Tag

Southern Tradition

Blog

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
Blog

A Northerner by Birth, A Southerner by Choice

When speaking at Abbeville’s “The 1607 Project,” someone from the audience came to me, after my talk—and the Abbeville audience was electric!—and said, “You really mean what you say.” It was a curious sentiment, for by implication, I could conclude that many speakers at that or other conferences merely go about the business of public speaking without investing personally in…
M. Andrew Holowchak
July 18, 2024
Blog

“Providence” – Divine Intervention in the Life of George Washington

There is an old saying that rejects not only the concept of the “randomness” of history but of mankind’s involvement in that history. It identifies situations addressing external forces acting on human beings and in so doing influencing history itself. This maxim states that, “Man proposes but God disposes.” For there is overwhelming evidence of the existence of something other…
Valerie Protopapas
July 15, 2024
Blog

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
Blog

Southern Poetic Wisdom

When little sister fell down the well, We retrieved her by pulley, rope, and bucket. She, bruised, wet, learned a lesson. Maybe. Doves fly over as hunters blast away; Nothing falls but droppings in one eye. ‘I can’t see Jack-squat, Billy Bob.’ Hook from my fly-cast catches the wife’s ear lobe, And screaming like a banshee, she falls out of…
Thomas Hubert
July 9, 2024
Blog

Maters

I walked through the back door of my grandmother’s house and found her bent over the washing machine in a sticky cloud of Shout stain remover. She was scrubbing some flimsy garment with such intensity I was worried that she was going to rub the paint clean off of the old Maytag. She didn’t hear me come in. I eased…
Brandon Meeks
July 8, 2024
Blog

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…
Blog

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
Blog

The Sabbath and the Slaves

Perhaps no topic of importance in the Old South may be handled rightly without dealing with the Peculiar Institution: slavery. The Christian Sabbath, or the Lord’s day – often referred to by Christians in the nineteenth century simply as the Sabbath – was no exception. Embedded in the Ten Commandments, the fourth commandment (according to Protestant enumeration) – to remember…
Forrest L. Marion
June 26, 2024
1607 ProjectBlogMedia Posts

Virginia First: The 1607 Project

Over the past five years, historians, journalists, and political activists have crafted seemingly conflicting narratives about the American founding. They are "seemingly conflicting" because all three center on the "proposition nation myth" of American history. According to this account, the United States was founded on the idea that all men (and women) were created equal. The "idea of equality" forms…
Brion McClanahan
June 24, 2024
Blog

Southern Haikus

Ham bone stripped naked, Collards spun in the washer; Southern Spring cleaning.   There’ll be hell to pay, Somebody et’ biscuits; Unleavened potluck.   You can keep your “facts,” Lightning strikes from the ground up; Grandaddy said so.   The lifelong neighbor, We called him Uncle Daddy; Honorific kin.   Summer winds don’t lie, Polecats don’t mix with coondogs; Quick!…
Brandon Meeks
June 19, 2024
Blog

A Meeting of Southern Writers

This essay by Donald Davidson was originally published in The Bookman in 1932. The footnotes and links are my contributions. Such essays are maps. In reports appearing soon after the event, the gathering of Southern writers held in late October under the auspices of the University of Virginia was variously denominated “house party,” “conference,” “convocation,” or—with even greater reserve—“occasion.” Such…
Chase Steely
June 18, 2024
Blog

Thomas Jefferson and the Other (Black) Patrick Henry

Thomas Jefferson bought the 57-acre tract of land including the Natural Bridge of Virginia in 1774—the year he produced his vitriolic Summary View of the Rights of British America—for a pittance. Except for the bridge, which Jefferson considered to be one of the natural wonders of the world, a mirabile visu, the land around the bridge was not much arable…
M. Andrew Holowchak
June 11, 2024
Blog

The South and World War II

Being Southern is a good thing. People around the world have long recognised that. Those who love the South must present a POSITIVE front, celebrate the South, and avoid being simply AGAINST. Nothing can be more irrelevant and counter-productive to the cause of the South than to get wrapped up in ideologies from the ugly history of central and eastern…
Clyde Wilson
June 6, 2024
Blog

Old Trucks

Tom T. Hall, country poet and philosopher of the common man, once said, “Ain't but three things in this world that's worth a solitary dime: old dogs and children and watermelon wine.” I wouldn’t argue with that much, but I would propose the addition of a possible fourth category. Old trucks. My truck is now old enough to be in…
Brandon Meeks
June 5, 2024
Blog

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
Blog

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,…
Blog

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
Blog

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
Blog

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…
Blog

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
Blog

Lynchburg’s Noiseless Musical Genius

Julia Winston Ivey, on September 15, 2020, quietly passed away at her house on Parkland Drive in Lynchburg, Virginia. She was a remarkable musical talent, an internationally lauded pianist in her prime years, yet her death created only a small stir in Hill City and her funeral, at her gravesite, was sparsely attended. The irony of her hushed passing is…
Blog

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
Blog

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
Blog

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…
Blog

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,…
Blog

These Women

It was after one of those big family get-togethers when I heard Grandaddy say it. We menfolk had made our way into the living room after helping clear the dining room table of dirty dishes. Dad gathered up the Dixie cups on which we had inscribed our names with a Sharpie marker. The “fine china,” Grandmother called it. My uncle…
Brandon Meeks
May 12, 2024
Blog

