Books by Mississippi Writers 1996-2010
By Minor Ferris Buchanan Centennial Press of Mississippi (Hardcover, $30.00, ISBN: 1893062376, 8/2002) November 14, 2002, marks the 100th anniversary of the world famous Teddy Bear. The origin of the Teddy Bear stems from an occasion when President Theodore Roosevelt visited the wilderness of Mississippi in hopes of killing a black bear. He was guided on this hunt by Holt Collier, a former slave, Confederate veteran (yes—amazing though it sounds), Texas cowboy, Mississippi lawman, and noted pioneer. He is known to have killed over 3,000 bear in his lifetime, more than Daniel Boone and Davy Crockett combined. Roosevelt, who also hunted with Collier in Louisiana in 1907, called him “the greatest hunter and guide I have ever known.” Collier killed many white men, several in Mississippi. One exciting incident in his biography is a detailed description of the gunfight at Washburn’s Ferry where Collier out-drew the notorious Louisiana outlaw Travis Elmore Sage. He was prosecuted only once—for the murder of a Union captain after the Civil War—but he was acquitted. Collier was famous nationally during his lifetime, but the racial atmosphere in Mississippi for the last eighty years kept his remarkable story from being told. There is no detailed and authoritative work on Holt Collier or the origin of the Teddy Bear other than this book. Minor Ferris Buchanan is a native Mississippian. He graduated from the University of Mississippi in 1973 with a degree in History and English, graduated from Mississippi College School of Law in 1978, and has been a litigation attorney for twenty-three years. He has researched the life of Holt Collier for a decade over archival collections through much of the country.