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Virginia

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Old State Rights

From Thomas Ritchie: A Study in Virginia Politics by Charles Henry Ambler Ritchie was not a genius. Either of the others of the great "Democratic Triumvirate" of political editors, Francis P. Blair of the Washington Globe, or Edwin Croswell of the Albany Argus, was his equal in natural ability. Possibly John Hampden Pleasants, Duff Green, and even others surpassed him…
Abbeville Institute
September 6, 2022
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Capitulation in Virginia

The resignation of Dr. Ann Hunter McLean from her Youngkin appointment to the Virginia Historic Resources Board is of seismic consequence for the Governor and his administration and for the Commonwealth. The Governor and his team were on the ropes in a very tight race in which the electoral outcome was in the balance. His low-key campaign worked to draw…
Cliff Page
August 16, 2022
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Aunt Elizabeth, the Desert Fox, and General Jackson

Raised on a tobacco farm at the edge of the Chinquapin Forest in Southern Maryland, my Aunt Elizabeth for much of her life attempted to divest herself of her rustic upbringing.  When she graduated from nursing school, she married and subsequently lived for long spells in South America and Europe.  In spite of all this, fortunately, she never succeeded in…
J.L. Bennett
August 8, 2022
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An Open Letter to the Valentine Museum

On June 24, 2022, Mr. William J. Martin, Director of the Valentine Museum in Richmond, gave notice that the damaged, desecrated, and vandalized statue of Confederate President Jefferson Davis – on loan from the Black History & Cultural Center of Virginia - would be displayed by the museum within its core exhibit. The purpose stated by the Valentine is for…
H.V. Traywick, Jr.
June 27, 2022
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Indentured Servitude in Early America

French politician and author Jean-Nicholas Démeunier, in 1786, published his Essai sur les États-Unis. Prior to its publication, the essay, intended for Encyclopédie Méthodique, was in the words of Jefferson’s secretary William Short in a letter to William Nelson (25 Oct. 1786), “as false as might be expected from a man who had made the Abbe Raynal his model, and…
M. Andrew Holowchak
April 8, 2022
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Til Hazel’s Virginia

On March 15, John T. “Til” Hazel Jr. died in Broad Run, Fauquier County, Virginia. There’s no reason why you should necessarily know the name, though if you have spent any time in the Northern Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C., you have witnessed first-hand his tremendous influence. Joel Garreau in his 1992 book Edge City: Life on the New Frontier…
Casey Chalk
April 1, 2022
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Mississippi–A Warning for Virginians

The proud folks of The Old Dominion turned their state from Blue back to Red in their recent governor’s election. Even more dramatic is the fact that in the last twelve months, voters in various Virginia counties voted overwhelmingly to keep their Confederate monuments! In nine out of nine ballot referendums, the voters spoke, and they spoke with a loud…
James Ronald Kennedy
November 30, 2021
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The Real First Thanksgiving

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

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

It is not the purpose of this article to set forth any new discovery, nor to present any reflections which are especially startling or original. The purpose is, to emphasize a neglected fact of American history; a fact attested by ancient records, narrated in historical works, and familiar to historians; yet a fact the full significance of which is not…
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The Real VMI: A Little Meritocracy, 1839-2021?

On June 1, 2021, the Virginia Military Institute (VMI) – historic, meritocratic, renowned for rigor and its graduates’ service, and, for decades as color-blind as any institution may reasonably expect to be in a fallen world – may well have ceased to exist in a sense when the results of a Richmond-mandated investigation of so-called “structural racism” were released; and…
Forrest L. Marion
June 16, 2021
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Carry Me Back to Old Virginny

In the early 1870s, a young pre-law student at Howard College was inspired by classmate and future wife, Mamie Friend. James Alan Bland would listen to the homesick sentiments of Mamie and her home in tidewater Virginia. During a trip to meet Ms. Friend’s family the two sat down together with pen, paper, and a banjo. Bland composed his song…
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The Knight of Melrose

Ah! My Lord Arthur, whither shall I go?Where shall I hide my forehead and my eyes?For now I see the true old times are dead…        Tennyson, from Idylls of the King My grandfather loved Tennessee Walking Horses, a breed so named for their beautiful run-walk, a gait which they carry in place of the trot found in other breeds. It is…
H.V. Traywick, Jr.
April 23, 2021
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Equality is NOT America’s Founding Principle

Our “conservative” punditry go forth daily in what seems increasingly to be an already lost battle against the agenda of the left and its progressivist minions in and outside the Biden administration. That agenda enjoys overwhelming support in hysterically “woke” academia and counts on unwavering backing from cheerleaders and mouthpieces in the establishment media, entertainment, and the sports industry. Increasingly,…
Boyd Cathey
April 19, 2021
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The Big Monochrome Picture

The principal character in Joyce Maynard’s 1992 novel “To Die For” said that if you look too closely at a black and white photograph, all you see are a series of black dots on a white background and then added that one must step back in order to see the big picture.  That, of course, is the problem today with…
John Marquardt
February 25, 2021
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Standing Like a Stone Wall

The City Council of Lexington, Virginia has renamed the Stonewall Jackson Cemetery. The new name is Oak Grove Cemetery. The reasons stated were the usual ones. Jackson was a racist who fought for slavery. I hope the males on that council never have to do anything requiring manhood. Lexington Councilman Chuck Smith said the effect on tourism would likely be…
Paul H. Yarbrough
September 11, 2020
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Southern Poets and Poems, Part II

JOHN COTTON (fl. 1660s – 1720s) was an early settler of Virginia, never to be confused with the awful Cotton family of Massachusetts. In 1814 an anonymous poem about Bacon’s Rebellion in Virginia (1676) was found among some old mss. and subsequently published. It was long regarded as an anonymous treasure of American colonial literature. Twentieth-century poet and critic Louis…
Clyde Wilson
April 16, 2020
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Reconsidering William Henry Harrison

