Ohio History Journal






Mr. Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen:

I esteem it both an honor and a privilege to appear

before you and speak briefly upon the lives of two great

characters, Logan and Tecumseh, and also tell you a

little concerning the Shawano Indians, commonly called

the Shawnees, whose villages were in this part of our


We are assembled on a very historic spot, historic

not merely because the cabin of the earliest settler, Mr.

Boggs, a man who has been fittingly honored by the

first monument here erected, but also because this was

the center from which radiated the activities of these

same Shawnee Indians.

I speak informally. Obviously such a setting de-

mands a flight of oratory. Yet the great oration, the

one delivered by Logan near this spot in the fall of

1774, renders any studied effort that might be attempted

today extremely futile and commonplace. Indeed, since

it is quite obvious that no public speaker called upon to

address an assemblage gathered together on the field of

Gettysburg would do more than refer in the highest

terms to Lincoln's immortal Gettysburg address, so to-

day, ladies and gentlemen, it would be almost a sacri-

lege to attempt any flight of eloquence. Moreover, I


* An address delivered on Ohio History Day, October 3, 1926, at

Logan Elm Park.


Logan, Tecumseh, the Shawano Indians

Logan, Tecumseh, the Shawano Indians.  79

am not an orator, but on the contrary, merely a student

of Indian history.

The purpose of our gathering today is to pay tribute

to these people of the Red race, -- men, women, and

children, and distinguished chiefs, rather than to accord

a full meed of praise to our White pioneers. This is said

in no disrespect. I can speak frankly upon our Indians'

wrongs for the reason that my own ancestor, Captain

John Mason, in the State of Connecticut, in the Pequot

war of 1637 was active in "punishing the heathen" as

he called those who were merely fighting to preserve

their fire-sides, and their homes. Our country today,

having possessed itself of all the lands owned by the

Indians, beginning with the mouth of the St. John

River, in New Brunswick, and extending to the Golden

Gate of California, can well afford to accord our orig-

inal inhabitants their proper place on the page of Amer-

ican history.

The Shawano Indians probably had their origin in

the South. There is abundant evidence of this. Yet

I shall not weary you with a technical dissertation to-

day, and neither shall I present a long succession of

dates and circumstances. To those who are inclined to

serious study, I would commend the excellent publica-

tions of the Ohio State Archaeological and Historical

Society, wherein you will find set forth in accurate detail

most of the occurrences which I may mention. Par-

ticularly, would I recommend that you read the obser-

vations of those noble missionaries, Heckewelder and

Zeisberger, who present for your consideration a cor-

rect picture of the backwoods or frontier element re-

sponsible for most of the trouble with our Indians.

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These two self-sacrificing and upright men lived with

the Indians for many, many years, spoke the languages;

and they are competent witnesses to the scenes, and

trust-worthy recorders of the events which led up to

the cruelties and outrages perpetrated by the frontier

element upon the Shawano Indians of the Scioto and

Miami valleys.

The word for "town" in Shawano is Chillicothe

(Cha-la-ka-tha), and there were four or five Shawano

towns, one being on the site now occupied by Ports-

mouth, another at Old Town, three miles north of

Xenia, a third at Frankfort, Ross County, and the

others here in the Pickaway Plains. These towns at no

time possessed more than 400 to 500 fighting men. I

have always maintained that, considering their inferior-

ity in numbers, these Indians of Ohio were the bravest,

and most successful warriors in the entire United

States. Briefly summarized, between the years about

1750 and 1813 they took part in 22 actions. We depend

on our own records, the Indians having no written his-

tory. If memory does not fail me -- of these 22 actions

we ourselves admit we were defeated 11 times, in 4 the

honors were even, and 7 engagements resulted in vic-

tories for the Whites. Well may their few mixed-blood

descendants now living in Kansas or Oklahoma be

proud of these Ohio Red men. Had they possessed the

numbers of the Iroquois, it is certain that the White

settlements north of the Ohio River would have been

delayed for half a century. We haven't time to go into

detail, but I will briefly mention some of the actions in

which the Shawano were present. Braddock's defeat,

and Grant's action, near Pittsburgh, in which nearly

Logan, Tecumseh, the Shawano Indians

Logan, Tecumseh, the Shawano Indians.  81

1,000 English and Colonial troops were killed, wounded,

or captured, and the rest of the army driven back to the

frontier settlements. St. Clair's defeat in the western

part of our own State, 1791, where nearly 1100 of that

army were destroyed. Excepting Jackson's fight at

Horse-Shoe Bend against the Creeks in the South --

this was the most important action between the White

and Red troops on the American continent.

