“The imperial Anglo-Saxon race, whose mission on earth is … ‘to subdue the land and possess it.’ ” Nathaniel Beverley Tucker 1849

Nathaniel Beverley Tucker was a judge, author and Fire-Eater who was one of the most important men in laying the intellectual foundations for what eventually became the Confederate States of America. The Partisan Leader was a novel written by Tucker published in 1836 that foretold the future formation of a Southern Confederacy and which was seen as somewhat prophetic upon the outbreak of the War Between the States. He was the half-brother of John Randolph of Roanoke and the son of St. George Tucker. His father St. George Tucker was born in Bermuda where his family had settled in the 1600’s. The Tucker family in fact has a connection to the earliest period of Virginia history with Nathaniel Beverley Tucker’s ancestral uncle Daniel Tucker having arrived with the Second Supply of settlers to Jamestown in 1608 and who was later sent to Bermuda to become its second governor in 1616.

In an effort to examine Tucker’s view of England and matters pertaining to his thoughts on ethnicity extracts from a speech he gave before the Young Men’s Society of Lynchburg in 1838 and from a book review he wrote of Macaulay’s history of England are provided below.

During Tucker’s “Discourse on the Genius of the Federative System of the United States” given in 1838 he describes the sentiments of Revolutionary War era Virginia and the pride of ancestry and state that influenced the people in those days.

He highlights the remembrance of the bad feeling between the Cavalier and the Roundhead at the same time though there is no cult of the Stuart family in this remembering of the Cavaliers in fact the Stuarts are criticized. It was quite common for 19th century Southerners to be able to criticize Puritans and also the Stuarts while at the same time praise their ancestors the Cavaliers and the Parliamentarians with the latter being remembered for their love of liberty. The dislike of “Puritanism” that one sees in Southern writing has nothing to do with a dislike of parliaments and representative government but rather with what was seen by critics as false moralism and a radical spirit.

In defiance of “consolidated despotism” Tucker foretells a future time when the Anglo-Saxon race may break the Union to pieces.  He also in a nativistic manner exhorts Virginians to pride in George Washington and their state:

“Proudest of all, in that day, stood old VIRGINIA, vaunting, her descent from the gallant cavaliers, who had poured out their blood like water, in loyal devotion to an undeserving prince: who, when all was lost, found refuge here—and here, in defiance of the parliament of England, offered an asylum to his worthless and ungrateful son. She had scarce then forgotten, when in the provinces beyond the Delaware, she saw none but the Swede and the Hollander, and the lineal and devoted inheritor of the far descended antipathy between the Round-head and the Cavalier. In that day Virginia had not forgotten to boast that the love of liberty which then animated her, was a principle hardly more lofty and generous, than her steadfast and devoted loyalty in earlier times. It was her pride to reflect, that in all her struggles with power, no want of fidelity, no want of gratitude, no disregard of natural or covenanted obligations, and no defect of magnanimity, could be imputed to her. When the crown was torn from the head of Charles I, she had stood alone in her loyalty; she was the last to acknowledge the usurper; the last to submit to inevitable necessity, and the first to return to her allegiance, in defiance of a power before which Europe trembled. In the recent conflict she had not dishonored her old renown. Though foremost in the race of revolution, she had been the last to renounce her allegiance; and in this, her resolute fidelity to the crown, she saw a justification of her resistance to the usurpation of parliament, and her final renunciation of that relation to the king himself, to which he, by abetting that usurpation, had shown himself unfaithful. The men of that day did not need to be told that it was not on the fourth day of July, 1776, that Virginia first proclaimed her independence. What others then declared their purpose of doing, she had already done. It was on the twentyninth of the preceding month, that she, by her own separate act, completed the organization of her own separate government, and, taking her independent stand among the nations of the earth, put in operation that constitution under which we were born. No, gentlemen! the sons of Virginia in that day needed not that this proud chapter in her history should be read to them. In that day they looked not abroad for topics of exultation and themes of praise. Virginia had not then forgotten to claim the first of men as peculiarly her own. The voice of her Henry still sounded in her ears. The wisdom of her Mason still guided her councils. The rising splendor of her Jefferson still shone for her alone, and along her vallies the last dying echoes of the cannon of YorkTown still reverberated. Look where she might, what was there of wisdom and greatness and virtue in the history of man, to which her own annals might not furnish a parallel? How poor in comparison the boast of England’s poetic moralist,

That Chatham’s language was his mother tongue, And Wolfe’s great name compatriot with his own.’ “

 

“Is it not then our duty to cherish them? Do we not owe it to ourselves and our children, as well as to our ancestors, to cherish the memory of their virtues, and their noble deeds; to keep fresh in our minds the recollection of all that is glorious in the history of Virginia; to fan the flame of state pride in our hearts; to keep her independence and sovereignty ever present to our thoughts; to habituate ourselves not only to regard her as one of the bright stars of our federal constellation, but as, in and of herself, A SUN, sole and self-poised, in the firmament of the commonwealth of nations?

