Tag

Southern History

Review Posts

Ludwell Johnson: Master Southern Historian

  Life and Work Why Read Ludwell Johnson? Both Ludwell Johnson’s style of work and choice of subject matter strongly recommend him to our consideration. As a working historian he is calm and measured, with just the degree of detachment that historical work ideally requires. As he puts it, “trying to identify cause and effect is, to me, the very…
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“Scientist of the Seas”

Few Americans know of the great American scientist Matthew Fontaine Maury, and those that do probably do not know of his steadfast devotion to the Confederate States during the War for Southern Independence or his firm commitment to the South and her people. Maury was a native Virginian and his father had once been a teacher to Thomas Jefferson. Maury…
Brion McClanahan
May 22, 2015
Clyde Wilson Library

Antebellum Southerners in Europe

I want to look at Southerners going back to Europe long after the roots were planted, especially in the period before the second War of Independence began in 1861. The reason for looking at this is what it tells us about Southerners. One of the things it tells us is that we Southerners were a people. Our relationship to Europe…
Clyde Wilson
May 20, 2015
Review Posts

The Sesquicentennial of the War for Southern Independence as Symbolic of the Fallen State of the South

With the Sesquicentennial of the epic war of American history winding down, many may think this War no longer particularly relevant and we can move on to more current concerns. Such an attitude, which I dare say prevails among most Americans, Southerners included, ignores the watershed importance of the War known by any number of names, the “Civil War,” the…
William Cawthon
May 19, 2015
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No History, No Culture, No Past

  The title of this article is how the radical Muslim organization, ISIS, characterizes its callous destruction of Jewish, Christian, and other pre-Islamic religious statuary; places of worship, libraries, and other ancient cultural artifacts. There are even videos of ISIS slaughtering groups of civilians. As justification for these massacres and devastation, ISIS claims that its concept of the Muslim faith…
Gail Jarvis
May 14, 2015
Clyde Wilson Library

The South and the West, Part 2

It seems my mission here is to bring to your attention unfamiliar and unfashionable truths about American history. Let me give you another one. The American West, the frontier, was NOT conquered and settled by a “Nation of Immigrants.” George Washington was already the fifth generation of his family in Virginia, as were most of his neighbours. There was a…
Clyde Wilson
May 13, 2015
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New From Southern Pens, Part 2

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

The wife of the president H.L. Mencken referred to as “Roosevelt the Second” provided much of the impetus for the communizing of the Democratic party in the mid-1930s, and could be readily found supporting and speaking before openly Marxist groups like the American Youth Congress, Communist National Student League, Young Communist League, and anti-Franco communists. In a news column she…
Bernard Thuersam
May 7, 2015
Clyde Wilson Library

The South and the West, Part 1

When our ever-wise leader set up a program on the American West, he obviously had in mind the geographic west of North America—the Great Plains, mountains, and Pacific coast beyond the Colorado, Red, Arkansas, and Missouri rivers. But when Americans emerged onto the Great Plains in the second third of the 19th century, they were already the inheritors of two…
Clyde Wilson
May 6, 2015
Review Posts

James Henley Thornwell and Southern Religion

The God-fearing, Bible-reading, hymn-singing Confederate army grew out of a Southern soil well cultivated during the long struggle of countless, if largely unsung, preachers to civilize a harsh and violent frontier. Personal piety and Bible-centered family circles bolstered the churches in a successful effort to shape the regional culture. The churches assumed responsibility for the education, especially moral, of the…
Eugene Genovese
May 5, 2015
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Post Appomattox Fallacies Justifying Federal Tyranny

“We the people” of Dixie are in a unique position in today’s America. We are, though most Southerners do not realize it, a conquered and occupied people. A people of a once free nation—the Confederate States of America composed of former sovereign states. Southerners are a minority in a nation ruled by the secular humanist majority of the North.  This…
James Ronald Kennedy
April 23, 2015
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On Abraham Lincoln and the Inversion of American History

