Reinhold Niebuhr and the American South by Blake Barton Renfro

guest_blog

Introduction: Guest Blog–Blake Barton Renfro

In southern historical circles, the world traveling, cigar wielding, bourbon swigging gentleman known as Blake Barton Renfro hardly requires any such introduction. For the sake of consistency, we’ll give it a go anyway. JHW and I first crossed paths with Blake at a conference hosted by Emory University. It’s always good to meet a fellow bow tie aficionado, but we had a long haul home, so we graciously excused ourselves from the post-presentation festivities. The more we’ve gotten to know Blake, the more we realize what a mistake that decision had been. Bow tie + potential access to matters of national security + extensive knowledge of evangelicalism + drinks = better than average night at the bar. Add a slew of other well-known southernists, and JHW and I really blew it. Luckily for us, the annual meeting of the Southern Historical Association in Mobile provided an opportunity for atonementand despite our epic expectations, Blake, bow tie and all, did not disappoint. But if you know him, well, you already knew that…

– MCH

Reinhold Niebuhr and the American South

Much has been said about Reinhold Niebuhr’s impact on politics and religion. Perhaps the most vocal and socially engaged Protestant theologian of the twentieth century, Niebuhr’s ideas have recently enjoyed a surging popularity. During the 2008 presidential campaign, both President Barack Obama and Senator John McCain cited him as influencing their views on political power and foreign policy. Journalists including David Brooks, E. J. Dionne, and others thoughtfully appraised Niebuhr’s legacy and reconsidered his relevance for our contemporary political dialogue. Academics also joined the conversation, attempting to resolve Niebuhr’s tragic view of history with his spirited defense of American liberal values. The current interest in Reinhold Niebuhr has largely ignored his views on the national dialogue over race. In part, Niebuhr was not an especially vocal critic of racial segregation, but like many progressives of the day, he usually portrayed Jim Crow as a horrific social tragedy that would only be eliminated through personal conversions and a gradual shift in cultural attitudes. If racial segregation was cast by some as a wholly southern problem, Niebuhr portrayed it as a deeply individual prejudice exacerbated by the larger society.[1]

Reinhold Niebuhr was of a generation of scholars and public intellectuals who wrote sweeping narratives, luring readers with penetrating criticism and lofty conclusions about history, politics, morality, and culture. If the commanding prose were not enough, the book titles were often more daring, and Niebuhr was at the forefront publishing brazen works such as Moral Man and Immoral Society (1932), The Nature and Destiny of Man (1941, 1943), and The Irony of American History (1952). Throughout his academic career at Union Theological Seminary, Niebuhr explored reoccurring themes between power and politics, the temptation to play God to history. He deliberated on this premise and found new meaning and insight from the Great Depression to the Vietnam War. Insisting that history is not a pedantic endeavor, he repeatedly probed the ethical dilemmas facing the nation, forcefully rejecting history as a solution to the human impulse to subdue Mammon.

Born in 1892 in Missouri, Niebuhr was reared in the German Evangelical Synod. He graduated from Elmhurst College and studied at Eden Theological Seminary and Yale Divinity School, where he took an M. A. in 1915 and completed a thesis entitled “The Validity and Certainty of Religious Knowledge.” In the 1920’s, the young clergyman relocated to Detroit where he served in the Bethel Evangelical Church, honing his preaching style and ideas about the promise and peril of modern life. Stricken with increased labor disputes and accompanying racial tensions, Detroit proved an ideal urban setting for Niebuhr to engage his congregation with the Social Gospel’s message of reform and societal uplift. There Niebuhr encountered firsthand the limitations of progressivism, recognizing that instituting large-scale social justice did not always change the beliefs of individual congregants. Nonetheless, he quickly became a leading spokesman for mainline Protestants, presenting guest lectures across the country and writing editorials for leading church periodicals. The national attention eventually resulted in a teaching appointment in 1928 at Union Theological Seminary.[2]

As a clergyman in Detroit, Niebuhr immersed himself in the civic life of the city. Transitioning into academia provided an insular environment, but Niebuhr resisted the temptation to solely lead a life of the mind. Critical of the innocence of the Social Gospel, he remained committed to social engagement and repeatedly challenged the hubris of American exceptionalism. He was also keenly aware of Jim Crow’s grip on the United States, especially the peculiar institution’s roots in the South. Surrounded in New York City by the cosmopolitan and intellectual elite, Niebuhr rarely performed the daily customs of Jim Crow. But, during a 1930 tour of several southern states, he found reason to reflect on racial segregation. He observed a region where whites and blacks lived in close proximity but were seemingly blind or unwilling to acknowledge social inequality. An essay published in The Christian Century, a leading mainline Protestant journal, articulated Niebuhr’s criticism of racial segregation:

I don’t know how a sensitive spirit in the South can escape constant depression at the sight of ubiquitous evidences of Jim Crowism, except by rigorous isolation from the race which bears the brunt of all these social ostracisms. It seems rather tragic in a world in which we are bound to misunderstand the stranger, we insist on adding to these inevitable misunderstandings those which could be avoided if we took some pains to understand people who live near to us and whose lives are bound up with ours.[3]

Despite his aversion to racism, Niebuhr did not always portray it as a political issue; he was preoccupied with changing “hearts and minds.” He was not notably outspoken about the most horrific expressions of Jim Crow, nor did Niebuhr put faith in progressive idealism a permanent solution. “I make bold to predict that the most heroic educational efforts will not eliminate lynching in the South as long as Jim Crowism continues. You can’t breed contempt of one group for another in such systematic fashion and not have an occasional mob push the logic implied to its rigorously consistent conclusion,” he concluded. [4]

Even in a tragic world, Niebuhr found reason to strive for a society where race would not vindicate a person’s lot in life. In the South he saw an opportunity to create an example of interracial cooperation. Collaborating in the 1930’s with southern liberals Buck Kester, Sam Franklin, and Eugene Cox, Niebuhr helped establish the Providence Cooperative Farm in Bolivar County, Mississippi. Situated on two-thousand acres, the farm was intended to validate that blacks and whites could live, work, and worship together in the Deep South. One of the cooperative’s primary supporters summed up the endeavor. “The whole situation is full of possibilities for good or evil-on the one hand, peonage, serfdom, poverty, disease, robbery, eviction and violence; on the other a cooperative commonwealth to guarantee the rights of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence to the Negroes and poor whites.” The farm was essentially an “experiment,” that would create a utopia in the midst of the feudal South.[5]

