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Boling Baker

The turncoat Boling Baker (birth and death dates unknown) was the legendary husband of Aracoma, the supposed daughter of Shawnee chief Cornstalk. Baker may have been a soldier in Gen. Edward Braddock’s army during the disastrous assault on Fort Duquesne in July 1755 during the French and Indian War. Baker was evidently captured by Shawnees and accepted into the tribe. He had wed Aracoma and moved to Hatfield (or Midelburg) Island in present Logan by about 1760. He led a band of Shawnees to steal horses from the Bluestone River area in 1780 when smallpox ravaged Aracoma’s village. His band was destroyed by frontiersmen led by William Madison and John Breckenridge in a battle on Hatfield Island. Historian Sigfus Olafson found the name ‘‘Boling Baker’’ among Kanawha County names for his census index of the year 1810. At that time Kanawha included part of present Logan County, but it is not known if the entire tale of Boling Baker is true. Baker may have written this inscription on a tree: ‘‘Boling Baker, his hand and knife, can’t steal a horse to save his life.’’

Written by Robert Y. Spence