Archive for February 16th, 2005

In Memoriam Sam Francis / Brimelow

February 16, 2005

In Memoriam Sam Francis (April 29, 1947 — February 15, 2005)
By Peter Brimelow /

[See also: Jared Taylor on Sam Francis; Tom Fleming on Sam Francis]

The sudden death on Tuesday night of Sam Francis, whom we had believed was recovering from aneurysm-related heart surgery, is a sad moment particularly for us.

Sam played a quiet but effective role in putting together the principals of VDARE.COM and the Center For American Unity. Later, we were happy to reciprocate by giving his syndicated column a web home when it was dropped without explanation by – part of the Beltway Right’s steady migration towards politically correct respectability.

Sam came from a long tradition of scholarly southerners that is now often forgotten. His fate cruelly paralleled that of the conservative movement to which he gave his life: long years of obscure labor, bravely borne, followed by dispossession at the moment of victory.

By the time the Republican Party for which he had worked so long had won Congress and the White House, he was effectively in exile, utterly alienated from the peculiar invade-the-world invite-the-world heresy that had suddenly and unexpectedly seized control of it. Sam’s firing from the Washington Times in 1995 was, in retrospect, a harbinger of this coup. As in the Trent Lott lynching, it was to be especially hard on southerners, despite (or perhaps because of) the fact they provided the GOP with the votes for victory.

Sam’s great value to VDARE.COM was that he was his unflinching disregard of contemporary taboos. He was always prepared to say the unsayable.

With the end of the Cold War, he emerged as a type of white nationalist, defending the interests of the community upon which the historic United States was, as a matter of fact, built. This position, of course, is as legitimate as Black nationalism, Hispanic nationalism, or Zionism. It is, indeed, the inevitable result of multiculturalism that is being imported through public policy.

Although VDARE.COM is not a white nationalist site, we regarded him as an important part of the VDARE.COM coalition. And we will miss him very badly.

The Establishment, left and right, wasn’t ready to listen to Sam. The logic of their own policies, however, means that eventually they will be forced to.

Like many older bachelors, Sam Francis became set in his ways. He could be gruff and even irascible. I suspect he was lonely, although no-one could have been surrounded by more loyal and devoted friends in his final days.

I have always been puzzled at the visceral animosity this reclusive and retiring figure provoked from the likes of John J. Miller and David Brock. Both launched campaigns to drive him out of public life. But for the internet, they might have succeeded. Sam was more hurt by these campaigns than he should have been—heartrendingly, you could always see in him the shy and sensitive little boy. I believe, however, that there will be a reckoning for these campaigns—as in the parallel case of Sam’s friend Pat Buchanan—in the future.

Also through the miracle of the internet, word of Sam’s passing has already spread around the world. A reader from Spain writes:

I have just noticed the news of Sam Francis’s death. I have only been a few months reading but I’m going to miss his columns very much.

His heart has stopped and the mine has filled with sorrow. Regards for all, [NAME WITHHELD]

An America reader writes:

I am so shocked and saddened to learn of Sam Francis’s death. His was a mind nonpareil and his absence will be a setback for our movement. I must confess that when calling up VDARE.COM I first would look for the most recent Sam Francis article and then, time permitting, would venture through VDARE.COM’s other offerings.

From his attendance at the American Renaissance conferences, I recall his quiet yet precise and cutting wit, his boyish face and encyclopedic mind. The room would hush when he spoke, none wanting to miss a syllable of his keen wisdom. If I’d only known his time was so limited I would have better used my opportunities to know and learn from him.  This is a sad day for all of us. [NAME WITH HELD]

I don’t know these people, and I don’t think Sam did. But although he always professed to me an unwavering skepticism (Chronicles’ Tom Fleming, linked above, thinks otherwise) it is because of readers like these that he might say, like the Roman, non omnis moriar — I shall not all die.

We hope to expand out Sam Francis page into a permanent repository for his work.


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Samuel Francis / Taylor

Sam Francis
By Jared Taylor
(Posted on February 16, 2005)
American Renaissance

In 1986 or 1987 I was sitting in my house in Menlo Park, California, reading an article in a San Francisco newspaper. I had not noticed the author’s name when I began the article, but halfway through, I said to myself: “This is a mainstream article in a mainstream paper, but this man is one of us.” I looked up at the by-line, and made a mental note to remember the author’s name. It was Samuel Francis.