Originally published by the Unz Review on 15 April 2015. Back in 1990 in Richmond, Virginia, as part of the Museum of the Confederacy's lecture series, the late Professor Ludwell Johnson, author and  professor of history at William and Mary College, presented a fascinating lecture  titled, “The Lincoln Puzzle: Searching for the Real Honest Abe.” Commenting on the assassination of…
Boyd Cathey
April 17, 2015
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Tommy, We Hardly Knew Ye

Mr. Jefferson is quite passé these days, but ‘twas not always so. When I was a young lad, Mr. Jefferson was still firmly fixed among the America’s heroes, the great defender of the liberty of the states and the individual citizen, now not so much. Jefferson lost his luster among the members of the political Left over slavery, but perhaps…
John Devanny
April 16, 2015
Clyde Wilson Library

Thomas Jefferson, Conservative

In 1809 Thomas Jefferson yielded up the Presidency and crossed into Virginia. In the 17 active years remaining to him he never left it. The first volume of Malone's masterpiece, published in 1948, was Jefferson the Virginian. The sixth and last is The Sage of Monticello. Jefferson begins and ends with Virginia. Keep this fact in mind. It will save…
Clyde Wilson
April 15, 2015
Review Posts

Was Jefferson a “Scientific Racist”?

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

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

What to Say About Dixie?

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

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

What Makes Southern Manners Peculiar?

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

From the Confederate Veteran Magazine, Volume 4, 1916, pages 4-5. 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,…
Abbeville Institute
April 2, 2015
Clyde Wilson Library

A Southern Tradition: Restraining Bad Government

In talking about the Southern political tradition, it is most appropriate to point to the North Carolina Regulators and the Battle of Alamance Creek. This event was, in fact, only one of many such episodes in the colonial South--in the first 169 years of our history as Southerners before the first War of Independence. There was Bacon's Rebellion in Virginia…
Clyde Wilson
April 1, 2015
Review Posts

True American Whiggery: John Tyler and Abel P. Upshur

This piece is taken from Brion McClanahan and Clyde Wilson Forgotten Conservatives in American History. Two dates changed the course of American political history. On 13 September 1841, the Whigs expelled President John Tyler from their Party, outraged over his “betrayal” of what they considered true Whig political and economic principles. Shorty over two years later, on 28 February 1844,…
Brion McClanahan
March 31, 2015
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“His Accidency:” The Indispensable John Tyler

In honor of John Tyler's birthday (March 29), I thought it proper to include a excerpt from my new book, Compact of the Republic: The League of States and the Constitution, detailing the actions of a President I believe followed the Constitution strictly and has been cast aside by history. Called “His Accidency” by his political adversaries to refer to…
Dave Benner
March 30, 2015
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Lest We Forget Southern History

This year, 2015, marks the sesquicentennial of the end of a four-year war between American Southern States and Northern States that supported an aggressive federal government Southerners could not abide. In addition to the appalling loss of lives; thousands of severely wounded men; and war against civilians with massive destruction and theft of their property, this holocaust was unnecessary and…
R.E. Smith, Jr.
March 27, 2015
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The Eternal ‘Rebel Yell’

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

Hanging with the Snarks: An Academic Memoir

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

If "history is the essence of innumerable biographies," as Thomas Carlyle wrote, then the historian has the advantage of witnessing past life from beginning to end.  This is a solemn task.  We see the spring and vigor of youth transform into the resolution and candor of manhood.  The winter of life comes quickly, often suddenly.  For some, the impending doom…
Brion McClanahan
March 20, 2015
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Calhoun on American Government, Politics, and War

"When it comes to be once understood that politics is a game; that those who are engaged in it but act a part; that they make this or that profession, not from honest conviction or intent to fulfill it, but as the means of deluding the people, and through that delusion to acquire power, when such professions are to be…
Clyde Wilson
March 19, 2015
Clyde Wilson Library

“A Senator of Rome when Rome Survived.”