And shall they who cherish these sentiments, be denounced as hostile to the union of these states? Trust me, gentlemen, it is by these alone, that the union itself can be preserved. It is by these alone that union can be prevented from degenerating into one vast consolidated despotism. There, as over the wide expanse of the Russian empire, the genius of arbitrary sway shall brood, until the free spirit of our Anglo-Saxon race shall burst its bonds, and by forcible disruption, tear asunder the whole incongruous mass, and cover this continent like that of Europe, with the ruins of a mighty empire, broken up into kingdoms and states, implacable in mutual hate, embittered by the memory of former ties.

I repeat it, gentlemen; if we would avoid this fearful consummation, we must strive to renew in our minds the same sentiments which once made Virginia glorious, and which made her glory precious to her sons. And said I, that this attempt would now be vain? That the spirit of our fathers was no more among us, but gone, with their achievements, to the history of the past? O ! gentlemen, can this be so? Can you look thus coldly on that past? Can we, in fancy, summon from the tomb the forms of the mighty dead, and shall not our hearts be kindled, and shall not our spirits burn within us, to emulate those who acted and suffered, that we might be free, honored and prosperous? Where do we find the brave in war, the wise in council, and the eloquent in debate, and Virginia’s sons are not among the foremost? Are not the names of Washington and Henry, and Jefferson and Madison, and Marshall and Randolph, all her property? Are not these her jewels; and shall she, unlike the mother of the Gracchi, pine, because others may outshine her in such baubles as mere gold can buy? Can you consent to throw these honors into common stock, and to share your portion in Washington with the French of Louisiana, and the Dutch of New York, and the renegades from every corner of the earth, who swarm their great commercial cities, and call themselves your countrymen and HIS! What fellowship have we with those who change their country with their climate? The Virginian is a Virginian every where. In the wilds of the west, on the sands of Florida, on the shores of the Pacific—every where his heart turns to Virginia—every where he worships with his face toward the temple of freedom erected here. To us, who remain, it belongs to minister at the altar—to feed the flame—and, if need be, to supply the sacrifice. Do this, and Virginia will again be recognised as the mother of nations; as the guide and exemplar of the states that have sprung from her bosom, and been nourished by her substance. False to herself, and to the honor of the common origin, these will desert and spurn her. True to the memory of the illustrious dead, true to her old renown, her sons, from every realm, shall flock to her as to their tower of strength, and, in her hour of trial, if that hour shall come, shall stand around her, and guard her like a wall of fire.”

 

In the next selection which quotes from Tucker’s 1849 book review of Macaulay’s The History of England from the Accession of James the Second, one is treated to an extra-large helping of English pride by Tucker along with a few jabs at the Yankees.  In his 1838 speech Tucker said that the poet William Cowper’s boast from his 1788 poem “Timepiece” about  Chatham’s language and Wolfe’s great name was poor in comparison to the greatness of Virginia’s history but 11 years later he glories in the memory of these men taking full possession of them declaring himself and the South to be English. The Anglo-Saxon race is mentioned again and the morality of old England is exalted above that of modern England though the morality of old England to Tucker appears to be fully compatible with the American Revolution and figures from the 18th century not just confined to the days prior to the English Civil War:

 

 “We are much mistaken if there is not more of that pride which kindles the eye, and steels the nerves, and strengthens the heart, in the old absurd notion that one Englishman could whip three Frenchmen, than all the modern Englishman could derive from painters like Raffaelle, and sculptors like Canova, and from singers and dancers and fiddlers, as far superior to the best of France and Italy, as these to the bumpkins at a village ball. We too are English; and all the far-descended honors of the English name are ours by inheritance. It is our pride that “Chatham’s language is our mother tongue ;” that when Edward scattered the hosts of France at Poietiers and Henry at Agincourt, and when Wolfe scaled the heights of Abraham, it was our blood that was poured forth like water on those glorious fields. We were proud of the victories of Wellington in Spain, and we were proud to meet his heroes at New-Orleans, and to show that we were not degenerate. It is not the least of our pride, that, while our race reads lessons to the world in philosophy, in science, in mechanic skill, in the arts of government, in Christian morality, in all that makes for the temporal and eternal happiness of man, we are far behind in the light and frivolous arts which do but tickle the ear and please the eye. “Are you not ashamed to play so well on the flute!” was a question well put to one born to be a king; and would be equally well addressed to the imperial Anglo-Saxon race, whose mission on earth is like that of the Jews in Canaan, ‘to subdue the land and possess it’ “

 

“…we love the English language which we think the finest in the world. Unlike the language of the south of Europe, which reminds us of those boneless reptiles that have no red blood in their veins, it has consonants enough to give it firmness and strength, while it is free from the unpronounceable combinations which overload the German. It is rich, too, in those idioms which constitute the main strength of every language.”

