Thursday, March 7, 2013

Flogger "Scholarship"? (Smirk)

Flogger Al Mackey has recently featured two posts on his blog accusing the Georgia SCV of lying in videos, the first about the Corwin Amendment, the second about John Brown.

In the second, Mackey writes:

The video claimed that the first person killed was a free black man who tried to stop them.  Shepherd Hayward didn’t try to stop anyone. He worked as a baggage handler for the railroad  He was walking on the trestle, looking for the night watchman, when  he encountered Oliver Brown and Stewart Taylor.  They pointed rifles at him and told him to stop, but instead he turned around and was walking away from them, heading back to the office when they shot him.  [Source: David S. Reynolds, John Brown, Abolitionist:  The Man Who Killed Slavery, Sparked the Civil War, and Seeded Civil Rights, p. 316]
Here is a screenshot of Mackey's source:

I was intrigued by the description of Hayward as bewildered. How'd Reynolds know that? Did Hayward say something to that effect before he died? And if he did, how do we know it wasn't delirium from blood loss? Or some other reason. In the End Notes, I found this reference:

Ah, a quote from Mr. Hayward. If a person were given an order, and didn't know what a word in the order meant, that could result in bewilderment, no doubt. The quote was apparently recorded in another book about John Brown. So I looked that one up and found this:

Note this in the above excerpt:

The command to halt probably meant as little to Hayward as it had to Higgins.
Huh? Probably? Well, did it or didn't it? Saying something "probably" happened is one way a writer can get across a point he wants to make without providing substantiation.

(And don't you just love that passive voice?  "...a bullet passed through his body..."  Perhaps it was just hanging in the air, waiting for a body to come by that it could "pass" itself "through."  Nothing about it being fired from a gun though we can assume it was fired by Brown or Taylor, despite this author's seeming reluctance to point a finger at them even in so obvious a situation.)

The reference to Higgins was accompanied by an asterisk, so I checked the bottom of the page and found this:

Well, well, well, well, welllllll.... So Reynolds' reference to the quote "proving" Hayward's "bewilderment" wasn't spoken by Hayward at all, though anyone reading the page note would assume so. It was spoken by a different person altogether. Villard assures us that the command to halt probably meant as little to Hayward as it meant to the man quoted, Patrick Higgins, though there is nothing in these passages to substantiate Hayward's "bewilderment" or the claim that the command "probably" meant little to him. So we really don't know that, do we?

So from Villard we have a quote from a different person used to suggest that Hayward didn't understand the command to halt; and based on that, Reynolds states, with no reservation or qualification (not even a "probably"), that Hayward was "bewildered."

Is that how flogger "scholarship" works? A quote by one person is used to suggest the mental state of an entirely different person, though there's nothing referenced to substantiate the connection?  It was just "probably" that way?

And speaking of lying, let's go back to Mackey's first reference -- the paragraph by David S. Reynolds, which ends with this whopper:

"A black man was the first casualty of the war for black liberation."

War for black liberation?  There was no "war for black liberation." The so-called civil war was for the purpose of violently bullying the seceded states back into the union. "Freeing slaves" was tacked on well into the war to give the north's "cause" (greed) the illusion of moral superiority.

I ask again, is that how flogger scholarship works? Cite a source and imply that is supports your contention but don't bother to substantiate it? Just expect your readers to accept your "take" on it?

Ah, no. I already suspect that their true motives include demonizing white Southerners, past and future and that will have a direct influence on their writings.

Al Mackey's beliefs (expressed to me in a discussion group I'm no longer a member of) about Julia Ward Howe's declaration that abolitionists wanted to "blow up" the union, further illustrate the flogger-style faith in unsubstantiated (i.e., made up, fabricated) "history." I've already referenced that HERE

What a bunch of hypocrites.


  1. Probably, possibly, most likely, etc -- are purely speculative and very often suggestive and misleading. Leading the reader in the direction the writer chooses. As far as Hayward "probably" not knowing what "Halt" meant, Dr. Starry in his trial testimony indicates that Hayward did -- "afterward found the black man Hayward dying in the railroad office; he said he was commanded to stop by the men on the bridge, and refusing, they fired upon him;"

  2. Flogger "scholarship"? Yes, that is exactly how the Floggers and the non-South and the South-haters function. They simply "say" or "write" something and expect ... no, demand ... that what they say and write is the truth and nothing but, and that no facts to the contrary should even be considered (or printed).

    Once one gets past the point of thinking that John Brown was anything other than a murderer and a butcher with no heart or soul, and declares him to be a righteous and beloved character of american history ... then, like Brown, they are deranged and sadly mistaken.


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