Within these cultural regions, new ethnic groups and religious denominations have emerged; but the old regional identities [referring here to the subject of the four main folkways discussed in this book, Albion’s Seed] themselves remain remarkably strong…But attitudes also differed profoundly from one historical region to another. Alabamans despised New England; northerners disliked Alabama. Gould and White were surprised by the persistence of these historical attitudes, which they regarded as temporary aberrations casued by the Civil War. “By the year 2000,” they wrote [in the mid-60s], “we may hope that the mental maps of Americans, northerners and southerners, will no longer reflect the wound established over a century ago.” But these regional antipathies had appeared long before the Civil War and they remained remarkably strong in the twentieth century.
During World War II, for example, three German submariners escaped from Camp Crossville, Tennessee. Their flight too them to an Appalachian cabin, where they stopped for a drink of water. The mountain granny told them to “git”. When they ignored her, she promptly shot them dead. The sheriff came, and scolded her for shooting helpless prisoners. Granny burst into tears, and said that she would not have done it if she had known they were Germans. The exasperated sheriff asked her what in “tarnation” she thought she was shooting at. “Why,” she replied, “I thought they was Yankees!”
– David Hackett Fischer, Albion’s Seed: Four British Folkways in America
Dear Mr. “Whiskey”,
I’ve always enjoyed your comments in various HBD blogs (especially over at OneSTDV’s blog) but haven’t had a chance to visit your own place on a regular basis. However, I do know you share my love for Fischer’s book and identify with what Fischer calls the “borderers”. I have always admired this “folkway”, as the borderer libertarian spirit is an important part of the conservative coalition helping to keep government in check, even if I identify more strongly with the Puritans. However, as a Catholic, I think an interesting question that Fischer only addresses briefly at the end of the book is to what extent do later Catholic immigrants fit into these four folkways or should we get our own?
Anyway, I hope you stop over here from time to time and I look forward to ‘running into you’ in the various comment sections that our paths may cross.