This selection was originally printed in Brion McClanahan and Clyde Wilson, Forgotten Conservatives in American History (Pelican, 2012). Of the Great Triumvirate who dominated American public discourse from the War of 1812 till the mid-19th century, John C. Calhoun was the first to depart the scene, in 1850. Henry Clay and Daniel Webster lived a few more years. In a…
Clyde Wilson
March 18, 2015
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“The Last Roman”: John Caldwell Calhoun

Born in 1782 near Abbeville, South Carolina, Calhoun's educational opportunities were limited, albeit advanced by the occasional tutelage offered by his brother-in-law, Reverend Moses Waddel. After his parents' death and a period of self-education, Calhoun entered Yale College, studying under the arch-Federalist Dr. Timothy Dwight. He proceeded to study law for two years under Judge Tapping Reeve at the Litchfield…
H. Lee Cheek, Jr.
March 18, 2015
Review Posts

John C. Calhoun Vindicated

This essay was first printed in the Southern Partisan Magazine, Volume III, Number 1 (1983). INTRODUCTION One hundred and forty years ago, Senator Henry Clay proposed a constitutional amendment to limit the veto power of the president of the United States. Senator John C. Calhoun replied to Clay; and that speech in reply is the most succinct version of Calhoun's…
Russell Kirk
March 17, 2015
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John Mitchel: Irish Confederate

John Mitchel (1815-1875) was a fiery Irish nationalist who was convicted of treason by the British in 1848 and transported first to Bermuda and then to a penal colony in Australia, from which he escaped in 1853. After Mitchel and his family settled in America, he continued his nationalist activism by founding a radical Irish newspaper in New York, denouncing…
Karen Stokes
March 17, 2015
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John C. Calhoun: A Statesman for the 21st Century

Your ordinary run-of-the mill historian will tell you that John C. Calhoun, having defended the bad and lost causes of state rights and slavery, deserves to rest forever in the dustbin of history. Nothing could be further from the truth. No American public figure after the generation of the Founding Fathers has more to say to later times than Calhoun.…
Clyde Wilson
March 16, 2015
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“United States ‘History’ as the Yankee Makes and Takes It”

John Cussons had enough.  It was 1897, and for thirty-two years he had watched as "Northern friends of ours have been diligent in a systematic distortion of the leading facts of American history— inventing, suppressing, perverting, without scruple or shame—until our Southland stands to-day pilloried to the scorn of all the world and bearing on her front the brand of…
Brion McClanahan
March 13, 2015
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White Cargo

White Cargo: The Forgotten History of Britain's White Slaves in America, Don Jordan and Michael Walsh, NYU Publishing Co., 2008, 431 pages. 978-0814742969. Where’s my reparations payment! If Ta-Nehisi Coates has provided the ideas behind John Conyers’ House Bill HR 40 for slave reparations to blacks, then Jordan and Walsh can provide the same for everyone else. For the truth…
Terry Hulsey
March 12, 2015
Clyde Wilson Library

Scratching Fleas: American Historians and Their History

There is no group I would rather receive recognition from than the John Randolph Club. I want to thank my valued comrade-in-arms Tom Fleming for this occasion. Tom is the truly indispensable man. Can you imagine a world without Tom Fleming and Chronicles? It would be immeasurably more intellectually, culturally, and morally impoverished than it already is. I would not…
Clyde Wilson
March 11, 2015
Review Posts

Taking Back Thomas Jefferson

“There is not a truth existing which I fear, or would wish unknown to the whole world.” – Thomas Jefferson, 1826, days before death It is now accepted as a fact that one of the preeminent Founding Fathers, Thomas Jefferson – the Apostle of Liberty and Reason – engaged in an illicit sexual relationship with one of his slaves, Sally…
James Rutledge Roesch
March 10, 2015
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The Professor, the Prankster, and the President

James M. McPherson recently appeared on The Colbert Report to promote his latest book, Embattled Rebel: Jefferson Davis as Commander in Chief. Together, McPherson and Colbert more or less made a mockery of Davis – “great Confederate president or greatest Confederate president?” As the Good Book says, “Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls…
Clyde Wilson Library

The Treasury of Counterfeit Virtue

“O wad some Pow’r the giftie gie us To see oursels as others see us!” —Robert Burns Not long ago, a well-known conservative historian lamented that the American public had not been morally engaged to undergo sacrifice after the 9/11 attacks, unlike their heroic predecessors after Fort Sumter and Pearl Harbour. Wait a minute. Pearl Harbor and 9/11 were massive…
Clyde Wilson
March 4, 2015
Review Posts

Southern Core Values

In American higher education of the past forty years, I have observed two American histories, and two American literatures – which teach different American ideals and values, resulting in different societies and different vision of what it means to be an American. Today we have a Northern history and a Southern history; we have a Northern literature and a Southern…
David Aiken
March 3, 2015
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“History is Nothing but a Pack of Lies We Play Upon the Dead.”

