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Sunday, October 17th, 2004, 10:34 PM
News, heritage, editorials and comments from a Southern conservative, limited government and free-market viewpoint:


Sunday, October 17th, 2004, 10:42 PM
We Seek to Advance the Cultural, Social, Economic, and Political Well Being and Independence of the Southern People by all Honourable Means.


The League of the South seeks to advance the cultural, social, economic, and political well-being and independence of the Southern people by all honourable means. Thus, the central idea that drives our organisation is the redemption of our independence as a nation. We envision a free and prosperous Southern Republic founded on private property, free association, fair trade, sound money, low and equitable taxes, equal justice before the law, secure borders, and armed and vigilant neutrality. Self-governing states and local communities invoking the favour and guidance of Almighty God. A bold, self-confident civilisation based on its cultural and ethnic European roots.

As a means of making real our vision of a Southern Republic, we must first revitalise our largely Anglo-Celtic culture. Without a strong cultural base, political independence will be difficult to attain. But to strengthen Southern culture, we must overcome the mis-education of our people by undertaking a campaign to properly educate them about the history of the South in particular and America in general.

To re-create Southern society, we should encourage the growth of largely self-sufficient communities among our people. We can develop healthy local communities and institutions by "abjuring the realm:" seceding from the mindless materialism and vulgarity of contemporary American society. To stimulate the economic vitality of our people, we must become producers and not just consumers. By establishing "Buy Southern" programs and by forming trade guilds or associations, we can begin to wean ourselves from economic dependency. By encouraging the use of private sources of finance, such as cooperative loans instead of the Empire's banks, we can begin to break our financial dependency.

Once we have planted the seeds of cultural, social, and economic renewal, then (and only then), should we begin to look to the South's political renewal. Political independence will come only when we have convinced the Southern people that they are indeed a nation in the organic, historical, and Biblical sense of the word, namely, that they are a distinct people with a language, mores, and folkways that separate them from the rest of the world.

What is The League of the South?

by Dr Michael Hill - LS President

The League of the South founded in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, in June 1994, seeks to advance the cultural, social, economic, and political well-being and independence of the Southern people by all honorable means.

Recognising that cultural regeneration must precede political regeneration, our initial goal is to give form and direction to "The Community of the Southern People." Only when we begin to rediscover who we are as a people can we save our civilization. The people of the South must come to understand that they indeed are a "nation" in the organic, historical sense of the word. As individuals and communities, we must secede culturally from a world that is waging cultural genocide against our traditions, our heritage and our values. If we do this, and in the process revitalize our culture, then perhaps we will be able to successfully pursue a political course toward independence and freedom. Once The League of the South has made "The Community of the Southern People" a reality, then we can pursue our political objectives: a return to constitutional republicanism and true federalism, or if that should prove unattainable, secession.

Secession, or self-determination, is the ultimate right of free men; and in the spirit of our Founding and Confederate forefathers, we shall, if necessary, invoke that principle once again. Should The South choose a course of political self-determination, it will not be alone. All around the world we see devolutionist political movements in places like the former Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, Quebec and Scotland. The devolution of multi-national unions is a world-wide trend that emerged during the late-1980's and which continues to gather momentum in the 1990's. The League of the South is on the cutting edge of this exciting cultural and political phenomenon. As a response to the tyranny of the centralized state and its attendant enormities, it is, we believe, the most prudent of courses.

The League of the South extends an offer of cooperation to all peoples and groups in America and the world who share our general outlook, values, and principles and who wish to defend the remnant of Western civilization.

Dr. Michael Hill
President, The League of the South

Sunday, October 17th, 2004, 10:43 PM
The New Dixie Manifesto: States' Rights Will Rise Again...

by Dr Michael Hill and Dr Thomas Fleming
The Washington Post, Sunday, 29 October 1995

America is only a geographical expression. Metternich's joke was made originally at the expense of Italy, but there are all too many modern states that have tried to build artificial national identities out of the ruins of historic and traditional regions -- the provinces, the sticks, the boondocks, the places where real people live, write poetry and pay their taxes.

In this respect, American Southerners have much in common with the Scots and the Welsh in Britain, the Lombards and Sicilians in Italy and the Ukrainians in the defunct Soviet Union. All have made enormous economic, military and cultural contributions to their imperial rulers, who rewarded their loyalty with exploitation and contempt.

