Emerson on England

“I feel, in regard to this aged England, with a kind of instinct, that she sees a little better on a cloudy day, and that, in storm of battle and calamity, she has a secret vigor and a pulse like a cannon.”

I’ve always liked that Emerson quote, and interestingly, Queen Elizabeth II repeated it when she visited the United States in long-ago 1991.

WASHINGTON, May 16— Queen Elizabeth II celebrated the cooperation and commonality between the United States and Britain in an address to Congress today.

“Some people believe that power grows from the barrel of a gun,” the Queen said in her remarks to a joint meeting of Congress. “So it can, but history shows that it never grows well nor for very long. Force, in the end, is sterile. We have gone a better way: our societies rest on mutal agreement, on contract and on consensus.”

It was the first time a British monarch has ever addressed Congress, although royalty from other countries have made similar speeches.”

There were foreshadowings of the trouble to come during the Queen’s visit:

“The Queen said the United States and Britain were “doing our best to re-establish peace and civil order in the region” after the gulf war.

“Unfortunately, experience shows that great enterprises seldom end with a tidy and satisfactory flourish,” she said, adding that the United States and Britain had “a special advantage in seeking to guide the process of change because of the rich ethnic and cultural diversity of both our societies.”

A Buckingham Palace spokesman said the Queen’s remarks had been written by British Embassy officials.”

The Queen’s visit was also disrupted by protests from various American ethnic grievance-mongers:

Representative Joseph P. Kennedy 2d, Democrat of Massachusetts, and several other colleagues boycotted the monarch’s speech to Congress, “in protest to the British occupation in northern Ireland,” Mr. Kennedy said. Across the street from the Capitol, two dozen Irish-Americans opposed to the British occupation of Northern Ireland also protested the Queen’s visit.

Representative Gus Savage, Democrat of Illinois, along with the Rev. Al Sharpton, the civil rights advocate from Brooklyn, urged blacks to stay away because of Britain’s decision to lift sanctions against South Africa and because of what they called growing racial tensions in England.”

Can the clock be turned back to a time before we all started to cower before these grievance-merchants and shakedown artists? Everyone says dogmatically that ”we can’t turn the clock back”. No, we can’t truly travel backward in time, but we can at least make an effort to reset things to before the madness set in. It’s vital not to let the usual strident, shrill voices of the left-extremists drown out the voices of sanity.

The Brexit vote, I hope, demonstrates the truth in Emerson’s assessment of the English.


Brexit: Who was it who ‘defied their jailers’?

St. George's flag_01

The Brexit referendum, on whether the UK or ‘Great Britain’ is to stay in the EU, passed, and by a respectable margin.

The headline of this article, from the UK Daily Mail, says ‘This was the day the British people defied their jailers.’ Was it? The Scots vote indicates that they strongly favor staying in the EU. The Welsh seem to lean in that direction. London itself, being demographically very un-English, and even un-British, voted to stay in the EU.

So it was primarily the English, that is the people who are of ethnic English (Anglo-Saxon) origin, who ‘defied their jailers.’ Not the British; the term ”British”, though used very loosely and incorrectly as a synonym for ‘English’, includes the Scots, the Welsh, the Ulstermen, and the Cornish. It’s a civic term, ”British”, and in terms of this election, we see that the term ”British” does not describe a homogeneous or monolithic group of voters.  Just as the term ‘American’ can encompass people as disparate as Alaskans and Manhattanites, the term ”British” is not an ethnic descriptive; there is kinship between the various UK nationalities, but they are not the same folk. The Scots, the Welsh, and anyone who identifies as Celtic will assertively tell you they are not English; some will claim the term British but many disown even that.

In any case, the fact that Brexit passed is to be credited to the English, whether they thought of it in those terms or not. Sadly, many ethnic English have come to think  of themselves only as their civic identity, ‘British’  or perhaps they use the two terms interchangeably, not really thinking about it.

The English who think of themselves by their civic identity, ironically, resemble many Anglo-Saxon descended Americans, who identify primarily, or only, as ‘Americans’, which is another civic identity, like the umbrella term ‘British.’

To be ‘British’, or ‘just American’, implies nothing about one’s ancestry, especially in this day of mass immigration, ethnic cleansing, racial displacement/replacement, and loss of identity.

