|Celebrating the South's people, culture, history, and heritage|
In no given geographical area has any part of the world produced the character, statesmanship, political genius, nor the talents in the arts, literature, music, or athletic prowess that the South has produced. Patrick Henry cried out for liberty or death. George Washington led the forces of the American Revolution, struggling for freedom and independence, to victory. Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence. James Madison was the father of the Constitution and George Mason was the author of the Bill of Rights. John Marshall, Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court, construed that covenant for posterity. All were Southerners.
Not only was our form of government, established to guide the union of American republics, primarily created by sons of the South, dedicated to the independence of the republic and the sovereignty of its several states, but the American Experiment itself expanded under Southern statesmanship. The English colonies were first liberated, to become the thirteen sovereign nation-states of the American union, known as the United States of America, under the leadership of Washington. Under the administration of Thomas Jefferson, the geographic area of the republic was doubled in size with the Louisiana Purchase – out of which fifteen independent states were carved in whole or in part. Florida was purchased from Spain under the administration of James Monroe.
The independence of Texas was achieved through the leadership of Sam Houston and Stephen Austin, both sons of the South, and the spirit of Texas was born in the Alamo under the heroism of Southern patriots.
The war with Mexico in 1846 was won under the generalship of Winfield Scott and Zachary A. Taylor, and with the heroism of Jefferson Davis, John A. Quitman, Thomas Jonathan (Stonewall) Jackson and Robert E. Lee, all Southerners. And the Treaty of 1848, in which Mexico ceded claims to Texas, California, Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah, and part of Colorado, was negotiated under the presidency of James K. Polk of Tennessee. Under this same administration and with the statesmanship of John Calhoun of South Carolina, the Oregon Claims were settled with Britain.
Immediately following the War for Southern Independence, President Andrew Johnson, of Tennessee, was a key player in the purchase of Alaska.
Though the original sons of the South were transplantations, environment had its effect upon their character. Just as the longhorns on southwest ranges evolved into a breed different from the Spanish cattle that strayed from the herds of Cortez and De Soto, and the wild mustangs were a departure from the ponies imported by the explorers, the Southern plantation produced a type peculiar to the South, and the wild frontier fashioned a rugged individual not duplicated in history.
The Confederates believed themselves to be the political and spiritual heirs of the founders of the republic. That faith prompted them to center the image of Washington in the Great Seal of the Confederacy. From that time forward, Southerners have continued to distinguish themselves in politics, athletics, business and the arts. Many of the greatest achievements by Americans of the 20th Century were accomplished by Southerners.
Primarily, history is people. So this collection of biographies of a unique breed of stalwarts is in the hopes it will enrich the lives of all who pause to review the records of these people. These individuals, regardless of their life pursuits, have had an impact on not just the American continent, but on the world, and they are one and all Southerners.
(Parts of the above commentary borrowed from Clayton Rand’s “Sons of the South”)
For genealogical information on some of the historical figures below, go to www.genealogy.com.