White Supremacy, by J.H. Van Evrie, M.D.

White Supremacy, by J.H. Van Evrie, M.D.

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John H. Van Evrie (1814-1896), was a New York physician. He is regarded by distinguished professor of history (NC State U) John David Smith as the first professional racist in North America.

Van Evrie wrote a number of books and pamphlets attempting to justify the superiority of the white race and the subordinate status of other races, particularly the black "race."

‘Master race’
In the United States, the concept of ‘master race’ arose within the context of master-slave race relations in the slavery-based society of historical America – particularly in the South in the mid-nineteenth century. It was based upon both the experience of slavery and the pseduo-scientific justifications for racial slavery, but also on the relations between whites in the South and North, particularly during the American Civil War. By 1860 Virginian author George Fitzhugh was using the challenging phrase “master race”, which soon came to mean considerably more than the ordinary master-slave relationship". Fitzhugh, along with a number of southern writers, used the term to differentiate Southerners from Northerners, based on the dichotomy that Southerners were supposedly descendents of Normans / Cavaliers whereas Northerners were descendents of Anglo-Saxons / Puritans.

In 1861 the Southern press bragged that Northern soldiers would "enounter a master race" and knowledge of this fact would cause Northern soldiers’ "knees to tremble". The Richmond Whig in 1862 proclaimed that "the master race of this continent is found in the southern states", and in 1863 the Richmond Examiner stated that "there are slave races born to serve, master races born to govern"

In the works of John H. Van Evrie, a Northern supporter of the Confederacy, the term was interchangeable with white supremacy, notably in White Supremacy and Negro Subordination, Or, Negroes a Subordinate Race and (so-called) slavery its normal condition (1861). In Subgeneation: the theory of the normal relations of the races; an answer to miscegenation (1864) Van Evrie created the words “subgen” to describe what he considered to be the "inferior races" and “subgeneation” to describe the ‘normal’ relation of such inferior races to whites, something which he considered to be the "very corner-stone of democracy"; but these words never entered the dictionary.

Following the defeat of the Confederacy the term "master race" immediately fell into disuse.

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