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
Blog

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
Blog

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
Blog

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
Blog

Wingless Chickens

The great Georgian writer of the mid-twentieth century Flannery O’Connor famously described herself as a “hillbilly Thomist,” a nod both to her Southern origins and her dedication to the medieval theologian and philosopher Thomas Aquinas. However much yankee intellectuals thumbed their noses at the South, the hillbilly moniker was not a little discordant given the well-educated O’Connor hailed from a…
Casey Chalk
May 1, 2024
Blog

Purple Haired Harpies and the Decline of the Historic South

I found the following article of interest, so I am passing it on.  It symbolizes for me, in iconic fashion, another major reason that the millennia-old inherited society around us is collapsing, to be replaced by a monstruous, dystopian Gulag, a counter-reality where our tried-and-true verities are unceremoniously dumped onto the ash heap of history. Just the other day I…
Boyd Cathey
April 29, 2024
Blog

Two-Lane South

I learned to drive in a pasture. The speed limit didn’t matter; that orange Allis Chalmers tractor could only go so fast on uneven ground. Sweetheart, my grandmother, told too many tales of reckless young boys whose turns on the lumbering machines led to disfigurement and death, so I didn’t try anything too adventurous. That is, until my mother let…
Blog

America’s Prophet

This piece was originally published at IM_1776.com. Cormac McCarthy died at his home in Santa Fe last Tuesday, June 13 (2023), at the age of 89. He was our greatest living novelist, an apocalyptic prophet and diviner of violence, and will forever stand with the likes of Melville and Faulkner as the chief American mythmaker of his time. Born in…
Lafayette Lee
April 25, 2024
Blog

Why “Democracy” Has Failed–And How to Fix It

Democracy in America has failed. In spite of the lack of any reference to “democracy” in both the American Constitution and its Declaration of Independence, the United States has institutionalized the democratic principle to become its world exemplar, which according to some intellectuals is henceforth to be the sole pattern for all governments on earth. Francis Fukuyama, a neoconservative until…
Terry Hulsey
April 24, 2024
Blog

He’s Southbound, Lord, He’s Comin’ Home to You

Dickey Betts died. If you need to read a biographical tribute, turn elsewhere.  While there are plenty of cookie-cutter articles about Dickey Betts all over the place, the perspective found here is from a fellow musician, a fellow guitarist, and a fellow Southerner who never met Dickey Betts or ever even saw him perform.  But, oh, what an influence he…
Tom Daniel
April 19, 2024
Blog

The Fasola Fellowship

I’m not deaf to the vibrant Country music chatter. Got opinions, but on social media, I made a vow: don't discuss the current thing. Yet, the discourse reminded of something. Donald Davidson was a man of tradition. He liked the old way. Saw a kinship between song meant for singing and verse meant for reading, a stance rare among his…
Chase Steely
April 15, 2024
Blog

Happy Birthday, Thomas Jefferson!

At the request of friend John Spear Smith (1785–1866, figure below), who named a newborn child after him, Thomas Jefferson, in a letter (21 Feb. 1825) that he pens some one and one-half years prior to his death, offers philosophical advice to the newborn child, Thomas Jefferson Smith. The missive takes the form of an epistolary trilogy: an advisory letter,…
M. Andrew Holowchak
April 12, 2024
Blog

Yankee Cain and Southern Seth

Southerners have often been mocked for their agrarian simplicity by Yankee-minded folks.  We know the insults well by now:  hicks, hillbillies, rednecks, and so on.  But Dixie should not be ashamed of this.  We ought rather to delight and exult in it. Richard Weaver gives us good ground for doing so in his contrast of the Northern/Yankee and Southern types:…
Walt Garlington
April 11, 2024
Blog

Republic or Democracy

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

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
Blog

Cowboy Carter and Cultural Appropriation

At the time of the Super Bowl in February, 2024, pop singer Beyoncé Knowles released two new singles that sounded a little different than her usual stuff. One of those two singles called Texas Hold ‘Em went to number 1 on the Billboard Hot Country chart and eventually number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. In late March, Beyoncé followed…
Tom Daniel
April 4, 2024
Blog

Soured on the South

I grew up in Virginia, though my accent, apart from a few words and phrases, is almost indistinguishable from my friends from California, Massachusetts, and Michigan. For many Southerners, especially in the Upper South, all that remains of that once rich linguistic heritage are such expressions as “y’all,” “yonder,” and “if I had my druthers.” For that, we can thank…
Casey Chalk
April 3, 2024
Blog

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
Blog

What Did Jefferson Really Look Like?

A newspaper in Chillicothe, Ohio, in 1887 and in 1902 stated that Sally Hemings’ last child, slave Eston Hemings, resembled Thomas Jefferson. Just how that resemblance was established is unclear. Eston Hemings died in 1877; Thomas Jefferson, in 1826. So, the newspaper was reporting that one person that had been dead for 10/25 years resembled another that has been dead…
M. Andrew Holowchak
March 27, 2024
Blog

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
Blog

Good Stock

As soon as I walked through the door I could smell it. The thick, pungent aroma of collard greens and smoked ham hock cooked low and slow for hours. Simple fare, born of necessity, but it remains one of my favorite meals. And despite the humble nature of the ingredients, it is nothing short of delicious. It’s Sunday afternoon. That…
Brandon Meeks
March 22, 2024
BlogReview Posts

Patriotism and the History of Prejudice

A review of The Need to Be Whole: Patriotism and the History of Prejudice (Shoemaker + Company, 2022) by Wendell Berry I had heard of Wendell Berry for quite some time, and though I had an idea of what he was for—‘what I stand for is what I stand on’—I had never read him. I believe that my very first…
James Rutledge Roesch
March 21, 2024
Blog

