While researching a property covenant issue for a friend, I ran across the case of Mr. Henry E. Ingram Jr. of South Carolina. This dates back to 2006.
It seems that Mr. Ingram had no love for ‘Yankees’. He accordingly imposed covenants upon some land he sold.
The property shall never be leased, sold, bequeathed, devised or otherwise transferred, permanently or temporarily, to any person or entity that may be described as being part of the Yankee race. “Yankee” … shall mean any person or entity born or formed north of the Mason-Dixon line, or any person or entity who has lived or been located for a continuous period of one (1) year above said line.
. . .
The covenants and restrictions are necessary to ensure that the Yankees will never again own or control large tracts of land that rightfully belong in Southern hand and under Southern domination. They are intended to prevent Yankee ownership of property stolen or conscripted after the great war of Northern aggression after 1865 by the Yankee carpetbaggers and scalawags. Delta Plantation will once again be available to the true Southerners to view, camp, hunt, fish, use, enjoy and share as true Southerners are taught from birth.
Mr. Ingram further stipulated that the land could not be sold to purchasers with the last name of ‘Sherman’, or who had last names, the letters of which could be rearranged to form the name ‘Sherman’. However, in a later modification, he was more generous.
Mr. Ingram has recently modified the covenants to allow Yankees to purchase the property if they take a “Southern oath” in which they promise that “when speaking of Yankees, I will refer to them as scalawags or carpetbaggers.” Moreover, they must “whistle or hum ‘Dixie’ as a sign of [their] loyalty and as a token of [their] new outlook on life.”
I’m still shaking my head in bemusement. I could have understood such sentiments in the generation – perhaps even two generations – immediately following the Civil war . . . but in 2006? Sheesh!
Thinking about this, I could impose a really weird set of covenants on my property. I was born in a British colony to British parents, and am now living in the USA. This state (Louisiana) was formerly a Spanish, then a French possession, which was sold to the USA. That gives no less than five potential national origins to commemorate by means of covenants, not to mention regional variations (Cajun, Creole, good ol’ Southern redneck, and Heaven knows what combinations of them!)
The Bowie family lived hereabouts for some years, too, and they had some good old-fashioned ways of settling disputes, according to legend. I wonder if I could specify that disagreements over covenants should be settled in ‘the traditional Bowie way’?
Hmmm . . .