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Wetzel County WV

Notes On The Death of Logan's Family

The following is taken from Jefferson's "Notes on Virginia:" In April, 1774, a number of people being engaged in looking out for settlements on the Ohio, information wa3 spread among them that the Indians had robbed some of the land Jobbers, as those adventurers were then called. Alarmed for their safety, they collected together at Wheeling creek. Hearing that there were two Indians and some traders a little above Wheeling, Captain Michael Cresap, one of the party proposed to way-lay and kill them. The proposition, though opposed, was adopted.

 

A party went up the river with Cresap at their head, and killed the two Indians. The same afternoon it was reported that there was a party of Indians on the Ohio, a little below Wheeling. Cresap and his party immediately proceeded down the river and encamped on the bank. The Indians passed them peaceably, and encamped at the mouth of Grave creek, a little below. Cresap and his party attacked them and killed several. The Indians returned the fire and wounded one of Cresap's men. Among the slain of the Indians were some of Logan's family. Zane expressed a doubt of it, but Smith, one of the murderers, said they were known and acknowledged that Logan's friends and the party themselves generally said so, and boasted of it in the presence of Captain Cresap, and pretended no provocation, and expressed their expectations that Logan would probably avenge their death. Pursuing these examples.

 

Daniel Greathouse and one Tomlinson, who lived on the opposite side of the river from the Indians, and were in the habit of friendship with them, collected at the house of Polke, on Cross run, about sixteen miles from Baker's fort bottom, a party of thirty-two men. Their object was to reach a hunting camp of the Indians, consisting of men, women and children, at the mouth of Yellow creek, some distance above Wheeling. They proceeded, and when they arrived at Baker's station they concealed themselves among the bushes, and Greathouse crossed the river to the Indian camp. Baker tells us, being among them as a friend he counted them and found them too strong for an open attack with his force. While here he was cautioned by one of the women not to stay, for the Indian men were drinking, and having heard of Cresap's murder of their relations at Grave creek, were angry and she pressed him in a friendly manner to go home, whereupon, after inviting them to come over and drink, he returned to Baker's inn, and desired that whenever any of them should come to his house he would give them as much rum as they would drink. When his plot was ripe, and a sufficient number were gathered at Baker's and intoxicated, he and his party fell upon them and massacred the whole, except one little girl, whom they preserved as a prisoner. Among these was the very woman who saved his life by urging him to retire from the drunken wrath of her friends, when he was spying their camp at Yellow creek. Either she or some other murdered woman was the sister of Logan. The party on the other side of the river, alarmed for their friends at Baker's, on hearing the report of the guns, made two canoes and sent them over.

 

They were received as they appeared on the shore by a well-directed fire from Greathouse's party, which killed some and wounded others and obliged the rest to retreat. Baker tells us there were twelve killed and eight wounded. It was after this that Logan made his famous speech, which is as follows: "I appeal to any white man to say if ever he entered Logan's cabin hungry, and I gave him not meat; it he came cold or naked, and I clothed him not. During the course of the last long and bloody war Logan remained in his cabin, an advocate of peace. I had such affection for the white people that I was pointed at by the rest of my nation. I should have ever lived with them had it not been for Col. Cresap, who last year cut off in cold blood all the relations of Logan, not sparing my women and children. There runs not a drop of my blood in the veins of any living creature. This called upon me for vengeance. I have sought it. I have killed many and fully glutted my revenge. I am glad there is a prospect of peace on account of the nation, but I beg you will not entertain a thought that anything I have said proceeds from fear. Logan disdains the thought. He will not turn on his heel to save his life. Who is there to mourn for Logan? Not one." Logan gave all the blame to Colonel Cresap. Whether he was all to blame or not, it was one of the most inhuman massacres that ever occurred in the border life. Greathouse was afterwards killed by the Indians, but he deserved a greater punishment than that.


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