Ohio History Journal

An Outing on the Congo

An Outing on the Congo.              349













Many of your readers are, doubtless, familiar with Stanley's

expeditions in Africa, tracing the wendings of that hitherto

unknown river of her western deserts, called the Congo. His first

exploration was in search of Livingston, and the second of his

voyages was for the purpose of locating that eminent and eccen-

tric traveler, Emin Pasha, and thus to Stanley, as well as the

civilized world, the expeditions were a revelation of a new ter-

restrial existence --rich in its treasures of silver and gold -

its ivory and precious gems - its fertility of soil, and its won-

derful variety of animal and vegetable life. It has already ex-

cited the cupidity of modern Europe, and eager nations are now

earnestly struggling for its dominion.

But it is not of this Congo we write. There is another stream

of much less pretentiousness in the volume of its waters, but far

more classic in its associations, and richer, by far, in thrilling his-

torical incident. This Congo we now sketch, does not aspire to

the dignity of a river, nor even a creek; it is what would be called

in New England a brook, and in the South a run. It does not

rush from precipitous heights dashing its waves against rocks

and cliffs, but gently meanders along low lying meadows, through

quiet landscapes, lazily floating onward to the Scioto, and thence

to the ocean.

Few, indeed, of this generation have known, or even heard

of this classic water; and yet, it is but an hour's ride from the

historic city of Ohio -  its "Ancient Metropolis," Chillicothe.

We pass over smoothly gravelled roads, along cultivated fields

and ornamental gardens, by spacious mansions of classic architec-

tural taste, until nearly approaching the Pickaway Plains. The

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stream stretches along the southern side of this plateau, in what

might be termed the uplands, and is fed by the numerous springs

along its course and the surface drainage of the lands through

which it flows.

On a beautiful day in the month of May, 1894, the writer,

with a professional photographer, made an outing to this historic

stream, the object being to secure photographic views of some

of the more noted localities, rendered famous from the events

which there transpired in the early history of the country. Chief

among these is the famed Logan Elm, under which, it is said,

Lord Dunmore, Governor of Virginia, concluded a treaty of peace

with the confederated tribes of the Shawnees, and other Indians,

on which occasion the classic speech of the Mingo chief, Logan,

is said to have been delivered. This was in the autumn of the

year 1774, immediately after the battle of Point Pleasant, Vir-

ginia, at the mouth of the Great Kanawha. It was, perhaps, the

longest continued and most hotly contested conflict in the annals

of Indian warfare. The fatalities were appalling on both sides.

More than one thousand of the allied savages, under command

of the noted warrior, Cornstalk, were opposed to about an equal

number of Virginians under General Andrew Lewis. The battle

commenced at sunrise on the morning of the tenth of October,

1774, and lasted till darkness closed the scene. The losses by

the Virginians were two colonels, five captains, three lieutenants,

and many subalterns, beside seventy-five privates; while that of

the Indians was computed at two hundred and thirty-three. Under

cover of darkness Cornstalk withdrew his forces, recrossed the

Ohio in haste, and retreated to his towns in the Pickaway Plains.

The engagement of the forces of General Lewis was a sur-

prise - he was not anticipating an attack, and had made no

preparations for defence. He was looking to the Pickaway towns

as the scene of the intended conflict, and rested in ignorant

security that his foe was alike unsuspecting. But in this, as it

proved, he was fatally mistaken. The vigilance of his scouts

had long since advised Cornstalk of Lewis's advance and gave

him timely warning of the approach of his enemies. He hurriedly

collected his forces and resolved to meet the Virginians on their


From a very tine portrait in the State Library Gallery at Richmond, Va.

[ From the address of Judge J. H. Anderson, of Columbus, before five or six thousand

people on the banks of the Tymochtee, near Crawford's monument, in Crawford town-

ship, Wyandot county, Ohio. Published by The Ohio Historical Society, by permission

of the author.]


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own soil. When Lewis had arrived at the appointed rendezvous

with Dunmore, Cornstalk was already there to meet him.