 

“We think we have been trained, and we wish to train our children, in a better school. We seek to imbue them with the high, bold, manly morality of Old England, (not New England, or modern England,) and decidedly prefer Harry Sandford, as an exemplar, to any of the good children that die in the odor of sanctity at seven years of age. We teach our boys to walk by the light that was in the world sixty years ago, when the last shades of darkness had been dispelled by the flame kindled by the heats of our Revolution.  We believe that no discoveries of importance have been made since then in morals or in politics. Like Lord Halifax, we are conservatives and republicans: and we are conservative because we are republican. This may seem a paradox to Mr. Hume or Mr. Roebuck. Mr. Macaulay will understand it. Lamartine understood it once, until he got his head turned, and it is probable he now understands it again.”

 

“We teach them too, to speak the language of their forefathers, with only such changes as our acquaintance with English literature has made familiar to us. We love it, for it is the language of Shakspeare and Milton, of Chatham and Burke, of Scott and Byron; and we rejoice to believe that no dialect of any language known among men is so uniformly and so extensively spoken as the present idiom of the English language. Over a space of one thousand miles square-(we do not answer for any thing north of Mason and Dixon) Mr. Macaulay would meet no man of English blood, who would not understand and answer him in the very dialect, the power and beauty of which are so successfully displayed by him. He would find in the poorest and most ignorant no difference but that which education must make between the cultivated man and the clown, and even this would show itself mainly in the absence of that peculiar tone by which, as Scott says, we know a well bred man.

We preserve another trait of the honest old squire. The circumstances of our country life are such as to promote hospitality, and they give it the same character which like causes have produced elsewhere. Old Christmas is not dead and forgotten from among us, and we welcome him with the same cheer that has always made his old grey beard wag merrily. In short, we try to keep the travelled coxcomb and the French cook at bay, and with them, the Yankee school-master with his new fangled spelling-books and pronouncing dictionaries; and we are resolved that, if it be decreed that English minced pies, and plumb pudding and roast beef, and the English gentleman, and the English language, are to be swept from the face of the earth, and be no more found among men, the last specimen of each, in all its purity, shall be found among ourselves.”

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The Fall of Southern Anglo-Saxonism

Quotations from the most high profile leaders the old Confederacy and other Southerners that have been provided here clearly demonstrate that the states that comprised the old Confederacy were heirs of America’s Anglo-Saxonist identity. If one were to scan Confederate veteran materials from the late 19th and early 20th centuries one would find numerous references to Anglo-Saxons. So the question that presents itself is when and how did this change? The answer is the disappearance of Anglo-Saxonism in the South can be dated to the fall of racial segregation. The South’s ethnic self-conception was very tightly bound up with its generalized racialism. Provided below are Anglo-Saxonist quotations from noted segregationists from several Southern States.

North Carolina

I. Beverly Lake Sr., Jurist, Law Professor and 1960 Candidate for NC Governor.

“The Percheron and the Kentucky racer are both horses, the collie and the Pekinese are both dogs, just as the Chinese, the Negro and the Anglo-Saxon are all men. It may well be debated whether the Percheron or the racehorse has made greater contributions to the world, whether the collie or the Pekinese is the better pet for children, but it is absurd to say there is no difference between them except the pigmentation of their hair.” Source

Patriots of North Carolina, Organization opposed to integration. One of its stated purposes was,

“To maintain the purity and culture of the white race and of Anglo-Saxon institutions.” Source

Arkansas

Amis Robert Guthridge, Organizer against integration of Public Schools.

“Will our descendants be Anglo-Saxon or mulatto?” Source

Georgia

Richard B Russell, Governor and U.S. Senator

“The future hope of this republic, rests in the natural conservatism and loyalty of the Anglo-Saxon South.”

“The hospitality of our people is proverbial and we in Georgia can boast of the purest Anglo-Saxon stock, and that only seven-tenths of one percent of our people are foreign-born.”

