Cover

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CONTENTS

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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

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pp. ix-x

My introduction to southern religious history and civil religion came by way of Charles Reagan Wilson’s Baptized in Blood. To say that I was apprehensive when I asked him to read an earlier draft of this book would be an understatement. Yet, Charles not only gave his seal of approval; he also provided invaluable feedback and guided me through the ...

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INTRODUCTION. Competing Visions of the Good Society

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pp. 1-14

This book is about the diverse and competing ideal visions of society existing in the post-Reconstruction South (ca. 1877–1920). Blacks, whites, men, women, northerners, southerners, Democrats, Republicans, Catholics, Protestants, and Jews all spoke of social unity, peace, and prosperity. Their preferred means for achieving these ends, however, often ...

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ONE: Progressive Voices, Traditional Voices: Reconstruction, Redemption, and the “Gospel of Material Progress”

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pp. 15-44

The lost cause loomed large in the white Wiregrass South’s social identity, physical landscape, and daily discussions. But as a civil religious force, it stood neither alone nor without opposition. “Mr. Pollard, in his history The Lost Cause, talks pathetically about the people’s grief and lament over the downfall of the Confederacy,” charged John Crary ...

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TWO: Black Voices, White Voices: The Race Problem as a Place Problem

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pp. 45-77

Benjamin Jefferson Davis called his hometown of Dawson, Georgia, a “peaceful” place but qualified that assertion by noting that “it was the peace of the master’s domination over the slave; a kind of peace that white supremacists say is disturbed when Negroes become restless for their rights.” To maintain this peace, Davis continued, blacks ...

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THREE: Female Voices, Male Voices: Devotion and the “Noble Daughters of the South”

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pp. 78-105

“What a strong power for good or evil is a woman’s influence,” decreed a Pensacola editor. “In all ages there have been instances where women have by their force of will or fascination of manner incited men to crimes or to the highest and holiest ambition.” The “vilest” women ...

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FOUR: Jewish Voices, Gentile Voices: “The Soul of America Is the Soul of the Bible”

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pp. 106-133

Shortly after the civil war, Samuel Farkas, a Hungarian Jewish immigrant, arrived in Albany, Georgia. Armed with little more than a strong work ethic, he launched a mule-trading business and, within ten years, rose to become a distinguished businessman and property owner. His horse, “Albany Boy,” was a frequent sight at the ...

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FIVE: Catholic Voices, Nativist Voices: True and Untrue Americans

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pp. 134-162

In 1908, father Patrick Bresnahan settled at his missionary headquarters in Tallahassee. He would compliment the city for its relative lack of anti-Catholicism, crediting this to the “educated and cultured” population. “The bigotry that did show up,” he noted, “was imported in vomitings of ‘cheap’ politicians seeking power or money.” ...

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AFTERWORD. What If?

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pp. 163-169

Caroline Walker Bynum has written, “My understanding of the historian’s task precludes wholeness. Historians, like fishes of the sea, regurgitate fragments. Only supernatural power can reassemble fragments so completely that no particle of them is lost, or miraculously empower the part to be the whole.”1 This book has investigated “fragments” of ...

APPENDIX. Population Data for the South and Wiregrass Region

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pp. 171-172

NOTES

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pp. 173-206

BIBLIOGRAPHY

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pp. 207-223

INDEX

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pp. 225-226