In the United States, where ethnic slurs are punishable as hate crimes, it is still socially acceptable to describe Southerners as "rednecks" and Standing Tall for Dixie..."crackers," even though Southerners have, in fact, contributed to American culture, high and low, to a degree vastly out of proportion to their numbers.

What would American literature be without Mark Twain, Edgar Allan Poe, William Faulkner, Walker Percy and Eudora Welty? What sort of political system would our ancestors have given us, if George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison had decided to remain British? What kind of popular music could we listen to, if white "crackers" like Hank Williams and Merle Haggard and Southern blacks like Louis Armstrong and Ray Charles had been content with the bland commercial music churned out by Tin Pan Alley? The mind of the South remains distinctive, even today, if only for the tenacity with which its people hold onto their religious faith.

Until recent years, it looked as if the progress of history had condemned all the little nations to the ash heap of history. But the end of the Cold War and the breakup of the Soviet Union and of Yugoslavia have inspired regional and ethnic movements all over Europe. Some of them are threatening secession; others have been content to demand home rule and a right to assert their culture and language.

Here in the United States, a new group of Southerners is calling for nothing more revolutionary than home rule for the states established by the U.S. Constitution. The Southern League was founded in 1994 at a meeting of scholars, journalists and political activists in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Our members are pledged to seek the well-being and independence of the Southern people by every honorable means. Far from wishing any ill to the rest of the nation, we believe that a renewed South will be an inspiration to other regions in search of their own identities and to all Americans who wish to lead their lives in peace.

A concern for states' rights, local self-government and regional identity used to be taken for granted everywhere in America. But the United States is no longer, as it once was, a federal union of diverse states and regions. National uniformity is being imposed by the political class that runs Washington, the economic class that owns Wall Street and the cultural class in charge of Hollywood and the Ivy League.

The easiest way to secure home rule for Southern states is to restore the federal constitution. What had been a genuinely federal union has been turned into a multicultural, continental empire, ruled from Washington by federal agencies and under the thumb of the federal judiciary. And all this is done regardless of the party or ideology that controls the White House. If the liberal Democrats have saddled us with affirmative action, conservative Republicans are busily "federalizing" crimes that used to be within the purview of states and local communities.

We believe it is time for the people of the Southern states to take control of their own governments, their own institutions, their own culture, their own communities and their own lives. On the national political level, this will mean sending men and women to Congress who will insist upon a strict construction of the Constitution and a restoration of the 10th Amendment that explicitly reserves all unenumerated powers to the states and to the people.

On the state level, self-government should be restored to the towns and communities that make up the states. This means an end, not only to federal interference, but to state interference in local government and local schools. Under federal and state mandates, American schools have become the joke of the civilised world, and in the guise of helping black children, we have destroyed educational opportunities for children of all races. It is time to give the schools back to the parents.

Local control over local schools is not a recipe for resegregation. Involuntary desegregation, forced busing and court-ordered redistricting have succeeded only in lowering the standards of education, precipitating "white flight" and de facto segregation and exacerbating racial tensions. As black novelist Zora Neale Hurston observed in 1954, the premise of Brown v. Board of Education -- that all-black schools were inherently inferior -- was an insult to black Americans. Brown, as Hurston predicted, set the stage for "government by fiat." If neighbors, black and white, cannot work out their problems among themselves, then no government can do it for them.

On a personal level it is time for Southerners to wean themselves from dependence on federal largesse. Since the New Deal, Washington has funneled more tax dollars into the South than it has taken out, and this has caused the region to be bound tightly by the attached strings. If Southerners are ever to be free from federal dictates, we must learn to provide for our own needs without depending on government wealth transfers.

On a spiritual level, we take our stand squarely within the tradition of Christianity. This historic faith, though everywhere attacked by the hollow men of modernity, has always been central to the pursuit of personal honor, political liberty and human charity. Asking for only the religious freedoms guaranteed in the Bill of Rights, we oppose the government's campaign against our Christian traditions.

