White MenMadison Grant
The following short story was written by Madison Grant as “The Major.” It was published in Hank: His Lies and His Yarns, privately printed (probably by the Boone and Crockett Club) in 1937. We thank Kevin Slaughter for scanning it and bringing it to our attention.
I am not really comfortable with this story, but it is offered as a historical document. I find its intent somewhat enigmatic. Perhaps it would make more sense if we had some background about “Hank,” the subject of the story and book. I hope our readers can provide some insights.
Hank met the limited at the little town of Opal with the outfit ready for an antelope hunt. This time the Major had with him an English hunter whom he had met on the train and who had shot game all over the world and now wanted to try his luck on the Plains. The Englishman had a valet and a very elaborate assortment of guns which he called his “battery.” The Major, with some difficulty, persuaded him to leave his valet and heavy guns and salmon rods with the station master of Opal and it was arranged that the two outfits should camp together the first night out,—— a couple of miles from the railroad.
The Englishman was fascinated by Hank with his broad Stetson hat, his chaps, his Mexican saddle and his wide range of profanity. He asked innumerable questions of the Major’s head guide and felt that he was revelling in local color.
When evening approached and the sun was setting in the west (“Like it most always does,” remarked Hank) a flock of nine geese flew over them, and the Major threw up his rifle and took a pot shot at them. To everybody’s surprise, but most to the surprise of the Major himself, a goose came down with its stern blown off. Hank picked up the goose and gravely winked at the Major, while the Englishman was voluble in his praise of such marksmanship.
That night they sat around the campfire and listened to the coyotes sing from the hills around them. The Englishman having asked every possible question about the game and hunting grounds, finally said to Hank:
“Do you think it will rain tonight?”
Hank looked up at the clear sky, studied the stars, and gravely answered:
“I shouldn’t doubt if it didn’t.”
Hank crawled into the Major’s tent when the latter had snuggled into his blankets and said: “Major, I can’t stand that Englishman much longer. Is he sure to leave us tomorrow? I was going to tell him that those coyotes were a pack of wolves about to attack us, but I was afraid he would sit up all night and then shoot some of the horses.”
“Don’t worry about the Englishman,” said the Major. “Our outfits will separate after breakfast. But what did you think about my shooting the goose with a rifle?”
“Well,” said Hank, “that’s what I am waiting to hear about.”
“To tell the truth,” said the Major, “I fired at the leader at the point of the triangle and hit the third one on the left.”
“I thought so,” said Hank.
At breakfast the next morning, the Englishman was much excited over the pending separation and had thought up an entirely new line of questions. To get square with him, Hank, who was doing the cooking, handed him a red hot plate of eggs and bacon. The unfortunate victim danced around, shifting the plate from one hand to another and crying, “Hank, Hank, where can I put this plate?”
That was too much. Drawing himself up, and glancing around at the illimitable plain stretching in every direction, Hank replied:
“My dear sir, you’ve got the whole God damned universe to put it on.”
“Hank,” said the Major later in the day, “why did you let that Englishman annoy you? He was very amusing.”
“I suppose,” said Hank, “it was because he showed he thought that he was better than me. There is a lot of fellows, too, from your part of the country that think that way, and I won’t stand for it.
“Now you are different, Major. Sure, you are too modest like. You’ve got more education than I have, but you don’t rub it in. Now, last year you told me that you wanted a gentle horse because you couldn’t ride, but I’ve watched you since, and, by God, you ride like a centipede—one of those old fellows that was half man and half horse.”
“I quite agree with you, Hank,” said the Major, “as I see you believe that all men are equal.”
“Sure I do,” said Hank. “It’s true, ain’t it?”
“How about those Greasers with the sheep yesterday?”
“Oh,” said Hank contemptuously, “them’s Greasers.”
“But how about Kootenai Kittie whom you ran out of camp last year ’cause she wanted to beg some sugar?”
“Well,” replied Hank, “she is just a Siwash.”
“And how about the man I had last year to wrangle the horses?”
“Well, he was a Cayuse Frenchman.”
“Well, this is interesting, Hank. How many different kinds of people do you consider there are in the world?”
