November 21, 2015

"I think you’ll be pleased to know that it was a unanimous vote against using the Lord Jeff."

"I said to my staff, ‘We’re moving on here; the Lord Jeff is done.'"

Here's an article from the Amherst College website about Sir Jeffery Amherst, including the key sticking point:

Meanwhile, Native peoples west of the Alleghenies grew restive. Here, Amherst’s ignorance, scorn and frugality bred discontent. In particular, in an effort to cut costs, he severely reduced the distribution of presents to Native peoples, saying he would not engage in “purchasing the good behavior, either of Indians, or any others,” believing instead that “When Men of What race soever, behave ill they must be punished but not bribed.”

This attitude played a direct role in inciting a wave of attacks during the late spring of 1763 that Natives directed at British forts and colonial settlements along the colonies’ western frontiers. In a matter of weeks, British power west of the Alleghenies vanished, and Amherst found himself scrambling to find troops to stabilize the situation. In early July 1763, he advocated spreading blankets infected with smallpox among the Natives, a measure that his subordinate at Fort Pitt, Capt. Simeon Ecuyer, had already employed in late June on his own initiative. Historians debate the degree to which these actions promoted outbreaks of smallpox. The presence of a pre-existing infection at Fort Pitt strongly suggests that a smallpox epidemic had already broken out along the western frontiers of the British colonies. Still, by recommending such a course of action, Amherst and other British officers revealed their contempt for Native Americans and a willingness to promote genocide by spreading lethal diseases.


Sebastian said...

“When Men of What race soever, behave ill they must be punished but not bribed.”

Clearly, a guy who says things like that can't serve as a symbol for modern academic institutions.

What's next -- calling a for retroactive name change for MLK Sr. and Jr., to avoid association with the famous 16h-century anti-Semite?

chuck said...

And now Amherst itself is a center of contagion aimed at wiping out the natives. Fitting, I think, Sir Jeffery Amherst would be proud.

traditionalguy said...

Amherst was a better General than he was a Royal Governor. As Governor he decided that once New France had been conquered, he could abandon his ties to the Indian allies who had served him in the war under covenant Chain arrangements that long required regular gifts to the tribes of guns, gunpowder, iron tools and rum. And at the same time the Beaver Hat Craze disappeared in Europe and with it the only trade goods the Indians used.

So the Pontiac Rebellion erupted and surprised Amherst.

The blankets with small pox was a desperate proposal that was never put into effect. The Indians lost that war, although they succeeded at the slaughter of many settlers, because they did not plant crops for the year they went off raiding and so they starved the next year.

But no one put it past the British Empire to exterminate anyone it could whenever the Aristocracy could make itself fortunes doing it. After all they were William The Conqueror's tribe.

SteveR said...

Yep done. Get on trash heap with President Wilson.

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

"The Major General's Song" (I am the very model of the modern Major General ...) was SFAIK modeled after Sir Garnet Wolseley, not Jeffery Amherst. The capstone of his career was the Charles Gordon rescue mission to Khartoum, at which he arrived a day or two late.

MacMacConnell said...

Don Faulstick, the athletic director at the college said, He supported the move and besides it means "New stuff!"

Tank said...

Gamer gate?



Otto said...

'....The Lord Jeff is done." So is America.

The Godfather said...

Well, then, if you can't have Amherst as a mascot, then you certainly can't name your college after him, can you?

How about naming the college after the leader of the Indians -- oops, Native Americans -- who rose against Amherst? "Pontiac College" has a nice ring to it, I think. Perhaps a Pontiac diploma won't be as prestigious as an Amherst one, but it's a small sacrifice to make to the cause of political correctness.

Rob said...

Not a single faculty member had the cojones to vote no. Somehow that seems sadder than the decision they reached.

Titus said...

Amherst is beautiful. Wisconsin's Biddy is the chancellor-big dyke.


Static Ping said...

Lord Jeff is an unofficial mascot named after a British general that not only espoused the use of weaponized smallpox but also opposed the American Revolution to the point that he was a candidate to command the British troops. The school's athletic program is irrelevant in collegiate sports beyond Division III fans and 19th century trivia buffs. (The first collegiate baseball game involved Amherst back in 1959.) My sense that "Lord Jeff" was chosen as a mascot in possibly the most irreverent way possible; it is hard to imagine the school thought highly of him at any point.

If this wasn't inspired by PC nonsense, I wouldn't care. Now I vaguely sorta care.