The war that is being waged against the Southern identity and its traditional symbols must cease. Legislatures in Southern states are under pressure to rename streets and destroy monuments that honor Confederate soldiers. Corporations headquartered in Southern states have refused to fly state flags that contain a Confederate emblem; public schools have forbidden the display of the Confederate battle flag as if it were an example of gang colors.

If the Confederate flags are tainted by the abuses of slavery, so are the flags of the United States, Great Britain, France and Spain -- all countries that engaged in the trading of human beings. We do not claim that all our ancestors were infallible or even honorable in all their actions, but we utterly repudiate the one-sided and hypocritical movement to demonize Southerners and their symbols.

Race relations are nowhere perfect in the United States, but black and white Southerners have learned through experience, often painful, how to get along with, or at least tolerate, each other. Southerners on both sides who were "racist" by principle were decent and humane in their actual conduct. As Dick Gregory used to say, "Down South they don't care how close you get, so long as you don't get too big; up North they don't care how big you get, so long as you don't get too close." This regional difference in attitude may help to explain why so many decent black American families are moving back to the South.

After so many decades of strife, black and white Southerners of good will should be left alone to work out their destinies, avoiding, before it is too late, the urban hell that has been created by the lawyers, social engineers and imperial bureaucrats who have grown rich on programs that have done nothing to help anyone but themselves.

The same Northern intellectuals, who in the 19th century were denouncing Southern "racism," greeted the arrival of Catholics and Jews with horror. They designed public school programs to Protestantise the Irish and practised the same kinds of genteel and not-so-genteel discrimination against blacks. Southern history tells a different story. Both Jews and Catholics quickly made their way into the highest political and social circles. In fact, the first Catholic and the first Jew to sit in an American cabinet were picked by Jefferson Davis, the president of the Confederacy. Southerners have been remarkably free of the anti-immigrant prejudices that have characterised Northern politics since the 1840s.

Southerners respect the rights of all Americans in every region to preserve their authentic cultural traditions and demand the same respect from others. For too long, Northern intellectuals have tried to control Southern culture and to northernise our schools and universities. They and their Southern allies have rewritten history and imposed their mythology upon generations of students, who have come to believe that their ancestors were uniquely guilty in the annals of inhumanity, that their region is -- in the graphic phrase of one brainwashed Southerner -- "the nation's armpit." This is not scholarship but propaganda.

If Southerners were any other people in the world, the campaign to rob them of their symbols, their history and their cultural identity would be termed cultural genocide -- a term that several scholars have not hesitated to apply. The late Raphael Lemkin, the Polish legal scholar who helped give the term its currency, defined "genocide" not merely as an attempt to annihilate a people physically but as a plan for "the disintegration of the political and social institutions of culture, language, national feelings, religion." If Southerners are a blight on the American landscape, as they are almost uniformly portrayed, then the only "solution" is to eliminate them by destroying their cultural identity.

As Southerners, we prefer not to think of ourselves as victims. We are proud, not of what our people have suffered (although they have suffered a good deal), but of the good things they have done. We are not asking for reparations or set-aside programs. All we ask are the rights the Constitution gave us and all Americans over 200 years ago: the right to be let alone to mind our own business, to raise our own children and to say our own prayers in the buildings built with our own money. As one of Faulkner's characters remarks, "That don't seem like too much to ask."

Michael Hill, a former professor of British History at the University of Alabama, is the president of the League of the South, based in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Thomas Fleming is the editor of Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture.

Sunday, October 17th, 2004, 11:05 PM
Confederate web Directory:


Sunday, October 17th, 2004, 11:17 PM
Southern-born Hinton Helper--not Harriet Beecher Stowe--wrote the most stinging indictment of slavery.

by Joseph Gustaitis for America's Civil War Magazine

The myth probably began with Abraham Lincoln. When he met Harriet Beecher Stowe, author of Uncle Tom's Cabin, in 1862, Lincoln supposedly said, "So you are the little lady who wrote the book that started this great war."

Ever since that meeting, Uncle Tom's Cabin has been considered the most important anti-slavery tract ever published in the United States and the key text in inflaming the passions that brought on the Civil War. No doubt it was a very important book. It sold 300,000 copies in its first year of publication and was translated into at least 23 languages.

