Author Topic: Who was Nathan Bedford Forrest?  (Read 105907 times)

Metro Jacksonville

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Who was Nathan Bedford Forrest?
« on: October 25, 2013, 03:05:51 AM »
Who was Nathan Bedford Forrest?



As the debate wages on around the name of a local high school honoring a man with no historical relationship with the First Coast, Metro Jacksonville shares videos with two different perspectives on the life of the former Memphis, TN slave trader and founder of the KKK.

Full Article
http://www.metrojacksonville.com/article/2013-oct-who-was-nathan-bedford-forrest

theduvalprogressive

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Re: Who was Nathan Bedford Forrest?
« Reply #1 on: October 25, 2013, 11:02:20 AM »
Thank you for posting this. This discussion needs to be had all around the city.
Robert Montgomerie

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Re: Who was Nathan Bedford Forrest?
« Reply #2 on: October 25, 2013, 02:08:46 PM »
Didnt the daughters of the american revolution..without public input..vote to name it?...an obvious racist group back then..

polyneux

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Re: Who was Nathan Bedford Forrest?
« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2013, 02:38:08 PM »
All kind of Special Interest groups petition for and win the names of schools. It's what happens when the public doesn't go to meetings. If you look into the actual history of Forrest and his life though you see lots of change, and by the end he had a very progressive agenda for racial relationships. He moved with his times and changed with them as well. One of the largest fallacies that all these feels based "historians" make is that they judge people from hundreds of years ago with the rules and practices we have in place today. This is a critical thinking skill that is on middle school social studies curricula. By this same judgement people are passing on Forrest, every white (and even some black abolitionist) person from before 1950 is Racist by some form or another. How do you think they felt about homophobia? Or interracial marriage? More importantly there is overwhelmingly more positive messages coming out of Forrest's own hand in the form of letters, speeches, and journals than there are in the stacks of negative comments and lines of uneducated people who think they know history. There is as much proof for Forrest's racism as there is for Washington, Franklin, or my great great great great grandfather. Then again most people can't comprehend the fact that the Klan existed as a segmented organization in several different instances. They can't comprehend that in the beginnings they had noble intentions that careened out of control in the next decades or so. You look at the KKK in the 1960s and assume that's how it's always been.

So call me back when we're ready to start talking about real history. About the socio-economic reasons why people in the south who'd never even seen slaves were stirred to war. About not solely demonizing white europeans when teaching about slavery (a world wide problem practiced by almost all cultures that exists to this day). More importantly, try again when you're ready to actually try thinking in the shoes of the people who lived in these time periods, instead of sitting in your computer chair judging all those who came before you with your biased education.

bill

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Re: Who was Nathan Bedford Forrest?
« Reply #4 on: October 25, 2013, 02:43:05 PM »
Wow a reasoned thoughtful post. Thought I was on the wrong site.

thelakelander

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Re: Who was Nathan Bedford Forrest?
« Reply #5 on: October 25, 2013, 02:55:33 PM »
polyneux, you appear to be well versed on the history of Forrest the man.  What was his relationship to Jacksonville and why was the school named after him of all people?
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

polyneux

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Re: Who was Nathan Bedford Forrest?
« Reply #6 on: October 25, 2013, 03:07:07 PM »
There are all kinds of schools, roads, and buildings, named after all sorts of people some of whom have no connection to Jacksonville.

I wasn't aware that it was a rule that if you name something after someone in Jacksonville that they have to be related to Jacksonville somehow.

What if Jacksonville or Florida didn't even exist as a city or state when the named person was around?

I'm of the opinion that once a school is named it should stay named (unless of course some extreme circumstance occurs, like the person goes on a shooting spree, but that's really why we wait till they're dead, isn't it...) What are we to do, rename schools every 50 to 75 years as our politics and moral systems continue to change?

It's as much a part of our history that we -named- the school, that the school exists. This to me is more important than necessarily the details of the person it is named for. Placing a monument is as monumental as  the person iconified.

KenFSU

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Re: Who was Nathan Bedford Forrest?
« Reply #7 on: October 25, 2013, 03:19:36 PM »
I'm of the opinion that once a school is named it should stay named (unless of course some extreme circumstance occurs, like the person goes on a shooting spree, but that's really why we wait till they're dead, isn't it...)

From Encyclopedia Britannica:

Quote
Fort Pillow Massacre, (April 12, 1864), in the American Civil War, Confederate slaughter of black Federal troops stationed at Fort Pillow, Tennessee. The action stemmed from Southern outrage at the North’s use of black soldiers. From the beginning of hostilities, the Confederate leadership was faced with the question of whether to treat black soldiers captured in battle as slaves in insurrection or, as the Union insisted, as prisoners of war.

In what proved the ugliest racial incident of the war, Confederate forces under General Nathan B. Forrest captured Fort Pillow on April 12, 1864, and proceeded to kill all the black troops within; some were burned or buried alive. A Federal congressional investigating committee subsequently verified that more than 300 blacks, including women and children, had been slain after the fort surrendered. After the incident, black soldiers going into battle used the cry “Remember Fort Pillow!”

Does this count?
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thelakelander

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Re: Who was Nathan Bedford Forrest?
« Reply #8 on: October 25, 2013, 03:25:29 PM »
There are all kinds of schools, roads, and buildings, named after all sorts of people some of whom have no connection to Jacksonville.

I wasn't aware that it was a rule that if you name something after someone in Jacksonville that they have to be related to Jacksonville somehow.

What if Jacksonville or Florida didn't even exist as a city or state when the named person was around?

I'm of the opinion that once a school is named it should stay named (unless of course some extreme circumstance occurs, like the person goes on a shooting spree, but that's really why we wait till they're dead, isn't it...) What are we to do, rename schools every 50 to 75 years as our politics and moral systems continue to change?

