affectionate Farewell

This is a footnote to my most recent offering at the Abbeville Institute regarding the sayonara being given to far too much of Southern culture, heritage and history that is now being swept away by the ever-growing tsunami of mindless social justice rage. You might well ask what could possibly have led a person who was born and largely bred…
John Marquardt
December 5, 2023
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What is the Future of the Southern Tradition?

What is the future of the Southern tradition? This question presents a pressing problem for Americans in the twenty-first century. To those who reduce the Southern tradition to treason and slavery, the answer would be simple: it must be eradicated. Unfortunately, these people dominate the academic and political classes in American society. The near decade long pogrom on Southern symbols…
Brion McClanahan
November 28, 2023
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The South in the Interpretation of the Constitution

Editor's Note: This chapter is republished from The South in the Building of the Nation series (1909). In the making of the American Nation, the Southern states have played a conspicuous part-a part which has not received proper recognition at the hands of historians at home or abroad. This neglect of the South is largely the result of the views…
J.A.C. Chandler
November 17, 2023
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What Would Jefferson Do?

One of the most difficult tasks of any historian is to show how knowing history is today relevant—that is, to show that history is heterotelic, that it is not its own end. The “Father of History,” the Greek Herodotus, who chronicled the events of the Persian War (490–479 B.C.) and aimed to cover both Greek and Persian motives, writes (my…
M. Andrew Holowchak
November 14, 2023
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An Educator’s View on Preserving the Arlington Confederate Monument

Despite being a young, developing discipline in America, historic preservation, as it continues to grow, is of vital importance to the very fabric of this nation. Historic lands, buildings, and monuments do not just represent a window into time that best exemplifies the quality of life and happenstance of the past but also offers a teaching opportunity for future generations.…
Jonathan Papanikolaou
November 8, 2023
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“A Southside View of Slavery”

Within the purview of post-1950’s modern historiography, anything proclaimed in defense of the South is labeled “Lost Cause Myth” - a product of the “Lost Cause School” of thought. The term “Lost Cause” originates from the title of an 1866 book written in defense of the South but is now applied pejoratively to an entire category of Southern apologetics. Today,…
Rod O'Barr
November 6, 2023
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Standing Against the Totalitarian Horde, At Home and Abroad

A few weeks ago a close acquaintance of mine wrote an impassioned letter intended for publication in a South Carolina newspaper. Unfortunately, but not unexpectedly, his letter was not printed by any media source in the state….Not because it was crude or appeared to incite violence; not because he employed foul language or insulting attacks against opponents. Indeed, the letter…
Boyd Cathey
November 3, 2023
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Is the American Experience Conservative?

Delivered as a lecture at the Heritage Foundation, October, 1986. Having recently urged upon my fellow conservatives the necessity for attaching a priority to distinctions and definitions, having in the Intercollegiate Review insisted that such exercises are properly antecedent to all questions of policy, I was obliged to attempt a reflection on this theme when Mr. Hart proposed it to…
M.E. Bradford
November 1, 2023
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Postbellum Black Suffrage

Presently, the dominant Reconstruction Era narrative portrays the Republican Party’s support for black suffrage as a moral impulse. The likelihood that it would also increase the number of Republican-loyal voters is dismissed as a convenient by product of “doing the right thing.” Today’s experienced voters, however, realize that political parties seek to increase or maintain their political power by default.…
Philip Leigh
October 31, 2023
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Swords Into Plowshares

Last week, activists destroyed the Charlottesville, Virginia Robert E. Lee monument in secret. They said it was to prevent violence, but not their own. The Washington Post attended the event and documented the final moments for Lee's face. The iconoclasts fashioned it into a "death mask" and then melted it down, creating a haunting image captured by the Post's photographer. You…
Brion McClanahan
October 30, 2023
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What Led to Stonewall Jackson’s Unusual Quirks?

On a recent episode of the Flagrant podcast , comedian Shane Gillis went on a short rant about Stonewall Jackson. Gillis is a known history buff that frequently brings up history in his stand up comedy and talk show appearances. Even though this particular conversation covered various topics, the most interesting part was his take on Stonewall Jackson’s mental health:…
Michael Martin
October 26, 2023
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Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and the Attraction of Policial Decency

Scholars are wont to paint antipodally Jefferson and Madison. Most depictions show, in effect, that by psychological disposition, Madison was better suited to be a Hamiltonian Federalist than a Jeffersonian Republican. I offer a few illustrations. Merrill D. Peterson, in his Thomas Jefferson and the New Nation, states that Madison had a “more penetrating mind, sharp, probing, and persistent,” while…
M. Andrew Holowchak
October 24, 2023
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The Night They Drove Ol’ Dixie Down

Has Virgil Kane Been Reconstructed? In 1865 George Stoneman was a mediocre Union general leading cavalry behind Confederate lines in Virginia. 100 years later a Canadian rock band made him famous. It took Robbie Robertson more than six months to write the song. He spent time in libraries researching the end of the war. Many say it was an anti-war…
Garrick Sapp
October 18, 2023
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Donald Davidson and the Tennessean’s Book Page

“I can claim no ultimate wisdom in the matter. I can only say that I reviewed books in Tennessee for seven years, and during the same period persuaded a great many people to do likewise. The book page that I edited had a very modest beginning in 1924 in the Nashville Tennessean.” - Donald Davidson 1924 unfurled. The weather, customary…
Chase Steely
October 11, 2023
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Southern Memories

Much of my time growing up in the 60s South was spent with my paternal grandparents. These were some of the best times and are some of my fondest memories. My pawpaw was a mountain of a man standing nearly 6 foot 3 and weighing close to 230 pounds. He had a grip like an iron vise and with his…
Keith Redmon
October 10, 2023
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The Night of Replaced Glass

This week, new stained-glass windows at the National Cathedral of the United States were unveiled. Were these new windows a testament to the saving power of Jesus Christ? Did these windows proclaim peace? Did they show Elijah carried into the clouds, or John the Baptist in the river? Not at all. These four new windows proudly proclaim NO and FOUL…
Sara Sass
October 3, 2023
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Reassessing John Tyler

It’s pretty safe to assume that Mark Levin hates President John Tyler. Listening to Levin on his radio show, his television program, or in interviews, he routinely names Tyler as a failed President and one of the country’s worst, each and every time he gets a chance. In 2013, when asked by Neil Cavuto on Fox News where he thought…
Ryan Walters
September 21, 2023
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Gone But Not Forgotten

Five Classic Films that Southerners Should Explore It’s no secret that Hollywood over the past three decades has not been kind to the South or to the Confederacy. The last major films that have in any way been fair or which attempted to be objective about the Confederacy were, probably, “Gettysburg” (in 1993) and “Gods and Generals” (in 2003). But…
Boyd Cathey
September 1, 2023
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The Southerner as Historian and Vice Versa

(*first published at First Principles Journal online, April 30, 2008) Publication of a second collection of essays by Southern historian Clyde N. Wilson -- Defending Dixie: Essays in Southern History and Culture -- provides us with an occasion for surveying Wilson’s larger contributions to American and Southern history, and to the conservative movement. A native of North Carolina in the…
Joseph R. Stromberg
August 29, 2023
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The Argument for Preserving Our Early American Symbols

Annie Gowan of The Washington Post writes of an incident a few years ago, June 2020, where a group of Portland, Oregon, protestors, gathered a high school and used bungee cords, wires, and human muscle to topple a statue of Thomas Jefferson off its pedestal and into the cement. Says 26-year-old removalist Triston Crowl, “When it came down, we could…
M. Andrew Holowchak
August 21, 2023
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Rethinking Gettysburg

