Buckongahelas (or Buckongehanon), born about 1725, was a Delaware Indian war leader for whom, some believe, the Buckhannon River was named. Buckongahelas was among the Indian allies of the British during the Revolutionary War, raiding American settlements on the frontier. He was among the Indians who attacked Wheeling during the first siege of Fort Henry in 1777. After the Revolution he moved westward and out of the history of Western Virginia. He signed the Treaty of Greenville (Ohio, 1795); the Fort Wayne Treaty (Indiana, 1803); and Vincennes Treaty (Indiana, 1804). He died in Indiana when he was about 80 years old in May 1805.
According to legend, Buckongahelas had a son named Mahonegon who was killed by Capt. William White in 1773, igniting major Indian hostilities in the Buckhannon area. According to the lore, years later, Buckongahelas avenged his son’s death by killing White. A 1927 historical novel, The Scout of the Buckongehanon by J. C. McWhorter, depicts the story of Buckongahelas and the early white settlers of the area. A statue of Buckongahelas and his fallen son, crafted by Buckhannon sculptor Ross Straight, was erected in Buckhannon’s Jawbone Park in 2000. Roadside historic markers attribute the Buckhannon name to the Indian leader though other historians say that the river was named for Colonel John Buchanan and the city named for the river.
This Article was written by Kim Howard
Last Revised on November 15, 2016
Comstock, Jim, ed. West Virginia Heritage Encyclopedia vols. 12 & 13. Richwood: Jim Comstock, 1976.
McWhorter, J. C. The Scout of the Buckongehanon. Boston: Christopher Pub., 1927.
McWhorter, Lucullus Virgil. The Border Settlers of Northwestern Virginia from 1768-1795. Hamilton, OH: Republican Pub. Co., 1915, Reprint, Comstock, 1974; Reprint, Baltimore: Genealogical Pub. Co., 1975.
Cite This Article
Howard, Kim "Buckongahelas." e-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia. 15 November 2016. Web. 23 February 2017.