Dead Confederates, A Civil War Era Blog

Southern Heritage Preservation Group: Straight-Up Plagiarism

Posted in Leadership, Media by Andy Hall on March 20, 2011

Corey Meyer has a new and lengthy post up at his place, taken from the Southern Heritage Preservation Group on Facebook. A member The president of that group, Gary Adams, posted a long-ish piece that argues that the prevalence of slaveholding was much more common in Southern households than the low single-digit percentages usually cited for Confederate soldiers. It sounded familiar, and it should — most of it is lifted verbatim from a comment I posted ten months ago (under a different user name) at Kevin’s blog. Indeed, it seems Mr. Adams was posting it on Facebook, without attribution, almost as soon as it went online at Kevin’s. I later expanded this material into a guest post at The Atlantic.

I appreciate that Mr. Adams found my writing on the subject valuable — valuable enough to appropriate and distribute as his own, in fact — but his actions cause one to question what else he’s putting out there under his own name. Adams notes that, when he presented similar arguments on other pro-Confederate Facebook groups, his hosts found his arguments offensive and removed his membership. I wonder whether this case of straight-up plagiarism will result in a similar action on the part of the Southern Heritage Preservation Group.

Update: I realize now that it’s unlikely that the Southern Heritage Preservation Group will take any censure or sanction against Mr. Adams, considering he’s that group’s president.



8 Responses

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  1. Marc Ferguson said, on March 21, 2011 at 7:15 am

    Astonishing! I saw this on FB a while back, and thought it sounded familiar, but didn’t connect it with your comment or Atlantic post. Have you had any contact with Mr. Adams?

  2. Corey Meyer said, on March 21, 2011 at 9:45 am


    I should have done a google search of the first sentence and that would have proved that this was not his original work. He has done this before…by cutting and pasting all the information on the site “Slavery in the North” …and not once linking it or showing it as someone elses work. They say that everyone knows that it is copied, but this seems to be standard practice at that FB page.

    • Andy Hall said, on March 21, 2011 at 9:56 am

      Not your responsibility to verify this stuff.

      The “everyone knows” argument is utter bullshit. The issue here is not that the material comes from another source — we all routinely quote other bloggers and authors — but that Adams is using it without attribution and passing it off as his own. It’s dishonest. Period, full stop.

      I don’t follow that Facebook page, but if this sort of thing is commonplace there, it says much about both Mr. Adams and his followers. This sort of thing, if it routinely goes unchecked, undermines their credibility as well as Adams’.

  3. Dave Tatum said, on March 22, 2011 at 10:53 am

    KB What a swell guy !
    see the guy at his prime!

    Dave Tatum

    • Andy Hall said, on March 22, 2011 at 11:03 am

      Dave, thanks for stopping by. As an active participant in the Southern Heritage Preservation Group, maybe you can shed some light on Mr. Adams’ actions here. Is it common for him to pass off other folks’ writing as his own — at least twice, in this case, months apart — and is that considered acceptable by other members of the group? Do you yourself consider that acceptable?

  4. Dennis said, on March 22, 2011 at 4:34 pm

    If one steals, then only steal from the best … .
    Sorry, this is not a joking matter but immoral and unethical to say the least.
    Considering the massive work and effort you go to find so many interesting and not commonly available information which I realize requires many hours of long work sifting through obscure documents – the result is that you always seem to present stuff I’ve never seen before and that says a lot on your efforts – so I can really understand how that makes one very justifiably angry.
    By the way, thanks for all that work because I do very much appreciate the great information you post here!

    • Andy Hall said, on March 22, 2011 at 7:58 pm

      Dennis, thanks very much. “Angry” isn’t quite right, but most surely disappointed and surprised. The main casualty here is Mr. Adams’ own reputation, and that of the group he leads. It is very much a needless and self-inflicted wound.

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