Southern Historical Society

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Circular seal with the motto: "The Southern Historical Society, Organized May 1, 1869; Deo Vindice" The central device is a man on a horse, with the text "Re-organized Aug.15.1873.", surrounded by a wreath of assorted plants.
Seal of the Southern Historical Society

The Southern Historical Society was a public organization founded by Confederate Major General Dabney H. Maury[citation needed] in 1869 in New Orleans, Louisiana.[1] It documented Southern military and civilian viewpoints largely related to the American Civil War. They published the Southern Historical Society Papers in the late 19th Century, comprising 52 volumes of articles written by Southern soldiers, officers, politicians, and civilians. The first 14 volumes were edited by John William Jones. The aim was to offer a Southern perspective on the Civil War and oppose the bias of Northern historians. This approach has led to the group being called by modern historians uninterested in academic history. It played an important role in the development of the Lost Cause of the Confederacy movement, reestablishing regional pride, and fueling conservative movements and white supremacism. The organization continued a campaign started by southern writers such as Edward A. Pollard and Robert Lewis Dabney.[2]

The group was supported by many prominent Confederate figures, including former president Jefferson Davis. Other notable members of the group included John Brown Gordon, Daniel H. Hill, Fitzhugh Lee, John William Jones, Jubal A. Early, Walter H. Taylor, Armistead Lindsay Long, Robert M. T. Hunter, Alexander H. Stephens, and Zebulon Baird Vance. The group's influence continues to today, and it is an influence in the Sons of Confederate Veterans and activists in favor of public display of the Confederate battle flag. Historians today use the Society's journal as a source for civil war research as well as an example how historical memory can be shaped and manipulated.[2]


  1. ^ Cox, Karen L. (2003). Dixie's Daughters: The United Daughters of the Confederacy and the Preservation of Confederate Culture. Gainesville, Florida: University Press of Florida. p. 13. ISBN 9780813026251. 
  2. ^ a b Starnes, Richard D. "Forever Faithful: The Southern Historical Society and Confederate Historical Memory." Southern Cultures 2, no. 2 (1996): 177-194

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