Who was the greatest president in American history? Ask this question to a group of people who are cynical of the imperial presidency and at least one person will answer William Henry Harrison, the man who died one month after taking office. Who could be better than a president who impacted the office in such a minimal way and who…
Brion McClanahan
February 17, 2020
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Secession and Its Discontents

The American story is a story of secession, or better still secessions.  The first permanent settlements of Europeans in North America were the result of a series of secessions from primarily the British Isles.  Religious motive, political persecution, economic distress all play their part in impelling movement from the homeland into a new world, and it does so with a…
John Devanny
February 12, 2020
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Battle for the Old Dominion

With the recent triumph of the Democrat Party in the 2019 statewide elections in Virginia, it will only be a matter of time before an effort is made to rewrite Virginia law concerning "memorials for war veterans." Progressive efforts to topple these monuments have been thwarted by legal obstacles, and now, with a majority in both houses of the Virginia…
Brion McClanahan
November 18, 2019
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Driving Through Virginia, Part III

The Colonial Parkway connects Jamestowne and WIlliamsburg with the third leg of Virginia’s HIstoric Triangle-Yorktown.  The colonial period of history had its beginning at Jamestown, its maturity at Williamsburg, and approached its end at Yorktown. The Colonial Parkway leaves Williamsburg and passes between the Naval Weapons Station Yorktown and Naval Supply Center on the York River on its way to…
Brett Moffatt
September 6, 2019
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Driving Through Virginia’s Historic Triangle, Part II

George Washington, Patrick Henry, and Thomas Jefferson trod the roads of this area as the colony of Virginia grew. George Mason, James Madison and Richard Henry Lee sat in the public houses debating political events. British royal governors, the comte de Rochambeau, Marquis de Lafayette and the Baron von Steuben were just a few of the many Europeans passing across…
Brett Moffatt
July 29, 2019
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Driving Through Virginia’s Historic Triangle

Virginia’s  Historic Triangle: Jamestowne, Williamsburg and Yorktowne encompasses the first permanent English settlement in America, the most important colonial capital, and the last major military engagement of the American War for Independence.  John Smith, Pocahontas, and John Rolfe trod the paths on Jamestown Island. Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry, George Mason, James Madison, Richard Henry and Francis Lightfoot Lee walked the…
Brett Moffatt
June 28, 2019
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Democracy vs. Aristocracy in Virginia in 1830

There is in some of our libraries a certain book which the writer of this article ventures to believe is not gener­ally as familiar as it should be to the student of politics. For himself, he chanced one day, several years ago, to blow the dust from off its time-worn binding and nine hun­dred dreary-looking pages of fine print, to…
Jeffrey R. Brackett
June 14, 2019
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Driving Through Virginia, Part II

The first English settlement in what is now Hampton was started in 1610, when Colonist under Governor Sir Thomas Gates captured a Native American village, Kecoughtan.  Forts Henry and Charles were early defensive work in the area, but by 1637 were abandoned. Hampton is the oldest continually occupied English town in America since Jamestowne was later abandoned. Called Elizabeth Cittie…
Brett Moffatt
May 10, 2019
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Driving Through Virginia

Southeast Virginia is a region rich in history, from the earliest colonial times to today’s modern military.  Cape Henry welcomes visitors today, just as it did the Virginia Company colonists in 1607, just before they settled at Jamestown.  First Landing State Park commemorates where the colonists first entered Chesapeake Bay, seeking a site for settlement. One of Virginia’s oldest and…
Brett Moffatt
March 1, 2019
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Virginia’s Lost Counties

You can stand on the station platform at Harpers Ferry and see three States, two battlefields, two rivers and a panorama of natural scenery which the Kiwanis Club calls "the Little Switzerland of America" and which Thomas Jefferson said was "one of the most stupendous scenes in nature...worth a voyage across the Atlantic." Where the chasm yawns beneath and Shenandoah…
Holmes Alexander
May 19, 2017
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Vale Res Publica

Once again, it is politicking time in the good ol’ US of A.  The Democrats, the party of youth, vision, and vigor, present to the country a senile old socialist who doesn’t believe that poor white people exist, and a former first lady rejected by Netflix central casting for a role in  House of Cards (It was the looks, not…
John Devanny
March 24, 2016
Review Posts

To the Virginian Voyage

Michael Drayton never came to the New World.  In 1606 he wrote this ode "To the Virginian Voyage," in honour of Sir Walter Raleigh's first expedition to plant a permanent settlement of English people in North America.  The poem illustrates the culture out of which the first Southerners came and almost uncannily anticipates the South that was soon to be…
Michael Drayton
January 12, 2016
Clyde Wilson Library

The Virginia Roots of American Values

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

Virginia First

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

The Eighteenth Century to the Twentieth

Judged by the quality of the men it brought to power the eighteenth-century Virginia way of selecting political leadership was extremely good; but judged by modem standards of political excellence, it was defective at nearly every point. As for voting qualifications, there was discrimination against women, poor men, and Negroes. There was no secrecy in voting, and polling places—only one…
Charles S. Sydnor
April 23, 2014
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Illegal, Unconstitutional, and Unjust

The historian Andrew C. McLaughlin in 1932 wrote that the British imperial system was characterized “by diversification and not by centralization....The empire of the mid-eighteenth century was a diversified empire” with power “actually distributed and exercised by various governments.” British colonies, including Ireland, “had long existed” as “bodies, corporate, constituent members of the Empire,” each with its own constitution and…
Brion McClanahan
April 15, 2014