Funded by northern philanthropists and mainline Protestant denominations, the farm languished for nearly twenty years, subject to near constant financial bankruptcy and internal disputes. Charles S. Johnson, the prominent African American sociologist at Fisk University, observed that the cooperative was more difficult than anticipated: “The interracial policy of the Farm is one of the most difficult to work out satisfactorily, because of the external pressures and the long history of competition and group antagonism.” Like Niebuhr, Johnson alluded to dilemmas inherent in human interaction, suggesting that “if the prevailing pattern is too violently resisted much of the time will be consumed in handling racial details, and if the venture goes on it will induce a martyr complex.” At the same time, Johnson concluded that “if we yield on the racial issue at unnecessary points, merely to facilitate the economic aspect of the experiment, we lose important value of the work.” The quest for practical racial justice, even among downtrodden whites and blacks, met frustration and an occasional feeling of defeat. The Providence Cooperative Farm eventually bankrupted and dissolved, but it imbued later generations with a realistic example of the entrenched white opposition and the many hurdles impeding racial equality.[6]

Charles Johnson’s warning of a nascent “martyr complex” among the cooperative farm participants echoed Reinhold Niebuhr’s thoughts about power and politics. The liberal “hope of redeeming history,” Niebuhr suggested, is prone to an “American Messianic dream,” where political power is subject to naïve illusions of national innocence. Niebuhr’s seminal work Moral Man and Immoral Society examined this tension between individual morality and the inevitable evils of modern society writ large. As the title invoked, individuals can make ethical judgments, but morality is debased when contested within larger groups. Just as Charles Johnson worried that the Providence Cooperative Farm would unintentionally victimize participants, Niebuhr argued that American society could be seduced by visions of incorruptibility and claims to moral superiority. This cautious approach to social dynamics assumed that political discourse over racism, economic inequality, labor relations, and other issues are indelibly corrupted by modern liberal society.[7]

Niebuhrian themes of tragedy, hope, and irony reoccur in narratives of the South’s history and culture. Perhaps the most influential and prophetic southern voice for these ideas came in 1963 from a Birmingham jail. Responding to a group of white clergymen’s letter requesting a more restrained and gradualist approach toward civil rights, Martin Luther King Jr. replied with a measured critique. He challenged the label of “outside agitator,” arguing that “we are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny.” Defending acts of non-violent resistance and “direct action,” King implored white Americans to change their hearts and minds, to reconsider the paradox between the moderate approach to civil rights and the long delayed reality of justice. Delicately balancing two American values of individualism and collectivism, King illustrated how individual freedom relied upon a communitarian obligation to liberty and equality. Where King was hopeful about the prospect of achieving racial equality, Niebuhr remained troubled about the inherent shortcomings of modern liberal democracy. Niebuhr’s restraint foreshadowed the stark reality of obtaining racial harmony in America, but King’s corrective underscored a more optimistic tone in American history, envisioning a nation redeemed from individual human prejudice.[8]

Academic historians occasionally struggle to reconcile these two visions of national identity. The dean of southern history, C. Vann Woodward wrangled with the South’s ability to simultaneously accept defeat and victory, to embrace regional solidarity while touting racial segregation. Woodward found inspiration from Niebuhr in his essay “The Irony of Southern History,” which was the presidential address at the 1953 Southern Historical Association Meeting. Just as Niebuhr contemplated the deceptive nature of American exceptionalism, Woodward described southerners as “blind to evils and imperfections,” unable to fully resolve tragedy and optimism into histories of identity and regionalism. Writing in an era of tremendous social change Woodward critiqued the South’s “suspicious inhospitality toward the new and foreign, a tendency to withdraw from what it felt to be a critical world.” He narrowed Niebuhr’s thesis and focused scorn entirely on the South, but in a follow-up essay entitled “A Second Look at the Theme of Irony,” Woodward recognized the national scale of perceived innocence. The civil rights movement slowly crumbled the white South’s cherished racial dominance, but it also exposed a more alluring tendency to blame the South as counterbalance to American liberal ideals. “The painful truth that Americans were so frantically fleeing,” Woodward suggested, “was that history had at last caught up with them.” That truth, of course, resonated with Reinhold Niebuhr’s dilemma “that power cannot be wielded without guilt [and that] the disavowal of the responsibilities of power can involve an individual or nation in even more grievous guilt.”[9]

Since the time of Niebuhr, King, and Woodward scholars vigorously debated the factors that gave rise to Jim Crow and the dramatic events that eventually ended white supremacy. Reinhold Niebuhr’s towering notoriety in the mid-twentieth century prompted him to act as a social commentator and activist on nearly every pressing issue of the day, and detractors have rightly illustrated his lack of depth and critical insight toward American race relations. Still, his cautious examination of power and history remains an important critique of American democracy. As a new generation of scholars studies the American political tradition, Niebuhr’s ideas will find new meaning. Contemporary explanations rightly underscore racism not simply as a southern problem but one inflicting the entire nation. Regardless of the fault line between scholars of the American South, the imperative to temper judgment occasionally becomes victim to the historian’s own perceived innocence. Interpreting history carries the onus of impartiality, but it also affords the power to convey a moral narrative. Thus, pursuing virtue succumbs to the burden of history, but tragedy nearly always yields hope.

Blake Barton Renfro (M.A., American History, Louisiana State University) is a consultant in national security and defense.


[1] David Brooks, “Obama, Gospel and Verse” The New York Times (April 26, 2007); E. J. Dionne, Souled Out: Reclaiming Faith and Politics After the Religious Right (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2009); John Patrick Diggins, Why Niebuhr Now? (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2011).

 [2] Richard Wightman Fox, Reinhold Niebuhr: A Biography (New York: Harper Collins, 1987); Donald Meyer, The Protestant Search for Political Realism, 1919-1939 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1958); Beth Tompkins Bates, The Making of Black Detroit in the Age of Henry Ford (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2012).

[3] Reinhold Niebuhr, “Glimpses of the Southland” The Christian Century (July 16, 1930): 893-895.

[4] Ibid.

[5] Sherwood Eddy to Niebuhr. April 2, 1936. Reinhold Niebuhr Papers. Box 4, Folder 6. Library of Congress; John Egerton, Speak Now Against The Day: the Generation Before the Civil Rights Movement in the South (New York: Knopf, 1994); Glenda Gilmore, Defying Dixie: The Radical Roots of the Civil Rights Movement: 1919-1950 (New York: Norton, 2008); Arthur F. Raper and Ira DeAugustine Reid, Sharecropper’s All (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1941).