The term ‘British’ and the careless way in which it is used when the ethnic term ‘English’ is really meant, is another method of identity erasure, just as the ‘American’ identity has now become stripped of real meaning.

In any case, I hope this vote today, if nothing else, becomes a turning point, and a re-awakening of a sense of heritage and specifically Anglo-Saxon roots in the UK. The ‘Celts’ in the UK have their own aggressive nationalisms, which seem these days to be based mostly in hostility towards the English, but the ethnic English have yet to awake.

Here’s to an awakening of the sleeping English. Sent from a kinswoman across the Atlantic.

The Great Migration

Those who are descendants of the original New England colonists, and even those who are simply interested in the early history of this country and the people who settled here, should be interested in this piece about New England’s Great Migration. Posted at the website GreatMigration.org, it contains some good basic information about the subject.

These days the early Puritan colonists are generally in bad repute, for obvious reasons. The political left despises the White Anglo-Saxon roots of this country, and tries to downplay those origins when they are not affirming the origin by disparaging those ‘dead old White males’. Others loathe Puritans because the name ‘Puritan’ has been distorted to mean simply ‘Christian bigot’ or ‘judgmental prude’. Lately some historians have tried to lay the blame for today’s problems at the feet of the Puritan New Englanders, and this line has been uncritically accepted by many people.

It’s often been alleged by those wanting to defame the early colonists that they were ‘the scum of England’. I’ve read in Internet comments that ‘the Puritans were run out of England’ because they were allegedly such an undesirable element. These statements are just wrong, and it needs to be pointed out by someone.

First of all, they were not the dregs of society, not beggars or charity cases; rather they were  mostly middle-class people, and educated people.

As to their reasons for coming to the New World, their reasons were not mercenary as with some later waves of newcomers expecting streets paved with gold. They came in order to practice their religion freely, whereas they faced persecution and sometimes imprisonment in England for their dissident religious views. And contrary to what their critics say, their views were not fanatical nor were they a threat to any but to those who wanted to enforce a certain form of religion.

The peak years of the Great Migration lasted just over ten years — from 1629 to 1640, years when the Puritan crisis in England reached its height. In 1629, King Charles I dissolved Parliament, thus preventing Puritan leaders from working within the system to effect change and leaving them vulnerable to persecution. The Massachusetts Bay Colony, chartered in the same year by a group of moderate Puritans, represented both a refuge and an opportunity for Puritans to establish a “Zion in the wilderness.” During the ten years that followed, over twenty thousand men, women, and children left England to settle permanently in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. In 1640, when Parliament was reconvened, attention was redirected from the New World back to the old and migration to New England dropped sharply.”

As to their skills and qualifications:

Great Migration colonists shared other distinctive characteristics. New Englanders had a high level of literacy, perhaps nearly twice that of England as a whole. New Englanders were highly skilled; more than half of the settlers had been artisans or craftsmen. Only about seventeen percent came as servants, mostly as members of a household. In contrast, seventy-five percent of Virginia’s population arrived as servants. And in much greater proportion than the English population as a whole, New England settlers came from urban areas.

Unlike colonists of other regions, the Great Migration colonists were primarily middle class, and few were rich or poor.”

So much for the charges that they represented a class of undesirables who were expelled from their home country.

I have no ‘North vs. South’ axe to grind here; I am not interested in pitting one side against the other, ‘Yankee’ vs. Southron as in the case of many who discuss this subject. On one side of my ancestry I have Jamestown colonists, on the other, New England Puritan separatists who came here for religious reasons, primarily. I have no interest in caricaturing one side or the other. There are no doubt differences between the two groups of colonists, but those differences have been highly exaggerated in my lifetime, largely thanks to the bitter legacy of the War Between the States, manifesting in the Civil Rights coup of the 1950s-60s, and the festering social divides ever since.

For the record my sympathies and allegiances are decidedly Southern, when it comes to the issues that provoked the ‘Late Unpleasantness.’