"Calm as the breeze, but terrible as the storm." The plan

of the campaign, previously agreed upon between General Lewis

and Lord Dunmore, was, that Lewis was to descend the Kanawha

to its junction with the Ohio, and if not already there, then await

the arrival of Dunmore. The Earl was to march his forces of one

thousand men up the Potomac to Cumberland, cross the Alle-

ghenies, until he struck the Monongahela, thence, following that

stream downward, reach Fort Pitt, and thence descend the Ohio

to Point Pleasant and form a junction with Lewis. This was

the original plan of operation.

On the first of October, 1774, Lewis reached the mouth of

the Kanawha, but Dunmore had not arrived. He dispatched two

messengers to Dunmore to enquire the cause of his delay, and

awaited a reply. On the ninth of October, three messengers from

the Earl arrived at Lewis's camp and informed him that the Gov-

ernor had changed his plans, that he would not meet Lewis at

the Point, but would descend the Ohio to the mouth of the

Hockhocking river, ascend that stream to the Falls, and thence

strike off to the Pickaway towns along the Scioto, whither he

ordered Lewis to repair and meet him as soon as possible, there

to end the campaign.

This information as to the change of the plan reached Lewis

on the ninth of the month. It is evident that Cornstalk had

received like intelligence of such change, for, on the morning

of the tenth, he struck his unsuspecting foe with a staggering

blow hitherto unprecedented in savage warfare.

"For several days after the battle Lewis was busy burying

the dead, caring for the wounded, collecting the scattered cattle,

and building a storehouse and a small stockade fort. Early on

the morning of the thirteenth of October messengers who had

been sent on to Dunmore advising him of the battle returned with

orders to Lewis to march at once with all of his available forces

against the Shawnee towns, and when within twenty-five miles

of Chillicothe to write to his lordship. The next day the last rear

guard, with the remaining beeves, arrived from the mouth of the

Elk, and while work on the defences at the Point was hurried,

An Outing on the Congo

An Outing on the Congo.            353


preparations were made for the march. By evening of the seven-

teenth Lewis, with fifteen hundred men in good condition, had

crossed the Ohio and gone into camp on the north side. Each

man had ten days' supply of flour, a half pound of powder, and

a pound and a half of bullets; while to each company was assigned

a pack-horse for the tents. Point Pleasant was left in command

of Colonel Fleming, who had been severely wounded in the battle,

and with whom three other officers and one hundred and fifty

disabled men remained. On the eighteenth Lewis, with Captain

Arbuckle as guide, advanced towards the Shawnee towns, eighty

miles distant in a straight line, and probably one hundred and

fifty miles by the circuitous Indian trails. The army marched about

eleven miles a day, frequently seeing hostile parties, but engaging

none. Reaching the salt licks near the head of the south branch

of Salt Creek in what is now Jackson County, they descended

that valley to the Scioto, and thence to a prairie on Kinnikinnick

Creek, where was the freshly deserted village of one of the tribes.

This was thirteen miles south of Chillicothe (now Westfall). Here

they were met, early on the twenty-fourth, by a messenger from

Dunmore, ordering them to halt, as a treaty was nearly concluded

at Camp Charlotte. But Lewis's army had been fired on that

morning and the place was untenable for a camp in a hostile

country, so he concluded to seek a more desirable situation. A

few hours later another messenger came, again promptly ordering

a halt, as the Shawnees had practically come to terms. Lewis

now determined to join the northern division in force at Camp

Charlotte, not liking to have the two armies separated in the

face of a treacherous enemy; but his guide mistook the trail

and took one leading directly to the Grandier Squaw's Town.