It is near universally assumed that the battle of Gettysburg determined the failure of the Southern War for Independence. But is that too facile and summary a judgment? The battle may be considered something of a turning point, especially coming at the same time that Vicksburg was starved into surrender after an eight-month attack by superior numbers aided by heavily…
Clyde Wilson
August 17, 2023
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How Rich Men North of Richmond Became the Cry of Middle America

Early last week hardly anyone had heard of Oliver Anthony. Now he has four of the top ten songs on Itunes. Three of his songs are being downloaded more than hits by Jason Aldean and Taylor Swift. No one in the music industry has ever risen so dramatically to prominence without radio play, corporate connections, or even a music studio.…
Jonathan Harris
August 15, 2023
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Black Ghosts in the White House

From the very onset of America’s European colonization, what would ultimately become the United States was never really a closely united nation. For over a century prior to their declaration of independence and secession from British rule, the American colonies in the South had numerous deep-seated disputes with their Northern counterparts over a number of issues. Many of these arguments…
John Marquardt
August 9, 2023
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From Shiloh to Sapelo: Our Past Remains Unchanged

Every day, our modern culture erases more and more reminders from our Nation’s past, however the past remains unaltered. History can be rewritten, monuments and markers removed, and names on buildings, roads, bridges, schools, and even military bases and vessels replaced with different names, BUT the past remains unchanged. Only our interpretation of the past changes. Whether our Nation’s past…
Mike Brown
August 3, 2023
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The Southern Culture of the Lower Midwest

Many people tend to think of regions in these United States as homogenous or collectively very defined either by border, culture, or some other parameter. However, the truth is that regional boundaries are much more fluid and crossover exists between each region abutting each other. This can be seen across the country, but is very prevalent in what is called…
Cole Branham
August 1, 2023
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Lee in the Closet and Dixie on the Piano

How did I meet Brigadier-General Gilbert Moxley Sorrel, you might ask?  It wasn’t easy.  As a lover of the South, I am constantly coming across new people, places, and events, but all in a most haphazard manner.  I often wish I had a guide who could start me at the logical beginning and show me how best to proceed in…
Julie Paine
July 24, 2023
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The Southern Remnant

In the summer of 2020, overwhelmed with sorrow and horror over the removal of our historical monuments, the renaming of our historical places, and the rewriting of our history, I wrote a trio, and then a duo, of essays titled ‘The Southern Remnant.’ Inspired by an anonymous writer who advised, ‘We must become living monuments,’ I exhorted others who felt…
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A Confederate Bookshelf

Originally printed in The South to Posterity: An Introduction to the Writing of Confederate History (1951) The appended brief Reading List of books on Confederate history is designed for those who do not aspire to become specialists but wish to have a moderate familiarity with the literature. Those who make their first adventure in the field will do well to…
Blog

The Real Real Jefferson Davis

Following the suggestion of a fellow Alabama Gazette columnist, I read through “Let’s celebrate the real history of Jefferson Davis”, by Josh Moon. No surprise—it is just more “Righteous Cause” blather. The sub-title claims the South fought to “protect” slavery, yet the institution was constitutionally legal and Abe Lincoln and the Republicans stated ad nauseum that they had no intention…
John M. Taylor
July 7, 2023
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July 4 is About History

The Hope is Southerners Will Recall. The Greater Hope is That Yankees Will Learn. Occasionally, if you tune your ears toward the radio or television with the constant chat and talk, you will pick up certain casual remarks such as just happened to be carried by David Webb the other day.  “We had a ‘Civil War’ and then moved on,”…
Paul H. Yarbrough
July 4, 2023
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The Moral Superiority of the South

The South is morally superior. It always has been and, looks like, likely will be. It all started when the Yankees showed up in 1620 to be the second English-speaking people here. The pilgrims were absolutist, stiff-necked, uncompromising, dissenting Puritans. They were different from the start. They mostly came from East Anglia and the ancient Danelaw. The Puritan’s religion, ideas,…
Blog

A Glaring Consistency

While other interests come and go, I believe the permanence of my obsession with Dixie is rooted in its manifestation of enduring principles, to which I am stubbornly loyal. Despite the Abbeville Institute’s dedication to the Southern tradition in its entirety, our study seems to hover around the Confederacy and the War for Southern Independence, and for good reason.  In…
Julie Paine
June 19, 2023
BlogPodcast

Ep. 2: Jefferson Davis’s Farewell Address

Ep. 2: Even just a few years ago, Jefferson Davis's January 1861 Farewell Address to the United States Senate was considered to be one of the most important speeches in United States history. Those who heard it both wept and cheered as Davis led several other Senators out of the chamber. The speech is one of the "essential Southern" documents…
Brion McClanahan
June 17, 2023
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The Barbershop Gospel

As a young minister, my daily conversations tend to be around the Bible in some form or another. Everyone, and rightly so, expects a minister to talk about Jesus. Still, one could be amiss if a young barber started talking about Jesus, especially sin and forgiveness while clippin' a man’s hair. It was rather pleasant for a change to hear…
Rev. Tar Heel
June 16, 2023
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Thomas Jefferson as a “Southern Cosmopolitan”

Xenophon in his Memorabilia (II.i.21–34) cites Prodicus’ account of Herakles (L., Hercules), “passing from boyhood to youth’s estate,” at a crossroads. He went to a quiet place to consider his course of life, when he was visited by two goddesses—Hēdonē (Pleasure) and Aretē (Virtue). “The one was fair to see and of high bearing; and her limbs were adorned with…
M. Andrew Holowchak
June 15, 2023
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Cowell to Judea

I pulled up to my great uncle's house around 7:30 on a Saturday morning. Our goal was to find mushrooms, but what it evolved into was so much better than any sackful of morels could ever be! We left his house and headed to Cowell, on Highway 7, and took the dirt road that winds back down the mountain. As…
Travis Holt
June 9, 2023
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The Putrid Sink of Today’s Jeffersonian Scholarship

Historians today with interest in historiography—what is often characterized simply and somewhat misleadingly as the history of history—seem to be in general agreement that the aims and methods of “historians” over millennia have changed. Study of history, as the argument goes, unquestionable shows that. There was yesterday’s history, there is today’s history, and there will be tomorrow’s history, and there…
Blog

Memorial Day, What it Means, and Why

Observing Memorial Day 2023, like millions of other Americans I recall the sacrifices of those who selflessly gave their lives in far off places like Guadalcanal or the Hurtgen Forest or Anzio beach. Some remain in neatly kept cemeteries in France or other countries. In many cases, those men did not understand fully “why” they were engaged in conflict, save…
Boyd Cathey
June 5, 2023
BlogPodcast

Ep. 1: What is a Southerner?