[6] Charles S. Johnson. “Personal Note for Trustees Meeting.” November 1, 1938. Niebuhr Papers. Box 4, Folder 8. Library of Congress.

[7] Reinhold Niebuhr, Moral Man and Immoral Society: A Study in Ethics and Politics (New York: Charles Scribners and Sons, 1932) and The Irony of American History (New York: Charles Scribners and Sons, 1952); Paul Carter, The Decline and Revival of the Social Gospel: Social and Political Liberalism in American Protestantism, 1920-1941 (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1954); Christopher Lasch, The True and Only Heaven: Progress and Its Critics (New York: Norton, 1991).

[8] David L. Chappell, A Stone of Hope: Prophetic Religion and the Death of Jim Crow (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2004); David W. Southern, Gunnar Myrdal and Black-White Relations: The Use and Abuse of An American Dilemma 1944-1969 (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1987; Robert N. Bellah, Habits of the Heart: Individualism and Commitment in American Life (Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1986).

[9] C. Vann Woodward, The Burden of Southern History (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2008 edition); James C. Cobb, Away Down South: A History of Southern Identity (New York: Oxford University Press, 2005).

Posted in 20th Century, General Commentary, Guest Bloggers | 1 Comment

A Review of Brown, Parks, and Phillips, eds “African American Fraternities and Sororities,” by Daleah Goodwin

African American Fraternities and Sororities: The Legacy and the Vision, Second Edition by Tamara L. Brown, Gregory S. Parks, and Clarenda M. Phillips, eds. University of Kentucky Press, 2012. Cloth, ISBN:  9780813136622. $39.95.

ImageTamara L. Brown, Gregory S. Parks, and Clarenda M. Phillips take the lead in documenting the multiple narratives of Black Greek Letter Organizations (BGLO) in their updated collection of twenty essays entitled African American Fraternities and Sororities: The Legacy and The Vision. Calculated efforts to thwart African American economic independence, political enfranchisement, and social equality characterized the turn of the twentieth century for African Americans. During this period, commonly referred to as the nadir—the lowest point in African American history, African Americans increasingly turned inward to address the status of black America. The term black racial uplift represents the efforts and self-help ideologies of African American women and men to positively change the social, political, and economic direction of black people. BGLOs emerged with the primary purpose of black racial uplift to fight “against segregation, discrimination, prejudice, mistreatment, and [for] the advancement of themselves and their people” (71). The hostile racial environment on predominately-white college campuses and exclusionary clauses of White Greek Letter Organizations (WGLOs) and other student groups isolated black collegians and fueled the need for a black collegiate support system. Throughout the twentieth century, BGLOs maintained a necessary presence on college campuses and continued the mission of black racial uplift as several of the works illustrate. The essay by Robert L. Harris Jr. highlights the collective action of BGLOs in the campaign for civil rights, while Lisa Rasheed and Kenneth W. Mack, respective studies, celebrate the academic and legal contributions of black women BGLO members. Since BGLOs inception, Jessica Harris and Said Sewell state “The ideals of brotherhood and sisterhood and benevolence remained fundamental to these organizations especially as they established service, philanthropic, and social activist agendas aimed at challenging and redressing social and economic discrimination in their communities”  (71).

As with black racial uplift, BGLOs also created and replicated social gender expectations and ideals. Marcia D. Hernandez, Anita McDaniel, LaVerne Gyant, and Tina Fletcher explore contemporary gender stereotypes of black fraternities and the extent that those stereotypes influence black sororities’ perception of them. The simultaneous embodiment of the “nice-guy” and hyper-masculine personas by contemporary male BGLO members offers incredible insight into African American masculinity (380). Mindy Stombler and Irene Padavic, as well as Deborah Elizabeth Whaley, argue that fraternities (black and white) reward and reaffirm masculinities that celebrate male dominance and the expendability of women. The studies in this collection enhance the gender narrative of BGLOs by complicating women’s active participation in fraternities.  Some, not all, women are fully aware of this objectification, yet they still align themselves with fraternities. Stombler and Padavic contend that these women participate as ‘little sisters’ or ‘sweethearts’ to further their own personal agendas whether to enhance their attractiveness to sororities, to secure a husband, engage in community service, protection/security, or for “brotherly affection” (294-295). The complex gender performances in BGLOs demonstrate the continued need for detailed analyses on sororities’ production and performances of femininity, sexuality, and hyper-feminine character.

The works in this collection also offer varied interpretations of BGLOs purpose and history. Michael H. Washington and Cheryl L. Nunez break from the dominant discourse and argue that BGLOs sought to “socialize blacks to white norms and values” (156). The authors do not state what does or does not constitute “white norms and values” but imply that BGLOs, as well as early twentieth century black elite and intelligentsia’s, barometer of success (evidenced by educational attainment, economic self-sufficiency, political enfranchisement, and self-determination) in some way belonged to white Americans.  Furthermore, their assertion implies that black Americans did not desire or reward things such as education, and that any black American possessing or pursuing those norms and values disavows black culture. This could not be farther from the truth as evidenced by Crystal Renee Chamber, MaryBeth Walpole, and James Coaxum. Instead they suggest that while BGLOs (and like organizations) “[bolstered] educational attainment, persistence to degree, and overall academic aptitude” they also maintained African connectivity (233). Gloria Harper Dickinson details African preservation in BGLOs via rituals and service projects. Sandra Mizumoto Posey, Marcella L. McCoy, and Carol D. Branch, respectively, discuss at length aspects of African aesthetic retention through branding, calls, and stepping. In another essay, the liberties of Craig L. Torbenson perhaps overstate the role of WGLOs, and, more importantly, dismisses the larger role of black churches, fraternal orders, and benevolent societies in the founding of BGLOs (56). Offering another perspective on the creation of BGLOs, Jessica Harris and Said Sewell recognize how the black church, a spiritual pillar and social center in African American communities, served as a model institution for BGLO principles, initiatives, organizing, and work. Anne Butler builds on the influence of churches by examining the impact of fraternal and benevolent societies on BGLOs. In early America free black people created fraternal orders and benevolent societies to affirm their African past, resist racial and economic inferiority, assert political astuteness, and offer familiar and communal bonds. BGLOs, relying on the template provided by black fraternal orders and benevolent societies, established comparable organizations on college campuses in the twentieth century.