It's as much a part of our history that we -named- the school, that the school exists. This to me is more important than necessarily the details of the person it is named for. Placing a monument is as monumental as  the person iconified.

Ummm. okay. So are you saying there is no historical connection?
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

Cheshire Cat

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Re: Who was Nathan Bedford Forrest?
« Reply #9 on: October 25, 2013, 03:44:15 PM »
I'm of the opinion that once a school is named it should stay named (unless of course some extreme circumstance occurs, like the person goes on a shooting spree, but that's really why we wait till they're dead, isn't it...)

From Encyclopedia Britannica:

Quote
Fort Pillow Massacre, (April 12, 1864), in the American Civil War, Confederate slaughter of black Federal troops stationed at Fort Pillow, Tennessee. The action stemmed from Southern outrage at the North’s use of black soldiers. From the beginning of hostilities, the Confederate leadership was faced with the question of whether to treat black soldiers captured in battle as slaves in insurrection or, as the Union insisted, as prisoners of war.

In what proved the ugliest racial incident of the war, Confederate forces under General Nathan B. Forrest captured Fort Pillow on April 12, 1864, and proceeded to kill all the black troops within; some were burned or buried alive. A Federal congressional investigating committee subsequently verified that more than 300 blacks, including women and children, had been slain after the fort surrendered. After the incident, black soldiers going into battle used the cry “Remember Fort Pillow!”

Does this count?
Yes KenFSU this counts.   The takeaway from polyneux comment's to me boils down to a single comment in which they say "I'm of the opinion that once a school is named it should stay named".  Ya see the thing is that this is the opinion of one person, the poster.  Right now there are over 156,000 signatures that say the name should be changed along with a poll that also said 80% of the people of Jacksonville want the name change as well.  It would appear that in the opinion of most folks, up to 80% that the name needs to go. That is what really matters.  There are always those who would like to explain away the horrors of past brutality in the context of history as if any explanation can change what went horribly wrong.  In the case of Nathan Forrest, a lot of things went horribly wrong under his watch and at his command.  No statement no matter how eloquent gives us a reason to ignore that this man, in spite of whatever he did at the end of his life, was personally responsible for the enslavement of many and the brutal murder of many more.  Sorry but Nathan Forrest does not get a "historic" pass.  Enslavement is enslavement and murder is murder.  That's the sorry fact surrounding much of this mans life.  To even suggest that a evolving society with a better understanding about history should keep a public school named after someone responsible for so much horror and pain and not change it cause well, history and all, is nothing more than foolish rhetoric.  Changing the name is part of an evolution away from an imbalanced mindset that said you can enslave and murder hundreds, even thousand of people and still be honored. That mindset is really kind of sick. 
« Last Edit: October 25, 2013, 05:04:59 PM by Cheshire Cat »
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CityLife

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Re: Who was Nathan Bedford Forrest?
« Reply #10 on: October 25, 2013, 03:52:08 PM »
Public high schools named after people in Duval County:

Douglas Anderson-born in Jax
Duncan Fletcher-former Jax mayor
Andrew Jackson-namesake for COJ
Robert E. Lee-Confederate general
Terry Parker-deeded land for the school
Frank Peterson-?
William Raines-local principal
A Phillip Randolph-Jax resident
Jean Ribault-french explorer who settled Jax
Ed White-first American to walk in space, died in Apollo, no ties to Jax
Samuel Wolfson, local businessman
Edwin Stanton-Secretary of war under Lincoln, no ties to Jax

Take away the Forrest name, and you still have a local school named after a Conferate General (Lee) and one after a Union secretary of war (Stanton). Sounds like a fair trade off to me.
« Last Edit: October 25, 2013, 03:58:28 PM by CityLife »

Cheshire Cat

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Re: Who was Nathan Bedford Forrest?
« Reply #11 on: October 25, 2013, 05:05:38 PM »
Wow a reasoned thoughtful post. Thought I was on the wrong site.

you are.
Stephen, you made me snort my coffee when I read this.  :)
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Redbaron616

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Re: Who was Nathan Bedford Forrest?
« Reply #12 on: October 25, 2013, 05:39:15 PM »
The fact that Nathan Bedford Forrest had no connection to Jacksonville should settle this. The Civil War is over. The Union was preserved. Let that be the end of it.

In naming schools, it is best to name them for the area that they are in or near. Naming schools after some favored teacher or principal that no one remembers in 20 years is also a total waste. Keep it simple. At least with an area name, many will know approximately where the school is without future reference. Not to mention the real waste of all the signage being changed.

Coolyfett

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Re: Who was Nathan Bedford Forrest?
« Reply #13 on: October 25, 2013, 05:48:41 PM »
Public high schools named after people in Duval County:

Douglas Anderson-born in Jax
Duncan Fletcher-former Jax mayor
Andrew Jackson-namesake for COJ
Robert E. Lee-Confederate general
Terry Parker-deeded land for the school
Frank Peterson-?
William Raines-local principal
A Phillip Randolph-Jax resident
Jean Ribault-french explorer who settled Jax
Ed White-first American to walk in space, died in Apollo, no ties to Jax
Samuel Wolfson, local businessman
Edwin Stanton-Secretary of war under Lincoln, no ties to Jax

Take away the Forrest name, and you still have a local school named after a Conferate General (Lee) and one after a Union secretary of war (Stanton). Sounds like a fair trade off to me.
What about all the middle schools and elementary with Confederate names? Isnt there a StoneWall Jackson somewhere in Duval? I went to Jefferson Davis and my sister went to JEB Stuart not sure if there are any others.
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CityLife

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Re: Who was Nathan Bedford Forrest?
« Reply #14 on: October 25, 2013, 06:37:18 PM »
^By all means feel free to do that research and share.