I began to look elsewhere for the Francis by-line, and soon he and I were in correspondence. I flew to Washington, DC, on business—probably in 1988—and Sam agreed to meet me for dinner. It was the first of countless dinners, meetings, phone calls, conversations, and was the beginning of what became a cherished friendship. This first meeting with Sam was before I had started what became American Renaissance, and over the months he strongly urged me to begin publishing. He promised to write for the magazine, and the knowledge that I could rely on at least one top-notch contributor was a source of much encouragement in what could have been an uncertain venture.

It was in those early years of our friendship that I learned that beneath Sam’s gruff manner there was warm-hearted and sensitive man—even a shy man. When I would telephone, he would greet me as if I were a bill collector. “Hey, how are you doing,” or, “Great to hear from you,” were not Sam’s style. But he was glad to hear from me, and he continued to write for AR and offer invaluable advice.

When, after several years of publishing, I decided to hold a conference for AR readers, Sam was the first person I thought of as a speaker. The 1994 conference—once again, an uncertain undertaking—was a great success thanks, in no small measure, to Sam’s willingness to speak. At every AR conference since then, his talk has always been one of the best attended and best received. His droll wit, his striking parallels, his arresting metaphors, his impromptu sallies during the question period—no one could both edify and entertain as Sam could, and he was always at the center of a convivial circle late into the night.

Unfortunately, much as Sam’s association benefited AR, the reverse was not always true. In fact, his participation at the 1994 conference was at least partly responsible for a sudden shift in his career. From the time I had first known him, Sam had been both a syndicated columnist and a staff columnist for The Washington Times. His position at the Times was one of high visibility and considerable influence, and just as many people subscribed to Chronicles mainly to read Sam’s column, a certain number of readers picked up the Times only because he wrote for it.

Sam first got in trouble at the Times for a column ridiculing the Baptist Church for an official, groveling apology over slavery. Though the column did not defend slavery, Sam pointed out that nowhere in the Bible is slavery considered a sin, and that the Baptists had no doctrinal reason to apologize for something in which no living Baptist had had a part.

The Times gave him a warning, but kept him on. Soon after, however, there was some publicity about his remarks at the 1994 conference. Though Sam himself never entirely understood why he was dismissed from the paper, the following words, spoken to the AR audience, appear to have been intolerable to the Times:

The civilization that we as whites created in Europe and America could not have developed apart from the genetic endowments of the creating people, nor is there any reason to believe that the civilization can be successfully transmitted to a different people.

Perhaps today, the Times would have overlooked this not-very-shocking statement, but ten years ago it was the equivalent of nitroglycerine, and Sam began a career as an independent journalist. His output was prodigious. In addition to his twice-weekly columns and monthly essays for Chronicles, he was editor of The Citizens’ Informer and book editor of The Occidental Quarterly. To this he added a regular stream of books and monographs, numerous speaking engagements, and service on several boards of directors, including that of AR’s parent organization, the New Century Foundation.

Of Sam’s brilliance and boldness as a thinker and writer there can be no doubt. The collection of his works on this page alone is ample testimony to that. He was undoubtedly the premier thinker and philosopher of white racial consciousness of our time. He was a man who could have built an impressive career as a public intellectual if, like so many, he had been willing to trim his sails and steer between the buoys. This, of course, was not Sam’s way, and by writing forcefully about what he knew to be true, moral, and vitally important, he sacrificed prominence and acclaim for the greater reward of doing what he saw to be his duty.

But as with so many men of great talent, Sam’s brilliance was just as striking in areas for which he was not well known. He read deeply in literature, both serious and popular. For example, he had an encyclopedic knowledge of the author H.P. Lovecraft, on whom he wrote several essays. It was a pleasure to discuss my own reading with Sam. Whether it was a novel by Joseph Conrad or a poem by Alexander Pope, Sam always had insightful recollections about the author and the work itself. I was partway through Dickens’s Dombey and Son when Sam died, and in a tiny corner of the immense sadness I feel, is the pang of knowing I will never have the pleasure of his commentary on that great novel.

Unlike many people, whose Ph.D. is a labor undertaken for professional purposes and quickly left behind, Sam’s historical learning reflected a real joy in knowing the past. He seemed to retain all he had ever learned, and was an inexhaustible source of insight and information. When, in my desultory way, I might stumble across an obscure but piquant incident from a 19th century British colonial campaign, Sam would know all about the campaign, why the colonial minister of the time had ordered it, and what objections had been raised by the foreign minister. When I first became acquainted with the Greek historian and geographer Strabo, Sam, of course, knew all about him and why he was important.