“We of today are nurtured the same warm breast of the mother South; we breathe the same southern air; the same pure Anglo-Saxon blood flows through our veins,”

Virginia

Robert Crawford – President of the Defenders of State Sovereignty, an organization opposed to integration,

“Unless something be done, and unless something be done now, integration will spread in Virginia and, once again, It’s like every other Vile Pestilence, will spread to the point where it has converted the whole body politic. Whether it comes in our day, our children will see the death of our Anglo-Saxon Civilization.” Source

Mississippi

James O Eastland, U.S. Senator

“Mr. President, we do not intend to permit a crowd of parasitic politicians who now sit on the Supreme Court bench, to destroy those great institutions and the great culture which are in full flower in the Southern States – the culture of the Anglo-Saxon” Source

Defeat means death, the death of Southern culture and our aspirations as an Anglo-Saxon people. With strong leadership and the loyalty and fortitude of a great people we will climb the heights. Generations of Southerners yet unborn will cherish our memory because they will realize that the fight we now wage will have preserved for them their untainted racial heritage, their culture, and the institutions of the Anglo-Saxon race.” Source

Alabama

George Wallace, Governor

“Today I have stood, where once Jefferson Davis stood, and took an oath to my people. It is very appropriate then that from this Cradle of the Confederacy, this very Heart of the Great Anglo-Saxon Southland, that today we sound the drum for freedom as have our generations of forebears before us done, time and time again through history” Source

To see Wallace actually speak the above words go here and forward the video to 7:13.

More than segregation fell with segregation. George Wallace’s reference to the Anglo-Saxon South in 1963 was to the knowledge of this writer the last such reference by any major politician in the South and anywhere in the United States. The language of Manifest Destiny and American immigration restrictionist nativism made its last stand dying in the mouths of the Southern Segregationists of the mid-20th Century.

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A Scottish Journalist’s account of Reconstruction

Vanishing American had a post the other day that touched on Reconstruction and how Southerners are one-sidedly portrayed as villains in the conflict.

This reminded me of a very different account from Scottish journalist Robert Somers who traveled throughout the Southern States in the Early 1870’s which resulted in his book “The Southern States Since the War 1870-1871.”

 The white people in the South at the close of the war were alarmed, not so much by the threatened confiscation of their property by the Federal Government, as by the smaller but more present dangers of life and property, virtue and honour, arising from the social anarchy around them. The negroes, after the Confederate surrender, were disorderly. Many of them would not settle down to labour on any terms, but roamed about with arms in their hands and hunger in their bellies; and the governing power, with the usual blind determination of a victorious party, was thinking only all the while of every device of suffrage and reconstruction by which “the freedmen” might be strengthened, and made, under Northern dictation, the ruling power in the country. Agitators of the loosest fiber came down among the towns and plantations, and, organizing a Union league, held midnight meetings with the negroes in the woods, and went about uttering sentiments which, to say the least, in all the circumstances were anti-social and destructive. Crimes and outrages increased. The law, which must be always more or less weak in all thinly populated countries, was all but powerless; and the new Governments in the South, supposing them to have been most willing, were certainly unable to repress disorder, or to spread a general sense of security throughout the community. A real terror reigned for a time among the white people; and in this situation the “Ku-Klux” started into being. It was one of those secret organizations which spring up in disordered states of society, when the bonds of law and government are all but dissolved, and when no confidence is felt in the regular public administration of justice. But the power with which the “Ku-Klux” moved in many parts of the South, the knowledge it displayed of all that was going on, the fidelity with which its secret was kept, and the complacency with which it was regarded by the general community, gave this mysterious body a prominence and importance seldom attained by such illegal and deplorable associations. Nearly every respectable man in the Southern States was not only disfranchised, but under fear of arrest or confiscation; the old foundations of authority were utterly razed before any new ones had yet been laid, and in the dark and benighted interval the remains of the Confederate armies — swept, after a long and heroic day of fair fight, from the field —- flitted before the eyes of the people in this weird and midnight shape of a “Ku-Klux-Klan.”

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“Cromwell, the Greatest King, if not the Greatest Man that England has Produced” – Edmund Ruffin

If there was a world champion Yankee hater of all time I think the Virginia born Fire-Eater Edmund Ruffin would be a good candidate. After all it was Ruffin who declared his “unmitigated hatred to Yankee rule” and chose to wrap himself in a Confederate flag and commit suicide by rifle rather than submit to living under the rule of the “vile Yankee race.”

Think you are a true grey Yankee hater like Ruffin and all true patriotic Yankee haters back in ye olden days just like you proved how much they didn’t care for Yankees by talking non-stop junk about England and Oliver Cromwell? Well as we’ve seen from previous examples it just isn’t so.

Ruffin did happen to draw a parallel between Cromwell’s conquest of Ireland and the North’s attack on the Southern States in his June, 14th, 1862 diary entry,

This war, as now made by the government & people of the north on the Confederate States, is stimulated & sustained entirely & solely by the expectation of the general, almost universal, plunder of the property of the invaded country. … With the exception of Cromwell’s conquest of rebellious Ireland, & the general confiscation of all property of the Irish, there has not been such effects or results of war since the conquest of Italy by northern barbarians. And in design, & avowed intentions, & in absence of just cause or provocation, neither of these cases can compare in atrocity with the Yankee War on the South. … The Starving Condition of the first Gothic invaders of the Roman Empire, the thirst for plunder & blood of succeeding hordes of barbarians, invited and encouraged by previous successes or the stern rage of Cromwell’s army & government, executing what they deemed just retribution & punishment on Irish rebels & traitors, deserving no mercy  —— neither of these motives were so strong as the combined influences which impel the Yankee people & government to seek the profit of the universal ruin, destitution, & misery.