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

What exactly makes the South, the South? Hosts of scholars have puzzled mightily over this one. Historians might point to the old Confederacy, human geographers might look for the proliferation of Southern Baptist Churches, as well as clusters and distributions of BBQ joints and firearms ownership, while linguists ponder over the prevalence of “y’all” and other Southern speech patterns. The…
John Devanny
February 26, 2015
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Sayings By or For Southerners, Part XIV

I have seen enough of publick men to come to the conclusion, that there are few, indeed, whose attachment to self is not stronger, than their patriotism and their friendship. --Calhoun We are children of the earth. We are not unlike the Titans, the earthborn giants of mythology, who were invincible in battle only as long as their feet were…
Clyde Wilson
February 25, 2015
Review Posts

Sidney Lanier

BECAUSE I believe that Sidney Lanier was much more than a clever artisan in rhyme and metre; because he will, I think, take his final rank with the first princes of American song, I am glad to provide this slight memorial. There is sufficient material in his letters for an extremely interesting biography, which could be properly prepared only by…
William Hayes Ward
February 3, 2015
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The Bonnie Blue

Scholars who have seriously studied the question of what Northerners and Southerners were fighting for during the so-called “Civil War” have generally concluded that slavery was not a major motivating factor on either side. “Just as most Northerners did not fight to end slavery,” explained the acclaimed historian James I. Robertson, Jr., “most Southerners did not fight to preserve it.”…
James Rutledge Roesch
February 2, 2015
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The Art of Remembering

We gather here today to honor the memory of brave men who willingly faced the deadly fire of war in order to protect their kith and kin—their blood relatives, their friends and neighbors—they fought to protect their kith and kin from the horrors of the invader's torch and sword. General Robert E. Lee was one of the main leaders in…
James Ronald Kennedy
January 27, 2015
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Vindicating the South

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

The Cause of Jackson and Lee

  Delivered at the Blount County Courthouse, January 19, 2015. Robert E. Lee said “Everyone should do all in his power to collect and disseminate the truth, in the hope that it may find a place in history and descend to posterity. History is not the relation of campaigns and battles and generals or other individuals, but that which shows…
Carl Jones
January 21, 2015
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Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson

This essay is part of the chapter "Southerners" in Brion McClanahan's The Politically Incorrect Guide to Real American Heroes. The Northern essayist and Republican partisan E.L. Godkin wrote following the death of “Stonewall” Jackson in 1863 that Jackson was “the most extraordinary phenomenon of this extraordinary war. Pure, honest, simple-minded, unselfish, and brave, his death is a loss to the…
Brion McClanahan
January 21, 2015
Clyde Wilson Library

Confederate Flag Day

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

Why Historians Cannot Readily Situate Jefferson Finding Jefferson’s Shadow In his watershed work The Jefferson Image in the American Mind (1961), Merrill D. Peterson argues that our task as Jeffersonian historians is in some sense Sisyphean. Aiming to situate Jefferson—to find the real Jefferson—we merely wind up with an image, a shad-ow, which is as obfuscatory as it is disconcerting.…
M. Andrew Holowchak
January 13, 2015
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Stand Against “Cultural Displacement” of Lowcountry

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

Robert Barnwell Rhett, born on December 21, 1800, is remembered as one of the foremost "fire-eaters" of the South in the years leading to the War in 1861.  He championed nullification between 1830 and 1859 in order to preserve the Union, but had decided after the election of 1860 that the Union of the Founders had been dissolved and replaced…
Brion McClanahan
December 22, 2014
Review Posts