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
Blog

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
Blog

A Favorite Southern Trio

A few years back, I came to Louisiana for the first time. Being an Indiana Hoosier, I had no idea what dishes were native to this region, aside from gumbo and crawfish. The first Southern meal my Louisiana family introduced me to was red beans and rice. I didn’t know what to expect, but as soon as I took my…
Arianna Brindle
March 15, 2024
Blog

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
Blog

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
Blog

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
Blog

Jefferson on the Pleasure of Pleasure Gardening

Thomas Jefferson, like others of his day, was a patron and admirer of the fine arts, which were “fine” because they were autotelic—viz., enjoyed as ends in themselves. The number of the Fine Arts was a matter of debate in his day. To granddaughter Ellen Wayles Randolph (10 July 1805), President Jefferson writes: I must observe that neither the number…
M. Andrew Holowchak
February 27, 2024
Blog

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
Blog

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
Blog

Thomas Jefferson’s “Holy War”

In a singular letter late in life to John Wayles Eppes (6 Nov. 1813), Thomas Jefferson describes the American Revolution as a “holy war.” He writes, “If ever there was a holy war, it was that which saved our liberties and gave us independance.” The letter rather mundanely concerns Jefferson’s abhorrence of banks and paper money. The letter I consider…
M. Andrew Holowchak
February 20, 2024
Blog

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
Blog

New York v. Tennessee

You’ve probably already seen the video of a mob beating up two New York City police officers. The incident happened about 10 days ago in broad daylight in Times Square, one of the most prominent public places and tourist attractions in New York. The video shows two officers apprehending a suspect who resists arrest and is wrestled to the pavement,…
John Avery Emison
February 7, 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
Blog

Remembering John Taylor of Caroline

Prophet of Encroaching Tyranny John Taylor of Caroline was a man of the American Revolution. During the fight for independence, he served in the Continental Army and Virginia militia. He left the latter at the end of the war with the rank of lieutenant-colonel. Military life molded his character as it did for so many other men, but the enduring…
William J. Watkins
January 24, 2024
Blog

Ol’ Fred

FRED CHAPPELL was America's greatest living writer. Of that I have no doubt, not that the modern miasma of contemporary letters offered him much serious competition.  (His only rivals for the epithet were Cormac McCarthy, now passed, and Wendell Berry, nearing ninety.) He was a master of most every major literary genre - poetry, fiction, criticism, et al. His scope…
Randall Ivey
January 18, 2024
Blog

Southerners Built Panama

Colonel William Crawford Gorgas, son of Confederate general Josiah Gorgas, Jefferson Davis’ chief of ordnance, was already a world renowned doctor before he ever set foot in Panama. In the final days of the Spanish–American War, Gorgas was Chief Sanitary Officer in Havana, where he eradicated yellow fever and malaria by identifying its transmitter: the Aedes mosquito. (Previously, people had…
Casey Chalk
January 17, 2024
Blog

Deep South, High Art

Growing up in rural southern Arkansas, I believed that art was as foreign to our people as a goose egg is to the North Pole. My part of the Arkansas Delta was nothing but cotton fields and pine trees that stretched so far one could be forgiven for thinking there was nothing at all on the other side, that the…
Brandon Meeks
January 12, 2024
Blog

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
Blog

Go South, Young Man

There is a venerable American tradition — at least as old as Alexis de Tocqueville — to contrast the energy, ingenuity, and virtue of the North with the slow, backward, hypocrisy of the South. In Tocquevile’s influential work Democracy in America, published in 1831, we read: “The banks of the Ohio River provided the final demonstration… time and again, in…
Casey Chalk
January 3, 2024
Blog

Christmas in Dixie

Editor's Note: This is our final post of 2023. I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. We will be back January 2, 2024. Until we meet again.... The older that I get, it seems the less I enjoy the Christmas season. So much is now packed into the month of December, that it is hard to…
Keith Redmon
December 27, 2023
Blog

A Southern Christmas Carol

During the Advent, or Christmas, season, I enjoy hearing and singing Advent hymns, or Christmas carols, which celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I always look forward to this every year. One which I enjoy hearing and singing was written in Northern Virginia, where I am from and where I live. The Protestant Episcopal Theological Seminary…
Timothy A. Duskin
December 22, 2023
Blog

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
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
Blog

VMI and the American Empire

The instances are innumerable, their details vast. To exist outside and apart is to be a threat, a West Berlin just visible over the parapet. All distinction must submit. There is no more dialogue as once offered to Melos, there is no longer even the illusion of choice: your old god must be displaced, your plinth must be empty, and…
Thomas Ellen
December 14, 2023
Blog

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
Blog

A Southern Memoir

Dr. Virginia Abernethy, retired from the Psychiatry Department of Vanderbilt University, is still going strong at age 90, as evidenced by her lively memoir, Born Abroad:  A Patriot’s Tale of Choice and Chance (Arktos: 2023). From a family of Virginian origins, she was, due to her father’s work, born in Havana and spent her childhood in Buenos Aires.  She still…
Clyde Wilson
December 8, 2023
Blog

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
Blog

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
Blog

Willmoore Kendall’s Battle Lines

Few men would confuse the late Willmoore Kendall for a Southern gentleman. The son of a blind Oklahoma Southern Methodist preacher, the conservative political philosopher married three times, and carried on numerous affairs. A regular contributor to National Review, Kendall was once caught with a copy girl in the office of a colleague in NR spaces. He was an alcoholic,…
Casey Chalk
December 4, 2023
Blog

The Great Awakening in Wilson County, Tennessee

It is often said that “a watched pot doesn’t boil”.  Today I’d like to alter that saying to “A watched pot doesn’t boil over.”And I’d like to add that “A watched pressure cooker doesn’t blow up.” The idea here is to prevent a situation from getting out of hand and making a mess in the environment.  This article is to…
Barbara Marthal
November 30, 2023
Blog

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
Blog

Potluck

I believe that the Marriage Supper of the Lamb will be a potluck. The Saints will come from afar, bearing covered dishes, and reclining at table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. But there will be no tofu, for it will have its part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone. The course of my life can be charted…
Brandon Meeks
November 22, 2023
Blog

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
Blog

“I die in the service and defense of my country!”

