Chief Logan, born about 1725 in Pennsylvania’s Susquehanna Valley, was the son of an Oneida chief, Shikellamy, whom the Moravians had converted to Christianity. Named Tah-gah-jute, or Talgayeeta, at birth, Logan was renamed in recognition of his father’s friendship with James Logan, a Pennsylvania statesman and Indian negotiator.
After his father’s death in 1748, Logan became chief of the Cayuga tribe, one of the Six Nations. He maintained good relations with European colonists while protecting tribal rights. About 1770, Logan moved his family to the Ohio River Valley, eventually settling at Yellow Creek, Ohio, 40 miles above Wheeling and near present Hancock County, to join the Mingoes, a multi-tribal confederation allied to the Six Nations. As chief, he consistently acted to maintain peace, several times averting retaliatory raids, while trying to protect the land north of the Ohio from white settlement.
When a band of frontiersmen led by Daniel Greathouse slaughtered a group including members of Logan’s family near Yellow Creek on April 30, 1774, Logan abandoned peaceful ways and vowed vengeance. He led raids throughout the upper Ohio Valley and into the Monongahela Valley. Soon after, the Shawnee and Delaware tribes of Ohio began attacking settlements across the Ohio River.
In response to increasing frontier warfare, Virginia Governor Lord Dunmore raised an army and instructed Andrew Lewis to form another to march against the Ohio tribes. At the Battle of Point Pleasant, the Shawnee and allied tribes led by Cornstalk were defeated by Lewis’s army on October 10, 1774. Logan avoided the peace negotiations that followed, but delivered to John Gibson the famous speech later quoted by Thomas Jefferson that eloquently voiced Logan’s grief and erroneously accused Michael Cresap of his relatives’ murders. He resumed his conciliatory political efforts but developed a deep melancholy over the warfare that continued. Logan was involved in a heated family conflict when he was killed, allegedly by a nephew, in 1780.
Logan County, the town of Logan, and Chief Logan State Park are named for Logan, as, indirectly, is Mingo County.
This Article was written by Harold Malcolm Forbes
Last Revised on October 07, 2010
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Sawvel, Franklin B. Logan the Mingo. Boston: Richard G. Badger, Gorham Press, 1921.
Rice, Otis. Introduction. A Biographical Sketch of the Life of the Late Captain Michael Cresap. John J. Jacobs. Parsons: McClain, 1971.