John Taylor and Construction

States’ rights may have been the defining force in Antebellum America, but modern, mainstream historians would have you believe that they were nothing more than a wicked creed cooked up by a few corrupt slaveowners. A review of a recent biography of John Taylor of Caroline referred to his “opprobrium” as the “premier states’ rights philosopher.” It would have been…
James Rutledge Roesch
December 19, 2014
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The Lady Who Saved Mount Vernon

Born in 1816, Ann Pamela Cunningham was raised at Rosemont, a plantation on the Saluda River in Laurens County, South Carolina.  At the age of seventeen, she suffered an injury to her spine when she was thrown from a horse and was crippled for the rest of her life.  In 1853, when she was 37 years of age, she was…
Karen Stokes
December 18, 2014
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Sayings By or For Southerners, Part X

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

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

“Monster of Self-Deception” or “Sentimental Traveller”?

A Critique of Onufian Revisionism and Jefferson’s “Contradictions” Robert Booth Fowler writes: “The monuments to Stalin that have come down in recent years in Eastern Europe mark the fall of a former hero and the fall of the values the hero supposedly embodied. The situation with Jefferson, however, is different. The values celebrated by the Jefferson Memorial have not lost…
M. Andrew Holowchak
December 9, 2014
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Along the Corduroy Road

This piece was originally published at Alabama Pioneers on 3 December 2014. The old home place stood among large oak trees at the top of a hill, more of a rise actually, in the black belt just east of Camp Creek. It was a good place for a ten year old boy to live. It had a good well of…
Arthur "Art" E. Green
December 4, 2014
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All Slavery, All the Time*

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

Tiger’s Meat: William Gilmore Simms and the History of the Revolution

In the early days of the United States, Founding Father Alexander Hamilton remarked: "The safety of a republic depends essentially on the energy of a common national sentiment." The common national sentiment—among American peoples diverse in economic interests, folkways, and political agendas—mainly rested on a fraternal sense of the shared perils and triumphs of the War of Independence, prior to…
Clyde Wilson
November 11, 2014
Review Posts

Twenty Million Gone: The Southern Diaspora, 1900—1970

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3yKesnaFYUw https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9DkcQ09h2Vo That is Bobby Bare on Detroit and Dwight Yoakam on Los Angeles. Sometimes there are significant movements in history that go unnoticed because they take place slowly over a long period of time and are marked by no major event. The Southern Diaspora of the 20th century is such a movement. Twelve million white and eight million black…
Clyde Wilson
November 10, 2014
Review Posts

The Political Economy of John Taylor of Caroline

Part III of a Five Part Series. Part I, Part II. 1. Republicanism and Liberalism Revisited As noted previously, 18th-century Anglo-American opposition writers employed several political languages. One of these, classical republicanism, asserted reciprocal causal relations between power and property such that a republic secures stability and liberty by way of a “mixed constitution” resting on a broad class of…
Joseph R. Stromberg
November 6, 2014
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Southern Preservation

In the South, many people want to demolish a structure if it looks a little ragged around the edges. Eufaula, AL is a prime example. It is not with pleasure that I mention Eufaula as an example of this, but with genuine disappointment and a good degree of despair. The Ballou house on North Randolph Avenue is one of Eufaula's…
William Cawthon
November 4, 2014
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Secession: Remedy for Federal Empires Endless No-Win Wars

As the first American bombs begin to rain down on mud and adobe structures in some far distant land, “patriotic” Americans rush to support “our men in uniform” which actually means that we must not question the empire’s new no-win war. President Obama, the Federal Empire’s current glorious leader, has announced the initiation of yet another imperial no-win war and…
James Ronald Kennedy
October 13, 2014
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Sayings By or For Southerners, Part IV

A good dog needs no pedigree, and if a dog ain’t any good, a pedigree don’t help him none. --Havilah Babcock Southerners are the world’s worst record-keepers. --Havilah Babcock It is true that we are completely under the saddle of Massachusetts and Connecticut, and that they ride us very hard, cruelly insulting our feelings, as well as exhausting our strength…
Clyde Wilson
October 10, 2014
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We Need No Declaration of Independence