And yet, another book caused a far greater sensation than Uncle Tom's Cabin (1852). It was The Impending Crisis of the South: How to Meet It. Even more surprising, the strident anti-slavery treatise was not written by some stern New England Yankee. The author was a son of the Old South, Hinton Rowan Helper. Although he has been largely forgotten, for several years after his work was published in 1857, Helper was one of the most famous men in America.

Uncle Tom's Cabin, although detested in Dixie, could be dismissed by many Southerners as sentimental rubbish from a Yankee preacher's wife who knew little about the South's "peculiar institution." Helper, however, was born in Rowan County, N.C., on December 27, 1829, and his father, who died a year after Hinton's birth, worked a small farm and owned a few slaves. Nor could The Impending Crisis be in any way considered a mawkish romance. This was a book that hammered the reader with statistic after statistic, remorselessly piling up evidence that slavery was the only reason the South had fallen behind the North in almost every area of achievement--wealth, productivity, population, literacy, culture--and had descended to what Helper called "a state of comparative imbecility and obscurity." Slavery, he said, "was the most hateful and horrible word that was ever incorporated into the vocabulary of human economy." To Southerners, Helper was not just a gadfly, he was a traitor.

Helper graduated from Mocksville Academy, near his home, in 1848 and then worked in a store in Salisbury, N.C. He went to New York in 1850 and from there sailed by way of Cape Horn to San Francisco at the height of the California Gold Rush. He spent three years fruitlessly trying to wrest gold from the hills and then returned to the East to publish The Land of Gold (1855), a bitter account written, he said, to warn other would-be gold hunters of the perils and disappointment that awaited them.

The same year Helper sailed for the West was the year of the seventh U.S. census. The 1850 census set off alarm bells throughout Dixie. Nearly every statistic showed that in the decade from 1840 to 1850 the North had leapfrogged over the South. In 1840, for example, 44 percent of the total U.S. railway mileage was in the South; by 1850 its share had declined to 26 percent. In 1840 the South possessed 20 percent of the nation's manufacturing capacity; in 1850 it had 18 percent. These figures only confirmed what many Southerners already suspected--they were becoming economic underlings. As one Southern analyst put it, "The North grows rich and powerful whilst we at best are stationary."

Historians are still debating the reasons for the failure of industrialization in the South, but Helper, who waved the 1850 census like a red flag, echoed the views of the Scottish political economist Adam Smith, who argued that free labor was intrinsically superior to slave labor. Unlike a free worker, Smith said, a slave "can have no other interest but to eat as much, and to labour as little as possible."

The Impending Crisis drew heavily on the 1850 census to show that slavery was the ruination of the South. It began with a long chapter in which Helper presented a host of tables illustrating the contrast between the two regions of the United States. He cleverly began with statistics showing the difference in agricultural output because, he said, many Southerners liked to flatter themselves that, if in nothing else, the South was superior to the North in agriculture. Not so, Helper pointed out, adding, "Such rampant ignorance should be knocked in the head!" After parading his tables across his pages, he arrived at the conclusion that in 1850 the North produced some $352 million worth of farm products; the South, about $307 million. "So much," he snorted, "for the boasted agricultural superiority of the South!"

The second chapter was the most threatening in a menacing book. Titled "How Slavery Can Be Abolished," it scoffed at the notion that any system of emancipation required compensating slaveholders for the loss of their property. "The idea," he said, "is preposterous." Helper blamed the slaveholders for the wide discrepancy in the value of land between the North and the South. Again using 1850 figures, he reckoned that the average value of an acre of land in the Northern states was $28.07; in the South it was $5.34. "We conclude, therefore," he wrote, "that you, the slaveholders, are indebted to us, the non-slaveholders, in the sum of $22.73, which is the difference between $28.07 and $5.34, on every acre of Southern soil in our possession." The grand total that the "chevaliers of the lash" had gypped the non-slaveholders, according to Helper's calculations, was slightly over $7.5 billion. "And now, Sirs," he demanded, "we are ready to receive the money."

Having thus dismissed the idea of compensation, Helper laid out an 11-point plan for abolishing slavery by July 4, 1876. The agenda included organizing nonslaveholding whites into a political force, denying slaveholders the vote, boycotting slaveholders' services, banning the hiring of slaves by non-slaveholders, and instituting a tax of $60 on every slaveholder for every slave in his possession. Although there was virtually no chance that such a plan would be adopted, it nevertheless was strong stuff for Southern readers.

