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Logan Elm And Monument, Circleville, Ohio
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Logan, Chief of the Mingoes, was a Cayuga Indian, born at Auburn, New York in 1726. He was the son of Chief Shikellamy, deputy of the Six Nations over the Indians at a section of Pennsylvania. Like his father, Logan was a firm friend of the white man. Upon moving to Ohio, Logan was made chief of the mingoes.
During the year 1774 a band of adventurers and “land grabbers” under the leadership of a Captain Michael Cresap and Daniel Greathouse, who were encouraged by a Dr. John Connolly, said to have been under the hire of Governor Dunmore, of Virginia, declared war on all Indians. Dunmore wished an Indian war as an excuse to drive the Shawnees and other Indians from their lands which Dunmore and the rest of the Virginian land speculators coveted. These border ruffians first killed two unsuspecting Indians who were traveling down the Ohio River with some traders. They then attacked and killed some other peaceful Indians who were camped on Cantina Creek. After these murders had been completed, the Virginians marched to Yellow Creek where they knew Logan’s family were living.
At dawn, April 30th, the white men entered the Indian camp. They invited the Indians to go to a tavern nearby, promising them rum. Logan, at the time was away on a hunting trip. The Indians accepted the invitation. At the tavern they were fed liquor until all but three were drunk. These three remained sober as it was customary among Indians for some to remain sober in order to take care of their intoxicated companions. One of the sober Indians was Logan’s brother. The Indians were challenged to shoot at a mark. The Indians shot first. As soon as they had shot and their guns were empty, the whites shot down the three sober Indians in cold blood. Logan’s sister, who was one of the party tried to flee, but was shot down. While dying she begged that the murderers spare her little baby. The whites then turned on the intoxicated Indians and tomahawked and butchered all of them. Ten Indians were killed by these white fiends. Among them was the mother, sister and brother of Logan – LOGAN, THE FRIEND OF THE WHITE PEOPLE. The whites then scalped all of their victims. It is said that George Rogers Clark was mixed up in this affair.
In vain, Cornstalk, a great Shawnee Chief, tried to prevent the Virginians from committing more murders. But the Virginians did not want peace. Attempts were made to murder this noble chief while he was on a peace mission to the whites. Through some friendly white traders, he and his party escaped, though wounded in the back by the bullets of Conally and his men.
When Logan heard of the murder of his family and friends he determined to get revenge. He led a small band of his warriors against the whites taking thirty scalps and 56 prisoners. He alone, took fourteen scalps, the number of his relatives that at various times bad been murdered by the white people. It was then that his thirst for revenge was satisfied. The Indian War that followed was what Governor Dunmore had wanted. Raising an army of three thousand troops, he, with his superior number and equipment, laid waste the Indian towns, destroying their orchards and cornfields. He defeated the Indians at Point Pleasant. By the terms of the treaty that followed, as usual, the Indians were compelled to surrender their choicest lands. Thus Dunmore accomplished his aim, though the project bore bitter fruit in the border wars that followed during the Revolution.
Logan refused to attend the treaty that followed this war. He refused to have anything more to do with white people. Colonel John Gibson, a friend of the Indian people, was sent to talk with him. Under a big elm tree ‘Logan Elm’ about six miles south of Circleville, Ohio, Logan, with tears rolling down his face, delivered his famous speech, one of the finest examples of eloquence in the English language:
“I appeal to any white man to say if ever he entered Logan’s cabin hungry, and I gave him not meat; if ever he came cold or naked and I gave him not clothing. During the course of the last long and bloody war, Logan remained in his cabin, an advocate for peace. Nay, such was my love for the whites, that those of my own country pointed at me as they passed, and said. “Logan is the friend of white men.” I had even thought of living with you, but for the injuries of one man. Colonel Cresap the last spring, in cold blood and unprovoked, cut off all the relatives of Logan; not sparing even my women and children. There runs not a drop of my blood in the veins of any living creature. This calls on me for vengeance. For my country, I have killed many. I have glutted my vengeance. For my country, I rejoice at the beams of peace. Yet do not harbor the thought that mine is the joy of fear. Logan never felt fear. He will not turn on his heel to save his life. Who is there to mourn for Logan? Not one!”
