Book Review Wade Hampton: Confederate Warrior to Southern Redeemer by Rod Andrew

Pat Young

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Skipping to the conclusion of the South Carolina Historical review:

While this study is filled with important insights that help to reveal the full life and character of one of South Carolina's most renowned leaders, in the end the author's thesis fails to show that Hampton was a bi-racial governor who rose above his aristocratic planter roots.
 

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1950lemans

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Good thread about such a famous post-war figure. Hampton appears in any general Reconstruction history, especially when it covers SC.
This book review confirms in depth the way he appears in Reconstruction history. I'd venture to call him a "moderate" considering it's post-war and blacks were citizens and voters. I would not have thought of him in any other way. Reading about him you wouldn't have expected him to be anything else.
Looking at Hampton in historical context via this book, his "moderate" views seemed to be way better than fellow Democrats who supported Martin Gary and later Ben Tillman (after Gary died in the 1880s). These two characters and their faction pretty much made the blacks disappear from the scene. Almost literally disappear!
 

Pat Young

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Good thread about such a famous post-war figure. Hampton appears in any general Reconstruction history, especially when it covers SC.
This book review confirms in depth the way he appears in Reconstruction history. I'd venture to call him a "moderate" considering it's post-war and blacks were citizens and voters. I would not have thought of him in any other way. Reading about him you wouldn't have expected him to be anything else.
Looking at Hampton in historical context via this book, his "moderate" views seemed to be way better than fellow Democrats who supported Martin Gary and later Ben Tillman (after Gary died in the 1880s). These two characters and their faction pretty much made the blacks disappear from the scene. Almost literally disappear!
Thanks for following the thread and for commenting.
 

Northern Light

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Part 5:

The Hampton family was rocked in 1843 when rumors emerged that Wade’s four teenaged sisters had been molested by their uncle. James Henry Hammond had married Wade’s aunt on his mother’s side. While Andrew describes Hammond as beneath the station of his wife, in fact he was part of South Carolina’s elite and would run for governor before the abuse began and would be elected the state’s chief executive soon after it commenced.

I found Andrew’s treatment of this horrific abuse completely unsatisfying. He quotes from the governor; “Here were four lovely creatures from the tender but precocious girl of 13 to the mature but fresh and blooming woman nearly 19, each contending for my love, claiming the greater share of it as due to her superior devotion to me, all of them rushing on every occasion into my arms and covering me with kisses, lolling on my lap, pressing their bodies almost into mine, wreathing their limbs with mine, encountering warmly every portion of my frame, and permitting my hands to stray unchecked over every part of them and to rest without the slightest shrinking from it, in the most secret and sacred regions, and all this for a period of more than two years continuously.” (p. 31) This was written by a man who had both been South Carolina’s governor and represented it in the House of Representatives.

Andrew tells us that Hammonds molestations “fell short of sexual intercourse,” but offers no evidence of this other than the silence of Hammond’s diary. He also describes the molestation as “scandalous” and refers to them as Hammond’s “transgressions.” He calls the abuse of a thirteen year old niece a “shameful dalliance” and describes Hammond being force to break off his abuse as “the end of the affair.”

Had Rod Andrew been writing in the 1800s, I might have at least been able to understand his outrageous description of these events. Coming from a 21st Century author in a book published by a scholarly press makes this approach unfathomable.

The author’s description of the reaction of Wade Hampton, twenty-five at the time, and his father is even more difficult to accept. Andrew writes that while could have challenged Hampton to a duel or assaulted him, as called-for by the supposed chivalric code, Wade II decided to neither. Because Hampton was governor it, would, Andrew writes, “bring public dishonor to the governor’s office and to all of South Carolina. Certainly a horsewhipping or caning of the governor would heap disgrace on the state he represented.” (p. 32) Or maybe he was scared of the governor or thought that extracting retribution would compromise his many business interests.

