Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Southern Defenders Series: Albert Pike

c/o Revolution Harry
It's been a while, so I thought another summary about one of the lesser known (and Northern born) defenders of the South would be in order:

Born and raised in Boston, Albert Pike was accepted into Harvard at age 15 but chose not to attend. He settled in Little Rock, AR eight years later and worked as a writer for the Arkansas Advocate.

Noted for stance against secession, Pike said the South should remain in the Union and seek equality with the North, but if the Southern States "were forced into an inferior status, she would be better out of the Union than in it."

In 1859 Harvard awarded Pike an honorary master's degree for his work in poetry.  Moreover his rendering of "Dixie" possesses a robustness that makes it perhaps the best and most well-known of the numerous versions of the Southern anthem.

Two years later, Pike was commissioned a Brigadier General in the Confederate Army and oversaw the training of the Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek, and Seminole regiments.  He lived in Memphis for a time after the War and worked as an editor of what is now The Commercial Appeal.

Having served as Sovereign Grand Master for the last 32 years of his life, Pike is buried at the headquarters of the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry in Washington, DC. Brigadier General Pike is also the only Confederate figure to have an outdoor statue in our nation’s capital, located in Judiciary Square in the northwest portion of the District.

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