I just finished John Headly's book "Confederate Operations in Canada and New York."  It's a good read and provides great insight into Confederate operations in New York and other northern states. I highly recommend it. But this piece isn't about Headly. It's about John Yates Beall, acting master in the Confederate States Navy. In this book, Headly poignantly describes the…
Keith Redmon
November 16, 2023
BlogReview Posts

African Founders and Albion’s Seed

I've often been asked a variation of the same question: "If you had to choose one American history book to recommend, what would it be?" The answer is simple: David Hackett Fischer's Albion's Seed. I don't make this suggestion lightly. There are other fascinating and important works to consider, but Fischer presents a compelling tale of early American culture that…
Brion McClanahan
November 15, 2023
Blog

No to War

Editor's Note: On 5 April 1917, Representative Claude Kitchin of North Carolina rose and delivered a manly speech in opposition to Woodrow Wilson's call for a declaration of war against Germany. He was one of five Southern members of Congress who opposed the war resolution. Kitchin prophetically predicted that if she became involved in the war, America would be forced…
Abbeville Institute
November 13, 2023
Blog

The Peanut Gallery

I never want another dog. As I made the 30 mile trek home from the veterinarian’s office with the stiff body of my 14 year old cur dog, Katie, beside me, I remember muttering those words through hot tears. “They’re a damned inconvenience is what they are,” I argued to myself. Making an oral list of reasons in case I…
Brandon Meeks
November 9, 2023
Blog

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
Blog

From Mayberry to Nashville

What do a popular country group and the Vanderbilt Agrarians have in common? West Virginian Arlos Smith penned the song Mayberry for the pop-country group Rascal Flatts. There are striking similarities between the Agrarian manifesto I’ll Take My Stand (ITMS) and the song Mayberry, but I couldn’t find any evidence that the work of the Agrarians had any influence on…
Brett Moffatt
November 7, 2023
Blog

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
Blog

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
Blog

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
Blog

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
Blog

The Passing of Zippy

When I first met Zippy he was a mature, chestnut-colored and very friendly male equine who had come to live with my neighbors. They had created an ample fenced-in, grassy pasture next to my property, plus a neat horse-shed where Zippy could both sleep or take safe refuge should the weather turn bad. Earlier this year Zippy reached the admirable…
Boyd Cathey
October 23, 2023
Blog

Coffee, Waffles, and Gunsmoke

This morning I struck up a conversation with an old man over breakfast at the local Huddle House. He was sitting by himself drinking a cup of coffee. He wasn’t looking for company but I had ordered a big omelet and that’s the sort of thing worth making conversation over. “Look at the size of that thing,” I said. “It’s…
Brandon Meeks
October 19, 2023
Blog

The Man Who Was George Washington

There is nothing more scholastically problematic than attempts to draw comparisons between and/or among the figures of history. Such an effort can be considered even vaguely accurate only if and when the people being juxtaposed are of the same time period. In that case, at least, the circumstances surrounding them may be fairly equitable! But even that is not always…
Valerie Protopapas
October 12, 2023
Blog

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
Blog

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
Blog

Farmers and Families and Football and Fools

I watched, sparingly (I was mostly playing chess against the computer) two football games recently (9-30-23) Ole Miss vs. L.S.U. and Miss State vs Alabama. The won-lost column for my Mississippi roots (which run deep and proud) was 1-1. Miss Southern lost to Texas State but they were not on the single channel that I, again sparingly, watched. I keep…
Paul H. Yarbrough
October 6, 2023
Blog

The Ride

In 1989, Papaw bought a brand new Ford pickup, white with a blue stripe. This was a gift to himself for surviving life for eighty years I suppose. That truck was the first new vehicle he had ever owned, his first ride being a two-horsepower convertible wagon with a split-rail oak seat. After leaving Murphy’s Ford dealership, his first stop…
Brandon Meeks
October 5, 2023
Blog

Armageddon or Separation?

Increasingly it has become evident that the American nation, founded with such high hopes and aspirations in 1787, is expiring, dying a prolonged, painful but also virulently infectious death. Those words are very difficult to write, especially for someone whose American ancestry goes back to Virginia in 1646, and whose ancestors helped settle other Southern states, who served honorably in…
Boyd Cathey
October 4, 2023
Blog

Maxcy Gregg, Scientist, Sportsman, Soldier

We survivors sometimes forget the human cost of our failed War of Southern Independence.  The casualty rate for Confederate officers was about 25%.  For Union officers it was 10 percent, easily replaced by incoming foreigners. The loss of talented men---future outstanding leaders, writers, scientists, artists, scholars, builders, clergy, entrepreneurs--- was very near catastrophic for the future of the South.  The…
Clyde Wilson
October 2, 2023
Blog