Lewis encamped that night on the west side of Congo Creek,

two miles above its mouth, and five and a quarter miles from old

Chillicothe, with the Indian town half way between. The Shaw-

nees were now greatly alarmed and angered, and Dunmore him-

self, accompanied by the Delaware chief, White Eyes, a trader,

John Gibson, and fifty volunteers, rode over in hot haste that

evening to stop Lewis and reprimand him. His lordship was

mollified by Lewis's explanations, but the latter's men, and indeed

Dunmore's, were furious over being stopped when within sight

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of their hated quarry; and tradition has it that it was necessary

to treble the guards during the night to prevent Dunmore and

White Eyes from being killed. The following morning (the

twenty-fifth) his lordship met and courteously thanked Lewis's

men for their valiant service; but said, that now the Shawnees

had acceded to his wishes, the further presence of the southern

division might engender bad blood. Thus dismissed, Lewis led

his army back to Point Pleasant."*

On his arrival at the Indian villages, as security against an

attack of the enemy, Dunmore caused a square of about two

acres, near Sippo, and in close proximity to Congo, to be enclosed

with a palisade, in the center of which was erected a block-house

to be used for headquarters. The whole formed a temporary

barrier against any hostile force which might oppose him. This

he named Camp Charlotte, in honor of the young reigning Queen

of England, whose husband's commission, as Governor of Vir-

ginia, he bore. About two and a half miles west of Camp Char-

lotte Lewis encamped his forces, which locality has since been

known as Camp Lewis. The latter encampment was on the

lands since entered and settled by Major John Boggs in 1798,

embracing or near the famous Logan Elm on the banks of the

Congo. It has since passed out of the possession of Major Boggs'

descendants, and is now owned by Mrs. Mary A. Wallace, widow

of the late Samuel S. Wallace, an attorney of Chillicothe.

The former is situated on the lands originally entered and

settled upon by the late George Wolfe, and is yet in the possession

of his grandson, Benjamin F. Wolfe. These encampments have

been often confounded with each other.

History is rich in incidents which occurred on the banks

of the Sippo and the Congo. They are both small streams sit-

uate but a short distance apart, the former entering the latter

about two miles from its confluence with the Scioto.

The troops of Dunmore and Lewis united numbered two

thousand five hundred officers and men. Their formidable pres-

ence, planted at the very gates of their hunting grounds, and

at the doors of their villages, spread consternation and alarm


* R. G. Thwaite's Note in Border Warfare 176-7.


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among these savage inhabitants. Their voices were now for

peace - peace on almost any terms. Cornstalk was a noble war-

rior - full of courage, and at the same time full of soul. At

the battle of Point Pleasant he commanded his Indian forces

with consummate skill, and at any time his warriors were be-

lieved to waver his voice could be heard above the din of battle

exclaiming in his native tongue: "Be brave! Be brave!" - "Be

strong! Be strong!" When he returned to the Pickaway towns

he called a council of the nation to consult as to what should

now be done and upbraided them for not permitting him to

make peace, as he had desired on the night of the battle. "What,"

said he, "will you do now? The big knife is coming on us, and

we shall all be killed. Now you must fight, or we are done."

But no one answering, he said: "Then let us kill all our women

and children and go and fight until we die." No answer still hav-

ing been made, he indignantly arose, struck his tomahawk in a

post of the council house and exclaimed: "I'll go and make

peace," to which all warriors grunted "Ough!" "'Ough!" and

runners were instantly dispatched to Dunmore to solicit peace.

Dunmore was met, even before he reached the Indian vil-

lages, by a messenger (a white man) from Cornstalk, anxious for

an accommodation. The messenger was returned, accompanied

by John Gibson and Simon Girty - the latter was then a scout

for Dunmore and had not then commenced his notorious ren-

egade career. The two soon brought back an answer from the

Shawnees expressing a desire for peace. A council of the prin-

cipal chiefs were then assembled under the wide-spreading

branches of the famed Elm Tree. Messengers were dispatched

for the famous Mingo chief Logan, whose residence, we have

mentioned, was at Old Chillicothe, about two miles distant on

the west side of the Scioto. But Logan, like Achilles, sulked

in his tent - he refused to attend. "Two or three days before

the signing of the treaty," says an eye witness, "when I was on

the out guard, Simon Girty, who was passing by, stopped me

and conversed; he said he 'was going after Logan, but he did

not like his business, for he was a surly fellow.' He, however,

proceeded on, and I saw him return on the day of the treaty,

and Logan was not with him. At this time a circle was formed


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and the treaty begun. I saw John Gibson, on Girty's arrival,

get up and go out of the circle and talk with Girty, after which

he, Gibson, went into a tent, and soon after, returning into the

circle, drew out of his pocket a piece of clean paper, on which

was written, in his own hand writing, a speech for, and in the

name of Logan. Girty from recollection translated the speech

to Gibson, and the latter put it into excellent English, as he was

abundantly capable of doing."

