by Kevin Alfred Strom
A NOTED STUDENT and biographer of Revilo P. Oliver, Charles Scott Hamel, has died in South Carolina at the age of 72. From the Southern Partisan Web site, we read:
The esteemed publisher and benefactor of Southern Partisan magazine, Charles Scott Hamel, died Monday, 1 March 2010, after an extended illness at Providence Hospital in Columbia, South Carolina. He was 72. At the time of his death he lived in Chapin, South Carolina on the banks of Lake Murray.
Born in Arlington, Virginia, 9 April 1937, Mr. Hamel was the son of the late Charles D. Hamel and Ethel Scott Hamel of Washington City, District of Columbia. As a boy, Mr. Hamel matriculated at the prestigious Virginia Episcopal School in Lynchburg, class of 1956; and thence to the University of the South at Sewanee, Tennessee where he earned a bachelor of arts degree.
Mr. Hamel devoted much of his life to the study of the classics and the history and culture ancient Greece and Rome. After college Mr. Hamel was invited to study at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana under the tutelage of the preeminent philologist and renowned Classicist Revilo P. Oliver. Mr. Hamel was later asked by the Intercollegiate Studies Institute to write the biographical entry about Dr. Oliver in the work American Conservatism: An Encyclopedia. After graduating from Illinois with a Masters Degree in Classics, Mr. Hamel studied for a time at the University of Chicago. Mr. Hamel was also an active member of long-standing with the Philadelphia Society.
In his post-graduate life, Mr. Hamel was a teacher of Latin at various colleges, academies, and college preparatory schools including the Archibald Rutledge Academy in McClellanville.
In the 1970s Mr. Hamel sought to expand his influence on the world of letters and launched the Foundation for American Education, which he helmed until his death. The Foundation is an eleemosynary organization dedicated to preserving and promoting the classical traditions in the American scholarship and specifically to the publication of books and monographs which otherwise might not be publicly available. The Foundation has produced such notable works as the re-publication of Lincoln the Man by noted American poet and scholar Edgar Lee Masters. Lincoln the Man is an unflinching biography of President Abraham Lincoln which was actually banned by the United States Congress at the time of its original publication in the 1930s. The Foundation most recently published two volumes of the collected works of professor Clyde N. Wilson, Ph.D.: From Union to Empire: Essays in the Jeffersonian Tradition and Defending Dixie: Essays in Southern History and Culture.
Mr. Hamel was also keenly aware of the loss and cheapening of American history and culture as well as that of the ancients. For nearly a quarter-century, he served as publisher of the outspoken Southern Partisan magazine: a unique journal of opinion dedicated to introducing the intellectual traditions of the old South to a new generation….
Revilo Pendleton Oliver forever altered the course of many lives, through his writing, through his teaching, and through the great force of his personality. Charles Scott Hamel was one of those whose life was changed by his association with Dr. Oliver.
Mr. Hamel also did not stint in sharing his knowledge with others. It’s inspiring to read of his efforts, which continue through those he motivated and taught. The tasks he took on — spreading the ideals of classicism, scholarship, and Western civilization in an age of trash culture, raising the banner of intellect in the crippled and downtrodden South, and standing for historical truth and the ideals of freedom — were difficult ones, and put him directly at odds with the regime in Washington. Let us, in noting his passing, vow to emulate his dedication, courage, and energy.