My Dad was a Joker

My dad was a joker.  It was one of his favorite words.  He had lots of favorite words and phrases.  Some of them you will be introduced to in this story.  By a joker, I mean a funny joker.  He always had something running in the background...some program on autopilot and you couldn't tell if it was bothering him or…
William Platt
September 22, 2023
Blog

The Dog Days

It was 104 in the shade yesterday–at dusk. Even in the twilight I could see the wrinkled air above the asphalt on the road, trembling echoes still hot to the touch. I sat bare chested on the front  porch in a pool of saltwater my body had just made out of pork chops and potatoes. The evening sun, now only…
Brandon Meeks
September 7, 2023
Blog

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
Blog

Old Men and Honor

Old men observe and imagine the fate of the "country" that was once a relatively free group of independent states of people living freely within tribal nests of local-style Jeffersonian parlors of home and family; people who loved the land and the God who provided it. Some old men have such observations. Now in time, much past, as the fortunes…
Paul H. Yarbrough
August 31, 2023
Blog

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
Blog

Where I Come From

I’m a prodigal son of sons of a mill town. When Dr. Gresham slapped my pink behind, my first ragged breath was filled with sawdust, cotton-lint, and the deep musky smell of the Georgia-Pacific paper company. Everybody I knew growing up planted row crops or cotton or picked and ginned it; cut timber or turned it into toilet tissue; or…
Brandon Meeks
August 28, 2023
Blog

Deep Southern Summer Written at Midnight

Remember. This is a fought-for land There’s blood soaked in the soil. There’s tears within its waves And wails upon the shore Its tempests veil the shrieks Still heard from years of yore. There’s terror in its shades Dark places in its woods recall Much pain unthinkable. The pain must still remain It cannot sublimate so soon. The prayers of…
James Everett Kibler
August 25, 2023
Blog

All the Biscuits in Georgia

The AfroTraditonalist has been interested in starting a regular fireside chat with interesting people from the various political & cultural “spheres” I interact with on the internet. Sam Burnham is a blogger and media personality from North Georgia with roots across the South, who’s purpose is “the celebration and preservation of Southern history, culture, and agrarian ideals.” He will be…
Afro Fogey
August 24, 2023
Blog

The Making of a Conservative

The student radicals and New Leftists of the 1960s and 1970s are now the ruling elite of the U.S.  They naturally celebrate themselves as the heroes of that period of American history.  But neither then or now are they representatives of the majority of the American people.  They are affluent spoiled brats who know  nothing of the life of  middle…
Clyde Wilson
August 23, 2023
Blog

Sam and Cherry

They plowed the earth, they hauled heavy loads, they helped weave the fabric of their nation, Dixie.  They toiled in the hot, Southern sun, as their ancestors had, during the wars for independence, ‘76 and ‘61, during pioneer days, and as the patchwork of farms covered their native land.  They didn’t complain...much.  They worked tirelessly and for little reward.  They…
Brett Moffatt
August 22, 2023
Blog

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
Blog

Look Away, Dixieland

Shortly after I returned from my first tour in Afghanistan, several friends invited me over to watch the 2008 war thriller The Hurt Locker, about an Explosives Ordnance Team serving in the Iraq War. I couldn’t make it halfway. I walked out, got in my car, and sat there, staring off into space and breathing heavily for a few minutes…
Casey Chalk
August 18, 2023
Blog

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
Blog

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
Blog

Victory Ruins

A Review of Victory Ruins (Amazon Digital Services, 2022) by Troop Brenegar. "Lee in the Mountains" by Donald Davidson culminates in the resonant utterance, “Unto all generations of the faithful heart.” These words also served as inspiration for the title of an elusive tome on Southern literature by M.E. Bradford. With a nod to this timeless phrase, Troop Brenegar’s Victory…
Chase Steely
August 14, 2023
Blog

Cook That You May Conserve, Part 3

‘But what we really seek is a different kind of sustenance. We seek a cultural relic that points to an old style of “Southern-ness” that is quickly vanishing from modern American life. We seek crude essences of the frontier, unswerving backwoods mentalities, rural respect for tradition, insights into rural humor, and examples of the wild braggadocio that has created many…
James Rutledge Roesch
August 11, 2023
Blog

The Coldest Winter

My grandfather often spoke about growing up on a poor mid-Missouri farm during the Great Depression and the period immediately following.  Thankfully, I’ve never had to experience the challenges that confronted those who lived during such trying times, so while I found the stories fascinating from a historical standpoint, I struggled to truly grasp the everyday fear, discomfort, and despair…
Trevor Laurie
August 10, 2023
Blog

Cook That You May Conserve, Part 2

‘Barbeques were important not only because they were popular social gatherings—in fact, they were enormously popular—but also because with their accompanying dances, and games, and speeches, and storytelling, they also served to transmit traditional culture from one generation to the next; and of course they also played an important role in the democratisation of American politics.’ —Sean Busick, ‘Political Barbecues…
James Rutledge Roesch
August 4, 2023
Blog

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
Blog

Turner’s Diner, Tire, and Lube

It’s 7:43. Merle is on the radio making empty promises. “Someday when things are good I’m going to leave you,” he sings. But we know better. I am sitting in a corner booth, surrounded by the rising tufts of Marlboros, and still trying to wake up good. Coffee stouter than napalm is dripping, slow and thick, into a pot purchased…
Brandon Meeks
August 2, 2023
Blog

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
Blog

Cook That You May Conserve, Part 1

‘Southern barbecue is the closest thing we have in the U.S. to Europe’s wines or cheeses; drive a hundred miles and the barbecue changes. Let’s keep it that way.’ —John Shelton Reed ‘I’ve lived in North Carolina for 60 years, but I love Texas barbecue—in Texas. I love Memphis barbecue in Memphis, Kansas City barbecue in Kansas City, and even…
Blog