This speech was first brought into public notoriety by Pres-

ident Jefferson in his Notes on Virginia. Its publication, by him,

produced an embittered controversy as to the genuineness of the

production - principally on the part of the family and friends of

Major Michael Cresap, whose name had been assailed, in that

Major Cresap was therein charged with having, in cold blood,

murdered Logan's family. Mr. Jefferson having been accused

of the sole authorship of the speech, was compelled, in vindica-

tion, to furnish a statement of the facts occasioning its publica-

tion. In this he says:

"The notes on Virginia were written in the year 1781 and

1788, in answer to certain queries proposed to me by Mons. De

Marbois, then Secretary of the French Legation in the United

States; and a manuscript copy was delivered to him. A few

copies, with some additions, were afterwards, in 1784, printed

in Paris, and given to particular friends. In speaking of the

animals of America, the theory of M. de Buffon, Abbe Raynal,

and others presented itself to consideration. They have supposed

there is something in the soil, climate and other circumstances

of America which occasions animal nature to degenerate, not

excepting even the man, native, or adoptive, physical or moral.

This theory, so unfounded and degrading to one-third of the

globe, was called to the bar of fact and reason. Among other

proofs adduced in contradiction of this hypothesis, the speech of

Logan, an Indian chief, delivered to Lord Dunmore in 1774, was

produced as a specimen of the talents of the aboriginals of this

country, and particularly of their eloquence; and it was believed

that Europe had never produced anything superior to this morsel

of eloquence. In order to make it intelligible to the reader, the

transaction on which it was founded was stated as it had been

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generally related in America at the time and as I had heard it

myself in the circle of Lord Dunmore and the officers who

accompanied him; and the speech itself was given as it had,

ten years before the printing of that book, circulated in the news-

papers through all the then colonies - through the magazines

of Great Britain, and the periodical publications of Europe. For

three and twenty years it passed uncontradicted; nor was it ever

suspected that it even admitted contradiction. In 1797, however,

for the first time, not only the whole transaction respecting Logan

was affirmed in public papers to be false, but the speech itself sug-

gested to be a forgery, and even a forgery of mine, to aid me

in proving that the man of America was equal in body and mind

to the man of Europe. But wherefore the forgery? Whether

Logan's or mine, it still would have been American. I should,

indeed, consult my own fame, if the suggestion that this speech

is mine were suffered to be believed. He would have a just right

to be proud who could, with truth, claim that composition. But

it is none of mine, and I yield it to whom it is due.

"On seeing then, that this transaction was brought into

question, I thought it my duty to make particular enquiry into

its foundation. It was more my duty, as it was alleged that, by

ascribing to an individual therein named a participation in the

murder of Logan's family, I had done an injury to his character

which it had not deserved."

Mr. Jefferson, after a voluminous correspondence with, and

numerous affidavits of, officers and men of Lord Dunmore's

forces, very clearly established the genuineness of Logan's speech,

but has left in some doubt the question as to whether Logan's

family were murdered by Major Michael Cresap or Greathouse,

a subaltern under his command. Nevertheless, Logan confidently

believed Cresap to have been the author. Among the numerous

affidavits procured by Mr. Jefferson was one of Captain John

Gibson himself, who interpreted the speech; and as his account

of the transaction differs from that of "An Eye Witness," we

give his version of it. He relates that, having delivered to

Logan the message of Dunmore at Old Chillicothe, Logan re-

fused to attend the council. But, at the chief's request, they went

into an adjoining wood and sat down. Here, after shedding

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abundance of tears, the honored chief told his pathetic story.

