Draper Manuscripts: George Michael Bedinger Papers, 1775-1860

Summary Information
Title: Draper Manuscripts: George Michael Bedinger Papers
Inclusive Dates: 1775-1860

  • Bedinger, George Michael, 1756-1843
Call Number: Draper Mss A

Quantity: 0.2 cubic feet (1 volume)

Archival Locations:
Wisconsin Historical Society (Map)

Papers of George Michael Bedinger, a major in the Continental Army who participated in the battles of Germantown and Yorktown, the defense of Boonesborough, and John Bowman's Ohio campaign, and later served in the Kentucky legislature and U.S. Congress. Included are 1843 reminiscences, correspondence, legal records, election campaign broadsides, pension applications, and two maps of the Blue Licks battlefield.


Descriptions of the volumes are copied from the Guide to the Draper Manuscripts by Josephine Harper. Out of date and offensive language may be present.

This collection is also available as a microfilm publication.

Forms part of the Lyman Copeland Draper Manuscripts. The fifty series included in the Draper Manuscripts have been cataloged individually. See the Draper Manuscripts Overview, and the Guide to the Draper Manuscripts by Josephine Harper (Madison: State Historical Society of Wisconsin, 1983) for further information.

There is a restriction on use to this material; see the Administrative/Restriction Information portion of this finding aid for details.

Language: English

URL to cite for this finding aid: http://digital.library.wisc.edu/1711.dl/wiarchives.uw-whs-draper00a
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George Michael Bedinger (1756—1843) was a Revolutionary War soldier, Kentucky pioneer, and congressman. Born of German ancestry in York County, Pennsylvania, Bedinger was taken as a young boy by his family to the neighborhood of Shepherdstown, West Virginia. There in 1775 he enlisted in Hugh Stevenson's company of sharpshooters, which joined the Continental Army under George Washington at Cambridge, Massachusetts. During several short-term reenlistments, Bedinger participated in the battle of Germantown, brought supplies to Valley Forge, and went to Kentucky in 1779 to aid in the defense of Boonesborough. Appointed adjutant in Colonel John Bowman's regiment, Bedinger served in Bowman's Ohio campaign. Subsequently he returned to Virginia and South Carolina and took part in the siege of Yorktown.

For several years after the Revolution he divided his time between business in Shepherdstown and exploration and surveying in Kentucky, but finally settled permanently at Lower Blue Licks. His enthusiasm for adventure and military life led him to join Arthur St. Clair's expedition in 1791. After Kentucky achieved statehood, he served in the state legislature (1792, 1794) and was elected to two terms (1803—1807) in the United States House of Representatives.

Administrative/Restriction Information
Use Restrictions

PHOTOCOPY RESTRICTION: Photocopying originals is not permitted; researchers may copy from the microfilm available in the Library.

Contents List
Draper Mss A/Micro 1034
Volume   1
Reel   1
Series: Bedinger papers: 1 A
Scope and Content Note

Extensive reminiscences related by Bedinger to Draper in 1843, followed by an assortment of other records: Benjamin Drake's notes taken during an earlier interview in 1839; a few original letters, 1789-1847; copies of correspondence in the 1780s and 1790s concerning Bedinger's preemption claim to land in Madison County, Kentucky; legal records, 1815-1817, from a law suit involving William Martin and this land claim; two broadsides, 1829, one of which stated Bedinger's views on internal improvements, the tariff, and slavery, during an unsuccessful campaign for his election to Congress; and many drafts dated in the 1830s and 1840s of his applications for a pension for his Revolutionary War services.

Draper's interviews emphasized Bedinger's life in Boonesborough, his participation in Bowman's campaign, and his surveying trips in the Green River country in 1784 and 1785. Bedinger's correspondents included his brother Henry, Edward Carrington, Andrew S. Hughs, Walker Bead, and Michael Rudolph (copies only, for Draper filed the two originals in 8 RR). Deponents in the land claim suit frequently interpolated historical recollections in their testimony; making such statements were James Berry, William Briscoe, Green Clay, John Crooks, Samuel Estill, Peter Fisher, John Gass, Samuel Gilbert, Thomas Lamb, David Lyntch, Ralph Morgan, Joseph and Nicholas Proctor, Laurance Thompson, Oswell and Thomas Townsend, Thomas Warren, Evan Watson, Aquilla White, and John Williams. Depositions supporting Bedinger's pension applications were made by Jesse Hodges, Robert Pogue, and John Rogers.