The book cited numerous authors from both North and South--as well as from other countries--who concurred with Helper's abolitionism. He marshaled quotations from, among others, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe, Alexander Hamilton and John Jay, along with economists, French philosophers and Biblical prophets. Helper returned to statistics to contrast North and South in areas such as manufacturing, exports, canals, railroads, bank capital, public schools, libraries, newspapers and literacy. He ruefully concluded that "our indignation is struck almost dumb at this astounding and revolting display of the awful wreck that slavery is leaving behind it in the South."

The most notable aspect of The Impending Crisis was its fierce language. Helper railed that "five millions of 'poor white trash'" suffered under a "second degree of slavery" and that "every white man who is under the necessity of earning his bread, by the sweat of his brow...is treated as if he was a loathsome beast." "There is not," he charged, "a grain of patriotism in the South, except among the non-slaveholders." And since slavery is a "sin" and a "crime," he could not recognize the slaveholders "as gentlemen." "Slaveholders," he thundered, "are more criminal than common murderers." Helper did not even shun the threat of violence. "Do you aspire," he asked the slaveholders of the South, "to become the victims of white non-slaveholding vengeance by day, and of barbarous massacre by the negroes at night?"

Helper first intended to publish his book in Baltimore, but was prevented from doing so by a law that made it a crime to "excite discontent amongst the people of color of this state." He therefore went to New York in 1857, partly, he says, because he feared that he might be "subjected to physical violence" if he stayed in the South. In New York, the influential newspaperman Horace Greeley offered his support.

In the year after The Impending Crisis was published, it sold some 13,000 copies--a respectable figure--and was well-received in several Northern newspapers. But in the spring of 1859 the Republican Party, then gearing up for the election of 1860, realized--with Helper's prodding--that the volume could be an asset to their campaign. The Republicans followed Greeley's advice that championing the book would prove that they did not seek the "ruin" of the South, but rather its "renovation." Accordingly, they distributed at least 100,000 copies of an abridged (and slightly toned down) version, called The Compendium, and Helper was suddenly the talk of the nation. Abraham Lincoln had a copy and said he was very interested to know that there was a potential schism between slaveholders and non-slaveholders in the South. By contrast, in many places in the South it was a crime to possess Helper's book.

Things got hotter during the election of the speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives in 1859. The Republicans put forth John Sherman of Ohio (brother of the soon-to-be-famous William Tecumseh Sherman), but he was assailed by John B. Clark of Missouri for having committed the dastardly deed of reading The Impending Crisis. Another congressman charged that "one who consciously, deliberately, and of purpose lent his name and influence to the propagation of such writings is not only not fit to be speaker, but is not fit to live." The two-month debate grew so intense that the representatives took to showing up in the Capitol armed with pistols and bowie knives.

By the time Lincoln took office in March 1861, Helper was famous. But the publication of The Compendium had been basically a nonprofit enterprise, and Helper needed to find regular work. Accordingly, he applied to the Lincoln administration, and in November 1861 he was appointed U.S. consul to Buenos Aires.

Helper performed his duties competently in Buenos Aires, where he married a local woman named Maria Luisa Rodriguez. In 1866 he returned to the United States and again took up his pen to address the problems of the South. This time he found a new enemy. The threat to the white working class was no longer the indolent, supercilious slaveholder, but the black freeman. He dashed off three books--Nojoque: A Question for a Continent (1867), Negroes in Negroland (1868) and Noonday Exigencies (1871)--that revealed him to be a virulent racist.

Many reviewers were shocked by Helper's call that by 1876 "No Negro nor Mulatto, No Chinaman nor unnative Indian, No Black or Bi-colored Individual of whatever Name or Nationality" would "find Domicile anywhere within the Boundaries of the United States." For Helper, the black man was "An Inferior Fellow Done For," and the color black was "A Thing of Ugliness, Disease, and Death...a most hateable thing." Helper had become an embarassment to the Republican Party. Even readers in the South were taken aback by what one reviewer called his "wild ravings."