“Well,” said Hank, counting on his fingers, “there is Greasers and Siwashes and they are pretty much the same; then there’s niggers and there’s Frenchmen and there’s Dutchmen–they ain’t so bad.”
“Quite right,” said the Major, “and do you consider that all these people are your equals?”
“Hell, no,” said Hank, “I am talking about White Men.”
“Hank” is the only published collection of fiction by Madison Grant, and the titular character is a composite of any number of people that Grant adventured with during his life. In the foreword, The Major says:
“He may be a Yankee from Maine or a French half-breed from Quebec, or a hard-riding cowboy on the plains, or a mountain man from the Cassiars. He may even be an old sea-dog or a seal pirate.
In every case, Hank is a man of intelligence, developed by long periods of solitude face to face with the realities of nature. Furthermore Hank merely embodies today the prejudices and antipathies of our Colonial ancestors.”
The character of “Hank” literally changes dialect from one story to another, and the book itself is a collection of humorous, adventurous tales. Often they’re mostly set-ups for a single punchline at the end, as the story above.
I speculate these are mostly club stories, tales told at any number of social groups that Grant was a part of. They are short enough that it seems likely that Grant had told each one many times to entertain fellows at the Boone and Crockett or the Half-Moon Club.
The publication year was 1937, the same year he died, though the foreword was dated in 1931.
Thanks, Kevin, for this background. It is very helpful.
If somebody sent me this story today, I would have rejected it without hesitation, as it trades in invidious “whiter than thou” subracial distinctions which I wish to combat. I only published it because it was by Grant and thus worthy of discussion.
Hank seems to be portrayed as a likeable buffoon, and this is reinforced by your comment. but my question is to what extent does Grant regard his racial views to be buffoonish or salutary. Because Grant himself was a Nordicist and Anglo-Saxon supremacist. So you see why I found the story enigmatic.
Some further details on the book itself:
It appears from my research there may have been two printings, one in burgundy cloth, another in brown (my edition).
All the copies have “This edition is limited strictly to one hundred and fifty copies. No. ____”, my copy (1937) with a brown cloth binding is unnumbered.
Some listings denote burgundy cloth ARE numbered, so that may be the first printing, possibly from 1931.
My copy is 123 printed pages with WIDE margins, but strangely some copies are listed as having 114 pages. Why the discrepancy in the page count, I don’t know, descriptions in listings lack the necessary info.
That short story above was 6 pages in the book. There are 22 stories altogether.
One listing states:
An interesting copy — the real name of “The Major” — Madison Grant –is written under his nom de plume on the title page, there is a written note on the title page that says “Boone & Crockett Club Dinner Dec. ’45”, and a small typed card saying “Compliments of DeForest Grant 1945” is laid in.
It seems that maybe some or all the Brown cloth covers have “Madison Grant” written on the title page under his pseudonym.
Madison Grant is a representative of what is called ‘vertical racism’ — a racism that situates races or peoples on the evolutionary scale — with old-stock New Englanders naturally located at its top.
Historically, its main function was to exclude other whites. (The celebrated immigration restriction act of 1924, the great achievement of the eugenicists and scientific racists, was aimed at Eastern and Southern Europeans — unlike the Irish-led movement for Asian exclusion, which pitted whites against non-whites and represents the only truly successful racialist movement in US history). Hitler used Grant’s notion of race to justify his war on Slavic Untermenschen, just as the English earlier used it to justify their suppression of Celts.
We ethnonationalists (or white nationalists) reject this sort of racism, which pits Nordic Protestants over non-Nordic Catholics and Orthodox.
It is a racism based on the liberal idea of progress that certain peoples are more ‘advanced’ — more evolved — than others.
We ethnonationalists fight for the preservation of the European race and its culture — not for Nordics (however much we may admire their racial phenotype).
Mike, this is well-said and expresses my precise concern about Grant and the story. The ambiguity of the story, however, is that these views are put in the mouth of a character who is in other respects portrayed as a shrewd but in other respects ignorant buffoon, and an anti-English one at that.