Clyde Wilson defined a Southerner in the 1990s. This offered a great inaugural episode of The Essential Southern Podcast. https://soundcloud.com/the-abbeville-institute/ep-1-what-is-a-southerner?si=680741341c0a482a89c11721a65e0dc6&utm_source=clipboard&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=social_sharing
Brion McClanahan
May 28, 2023
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Faulkner the Southerner

A review of Faulkner the Southerner (Abbeville Institute Press, 2023) by James E. Kibler What more can be said than what has already been said about the life and work of William Faulkner? For decades, scholars and lay enthusiasts alike have written a myriad of books (and even more articles) analyzing the techniques that formed, and the influences and beliefs…
Patrick Seay
May 23, 2023
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Defending Dixie’s Land

It is a well-established truth that the South, despite being under the ban of righteous mainstream “America” for two centuries, has always attracted admirers from outside. Intelligent and earnest admirers from above the Potomac and Ohio and from across the sea. It is still happening even in these terrible times when the South has been banished to one dark little…
Clyde Wilson
May 22, 2023
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The Mystery of the Great Seal of the Confederacy

In my April account of the British territory of Bermuda and its intimate relationship with both the South and the Confederacy, I had omitted one important factor . . . Bermuda’s role concerning the great seal of the Confederate States of America. The unusual history of the seal was so complex that I certainly felt the story merited its own…
John Marquardt
May 19, 2023
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Unnoticed Facts About the War Between the States

The great internal bloodletting of 1861—1865 is still a central event and great dividing line in American history. In our discourse today, both high and low, it is now pervasively declared that that great event was simply about suppressing “treason” and “slavery.” This is an abuse of history, using it as a weapon to enforce a party line rather than…
Clyde Wilson
May 16, 2023
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“I’d Gone with Mississippi”

In July I’m having my Southern Literature Club read Shelby Foote’s central chapter on the Gettysburg Campaign found in the second part of his literary masterpiece, The Civil War: A Narrative. When filmmaker Ken Burns began work on his greatest film, The Civil War documentary series, (which remains to this day PBS’s most watched presentation with 40 million viewers. I…
Blog

A Righteous Cause at San Jacinto

The Battle of San Jacinto was brief (less than a half-hour) and decisive. Santa Anna and his Mexican army were decisively defeated a few miles east of what is now Houston, Texas. It became known as Sam Houston’s “retreat to victory.” It essentially cleared the way for Texas as an independent republic. The Texans had recently declared independence (March 2,…
Blog

The “Confederates Were Traitors” Argument is Ahistorical

Supporters of the Erasure & Destruction Commission, aka Renaming Commission, are fond of displaying their ignorance regarding the legal framework of the United States under the Constitution. Never is their misguided misapprehension more evident than when they declare that the Confederates were “traitors”. The charge is so unarguably counterfactual as to be absurd. While forgiveness (not forgetfulness) should be our…
Lloyd Garnett
May 4, 2023
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Voices of the Confederacy

A review of Voices of the Confederacy: True Civil War Stories from the Men and Women of the Old South (Knox Press, 2022) by Samuel W. Mitcham, Jr. All too often we approach our history looking at the grand sweep of events and personages.  Politicians, generals, battles and a few interesting tidbits thrown in for good measure.  We realize, of…
Brett Moffatt
May 2, 2023
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The Moral Underpinning of Jeffersonian Republicanism

Liberty for Jefferson is a concept readily grasped, but one, he learns throughout the decades, of great difficulty in application. It is easy to understand what it means for government to be only minimally involved in the affairs of its citizens—to be involved in directing its foreign affairs and in protecting citizens’ liberties—but difficult to put into praxis such thin…
M. Andrew Holowchak
April 26, 2023
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We’re Still Here

It’s hard to believe, but John Shelton Reed’s classic sociological study The Enduring South was first published a half century ago. I long ago gave my copy to a student, but, as I remember, Reed’s findings pointed to a persistent identification of a great many people as Southerners by use of various opinion surveys. Persistent peculiar Southern aspects of behaviour…
Clyde Wilson
April 24, 2023
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What the South Has Done About Its History

From The Journal of Southern History, Vol. 2, No. 1 (Feb., 1936), pp. 3-28. The South has often been referred to as a virgin field for the historian. Other sections of the country have written almost the minutest details of their history or suffered others to do it, even to magnifying the Boston Tea Party and Paul Revere’s Ride into…
E. Merton Coulter
April 20, 2023
Blog

The Confederate Constitution, Part II

From the 2005 Abbeville Institute Summer School. Continued from Part One. Over the course of the 20th Century, the States have been increasingly sidelined. Everything is considered through a national lens and said to have a national scope. Consider, for example, the Seventeenth Amendment, which gave us the direct election of senators. In a recent Supreme Court case, the State…
Marshall DeRosa
April 10, 2023
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Vindicating the Dead

I rarely go to movies anymore for the obvious reason that there is little worth seeing these days.  However, Facebook seems to understand my tastes and has recently inserted into my feed ads for a movie called The Lost King.  The movie is about Philippa Langley’s passionate effort to find the remains of King Richard III and to determine his…
Julie Paine
April 7, 2023
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Why the Confederacy Could Not Succeed

Many books over the years have given me insights into history—insights that occasionally cause things to come together to produce a “Road to Damascus” moment. Recently the remembrance of one caused me to revisit my long-held belief that the attempt by the States of the South to establish a confederated republic upon the North American continent was doomed to failure…
Valerie Protopapas
April 4, 2023
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The Tower on the Tyger

“Do fish swim in a whiskey barrel?” was the only logical response when Brandon Meeks, the Bard of Southern Arkansas, asked me to represent the new Southern journal Moonshine & Magnolias at the Upcountry Literary Festival held in Union, SC. You see, Dr. James Everett Kibler was set to receive the William “Singing Billy” Walker Award for Lifetime Achievement in…
Chase Steely
April 3, 2023
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Return to Red Rock

Seems like it was only yesterday. I was a teenager in high school at Mt. Judea (pronounced “Mount Judy”), Arkansas, and I was the one who had to call and get permission from a local good ol' boy and landowner who owned the summit of Red Rock mountain in Vendor. He never failed to give us the OK, and then…
Travis Holt
March 31, 2023
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The Establishment Love of “Racism” in Southern History

It is the task of historians to create what might be dubbed useful “fictions”—the “isms” of history, like colonialism, imperialism, liberalism, stadialism, and medialism. What is an ism? Philosopher and psychologist William James is noted for stating that an infant’s first experiences with the world are essentially “a blooming buzzing confusion.” As the infant matures and interacts with adults, he…
M. Andrew Holowchak
March 30, 2023
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Thy Troy Has Fallen

In recent research, I accidentally happened upon this beautiful, touching story of a dying poet’s tribute to Robert E. Lee, and thought readers would find it interesting. Like Lord Acton, the English poet Philip Stanhope Worsley was an admirer of the Confederacy and General Robert E. Lee. According to the Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Worsley was born in Greenwich…
Karen Stokes
March 29, 2023
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Mark Twain Dismantles Teddy Roosevelt

For generations, both mainstream and armchair historians alike have perpetuated a variety of myths about Teddy Roosevelt. According to their interpretations, Roosevelt practically defeated the Spanish in 1898 by himself, dug the Panama Canal with his bare hands, and took on the evil, monopolistic corporations against all odds and in spite of his wealthy upbringing. However, not all of his…
Michael Martin
March 24, 2023
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Hollywood Lies

World War II was a large factor in my early childhood. I lived with my grandmother. My father and his two brothers were in harm’s way (as were the uncles on my mother’s side of the family). We followed the newspapers and radio every day. Every day I took a 3-foot metal pipe, which was my rifle, into the adjacent…
Clyde Wilson
March 20, 2023
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Irish Confederates

Seemingly everything possible has already been written about the climactic battle of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania—three nightmarish days of intense combat in early July 1863—that determined America’s destiny. Consequently, for people craving something new beyond the standard narrative so often repeated throughout the past, they were sorely disappointed by the new Gettysburg titles released for the 150th anniversary. In fact, this unfortunate…
Philip Thomas Tucker
March 17, 2023
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The Confederate Constitution of 1861, Part I

From the 2004 Abbeville Institute Summer School You know, you should ask yourself, “Why is the Confederacy so important?” Not only from a historical perspective, but also prospectively, what is it about the Confederacy and the leaders of that time that should encourage not only us people with Southern sympathies, but all people who are interested in good government generally,…
Marshall DeRosa
March 14, 2023
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Friday Lights Out

I still remember my first fight. Though raised in a God-fearing home that took the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth seriously, my folks were convinced of the “two cheeks” rule. That is, after having been smitten on the one, the Christian may oblige an assailant to double up on the second, but after that it’s our turn to commence smiting…
Brandon Meeks
March 9, 2023
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Was Randolph Jefferson Just a “Muddy Boots Farmer”?