The fact remains that the Puritans of New England and the Jamestown colonists were overwhelmingly English by blood and by culture. Both groups were overwhelmingly Protestant though the Anglican side was more ‘high church.’ The idea that the two groups were distinct peoples, different ethnic groups is an exaggeration. [See Kevin MacDonald’s discussion of the ethnic/genetic difference idea here]. Not all New Englanders were from East Anglia as David Hackett Fischer suggests. I know my New England ancestry very thoroughly, and they hailed from different regions of England, not just East Anglia. Not all my Southron ancestors came from the South or West of England either; a good few came from Yorkshire in the North, for example.

Oversimplifications and generalizations harm more than they help here.

But back to the much-maligned Puritans: they were a remarkably fertile and healthy population.

Another aspect of life in New England proved noteworthy: the remarkable health and longevity of the population. Many colonists lived to the age of seventy, and a substantial number lived to be eighty. Both male and female settlers in New England lived significantly longer than their English counterparts. This longevity is no doubt due to a variety of factors: dispersed settlement patterns, lack of epidemic disease, the healthful effects of a “little ice age,” clean air and water, possibly a better diet, and the original good health of most immigrants. Also, infant and childhood mortality rates were lower in New England, and the settlers produced large and healthy families — most having seven or more children. Accordingly, New England experienced  tremendous population growth within the lifetime of first generation settlers”

I can vouch for this in my family. New England as a region kept very complete records regarding births, deaths, causes of deaths, and more. There is a great deal of information out there to be found by those who have family ancestry there. In my own family tree there were a lot of long-lived people, hardy people, and they lived under very spartan conditions that would seem real hardships to us: extremes of climate living in drafty houses, scarcities of everyday necessities, the threat of Indian attacks, and the occasional deadly epidemic. Yet as the article says, they seemed to thrive and multiply in spite of that. In my family tree there were many couples with 6 or 8 children, sometimes more.

In that respect they were similar to the Southron side of my family; as they too were Christian people who saw children as a gift from God, family sizes were large. Early death was always a presence but widowed spouses usually remarried and had ‘blended’ families with the new spouse.

This was true in the wealthy families as often as in the middle-class families. My ‘planter’ class Southron ancestors had large families also.

The point about large family sizes and the great fertility of the early colonists is important, because modern-day propagandists tell us that this country ‘needed’ mass immigration to populate a big, empty continent. If that is the case, if immigration on that scale was necessary to the ‘Manifest Destiny’ mission, then we might have been better off without expanding over the whole continent. But with natural increase being what it was, the original-stock Americans might have eventually populated the whole continent without importing millions upon millions of incompatibles, thus leading to the ‘Proposition Nation’ Babel scenario of today.

It’s worth following the links at the Great Migration website. There is considerable reading material there.



“No such thing”

There have been a number of recent blog posts and discussions around the Internet on the subject of American identity, the national question. What is an American? Who is a ‘real American’? Into any such discussion, somebody will inevitably make the statement that no one born in the United States is fully of any one ethnicity. There is “no such thing” as an English-American especially, because the original colonial stock is by now hopelessly blended with every other possible ethnicity, especially given the lack of ethnocentrism exhibited by many ‘WASPs’.

Is this true? Are there no Americans who are predominantly or mostly of English descent now? I don’t know that there is any definitive data on that. Barring universal DNA testing (which I would not favor), without scrupulous genealogical data being maintained by all Americans, we have mostly subjective claims behind most Americans’ ethnic identification. Many people have only bits and pieces of genealogical data, or even less reliable sources of information like family lore based on oral history.

My family tree, on both sides, goes back to colonial times in all our lines, and incredible though some people may find it, they were predominantly of English origin — except for some Huguenots, and then there were some Germans who were part of the Germanna Colony which was established in the South in the 1700s.

This, I think, is typical of many original stock, colonial origin Southrons. And it was more likely in the South to stay within one’s own ethnic kin, considering that the South received very few immigrants for much of its history. It’s true that certain locales took in immigrants, as New Orleans had many Sicilians. Overall, though, the percentages of foreign-born in the Southern states remained in the single digits throughout the 20th century. According to Henry Pratt Fairchild in his book Immigration, a World Movement and its American Significance, the Southern states had an average percentage of foreign-born of about 5 percent, the lowest in the entire nation in the early 20 century.