No longer a thinker to be taken seriously, Helper eked out a career as an agent for U.S. commercial interests that had claims against various South American governments. He became interested in the construction of a railroad that would run through the Americas from Hudson's Bay to Cape Horn, and the notion, which he claimed would make him "the new Christopher Columbus," eventually grew into an obsession. A collection of his writings appeared as The Three Americas Railway in 1881.

In his final years, Helper was a bitter and impoverished man. His wife went blind and returned to Buenos Aires with their son in 1899, leaving him alone in Washington. All his funds had gone into promoting his railway dream, and although a commission was appointed to study the idea, he was not named a member of it.

On March 8, 1909, Hinton Helper closed the door to his room, wrapped a towel around his neck, and turned on the gas. The maid found him dead the next morning.


Sunday, October 17th, 2004, 11:25 PM
The land of gold; reality versus fiction

By Hinton R. Helper

Baltimore, Pub. for the author, by H. Taylor, 1855.

Hinton Rowan Helper (1829-1909) of North Carolina became one of the South's most controversial figures in the 1850s for his criticisms of slavery in The land of gold and his better known book, The impending crisis. Indeed, he found it prudent to move to New York before the Civil War, and he received diplomatic appointments in Latin America from the Lincoln administration. The land of gold (1855) draws on Helper's three years residence in California and leads him to the conclusion, "California is the poorest State in the Union." Aside from gold, he can see nothing to recommend the state economically, and his book damns the state's populace in terms of morals and intelligence. He spends three chapters dismissing San Francisco (although he later has good words for the Vigilance Committee), is disgusted by the Digger Indians at Bodega, finds fault with Sacramento, and reflects on prospecting on Yuba River and at Columbia. Some good words are reserved for Stockton, but on the whole, Helper writes to discourage emigrants from retracing his course round the Horn.



PREVIOUS to my departure for California, near and dear friends extracted from me a promise to communicate by letter, upon every convenient occasion, such intelligence as would give them a distinct idea of the truthfulness or falsehood of the many glowing descriptions and reputed vast wealth of California. In accordance with this promise, I collected, from the best and most reliable sources, all that I deemed worthy of record touching the past of the modern El Dorado, relying upon my own powers of observation to depicture its present condition and its future prospects.

This correspondence was never intended for the public eye, for the simple reason that the matter therein is set forth in a very plain manner, with more regard to truth than elegance of diction. Indeed, how could it be otherwise? I have only described those things which came immediately under my own observation, and, beside this, I make no pretensions to extensive scholastic attainments, nor do I claim to be an adept in the art of book-making.

A weary and rather unprofitable sojourn of three years in various parts of California, afforded me ample time and opportunity to become too thoroughly conversant with its rottenness and its corruption, its squalor and its misery, its crime and its shame, its gold and its dross. Simply and truthfully I gave the history of my experience to friends at home, who, after my return, suggested that profit might be derived from giving these letters to the world in narrative form, and urged me so strenuously, that I at length acceded to their wishes, but not without much reluctance, being doubtful as to the reception of a book from one so incapable as myself of producing any thing more than a plain “unvarnished tale.”

In order to present a more complete picture of California, I have added two chapters, that describing the route through Nicaragua, and the general resume at the close of my volume. All that I solicit for this, my first offering, is a liberal and candid examination; not of a part, but of the whole--not a cursory, but a considerate reading.

H. R. H.

SALISBURY, North Carolina, 1855.


Monday, October 18th, 2004, 04:52 AM
Best known as president of the Confederacy during the American Civil War, Jefferson Davis was also a Mexican War hero, served in the House of Representatives and the Senate, and was secretary of war under Franklin Pierce. After the Civil War he became a symbol of the Lost Cause.

The Papers of Jefferson Davis, a documentary editing project based at Rice University in Houston, Texas, is publishing a multi-volume edition of his letters and speeches, several of which can be found on this web site. The site also provides extensive information on Davis and his family and numerous images.


Monday, October 18th, 2004, 05:06 AM
General resources,the Secession Crisis and Before, images of Wartime, Biographical Information, Histories and Bibliographies, Documentary Records, State & Local Studies -- by State, Battles & Campaigns, Rosters & Regimental Histories, ...