George Tindall (1921-2006) and the Ten Commandments





The University of South Carolina's Dan Carter sends word that our mentor, George B. Tindall of UNC, died early yesterday morning in Chapel Hill at 85. George was a giant in his generation of historians of the post-Civil War South. There were Comer Vann Woodward, John Hope Franklin, and George Brown Tindall. Franklin, alone, survives. Before it was fashionable, they understood that Southern history had to be done in both black and white. For all of his accomplishments, George was a remarkably modest man. Bonnie Goodman wanted to include him in HNN's list of History Doyens, but he just never sent her the information for it. I can stop nudging both of them about it now.
Update: Kennesaw State University's David Parker remembers George Tindall at his new Another History Blog. It's not just any other history blog, he says. It is theAnother History Blog.

Two years ago, we had a fine retrospective session about George's work at the SHA convention in Memphis. There, Dan Carter had copies of George's Ten Commandments for all of us. Beyond good advice – ah, Commands – they also give you a sense of his humor. Tindall's Ten Commandments began in a draft prepared by Wisconsin's William B. Hesseltine. Hesseltine, in turn, may have adapted his commandments from an earlier version by the University of Maryland's Horace Samuel Merrill. So, they're part of a tradition. Feel free to improve on Tindall's rendition, if you can:

Clio's Decalogue: The Commandments of the Muse

IThou shalt smite the Philistines hip and thigh with thy first sentence. This is the First Commandment.



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