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Madison Grant’s Great Work The Conquest of a Continent

[1]2,629 words

One great work of American history is David Hackett Fischer’s Albion’s Seed: Four British Folkways in America. It has altered how a great many Americans see their country and their regional origins. It makes the Civil War easier to understand as well as the Red State/Blue State divide. It helps clear up why Southerners say “y’all” and in New Jersey they sometimes say, “youse.” David Hackett Fischer has followed up the ideas in Albion’s Seed in other works and other historians have built upon Fischer’s ideas.

Although Fischer doesn’t admit it or (perhaps) doesn’t know it, the scholarship of America’s regional origins was pioneered by an extraordinary American named Madison Grant (1865–1937) in his book The Conquest of a Continent that was published in 1933. The book is still worth reading today in that it explores the regionalism of the United States juxtaposed with the effects of the European immigration wave after the Civil War. The book also sheds light on the positive and negative actions of that immigration as well as other racial matters.


Above is a picture which shows the four regions of the British Isles that influenced America according to David Hackett Fischer.[1] [3]

Grant was a wealthy, native New Yorker whose ancestors had founded Newark, New Jersey and the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam (later New York City). One ancestor also signed the Declaration of Independence. Grant’s father Gabriel Grant (1826–1909)[2] [4] was awarded the Medal of Honor during the Civil War. Madison Grant, and his extended family were fantastically wealthy, of the old school New York patrician class that made up men like Sergeant Hamilton Fish,[3] [5] Theodore Roosevelt, and Elihu Root.[4] [6]

Madison Grant was wealthy enough to pass through life in comfort without ever taking a courageous stand on any matter, but he embarked upon a lifetime of conservationist and pro-white/pro-Nordic activism. In his last decade of life, when The Conquest of a Continent was written, Grant was stricken with infectious arthritis which severely impacted his mobility. Grant’s biographer, Jonathan Spiro, wrote “It is simply staggering the amount of work that the severely crippled Grant was able to accomplish in his later years . . . he was still fighting for the causes he thought important until the day he died.”[5] [7]

Madison Grant was a big game hunter who fell in love with nature and decided to preserve it. His conservation efforts are a story unto itself and beyond the scope of The Conquest of a Continent. Grant’s pro-Nordic activism started because he lived in New York City at the time of the Great Wave of Immigration from Europe occurred. New York has always attracted immigrants, but this time the immigrants were coming from Southern and Eastern Europe and many of the immigrants were Jews.

This immigration proved to be problematic, and Jews were at the forefront in problem-causing. Many of the Jews actively worked in radical politics and movements hostile to American whites. These radical political movements included Emma Goldman’s anarchists, and Lev Bronstein’s Fourth Communist International. Lev Bronstein is more commonly known as Leon Trotsky. These movements were often violent, and all of them proved to be a disaster as their ideas played out.

In private, Grant was more forthright about his negative feelings about Jews, but it his public writings he displays a caution. Jews, especially Franz Boas (1858–1942),[6] [8] were hostile to Grant and his ideas. He alludes to this in Conquest writing, “Our alien elements are to this day extremely sensitive to the public discussion of any of these matters. In this respect, Americans probably have less freedom of speech and freedom of press than exist in any of the countries of Europe.”[7] [9]

His first book, The Passing of the Great Race (1916), consolidated the ideas of a variety of physical anthropologists and scientists into a single work. Grant argued that Europeans were divided into three different races, the Nordics, Alpines, and Mediterraneans. According to Grant, most colonial-stock Americans were Nordics and they were under threat from immigrants, especially Alpine Jews from Eastern Europe. Grant advocated for Nordic protection through eugenics and immigration restrictions. Passing was read by nearly every influential American of his day. His ideas influenced politicians, judges, social workers, and other authors. Grant’s efforts led to a series of increasing restrictionist immigration laws culminating in the excellent 1924 Immigration Act which cut off immigration from Southern and Eastern Europe as well as Asia.

Grant’s use of the Nordic concept is actually an idea that has tolerance and unity at its core. When nations are about to ascend the world stage to greatness, they often first unite what they can unite. For example, Iberian Christians — the Castilians, Aragonese, Catalonians, and others were united by Ferdinand and Isabella as “Spaniards” just as that Kingdom rose to become a great Empire. Grant was uniting Dutch, Huguenot, Irish, British, Scandinavian, and to a lesser extent, German immigrants into a single racial unit under the inclusive “Nordic” neologism, just as the United States was raising to greatness on the world stage.

Grant probably didn’t realize it, but he left a back door open for nearly all traditionally Christian Europeans to eventually join the Nordic fold in some way. Grant’s mapping of Europe’s races shows Nordic cities in southern Spain, France, and Italy. As well as considerable Nordic crosses throughout much of Europe. Grant’s biographer tells an anecdote that when Italians claimed that non-Nordic Italians were capable of great things, Grant and his colleague Henry Fairfield Osborn declared that Christopher Columbus da Vinci, Galileo, Raphael, Donatello, Botticelli, Petrarch, and Dante were Nordic. Poles Kosciusko and Pulaski were Nordic too.[8] [10] Unless a Pole or Italian’s skull was measured by calipers by an expert, they could plausibly claim to be of Nordic heritage. Since mass immigration from Europe has not resumed since 1924, most Italians and Poles have assimilated into American culture thoroughly – even to the point of intermarriage with Protestant colonial stock Americans. Madison Grant’s writings are surprisingly sympathetic to Northern Italians, who he claimed were Alpines with much Nordic blood.


