Strangers to Us All Lawyers and Poetry

Henry Bedinger

West Virginia

"Henry Bedinger, son of the Revolutionary hero, Daniel Bedinger, and Sarah Rutherford Bedinger, was born at Bedford, near Shepherdstown, West Virginia, in 1812. After receiving a liberal classical education, he studied law and practiced his profession in Shepherdstown and in Charles Town. In 1845, he succeeded his partner and brother-in-law, George Rust, as representative in Congress and was re-elected for a second term. He was an eloquent speaker, and an exceptionally able debater, and was called the Eagle of Harpers Ferry. In 1853, he was appointed charge d'affaires to Denmark, and was later resident minister. He was instrumental in securing the Skager Rack and Cattegat Treaty, by which Denmark agreed to abolish sound dues. Throughout his distinguished career as a diplomat, he thought longingly of his home and his friends in his own country, and it was with great personal satisfaction that he laid aside his public duties and returned to Shepherdstown. In his honor the citizens of the town gave a great demonstration, one of the features of which was a barbecue. Only a short time after he received his welcome home, he contracted pneumonia and on November 26, 1858, after an illness of only five days, he died at his home in Shepherdstown."

[Source: Ella May Turner, Stories and Verse of West Virginia 70 (Scottdale, Pennsylvania: Mennonite Publishing House, rev. ed. 1925)(1923)]

Henry Bedinger
Bibliographical Directory of the United States Congress


To the Potomac River

Bibliography: Articles & Essays

Alexandra Lee Levin, Henry Bedinger of Virginia: First United States Minister to Denmark, 29 Virginia Cavalcade 184-191 (Spring, 1980)

Research Resources

Bedinger-Dandridge Family Papers, 1763-1957
Duke University
Durham, North Carolina

West Virginia University
Morgantown, West Virginia

Historic Bedington-A Brief History
[Bedington, West Virginia is named for Henry Bedinger,
the Revolutionary War hero, the uncle of Henry Bedinger]

[My thanks to Doug Bedinger who provided important corrections on this web page.]