[A PROSPECTIVE UNIVERSITY OF MISSISSIPPI COLLEGE STUDENT CASTIGATES WHITE MEN FOR THEIR TREATMENT OF NATIVE AMERICANS]; A “Composition on Indians” by a student, who would begin study the following year at the University of Mississippi, about their mistreatment at the hands of whites. H. H. Bedford, Henry Hill.
[A PROSPECTIVE UNIVERSITY OF MISSISSIPPI COLLEGE STUDENT CASTIGATES WHITE MEN FOR THEIR TREATMENT OF NATIVE AMERICANS]; A “Composition on Indians” by a student, who would begin study the following year at the University of Mississippi, about their mistreatment at the hands of whites
[A PROSPECTIVE UNIVERSITY OF MISSISSIPPI COLLEGE STUDENT CASTIGATES WHITE MEN FOR THEIR TREATMENT OF NATIVE AMERICANS]; A “Composition on Indians” by a student, who would begin study the following year at the University of Mississippi, about their mistreatment at the hands of whites

[A PROSPECTIVE UNIVERSITY OF MISSISSIPPI COLLEGE STUDENT CASTIGATES WHITE MEN FOR THEIR TREATMENT OF NATIVE AMERICANS]; A “Composition on Indians” by a student, who would begin study the following year at the University of Mississippi, about their mistreatment at the hands of whites

Como, Mississippi: 1848. Unbound. This two-page essay measures 15” x 8” when opened. It is dated, “Como Post Office, Panola County, Miss” and titled, “A Composition on Indians” Docketing includes text reading, “Read to Mr. Henderson Juty / H. H. Bedford”, a pencil geometry sketch, and the statement “He would have perhaps as a reward for his many and faithful services been elected President of his country at the expiration of Washingtons term had not death the destroyer snatched him from the fond embrace of Countrymen”. In nice shape. Transcript will be provided.

The composition reads in part:

“When Columbus sailed for the discovery of a western passage; to the East Indies the Indian were then in all their glory. But how soon they were detined to a melancholy extinction. As soon as the white man gained possession of a foot hold the Indian disappear when the west Indies were discovered, the Indians held command over this land. They have gone from there. . ..

They have gone all all have gone, the powerful tribes which once lived here and which lived farther east. The tribe which returned victorious from the battle field bringing trophies of their valour. The tribes which threated to drive our forefathers from this dear land and waged war upon them. Tribes which met and joyfully participated in the war dance and told their own exploits in war: and of the daring deeds performed by their forefathers to their wives and children so that they might treasure them up as sacred relict. . .. Where are the Delaware the Hurons the Mohegans and host of other tribes. They have all gone no more shall their discendants visit the burial grounds of their progenetors; no more shall war dance be engaged in, slowly they have died away and those which did not die or get killed were forced to pass beyond the Mississippi River. it may well be said that the white man was the cause of their bad misfotunes treatments upon the poor Indians. The approach of the white man brought corruption . . . and blotted out their existence.

What corruption did the white man bring. What powerful agency did he employ . . . to destroy the most warlike of the human race.. . .. it was a devastating war.”. Very good. Item #009626

Bedford graduated from the University of Mississippi in 1853 at the age of 19, which suggests he entered college as a 15-year-old in 1849, the year after the school first opened. It is unclear if Bedford’s composition was part of his regular studies, was preparation for admission, or met an admissions requirement.

Regardless, the essay's rough construction indicates that admission standards at the University were not especially rigorous. However, it also exhibits his empathy with the Eastern Tribes that had been displaced. No doubt, Bedford was associated with the Whig Party—led by Davy Crockett, Henry Clay, and Daniel Webster—which opposed the draconian Indian Removal Act championed by the Democratic Party and Presidents Andrew Jackson and Martin Van Buren that evicted over 100,000 American Indians from their homes and killed over 15,000 tribe members from exposure, exhaustion, and starvation during a forced marched of over a thousand miles on the Trail of Tears to resettle in the Indian Territory.

Bedford went on to become an attorney in Tennessee, perhaps after studying law at the University of Mississippi. Additional information about Bedford is available online.

Price: $300.00

See all items in Documents, Education, Ethnic
See all items by ,