Monday, November 2, 2015

What's In A Name?

The Emily Dickinson Homestead "I'm nobody! Who are you?"

Perhaps we can get Amherst College to increase its Payment In Lieu Of Taxes to the town of Amherst from the current $130,000 up to $1 million or so in exchange for changing our name.  How about Emilyville?

Appropriate enough of course since Miss Emily is more famous than Lord Jeffery Amherst -- and for a better reason.  And ever so conveniently her historic homestead, a mecca for tourists from around the world, is owned by Amherst, err, Emilyville College.

The undefeated Jeffs beat Wesleyan 27-18 at their October 24th home game

I'm not so sure rough and tumble college football players will be psyched about a nickname associated with a long dead reclusive female poet, although anything has got to be better than a flea infested moose. 

Lord Jeff of course never actually ordered the distribution of infected blankets to the hostile Indians, err, Native Americans laying seige to Fort Pitt.  And there's no conclusive scientific proof that the two blankets and handkerchief used in the sick attempt actually worked.

But there's no question Lord Jeff was not a big fan of what was then a sworn enemy threatening the men, woman and children of his command. 


Anonymous said...

If he didn't order it, he was certainly in favor of it.

"You will Do well to try to Innoculate the Indians by means of Blankets, as well as to try Every other method that can serve to Extirpate this Execrable Race. I should be very glad your Scheme for Hunting them Down by Dogs could take Effect, but England is at too great a Distance to think of that at present."

Dr. Ed said...

As opposed to what the Indians routinely did in warfare, this was humane.

One tactic was to torture captured prisoners (including women/children) in sight of the enemy in order to drag them out of hiding. Torture usually consisted of either burning alive or skinning alive.

Bear in mind that, notwithstanding the Pequot War, the Pequots are not only "still here" but own a casino. However the Pocumtucs aren't -- they were exterminated by the Mohawks -- a genocide.

Then there is what happened in Deerfield:

Kidnapping girls to become "wives", amongst other things -- I call that "rape", "kidnapping" and a general "crime against humanity", and have no problem with those having to worry about this happening to their daughters calling for the deaths of the perps via any means possible.

Im ba l'hargekha, hashkem l'hargo -- essentially if someone is coming to kill you, rise up and kill him/her/it first. This was savagery -- not pretty.

-- Brachot 58a, 62b, citing Exodus 22.2

Dr. Ed said...

The other thing to remember in all of this is that Lord Jeff was a Pro-American British Officer, and had there been a few more like him, there likely wouldn't have been an American Revolution, nor need of one.

Remember that only 1/3 of Americans supported the Patriots -- 1/3 were "Loyalists" supporting the British with the remaining third trying not to get involved at all. And that war was quite nasty as well -- the "Committees for Public Safety" come to mind.

Lord Jeff was an advocate for the people of the Upper Pioneer Valley -- memory is that he resigned his commission rather than fight in the Revolution -- he was dearly loved and when what is now the Town of Amherst was able to establish what is now the First Congregational Church and hence could become its own town ("set off" from Hadley), the town was named "Amherst" in honor of him.

And then remember how Amherst College came to be -- when some of the more conservative members of the Harvard faculty concluded that Harvard had abandoned God, they came out to the then-wilderness of Amherst where they could pound their Bibles to their hearts' content. Remember that the Puritans became the Congregationalists, and that it was the official church of Massachusetts until 1855.

To become a town in Massachusetts, you had to convince the General Court (legislature) that you (a) had the tax base to support a minister and his wife, and (b) that there was a minister willing to move to your town and be your minister.

But for the Civil War, Amherst -- which eventually had five Congregational Churches -- would have become five different towns. East Amherst had what is now the Jewish Community of Amherst with the acorn on top of the steeple -- that initially was the 2nd Congo Church. North Amherst and South Amherst each had theirs and memory is that there was a fifth somewhere else. But for the changes of the Civil War, all of these "village centers" would have become their own towns, much the way that Amherst had become independent of Hadley.

And while Massachusetts voted to ratify the US Constitution, Amherst did NOT -- Amherst voted to reject it.

The Juggernaut said...

It's been proven that no such distribution ever occurred. A simple google search will return pages of evidence refuting the claims.

Not to mention Smallpox does not thrive outside human hosts, and needs the human body as a resevoir to develop in.

Anonymous said...

He was an advocate for the extermination of Native Americans, which there is no disputing because it was in his own words.

Anonymous said...

According to the research by UMass Professor Peter D'Errico (now emeritus), the letter correspondence between General Jeffrey Amherst & his colleagues "remove all doubt about the validity of the stories about Lord Jeff and germ warfare. The General's own letters sustain the stories.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful photos Larry, the Homestead is lovely from that view. I'd love to see one of the Evergreens and Homestead together. Good work. Richard Marsh

Anonymous said...

Blowhardistan would fit too.

Anonymous said...

Is there an organized effort to rename Amherst?

Larry Kelley said...

Not at the moment (but the day is young).

Anonymous said...

How about Nolwotogg!

Anonymous said...

Do you think it's possible you can ever get over it? Try. Most of us have moved on.

Anonymous said...

How about "Geryk Town"

Anonymous said...

"Most of us have moved on."

Really? Were you there when it happened.

Anonymous said...

No sense of humor . Typical moonbat.