The Shawano were instrumental in defeating Bow-

man and Harmer, they fought a heroic action at Point

Pleasant, they gave support when Williamson and his

Kentuckians were driven back from their raid on the

Sandusky towns, and they were in evidence against

Harrison and Wayne in all those campaigns leading up

to and through the war of 1812. We should realize the

great disadvantages of these people when they con-

tended with the superior civilization of the Whites.

Most of the guns sold them by the traders were poor;

they had no granaries, no cattle, or farm produce on

which to draw. Their means of communication were

exceedingly primitive, and they of necessity traveled

long distances from village to village and gathered their

warriors together to resist invasion.

Our early records are filled with stories of Indian

attacks on the settlements of Kentucky, Pennsylvania,

and Virginia. It is quite true that the Indians were

cruel and murdered men, women, and children. It is

also equally true that many of our frontier element de-

liberately attacked Indians in time of peace, regardless

of tribual affiliation. This has extended down to mod-

ern times, and in the last Indian fight -- let us hope

there will never be another -- at Wounded Knee, South

Vol. XXXVI--6.

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Dakota, December, 1890, 192 Sioux, mostly women and

children, were shot down by our troops.

James Smith, who wrote our best narrative of cap-

tivity, was with the Ohio Indians for a number of years

prior to 1762. His description of unscrupulous traders

is most interesting. They loaded pack horses with pow-

der and ball, tomahawks, scalping knives, and whisky,

and did a lucrative business with the Ohio Indians. By

common consent the Ohio River was the boundary

between the White and Indian countries, yet men of the

type of Wetzel and Greathouse repeatedly crossed this

river and killed Indians. Rewards offered by our offi-

cials for scalps resulted in many surprise attacks on the

Indian encampments. An educated, New England

woman, Elizabeth Dwight, went by stage and horseback

into the heart of the Ohio country in 1810. I would

commend her volume to those of you who wish a por-

trait of conditions in the backwoods at that time. It is

published by the Yale Press. Coming from Connecti-

cut where there was no frontier element, her minute

description of the kind of men she met in the cabins and

primitive inns does not tally with our pre-conceived

notion of the so-called noble frontiersmen.

Let us consider for a few moments the lives of these

three men.


Logan's Indian name was Tah-gah-jute, meaning

spying. He was born at Shamokin, Pennsylvania, about

1725, was a very peaceable man, removed to the Ohio

country in 1770, and was seen by Heckewelder in 1772.

He lived a few miles west of here on the Scioto, at the

site we now call Westfall. He was a Cayuga Chief,

Logan, Tecumseh, the Shawano Indians

Logan, Tecumseh, the Shawano Indians.  83


and thus belonged to the Iroquois Confederacy. On the

frontier the term Mingo was employed to designate Iro-

quois living away from the Mohawk Valley. Logan

never became a warrior until his friends and relatives

were destroyed by the Whites.



The celebrated Shawano Chief was born about 1720,

probably near this spot. He was leader of the Indians

in that great fight at Point Pleasant, October 19, 1774.

Three years later he came to Point Pleasant to warn

the settlers that his tribe might be forced into war, and

to beg them to discontinue raids into Ohio. He and his

son were murdered while upon this peaceful mission by

the very people they sought to aid.



Properly Tikamthi or Tecumtha -- according to the

dialect of different bands. His name is variously inter-

preted. His mother is thought to have belonged to

the Panther clan.  "I stand in path" or "I oppose"

might be a free translation of the Shawano meaning.