Those who have always lived in certain of the states outside the South may find it hard to imagine an area of America which did not experience great waves of immigration in the past, or an area in which there are not a congeries of different ethnicities, as in parts of the Midwest and the Northeast. I suspect that many of those who say there is ”no such thing” as an American of majority English ancestry are people from the more ‘diverse’ regions.

In recent years there is the phenomenon, in the South, of people identifying exclusively as ‘Scots-Irish’ or the generic ‘Celtic’, to the exclusion of any possible English ancestry they may have. This confuses things more, as many of these partisans have spread the meme that ‘the South is Celtic.’ The ‘Celtic South’ meme is everywhere.The blogger “n/a” from the race/history/evolution blog says:

“I don’t see a problem with someone identifying with his patrilineal national origin for census purposes while remaining aware of his overall ancestry. What I find irritating is the eagerness of some with American ancestry to identify as “Scotch-Irish” after reading a review of Albion’s Seed, or “Celtic” in the name of Celtic Southronism, or “German” because they had a German great-grandfather, and then declare themselves at war with or at least safely distinct from evil/culpable “WASPs” / “Anglo-Saxons” (which appellations in reality describe the core of the breeding population from which the newly self-identified Borderer/Celt/German sprung)”

I second what “n/a” says.

The aforementioned blog is a great source of information and data about American ethnic origins, and the blog is a rarity in that it takes a somewhat more Anglo-friendly stance than most blogs out there.

No doubt there are people with some Ulster lineage (known as ‘Scots-Irish’ though their progenitors may have been ‘border’ folk in the Northern English counties, Anglo-Saxon by blood) but we might just as easily say that ‘there is no such thing as a 100 percent Celtic Southron.’ Most people don’t know their genealogical data with certainty. But the Celtic identity is in vogue now.

And it is our English forebears who are being slighted here, with many of their present-day descendants preferring not to identify as English-descended Americans.

This results in a strange discourse in our post-American America, wherein ”WASPs” are spoken of as if they are extinct, and no longer present to speak for themselves, yet paradoxically there are those who believe in a cabal of ‘WASP elites’ who run everything and cause every ill. So the WASP lives on in legend but the flesh-and-blood WASP Americans, in every walk of life, apparently don’t exist. There’s no such thing…

America: a poem

O, who has not heard of the Northmen of yore,
How flew, like the sea-bird, their sails from the shore;
How westward, they stayed not till, breasting the brine,
They hailed Narragansett, the land of the vine!

Then the war-songs of Rollo, his pennon and glaive,
Were heard as the danced by the moon-lighted wave,
And their golden-haired wives bore them sons of the soil,
While raced with redskins their feud and turmoil.

And who has not seen, ‘mid the summer’s gay crowd,
That old pillared tower of their fortalice proud,
How stands solid proof of the sea chieftains’ reign
Ere came with Columbus those galleys of Spain!

Twas a claim for their kindred: an earnest of sway,
By the stout-hearted Cabot made good in its day;
Of the Cross of St. George, on the Chesapeake’s tide,
Where lovely Virginia arose like a bride.

Came the Pilgrims with Winthrop; and, saint of the West,
Came Robert of Jamestown, the brave and the blest;
Came Smith, the bold rover, and Rolfe – with his ring,
To wed sweet Matoaka, child of a king.

Undaunted they came, every peril to dare,
Of tribes fiercer far than the wold in his lair;
Of the wild irksome woods, where in ambush they lay;
Of their terror by night and their arrow by day.

And so where our capes cleave the ice of the poles,
Where grooves of the orange scent sea-coast and shoals,
Where the forward Atlantic uplifts its last crest,
Where the sun, when he sets, seeks the East from the West;

The clime that from ocean to ocean expands,
The fields to the snowdrifts that stretch from the sands,
The wilds they have conquered of maintain and plain;
Those Pilgrims have made them fair Freedom’s domain.

And the bread of dependence if proudly they spurned,
Twas the soul of the fathers that kindled and burned,
Twas the blood of old Saxon within them that ran;
They held – to be free is the birthright of man.

So oft the old lion, majestic of mane,
Sees cubs of his cave breaking loose from his reign;
Unmeet to be his if they braved not his eye,
He gave them the spirit his own defy.

Arthur Cleveland Coxe