Brown, Parks, and Phillips build on the dominant conversations and portrayals of BGLOs. Readers will appreciate the multiple perspectives these essays offer on this overlooked area of scholarly inquiry. The editors, as wells as the many of the authors, offer practical research questions and point to un/underexplored areas for continued interdisciplinary BGLO scholarship. African American Fraternities and Sororities is a go-to text for not only historic BGLO informational data, but it is a resource elucidating how BGLOs envisioned themselves, then and now, as part of collegiate culture, social reform, political expression, and strengthening African American communities.

Daleah Goodwin                                                                                                                    UGA

Daleah Goodwin is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of History at the University of Georgia. She received her bachelor and master’s degrees in history from Florida A&M University. Her research focuses on 19th and 20th century black women.

Posted in 20th Century, African Americans, Book Reviews | Leave a comment

Bertram Wyatt-Brown, 1932-2012

Southern historians around the world lost a mentor and friend on November 5, 2012.  Bertram Wyatt-Brown, a legend in our field and an inspiration to all of us at Bowtied and Fried, passed away this morning.  He was 80 years old.

No doubt forthcoming reminiscences will chronicle in long lists Dr. Wyatt-Brown’s many academic contributions to southern history, and rightfully so.  He received both a Guggenheim and a National Endowment for the Humanities fellowship and served as President of the Southern Historical Association and Society of Historians of the Early American Republic.  Southern Honor, his best known work, was a finalist for the American Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize.

Even more memorable and meaningful than his scholarship, however, were his manner and demeanor.  Contributions to the academic field for Dr. Wyatt-Brown were not limited to publishable work, but extended beyond them like a hand outstretched to young graduate students at their first academic conference.  Old friends and new acquaintances alike were met with enthusiasm, warmth, a broad smile and a wry remark.  In this way the education Dr. Wyatt-Brown offered reached many more students than those he had in his class.  He provided both an academic and a human paradigm to our profession.

There are thousands of students who knew Dr. Wyatt-Brown better than those of us here at Bowtied, and our thoughts are with all of those who feel his loss so acutely.  As so many people remember him in the coming weeks, we would like to share our memory of him as well, a story that so well captures the humility and appreciation that anyone who met him will recognize.

A little over a year ago, we featured a guest blog by Dr. Wyatt-Brown, a memoir of his time studying under C. Vann Woodward.  The piece was well received by our audience and we, of course, considered it a coup: Bert Wyatt-Brown on Bowtied?  We only named the blog after his signature accoutrement, for crying out loud!  What luck!  Rather than demand our enduring appreciation—which he still has—Dr. Wyatt-Brown asked only that we come to lunch with him at the Southern last fall in Baltimore; he wanted to take us out to thank us for featuring his work.  Needless to say, despite having the debt exactly backwards, he insisted.  No one shown that sort of kindness can forget it.  He was a remarkable person.

Southern Character is a most fitting title for a book honoring Bertram Wyatt-Brown: he devoted a career to defining character through both scholarship and action, and he will be sorely missed.  In remembrance of him, Bowtied presents a review of the book, and we invite you to share any reminiscences you have of the man or his work.

Posted in General Commentary, Guest Bloggers, RCP | 2 Comments

A Review of Frank and Kilbride’s “Southern Character: Essays in Honor of Bertram Wyatt-Brown” by James Hill Welborn, III

Southern Character: Essays in Honor of Bertram Wyatt-Brown. Edited by Lisa Tendrich Frank and Daniel Kilbride. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2011. Pp. vii, 301. $74.95, cloth.

Rarely does a bookImage’s title and cover so fully encompass what lies within than does that of Lisa T. Frank’s and Daniel Kilbride’s edited collection in honor of Bertram Wyatt-Brown. Donning a classic paper-cut profile on its cover, the fifteen essays within its pages pay homage to a stalwart of southern history by extending his scholarly focus on southern character and remembering his personal and professional embodiment of its most revered tenets. A compilation of essays by Wyatt-Brown’s former students and professional friends, this collection spans the spectrum of Wyatt-Brown’s scholarly interests and runs the gamut of southern historical chronology. Beginning with a professional biography and personal memoir of the honoree, then proceeding into various examinations of southern honor and grace, melancholy and dissent, these essays are a credit to their collective mentor and a significant contribution to historical conceptions of southern character across the eighteenth, nineteenth, and twentieth centuries.

The opening essay by close friend and equally revered southern historian Charles Joyner relates Wyatt-Brown’s personal and professional history, highlighting the diversity of interests and pioneering methods Wyatt-Brown employed to carve out his foundational niche in the profession. Giving due credit to Wyatt-Brown’s formidable Southern Honor, Joyner also praises the scholar’s work on the Tappan and Percy families, showing how Wyatt-Brown’s scholarly arc incorporated “Yankee” evangelical dissenters, honorable southern patriarchs, and literary southern paragons into a variegated portrait of a complex southern character. This opening salvo sets the tone for the collection of essays that follow, as they delve into specific and varied aspects of this southern character. Andrew Frank’s analysis of Muskogee identity formation and Christopher Morris’s examination of whiteness and identity in the personage of South Carolina Regulator Gideon Gibson document southern character at the fringe in the eighteenth century.

Essays by Christopher Olsen on honor, manhood, and politics in Mississippi and by Daniel Stowell on Abraham Lincoln’s evolving sense of southern honor show how political loyalties incorporated competing conceptions of honor into ever-evolving masculine identities that were rooted in specific regional contexts but linked across the sectional divide. Lisa T. Frank’s essay examines female honor and its pivotal role in shaping women’s response to William T. Sherman’s invasion of Georgia and South Carolina, as they consciously linked their own honor to that of their men and the broader Confederacy through the symbolism of the violated hearth and home.

Glen Crothers and Randall Stephens both investigate religious dissenters and their tumultuous existence within southern culture and tense relationship with southern identity. Crothers outlines the largely neglected story of Quakers in their antebellum attempt to reconcile competing northern and southern religious identities, linking their ultimate failure to do so with other religious sectional schisms of the era. Stephens focuses on an equally neglected religious group, the Wesleyan holiness evangelists, and their embattled relationship with the prevailing southern cultural tenets associated with slavery and patriarchy, and the perceived threat they posed to southern social stability before the Civil War.