A Tribute to Mark Winchell

In memory of Mark Royden Winchell (1948-2008), author of biographies of Donald Davidson and Cleanth Brooks He sits amid the facts he’s gathered in From interviews, books, archives, scattered prose Mastered at last so recollection’s pen Can resurrect the dead by what he knows. He minds the many pitfalls of his art, Wary of how some storytellers err In idolizing,…
David Middleton
July 27, 2023
Blog

Why We Love Thomas Jefferson

“For ever this, the tribes of men lived on earth, remote and free from the ills and hard toil and heavy sickness which bring the Fates on men. … Only Hope remained there in an unbreakable home under the rim of a great jar, and did not fly out the door; for ever that, the lid of the jar stopped…
M. Andrew Holowchak
July 26, 2023
Blog

The Kindness of Strangers, Southern Style

I currently live in the town of Cary, North Carolina, which is known, for one, as a bedroom community for our more famous neighbors in the Research Triangle: Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill. The Triangle is one of the premier high-tech centers of the country, but I contend that even so this part of North Carolina has not entirely lost…
Thomas Hubert
July 25, 2023
Blog

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
Blog

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…
Blog

How Does it Profit the South?

As a Southerner, I have always enjoyed the simple joy of driving down the backroads of Alabama. The black top two lanes that cut through the state are beautiful, flanked by old pecan orchards and cattle farms, where rustic tractors sit half visible behind tall grass, like monuments to our agrarian roots. Amongst the hand-painted signs and well-worn service stations…
John Slaughter
July 18, 2023
Blog

Cooking Lessons

Grandmother has always been the best cook in the room. From the time she was 10 years old, even if all she had to work with was a neckbone and some wild greens growing along the fence row, she has put braggable food on a plate. The baby of the clan, she started by helping her mamma feed their large,…
Brandon Meeks
July 14, 2023
Blog

Southern Misadventures in Latin America

William Walker (1824-1860) was a man of many skills: physician, lawyer, journalist, mercenary, president. The Tennessee-born polymath completed his medical degree and legal studies before he turned twenty-five. After moving to California to work as a journalist, he concocted a plot to conquer parts of Latin America and create new slave states to join the Union. In October 1853, Walker…
Casey Chalk
July 11, 2023
Blog

The South in the Digital Age

In 2013, Edward Snowden gained international notoriety by exposing the vast spying capabilities and information network of the National Security Agency. Snowden was born in North Carolina, had a family history of civil service, and became a whistleblower when he realized that the government was using the guise of terrorism defense for “...economic spying, social control, and diplomatic manipulation.” (1)…
Michael Martin
July 6, 2023
Blog

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
Blog

Agrarianism After Taylor

I was not here for Dr. Fleming’s talk, but I imagine he made the point he often likes to make: the term “agrarian” is problematic, because in European and general political terms “agrarian” suggests a group of wild-eyed radicals who want to seize and divide up other peoples’ property. Of course, this not what our Agrarians are about, but I…
Clyde Wilson
July 3, 2023
Blog

Jefferson’s Platonic Republicanism

Jefferson was never shy about his execration of Plato. He told John Adams (5 July 1814) that reading Plato’s Republic—fraught with whimsies, puerilities, and unintelligible jargon—was “the heaviest task-work I ever went through.” It is not so astonishing that Jefferson would have had such an unsympathetic, even hostile, view of Plato and his Republic, as Jefferson was a practical man…
M. Andrew Holowchak
June 28, 2023
Blog

The Lord and His Mules

As a child, my grandfather inspired in me both a love and fear of two things: the Lord and mules.  Having been born into an old family in the “Little Dixie” part of Missouri, the importance of loving reverence for both the Lord and his mules (seemingly His agents on Earth) were exceedingly important, and, according to Grandpa, both played…
Trevor Laurie
June 23, 2023
Blog

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

Roscoe

The little hill behind my grandparent’s house is a piece of sacred earth to me. My grandmother planted a dogwood tree there when I was just a sapling myself. And beneath its blossoms I have planted three flying squirrels, a basset hound, and a kindly old cur dog. To rest in the shade until the Day dawns. I know how…
Brandon Meeks
June 21, 2023
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
Blog

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
Blog

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
Blog

Tomatoes

Early Saturday morning, an unexpected item popped up on my laptop. Not an unusual phenomenon, but this one was different. It came from a New England travel site and featured an article titled, “The Tomato Sandwich-A New England Sumer Treat.” What the heck? Each word slapped me in the face, and I finally understood the definition of cultural appropriation. “No,…
Averyell A. Kessler
June 13, 2023
Blog

A Birthday Salute to Clyde Wilson

On Sunday, June 11, 2023, my dear friend and a man who is rightly called “the Dean of Southern Historians,” Dr. Clyde N. Wilson, celebrated his 82nd birthday. For some fruitful fifty-five of those years he has been at the forefront of efforts to make the history of his native region better known, and, as events and severe challenges to…
Boyd Cathey
June 12, 2023
Blog

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
Blog

Mary Boykin Chesnut as Novelist

I’m going to talk about Mary Boykin Chesnut. I want to ask you, how many of you know her famous epic, sometimes called A Diary from Dixie, sometimes called Mary Chesnut’s Civil War? How many of you have heard those names? I’d like to see a show of hands. Well, less than half. I was expecting a few more. How…
Blog