Many current Americans, indeed perhaps most, regard the firing on Fort Sumter in April 1861 as a premeditated act of violence by South Carolina against the United States Government. They further assume that violence was both intended and desired by Southern leaders in the months leading to the War Between the States. After all, the South should have known that…
Brion McClanahan
October 8, 2014
Clyde Wilson Library

Please Tread On Me

“Sic Semper Tyrannis.” — from the Great Seal of the Commonwealth of Virginia “I want everybody to hear loud and clear that I’m going to be the president of everybody” — George W. Bush “I hope we get to the bottom of the answer. It’s what I’m interested to know” — George W. Bush A bit of folklore, often retailed,…
Clyde Wilson
October 1, 2014
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The Runnin’ Black Bears? No.

“Defeat has not made ‘all our sacred things profane.’ The war has left the South its own memories, its own heroes, its own tears, its own dead. Under these traditions, sons will grow to manhood, and lessons sink deep that are learned from the lips of widowed mothers. It would be immeasurably the worst consequence of defeat in this war…
James Rutledge Roesch
September 29, 2014
Review Posts

James Jackson: Forgotten Founding Father

This essay appears in Clyde Wilson and Brion McClanahan, Forgotten Conservatives in American History and is reprinted here in honor of Jackson's birthday, Sept 21. James Jackson did not sign the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution. But his heroism in the War of Independence and his exemplary integrity and republican statesmanship in the first days of the U.S. government…
Clyde Wilson
September 22, 2014
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Sayings By or For Southerners

While I could never with safety repose confidence in a Yankee, I have never been deceived by an Indian. ---Daniel Boone That cold-blooded demon called Science has taken the place of all the other demons. . . . Whether we are better for his intervention is another story. ---William Gilmore Simms The inclination to command compliance with one’s ideas is…
Clyde Wilson
September 11, 2014
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A People Without A Heritage

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

David Crockett

This essay is taken in part from the chapter "Frontiersman" in Brion McClanahan's The Politically Incorrect Guide to Real American Heroes (Politically Incorrect Guides) and is presented here in honor of Crockett's birthday, August 17. The modern actor Billy Bob Thornton once said David Crockett in the film The Alamo was his favorite role. John Wayne played him, too. Every…
Brion McClanahan
August 19, 2014
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Fire-Cured Dark Leaf

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

What is a Southerner?

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

Why Do They Hate the South and Its Symbols?

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

Understanding “The Battle Hymn of the Republic”

In the mid-1800’s women were not to be leaders in politics and religion, but Harriet Beecher Stowe and Julia Ward Howe did just that. Of Harriet, daughter of Lyman Beecher and sister of Henry Ward Beecher, both influential Abolitionists/ministers/educators, Sinclair Lewis would write: “Uncle Tom’s Cabin was the first evidence to America that no hurricane can be so disastrous to…
Howard Ray White
July 18, 2014
Clyde Wilson Library

Those People Part 2

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

The article originally was published by Townhall.com on July 4, 2010. Thomas Jefferson wrote in 1825 that he intended the Declaration of Independence to be “an expression of the American mind, and to give to that expression the proper tone and spirit called for by the occasion.” Yet, he did not propose the Declaration should “find out new principles, or…
Brion McClanahan
July 4, 2014
Blog

Rose of Dixie

Few American authors wrote as many stories set in the old South as William Sydney Porter, who used the pen name, “O.Henry.” There are differing versions of how and why Porter chose the nom de plume O. Henry, each with varying degrees of credibility. Suffice it to say that he is considered one of America's great writers of fiction, and…
Gail Jarvis
July 1, 2014
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Party Down South

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

Rebel Yell

Notwithstanding Ole Miss fans, those opening few bars of “Dixie” sends chills down the back of every good Southerner everywhere. By the time the notes hit the phrase “land of cotton,” it makes you want to throw back your head and rip out a good rebel yell. It feels good to do it. It feels right to do it. There’s…
Tom Daniel
June 30, 2014
Clyde Wilson Library