Several essays pursue a transnational tack, including Daniel Kilbride’s look at northern and southern responses to the European revolutions of 1848, where he observes a striking similarity of reaction despite certain sectional divergence, especially with regard to the relationship between slave labor and free labor in preventing or promoting such social unrest. Stephanie Cole reveals how relationships between white women and both African American and Chinese men forced social elites to strictly define racial categories; these definitions were flatly rejected by these working class men and women who forged their own identities through their interaction.

Finally, several of the essays carry Wyatt-Brown’s scholarly perspectives into the twentieth century. Jeffrey Anderson illustrates the historical significance of voodoo as portrayed in the specific works by Zora Neale Hurston and Robert Tallant, showing that historical judgments concerning voodoo’s place within the southern cultural milieu has as much to do with identity formation as it does with the accuracy of the accounts related. Benjamin Houston’s essay on segregationist Donald Davidson engages in the intellectual history of a moderate segregationist, arguing that Davidson provides a link between white supremacy and the later rise of the conservative right. In direct relation, John Langdale’s essay on Mel Bradford explores the delicate line walked by southern neoconservatives in the 1980s. And essays by Andrew Moore on Southern Baptist and Catholic reactions to civil rights and abortion in the 1960s and 1970s, along with a collaborative essay by Chris Beckman, Steven Noll, and David Tegeder on the evolution of southern political responses to environmental protection initiatives in Florida, tackle recent social, cultural, and political issues prominent in the formation of southern identity and character at the end of the century.

Engaging several wide and disparate bodies of historical literature, ranging from eighteenth century ethnic identity formation to evolving nineteenth century gender and race constructions, from literary and intellectual trends to social and political issues of the twentieth century, these essays all clearly bear the mark of Bertram Wyatt-Brown’s illustrious career as a scholar and a mentor. Their diversity of interests demonstrates not only the influence of his work, but also that of his professional stewardship. In guiding subsequent generations of historians, he assured the perpetuation of the type of keen southern historical inquiry they embody. By all accounts presented here, both the field and its scholars rest on solid ground; and Bertram Wyatt-Brown, as a southern gentleman and scholar, deserves the esteemed honor these essays thus bestow.

Posted in Book Reviews, Guest Bloggers, JHW | Leave a comment

Southern Outlaws, Duelists, and Degenerates: Edgefield vs. Little Dixie

For those friends and acquaintances most frequently forced to “enjoy” the company of JHW and myself, this geographical duel will come as no surprise. More than one bottle of bourbon as refereed the two of us boasting which southern locality claimed the worst of the worst: bushwhackers, duelists, horse thieves, scalpers, murderers, degenerates, alcoholics, and hotheads. And, minus the availability of an ’82 DeLorean or other means of Bill and Ted-esque chicanery, we’ve decided to let the good readers of Bowtied & Fried decide once and for all. Below you will find the biographical information of select candidates from both Edgefield, South Carolina, and the Little Dixie region of Missouri. Three men from each side form our bracket. JHW and I have both consented to format and process; there will be no hanging chads or recounts. Please cast your ballot thoughtfully. The ramifications of your vote will resound in bars, BBQ joints, around campfires, and in random panels at the annual SHA meeting for years, if not decades, to come.

Team Edgefield (JHW)

1. Louis T. Wigfall, best known historically as a first-rate Southern fire-eater during the sectional crisis, began forging his reputation for honor-bound pugnacity early in life. An inclination toward booze and bravado led to his first documented affray while attending Jefferson’s esteemed University of Virginia, where he quarreled with a classmate over a young belle who’d garnered their mutual interest. Though he avoided an exchange of shots in this particular confrontation, it established a pattern of belligerence he held to most of his life. Transferring to South Carolina College in 1836, Wigfall spent more time pouring himself drinks in local taverns than over his studies, and often felt his honor tweaked while in Columbia. Eventually eschewing academics altogether, he entered the military and served valiantly in the Third Seminole War. He truly reached his pugnacious peak on the heels of this service, during the 1840 South Carolina gubernatorial campaign. He literally fought for his preferred candidate, fellow Edgefieldian James Henry Hammond, engaging in a fistfight, two duels (and three others honorably adjusted without shots) and was indicted, but not convicted, for killing another Edgefieldian, Thomas Bird, in the first of the duels. The other duel proved the end of Wigfall the duelist—not literally by death, but professionally by exile—in that his quarrel with Preston S. Brooks, another son of Edgefield, crippled his legal practice and forced him to migrate to Texas. In their encounter on the field of honor, Brooks and Wigfall each hit their mark, and both were severely wounded and it was feared, mortally so. But both recovered their injuries, holding only scars and grudges henceforth. Wigfall parlayed his dueling reputation into political success in Texas, ascending to the Governor’s mansion and eventually serving the state in Congress.

2. Preston S. Brooks is by far most renowned for his caning of Massachusetts Senator Charles Sumner in the Congressional Senate chamber in 1856. Shattering a gutta-percha cane with “thirty first-rate stripes,” he permanently maimed Sumner—who “bellowed like a calf,”—and further inflamed the sectional crisis. It was a decidedly honor-bound answer to Sumner’s perceived affront to Senator Andrew Pickens Butler, an Edgefield cousin of Brooks, in a previous speech. Finding courage in the whiskey and words poured out by fellow South Carolina Congressman Lawrence M. Keitt, Brooks exacted his caning and garnered cheers of “Hit him again!” from across the South. He received numerous replacement canes, some carrying that moniker, for his service to the state. But Brooks’s caning of Sumner merely culminated a life of such honor and violence, and the infamous cane itself bore witness, as its need was the result of young Preston’s first encounter on the field of honor. During the 1840 election year, Brooks dueled political rival and Edgefield neighbor Louis T. Wigfall, exchanging shots over perceived insults to their respective candidates. Wigfall and Brooks both received severe wounds and were nearly left for dead. Though both recovered, Brooks carried the wound in a limp, requiring a cane, the remainder of his days. After resigning his congressional seat, Brooks was overwhelmingly re-elected the following year. The toast of the South and pariah in the North, he never fully realized the political results of his rebuke upon Sumner, for he died of the croup on January 27, 1857.