He was born about 1768, six miles south-west from

Springfield on Mad River. His father was killed in the

battle of Point Pleasant. His older brother died in ac-

tion, and another brother was killed at his side in

Wayne's victory, 1794. Tecumseh was one of three

brothers born at the same time. This in itself was con-

sidered by the Indians miraculous, since Indian women

seldom bore twins and triplets were unknown. His

other brother became Tenskwatawa, the celebrated

prophet, was painted by George Catlin in 1832, and died

in 1837 in Kansas. He was a remarkable personality.

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Tecumseh himself was killed at the battle of the

Thames, Canada, October 5, 1813.

One might devote this entire afternoon to a consid-

eration of the outstanding figure in Ohio Valley Indian

history, Tecumseh, but it is necessary to omit not only

that, but also interesting and dramatic episodes in the

lives of these men. No complete life of Tecumseh --

one worthy of the name -- has been written. It would

require the pen of a Parkman to do justice to this great


Logan himself was not a Shawano, but he was asso-

ciated with what the early settlers called the hostile ele-

ment, which I prefer to term the patriotic element here

in southern Ohio. That is, judged by our standards of

national life, all that these people desired was to live in

contentment here in the beautiful Pickaway Plains.

Suppose a superior race should suddenly appear in this

portion of our state -- a race as far above us as we were

above the Indians. Suppose that they should take our

lands, inflict customs and manners of which we were

totally unfamiliar upon us. I am quite certain that,

notwithstanding our inferiority to the higher culture

which such newcomers thrust upon us, we would resist

with every resource at our command, the destruction of

our homes and the loss of our lands. In the final anal-

ysis, that is all these Indians did.

Our early writers placed entirely too much emphasis

on the cruelties practiced by Indians on white people.

They say very little concerning the ruthless murder of

Indian men, women and children by our own ancestors.

One of the greatest factors in bringing about the trou-

bles during the period 1740 to 1812, is set forth in great

Logan, Tecumseh, the Shawano Indians

Logan, Tecumseh, the Shawano Indians.  85

detail by Helen Hunt Jackson in her famous "Century

of Dishonor". Perhaps we do not realize that after

white people had secured most of the land in Kentucky,

Pennsylvania, Virginia and began to encroach on the

north side of the river, that the Indians were summoned

by our authorities to a great Council at Detroit in 1786.

They petitioned our President to observe previous

treaties and asked "prevent your surveyors and other

people from coming upon our side of the river." The

United States government had assured the Indians they

could reside on their lands so long as they behaved them-

selves peacefully and of trespassers (Whites) added,

"The Indians may punish him as they please."

Notwithstanding sacred promises, the next year our

President ordered the Governor of the Northwest Ter-

ritory, "You will not neglect any opportunity that may

offer for extinguishing of Indian rights as far west-

ward as the Mississsippi." In 1792 the President of the

United States utters these significant words, "Remem-

ber that no additional lands will be required of you, etc."

And again General Putnam said at Vincennes, "The

United States does not mean to wrong you out of your

lands." This was followed by an offer to give the In-

dians a great deal of money for additional lands. The

Indian spokesman was wise in his day and generation.

He told the Commissioners that money was of no value

to the Indians, that the lands were needed for the sus-

tenance of women and children. That since the white

settlers were poor, therefore the proposed money should

be divided among them! To this should be added the

large sums of money which our Government must ex-

pend and pay in raising armies to fight the Indians! All

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of which is quite clever and to the point. Whether these

logical statements had any effect on our Commissioners

I do not know. Finally the Indians declined to make

further concessions, reminded the officials of their re-

peated promises against further invasions. General

Anthony Wayne wrote the Secretary of War advocating

aggressive measures against the Indians We all know

what happened. Their villages were burned, their corn-

fields destroyed and the Indians defeated in several ac-

tions. In a final treaty of 1795 two-thirds of the pres-

ent state of Ohio was ceded to the United States and

we solemnly guaranteed these Indians all other Indian

lands northward of the Ohio river, east of the Missis-

sippi and southward of the great lakes. This would

give the Indians that northwestern part of our state,

most of Indiana and practically all of Illinois. It was

carefully specified that the Indians could hunt and dwell

within this territory as long as they pleased. We can

dismiss the remainder of the wretched history with a

statement that General Harrison was instructed by the

President (1809) to extinguish Indian titles, and in

1817 what remained of this vast Indian domain was

appropriated by our people.