George Washington and the Constitution, A Reflection

Things are seldom what they seem and therefore, beware “simple” or “easy” solutions to problems and questions that are themselves neither simple nor easy. In other words, when one is presented with what seems an obvious explanation of something that is itself anything but obvious, one should take care lest in grasping at “the answer,” one fails to understand the…
Valerie Protopapas
June 1, 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
Blog

Salty Joe

Reaching back in my memory banks, there are many people whom I am forever indebted to. I’ve spoken of my uncle Lynn Carl, and his memory shall forever be with me, along with a host of other great folks who helped shape the man I was to become throughout my young life. I feel I should do an article on…
Travis Holt
May 26, 2023
Blog

Effie Lou

She was old all my life; 76 when I was born, 87 when I first met her. When she spoke, it sounded like a swarm of bees hovering over a thick patch of clover. She was blind and feeble and had to be led around by the arm. But there was rarely a Sunday that went by for a hundred…
Brandon Meeks
May 24, 2023
Blog

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
Blog

Thomas Jefferson’s Prophetic Anti-City Sentiments

Thomas Jefferson, it is well known to historians, had marked anticity sentiments. “I am not a friend to placing growing men in populous cities,” writes Jefferson to Dr. Caspar Wistar (21 June 1807), “because they acquire there habits; partialities which do not contribute to the happiness of their after life.” Years earlier (23 Sept. 1800), he says to Dr. Benjamin…
Blog

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
Blog

Legal Justification of the South in Secession

From Confederate Military History, Vol I, 1899. The Southern States have shared the fate of all conquered peoples. The conquerors write their history. Power in the ascendant not only makes laws, but controls public opinion. This precedent should make the late Confederates the more anxious to keep before the public the facts of their history, that impartial writers may weigh…
J.L.M. Curry
May 12, 2023
Blog

Three Run Creek

It was the best fishing hole on Three Run Creek for a half mile either way. The black folks that lived and worked on Papa’s place, and their kinfolks up and down the road, knew its whereabouts, but that’s about all. Not that it was a secret, it just happened to be almost inaccessibly deep in Three Run Swamp. The…
Rock Killough
May 11, 2023
Blog

“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

An Honorable Cause

America is now governed as an ever more centralised nation/state with an increasingly imperialist and left-authoritarian character.  But America as a society and a people is no longer coherent. A people, according to St, Augustine, are those “who hold loved things in common.”  By that reading Americans are not  a people. A recent poll indicates that 44% of Southern people…
Clyde Wilson
May 9, 2023
Blog

Singing Billy Walker and Amazing Grace

We're here to talk about the man who's responsible for “Amazing Grace,” but I want to build a base first so you'll appreciate the song better, because the song's being attributed, I think, by people who are rewriting history, whether willfully or ignorantly (and I think it’s ignorantly, because we haven't done our work). We need to give the story…
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
Blog

Monticello as a Southern Pleasure Garden

(A selection from Thomas Jefferson and the Fine Arts) Jefferson did not consider husbandry to be a fine art, certainly because husbandry did not aim at beauty, but yield. Nonetheless, the gentleman farmer could make his entire estate a garden. As Philip Southcote, designer of an estate at Woburn in Surrey, England, said, “Why may not a whole estate be…
Blog

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
Blog

A Southern James Bond Goes to School

Southern fiction has a new  hero—Tom Ironsides makes his  appearance in book form in Perrin Lovett’s work The Substitute (Shotwell Publishing, 2023). Sequels and prequels are in the offing. Ironsides is a sort of James Bond, but a much better man.  He is a master of his former craft as a CIA operative, although he has progressively developed a realisation…
Clyde Wilson
May 1, 2023
Blog

Faulkner Among the Puritans

Originally published in The Sewanee Review Vol. 72, No. 1 (Winter, 1964), pp. 146-150 William Faulkner wrote romances, not novels; of this those who study and write about Mr. Faulkner are now, it seems, agreed. Had our great-grandmothers read his fiction, they would have been astonished by this critical consensus. But "romance" is an elusive word, subject to periodic metamorphosis…
M.E. Bradford
April 21, 2023
Blog

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

Why They Hate Thomas Jefferson

The essay is included in Writing on the Southern Front: Authentic Conservatism for Our Times (Taylor and Francis, 2018). Thomas Jefferson is America’s favorite whipping boy. Not among the public, which remains either ambivalent or blissfully ignorant of most history. But this certainly is the case among the jealous elites. Nowadays, Jefferson is even more despised than such longtime bogeys…
Joseph Scotchie
April 19, 2023
Blog

A Southern Response to the Nashville School Shooting

‘One day Saint Polycarp saw the ruler sitting in his chair and watching as the blood of Christians flowed like water.’—From the life of Martyr Polycarp of Alexandria (+4th century) The murder of six innocent Christians at the Covenant School in Nashville, Tennessee, by a deranged young woman in the grips of the demonic ideology of transgenderism seems to have…
Walt Garlington
April 14, 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
Blog

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
Blog

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
Blog

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
Blog

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
Blog

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
Blog

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
Blog

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
Blog

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
Blog

The Last Words

A review of The Last Words: The Farewell Addresses of Union and Confederate Commanders to Their Men at the End of the War Between the States by Michael R. Bradley (Charleston Athenaeum Press, 2022) The idea for this book came when Mrs. Susan Harris asked Dr. Michael Bradley, “Is there a book about what officers said to their men when…
Brett Moffatt
March 16, 2023
Blog