3. George D. Tillman, perhaps most familiar as the elder brother of infamous South Carolina Governor and Senator Benjamin Ryan Tillman, earned a reputation for belligerence worthy of, and example to, his junior sibling in the years before the Civil War. Known for his hot-headedness and fondness for spirits, George Tillman employed both to deadly effect on July 21, 1856 when he shot local Edgefield mechanic J.H. Christian during a game of faro in the Planter’s Hotel lobby just off Edgefield’s courthouse square. A dispute arose over the amount of the most recent bet, and Tillman appealed to the crowd to support his view. In so doing, he invited one of the crowd, Mr. Christian, to voice his opposition, to which Tillman proclaimed “You damned scoundrel, you know it was ten [dollars]!” Christian vehemently responded to this affront, “Who do you call a damned scoundrel?!” Tillman then brandished his .45 pistol and shot Christian in the chest. Christian wheeled around clutching his breast and exclaiming, “Tillman, you’ve killed me!” before expiring. The affair dragged on for two years, as Tillman absconded to Nicaragua with notorious filibuster William Walker, engaging in untold atrocities before returning to Edgefield to face the legal fire of his assault on Christian. Convicted on a reduced charge of manslaughter, Tillman paid the $1000 fine with his reputation seemed no worse the wear. He went on to serve South Carolina in the statehouse, the Confederate military, and later in Congress.

Team Little Dixie (MCH)

1. Bloody Bill Anderson is well-known to fans of The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976); he joined William C. Quantrill’s infamous band of bushwhackers in 1863. Immediately following the death of his sister—Josephine—in the collapse of a Kansas City prison, Anderson took a leading role in the Lawrence Massacre on August 21, 1863. Approximately 200 men and boys were ambushed and slaughtered in the Kansas town. Later in 1863, Anderson parted ways with Quantrill and took command of his own guerrilla company. On September 27, 1864, Anderson and his men carried out two separate massacres in Centralia, Missouri. In the morning, a large detachment of bushwhackers (between 70 and 90) stopped a train carrying between 20 and 30 federal soldiers. Anderson had nearly all of the outnumbered men disarmed, unloaded, and executed on the spot. Later that afternoon, several hundred guerrillas (reports range from 300 to 600) under Anderson’s command ambushed and slaughtered the 39th Missouri Infantry Regiment under Major A. V. E. Johnston. Out of about 150 men, Anderson’s guerrillas killed in the neighborhood of 125—many of whose corpses were scalped and mutilated. A special unit of 100-150 men under the command of Lt. Col. Samuel Cox was formed specifically to exterminate Anderson. Anderson was killed on October 26, 1864, after he and one other guerrilla charged Cox’s entire unit.

2. Though infamous for his post-war exploits, Jesse Woodson James joined a group of former-Quantrill bushwhackers under the command of Fletcher Taylor in 1864. Taylor lost his right-arm to a shotgun and James, along with his brother Frank, fell in with Bill Anderson’s guerrilla company in time for the Centralia Massacre(s). After Anderson’s death, James went with Archie Clement to Texas. In 1865, Jesse James received a bullet wound in the chest but survived to lead a crime spree that lasted from the late-1860s until his death. In 1867, James and Jim Anderson (Bloody Bill’s brother) allegedly murdered Ike Flannery to steal his inheritance. In retaliation, George Shepherd (an ex-guerrilla himself) slit Anderson’s throat on the capital building lawn in Austin, Texas. At the peak of his criminal career, James was a household name (thanks in great part to John Newman Edwards) and commanded the likes of Frank James, Clell Miller, John Jarrette, and the Younger brothers—Cole, Bob, and Jim. This outlaw period involved a blood feud with the Pinkerton Detective Agency and several coldblooded murders. While posing as a Mr. Howard in 1882, Jesse James was shot in the back of the head by Robert Ford; it is widely believed that Missouri Governor T. T. Crittenden contracted Ford to assassinate James.

3. Standing about five feet tall and weighing in at a stout 130 pounds, Archie Clement may have been the most feared—and perhaps the most sociopathic—of all Bill Anderson’s guerrillas. Clement was best-known for scalping and mutilating the corpses of Unionists—military or civilian—and served Anderson as a lieutenant during the massacres at Centralia. In one particular instance, a note was left on a dead Union man that read: You come to hunt bush whackers. Now you are skelpt. Clemyent skelpt you. Following Anderson’s death Clement took command of his guerrilla company and in the wake of Appomattox he refused to surrender. In 1866 Clement led a group of ex-bushwhackers (including Jesse James) on a violent crime spree in Missouri. After violently influencing the outcome of an election in Lexington, Missouri, Archie Clement was tracked to a saloon by Union soldiers. In the process of capturing Clement a gunfight erupted; with a bullet in his chest, Clement managed to escape and mount his horse. Shortly thereafter, Clement was shot off of his horse and Union soldiers reportedly found him downed in the street attempting to cock a revolver with his teeth.

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A Review of Malinda Lowery’s “Lumbee Indians in the Jim Crow South” by Andrew Epstein

ImageLumbee Indians in the Jim Crow South: Race, Identity, and the Making of a Nation by Malinda Maynor Lowery. University of North Carolina Press, 2010. Paper, ISBN: 9780807871119. $21.95.

Native American Studies and History, at least in their strictest sense, can make for uncomfortable bedfellows. The inherently political and interdisciplinary project of the former can buck the austere traditions of the latter. Calls for scholarly work grounded in the lived experiences of Indian peoples by practitioners of Native American Studies went for years unheeded by professional historians, too deep in the archives to reckon with the descendants of their study’s object.  A new generation of historians has thankfully challenged this divide, producing rich studies of Native history from an insider’s perspective. Malinda Maynor Lowery’s Lumbee Indians in the Jim Crow South: Race, Identity, & the Making of Nation (UNC Press) joins this promising historiography, documenting with clarity, detail and eloquence the experiences of the Lumbees – the largest Native nation east of the Mississippi – during the South’s most rigid period of racial apartheid.

To call this a work of only Native American History, however, limits its potential contribution. Like Glenda Gilmore’s Gender and Jim Crow, Lowery upends the traditional boundaries of studies in the post-Reconstruction South by focusing on a previously neglected position. “What were the contours and boundaries of racial segregation for Native American southerners?” Lowery asks.“How did their identities function, and how did the concept of race become institutionalized out of an identity based on kinship and settlement?” (20) The answers are complex, varied and often surprising.

Consider, for instance, the Mayor of Pembroke, North Carolina, who demanded that the Atlantic Coastline Railroad build three separate waiting rooms at the town’s train station: black, white, and Indian. The Lumbees, Mayor McInnis noted in his request, refused to wait in the “colored” area. While the mayor accepted this rejection as reasonable, he was nonetheless alarmed that Indians were often permitted by railroad agents to sit among whites (51). Other whites seized this ambiguity. Lowery recounts her own father’s experience as a union organizer at a carpet manufacturer in Robeson County. To win his support, the plant manager offered Lowery’s father a “small privilege of whiteness,” the use of the white restroom, when no one else was looking (122).