Now, ladies and gentlemen, please carefully note the

following statement -- with the sole exception of the

Iroquois treaty which still applies to northern New

York, our great and good government has never ob-

served a single treaty made between ourselves and an

Indian tribe in any state of our Union. Is this a rec-

ord of which one hundred percent Americans should be


What manner of men were these first traders, fron-

Logan, Tecumseh, the Shawano Indians

Logan, Tecumseh, the Shawano Indians.  87

tiersmen and Indian fighters? Johnson in the New

York Colonial Documents, Vol. 8, p. 460, sheds light on

their characters. He knew them.

"Dissolute fellows, united with debtors, and persons

of wandering disposition, who have been removing from

Pennsylvania, Virginia, etc., for more than ten years

past into the Indian country, towards and on the Ohio

and had made a considerable number of settlements as

early as 1765, when my deputy (Crogan) was sent to

the Illinois, from whence he gave me a particular ac-

count of the uneasiness it occasioned among the Indians.

Many of these emigrants are idle fellows that are too

lazy to cultivate lands, and invited by the plenty of game

they found, have employed themselves in hunting, in

which they interfere much more with the Indians than

if they pursued agriculture alone, and the Indian hunt-

ers already begin to feel the scarcity this has occasioned,

which greatly increases their resentment."

The instinct of self-preservation is strong in all

races. These Ohio Indians were beset on all sides by

enemies. Then came our peace Commissioners from

Philadelphia, then the seat of our Government, and they

spoke honeyed words, presented a paper and again the

chiefs affixed their totems to that document. Our

Shawano could have removed from these beautiful

Scioto fields to the Miami, thence to the Wabash and

then to the Illinois. They would have gained but a few

short years because the land grabbers would have fol-

lowed them clear across the Middle West. The tide of

white immigration could be stayed by armed force -- by

no other means. Tecumseh, Logan, Cornstalk, Black

Fish and the other chiefs realized this. The war hatchet

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was thrown down and they took it up. They resisted

to the nth degree. Those who tamely submit to impo-

sition are not only held in contempt by their adversaries

but they leave no mark on the page of history. We re-

spect them because they were real men.

Were our Ohio Indians always fighting? By no

means. Their life here, and at other Indian settlements,

was exceedingly pleasant. There was an abundance of

game, they lived in comfortable cabins, and raised crops.

At the time Colonel Bouquet marched to the Muskingum

over two hundred white captives were surrendered by

the Indians. Large numbers of these had to be bound

because they desired to remain with the Indians. Num-

bers afterwards escaped and returned to the Indian life.

Does anyone suppose that had they been shamefully

treated, Bouquet's narrative would have made such


On Muskingum river, Heckewelder and Zeisberger

had built up a very successful mission. For a long time

it was the only well built, well ordered, Christian town

in the whole Ohio region. It was the outpost of civili-

zation, yet one, Williamson, accompanied by a large

party of freebooters and frontiersmen from Pennsylva-

nia, without justification, murdered upwards of ninety

Christian men, women and children. Not one of them

was armed, and most of them were killed within the

church. It was one of the most outrageous and cold-

blooded murders ever perpetrated in American history.

I challenge anyone to cite an incident where persons

assembled at divine worship in a sacred church were

deliberately murdered by those against whom they had

perpetrated no wrong. What was the result? William-

Logan, Tecumseh, the Shawano Indians

Logan, Tecumseh, the Shawano Indians.  89

son, accompanied by Colonel Crawford, Dr. Knight,

and a large force, marched north sometime later to at-

tack the Indian towns near the Sandusky Plains. They

were surprised by real fighting Indians, not harmless

mission converts. The Indians desired above all things

to seize Williamson, and be revenged. In the murder

of their kinsfolk Heckewelder states the Indians ran

about crying "Where is Williamson?"  He however,

secured a fast horse, and escaped from the action. Poor

Colonel Crawford fell into the hands of the exasperated

savages and was tortured to death, all of which was

both cruel and wicked. I am sorry that those who love

to dwell on the tortures of Crawford always gloss over

what happened previous to the Crawford affair. Please

read Heckewelder's narrative as to why Crawford was


Ladies and Gentlemen, let us consider finally, Logan

and Tecumseh, particularly the latter. Logan's fame

rests upon his great oration, and before you leave this

field I trust you will read it -- it is in imperishable

bronze over there (pointing to the monument).

