Rhodes College Students Set the Record Straight on Nathan Bedford Forrest

Students in a history class at Rhodes College in Memphis spent the fall semester researching the slave trade that occurred in the city prior to the Civil War. As a result of this research, a new historically marker will be erected on the property of the Calvary Episcopal Church detailing the involvement of Nathan Bedford Forrest in the slave trade. Forrest was a Confederate General and the first Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan.

The new 462-word plaque will be placed near a 1955 historical marker noting the early home of General Forrest. That marker made no mention of the slave trade or the Klan.

The new marker notes that “from 1854 to 1860, Nathan Bedford Forrest operated a profitable slave trading business at this site.” It accuses the general of “buying and selling Africans illegally smuggled into the United States in violation of an 1808 congressional ban.”

Related Articles

1 COMMENT

  1. I congratulate you for recognizing and publicizing Forrest’s role in the slave trade. I covered his slave trading career ay some length in my book River Run Red: The Fort Pillow Massacre in the American Civil War, addressing the many mitigations that pro-Confederate memoirists and historians have cited to excuse Forrest: that he was a humane slave trader, that he never separated families, that he allowed slaves to go out and seek their own buyers/masters, all of which is demonstrable nonsense. I hope your plaque will reflect his unmitigated involvement and central role in the Tennessee slave trade.

Leave a Reply

Get the JBHE Weekly Bulletin

Receive our weekly email newsletter delivered to your inbox

Latest News

Report Established by State Senator Art Haywood Uncovers Racism in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education

"Ultimately, Pennsylvania's leaders and institutions should respect the dignity of all students," says Senator Art Haywood. "The work to ensure that dignity is intact for Pennsylvania's Students of Color continues with this report in hopes that one day the work will no longer be required."

Cynthia Gyamfi-Bannerman Appointed President of the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine

"I appreciate the support I have received from my faculty and trainee colleagues here at UC San Diego along with colleagues from around the world," says Dr. Gyamfi-Bannerman. "Together we will work to advance our field and our reach, improving patient outcomes and eliminating health disparities."

Rate of Black Homeownership in America Remains Virtually Unchanged Since 2012

The National Association of Realtors has found that although homeownership rates in American are steadily increasing, the rate of Black homeownership has experienced significantly less growth than White, Asian, and Hispanic homeownership since 2012.

Safiya George Named President of the University of the Virgin Islands

“As a servant leader, I am confident I will be an effective President for the University of the Virgin Islands and will remain humble and grounded with a sincere desire to improve outcomes and the lives of students, faculty, staff, and the community," says Safiya George, who will assume the role of president of the University of the Virgin Islands this summer.

Featured Jobs