John C. Hall, Jr., Is At It Again

Apparently John C. Hall, Jr., likes writing college presidents.  Here is his latest missive, directed to the president of Gettysburg College, and targeting none other than Allen C. Guelzo. I have no idea why Mr. Vallante can’t hold his own. For more exchanges, see here. You’ll recognize other participants.

I must admit that Allen has his own style (and that it differs from my own approach). As for Mr. Corker, you might want to learn more about him here … it appears he was a beneficiary of white supremacist political terrorism. Hall has whined before without effect. At least he’s not Pat Hines.

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19 thoughts on “John C. Hall, Jr., Is At It Again

  1. I know why tenure and an endowed chair is great; you can write emails like this! How many ‘Won Cause” advocates have wanted to say that? How many are tired of apologizing for questioning the right to treason? My God, a war like that today would cost the US millions of dead and we are supposed to just be polite about it.

  2. He’s going after Allen?!?!? Allen and I are about as far apart politically as you can get but I deeply respect him as a scholar. He’s also a formidable man who doesn’t shrink from a battle of words. Hall is a featherweight going after a super heavy weight.

  3. Very funny response from Guelzo. John C. Hall needs to go back to school before he writes a formal letter to a university president whom he has apparently never met. The salutation “Hi Ms. Riggs” was likely not well advised.

  4. I’d love to see this letter that provoked such a torrent of scholarly invective from Mr. Guelzo. By anyone’s standards Mr. Guelzo was a bit harsh. My own dear father is a Professor at the University of Massachusetts and I know for a fact that he would never address a correspondent in the manner Mr. Guelzo addresses Mr. Vallente unless perhaps he was being attacked personally. Even then he would be more careful. Certainly, if this was a case of personalities, he would not do it and close his letter with his professional affiliation with the university. It makes me wonder if this letter was invented.

    • Hall (no relation to me, thankyouverymuch) doesn’t post the previous communication(s), but I’ve seen a similar exchange between another True Southron, Valerie Protopapas, and Guelzo. (Why they’ve suddenly targeted him, I have no idea. Like Bill Vallante, Protopapas is a New Yorker.) She starts out:

      Dear Mr. Aguelzo,

      Sadly, you have bought into the Lincoln myth hook, line and sinker. A superb wordsmith, Lincoln was able to hide his unconstitutional and criminal behavior including his many war crimes with fine words, but his actions – as with all “actions” – spoke far louder than his glorious verbiage.

      Note the “Dear Mr. Aguelzo;” apparently taken from his e-mail username. The writer presumably is not familiar enough with his work to actually know his name.

      The exchange goes downhill from there, inevitably coming to a Nazi analogy and implying that Guelzo might have some sort of sympathy there:

      It’s not “wrong” for Marx to adore Lincoln, but how would you feel if you knew that HITLER adored him too? Certainly many of the German military employed his war strategies against civilians in both World Wars. Did Marx “get it right?” As one communist (Marx) understanding another (Lincoln), I would suppose that he did. If you find that Lincoln was well received by a communist AS a communist, then again, I understand WHY you love Lincoln.

      I have no doubt that the correspondence from Vallante was of exactly the same tenor.

  5. I have taken it upon myself to request of Mr. Guelzo a copy of the offending missive. I believe it essential to an open dialogue to have all the facts before us before we condemn any of the principals in this matter to the trash heap. There certainly does exist a radical and sometimes confused ideologic component in the ongoing debate over our historical legacy, but sometimes we must ,for the sake of objectivity, entertain even the most crass demonstration. As the fellow said, even a paranoid can have real enemies.

    • Well, good luck with that. A member of the SHPG offered a text on Facebook. As for those people who don’t do Facebook, well, that’s your choice. I haven’t seen the post/message that offended Dr. Guelzo.

      I’ll also note that it’s much easier to appear to be above the fray when one is not in it. That said, there is something of a teachable moment here for all.

      Let me ask you: would it be acceptable to you for academics to contact employers to show those employers how their employees act online? Would be be acceptable to you for people to offer ample publicity about this? For example, how would you handle Mr. Hines?

  6. There is a point where it is absolutely necessary for an academic to contact academic employers about an employees conduct on or off-line. Take plagiarism as an example. But obviously it depends on the manner in which the behavior is deployed. What I find interesting in the Guelzo/Hall/Vallente scenario is that a vitriolic letter was sent over the e-mail on the Colleges “stationary” complete with seal and letterhead. This implicates the College in the communication.

    But for less serious reasons, no. Sending complaints to employers about an employees behavioral problems that have nothing to do with the professional environment is just childish. In the case of Hines however, I do believe that this behavior deserves all the boot toe that can be managed including contacting an employer if for nothing else than to protect the safety of other employees.

  7. Dr. Guelzo was kind enough to respond to my message and it does appear that this exchange was not what it seemed. I append the following from Dr. Guelzo:

    “Let me say only that Mr. Vallante and I share a mutual pleasure in 19th-century-style word-play, which is probably taken more seriously by anxious onlookers than by the imemdiate parties.”

  8. Pingback: The Wild West of the Internet Versus Real History « Student of the American Civil War

  9. >> Lincoln was able to hide his unconstitutional and criminal behavior including his many war crimes with fine words, but his actions – as with all “actions” – spoke far louder than his glorious verbiage.

    If ever anyone didn’t deserve their self-proclaimed constitutionalism, it is the Confederate nation headed by Jefferson Davis. Part of the reason these ideas have so much apparent force is that the public knows so little about Confederate actions and in absence of knowledge myth dominates, usually inspired by Confederate memoirs! The Confederate constitutionalism myth should be discussed directly. I’m amazed as of late at what I’m learning about it, and most of the scholarship is pretty recent. I hope someone writes a book summarizing this work at a more popular level. I think it would make a big difference. I don’t do Facebook either so I don’t know what Guelzo said.

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