In 2011, Bernard Mayo edited the collection of letters between Thomas Jefferson and younger brother Randolph in Thomas Jefferson and His Unknown Brother Randolph. In the short book, Mayo proffers a four-page introduction to the thin correspondence. The letters exchanged, says Mayo, “are primarily interesting because they reveal Thomas Jefferson’s solicitousness: his “affection, patient kindness, and desire to help a…
M. Andrew Holowchak
March 6, 2023
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Southern Artist and Historian

African American Gregory Newson, a talented artist, was raised in New York but now lives and does his work in South Carolina.  He has made contributions, both in art and writing, to Confederate history that deserve to be better recognised. In 2016 he published Get Forrest, a beautifully illustrated biography. One could not ask for a more fair and interesting…
Clyde Wilson
March 3, 2023
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The No-So-Enlightened Patriarch of Monticello

A Review of Annette Gordon-Reed and Peter Onuf’s Most Blessed of the Patriarchs (Liveright, 2016) by M. Andrew Holowchak While Pete Onuf’s somewhat incoherent 2007 book on Jefferson, The Mind of Thomas Jefferson—it is mere a rag-tag collection of his thoughts on various topics related to Jefferson—betrays unsubtly a bitter, even angry, Onuf, intent in belittling Jefferson, his 2016 collaboration…
M. Andrew Holowchak
March 2, 2023
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The University of the Southern Cause

The Confederacy and Naples Some years ago (summer 1974) when I was completing a doctorate in history and political science in Europe, I made a journey south from Rome to the Italian city of Naples. Earlier, before traveling to Europe on a Richard Weaver Fellowship, I had managed to read two engrossing volumes on the Bourbon monarchy of the Kingdom…
Boyd Cathey
February 27, 2023
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The Destruction of Washington Street Methodist as a Metaphor

As Northern victory drew near in 1865, on the night of February 17/18 troops under General William T. Sherman set fire to the Washington Street Methodist Church in Columbia, South Carolina. Legend has it – highly plausible – that the soldiers intended to burn down the First Baptist Church. But when approached and queried by Union soldiers as to the…
Forrest L. Marion
February 23, 2023
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It’s Washington’s Birthday, Not President’s Day

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

If we want a better understanding of the United States Civil War, we need a comprehensive overview of the southern culture which existed before the four years of the civil war.  This article is written for the purpose of connecting us to a few more variables that influenced elements of southern culture in the United States, starting with the following…
Barbara Marthal
February 21, 2023
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Front Porch Sittin’

I have an obsession with old pictures. I have inherited and hoarded many of them in my travels. Amongst these pictures, I often find a common backdrop of a beautiful, simple white-sided Ozark home with white roof supports. One of these pictures was taken in the mid-1990s or so and shows four generations of my Holt family (myself included) perched…
Travis Holt
February 10, 2023
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The Wrong Question

An article appeared on January 20th, 2023, touching upon the assault on the “Reconciliation” monument in Arlington National Cemetery. The monument has been labeled as “Confederate” and therefore resides in the cross-hairs of the present Woke Nation. Author Allen Brownfeld entitled the piece: Removing the Confederate Memorial From Arlington: What Would Lincoln or Grant Think? Of course, the contretemps about…
Valerie Protopapas
February 6, 2023
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A Morsel of Genuine History

“A Morsel of genuine History, a thing so rare as to be always valuable.” ---Thomas Jefferson Recently a young professor wrote that Confederates had slandered and “dehumanised” Northern soldiers by giving them an unfavourable image.  Dehumanisation.  How awful and unfair! Those righteous Northern soldiers having their feelings hurt by mean old Southerners. A relevant fact is that the Yankees had…
Clyde Wilson
January 30, 2023
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The Death of Bully

Oh to be here. Alabama College in the middle of January with the Christmas dances rested up from and the Valentine’s dance at Mississippi State yet to come. A joy. The girls down the hall bragging about their dates but a better one to shut them down. Charles. Tall, dark, and handsome even if he is not six foot three.…
Sarah B. Guest Perry
January 27, 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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Our Hate Confederates Moment

The Confederacy makes up a sizable and interesting chunk of American history. Not only interesting but often regarded as admirable.  Admiration for the Confederacy’s brave struggle against great odds and its noble leaders has lasted for generations and is worldwide. Its admirers have even included some of the best of the men who fought against it. Wiping the Confederacy from…
Clyde Wilson
January 23, 2023
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An Englishman Meets General Jackson

Henry Wemyss Feilden, born in England in 1838, was the younger son of Sir William Feilden, a baronet. Young Henry entered the British Army, and after serving in India and China for a number of years, he decided to resign his commission and volunteer for service in the army of the Confederate States of America. On a winter night in…
Karen Stokes
January 20, 2023
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Robert E. Lee, Arlington, and the Ministry of Truth

It is difficult to monitor the level of awareness of the effort to destroy the Confederate Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery. Moses Ezekiel, a Jewish Confederate Veteran, who created this work of art, is buried below the monument along with three other veterans. This hate-filled and apparently anti-Semitic agenda, pushed by Ty Seidule, is not unique in American history. The…
John M. Taylor
January 19, 2023
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A Better Light

Once, a mother watching her child searching diligently for something and seeing that she was having no success in her search, asked the tot where she had lost the missing item. The child replied, “I lost it over there,” pointing to the other side of the room. Somewhat confused, the mother said, “But if you lost it over there, why…
Valerie Protopapas
January 12, 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 Glory Days of the Kanawha Canal

Southern essayist and former Lynchburger Dr. George W. Bagby (1828–1883) described departure of one of the bateaux on a trip from Richmond to Lynchburg on the Kanawha Canal, while he was then a lad, in a short piece titled “Canal Reminiscences”: At last we were off, slowly pushed along under the bridge on Seventh Street; then the horses were hitched…
M. Andrew Holowchak
January 9, 2023
Blog

The Lincoln Myth and Civil Religion

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

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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A “Cretinous” Construal of Jefferson’s “Diffusion Argument”

While attending a talk at Poplar Forest on Thomas Jefferson and the Missouri Crisis in the summer of 2019, the speaker, a historian at one of the local universities in Lynchburg, broached Jefferson’s letter to Congressman John Holmes (22 Apr. 1820) about eradication of the institution of slavery by diffusion. This historian called the argument, without further commentary, pure poppycock.…
M. Andrew Holowchak
December 6, 2022
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Inglis Fletcher and the Art of Southern Writing

