• Information on this archive. See IIDB.org
  • Please join us on IIDB (iidb.org)
    This is the archived Seculare Cafe forum. It is read only. If you would like to respond or otherwise revive a post or topic, please join us on the active forum: IIDB.

Damnatio memoriae for a Confederate general

This is the place to discuss the past, its study, and those who study it. Discussion about events that happened less than twenty years ago should go go in Politics instead.
Post Reply
User avatar
lpetrich
Posts: 14453
Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2009 6:53 pm
Location: Lebanon, OR, USA

Damnatio memoriae for a Confederate general

Post by lpetrich » Mon Aug 28, 2017 7:54 am

(Wikipedia)Damnatio memoriae is the practice of attempting to erase the memory of someone very disliked. It was used on Egyptian pharaohs, Roman emperor, and Soviet officials (The Commissar Vanishes, complete with some pre-computer Photoshopping), and Confederacy-lovers seem to think that removal of Confederate-leader statues amounts to the same thing. But they themselves did that to one Confederate general.

The Confederate General Who Was Erased | HuffPost

Author Jane Dailey described being at some Confederate-memorabilia shops. She noticed a curious absence: General William Mahone.
A native Virginian, a railroad magnate, a slaveholder, and an ardent secessionist, Mahone served in the Confederate army throughout the war. He was one of the Army of Northern Virginia’s most able commanders, distinguishing himself particularly in the summer of 1864 at the Battle of the Crater outside Petersburg. After the war, Robert E. Lee recalled that, when contemplating a successor, he thought that Mahone “had developed the highest qualities for organization and command.”
He was not completely subjected to damnatio memoriae. While he has continued to get respect for his Civil-War performance, his post-Civil-War career has not gotten the attention that it deserves.
Compared to the Roman traitor Cataline (by Virginia Democrats), to Moses (by African American congressman John Mercer Langston), and to Napoleon (by himself), Mahone organized and led the most successful interracial political alliance in the post-emancipation South. Mahone’s Readjuster Party, an independent coalition of black and white Republicans and white Democrats that was named for its policy of downwardly “readjusting” Virginia’s state debt, governed the state from 1879 to 1883.
Readjusters held several offices and supported black people's political rights: voting, office-holding, and jury service. They also pushed public education and lowered property taxes, and also banned the whipping post and the chain gang. Municipal Readjusters also paved streets, added sidewalks, and modernized water systems.
The Readjusters lost power in 1883 through a Democratic campaign of violence, electoral fraud, and appeals to white solidarity. While Democrats suppressed progressive politics in the state, other groups of elite white Virginians worked fast to eradicate the memory of Virginia’s experiment in interracial democracy.
White people came to believe that William Mahone was a race traitor and a demagogue, and his name became a dirty word.

I note that Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black did a transition much like William Mahone's, from wearing white robes and scaring black people to wearing black robes and scaring white people. He started his career as a member of the Ku Klux Klan, but he went on to have a good civil-rights record.

User avatar
MattShizzle
Posts: 18963
Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2010 6:22 pm
Location: Bernville, PA

Post by MattShizzle » Thu Sep 07, 2017 9:51 pm

One well known person they tried this on was Herostratusfor burning down the Temple of Artemis in Ephesus. He did it in hopes of gaining everlasting fame. They even made mentioning his name punishable by death. Didn't work as he was mentioned outside Ephesus so he accomplished what he wanted. He'd be infamous rather than famous though.

User avatar
Iolo
Posts: 212
Joined: Fri Mar 01, 2013 1:50 pm

Post by Iolo » Sun Oct 01, 2017 1:10 pm

Fair play, I've never been able to remember the name of Herostratus or to recall which Emperor Beethoven said should properly raise his hat to him, i.e. Beethoven. Eventually everyone will be forgotten and, in my view, the sooner the better.
Gobeithiaw y ddaw ydd wyf.

dancer_rnb
Posts: 5241
Joined: Sun Mar 08, 2009 3:38 pm

Post by dancer_rnb » Sun Oct 01, 2017 4:42 pm

Napoleon I. :D

Because he changed from a republican to an Imperialist.

Something something doomed to repeat something......
There is no such thing as "politically correct." It's code for liberalism. The whole idea of "political correctness" was a brief academic flash-in-the-pan in the early 1990's, but has been a good conservative bugaboo ever since.

User avatar
Iolo
Posts: 212
Joined: Fri Mar 01, 2013 1:50 pm

Post by Iolo » Mon Oct 02, 2017 3:05 pm

[quote=""dancer_rnb""]Napoleon I. :D

Because he changed from a republican to an Imperialist.

Something something doomed to repeat something......[/quote]

No - that's about the dedication of Eroica, and very proper. The man I'm after was Emperor of Austria.
Gobeithiaw y ddaw ydd wyf.

Post Reply