These stories articulate the slippages of race in Robeson County, home to the Lumbee people since well before the nation’s founding. But they make up only one part of Lowery’s story. Equally fascinating – and of significance to anyone studying identify formation in America’s racial milieu –is Lowery’s thorough discussion of who the Lumbees are and how they understand themselves. Lacking a treaty with the United States that guarantees certain standing vis-à-vis the federal government and its colonial position as arbiter of “Indianness,” the Lumbees nevertheless maintained a distinct identity throughout all their various classifications by politicians, bureaucrats and academics. Viewing identity as a historical process rather than a fixed constant, Lowery demonstrates how the Lumbees, a people living in constant tension with non-Indian labels, “took that tension and used it to carve out their own sense of nationhood”  (xii). In the Jim Crow period, that often meant adopting or adapting to segregation to protect a distinct Lumbee identity. Echoing a literature on whiteness not directly addressed here, Lowery maintains, “Race is not merely ascribed by dominant groups but also claimed for strategic purposes” (xv).

If identity is a “conversation between insiders and outsiders,” Lowery is an able interlocutor. She makes no attempt to mask her personal investment in Lumbee history; indeed, it’s central to her methodology. Perhaps this leads Lowery to take a gentler read of certain episodes. Lowery writes, for instance, “While some Indians were undoubtedly as racist as whites, evidence of this fact most often comes from whites, who had every reason to shape the discourse of race in terms that would support their own supremacy.” Whites in North Carolina surely advanced their own agenda through Lumbee racism, but as Lowery acknowledges elsewhere Lumbees too benefited from white supremacy in certain respects and actively participated in its maintenance. Nowhere does the book come anywhere close to apologetics, but an African American living in Robeson County might come to different conclusions regarding culpability. Nevertheless, Lowery’s “autoethnographic” approach is a deeply rewarding experience for the reader, infusing the text with a palpable connection between the author and her subject. The audible presence of Lowery’s voice in the text, including the frequent use of personal pronouns, may be frustrating to some historians, but they should set aside such disciplinary prejudices for this important work.

Andrew Epstein                                                                                                             UGA

Andrew is a graduate student in History and Native American Studies at the University of Georgia, where he is currently writing his M.A. thesis on Haudenosaunee nationalism, land rights, and citizenship in early 20th century New York. He hosts a monthly podcast series called New Book in Native American Studies and is a member of the Graduate Reading Group in the History of Capitalism.  Andrew’s previous contribution to Bowtied and Fried, a piece on the legacy of John Brown, was one of the blog’s most visited guest features.

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Raising Hell in a District of Devils: Honor & Violence as Edgefield Family Tradition

Raising Hell in a District of Devils:
Honor & Violence as Edgefield Family Tradition

By James “Trae” Welborn III

Anglican itinerant Parson Mason Locke Weems once reviled the Edgefield District of the colonial South Carolina backcountry as “pandemonium itself, a very district of devils.”[1] His rather harsh appraisal could easily be deemed the mere ravings of a frustrated clergyman (and sometimes book peddler) short of converts, congregants, and subscribers. But upon examining the turbulent history of Edgefield, violence abounds—much of it prosecuted in the name of masculine honor—and Parson Weems appears both intuitive critic and perceptive prophet. As colonial Edgefield matured into its antebellum years, it never outgrew its raucous frontier beginnings and increasingly exalted its honor-bound traditions. These latter-day recontres may have taken on the more genteel trappings of the code duello, as Edgefield’s most prominent men paraded through the halls of the South Carolina Statehouse and the United States Congress, but back home in the ‘field, honor often assumed its more primal forms. The three families that populate these pages—the Glovers, Tillmans, and Samuels—personify this Edgefield tradition for honor and violence. In them, we witness firsthand the prevalence of honor and its often viciously violent ends. And through them we glimpse the dark personal urges lurking behind the Old South’s public display of honor and manhood.

Scant record of Edgefield’s Glover family survives, beyond census returns and newspaper reports revealing their relative wealth, at least as measured by their considerable slave property, a clear marker of wealth and status in the Old South’s slave society. Their most conspicuous presence in the historical record comes on the county court docket, where they repeatedly found themselves involved in affrays and fisticuffs of the most egregious kind. One such happenstance took place September 2, 1844, when Joseph W. Glover exchanged shots with Lovett Gomillion on Edgefield’s courthouse steps, ultimately meeting his maker by a bullet “in the right breast which killed him instantly.”[2] Arising from an undisclosed dispute, Glover accosted Gomillion outside the courthouse amid a bustling sale dale crowd, exclaiming, “Damn you Gomillion, prepare and defend yourself!” before firing, and missing, his mark. Gomillion briefly retreated, then wheeled around pistol ablaze with the final fatal shot. The whole affair elicited a pointed call by Edgefield’s journalistic paragons for legislation prohibiting“the pernicious practice of carrying concealed and deadly weapons,” asserting that the “welfare of the community” demanded “the attention of our Legislators” in whose “hands must the remedy be found.”[3]

The Glover clan again found trouble nearly a decade later when Eldred Glover strode into Doby’s Bar, just off Edgefield’s Courthouse Square, and demanded that Dr. Walker Samuel explain a certain letter, which Glover alleged Samuel to have written and which contained a number of perceived insults. Dr. Samuel flatly refused an explanation and challenged Glover to meet him the next Monday at Sand Bar Ferry (a noted dueling ground on the Savannah River), saying “and you shall have satisfaction with the weapons of warfare.” After another inquiry by Glover regarding the letter, Samuel tersely responded that he “wished to have no correspondence with a damned rascal.” At this affront, Glover, who went unarmed, punched Samuel, rendering him slightly askew and causing him to drop his saddlebags. The Dr. quickly recovered, however, and drew his pistol, firing twice at Glover inside the bar. Glover took to the streets, with Samuel in hot pursuit, firing at will in Glover’s direction. One of these found their mark, entering Glover’s side and exiting through his abdomen. He perished within twenty four hours.[4] Edgefield’s editors here abstained from comment regarding “the character and complexion of the difficulty,” their staunch reprisal of those carrying concealed weapons apparently not extending to cases where personal friends and esteemed physicians were concerned.[5]