Gibson repeated it to the council on the Congo and it was caused

to be published in the Virginia Gazette of that year. We tran-

scribe it as it then appeared.



"I appeal to any white man to say if ever he entered Logan's

cabin hungry, and I gave him not meat; if ever he came cold

or naked, and I gave him not clothing.

"During the course of the last long and bloody war, Logan

remained in his tent, an advocate for peace. Nay, such was

my love for the whites, that those of my country pointed at me

as they passed and said, 'Logan is the friend of the white man.'

I had even thought to have lived among you, but for the injuries

of one man. Colonel Cresap, the last spring, in cold blood and

unprovoked, cut off all the relations of Logan, not sparing even

my women and children. There runs not a drop of my blood

in the veins of any human creature. This called on me for

revenge. I have sought it. I have killed many. I have fully

glutted my vengeance. For my country I rejoice at the beams

of peace. Yet, do not harbor the thought that mine is the joy

of fear. Logan never felt fear. He will not turn on his heel

to save his life. Who is there to mourn for Logan? Not one."

"I may challenge," says Mr. Jefferson, "the whole orations

of Demosthenes and Cicero, and of any more eminent orator, if

Europe has furnished more eminent, to produce a single passage

superior to the speech of Logan, a Mingo chief, to Lord Dunmore.

The famed Logan Elm, given in the view, is also known as

the Treaty Tree. The speech of Logan is erroneously supposed

to have been extemporized in person to the council assembled

beneath its branches. But such was not the fact. It was com-

municated to Gibson in his Indian vernacular, and by Gibson

interpreted to Dunmore at the meeting of the council. The tree

is still standing and in the same vigorous condition it was when

it sheltered the combined representatives of the hostile forces.

The storms of an hundred and twenty years have failed to leave

their impress upon it, and it yet stands as monarch of the woods

and a lasting memorial of the event which it commemorates.


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In one of the views presented, Congo's placid stream is

faintly seen flowing in the foreground, while at some two hundred

feet from the body of the elm may be observed the remains of

the once famous Boggs Cabin. In the second view is shown,

from an opposite standpoint, the imposing Boggs monument,

now occupying the spot where the cabin once stood. It is an

elegant and costly memorial, commemorative of the family and

the events which there transpired, affording a brief but vivid

history of those who were reared under the wide-spreading

branches, and disported their youthful exuberance beneath the

famed Elm.

Its dimensions, by actual measurements, are seventy feet

in hight; the spread of its branches, in diameter, one hundred

and twenty feet, and the girth of its body twenty feet.

The monument seen in the rising ground, measured by esti-

mation only, is, at its base, ten feet square; hight of base, six

feet; hight of shaft, fifteen feet; and square of shaft, at base,

five feet, tapering to three at the top.

It bears the following inscriptions and memorials on its sev-

eral sides as follows:


Under the spreading branches of a magnificent elm tree

near by, is where Logan, the Mingo chief, made his celebrated

speech, and where Lord Dunmore concluded his treaty with the

Indians, in 1774, and thereby opened this country for the settle-

ment of our forefathers.



Erected by John Boggs to the memory of his grandfather,

and father- soldier, scout and pioneer.



Major John Boggs, born near Wheeling, Virginia, 1775.

Moved to Ohio with his father, 1789. Married Sarah McMechan,

1800. Raised eight children, all born in a cabin that stood on

this spot. His wife, Sarah, died 1851. He died 1863.


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Captain John Boggs, born in Western Pennsylvania, 1738.

Married Jane Irwin and raised a large family on the frontier,

near Wheeling, W. Va.

"One son, William, was taken prisoner by the Indians in

view of his father's cabin, which is here represented. Another,

James, was killed by them near Cambridge, Ohio. Immigrated

to Ohio, and built his cabin on this spot 1789 and died 1820."