Inglis Clarke (20 October 1879 – 30 May 1969) grew up in Edwardsville, Illinois, a small town populated by many displaced Southerners. She had deep ancestral roots in northeastern North Carolina and, particularly, the Albemarle region. Young Inglis’ grandfather, who described the Tar Heel State as “that valley of Humiliation, between two mountains of Conceit,” sparked her interest in North…
Jeff Wolverton
December 5, 2022
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Heroes, Heroines, and/or Villains

It was a perfect day to spend outside.  Tree leaves were riding the gentle currents of a fall breeze like giant snowflakes, reflecting the orange, red and gold of a warm autumn sun.  Being of African, Native American and European descent, I was attending a Civil War Re-enactment, the only place where I can enthusiastically share the history of my…
Barbara Marthal
December 1, 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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A Jewish Perspective on the Arlington Confederate Monument

The Advisory Committee on Arlington National Cemetery has recommended the removal of the 32-foot-tall memorial to Confederate veterans buried there on the grounds that it is “riddled with racist iconography” and perpetuates the Lost Cause narrative. The following letter was sent today to the Committee. — JAB On March 19, 1841, at the consecration of its new synagogue in Charleston,…
Jack Schewel
November 15, 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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Southerners Riding the Red Wave

America’s talking heads on the right and left are predicting a conservative “red wave” in the 2022 midterm elections. They predict that “conservatives” will take control of both Houses of Congress. If, and that is a big if, it happens, what opportunities will it present to those of us who want to put an end to modern Reconstruction’s anti-South cancel…
James Ronald Kennedy
November 7, 2022
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W.J. Cash: the Portrait of Dorian Gray as a Young Southern Man

I, thankfully, studied history and political theory at a Southern university at a time not that long ago when those predisposed to a more classical Southern worldview could hold those positions in class. We would be challenged, yes. We had professors who were more liberal than we were, naturally, but as long as we could well defend our positions, we…
R. Ashley Hall
October 25, 2022
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Douglas Southall Freeman

From the 2011 Abbeville Institute Summer School. The topic I chose was “Douglas Southall Freeman, a Southern Historian's Historian.” But I could have all kinds of meanings. It could be he's a Southern historian’s historian, or he's a Southern historian’s historian. He's also a Southern historian's military historian, because most of the topics that he wrote about were military oriented.…
Jonathan White
October 19, 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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Forms of Nationalism in Early America

From the 2004 Abbeville Institute Summer School My first lecture is going to be a bit of a story, but this story is not going to be one where there's a hero at the center of it. Instead this is gonna be a story about nationalism, what nationalism is and the categories of nationalism that were present during the early…
Carey Roberts
October 10, 2022
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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We’ve Been Lied To

Much of what we’ve gotten from our “history” books has been wishful myth. Those who are the victors in wars and other world situations get to write the “history” books, in which they make themselves look good and their enemies look bad. The bad things they’ve done are either ignored or swept under the rug while their enemy’s faults are…
Al Benson
October 6, 2022
BlogMedia Posts

The Southern Constitutional Tradition

Brion McClanahan discusses the Southern constitutional tradition, from the 2022 Abbeville Institute Summer School at Seabrook Island, SC, July 5-8, 2022 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2TCufOUlq_4 Note: The views expressed on abbevilleinstitute.org are not necessarily those of the Abbeville Institute.
Abbeville Institute
September 20, 2022
Blog

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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Biden’s Political Slavery

Joe Biden’s “address to the nation,” delivered September 1, 2022, was one of the most illuminating—as in revealing—speeches ever given by a president since Lincoln’s speech in which he falsely declared that the Union preceded and created the states. Biden’s speech, as in Lincoln’s speech, was full of emotion and ideological passion, supported by a fawning press but totally absent…
James Ronald Kennedy
September 14, 2022
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History by Emotion

I presume the decision by the U.S. Postal Service leadership didn’t sound like a difficult one, especially in 2022. In Montpelier Station, Virginia, a post office was operating in a building where signs reading “White” and “Colored” hung over two separate doors. The signs were a historical artifact, and were intended to direct visitors to an exhibit about historical racial…
Casey Chalk
September 13, 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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Calhoun and the 21st Century

In 1957, Senator John F. Kennedy issued a report on the five most important Senators in United States history. He included John C. Calhoun, and while he understood the historical controversy it might create, Kennedy insisted that Calhoun's "masterful" defense "of the rights of a political minority against the dangers of an unchecked majority" and "his profoundly penetrating and original…
Brion McClanahan
September 8, 2022
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Old State Rights

From Thomas Ritchie: A Study in Virginia Politics by Charles Henry Ambler Ritchie was not a genius. Either of the others of the great "Democratic Triumvirate" of political editors, Francis P. Blair of the Washington Globe, or Edwin Croswell of the Albany Argus, was his equal in natural ability. Possibly John Hampden Pleasants, Duff Green, and even others surpassed him…
Abbeville Institute
September 6, 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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Jefferson Davis on Robert E. Lee

Remarks of President Davis at the Meeting of the Confederate Soldiers and Sailors held at the First Presbyterian Church, Richmond, Virginia, November 3, 1870, for the purpose of organizing the Lee Monument Association, as reported in the Richmond Dispatch for Nov. 4, 1870. Robert E. Lee was my associate and friend in the military academy, and we were friends until…
Abbeville Institute
August 30, 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
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The War that House Built

It might truly be said that the death, funeral and burial of Thomas Jefferson’s American republic came about at the hands of the nation’s three most prominent wartime presidents . . . with Abraham Lincoln digging the grave, Woodrow Wilson constructing the coffin and Franklin Roosevelt performing the final interment of America’s body politic. As to the wars themselves, while…
John Marquardt
August 10, 2022
BlogClyde Wilson Library

George W. Kendall of New Orleans–America’s First War Correspondent

In the long range of history the war correspondent, a journalist embedded with a fighting army, is a fairly recent development.  George Kendall was the pioneer.  He was  with Winfield Scott’s army during the U.S/Mexico War 1846—1848, from Vera Cruz to Mexico City.  Like the soldiers he faced sickness and was wounded. His 215 dispatches from Mexico were the primary …
Clyde Wilson
August 5, 2022
BlogClyde Wilson Library

My Life as a Southern Historian–Becoming Nobody

As we progress into old age, our perspectives tend to change. Things that occupied most of our active life--accomplishments and “the bubble reputation” are seen to be  less important than family and friends. I suspect that even accumulating money loses some of its flavor as the years move on, although I don’t really know about that. This reflection is provoked…
Clyde Wilson
July 29, 2022
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The Ballad of Confederate Abolitionists

I am a descendant of a family of Confederate soldiers, and I have been told I should be embarrassed.  A liberal activist told me recently that all Confederates were racist degenerates who deserve nothing except desecration of their statues and memorials.  I usually avoid deep discussions of this topic on social media, because the predicted result is that people don’t…
Tom Daniel
July 25, 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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The Attack on Leviathan, Part 1

“In 1938 appeared the clearest and most courageous of the Agrarian documents, Donald Davidson’s Attack on Leviathan.” – Richard M. Weaver Russell Kirk tells the story of discovering Davidson’s book in 1938 as a sophomore at Michigan State in the introduction for its reprint in 1991. Kirk writes, “The book was so good that I assumed all intelligent Americans, or…
Chase Steely
July 8, 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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Jefferson Davis: American Statesman

Most people don't know anything about Jefferson Davis other than he was the President of the Confederate States of America. His great-great grandson, Bertram Hayes-Davis, explains why Davis should be highly regarded among all Americans today. https://youtu.be/RAKw8U_PBAc
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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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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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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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Triumph and Subjugation