Although I don’t have any specifics about “Hank” or “the Major,” which Kevin has fortunately provided, just a couple of points of Western etiquette, for those who haven’t wasted time on such literature:
Pranks on tenderfeet seem to be pretty common. When going into possible danger with an untested man, it may make sense to see how he reacts to an unexpected difficulty, like the hot breakfast plate. A man who can deal with a bit of pain or inconvenience can probably be relied on in a crisis, while a crybaby or wimp cannot. Ideally the Englishman would manage the plate with a minimum of fuss, maybe crack a joke about it, and watch for the opportunity to somehow return the favor to Hank, after which they would have each other’s respect and friendship.
In reply to the Major’s question about why he was annoyed with the Englishman, he says:
The point here is that the Englishman has perhaps talked down to Hank. A superior man should show his superiority, not talk about it. Hank can accept the Major’s superior education, and can undoubtedly accept that some men can do various things better than he, as long as they just do it, and don’t make a big deal about it. Hank and other Westerners will notice and respect them for their ability and their modesty.
While modern Westerns are normally pretty pc, and Indians and blacks are usually heroic, older Westerns, like Hank, usually have a realistic, but not hateful, view of racial differences acquired by observation.
Greg, in light of your comments above, which weren’t there when I started on this, feel free to cut the last para of my comment (it doesn’t look like I can edit after I submit?)
Thanks for your concise framing of Grant’s ideology and its ramifications Mr. O’Meara. I had heard about Hitler but not the impact of Grant on the English-Irish conflict. I also was not aware that the Asian-exclusion movement was led by the Irish. This is interesting and provides a much needed counter-balance to the point I always hear raised about how the Irish fought alongside the noble Mexicans against white racist American imperialism. Greg, your comment was the first time I’ve heard the term “Anglo-Saxon supremacist.” I don’t dispute the terminology but I was wondering if you think that term would correctly describe Wilmot Robertson? I know this may be a bit off topic but I feel like your erudition and insight may shed some light on this topic. I’m still fairly new to this and it seems that many of the early racialists were “vertically oriented” like Grant. Thanks.
I think that Robertson could fairly be called an Anglo-Saxon supremacist and a Nordicist. The positions are actually mutually supporting. The original colonies were settled by English with some Dutch, Swedes, and Germans. When the US was founded, the English wished to maintain their dominance and to assimilate the other groups, which were overwhelmingly Nordic and Protestant.
In my essay, “A Nation of Immigrants?” I argue that AT THAT TIME, they were right to be both Anglo-Saxonists and Nordicists, since they still could meaningfully create a homogeneously Anglo-Saxon, Nordic, and Protestant nation. But they FAILED to do that, and thus in America today such positions are (a) anachronistic and (b) divisive and therefore harmful to the cause of white survival.
The sad thing about Grant and his compatriots was that they had to defend the old Yankee stock – these people who more than any other deserved the appellation ‘American’ – in zoological terms and not in a forthright assertion of their Yankee heritage, like nationalists would do.
The Yankees, of course, were not going to be a nation like other nations – they were the new Israelites.
The Calvinist/Unitarian principles that went into America’s founding had rejected the pagan European traditions and values represented by the pre-Reformation Church.
Their Low Church tradition also barred a European destiny – theirs would be the sort imagined in the Old Testament.
We Irish are responsible for closing off any chance America ever had of growing into a Protestant Nordic nation. Or so they say.
If I were an Anglo-Protestant in Jackson’s America, I would legally prohibit immigration from anywhere other than from the Nordic Protestant countries of Europe. But once the Irish were let in (actually, as convicts, slaves, and servants, they were in America from the beginning), there was only the possibility of developing a Christian North-European nation – and ‘Protestant racism’ made that impossible.
In this period of history – in the year 2012 — we Celts embrace the Saxons as brothers in arms against our common racial foes – and perhaps, in our joint struggle, we will learn how to lay the foundations for a new White America.
Yeah, but what about the Slavs? The Italians and Greeks? And the Germans, the largest White group of all? It all was far too much far too quickly. The commercial forces triumphed and doomed America by the late 1800’s. A lower but workable synthesis was being achieved by the mid 20th century, but the Country was already taken over from above by that pont – a sitting duck waiting for the Cultural Revolution of the 60’s and the Hart Cellar Act.
In the 1918, wartime edition of The Passing of the Great Race, the Germans were transformed by Grant from a mainly Nordic to a mainly Alpine people.
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