Click Here to Return to Index
Click Here to Return To Milestones Vol 7 No 4
The dark moist loom gave slightly under his feet and the acrid smell of smoke filled his nostrils as his dark piercing eyes watched the flames lick hungrily at the trader's cabin. The shrill screams of the white woman now silent as she lay still beside her, brained babe.
Another raid with more killing and burning, but still the ache, born of vengence lay heavy in his chest.
Would nothing eleviate it? How long would he carry on his reign of death that was disrupting the entire region between the Beaver Creek and the Susquehanna.
It had not always been this way. He had always been eager to welcome anywhite man who came in peace to his home at the mouth of Beaver Creek.
David McClure, a missionary was among the first whites to visit Logan's home Logantown, the present site of Rochester, and was greeted warmly by Logan. He wrote in his journal that "Logan was the most martial figure of an Indian that he had ever seen."
Logan, during this visit confided to McClure of his deep meloncholy.
McClure ministered to him, believing the wild stories of the atrocities perpetrated by Logan on the helpless white families on the Susquuehanna during French and Indian war.
McClure told him of the forgiveness that God for all his people, but still something dark and sinister lay heavy on the noble stalwart heart.
Historian's however believe that the atrocities attributed to Logan are untrue, that he did, however, have the curse of drunkenness that inflicted many of his people, which he blamed on the white man giving them whiskey.
He had always been a friend of: the white man, great things had been said of him. He was the son of Chief Shikellimy, a reputable leader and a representative to the Six nations of the Iroquois. Logan nd his father enjoyed the favor and confidence of Pennsylvania authorities for many years.
He was highly esteemed by ConIrad Weiser, an officer in the government of Indian Affairs. Judge William Brown, a renown jurist from Mifflin County said, "He was the best specimen of a human being, red or white, that he had ever met." S. G. Drake, an historian, said of him, that is agreed to by all authorities, both then and now, "that for magnanimity in war and greatness of soul in peace, few, if any, in any nation, ever surpassed him
The deep melencholy associated to him and mentioned by McClure, authorities agree, came from self accusations and were entirely unearned, but were attributed to his deep sensitivity as a descent human being, of course later, the murder of his innocent family and the subsequent bloodly reprisals that he perpetrated to avenge them.
He had taken no part in the French and Indian War except as peacemaker, any assertions that he had been a ferocious savage was contradicted by all who knew him until that terrible spring day in 1774.
On April 30, he and his family set out from their home on Beaver Creek to hunt on the banks of Yellow Creek, now Steubenville. The whites in that region were alarmed by the threat of an Indian uprising, caused by the mindless slaughter of a few innocent Indians a few weeks before.
Unhappy with the presence of Logan and his party into Yellow Creek, a few radical hot heads, under the direction of Daniel Baker, taking advantage of Logan's absence, lured his family across the river to Joshua Baker's house with the promise of strong drink.
Secreting themselves, Baker and his band waited until Logan's brother, the only fighting man in the party, was sufficiently drunk, jumped from their hiding place and murdered the entire hunting party, including Logan's mother and sister. The only survivor was the infant of Logan's sister who later grew up and distinguished himself while serving as an officer in the Revolutionary War.
The next day Logan's cousin and a few friends crossed the Ohio to find what was keeping them, they were also slaughtered.
The terrible news of the slaughter shocked
provincial Pennsylvania andthe other colonies.
Lord Dunmore referred to the atrocity as "an estraordinary degree of cruelty and inhumanity."
Thomas Jefferson characterized it as inhuman and indecent.
George Rogers Clark deemed it "more barbarous than stated by Jefferson."
When George Washington heard of the frightful slaughter, he warned the settlers in the reggion, to brace themselves, for the terrible retribution that would surely come.
In spite of all teh indignations felt by the elite, no action was taken in Logan's behalf that may have averted the terrible holocaust that was to come.
Feeling was riding high among the whites
along the frontier. The settlers felt that they must stick together,
even. if it "Ant that justice and mercy were to be sacrificed.
Upon finding his family gone, Logan began his terrible voyage of vengence. He vowed to take the Iives of ten whites for each member of his family and this he did and more. This was the beginning of the Shawnee War, that set fire to the frontier and raged throughout that terrible summer.
Stories of cruelity and savagery perpetrated on the innocent white families are unparalleled in all the history of Indian wars.
Finally a shakey peace was obtained and the terrible slaughter came to an end. Logan, however, his taste for vengeance insatiable, was reluctant to lay down his hatchet, but did for the sake of the nation.
John Gibson, a trader from Pittsburgh and
later an early permanent settler of Beaver County was taken prisoner
by Logan and his band, while trapping on the Beaver Creek. He
was later released by Colonel Bouquet and was present at the peace
treaty ending the Shawnee War when Logan's reputation for eleoquence
was established when he allegedly uttered the immortal words that
many a school boy of days gone by chose for their oration:
...I appeal to any white man if ever he entered Logan's cabin hungry and he gave him not meat to eat. Do not harbor a thought that mine is a joy of fear, Logan never felt a fear. He will not turn his heel to save his life. Who is there to mourn for Logan-Not one.
The dark eyes of the lithe Indian traces the circling hawk through the late fall sky, the burning hills lit by the late afternoon sun. He turns from hisvantage point high above Beaver Creek.
His eyes will look no more on the point of land at the mouth of Beaver Creek that had been his home.
The hills, now silent, once rang to the terrible shrieks of him and marauding brothers. Betrayed by his white brothers, his spirit broken and his family gone, he was now alone. He leaves the valley of the Beaver where he had hoped to stay forever, to the strange land of Detroit, where he breathed his last, fallen victim to a murderous ambush by person or persons unknown.
Many years have past since Logan roamed the hills surrounding Beaver Creek and the story of the noble Logan is mostly forgotten.
A marker, however, has been placed by the Logan Historical Society, not far from his home on Beaver Creek, where he uttered his famous speech. This Marker commemorates Logan's worth and captured forever the immortal words in imperishable marble, for the future generations an example of the native eloquence of this new world.