Notice that many southern and western European cities have, according to Grant’s scheme, large Nordic populations. Nordics are also intermingled in much of Eastern Europe including Finland, Poland, the Baltics, and Russia.[9] [12]

The Conquest of a Continent describes how Nordic colonial-stock Americans moved out from their tiny settlements on the Eastern sea coast to eventually populate and develop the whole of the continental United States.

The book’s first two chapters are a review of Grant’s racial categorizations from The Passing of the Great Race. Grant ends his review with the quote, “From West Central Asia where it was in contact with the Mongoloids in the east, the Nordic race pushed across Europe to the extreme western coast. We shall show how it traversed the Atlantic Ocean and then in three centuries subdued a continent. Generation after generation it fought its way westward, until it reached the Pacific Ocean, where today it stands confronting Asia and its immemorial rivals, the Mongols, this time on the west.”[10] [13]

Grant focuses The Conquest of a Continent on the westward migration of those New Englanders who trace their ancestry to the original Pilgrims and Puritans who founded Plymouth in 1620 and Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1630 as well as the Virginians who pioneered so much of North America. His conclusions about the Yankee westward march is much like those of David Hackett Fischer’s book Albion’s Seed and Colin Woodward’s study of 11 different North American regions. In the maps below we can see how Grant uses of the locations of Congregationalist Churches match-almost exactly- Fischer and Woodward’s conclusions as to where the Yankees settled.




In these three maps we see the spread of New Englanders of Puritan origins across the United States. On the top, Madison Grant uses Congregationalist Churches as a proxy for Yankee pioneers.[11] [17] In the Center, David Hackett Fischer uses regional accents to make the same conclusion.[12] [18] Colin Woodward uses voting patterns and other factors to show the spread of “Yankeedom.”[13] [19]

Below are two more maps that show just how forward The Conquest of a Continent is in studying America’s regional origins:




In the pictures above, Madison grant identifies the British regional origins of the Scots-Irish as well as the origins of the Puritans to New England.[14] [20] David Hackett Fischer does the same respectively in the pictures below.[15] [23]

Grant examines Virginia’s important role in settling the West. Prior to the Civil War many Virginians, unhappy with slavery and plantation-driven economic system became the first settlers in states as far north as Iowa and Wisconsin. “Virginia,” states Grant, “itself was the mother of States . . .”[16] [24] David Hackett Fischer and James C. Kelly extensively follow up this idea in their book, Bound Away: Virginia and the Westward Movement. After showing the importance of Virginia pioneers to American expansion using census records, Revolutionary War pensions, land titles, and local histories, the two historians add one interesting idea. Legally, the states needed to continue to refer to precedent stretching back to England in the Common Law system after independence. Virginia did so by adding “a provision that English statutes ‘of a general nature’ enacted before 1607 were to continue in force, and that the common law of England and British statutes ‘as of the first emigration’ were to continue in force as well. The Virginia solution of 1776 was copied, often word for word, by more states and territories than any other . . .”[17] [25] Grant (like other scholars) carefully separates Virginia’s two cultural groups of mountain Scots-Irish and Tidewater English and shows how each contributed differently to the western expansion.

While David Hackett Fischer treats the Quaker and German/Pennsylvania Dutch settlers with great reverence, Madison Grant writes about them quite coldly. Grant argues that the Germans of the American Midlands were Alpines whose clannish ways made them an impediment to national unity. Grant could have extensively covered the extensive Irish (but Nordic) pathologies manifest throughout the 19th century, but we see here how current events can cloud the minds of the most scientific and unsentimental of white advocates. Madison Grant lived at a time when his Patrician Class collogues were strangely in favor of American intervention in World War I against Germany. As a result, he exaggerates Midwestern German differences. Additionally, it is important to note that the Puritans of New England had extensive theological differences with the Quakers (and their Pennsylvania Dutch allies) in Colonial times and beyond — enough perhaps to have still been an influence upon a secularized Calvinist such as Grant.

Grant moves away from David Hackett Fischer and Colin Woodward’s mere focus on United States regionalism when he explores the impact of European immigration in the 1930s. In an extensive footnote on page 233 he shows how many immigrant groups, especially Orientals and south-east Europeans, were re-migrating back to their nations of origin. Self-deportation is a phenomenon that needs to be studied and promoted by white advocates today, and Grant is the first one to call attention to it.

Madison Grant discusses the Negro question. The problems he describes are exactly the same as today. He argues that segregation should be maintained and birth control made freely available to blacks. He also warns that radical ideologies, such as Communism could make great headway with them. Today, of course, Islam has made some troublesome headway among the America’s Africans. Far worse is a home grown, virulent, pro-crime Black Nationalism of which Black Lives Matter is a part.