In 1935 Lyon Gardiner Tyler – descendant of 10th President John Tyler – wrote: “The old Union was a union of consent; the present Union is one of force. For many years after the war, the South was held as a subject province, and any privileges it now enjoys are mere concessions from its conquerors, not rights inherited from the…
Valerie Protopapas
April 21, 2022
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The Once Southern City

I presume I am not the only person who thinks regularly about the strange reality of living in a part of what traditionally was the South, that is no longer really the South, like my native Northern Virginia. I think my idiosyncrasy explains why whenever I travel to a place that fits that description, I am infinitely curious about the…
Casey Chalk
March 11, 2022
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Two Southern Heroes

The Adventures and Recollections of General Walter P. Lane, A San Jacinto Veteran  (1887) John Salmon Ford, Rip Ford’s Texas  (1885, 1963) Our forebears of the antebellum South are being subjected to  pervasive dishonest slander (by both left and right) these days.  Brave and honourable people who did far more than their fair share in the creation of the United…
Clyde Wilson
February 22, 2022
Blog

Adventures in Southern and Confederate Cinema

  Recently a friend of mine asked me to list my ten favorite films about the South and the War Between the States, and to discuss the reasons I would choose them. I had written several columns in the past about cinema that favorably portrayed the Southland and had dealt fairly with the War Between the States, including, most recently,…
Boyd Cathey
February 14, 2022
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The Lost Cause Reconsidered Once More

  On a website devoted to publishing scholarly articles, I did recently did a search for “The Lost Cause” and unsurprisingly found a plethora of articles on that theme relating mostly to the aftermath of the American War of 1861-65. Also unsurprisingly, many of these apparently set about to examine the issue with a view toward debunking that effort as…
Thomas Hubert
February 9, 2022
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The South and America’s Wars for Righteousness

Delivered at our 2011 Scholar's Conference, The South and America's Wars Well, good morning, and I wonder if you have the stamina for a third hour? Prop yourself up here and I’ll try to keep us all awake. My thanks to Don Livingston for his invitation to speak to you today and for all of his work organizing and hosting…
Richard M. Gamble
February 7, 2022
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The Achievements of M.E. Bradford

By Forrest McDonald and Clyde Wilson. These essays were originally published in the Fall 1982 issue of Southern Partisan. A review of M.E. Bradford, A Worthy Company: Brief Lives of the Framers of the United States Constitution. Marlborough, NH: Plymouth Rock Foundation, 1982 and M.E. Bradford, A Better Guide Than Reason: Studies in the American Revolution. La Salle, Ill.: Sherwood…
Abbeville Institute
February 3, 2022
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Grover Cleveland and the South, Part 2

Excerpt from Ryan Walters, Grover Cleveland: The Last Jeffersonian President (Abbeville Institute Press, 2021) While in his first term in the White House, Cleveland decided to make a symbolic gesture of goodwill toward the South. Acting on a recommendation from the secretary of war, the president decided to return captured Confederate battle flags to their respective Southern states. The move,…
Ryan Walters
February 2, 2022
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Guess I Won’t Qualify for Reparations

I’ve spent the last forty-five years doing family research and family history. I’ve interviewed some of my older relatives who have now passed on and I’m grateful that I had the foresight to do that. My only regret is that I did not start sooner. This process started around 1977 with the premier of the movie “Roots” the dramatization of…
Barbara Marthal
February 1, 2022
BlogReview Posts

20/20 Moral Hindsight

A Review of: Richard B. Russell, Jr. Senator from Georgia (UNC Press, 1991) by Gilbert C. Fite “We can be as separate as the fingers, yet one as the hand in all things essential to mutual progress.” Booker T. Washington, speech to the Atlanta Exposition, 1885 Speaking of the current trend toward all-black dormitories, fraternities, and graduation exercises, Coretta Scott…
Charles Goolsby
January 18, 2022
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When does the wisdom of crowds transition to the madness of crowds?

Peter Thiel, a co-founder of PayPal along with Tesla’s Elon Musk and an early Facebook investor, is famed for his thought-provoking questions. One example is a question he typically asks entrepreneurs seeking venture capital from him: “What are you certain to be true that most of your peers would disagree with you about?” Copernicus, for example, might have answered that…
Philip Leigh
January 6, 2022
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Requiem for Grandma

Growing up on ‘Holt Hill’ in Vendor, Arkansas, I was truly blessed. I had a touch of the ‘Old South’ that I now have oft read of; a true, closed community of my own people who endured hardship, drought and war, and came out stronger as a result. Of the many giants who walked through my childhood, there is one…
Travis Holt
December 30, 2021
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Melting Down Art and History

After the Civil War, former North Carolina governor Zeb Vance became a U.S. senator. His Northern colleagues enjoyed his affable nature and sense of humor, and some of them invited him to Massachusetts during a break in government business. While there, Vance attended a party, and eventually required a visit to the outhouse, where his hosts as a joke had hung a…
Jeff Minick
December 20, 2021
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Thomas Roderick Dew

Editor's note: The author of this piece won the Bennett History Medal in 1908 for this essay, and was published in the June 1909 volume of the John P. Branch Historical Papers. The Bennett prize is still awarded annually by Randolph Macon College to the best undergraduate history paper. This particular essay displays a depth of understanding even contemporary graduate…
D. Ralph Midyette, Jr.
December 2, 2021
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The Real First Thanksgiving

On Saturday, November 20, MSNBC aired a segment by activist Gyasi Ross comparing Thanksgiving to genocide. "But I'm still trying to find out what indigenous people received of value. Instead of bringing stuffing and biscuits, those settlers brought genocide and violence…” he said. Ross’s ignorance and searing rhetoric contradicts the historical record but nevertheless has been fueled by an educational…
Brion McClanahan
November 24, 2021
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Southern Heritage and “New Right” Populism

The current conservative populist movement appears to offer some hope of mounting an effective resistance to the corporate state that was established during, and has largely adapted and stayed in power, since the failed War for Southern Independence. While having turned away from the endless wars and being able to effectively mobilize people to resist the political establishment that has…
James (Jim) Pederson
November 2, 2021
Blog

Thomas Moore, RIP

In August, Thomas Moore, novelist and founding Chairman of the Southern National Congress, passed away unexpectedly at his home in Aiken, South Carolina at the too-early age of 73. Tom was South Carolina-born, a graduate of the Citadel and had an M.A. in National Security Affairs from Georgetown University. He worked for 25 years in powerful circles in Washington in…
Clyde Wilson
November 1, 2021
Blog

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
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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
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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

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…
Blog

Economic Interpretation of American History

This article was originally published in the May 1916 issue of the Journal of Political Economy. To turn men away from the “barren” field of political history is one professed object of Professor Charles A. Beard in the two volumes which he has in recent years submitted to the public. Other purposes of these interesting volumes are to call the…
William E. Dodd
October 14, 2021
Blog

Writing History Books Without History

The numerous declarations among "right-wing" websites, blogs, and print publications usually present a conundrum of any given thoughts among them. It is like a string of firecrackers exploding. They are necessarily lighted in sequence but seem to sound in explosive randomness. Afghanistan a catastrophe? Of, course. What do you expect? That is if you are a conservative, what do you…
Paul H. Yarbrough
September 17, 2021
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The Uneducated Antebellum South?