The University of Virginia

Circumstantially Southern, Scientifically American (A Story Told in the Present Tense) When Thomas Jefferson retires from the presidency after his second term and following the example of George Washington, he cannot merely withdraw to his residence at Monticello and oversee his plantation. Retirement and withdrawal are not in his DNA, as it were. He does what he can do, while…
M. Andrew Holowchak
March 15, 2023
Blog

The South in a Revolutionary Time

How should a Southerner face existence in a degenerating American regime in which the traditions of our identity as a  people are a prime target for destruction?  The persistence of current attacks would seem to guarantee that the South before long will be as if it never existed. There is no short and clear answer to this dilemma, but it…
Clyde Wilson
March 13, 2023
BlogMedia Posts

Loving a Home

Carey Roberts on "Loving Home" and the Southern Tradition from the 2022 Abbeville Institute Summer School, July 5-8, 2022, Seabrook Island, SC https://youtu.be/JoRT3zExVgw
Carey Roberts
March 10, 2023
Blog

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
Blog

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
Blog

Defining American Sovereignty

I. Introduction The debate over secession and states' rights has been a contentious issue in American history, dating back to the colonial period. From the earliest days of the Republic, some states argued that they had the right to nullify federal laws they deemed unconstitutional and even to secede from the Union if the federal government became too oppressive. This…
Blog

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
Blog

The Same Old Faux Cons

We already can see the faux conservative movement seepage oozing from the political sewers. The ilk of presidential wannabees begin to whistle and flash their sexy thoughts reminding us of some fictitious “founding” of a “nation.” And how they love the flag and “our troops” and the rest of their usual bovine excreted piles of patties. They wouldn’t understand the…
Paul H. Yarbrough
February 24, 2023
Blog

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
Blog

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
Blog

The Gift

On the day of Her Late Majesty’s Funeral, I rose a great while before daylight in order to tune in to the broadcast. Since I still had half an hour or so before the service started, I decided to go ahead and say morning prayer. After looking all over the house for my prayer book, I remembered that I had…
Brandon Meeks
February 17, 2023
Blog

A Jefferson Styled Love Letter

Thomas Jefferson was never comfortable in allowing direct expression of his emotions. When he did, the results were general catastrophic—e.g., his tongue-tied attempts at expressing his love as a youth to Rebecca Burwell and his seeming inability emotionally to recover himself after the passing of his wife Martha on September 6, 1782. Jefferson eventually accepted a post as delegate to…
M. Andrew Holowchak
February 14, 2023
Blog

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
Blog

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
Blog

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
Blog

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
Blog

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
Blog

The Echoes

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

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
Blog

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
Blog

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
Blog

Did Thomas Jefferson Have a Sexual Relationship with Bob Hemings?

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

MLK, Russell Kirk, and the Ignominy of Modern Conservatism

For the past forty years (officially since 1986) the third Monday in January has been celebrated as a federal holiday, Martin Luther King Day. Federal and state offices and many businesses either close or go on limited schedules. We are awash with public observances, parades, prayer breakfasts, stepped-up school projects for our unwary and intellectually-abused children, and gobs and gobs…
Boyd Cathey
January 16, 2023
Blog

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
Blog

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
Blog

The Backcountry Wisdom of Lester Flatt

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

Boy Meets Girl

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

Christmas, A Southern Tradition

The ever-widening chasm that separates the North and the South today has a long history with many fissures, but one would hardly consider the celebration of Christmas to be one of them. However, in the years prior to the founding of America’s first English colonies in Virginia and Massachusetts, Christmas was a highly controversial subject in Great Britain, and that…
John Marquardt
December 16, 2022
Blog

Jefferson’s “Textured Republicanism”

Both parties, says Jefferson to Abigail Adams (11 Sept. 1804), agree that the proper object of governing is the public good, yet they disagree concerning how it is best to promote that good. One fears most the ignorance of the people; the other, the selfishness of rulers independent of them. Which is right, time and experience will prove. We think…
M. Andrew Holowchak
December 13, 2022
Blog

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
Blog

The Attack on Leviathan, Part V

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

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
Blog

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
Blog

Southern Humor in Congress

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

Those Pesky Southern Women

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

The Bootlegger

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

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
Blog

Hollywood Hates the South: Southern Accents Edition

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

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
Blog

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
Blog

Mary Randolph: The South’s First Celebrity Chef

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

James Henley Thornwell, R. L. Dabney, and the Shaping of Southern Theology

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

Dark Age Patriotism

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

An Inheritance of Love

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

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
Blog

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
Blog

Carpetbaggers

When you read Raleigh, what comes to mind? How about Charleston? Nashville? Birmingham? One can almost hear the ring of iron in the name “Birmingham”. Waves splash at the sound of Charleston. The raucous theatres of Nashville ring back when country music was “country western”. Raleigh conjures images of tar, pork and tobacco. So what happened to these industries that…
Sara Sass
October 18, 2022
Blog

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
Blog

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
Blog

Good Directions

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

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
Blog

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
Blog

The Rainmakers

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

Like Phil Harris Said, “That’s What I Like About the South”

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

Big Bang Blues

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

Happy Birthday Senator Sam

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

The Stranger in Gray

Outside of Portland, Maine, sits the small town of Gray. During the Civil War, the population was around 1,700 residents. While Gray has experienced growth, the area gives the vibe of a typical small American town. Though Maine is one of the least-populated states in the nation today, surprisingly, Mainers played a pivotal role in the U.S. Civil War, seeing…
David Crum
September 26, 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

The Federalist Crucible

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

Destroying the Past to Change the Present

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

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