It should be noted in the above comments that Ruffin considers Cromwell’s conquest of Ireland to have been more just, more provoked and less full of atrocity than the North’s war on the South. But still even if Ruffin thought Cromwell’s conquest of Ireland wasn’t as bad as the Yankee war on the South he still probably thought that Cromwell was a pretty contemptible person right?

Well two months after Ruffin wrote down his above opinions of Cromwell’s conquest of Ireland he had the following to say about Cromwell himself,

Began to read [Thomas B.] McCaulay’s [sic] “History of England” for the third time, for the want of anything newer. Was surprised to find how interesting it was to me still. When I first read it, it was interesting as a good novel —-& far more so than a far greater number of novels of reputation. The portion  of the preliminary sketch of English history, which extends from the beginning of the reign of Charles I to the restoration of Charles II, is especially interesting in the portraiture of Cromwell, the greatest king, if not the greatest man that England has produced—– the most virtuous of usurpers, & the most moderate, just &, benign of despots.

Back in 1858 Ruffin was reading the London Quarterly which included a portion on the life of Parliamentary Admiral Blake, who is often called the “father of the Royal Navy”, Ruffin noted of Blake, “There have been few greater men in English history & no great man who was also so patriotic, unselfish, and virtuous man as Blake.”

Ruffin was also a user of the Anglo-Saxonist language an example of which below has him discussing the presumed future conquest of Central America by Anglo-Americans,

“They must give way to the Anglo-Saxon race— & their extinction will be a benefit to America”

Ruffin saw English history as the background history to the society in which he lived. Though he hated Yankees more than anyone it doesn’t even dawn on him to link them to Cromwell much less England in general. Edmund Ruffin clearly identifies more with Cromwell and the Parliamentarians who conquered Ireland than with the Irish and this is at the very moment when he faces conquest himself at the hands of the North.

This doesn’t mean of course everybody in the 19th century South had a positive view of Cromwell because they didn’t but there certainly were others besides Ruffin who did have a favorable view of him. There really was no unified 19th century Southern opinion on Oliver Cromwell.

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God’s Welshman: Oliver Cromwell

Say what? I thought that guy was known as God’s Englishman? Well it all depends on how you slice it. He was born, raised and spent most of his life in England and he was mostly of English descent. Yet in his male line he was descended from Welsh ancestry.  In fact the name Cromwell was one adopted by his Great-Grandfather originally known as Richard Williams. In the article “Oliver Cromwell: Champion of Welsh interests or enemy of its people?” at Wales Online it contains some interesting facts about Cromwell’s association with Wales including how he was conscious of his Welsh ancestry. My verdict would be he was English but it shows the complicated nature of untangling such questions as is a man’s ethnic background defined just by his surnamed patrilineal family no matter how much intermarriage has occurred descending through that male line?

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“England, in our origin, law, literature, and free institutions, is our mother.” Senator Andrew Pickens Butler 1853

 

Andrew Pickens Butler U.S. Senator from South Carolina from 1846 until his death in 1857 co-authored the Kansas-Nebraska Act in 1854 with Senator Stephen Douglas undoing the Missouri Compromise which lead to battles between pro and anti-slavery forces in what was known as “Bleeding Kansas.” Butler also has a prominent connection to another famous event which is seen as an escalation of hostility which would eventually lead to the Civil War that being the caning of Senator Charles Sumner of Massachusetts. It was Senator Butler who was the target of personal abuse by Charles Sumner during Sumner’s “Crime against Kansas” speech in 1856. The insults directed towards Senator Butler led Congressman Preston Brooks, a cousin of Butler, to feel his family honor had been attacked which motived the bloody beating of Sumner by Brooks on the floor of the U.S. Senate. Before any of these events took place though Senator Butler made the following remarks in 1853 in the U.S. Senate about England while debating Senator Stephen Douglas of Illinois,

 

The Senator has spoken on other topics, with a gushing exuberance, well calculated to attract applause; but I fear also well calculated to excite prejudice and to exasperate national resentments. In speaking of the growth of his own country, he had much to justify him in his highly-flattering picture of her prosperity. But when with taunting disparagement he spoke of the decrepitude of England and the other nations of Europe, he spoke in a way well calculated to wound national sensibility; and especially so, when I cannot regard his opinions just. He said that decrepitude had come upon them in their decline and old age. They were the mere mouldering columns of an edifice that had been; and as such their laws and policy could no longer shed light on the path of the young and vigorous people that, with Herculean strength, could throw off the shackles of European instruction. In this judgment, tempered ‘with so much asperity, I am certain that he will find few that are impartial to concur with him. England may become our rival; but in her present strength and vigor of manhood, she cannot but command respect and consideration from all the other nations of the earth. We may claim to be her peer, but we nevertheless are her debtor.

