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Aracoma


Aracoma, perhaps meaning ‘‘a corn blossom,’’ was the legendary daughter of Shawnee war leader Cornstalk, famous for his role in the 1774 Battle of Point Pleasant. Aracoma, according to Logan County tradition, married the white renegade Boling Baker, thought to have been a deserter from Gen. Edward Braddock’s army that attempted to take Fort Duquesne in July 1755, during the French and Indian War.

Baker and Aracoma moved to what is now called Midelburg Island, in the Guyandotte River at the later site of the city of Logan. They were killed by white men led by John Breckenridge and William Madison during the Revolutionary War, perhaps in the spring of 1780 after Baker led Indians to steal horses from New River Valley settlers. The story has been made into an outdoor drama, presented annually at Chief Logan State Park. George W. L. Bickley’s 1852 History of the Settlement and Indian Wars of Tazewell County, Virginia includes an early printed version of the legend of Aracoma. It is likely that this story, later used by Henry Clay Ragland in his History of Logan County, was embellished by the poet Thomas Dunn English in the 1850s.

Written by Robert Y. Spence