We Shall Not See His Like Again

Learning and eloquence and wit are rare. But what I want to point to on this occasion is something much rarer, which Sam had in abundance—his courage. Courage is rare, and intellectual courage, such as Sam displayed all his life, is the rarest courage of all.

We all know of the emoluments and honours that could have been his—if he had been willing to sell off just a little of his integrity—in the normal and almost universal American manner. But that would have required him to compromise just a little bit of the truth. Sam was one of those rare souls willing to pay the price for truth-telling in a time that honours it not.

When I think of Sam I think of what was said about his fellow Tennessean, General Bedford Forrest. “He bought a one-way ticket to the war.” That means that Forrest, once committed to a good cause—the defense of his people—devoted his all to the cause and never looked back. Such a man was Sam Francis. ~Clyde Wilson