Visualizing the Union in 1861

Slate’s history blog, the Vault, has come through again with another incredible primary source from our Civil War. You may remember a couple of weeks ago I shared a Civil War board game. For those Americans who had trouble comprehending the relationship between the federal government and the states, along with the overarching importance of the Constitution, Cincinnati lawyer N. Mendal Shafer created the infographic below in 1861. Notice that all of the states are included. The diagram was clearly intended not only as a primer for schoolchildren, but also as an argument for the preservation of the Union. Continue reading “Visualizing the Union in 1861”

It’s About the History

Update: Jimmy Price offers a response to this post. Just to clarify that I did not delete any comments in that post, though it is always possible that it came through as spam and was automatically discarded. I am pleased to see that Jimmy is relieved by my clarification that many of the comments expressed following the post do not reflect my own views. I will do my best to return the favor.

Jimmy Price takes issue with my last post, which features a video of three Liberty University history professors discussing the causes and legacies of the Civil War. My brief comments focus on the content of the video and do not in any way attempt to explain their views by criticizing their religious and/or political views. I don’t know anything about either. This is a way of saying that I agree with Jimmy that many of the comments that followed the post are troubling for the reasons he cites. I am glad to hear that his experience at Liberty was fruitful and that he was exposed to reputable scholarship related to the period. Continue reading “It’s About the History”

Alistair Cooke Explores America’s Civil War

This BBC documentary hosted by Alistair Cooke, which aired in 1972, is well worth watching if you have the time. The content of the documentary reflects some of the new scholarship on slavery but overall the script is marred by the Lost Cause narrative and a problematic view of Lincoln and, especially, Reconstruction. Some of the places visited by Cooke include the Custis-Lee Mansion, Shiloh National Military Park, Boone Hall Plantation, South Carolina, and Natchez, Mississippi. Enjoy.

[Uploaded to YouTube on October 14, 2014]

Outrage From Old Virginia

Update 2: Guilty as charged. It turns out that I “completely agreed” with a comment that included the word ‘manure’. I was responding to the reference to Baptist. Williams really needs to get a life. Although there is a Part 2 scheduled from Williams, I will do you all a favor and move on.

Update: Hypocrisy lives in Old Virginia. Apparently, Richard Williams disapproves of my reference to him as “insecure” but he has no problem describing me as a “Northern elitist” and “envious.” And how does linking to a story implicate me with every word choice? I simply linked to the story. Unfortunately, this is business as usual for Williams. He should look more closely at the kinds of websites he links to as well as his own track record of generalizing and insulting people that he knows nothing about before he goes after others. Continue reading “Outrage From Old Virginia”

Southern Style Before the Yankees Came

Update: Check out Joshua Rothman’s take on this story.

Allure of AntebellumWhat better way to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the release of the movie, “Gone With the Wind” than with a Fall fashion spread inspired by life on an antebellum plantation. That’s exactly what some actress by the name of Blake Lively is doing. I guess this is how one gets old because before today I never heard of this person. Having just finished Baptist’s new book, I have very little patience for such nonsense.

Georgia peaches, sweet tea, and the enticement of a smooth twang…we all love a bit of southern charm. These regional mainstays, along with an innate sense of social poise, evoke an unparalleled warmth and authenticity in style and tradition.

The term “Southern Belle” came to fruition during the Antebellum period (prior to the Civil War), acknowledging women with an inherent social distinction who set the standards for style and appearance. These women epitomized Southern hospitality with a cultivation of beauty and grace, but even more with a captivating and magnetic sensibility. While at times depicted as coy, these belles of the ball, in actuality could command attention with the ease of a hummingbird relishing a pastoral bloom.

Like the debutantes of yesteryear, the authenticity and allure still ring true today. Hoop skirts are replaced by flared and pleated A-lines; oversized straw toppers are transformed into wide-brimmed floppy hats and wool fedoras.

The prowess of artful layering -the southern way- lies in inadvertent combinations. From menswear-inspired overcoats to the fluidity of soft flowing separates, wrap yourself up in tactile layers that elicit a true sense of seasonal lure.

Embrace the season and the magic below the Mason-Dixon with styles as theatric as a Dixie drawl.

Just don’t ask where their allowance for clothing came from or the raw material itself.