Instead, Andrew writes approvingly, the Hamptons broke off all relations with Uncle James. This meant he could no longer have the best guests at his parties. In spite of all the rumors of child molestation, in 1857 James Hammond was selected by the state legislature to represent South Carolina in the Senate. The four girls he had harmed were condemned by South Carolina’s elite society to permanent spinsterhood and childlessness.

Part 6 follows.
So as usual, it was the fault of the women, because he was obviously incapable of putting himself at a distance from the wicked advances of those young girls. Excuse me while I go and vomit.
 

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OK, cain't help myself, here just one.

Janet Schaw described the method of coercion in North Carolina (although she
writes about the coastal area, her observations were generally perceptive), as the officer
of member of the Committee of Safety visited the plantation and proposed two
alternatives: join us and you and your property will be safe, refuse and “we are directly to cut up your corn, shoot your pigs, burn your houses, seize your Negroes.”
8
Loyalists were afforded little protection when the local governments made the threats.
Increased regulation disenfranchised and penalized the loyalists, however the first
blood shed by the British heightened the need to completely subdue dissenting segments
of the population. The military action defined an enemy for specific action to be taken
against. In his study of propaganda of the period, Davidson asserts that hate is the most
important factor in war psychosis, “An unreasoning hatred, a blind disgust, is aroused not against policies, but people.”
9
Alexander Chesney and Tarleton Brown, loyalist and patriot respectively, each wrote about his experience in the American Revolution and justified his actions in the civil war.

Chesney provides some insight into the life of a loyalist in 1775. He fit the pattern
of new immigrants tending be loyalists, having arrived from Ireland in October of 1772.
From 1773 to 1775 his family increased in prosperity on their tract of land on the upper
reaches of the Pacolet River, “without any particular occurrence . . . until 1775 that
resolution were [sic] passed for signatures at the meeting House by the Congress Party,
and I opposed them.” He discussed the Treaty of Ninety-Six, followed by the
imprisonment of Fletchall and Mayfield--although under the protection of a truce. He
tells of Richardson’s expedition to Ninety-Six, imprisoning some of the loyalist leaders
and disarming the remainder under similar circumstances.10​
Much of the same type of coercion took place in the North as well. It was not a pleasant time to live through. How much violence was based on political ideology and how much was based on greed is hard to separate, but from my reading and interpretation, greed was likely the most likely catalyst.
 

Pat Young

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So as usual, it was the fault of the women, because he was obviously incapable of putting himself at a distance from the wicked advances of those young girls. Excuse me while I go and vomit.
And of course the youngest was only 13 years old. It is really disgusting.
 

matthew mckeon

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And of course the youngest was only 13 years old. It is really disgusting.
It bothers me about Hampton more than anything else. I mean he was a segregationalist and slave owner and so forth. But that's who he was, a 19th century South Carolina aristocrat. But his inaction in the face of this assault on his family seems to be a violation of his own standards and values. What good is this prickly sense of honor and distinguished lineage and the no gentleman, suh, will tolerate an insult to his family business, if he sat still for a swine like Henry Hammond?
 

Northern Light

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The only decision I can't quite make up my mind about Wade is, would he do better in the Plantagenet Court or the Tudor court for intriguing. Seriously. And it keeps coming back to South Carolina again.
Well, as James L Petigru said after South Carolina seceded in 1860, , "South Carolina is too small for a republic and too large for an insane asylum."
 
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Northern Light

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Did the book talk about Wade Hampton and bear hunting? What I've heard is that he liked to go hunting with a knife, and while the dogs kept the bear's attention, Hampton would kill it with a knife. That's one tough guy, to go after bears like that.
Tough..... or foolhardy... or just plain dumb.
 

Northern Light

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It bothers me about Hampton more than anything else. I mean he was a segregationalist and slave owner and so forth. But that's who he was, a 19th century South Carolina aristocrat. But his inaction in the face of this assault on his family seems to be a violation of his own standards and values. What good is this prickly sense of honor and distinguished lineage and the no gentleman, suh, will tolerate an insult to his family business, if he sat still for a swine like Henry Hammond?
Well, I have never been much of a fan of the whole"calling out" machismo nonsense because it just seems so stupid, and I can see in that time and place how hushing it up to protect the girls' reputations might seem the best course of action, so I am not sure how they might better have handled the situation, except perhaps a little private knife work out behind the barn, playing "let's go hunt a nasty ol' bear." Being "cut" by the family probably hurt him more than a slap on the wrist by any judge. Oh course, it was the girls that suffered the most, both being disgraced for no longer being pure, never marrying or having children of their own, not to mention being traumatized by their experience.
 