Sir, when we despise England, we must despise the very soil in which grew the tree from whose fruits we have been fed; we must despise Hampden, and Sidney, and Chatham, and Shakespeare, and Burke. Will the Senator tell me that I am to despise them, or to hate England more than any other nation? If he does, l differ from him. I do not say that I have any especial love for any nation. It is not a word ‘properly applicable to other nations. We love our own country-a sentiment of patriotism inspires that feeling. But as to other nations, we have feelings and opinions of different kinds. For some, we have much more respect and regard than for others. But, sir, I say here, in my place, if the word love be a word of preference, I avow it openly, that we have more sympathy with and are under deeper obligations to Great Britain, than to any other nation on earth. I do not hesitate to say, in the sense I have spoken, that I love her more than any other foreign nation on earth. England, in our origin, law, literature, and free institutions, is our mother. In vernacular language, she is our mother country. The very roots of our institutions run into her soil.

From what country do we derive the maxims, the spirit, the institutions, the safeguards of our liberty? Have not the streams of her literature been poured out upon us? Have we not all drunk of them with delight and improvement? From what country do we get Magna Charta, trial by jury, the common-law, with its hardy morality inculcating all that has given liberty security? Sir, will the gentleman answer? I am willing, in all the arts of peace, in commerce, in literature, in science, in morals, to become the rival of England. But I can see no inducement, consulting national policy, to assume towards her the position of an hostile adversary. Remarks which have been made during this discussion, are well calculated to sow the seeds of jealousy and hatred between the two countries-—that is, unless there shall be good sense to have it true understanding of them, when the national interest shall demand it; and I wish the occasion to speak for itself. I would not shrink from a collision or war with Great Britain sooner than any other nation. There is not much patriotism, however, in a mere abuse of her. But, Mr. President, as is sometimes the case, I have spoken beyond what I intended when I rose, and take my seat.

 

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“In the name of our Anglo-Saxon Race and Blood” – Conservative White Citizens of South Carolina 1867

 

In the summer of 1867 General Daniel Sickles ordered a voter registration to be held in South Carolina, which included the registration of black voters, as called for by the Reconstruction acts passed that same year. In November a group of conservative white citizens from across the state met in protest. Former Confederate General Wade Hampton who would go on to be known as the “Savior of South Carolina” when elected as governor in 1876 was a representative from Richland to this 1867 convention which issued the following address to the people of South Carolina which claims Anglo-Saxon ancestry,

 

 

 We desire peace for its own sake, for its holy Christian influence, and for the civilization and refinement which spring up in its path. Do the Reconstruction acts of Congress propose to give us this peace? No—they give us war and anarchy, rather. They sow the seeds of discord in our midst and place the best interests of society into the hands of an ignorant mob. They disfranchise the white citizen and enfranchise the newly emancipated slave. The slave of yesterday, who knew no law but the will of the master, is today about to be invested with the control of the government. In all popular governments the two great sources of power may be traced, ( 1) to the exercise of the ballot, (2) to the franchise of the jury box. Invest any people with these two great powers, and they have at once the government of the country in their hands. By the Reconstruction acts of Congress these powers are conferred upon the negro— he can make and unmake the Constitution and the laws which he will administer according to the dictates of others or his own caprice.

 

 We are not unfriendly to the negro; on the contrary, we know that we are his best friends. In his property, in his life and in his person we are willing that the black man and the white man shall stand together upon the same platform and be shielded by the same equal laws. We venture the opinion that the people of South Carolina are prepared to adopt as their own the Constitution of any New England or other Northern State; wherein it is supposed that the civil rights of the negro are most fully and amply secured. But upon a question involving such grave and momentous issues we should be untrue to ourselves and unfair to our opponents were we to withhold the frank and full expression of our opinions. We, therefore, feeling the responsibility of the subject and the occasion, enter our most solemn protest against the policy of investing the negro with political rights. The black man is what God and nature and circumstances have made him. That he is not fit to be invested with these important rights may be no fault of his. But the fact is patent to all that the negro is utterly unfitted to exercise the highest functions of the citizen. The government of the country should not be permitted to pass from the hands of the white man into the hands of the negro. The enforcement of the Reconstruction acts by military power under the guise of negro voters and negro conventions cannot lawfully reestablish civil government in South Carolina. It may for a time hold us in subjection to a quasi-civil government backed by military force, but it can do no more. As citizens of the United States we should not consent to live under negro supremacy, nor should we acquiesce in negro equality. Not for ourselves only, but on behalf of the Anglo-Saxon race and blood in this country, do we protest against this subversion of the great social law, whereby an ignorant and depraved race is placed in power and influence above the virtuous, the educated and the refined. By these acts of Congress intelligence and virtue are put under foot, while ignorance and vice are lifted into power.