John C. Calhoun and Slavery as a “Positive Good:” What Calhoun Did Not Say

In what became the United States, servitude of people of the black African race existed for about two and a half centuries. The subject of American slavery is today so entertwined with unhealthy and present-centered emotions and motives—guilt, shame, hypocricy, projection, prurient imagination, propaganda, vengeance, extortion—as to defy rational historical discussion. Curiously, the much longer flourishing of African bondage—in the…
Clyde Wilson
June 25, 2014
Clyde Wilson Library

Southern Culture: From Jamestown to Walker Percy

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

Senator Sam

This essay is from Brion McClanahan and Clyde Wilson's Forgotten Conservatives in American History (Pelican, 2012). In 1973, Senator Sam Ervin of North Carolina was perhaps the most respected and popular member of the United States Congress. His role in the televised Watergate hearings as chairman of the Senate Select Committee led one member of Congress to remark that he…
Brion McClanahan
June 16, 2014
Blog

Clyde N. Wilson

Most people don't know, but today (June 11) is Clyde Wilson's birthday. I had the honor of being Clyde's last doctoral student. I first met Clyde in the Spring of 1997 as a senior in college trying to decide where to attend graduate school. My top choices were South Carolina and Alabama, Clyde Wilson or Forrest McDonald. My advisor as…
Brion McClanahan
June 11, 2014
Blog

King Numbers

June 2 was John Randolph of Roanoke's (1773-1833) birthday. We at the Abbeville Institute missed it during our week dedicated to Jefferson Davis, but the two could have been celebrated in tandem. Davis's cause in 1861 was no less than what Randolph consistently championed during his long career in the United States Congress. The "American Burke" as he has been…
Brion McClanahan
June 10, 2014
Blog

De Tocqueville and the South

I’ve been perplexed about Tocqueville’s posture towards the South for quite some time. On the surface, he seems to have a rather dismal view of the South. However, a more penetrating reading of Democracy In America* opens up new possibilities. Consider the following: First, according to Tocqueville, the “seed of complete democracy” has its origin in New England. But there…
Marshall DeRosa
June 6, 2014
Blog

The Other Side of Slavery

The concept of a faithful slave goes against today's authorized slave narratives. Before the social upheavals of the 1960s, it was still permissible to depict different reactions of slaves towards their masters; all slaves didn't have to be portrayed as resentful. Admittedly, most slaves wanted freedom and many slaves were mistreated and consequently bitter towards their masters. Indeed there were…
Gail Jarvis
May 26, 2014
Blog

The Other Side of Slavery

The concept of a faithful slave goes against today's authorized slave narratives. Before the social upheavals of the 1960s, it was still permissible to depict different reactions of slaves towards their masters; all slaves didn't have to be portrayed as resentful. Admittedly, most slaves wanted freedom and many slaves were mistreated and consequently bitter towards their masters. Indeed there were…
Gail Jarvis
May 26, 2014
Review Posts

The Unemancipated Country: Eugene Genovese’s Discovery of the Old South

This essay originally appeared in the Summer 2014 issue of Academic Questions (Volume 27, Number 2). On 26 September 2012, Eugene Dominic Genovese, one of the most influential and controversial historians of his generation, passed away at age eighty-two after a lengthy struggle with heart disease. His principal writings focused on the history of slavery and the Old South. Roll,…
Robert L. Paquette
May 21, 2014
Blog

Centennial Wars

Fifty years ago the master narrative of the Civil War Centennial failed to synchronize with the momentous 1960s Civil Rights movement. It minimized the roles of slavery and race. Instead the War was characterized as a unifying ordeal in which both sides fought heroically for their individual sense of “right” eventually becoming reconciled through mutual sacrifice. Slavery was considered only…
Philip Leigh
May 20, 2014
Blog

Centennial Wars

Fifty years ago the master narrative of the Civil War Centennial failed to synchronize with the momentous 1960s Civil Rights movement. It minimized the roles of slavery and race. Instead the War was characterized as a unifying ordeal in which both sides fought heroically for their individual sense of “right” eventually becoming reconciled through mutual sacrifice. Slavery was considered only…
Philip Leigh
May 20, 2014
Review Posts