What a terrible waste that this immense fund of learning and insight should suddenly be struck down! There was no man who accomplished more for our cause, nor was there one with whom a more agreeable and edifying evening could be spent.

And so it is for both professional and personal reasons that I mourn the passing of a great mind and a good friend. Sam died only yesterday, and it has not yet entirely sunken in to me that this brilliant man is no longer with us. Those of us who shared his vision will carry on, as best we can, without him.


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Sam Francis will be missed by many / Andrews

Sam Francis Articles Archive – WEBSITE Articles Archive
Chronicles Principalities and Powers Archive

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Sam Francis Dies at 57
Report; Posted on: 2005-02-16 11:39:18

Pro-White columnist will be missed by many.
by Louis Andrews

I’M SAD TO REPORT that Sam Francis died last night of complications from his recent heart surgery. Funeral arrangements are pending.

The following is a brief biographical sketch on Samuel Francis (pictured).

Samuel Francis was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee, on April 29, 1947. He was educated at The Johns Hopkins University (B.A., 1969) and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, from which he received a Ph.D. in modern history in 1979. From 1977 to 1981, he was a policy analyst at The Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C., specializing in foreign affairs, terrorism, and intelligence and internal security issues. From 1981 to 1986, he was legislative assistant for national security affairs to Senator John P. East (Republican – North Carolina) and worked closely with the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Security and Terrorism, of which Senator East was a member.

Mr. Francis joined the editorial staff of The Washington Times in 1986 as an editorial writer. He served as Deputy Editorial Page Editor of The Washington Times from 1987 to 1991, as Acting Editorial Page Editor from February to May, 1991, and as a staff columnist through September, 1995.

Mr. Francis received the Distinguished Writing Award for Editorial Writing of the American Society of Newspaper Editors (ASNE) in both 1989 and 1990. He was a finalist for the National Journalism Award (Walker Stone Prize) for Editorial Writing of the Scripps Howard Foundation in 1989 and 1990.

His twice-weekly column was nationally syndicated through Creators Syndicate.

Mr. Francis was the author of several articles and studies of international and domestic terrorism, including The Soviet Strategy of Terror (1981; rev. ed., 1985).

A prolific writer on issues of public policy, he published articles or reviews in numerous newspapers and magazines, including The New York Times, U.S.A. Today, National Review, The Occidental Quarterly, A Journal of Western Thought and Opinion, of which he was Associate and Book Editor, and Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture, of which he was a Contributing Editor and for which he wrote a monthly column “Principalities and Powers.”

He was the author of Power and History: The Political Thought of James Burnham (1984) and Beautiful Losers: Essays on the Failure of American Conservatism (1993) and a number of other books. He was also the editor of the forthcoming Race and the American Future (Washington Summit Publishers, 2005).

I first met Mr. Francis at an Institute for Historical Review event in 1990. He was one of the few writers of real establishment standing who were willing to risk it all on principle, and speak out against the defacement of America and the ongoing attempted genocide of our people. He will be missed. — K.A.S.

More by or about Sam Francis:

The Origins of the Word (2005-01-29 11:00:32)

Anarcho-Tyranny — Where Multiculturalism Leads (2005-01-03 10:05:39)

Morality Not the Only Target on Monday Night Football (2004-11-30 23:36:11)

Bush Opposes All Invasion Controls (2004-10-15 18:57:27)

Will New California be Like Old Mexico? (2004-10-01 10:38:19)

When the State is the Enemy of the Nation (2004-07-21 20:35:03)

South Africa In Our Future? (2004-06-29 16:24:57)

White Zimbabwean Couple Survive Attack (2004-06-15 13:50:25)

Somali Immigrant Charged in Bombing Plot (2004-06-15 01:56:18)

‘Hispanic’ Hype Befuddling GOP (2004-06-09 07:24:34)

White Activist Warns of ‘Totalitarian Manipulation of Expression’ (2004-04-27 12:16:09)

White Activist Dr. Sam Francis Decries Deception about South Africa (2004-04-11 09:32:19)

Dr. Samuel Francis Supports Embattled Harvard Scholar (2004-03-26 09:40:45)

“Anti-Racists” Say Lord of the Rings too “Eurocentric” (2004-03-01 10:28:26)

Book Review: Communism, the Cold War, and the FBI Connection (2003-11-02 22:40:17)

Sam Francis on Non-White Immigration (2003-10-23 10:44:57)

Conservatives Always Lose (2003-10-01 14:58:08)

Israel is a Real Threat to U.S. Interests (2003-09-27 01:24:00)


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