Joseph Brant -- Tha-yen-da-ne-gea -- the great Iro-

quois war-chief, visited the Ohio Valley. He knew


Tecumseh and Joseph Brant have much in common.

Both were leaders, highly intelligent, brave, and fight-

ing men. Each was a born orator, and each knew how to

play on the feelings of his followers. The martial spirit

appealed to both alike. It was Brant when asked by

the King of England, "Are you fond of music?" who

replied, "I like the harp. I like the organ much better,

but I love the fife and drum best of all because they

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make my heart beat quick." It was Tecumseh who,

when asked to sit upon the platform with the officers at

one of the treaties, and not wishing to place himself in

the power of white men whom he had every reason to

distrust, uttered this significant epigram, "The sun is

my father, the earth is my mother, on her bosom I will

repose," and seated himself among his warriors.

It is now one hundred and thirty years since the

Shawano left this part of Ohio. It is more than one

hundred years since they have resided in any numbers

within the borders of our state. There are no full blood

Shawano remaining in either Kansas or Oklahoma.

We have inherited this vast domain. The Indian life

is a memory, a dim tradition. Those wars of long ago

are forgotten, likewise the cruelties which were prac-

ticed with equal fervor by both Reds and Whites. It is

well that we have erected monuments to our military

leaders and our first settlers, and it is exceedingly fit-

ting that the most imposing one of the four here is the

tribute to Logan himself. I say "four" because the

great Logan Elm was the first, the real monument.

Logan's speech, rather than Dunmore's treaty, ren-

ders this spot immortal. And of the greatest and

noblest of them all -- Tecumseh -- who fought men,

and killed neither women or children. Does he not de-

serve a shaft? I would that we knew the exact spot of

his birth -- where the prophet, his brother, and himself

saw the light of day.

The Ohio country is our heritage -- we can well af-

ford to be generous. Let us not omit the name of Te-

cumseh from our records in stone and bronze.

In the northwestern part of our State, and also in

Logan, Tecumseh, the Shawano Indians

Logan, Tecumseh, the Shawano Indians.  91

that last engagement on the Thames, fought side by side

the northern Algonquins, the Ojibwa, with our Ohio

Algonquins, the Shawano. Let me present to you the

original Ojibwa war flag. It is one hundred and

twenty years old, and the Chiefs Me-shuck-ke-gee-shig

and Mah-in-gonce gave it to me at White Earth reserva-

tion in Minnesota in the year 1909 and it belongs to our

museum at Andover. It is of owl and not eagle feath-

ers, for the owl was sacred to the Ojibwa. Ne-gah-ne-

bin-ace, their fighting chief, carried it. It was captured

by the Sioux, enemies of the Ojibwa, held for many

years, and retaken by Ne-gah-ne-bin-ace and his brave

warriors. Probably the only positively old and original

Indian flag belonging to eastern Algonquins in existence

today. The Indians prized and revered it, even as we

do "Old Glory", our own sacred symbol. No emblem

belonging to our own Ohio Indians remains -- there-

fore I do not consider it inappropriate to exhibit that

one carried by their allies.

The villages of these simple, yet heroic, Shawano

are gone forever. Tecumseh lies in an unknown and

forgotten grave. All our treaties with his band were

deliberately broken by us. We cannot undo the evils of

the past, but it is not too late to honor the memory of

him who stood foremost among American aborigines.

Well might it be said of him, "Greater love hath no man

than that he die for his country". Certainly his deeds

and his character merit a dignified and a fitting me-