The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21).
VOLUME XVI. Early National Literature, Part II; Later National Literature, Part I.

IV. The New South: Lanier

§ 9. Curry

Another disciple of Calhoun, Jabez Lamar Monroe Curry (1825–1903), born in Georgia but reared in Alabama, learned at the University of Georgia to regard the Arch-Secessionist as second only to Aristotle. Going to Harvard in 1843 to study law, he was soon fired by Horace Mann with a passion for universal education. It was therefore natural, although he became a United States Congressman and a member of the Confederate Congress, that after the war he should enter educational work, in order that the youth of his section might be fitted to build worthily and helpfully in the tumble-down world that surrounded them. As agent of the Peabody and Slater Funds, he aided more than any other one man to develop an irresistible public opinion for the education of the whole people, both white and black, in the Southern States. Today the most valuable of his educational writings is the History of the Peabody Education Fund, which records the progress of one of the most beneficent philanthropies since the war. He is thus on the side of the constructionists as opposed to those forensic champions who revelled in the abstract notions of States’ rights and liberty, but where he develops the theory of secession, as in Civil History of the Government of the Confederate States or The Southern States of the American Union, there is a pugnacious reiteration of outworn arguments which will appeal chiefly to the historical student or the partisan. His numerous other writings dealing with the South, even when they utter a national spirit or retail personal experiences, lack the colour and the vigour which render Gordon’s reminiscences still interesting. His life of Gladstone lacks power to portray and to analyze.