Alt-South: Scientific Racialism

While the large majority of Southerners relied upon the Bible and a Christian perspective in their approach to the African, racial hierarchy and directed labor, some took a scientific approach to the racial question. American historian Avery Craven wrote in The Growth of Southern Nationalism, 1848-1861 (LSU Press, 1953):

Dr. Josiah C. Nott, a Mobile physician and later professor of anatomy at the University of Louisiana, gave the argument a different turn. From his medical practice among slaves he was convinced that the Negro constituted a different species from the whites. He did not believe that the two had sprung from a single pair of progenitors. He insisted that “the Mosaic account [of creation] sheds no satisfactory light on this question” and that the clergy after two thousand years of discussion had only proven that they knew nothing about it. He, therefore, concluded that there had been many creations, no just one. Some animals on the present earth were different from those before the Flood, and must have been created since Noah gathered the few in his locality into the Ark. New lands, rising out of the sea, were known to produce their own peculiar type of vegetation. The wide variety of human types in different parts of the world seemed to indicate that it was the same with mankind.

Physical forces, he argued, could not change one species into another regardless of the changes they might make within a single species. They cold not make a white man out of a Negro, nor a Negro out of a white man. The two races had existed for thousands of years without basic changes in physical characteristics, and nowhere could a relationship be shown between them. The Negro was clearly a separate and inferior creation. Nature had from the beginning destined him for servitude.

Thus the good doctor, who was recommending mesmerism as form for certain ill-defined nervous disorders and suggesting that yellow fever was spread by insects (he even mentioned the mosquito), would turn to science for justification of the South’s peculiar institution. He was laying the foundations for an “Aryan” superiority doctrine.

His approach to the racial question naturally disturbed the clergy of the South, who saw the Bible as providing a sufficient defense of slavery and a more stabilizing influence upon their society than the progress of science. Yet, Dr. Nott was one of the South’s greatest medical and scientific minds. He co-edited Indigenous Races of the Earth (1857) which explored his Polygenistic racial theories, founded the Medical College of Alabama (see featured image) and served as a Confederate surgeon during Lincoln’s War upon the South. He lost both of his sons in that tragic conflict.

Nott’s scientific racialism can be studied and built upon by those of the Alt-South. It provides a native Southern foundation to the future exploration of an important field of study and potential basis for social policy.

ALSO SEE: Alt-South: Unique on This ContinentAlt-South: What is Conservative Government and Alt-South: The Myth of American Democracy

NOTE: As Hunter Wallace has explained, “[t]he Alt-South isn’t a membership organization. It is… a space for everyone in Dixie who isn’t some kind of leftist or mainstream conservative (i.e., nationalists, populists, reactionaries) to come together to discuss our past, present and common future. Southern Nationalists [are] at the core of the Alt-South.”

About Michael Cushman 102 Articles
South Carolinian. Southern nationalist. Anglican.

43 Comments

  1. One reason I enjoy OD is that you provide some fascinating historical articles. Like this one. All this places scientific racialism, the rise of the Confederacy, and American policy up to Brown v Board in entirely new lights. Far from being “ignorance” and “prejudice,” scientific racialism often represented the rational and progressive thinking of the day. Indeed, it is today’s liberals who are ignorant of the actual history, and prejudiced against a scientific explanation of racial differences (cf their response to Jensen, Shockley, Watson, Rushton, et alia).

    The same with the various articles on the Golden Circle, Southern nationalism, and the collapse of Haiti under black majority rule. They provide dissident views which shatter mainstream liberal icons. Have you thought of collecting these articles into a book and publishing it? A sort of “White People’s History of the United States and Parts Thereon.” Might make a good textbook when the time comes.

  2. Open system thinking can lead us to conclude that our origins may well have been from different planets. Notice all the interest in Mars. Is that where our prehistoric ancestors were from? Is this what they are really trying to find out?

  3. I’d don’t think ancient astronauts were aliens. I think they were us. I think there was once an advanced civilisation on Earth that survived only as legends like Atlantis and Lemuria. They may have colonised the Moon and Mars.

  4. Astonishing, isn’t it. What a mental poison SN is. Imagine going through life feeling compelled to defend the most barbarous practices in the name of ‘honoring’ your supposedly ‘glorious’ ancestors. The reality is southern elites were self-interested scum who cared neither for blacks nor for poor whites.

  5. Slavery was an African contribution to our culture. It was their tradition. It was part of the culture of West Africa where land was held in common while labor was privately owned. 🙂

  6. As for poor Whites, the Southern elites were paternalists who identified with the underclass on racial grounds. This wasn’t the custom in Europe where peasants were astonishingly poor and malnourished compared to their American counterparts. The American colonists were probably the best fed, most middle class society in the European world at the time.