 

We have shown that free negro labor, under the sudden emancipation policy of the Government, is a disaster from which, under the most favorable circumstances, it will require years to recover. Add to this the policy which the Reconstruction acts propose to enforce, and you place the South politically and socially under the heel of the negro. These influences combined would drag to hopeless ruin the most prosperous community in the world. What do these Reconstruction acts propose? Not negro equality merely, but. negro supremacy.

In the name, then, of humanity to both races—in the name of citizenship under the Constitution—in the name of a common history in the past—in the name of our Anglo-Saxon race and blood—in the name of the civilization of the nineteenth century—in the name of magnanimity and the noble instincts of manhood—in the name of God and nature—we protest against these Reconstruction acts as destructive to the peace of society, the prosperity of the country and the greatness and grandeur of our common future.

The people of the South are powerless to avert the impending ruin. We have been overborne; and the responsibility to posterity and to the world has passed into other hands.

 

 

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The Episcopal Church “the great bulwark of the Protestant faith” Bishop Nicholas Hamner Cobbs

 

Nicholas Hamner Cobbs was the first Bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Church for the Diocese of Alabama. Cobbs was a slave owner and at the same time a strong unionist. According to his family he prayed that he would be taken out of this world before he lived to see his state secede which is apparently how it turned out with Cobbs dying the same day as the state of Alabama voted to secede from the Union without him ever being aware. His biography states that Cobb was never told by his family of the secession of South Carolina in December either. Wikipedia contains an erroneous piece of information that Cobbs ordered prayers to be omitted for the Confederate Congress and President which is impossible because when Bishop Cobbs died January, 11th, 1861 there was no such body or office. The Provisional Confederate States Congress would not convene until February 4th. I believe this piece of information to be a corruption of a statement from a biography about Cobbs that states exactly the opposite with a circular being issued on December, 29th, 1860 calling for prayers to be omitted from the public worship for the Congress and the President of the United States in the event Alabama seceded.

 

Although Cobb was a self-professed High Churchman he was more than willing to condemn what he viewed as the errors of Romanism and own the Protestant identity of the Episcopal Church in the following excerpt from an address in Selma before the Annual Convention of the Diocese of Alabama in 1849,

 

“Another difficulty that retards our progress, is to be found in the very prevalent
belief that the Church is Romish in her sympathies and tendencies. Strange it is,
that a Church, which is the great bulwark of the Protestant faith – whose Articles
and Offices, and Homilies, formally condemn the leading errors and corruptions
of Romanism – whose Reformers were burnt at the stake, by the influence of
Rome, should yet be charged with Romish sympathies and tendencies. But such
is the fact – and it would be mere affection to deny it or to overlook it. It therefore
becomes our duty, honestly and faithfully, to set forth and vindicate the doctrines
of the Church, as held and taught; not by some individual Father, but as
contained in the Prayer Book; and whilst reverently complying with all rubrical
requirements, scrupulously to abstain from the introduction of all novelties, however
indifferent in themselves or however sanctioned by primitive antiquity. The
Church is now in sensitive state, because from the events of a few years past,
her character is at stake, her integrity and purity are questioned, and therefore, in
these times of prevailing suspicion and distrust, little things-an attitude, a symbol
-become matters of grave and serious importance. It is painful to recollect on the
odium thrown upon the Church, and the injury done to her cause by a few men
– I believe the number to be very small-well meaning, perhaps, but superficial and
self-conceited, who under the pretense of Antiquity and Catholicity, are fond of introducing
various puerilities, in matters connected with the worship and chancel
arrangements of the Church ;-a new set of reformers, who, whilst very harsh
in denouncing different Protestant bodies as heretics and schismatics, are yet
very tender and apologetic in their remarks in reference to various errors of Romanism,
especially the doctrines of Purgatory, Transubstantiation, Auricular Confession, and the
Invocation of the Virgin Mary ; men who whilst talking about their devotion to the Church,
treat with disregard her divinely appointed officers, and who, whilst preaching up obedience,
show in their conduct all the willfulness and pride of self, manifested by the moat obstinate and
wrong headed sectary. Such men are no more to be regarded as true exponents of the Church,
than those who are defective in their views and radical in their tendencies and
though they may flatter themselves that they are Catholics, they can not justly be
called sound churchmen. In consequence of recent developments through our
papers and other publications, I feel called upon to express these views on this
occasion ; and as a Bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Church, to testify that, high
as may be my views of the Church, the ministry, and the sacraments — (and by many,
these views would doubtless be considered very extravagant,) I have yet no sympathy
and not the least respect for that Pseudo-Catholicity, which, overlooking the authority
and the doctrines of the Church, as set forth in the Liturgy, Offices and Articles of the
Prayer Book, follows the private opinions and teachings of some individual Father or writer,
and thus sanctions a principle, a rule of faith, that has led to most of the wildest errors and
extravagances of sectarianism and fanaticism.”