The Ohio Archaeological and Historical Society has erected a monument near Logan’s Elm. It bears the speech of Logan and also the following inscription: Under the spreading branches of a magnificent elm tree nearby is where Logan, a Mingo Chief made his celebrated speech!”
During the last years of life, Logan wandered from tribe to tribe a broken man, trying to drown his sorrow in rum. Saye Hale Sipe, a Pennsylvania Historian, “Standing more than six feet in height, with noble features, and with the Indian gift of oratcry, Logan was a fine specimen of the American Indian before ruined by the white man’s whiskey.” ‘Read Pa. arch. Vol. 4, p. 497-525; vol. 4, p. 569-570; also,” Indian Wars of Penn. by Hale Sipe, Telegraph Press, Harrisburg. Pa.’
With thoughts of this noble man in mind, the Mohawks retraced their trail back to Pennsylvania to Tionesta, the vicinity of the sites of the Indian towns of the Allegany River. From there they went in a south-eastern direction to Reynoldsville where lives a Mohawk girl from their own reservation. From there they went to the City of DuBois, Pa. Here they visited “The Wigwam,” the home of Mr. M. I. McCreight, a great friend and adopted brother ‘Tchanta Tanka or Great Heart’ of the Indian People. After visiting his home and meeting this good man, the warriors again took the trail directly east to Milesburg, Pennsylvania. Near this section there was, in ancient days, a Delaware Indian Village, located at the union of Spring and Bald Eagle Creeks. During the Revolutionary War this village was occupied by Woapalanne or Bald Eagle, a famous warrior of that period, a fighter for his country.
From this village site the warriors headed south-east for the Village of Reedsville. It was here that Logan, the great Mingo Chief and the son of old Chief Shikellamy had his cabin beside a dear spring nearby. It was his home from about 1766 to 1771, just before he moved to the Ohio country. After leaving the cabin site of Logan, the warriors headed for the Village of Mexico on the Juniata River. It was here that the great Warrior Path of the Iroquois headed south. It was called The Tuscarora Path by the whites. This ancient trail was used by the Five Nation Iroquois in their wars against enemy tribes to the south, the Cataba, Creek and Cherokee Peoples. It was later used by early traders and settlers. It began one mile west of the Village of Mexico and terminated in The Tuscarora Region of North Carolina. From this trail the warriors headed over the beautiful mountains to Harrisburg, the Capitol of the State of Pennsylvania. Near here they were made welcome at the home of a great friend of the Six Nation Indian People, Dr. Paul A. W. Wallace, author of one of the best books ever written telling of the history and aims of the Iroquois Confederacy “White Roots of Peace” – Univ. of Pa. Press’, The Mohawks asked Mr. Wallace to accompany them to the grave of Conrad Weiser which is at Wornelsdorf, Pennsylvania. There, over the grave of Weiser, an old friend of the fathers of the Mohawks, Mr. Wallace was taken into the family or clan of the Turtle and given the Mohawk name of To-ri-wa-wa kon ‘Holding a message’. His sponsor, who was present at the ceremony, was Mrs. Ray Fadden or Sk-won-ate, a matron of the Mohawk Turtle Clan. Near the grave of Conrad Weiser the Mohawks saw a very impressive monument erected in honor of this great pioneer. Nearby they saw a monument erected in of Chief Shikellamy. On Weiser’s monument the following was ‘inscribed: “To the memory of Conrad Weiser ‘Posterity will not forget his services’ – George Washington: Pioneer, soldier, diplomat, Magistrate – as interpreter and Indian agent, he negotiated every treaty from 1732 until near the French and Indian War – born in Astadt Wurtlemberg, Germany; Nov. 2 A. D. 1696 he died at Womelsdorf, Penn., July 13 A. D.1760 – erected by the Patriotic Order, Sons of Americans of Berks Country, Pa. Sept. 25, 1909.” On the memorial of Chief Shikellamy was the following inscription: “Shikellamy Boulder – erected by Improvid Order of Red Man, Degree of Pocahontas of Barks County, Penna. 1927.”
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