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Wade's son said the legend exceeded the facts. He said that Hampton had done it once in an emergency because his dogs were being attacked.
I recently attended a talk about Wade Hampton given by Joe Long, one of the curators at the Confederate Relic Room at the SC state museum. The bear hunting account he gave is pretty much what you've said here, that he liked to take his dogs hunting bear, and he ended up having to kill the bear with a knife because he couldn't get a good shot without hitting the dogs. Once people heard about the incident, they built it up and expected Hampton to always hunt with a knife. And apparently he did use a knife instead of a gun after that first incident, at least according to Theodore Roosevelt of all people.
 

Pat Young

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I recently attended a talk about Wade Hampton given by Joe Long, one of the curators at the Confederate Relic Room at the SC state museum. The bear hunting account he gave is pretty much what you've said here, that he liked to take his dogs hunting bear, and he ended up having to kill the bear with a knife because he couldn't get a good shot without hitting the dogs. Once people heard about the incident, they built it up and expected Hampton to always hunt with a knife. And apparently he did use a knife instead of a gun after that first incident, at least according to Theodore Roosevelt of all people.
I think that TR was repeating or embellishing the legend. Hampton clearly enjoyed hunting a lot, but he did not have a death wish. Except when he was in close combat during the Civil War, he typically took normal measures for rational self-preservation.
 

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So as usual, it was the fault of the women, because he was obviously incapable of putting himself at a distance from the wicked advances of those young girls. Excuse me while I go and vomit.
James Hammond's vile behavior didn't end with the Hampton sisters.

https://www.headstuff.org/history/james-henry-hammond-pro-slavery-paedophile-politician/

Through this Catherine stood by her husband, but in 1850 he finally pushed her too far. As with many slave-owners of the day, Hammond began sexually assaulting one of his slaves, a woman named Sally Johnson. This began in 1839 when she he purchased her aged 18. Along with Sally came her daughter Louisa, a baby at the time. When Louisa reached the age of 12 years old in 1850 then Hammond began sexually assaulting her as well. This appears to have been the final straw for Catherine, and she gave Hammond an ultimatum – sell the two women, or else she would leave. When he refused to do so, then she left, and took their children with her. Hammond blamed her mother for this (as always, it had to be someone else’s fault), declaring:

I trace it all to the horrible connection, which Satan seduced me into forming with the vulgar Fitzsimmons family, whose low Irish descent and hypocrisy can only be compared with their low-Irish pride, selfishness and utter want of refinement and tone.

 
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Northern Light

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James Hammond's vile behavior didn't end with the Hampton sisters.

https://www.headstuff.org/history/james-henry-hammond-pro-slavery-paedophile-politician/

Through this Catherine stood by her husband, but in 1850 he finally pushed her too far. As with many slave-owners of the day, Hammond began sexually assaulting one of his slaves, a woman named Sally Johnson. This began in 1839 when she he purchased her aged 18. Along with Sally came her daughter Louisa, a baby at the time. When Louisa reached the age of 12 years old in 1850 then Hammond began sexually assaulting her as well. This appears to have been the final straw for Catherine, and she gave Hammond an ultimatum – sell the two women, or else she would leave. When he refused to do so, then she left, and took their children with her. Hammond blamed her mother for this (as always, it had to be someone else’s fault), declaring:

I trace it all to the horrible connection, which Satan seduced me into forming with the vulgar Fitzsimmons family, whose low Irish descent and hypocrisy can only be compared with their low-Irish pride, selfishness and utter want of refinement and tone.

What a specimen of steaming excrement was that man!
 


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