 

 

So far from everyone in the 19th Century South regarding the Roman Catholic Church as just another denomination (which is not how Rome regards itself of course either) you have the first Episcopal Bishop of Alabama stating that one factor that is holding back the growth of the Church in Alabama is that people suspect it, he thinks wrongly, of being in sympathy and drifting towards the Roman Church because of certain errors and excess associated with the Oxford Movement.

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“The genius of Anglo-Saxon liberty, when she emigrated to these shores, bore twins in her bosom and not a single birth.” – Dr. W.H. Holcombe

 

William Henry Holcombe was a Virginia born homeopathic physician who was a resident of Mississippi in 1860 when he wrote his piece The Alternative: A Separate Nationality, or The Africanization of the South which is an argument for secession. This work has been featured and examined in various places on the web in dealing with the causes of the American Civil War. Holcombe like others declares the South to be Anglo-Saxon:

 

“This pro-slavery party includes, with insignificant exceptions, nine millions of people of Anglo-Saxon blood. It is diffused over territory sufficient for a mighty empire. It contends that its principles are based upon large and safe inductions, made from an immense accumulation of facts in natural science, political economy and social ethics. It holds the most prominent material interests, and thereby the peace of the world in its hands ; a wise provision of Providence for its protection, since those who cannot be controlled by reason, may be withheld by fear.

In opposition to the prevailing sentiment of the North, we believe that men are created neither free nor equal. They are born unequal in physical and mental endowments, and no possible circumstances or culture could ever raise the negro race to any genuine equality with the white. Man is born dependent, and the very first step in civilization was for one man to enslave another. A state of slavery has been a disciplinary ordeal to every people who have ever developed beyond the savage condition. Those who cannot be reduced to bondage, like the American Indian, perish in their isolated and defiant barbarism. Freedom is the last result, the crowning glory of the long (Mid difficult evolution of human society. Few nations have yet attained to that lofty standard. Those who say that the French, the Italians or the Prussians, are not yet fit for freedom, and are still unable to appreciate the blessings of constitutional liberty, would thrust the splendid privilege of Anglo-Saxon superiority upon the semi-barbarous negro ! What folly, what madness!”

 

“The fact is, the Constitution is dead, for it carried with it the seeds of its own dissolution. The Union has achieved its mission; the last page of its history is written, and it may be safely deposited in the glorious archives of the past. The genius of Anglo-Saxon liberty, when she emigrated to these shores, bore twins in her bosom and not a single birth. The Northern race, bold, hardy, intelligent, proud and free, will receive into its embrace the heterogeneous spawn of European civilization, and mold it to its own shape, and prepare it for its own destiny.”

 

Holcombe like the Who are Americans? piece from the Richmond Daily Dispatch notes that the mass immigration taking place in the North is changing it into something with a separate destiny than the Anglo-Saxon South.

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About Section of blog updated

 

This blog has come to be out of an intersecting interest in two topics that have been on my mind for a number of years the first of which is that the society that founded and produced the political entity known as “The United States of America” was an English Protestant one that directly grew out of the 13 English colonies of the middle of the Atlantic coast of North America. Reading primary resource material from the 19th century and 20th century convinced me that this was a consciously understood fact by earlier generations of Americans in both the North and the South.  Unfortunately in the popular mind of the average citizen of the American federal state of today this seems to be utterly forgotten by most and outright denied by others. The American Revolution while a political break with the British government and Crown was not at all a complete rejection of English history, identity, institutions or ancestry.

What I didn’t understand as well from my own studies was exactly how the Anglo-Protestant concept of America came to unravel. I knew it involved the massive waves of immigration that took place from the early 19th to 20th centuries but the exact process of how this identity came apart among the elites was unknown to me until I came upon a book written in 2004 by Eric Kaufmann and published by Harvard University Press called The Rise and Fall of Anglo-America.  To this book this blog is also indebted for the use of such terms as “dominant ethnicity” and “ethnic boundary markers.”

The second somewhat related topic that has brought about this blog is the Celtic-South thesis which far from being anything pro-Southern I regard as an assault intended to destroy the traditional identity and historiography of the people of the South.

My hope is that people will thoughtfully considered the words of past generations of those in the South and the rest of America so that history can be remembered and as much of the identity of the old America of long ago can be preserved as possible.

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