Michael K said...

Calvin Coolidge is spinning in his grave, God, what a disgrace !

Michael said...

This is one of my favorites! Way better than the poop swastzika. Because Amherst actually existed/exists. And it is the name of a town in which a college of the same name receives its mail. This is really outstanding stuff, especially the part about the faculty going all in, going by-God unanimous, on this pressing issue. That takes balls.

Leora said...

I can't help but feel that Lord Jeff would be relieved to no longer be caricatured on people's athletic shorts.

The Cracker Emcee Refulgent said...

If you can successfully airbrush the racists from history, than it follows that no racism occurred and you're just a whining loser. Absurd, I know, but I wonder how the next generation of Blacks, living in a world sanitized of White guilt, is going to explain their ongoing failure to achieve at the same level as other folks.

ganderson said...

1. I think they were playing collegiate baseball before 1959. As for the rest of the Athletic Department- it is uniformly excellent.The basketball and hockey teams, all 4 of them, are always in national title contention,and even occasionally win one and last year the men's lax team made it to the NCAA round of 8, losing to eventual champion Tufts. I for one enjoy watching D III sports- I watched the Jeffs (err... whoever) men's hockey team beat Hamilton last night.

2. As for Amherst he was a talented general- one could argue that he (and Wolfe) won the French and Indian War for the British. I know that because the 7 Years' War was a world war it was more complex than that, but you can't deny his achievements.

3. In the aftermath of the war the frontier was unsettled- the Delaware in particular, who had been allied with the French seemed disinclined to give up- frustrating for a commander, or a governor. The blanket thing seems grossly overblown- if the point the sniveling brats wish to make is that Lord Jeffery didn't much care for the Indians, well, they are correct, he didn't. He and virtually every other European in North America- French, English- you name it. The students' reading of this issue is dependent on the Kevin Costner "Dances With Wolves " view of the Indians- that they were traveling bands of St. Francis of Assisi impersonators, who were all of a sudden hunted for sport when the Europeans arrived. Amherst was a man of his time, more accomplished than most I dare say, holding attitudes that everyone else held at the time. I would guess that the average Amherst student (or faculty member, for that matter) knows nothing of any of this.
4. I'm guessing more than a few faculty abstained- I can't imagine someone like Hadley Arkes signing on to this nonsense. And- I wonder if any big donors, athletic and otherwise have weighed in.
5. If naming you team the 'Indians' or 'Redskins' or 'Wagon Burners' or somesuch is supposed to be insulting to the Indians, why not keep the name to insult his Lordship, or indeed all upper class toffs?
6. If they do change the name, I understand 'Fighting Sioux' has become available.

David said...

This is a weak half measure. If the name of the mascot is a sin, what is the name of the college? It's still named after Lord Jeff.

Pretty cheap way to feel good about yourself, it seems to me.

And if the town won't change it's name, the college should move.

robother said...

Lord Jeff fulfilled his mission as a mascot when Amherst had to go up against teams whose mascots represented various tribes of redskins. With the demise of those mascots, his image no longer struck symbolic fear in the hearts of Amherst foes.

I propose Haven Monahan as a new avatar, whose mere name is likely to induce fainting spells among collegians of every gender.

David said...

Next up, Washington, D.C.

Indian fighter
Land grabber
White privilege guy
Overpaid ($25k a year as President. What's $25,000 in 2015 dollars?)

(And he did lie.

Martha: "How do I look in this dress, George?)

He lied through his tooth.)

iowan2 said...

Are we also going after Martin Luther King Jr, and Winnie Mandela? These clueless youngsters seem to think they can find some men that are without sin. I wonder how many will vote for Clinton's wife, after the scores of women she set out to destroy their character?

Quaestor said...

If they must do something so stupid (and they must, pointless symbolic actions are one of the defining characters of your typical proglodyte) then they should change the mascot's name from Lord Jeff to simply Jeff in honor of Thomas Jefferson.

From Wikipedia: In a famous letter to Meriwether Lewis in 1803, Thomas Jefferson instructed the Lewis and Clark expedition to "carry with you some matter of the kine-pox; inform those of them with whom you may be, of its efficacy as a preservative from the smallpox; & encourage them in the use of it..." Jefferson had developed an interest in protecting Native Americans from smallpox, having been aware of epidemics along the Missouri River during the previous century. A year before his special instructions to Lewis, Jefferson had persuaded a visiting delegation of North American Indian Chieftains to be vaccinated with kinepox during the winter of 1801-2. Unfortunately, Lewis never got the opportunity to use kinepox during the pair's expedition, as it had become inadvertently inactive — a common occurrence in a time before vaccines were stabilized with preservatives such as glycerol or kept at refrigeration temperatures.