A Bostonian on the Causes of the War, Part IV

Part IV (Final) from a section of Dr. Scott Trask’s work in progress, Copperheads and Conservatives. Part I. Part II. Part III. Massachusetts’ Politics It is one of the perils and paradoxes of democracy that it often bestows disproportionate power and influence upon a minority. Two-party democracies are the most susceptible to this reversal of the familiar and rather tiresome…
H. A. Scott Trask
May 19, 2014
Blog

Truth

At the annual reunion of the Alabama Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans I sat at the head table looking out at so many of my friends, compatriots and brothers of the South. It occurred to me that we share many commonalities beyond the lone fact that our ancestors all served under the same standard in a war that took place…
Carl Jones
May 19, 2014
Clyde Wilson Library

Rethinking the War for Southern Independence

(13th Annual Gettysburg Banquet of the J.E.B. Stuart Camp, SCV, Philadelphia) We human beings are peculiar creatures, half angel and half animal, as someone has said. Alone among creatures we have a consciousness of ourselves, of our situation, and of our movement through time.We have language, and by symbols can communicate knowledge to one another and across generations. We can…
Clyde Wilson
May 14, 2014
Clyde Wilson Library

Devolution

Equipped with an abundant knowledge of history, Michael Tuggle has cast a discerning eye on the trends of the present. Not the ‘trendy’ trends but the real ones, those which can guide our steps into the future (as far as the future can be known to us mortals). The trends suggest to him something very hopeful – the probability and…
Clyde Wilson
May 14, 2014
Blog

Honouring Our Fathers

Presented at the SC Sons of Confederate Veterans’ Confederate Memorial Day Commemoration South Carolina Statehouse, Columbia, South Carolina 03 May 2014 It is my high honour and distinct privilege to be addressing you on this day and at this place; honouring the memory of our fathers at the Confederate soldiers’ monument—with its sentinel ever vigilant, eyes northward—flanked by the flag…
Paul C. Graham
May 12, 2014
Blog

Remember the Alamo!

T.R. Fehrenbach, author of the magisterial classic Lone Star: A History of Texas and Texans, passed away late last year in San Antonio at the age of 88. I recently came by chance across his obituary in The New York Times, which is a museum quality specimen of the intellectual and ethical defects of current American journalism and “scholarship.” The…
Clyde Wilson
May 7, 2014
Blog

The Real Cornerstone Speech

From Bernard Thuersam's website: Senator Robert Toombs and the Cornerstone of the Confederacy “GENTLEMEN OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY: I very much regret, in appearing before you at your request, to address you on the present state of the country, and the prospect before us, that I can bring you no good tidings. We have not sought this conflict; we have…
Bernard Thuersam
May 7, 2014
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Moonshiners

Stewart, Bruce E. Moonshiners and Prohibitionists: The Battle over Alcohol in Southern Appalachia. Lexington: The University of Kentucky Press, 2011. Interest in southern Appalachian history and culture is growing in the academy. Moonshining is one particular area that is beginning to fascinate both the scholar and history buff. From the popular Discovery Channel show “Moonshiners,” to the growing number of…
Samuel C. Smith
April 30, 2014
Blog

Southern Honour and Southern History

In present day academia, one is guaranteed a celebrated career by inventing a new way to put the South in a bad light or a new twist on an old put-down. In the 1970s, Raimondo Luraghi, Eugene Genovese, and other historians were starting to pay some attention to the existence of a genuine aristocratic ethics in the Old South. Immediately…
Clyde Wilson
April 28, 2014
Blog

The Accommodating Mind of Wilbur Cash

A phenomenon that has always intrigued me is how certain books achieved importance not because of their literary merit or substance but because they accommodated the political trends of the time. This occurred because the Eastern establishment not only set the political trends, it also decided which books would be published, and its members wrote approving reviews of books it…
Gail Jarvis
April 24, 2014
Blog

Local Color

Every Southern town has a local historian, a life-long resident who loves the tales and culture of the region and its people. They are not professionals who have been indoctrinated by the graduate programs at the university. They aren't concerned with the fashionable theories about the South and many times know more about Southern history than the leading experts. They…
Brion McClanahan
April 8, 2014