Conditions and Limitations of Southern Educational Efforts. In the discussion of educational interests and educational work in the various parts of the Union, from the colonial period to 1861 and later, a proper account has not usually been taken of the conditions and limitations which controlled educational effort in the various sections. The states at large are, by the facts,…
Robert Burwell Fulton
September 16, 2021
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Against the Cruise Ship Historians

The court historian is as old as history itself. Early states were based on the monopolization of information—accounting tablets at first, for taxation, but then “official” histories so that rulers could legitimize their ongoing theft of other people’s resources. Someone had to write these “histories” of the righteous, divinely sanctioned persistence of the ruling house, and thus the court historian…
Jason Morgan
September 10, 2021
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The Journey from Canaan to Carolina

Biblical history tells us that Abrahamic monotheism, the foundation of not only Judaism but Christianity and Islam as well, began some four thousand years ago in Ur, the ancient land that is now southern Iraq. There, the patriarch Abraham made his sacred covenant with God in which the followers of Abraham were to someday inherit the promised land of Canaan.…
John Marquardt
September 9, 2021
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If We Don’t Take Our Stand Now, It Will Be Too Late

It seems clear to many of us that there are two rising tides in American life these days. One has been called by many names: Political Correctness, “Wokeism”, Cultural Marxism, Theoretical Revisionism, Radical Socialism, and any number of other sobriquets that are all a product of that absurd neediness of powerless “intellectuals” to assert their imagined sense of superiority. What…
Ben Jones
September 6, 2021
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Jefferson Davis on Slavery in the Territories

The modern academic narrative says that the South’s purpose in secession and war was to “preserve and extend slavery.” Any other purpose is labeled a post-war “Lost Cause Myth.” In a speech on the floor of the Senate, February 13, 1850, Senator Jefferson Davis argued against Sen. Henry Clay’s call for banning slavery in the territories. The speech is a polemic against the reason…
Rod O'Barr
August 26, 2021
Blog

The Wild Man

At the top of the hill where my great-grandparents lived, there was a dusty, black and white picture on a shelf. It could’ve been my grandpa or great-uncle, but it didn’t look quite like them. It was a dapper dressed young man leaning over the fender of a ’59 Ford car, posing. I never asked about this picture but it…
Travis Holt
July 30, 2021
Blog

Who’s Your People?

“Who's your people?” Though now somewhat rare, one still hears that question in Dixie, usually uttered from the lips of older or rural Southerners. Much is implied by the question. There is the implicit belief that one’s extended family — or clan, given much of the region’s Scotch-Irish roots — serves as an inextricable part of one’s identity. Also implied…
Casey Chalk
July 26, 2021
Blog

Responding to the Scalawags

If timid and pacified Southerners needed more proof that we are a defeated and occupied people, then indisputable proof was recently provided by the United States House of Representatives. At 7:24 PM June 29, 2021 the House of Representatives passed HR 3005. This legislation requires that all “statues” of Southern “Civil War” heroes be removed from the United States Capitol…
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

John Pelham and the “Myth of the Lost Cause”

Some twenty years ago I had planned to write a full-length study of John Pelham—known in the South as the Gallant John Pelham—and the making of myth. The business of earning a living and other distractions, however, intervened to keep that project from being completed. I finally abandoned it as a lost cause of my own. Recently, however, I came…
Thomas Hubert
July 7, 2021
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Aristotle vs. Hobbes–The Cause of the Great War

The "ultimate cause" of the War of Secession was two mutually exclusive understanding of government. The South embraced the view of Aristotle that government was a natural outgrowth of communal man's inter-relationship and that being the case, was at its most efficient and least threatening when limited and local. This nation was more or less founded on that principle albeit,…
Valerie Protopapas
July 6, 2021
Blog

A Plague on the South

While the current worldwide COVID-19 pandemic has also wreaked havoc throughout the South, there was an even more deadly epidemic that attacked a number of Southern states almost a century and a half ago.  In the spring of 1878, thousands of refugees from Cuba fled to New Orleans at the end of an unsuccessful ten-year war to gain their  independence…
John Marquardt
June 24, 2021
Blog

The Latin South

“The Hispanic community understands the American Dream and have not forgotten what they were promised,” declared Florida Senator Marco Rubio, the son of Cuban immigrants who fled their native land in 1956 during the regime of Fulgencio Batista. Though their stories are not often told, Hispanics have been realizing that American vision in the South since the antebellum era. Indeed,…
Casey Chalk
June 23, 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

The Lincoln Assassination Plot–An Alternate History

A review of The Retribution Conspiracy: The Rise of the Confederate Secret Service (Scuppernong Press, 2021) by Dr. Samuel W. Mitcham, Jr. In a world full of ever arising new conspiracy theories, one over 150 years old still intrigues us. Did the South conspire to kill Lincoln? Noted scholar and historian, Samuel W. Mitcham, Jr’s, novel The Retribution Conspiracy adds…
Blog

Abraham Lincoln and the Misinterpretation of American History

The Federalist online magazine has a problem. It’s a condition that characterizes and infects almost the entirety of the present national conservative media. This hit home for me on May 31, in an essay by Leslie McAdoo Gordon. Founded in 2013 by Ben Domenech, thefederalist.com it is not connected to The Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies, which…
Boyd Cathey
June 9, 2021
Blog

Fighting for 5 Miles

As Memorial Day approaches, I am thinking of a man I never met. His name is Charles Willis Kessler; he was a young, second Lieutenant from the small town of Eunice, Louisiana.  Two of his brothers went to war also, one older, one younger. Both came home. Willis did not. He lost his life a few days after the Normandy…
Blog

Is Secession Treason?

And they, sweet soul, that most impute a crimeAre pronest to it, and impute themselves…Tennyson, from Idylls of the King (1) The US Supreme Court, in Texas vs. White, ruled that secession from the Union was unconstitutional. Chief Justice Salmon P. Chase, in 1869, wrote the majority “opinion of the court.” His opinion was not that of Thomas Jefferson, the…
H.V. Traywick, Jr.
June 3, 2021
Blog

On “Good Uses” for the Confederate Flag

One of my colleagues in the ministry of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod (LCMS) recently wrote that among "good uses" for the Confederate battle flag are "diaper, shop rag, kindling, stuffing for a pillow, burping cloth," and "toilet paper."  In the ensuing discussion - which I was not a part of - he added, "It's a treason/slavocracy flag.  Plain…
Rev. Larry Beane
June 2, 2021
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Slavery and Agency

Reviewers are unrelenting in their praise for the new Amazon streaming television series The Underground Railroad, a magic realist cinematographic depiction of the eponymous book by Colson Whitehead, which won the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for fiction. A review in ABC News calls the show “a masterpiece that raises series TV to the level of art.” The Washington Post has featured…
Casey Chalk
May 31, 2021
Blog

Faust and the Devil–Teachers, Histrionic Historians

Why bother with opening the schools, if all that you’ll have is the same uneducated blowhards filling the minds of children with the same monstrous mush that is conjured by these same blowhards who want to be paid for sitting on their butts in the first place? Teachers go on vacation while telling students to “zoom’’ in on their “home”…
Paul H. Yarbrough
May 27, 2021
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Bad History Masquerading as an Appeal to Peace and Piety: A Response to Allen Guelzo’s “Why We Must Forget the Lost Cause”

It is a testimony to the prevalence of anti-Southern sentiment that The Gospel Coalition (TGC), one of the most prominent evangelical parachurch entities, has provided a platform for such sentiments by publishing an article entitled “Why We Must Forget the Lost Cause.” Written by the prominent Princeton University Professor Allen Guelzo, this piece was published in the “Bible and Theology”…
Tom Hervey
May 24, 2021
Blog