The representation of the capture of William by the Indians,

mentioned in the inscription, is one of the most exquisite speci-

mens of mural art anywhere to be found on any private monu-

ment. It is a bronzed tablet, two feet six, by fourteen inches, in-

serted in the granite base. The picture of the capture is executed

in bas relief, and of high relief, the figures one-half to one inch

high. It represents a beautiful landscape intended to be, and is,

almost an exact representation of the cabin and its surroundings.

In the left-hand corner is the log cabin, at the corner of which

stands the figure of a white man with his gun at his shoulder

and his eye peering along the barrel. The wife and children stand

secreted behind the cabin. Obliquely to the left, and fronting

the door, stands an Indian in anxious expectancy. At the right

of the man is a waving field of grain surrounded by a rail fence -

commonly designated a Virginia worm fence. Several panels

have been thrown down, and a herd of cattle are feeding on the

growing grain. Near the fence is seen a boy in flight up a

slight ascent, making his way to a palisade on the crest of the ridge.

After him is a band of several Indians in hot pursuit. The whole

scene is a thrilling and vivid representation of the scene that

on that spot once actually occurred. It needs no interpreter;

it conveys, at once, to the understanding what is then and there

being enacted. The stealthy savages, under cover of darkness,

have laid down the fence and turned the cattle upon the growing

grain; secreted in ambush they patiently await approaching day,

anticipating the events to occur in the morning. The results

showed their strategy complete, their decoy successful. The boy,

awakening at sunrise, views the desolating scene, and, unsuspect-

ing the authors of the mischief, impulsively rushes after the de-

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stroying herd. Suddenly his course is interrupted by the terrible

apparition of a hostile foe that rises before him. He turns and

retreats towards the cabin, but there too appears another of the

band to intercept his entrance. No hope of escape now presents

itself save that of reaching the palisade on the ridge in the dis-

tance.  He turns and with accelerated speed vainly endeavors

to reach the goal. His course is beset with increasing pursuers

on all sides, and at length, exhausted by the effort, he is over-

taken and made captive to Indian strategy and Indian cunning.

Meanwhile his anxious father stands sentinel at the cabin's corner,

guarding the family from the intruding savage in the front, while

the receding form of his son, pursued by a hostile force, appalls

his agonized soul.

Such is here depicted the memorable scenes of our fore-

fathers, preserved in imperishable bronze and granite, where future

generations may pause and read the story of their sacrifices and

their sufferings while marking out the path of Empire.

As we stand before this consecrated record, sublime reveries

and holy reflections crowd upon our mind and extort the sigh

of sadness which a scene like this inspires.  In the cycles of

the centuries three generations have played their parts on this

tragic stage of human life. Men and women, savage and civilized,

have been in succession gathered to the shades of their fathers.

Our feet, even now, press the sward above their graves, where

now, in silence, side by side, and crumbling to decay, lie the

bones of the red warrior, who once roamed these forests, and

his ancient foe, the white man.

How apt to this place -  this hour -  this scene recur the

words of the immortal bard Bryant.





"Then came the hunter's tribes, and thou didst look,

For ages, on their deeds in the hard chase,

And well fought wars; green sod and silver brook

Took the first stain of blood: before thy face

The warrior generations came and passed,

And glory was laid up for many an age to last.

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"Now they are gone, gone as thy setting blaze

Goes down the west, while night is pressing on

And with them, the old tale of better days,

And trophies of remembered power, are gone.

Yon field that gives the harvest, where the plough

Strikes the white bone, is all that tells their story now.

"I stand upon their ashes, in thy beam,

The offspring of another race, I stand

Beside a stream they loved, this valley stream;

And where the night-fire of the quivered band

Showed the gray elm by fits and war-song sung

I teach the quiet shades the strains of this new tongue.

"Farewell! but thou shalt come again-thy light

Must shine on other changes, and behold

The place of the thronged city, still as night-

States fallen-new empires built upon the old-

But never shalt thou see these realms again

Darkened by boundless groves, and roamed by savage men.'