Cracker Culture: Celtic Ways in the Old South

By Grady McWhiney | Go to book overview

X
Worth

THE values of Southerners and Yankees, like those of Celts and Englishmen, were not just different--they were antagonistic.1 Observers from the 1600s through the 1800s agreed that as a rule Northerners and Englishmen were industrious and business- minded farmers, traders, and manufacturers who were persevering, profit oriented, enterprising, often cold and stiff, sometimes rude and greedy.2 One Yankee boasted, "We're born to whip universal nature"; another proclaimed, "it has become proverbial, that a Yankee may live where another man would starve." And that model of Yankee virtues, Benjamin Franklin, despite his reputation for in-

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1
On the differences between English and Celtic values, see Richard Ned Lebow , White Britain and Black Ireland: The Influence of Stereotypes on Colonial Policy ( Philadelphia, 1976), 39-40, 46- 48; Phillip Luckombe, A Tour Through Ireland . . . ( London, 1783), 19; Thomas Crofton Croker , Researches in the South of Ireland . . . ( 1824; reprint, New York, 1969), 2, 4, 167; Sir John Sinclair, ed., The Statistical Account of Scotland, 1791-1799 (reprint, 20 vols., East Ardsley, England, 1981), XVII: 573; Daniel Defoe , A Tour through the Whole Island of Great Britain [1724-1726], ed. Pat Rogers ( New York, 1971), 660-79.
2
On English characteristics, see Robert Payne, A Brief Description of Ireland: Made in the Yeere 1589 ( London, 1590), 13-14; Thomas Fuller, The Worthies of England, ed. John Freeman ( 1662; reprint, London, 1952), 543; Margaret Hoby, Diary of Lady Margaret Hoby, 1599-1605, ed. Dorothy M. Meads ( London, 1930), 166, 168; Nicholas Blundell , Blundell's Diary and Letters Book, 1702-1728. ed. Margaret Blundell ( Liverpool, 1952), 55; Samuel Sorbiere, A Voyage to England, Containing Many Things Relating to that . . . Kingdom ( London, 1709), 8-9; Henri M. Misson Misson's Memoirs and Observations in His Travels over England, With some Account of Scotland and Ireland, trans. Mr. Ozell ( London, 1719), 2, 190; [ Beat Louis Muralt ], Letters Describing the Character and Customs of the English and French Nations . . . ( London, 1726), 12-13, 15-17; Dr. William Drennan to Mrs. Martha McTier, April 17, 1810, The Drennan Letters: Being a Selection from the Correspondence [of] . . . William Drennan, M.D., . . . during the Years 1776-1819, ed. D. A. Chart ( Belfast, 1931), 384-85; Cesar de Saussure, A Foreign View of England in the Reigns of George I & George II: The Letters of Monsieur Cesar de Saussure to His Family, trans. and ed. Madame Van Muyden ( London, 1902), 193-94; George Berkeley , A Word to the Wise: or, An Exhortation to the Roman Catholic Clergy ( Dublin, 1752), 8; [ John Shebbeare ], Letters on the English Nation: Bya Jesuit, who Resided Many Years in London

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Cracker Culture: Celtic Ways in the Old South
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents ix
  • Illustrations xi
  • Preface xiii
  • Prologue xxi
  • I - Settlement 1
  • II - Heritage 23
  • III - Herding 51
  • IV - Hospitality 80
  • V - Pleasures 105
  • VI - Violence 146
  • VII - Moral 171
  • VIII - Education 193
  • IX - Progress 218
  • X - Worth 245
  • XI - Collision 268
  • Appendix - Sources on the Origins of Surnames 273
  • Index 278
  • About the Author 291
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