Fernandinande said...

David said...
Overpaid ($25k a year as President. What's $25,000 in 2015 dollars?)

1790 dollars were about the same as 1950 dollars.

Presidential Pay 1789 to 2012,
in Current and Constant (2012) dollars
- was relatively low in 1789, as it is now.

David Begley said...

Students need to figure out if there is something wrong with the Badger as a mascot.

Bill said...

So who's the new mascot going to be - Shaniqua Futterman-Garcia, Social Justice Warrior?

The Cracker Emcee Refulgent said...

It occurs to me that the White liberals of academia are actually pleased to accede to the demands of the BLM suckers. In exchange for some symbolic bullshit that they cared nothing about anyway, they get to continue to dupe Black folks. Blacks get the name on a building changed, a niggardly portion of government cheese, and fuck-all else. White liberals get control of the institutions of the United States. Sweet!

rcocean said...

I love how that's written. You see the Natives were just "restive" - in actually they were butchering every white settler, man, woman, and child, they could lay their hands on.

Use of disease was an age old tactic. The Americans accused the British of trying to spread small-pox during the American revolution by sending diseased slaves and deserters into the American army.

C R Krieger said...

The Godfather nailed it.

If the mascot goes, the name of the college should be changed. I recommend Connecticut River College or I-91 College. Definitely not Amherst. The horror of it.

Regards  —  Cliff

jr565 said...

they have to change of the name of the college too. Since it has the same sinful name as that of the mascot.

Static Ping said...

Oops. That first collegiate baseball game was in 1859, not 1959. That's pre-Civil War and pre-professional baseball. (The Cincinnati Reds went professional in 1969. First professional league was in 1871.)

ganderson said...

Static- your keyboard must be all bollixed up-1869!

Static Ping said...

@ganderson: Yeesh. It's been a long week. Thanks.

David said...

Those are interesting graphs, Fernandinande, and were surprising to me. Interesting that Clinton, the Bushes and Obama have been among the lowest paid presidents based on this analysis. Perhaps everything is explicable by the notion that we are getting what we pay for.

David said...

"Unfortunately, Lewis never got the opportunity to use kinepox during the pair's expedition, as it had become inadvertently inactive "
I wonder how they found that out?

Chris N said...

Identify. Militate. Expunge.


Lean Forward.

Cleanse The Past. Shape Thoughts.

Police Enemies. Enemynify The Police.

Feel About How You Think About What You Feel.


Anonymous said...

The sinful habit that has been almost eradicated in my lifetime is smoking cigarettes. We baby boomers remember breathing second hand smoke practically everywhere but in church. If we ever have a president who smokes I think we should erase his any references to him from history books. To do otherwise would be to endorse bad habits.

Phil 314 said...

New Mascot:

Neville Chamberlain

PB said...

Stop bribing minorities and see what we get...

SukieTawdry said...

They were singing the Amherst fight song when the Titanic hit the iceberg.

Oh, Lord Jeffery Amherst was a soldier of the king
And he came from across the sea,
To the Frenchmen and the Indians he didn't do a thing
In the wilds of this wild country,
In the wilds of this wild country.
And for his royal majesty he fought with all his might,
For he was a soldier loyal and true,
And he conquered all the enemies that came within his sight
And he looked around for more when he was through.

Oh, Amherst, brave Amherst
'Twas a name known to fame in days of yore,
May it ever be glorious
'Til the sun shall climb the heavens no more.

We were still singing it when I was in college. Don't know about now.

ganderson said...

Sukey- I went to a funeral of an Amherst grad the other week. It was the first hymn, sung by some young men from the college.Glad I got to hear it before it goes down the memory hole.

damikesc said...

As Red Eye pointed out, the students were somewhat mixed and ambivalent about the issue. The FACULTY, though, was gung ho to remove him.

I wonder how much of the strife on campus is caused by the faculty, specifically. There are a lot of professors (and I know, professionally, you cannot agree) whose "scholarship" is outright bullshit. Ethnic/gender studies profs got to make a case for their relevance somehow.