Grant also explains the problems of Latin America and immigration from the Western Hemisphere. The 1924 immigration restriction limited Italian immigration, but accidently allowed for unlimited immigration from the Western hemisphere. That meant places as troublesome as Haiti had complete, limitless immigration under the law. In Grant’s day, there weren’t many immigrants from that region, but he sounded the alarm before the problem was noticed. It is tragic, that American’s have only begun to act on his advice today.

The last chapter, “The Nordic Outlook,” Grant gives a hopeful assessment of America’s racial situation from a pro-white/pro-Nordic perspective. Of the whites, Grant estimates that nearly 70% are Nordic. Then, like a prophet that can see the future, Grant argues for continued vigilance on keeping out immigrants, managing the problems of America’s Spanish War conquests, such as the Philippine Islands and Puerto Rico. Grant has advice that America has followed in some cases and failed to heed in others. Grant’s The Conquest of a Continent is far from being a dated book. Instead it is groundbreaking, far-thinking, highly readable, and surprisingly applicable to modern times. Go out and get it.


[1] [26] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albion%27s_Seed [27]

[2] [28] https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=8234257 [29]

[3] [30] http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=8535158 [31]

[4] [32] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elihu_Root [33]

[5] [34] Spiro, Jonathan Peter, Defending the Master Race: Conservation, Eugenics, and the Legacy of Madison Grant, University of Vermont Press, Burlington, Vermont 2008, Kindle Location 7621

[6] [35] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Franz_Boas [36] It is important to note that Franz Boas, Grant’s Jewish “cultural anthropologist” rival and Boas’ disciples have been proven to be frauds. Jewish anthropologist Stephen Jay Gould literally faked data on cranium capacity to show an anti-white bias. For further reading: http://journals.plos.org/plosbiology/article?id=10.1371/journal.pbio.1001071 [37] & http://people.duke.edu/~ldbaker/documents/baker20.pdf [38]

Margaret Mead, one of Boas’ most famous pupils was also a fraud: http://www.discovery.org/a/1169 [39]

Madison Grant’s theories of three races of Europe have been altered by science because new discoveries related to DNA. The data related to race is now organized in a different way, but not too different from Grant. The following article describes three “races” in Europe http://www.hhmi.org/news/modern-europeans-descended-three-groups-ancestors [40] Unlike Franz Boas, Grant was a scientist – not a pseudoscientist. He was conducting research experiments that were repeatable, and they adhered to the scientific method.

I’ll give Grant the last word here, “Every human being unites in himself the blood of thousands of ancestors, stretching back through thousands of years, superimposed upon a prehuman inheritance of still greater antiquity, and the face and body of every living man offer an intricate mass of hieroglyphs that science will some day learn to read and interpret.” (From Grant, Madison, The Passing of the Great Race, 2010. Kindle edition. Location 326)

[7] [41] Grant, Madison, The Conquest of a Continent, Liberty Bell Publications, York, SC, (Reprinted 2004 from 1933 printing), p. 219

[8] [42] Spiro, Jonathan Peter, Defending the Master Race: Conservation, Eugenics, and the Legacy of Madison Grant, University of Vermont Press, Burlington, Vermont 2008, Kindle Locations 4487 & 4488

[9] [43] Image taken from an internet search about The Passing of the Great Race. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Passing_of_the_Great_Race [44]

[10] [45] Grant, Madison, The Conquest of a Continent, Liberty Bell Publications, York, SC, (Reprinted 2004 from 1933 printing), Page 64 For those who believe the “whites and Asians” as allies meme, I offer this quote from our wise past elders. The Asians haven’t necessary bought into “whites and Asians” are allies idea. I even believe that the “higher” IQ of Asians is also largely a myth. Asians defaulting less on home loans https://counter-currents.com/2016/08/how-racial-egalitarianism-wrecked-the-global-economy/#more-65641 [46] in the US could be in part due to Orientals investing in real estate being for the purposes money laundering. For a wealthy Chinese, a good investment is in property the Chinese government can’t steal. One can also always make a payment if the whole of the money is on hand to invest in the first place. http://blogs.wsj.com/chinarealtime/2015/07/13/dirty-dealing-china-and-international-money-laundering/ [47] Many whites are expecting to pay as they go on their home and any lay-off, health setback, etc. over the thirty year life of the mortgage can cause a default.

[11] [48] Image from Grant, Madison, The Conquest of a Continent, p. 218

[12] [49] Image from Fischer, David Hackett Albion’s Seed: Four British Folkways in America Oxford University Press, New York, NY, 1988 Page 833

[13] [50] Image from Woodward, Colin, American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America (Image taken following an internet search)

[14] [51] Grant, Madison, The Conquest of a Continent, p. 84

[15] [52] Images from Fischer, David Hackett Albion’s Seed: Four British Folkways in America Oxford University Press, New York, NY, 1988 Puritan origins located on page 32, Scots-Irish origins located on page 619

[16] [53] Grant, Madison, The Conquest of a Continent, p. 73.

[17] [54] Fischer, David Hackett & Kelly, James C. , Bound Away: Virginia and the Westward Movement University of Virginia Press Charlottesville 2000, Page 277