  7. If slavery was a barbarous practice, it was their barbarous practice. They were the ones selling slaves in large quantities. It was their custom.

    How so, Hunter? You’ve recently been going on at length about southern elites’ affinities for Greek and Roman conceptions of libertas, in which there was “no contradiction between republicanism and slavery, liberty and bondage.”

  8. Weren’t your ancestors in thrall to the Ottomans at the time, Silver? You think we had it bad here? LMAO. 😉

    That’s certainly true, but I don’t get what’s so funny about it. To my way of thinking, both sets of ancestors’ conditions were downright deplorable. That was the way of the world for the longest time, and why I could never be a ‘traditionalist.’

  9. How enlightened, then, of the South’s leaders to go to war for the embrace of it. Multiculturalism avant la lettre.

  10. As for poor Whites, the Southern elites were paternalists who identified with the underclass on racial grounds.

    I’m heartened to learn they “identified with” their underclass. However, I have a sneaking suspicion they were more interested in using the white masses to keep down black slaves than in the masses’ welfare per se.

  11. Many don’t know about the Scopes trial, except the hit play piece “Inherit the Wind”.
    But one thing is “Civic Biology” states there are 5 races and they are in order from inferior to superior (IIRC, you can find it online) Aus Aboriginies, Africans, Native Americans, Asians, and Europeans. Scopes was more racist than anyone from the KKK, but wasn’t Christian, so there was nothing to temper it with. Eugenics was considered evil by Christians even as they tried to be charitable and lead them to Christ. Margaret Sanger just wanted them sterile or dead

  12. One race finds cures for diseases, builds rockets, jet aircraft, beautiful buildings, luxury ships and will settle us on Mars.
    The other…..umm I’ll get back to you with that. How’s it possible that we’re one and the same? How’s it possible that we’re equal? It suits the leftwing narrative to argue this but its not supported by reality.
    Remember our take and knowledge of this is not trendy or progressive. We’re very unfashionable. In closing, being truthful should never go out of fashion.

  13. Last few years they have discovered 2 or 3 new species they don’t know how to classify. Seriously.

  14. That way of thinking about it only developed after the fact. After slaves had been introduced here and Virginia had become more settled and cohesive.

  15. No one went to war. They were sold on the coast like any other commodity such as gold or grain.

  16. PS It’s interesting, though, that you said “like any other commodity.” Southerners, I notice, reflexively attempt to vitiate, by such diction, moral opposition to the Negro enslavement that was so dear to them.

  17. Just a note to you, Mr. Wallace, from white civilization, with which, as a Southerner, you don’t have the good fortune of being familiar: The diminishing of an opponent’s dignity, in online debate, by use of “lol,” “lmao,” and their variants, is bad manners. All-caps aggravates the offense.

  18. Why haven’t I ever heard of Dr. Nott before? Because there is a hostility towards White Southern men of science and letters in (((publishing))) and (((academe))), that’s why.

    Negroes and Whites clearly developed along different paths, so I am highly skeptical of the jews’ claim that all humans came out of Africa. My theory is that nigras were originally White folks who got lost in the jungle thousands of years ago, mated with chimpanzees and devolved into colored people as a result.

  19. It’s more lethal to state that one’s “race” is his father. Both religion and science can be put to the side and “anti-racism” can be seen for the deep psychological pathology that it truly represents.

  20. Furthemore, no origin story, whether proven or fabricated, can provide a moral legitimacy to the forced integration of the races, i.e., the mad mixing of the fathers.

  21. “Nationalism for Yankees, but not for Southrons. Nationalism for me, but not for thee.” -Silviosilver

  22. That way of thinking about it only developed after the fact. After slaves had been introduced here and Virginia had become more settled and cohesive.

    I don’t see how that makes a difference.

  23. Except the conditions here weren’t Deplorable. There was nothing like feudalism here.

    It’s not just about feudalism. Working people’s conditions were deplorable the world over before the 20th century and the rise of labor parties/social democracy. Much as I loath lefties today, had this been 1917 instead of 2017 I would have been a hardcore social democrat.

  24. If we look at the entire European world at the time, the living conditions of White Southerners around 1776 were about the best that can be found anywhere. Americans were taller than the English. Southerners were taller than Yankees at the time.

  25. That’s like arguing one prison house is better than another prison house. Sure, one may be far superior to another – but it’s still a prison house.

  26. I read an interesting article about this. The author said they didn’t think humans evolved on Earth because of the back problems we get and if we are left out in the sun for two weeks we’d die. His thought is we’re from a world with less light and lower gravity.

  27. Oh, shut the fuck up, you stupid piece of shit, Bill. I won’t be responding to any more of your comments.

  28. The snowflake is triggered. lol

    I will post under your comments, so everyone can see what a dribbling moron you are.

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