As boisterous as the Glovers appear, their “exploits” pale in comparison to those of the more widely renowned name of Tillman. Our faithful readers will no doubt recall our previous exposition on the heinous murder committed by one George Dionysus Tillman upon the personage of a mechanic of James Henry Christian, wherein we expounded upon the affair’s incorporation of the violent traditions associated with manly honor.[6] Though the elder George certainly set a high standard for belligerence, his siblings rivaled him nonetheless. The youngest Benjamin Ryan undoubtedly kindles the our readers’ memories of the one-eyed plough boy who attained the South Carolina Governor’s mansion in 1890 and entered the U.S. Senate in 1894, serving until his death in 1918. His record of rhetorical vitriol and violent deeds needs no explication here. Another middling brother, John M. Tillman, upheld the family’s pugnacious tradition well, and was thus hurried to his grave on one inauspicious occasion in April of 1860, when he was gunned down on the Plank Road between Edgefield Courthouse and the town of Hamburg in the southerly section of the district. In route to the family steam mill, Tillman’s progress was obstructed by George R. Mays and his son John, who took issue with Tillman, calling him a “damned rascal” and refusing to yield their position to allow Tillman passage. Tillman, in true family form, declared them both “damned liars” while announcing himself unarmed. George Mays vehemently responded “Damn you I’ll kill you anyway!” and fired a shot that lodged in Tillman’s chest. Tillman defiantly proclaimed, “I am a dead man, shoot until you are satisfied!” and the Mays accepted, pouring in three more rounds that found flesh. In the confusion that ensued, Tillman fled in a flurry to his mill, where he related his travails to Dr. Walker Samuel (our esteemed doctor and accomplished pistoleer of yore). The victim exhibited his stout constitution by lingering in a prostrated state for nearly three weeks before expiring.[7] Edgefield’s public pen again remained complacent, acknowledging only that Tillman’s killers were acquitted in court.[8]

The bustling merchant town of Hamburg, on the north bank of the Savannah River in Edgefield’s southern environs, bore witness to the final fatal affray to draw our gaze; one perpetrated by members of the Samuel family hailing from that vicinity. It’s unclear whether this clan claimed kinship with Dr. Walker Samuel who we’ve already twice encountered. Regardless, this collection of Samuel brothers—Joseph, Wade, and Musco—took a different tack in displaying their honor and manhood. On the 18th inst. in December of 1860, the Samuel brothers confronted one James Reynolds, also of Hamburg, regarding a perceived insult he paid them some time past. Reynolds denied the accusation outright, which denial Wade Samuel quickly labeled a “damn lie!” Joseph Samuel then challenged Reynolds to combat, which Reynolds again refused. Being thus denied “satisfaction” twice over, the Samuel brothers pilloried Reynolds with epithets and accused him of abolitionist sentiments. Reynolds, again, refused to acknowledge or deny these accusations, and the brothers proceeded to beat him mercilessly with a cane (an homage to fellow Edgefield pugilist Preston S. Brooks, perhaps) until he fell limp at their feet. The brothers threatened to shoot Reynolds but were convinced otherwise by the gathered crowd, whom they now warned against assisting Reynolds on pain of being shot. One of this crowd, however, did step forward to aid Reynolds, one Stephen Shaw, and the Samuel brothers quickly dispatched his poor soul with twelve pistol shots at point-blank range. Both Reynolds and Shaw expired immediately, the former from a fractured skull and the latter from a bullet to the head. This time, Edgefield’s courts rendered effective justice and convicted the Samuel brothers of a double homicide.[9] Yet Edgefield’s journalists forbore outright celebration of this verdict; they begrudgingly accepted the verdict but evinced a tacit acceptance of the affray and its honor-bound forms.

Thus, here we see Edgefield and her unbridled masculine excess; honor fomenting violence in the name of upholding white manhood. What we don’t see here is how public acceptance of such honor-bound violence could and did permeate hierarchies of race and gender to the decided advantage of the white male head of household. However, the willingness to countenance such honor and violence between white men implied an unwritten approval of the even more violent means of maintaining these relations between blacks and whites, men and women. Honor, in Edgefield and the Old South, could excuse masculine violence and justify its ends, and its actors went to great lengths to portray themselves and their actions in the requisite honorable light, despite their often dark and devilish intent.

– JHW


[1] Mason Lock Weems, The Devil In Petticoats, or God’s Revenge Against Husband Killing, (Edgefield, South Carolina: Advertiser Print—Bacon and Adams, 1878 ed.), 1.

[2] “The Murder of Joseph Glover by Lovett Gomillion, September 2, 1844,”  Edgefield County Judge of Probate:  Coroner’s Book of Inquisitions, 1844-1850; “Fatal Recontre,” Edgefield Advertiser, September 4, 1844—Edgefield County Archives (ECA).

[3] Ibid.

[4] “The Murder of Eldred Glover by Dr. Walker Samuel, March 2, 1852,” Edgefield County Judge of Probate:  Coroner’s Book of Inquisitions, 1851-1859; “Melancholy Affray,” Edgefield Advertiser, March 4, 1852—ECA.

[5] “Melancholy Affray,” Edgefield Advertiser, March 4, 1852—ECA.

[6] “The Murder of J.H. Christian by George D. Tillman,” Edgefield County Judge of Probate: Coroner’s Book of Inquisitions, July 21, 1856,; “Most Melancholy Occurrence,” Edgefield Advertiser, July 23, 1856; Mr. George D. Tillman,” Edgefield Advertiser, November 25, 1857; “Stop the Murderer!”, Edgefield Advertiser, October 15, 1856; “G.D. Tillman, Esqr.,” Edgefield Advertiser, February 10, 1858;

[7] “The Murder of John M. Tillman by George R. Mays and John C. Mays, April 19, 1860,” Edgefield County Judge of Probate:  Coroner’s Book of Inquisitions, 1859-1868; “Inquisition into the death of John M. Tillman, May 6, 1860,” Edgefield County Judge of Probate: Coroner’s Book of Inquisitions, 1859-1868; “Death of Mr. John M. Tillman,” Edgefield Advertiser, May 9, 1860—ECA.

[8] “Court Week,” Edgefield Advertiser, October 1860—ECA.

[9] “The Murder of James Reynolds by Joseph Samuel, Wade Samuel, and Musco Samuel, December 18, 1860,” and “The Murder of Stephen Shaw by Joseph Samuel, Wade Samuel, and Musco Samuel, December 18, 1860,” Edgefield County Judge of Probate:  Coroner’s Book of Inquisitions, 1859-1868; —ECA.

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