Make History History Again

In the 1986 comedy film Back to School, Rodney Dangerfield’s character, Thornton Mellon, a wealthy, middle-aged father, decided to attend college with his young son. Never serious about the endeavor, and more interested in women and parties, Mellon uses his vast fortune to hire experts to do his academic work for him. For his astronomy project, he hires scientists from…
Ryan Walters
May 20, 2021
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 Soldier

Continued from Part 2. “He was a foe without hate; a friend without treachery; a soldier without cruelty; a victor without oppression, and a victim without murmuring…a Christian without hypocrisy…He was a Caesar, without his ambition; Frederick, without his tyranny; Napoleon, without his selfishness, and Washington, without his reward.” – Senator Benjamin Harvey Hill As a commander who won victory…
Earl Starbuck
May 5, 2021
Blog

Southern Orthodoxy

A review of Preachers with Power: Four Stalwarts of the South (Banner of Truth, 1992) by Douglas F. Kelly I first became aware of Douglas F. Kelly through some videos on YouTube in which he was interviewed about his recent book Creation and Change, a defense of the book of Genesis as authentic history. His erudition and his manner (that…
Karen Stokes
May 4, 2021
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

The Knight of Melrose

Ah! My Lord Arthur, whither shall I go?Where shall I hide my forehead and my eyes?For now I see the true old times are dead…        Tennyson, from Idylls of the King My grandfather loved Tennessee Walking Horses, a breed so named for their beautiful run-walk, a gait which they carry in place of the trot found in other breeds. It is…
H.V. Traywick, Jr.
April 23, 2021
Blog

Robert E. Lee: The Believer

In the Year of Our Lord 2021, it is fashionable for American Christians to despise the antebellum South. Many Christian leaders, Evangelical and otherwise, have defended or even applauded the destruction of Confederate statues by mobs. In 2016, the Southern Baptist Convention repudiated the Confederate battle flag. In September of 2020, J.D. Greear, President of the SBC, said the denomination…
Earl Starbuck
April 22, 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

Dixie, Quo Vadis?

Many today feel that true Southerners living in the eleven States of the former Confederacy are, in many ways, once again fighting for their very existence and face the dismal prospect of the South they once knew becoming, as in Margaret Mitchel’s classic novel, a dream that will all too soon be gone with the wind.  Virtually everything they now…
John Marquardt
March 24, 2021
Blog

Industrialization and the Survival of the Peculiar Institution

Coming out of the American Revolution, the nation faced a slave problem that most today could scarcely imagine and that was unemployment. The Slave labor force had grown from reproduction and from importing of slaves by the northern slave traders in a situation that, using modern business terms, was more of supplier push than buyer pull. That is the suppliers…
James (Jim) Pederson
February 18, 2021
Blog

Fast Money

On a late November evening in 1970, I rolled into the “Big Easy” on an L&N freight with my pockets jingling. Hitching a ride to Canal Street - and letting the morrow “take thought for the things of itself,” as the Scriptures say - I checked into the Sheraton Delta Hotel, got myself cleaned up, then indulged myself in a…
H.V. Traywick, Jr.
February 12, 2021
Blog

What Can Be Done?

The year 2020 was brutal for the friends of the South.  Monuments and statues of Southerners, not just Confederates, disappeared from the urban areas of the Southand beyond.  The lockdowns imposed by the authorities weighed heavily upon the region’s and the country’s remaining small farms and small businesses.  In larger urban areas such as Atlanta, what the lockdown did not…
John Devanny
February 3, 2021
Blog

President Without A Party

A review of President without a Party: The Life of John Tyler (LSU Press, 2020) by Christopher Leahy “His Accidency.” That’s the nickname given to John Tyler, earned, as it were, because of the way he became vice-president (no one else wanted the job) and president (William Henry Harrison died after just over a month in office). Fair enough. Those…
Joe Wolverton
February 1, 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
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

Whatever Happened to History?

According to a recent poll, 72 per cent of Americans think that we are now in the “worst” period of American history.  Polls are dubious things and the great historian John Lukacs has questioned whether there really is any such thing as “public opinion.” But this poll simply supports what we already knew about pervasive historical ignorance, which is exhibited every…
Clyde Wilson
January 18, 2021
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Pretenses

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

All-too-often, seemingly buried in the myriad dates and statistics of history, lies the human experience that should do more to make up that history in the first place. These eyewitness accounts and anecdotes seem to speak to us, across the ages, in ways that numbers do not (something historians might want to pick up on, if they want a revived…
Travis Archie
December 9, 2020
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The War in the Pacific

The dramatic events leading up to the secession of the Southern States, the tragedy of the War Between the States and the ensuing final act of the South’s Reconstruction period were, for the most part, staged east of the Mississippi River, as well as in the waters surrounding the East Coast.  A lesser part of the drama was played out…
John Marquardt
December 7, 2020
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Appalachian Music and the Phonograph

In the late 19th century, Romantic composers were driven by nationalism as a means to advance their art.  For example, Russian composers like Tchaikovsky, Mussorgsky, and Rimsky-Korsakov made their composed music sound Russian, and the only way to do this was to become immersed in Russian folk music to see what made it tick.  They studied work songs, play songs,…
Tom Daniel
December 4, 2020
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The New South

Edited by Robert Hoyle. A Discourse delivered at the Annual Commencement of Hampden-Sydney College, June 15, 1882, before the Philanthropic and Union Literary Societies. Young Gentlemen of the Philanthropic and Union Societies, and Ladies and Gentlemen of the Audience: You will credit my expression of sincere embarrassment at this time when you consider that I am attempting a species of…
Robert Lewis Dabney
November 25, 2020
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Slavery and Emancipation 101

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

Some people come from the “the land down under”.  I come from the land “where old times are not forgotten”.  As historians we must recommit to helping our youth understand our history and realize that without a commanding knowledge of our history, there is no future for a free United States of America. It is natural to fight for your…
Barbara Marthal
October 15, 2020
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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
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Industrial Combinations

From The Land We Love, V, no. I (May 1868), 25-34, edited by Joseph S. Stromberg. Combinations for the prosecution of industrial pursuits are the characteristic of our age. They now enjoy almost universal favor, and are extending themselves, in old and new directions, every year. In the delight which is inspired by their efficiency for money-getting, people seem unsuspicious…
Robert Lewis Dabney
September 25, 2020
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They Were Not Traitors

A typical calumny directed at Confederate soldiers is that they don’t merit commemoration because they were traitors. It is a lie for two reasons. First, the Confederate states had no intent to overthrow the government of the United States. They seceded merely to form a government of their own. The first seven states that seceded during the winter of 1860-61…
Philip Leigh
September 16, 2020
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The Battle of Athens, Tennessee

On August 1, 1946, a group of Southern World War Two veterans in Athens, Tennessee, fought and won the only successful armed insurrection in the United States since the War of Independence. These brave men embodied that irrepressible Southern spirit, that martial valor and moral sublimity that suffused the souls of Dixie and her children for generations upon generations, stretching…
Neil Kumar
September 3, 2020
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A Monument Worthy of a Hero

Eight-tenths of a mile down a dead-end Arkansas gravel road, at that dead end, past two neglected old cattle guards and in the back pasture is not where you’d expect to find a hero, much less a monument to him and his men. But, alas! There he is, lying in all of his humble glory. There are no official monuments…
Travis Archie
August 28, 2020