Ohio History Journal





On Saturday, October 21, 1916, an interesting ceremony

was held at Logan Elm Park, under the auspices of the Ohio

State Archaeological and Historical Society. The program, ar-

ranged by Mr. Frank Tallmadge, comprised the erection of a

flag staff and the unfurling of the stars and stripes; the dedi-

cation of a log cabin, not a modern imitation but a well pre-

served relic of the real thing, a left over of the pioneer days,

secured on a neighboring farm and transported to the Park;

the unveiling of two bronze tablets attached to opposite sides of

a large boulder, firmly placed upon a concrete foundation. The

inscriptions on these two tablets read respectively as follows:







CAPT. M. CRESAP            - MD.

GEN. JOHN GIBSON                           -PA.

SIMON KENTON  -              -  VA.

COL. BENJ. WILSON                          -MD.

LIEUT. J. CRESAP                               -  MD.






CAPT. JNO. WILSON                          -KY.

LIEUT. GABRIEL Cox        - KY.

CAPT. JOHNSON  -                               -PA.












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The day proved inclement in weather and not over a hun-

dred gathered to participate in the occasion.   Conspicuous

among those present were twenty-one of the lineal descendants

of Col. Thomas Cresap of early American pioneer fame, and

whose son Captain Michael Cresap was the one designated by

the Mingo Chief Logan as the destroyer of the Chief's family.

After the unfurling of the flag by Mr. William Neil as

many of those present, as could, assembled within the log cabin,

in the ample fireplace of which the burning logs snapped and

sparkled as of "ye olden time," while Colonel Henry C. Taylor

read the following dedicatory address:



The ground on which we meet today has many interesting associa-

tions. It was the scene of conflict of two races of men, the white and

the red. Here were the troublous days of a retiring and oncoming race.

The aboriginal had roamed over these plains for uncounted years until

something like two centuries ago the pale face began here and there to

appear. In a short time antagonisms grew into open hostility and con-

tinued with increasing energy until at last treaties of peace were made,

the red men seeking other hunting grounds and the white men entered

in and possessed the land. After the conflict of many trying years, it is

recounted that the representatives of the Indian and the pale face as-

Unveiling of the Cresap Tablet

Unveiling of the Cresap Tablet.               125


sembled here in friendly council. We are pleased to think of the times

when they met here, to smoke the pipe of peace.

The home of the red men was the wigwam and around this were

held the council fires and to these were brought the trophies of the hunt

for game, then so abundant. The wigwam was conical in shape with

long poles driven into the ground and was generally covered with bark

and skins. At the top an open space was left for the escape of smoke.

It was temporary in its structure, easily made and could be quickly taken

down and removed. The Indian wigwam was of the tent type, the home

of man in all countries in the early ages of the world. It is said that

when an Indian wandered far and wide and could not find his wigwam,

the wigwam was considered lost but not the Indian. Such was their

pride of location in forest and plain. In the now distant days the home

of the white man was the log cabin. This was their refuge from danger

and place of rest and protection. Around these log abodes clustered the

home ties of the pioneers. Living in these they went forth to subdue

the earth for their uses and purposes. Not relying on the woods and

streams for their sustenance they planted the Indian corn. Soon the

potato and cabbage found their way into the cleared ground, also some

wheat and patches of buckwheat grew about the cabins. Upon the sides

of the cabin were often stretched the skins of wild animals, especially

those of the coon, mink, opossum, groundhog and fox. The wolves were

at large in these plains and woods and their skins were turned to com-

mercial use by the pioneers. There was not so very much light in the

cabins, the windows being small and usually no light from the door. In

the evening and during the night a large open fire furnished the light

and made the interior bright and cheery, after the day of hardship, ex-

posure and toil. The back log was from four to five feet long and was

hauled to the cabin door by a horse. It was then rolled in and put into

place by two men and served the purpose for several days. The longer

pieces, consisting of limbs and split wood, were placed in front and a roar-

ing fire would be the result. The chimney would be so open and of such

large proportions that one could look up through it at night and see the

stars. Great care was exercised in selecting the back log and the kind

of wood largely determined the time it would last. It was said of the

buckeye that one good back log of this timber would last all winter and

then it could be taken out in the spring and planted and would sprout and

grow. In the interior of the cabin the ceiling on the first or ground

floor was generally low, probably 71/2 or 8 feet in height. Heavy timbers

extended across to support the loft or space above. From these timbers

were many wooden hooks made from the saplings to support different

household articles but especially the guns. It was customary to have at

least two rifles and probably a flintlock shotgun so suspended. In the

hands of the skilled hunters the rifles were deadly instruments; the flint-

lock was uncertain, not carrying far and was only fatal at short range.

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In the beginning of things in the history of our state it was a great

class of men and women that lived in the log cabins. They were the

stalwarts from the East and South, of English, Irish, Scotch, Welch, Ger-

man, Dutch and French descent. The prevailing type of the first settlers

was, I think, a mixture, and what is known as the Scotch-Irish. They

were the settlers of whom General Andrew Jackson was a representative

man. The characteristics of the people who built and lived in these cabins

were industry, economy, courage, self-sacrifice, morality and a firm belief

in churches and schools. Their education was often limited and some of

them who were most highly esteemed and honored could scarcely read or

write. Andrew Johnson was taught to read by his wife after he was

married. It is said that Andrew Jackson was always quite deficient in

spelling and one version of the original of O. K. is that on some measure

which met his approval he wrote O. K., which he supposed was the initial

letters for "all correct.' This branch of education is not now so highly

valued since the advent of simplified spelling and spelling reform.

The national compaign of 1840 resolved itself into a celebration of

the log cabin period of our country. The enthusiasm knew no bound

and the candidate whose name was associated with this humble structure

was elected president of the United States. On the 22nd day of Feb-

ruary, 1840, there was held in Columbus a political demonstration, the like

of which had never before been seen and which for many years after

was referred to with the greatest pride.

A log cabin with a coon on top was placed upon a wagon and hauled

down High Street, to the infinite satisfaction and amusement of the pub-

lic. On this occasion Mr. William Neil, the elder of two brothers who

came in an early day from Kentucky to Columbus, drove the six pairs

of horses for the float on which were seated the young ladies dressed in

white representing the different states of the Union. My father took a

part in this notable procession of that time, and today there are repre-

senatives here in the third generation of these two families.

The log cabin has a place in our literature in prose and verse. In

the winter of 1851 in the National Intelligencer, published in Washington,

D. C., a story was commenced which was destined to become, when pub-

lished in book form, the most effective work ever written by an American.

This story was finished in 1852 and was published under the title of

"Uncle Tom's Cabin." In a short time it gained a wide circulation and

continues to be largely read unto this day. It has been translated into

twenty different languages and has gone into all parts of the world. Its

effect in our country after the first year of its publication was tremendous

and it has been credited with having accomplished more in the work of

overthrowing the institution of slavery than all the abolition societies

ever formed and anti-salvery orations ever delivered. The alternative

part of the title, though seldom heard, is quite significant, the full title

being "Uncle Tom's Cabin or Life Among the Lowly."

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Unveiling of the Cresap Tablet.                127

From the log cabin in Ohio we had General Grant, the successful

leading general in our Civil War from 1861 to 1865. His monument on

Riverside Drive, New York, attests the nation's appreciation of his rank

and service in our great crisis. From a log cabin in Kentucky came

Abraham Lincoln, our president when the life of the nation was in peril

and whose name now belongs to the world and to the ages.

It is not in human probability that another of the sons of men will

arise from any condition, humble or exalted who will threaten his pre-

eminence in the world and have a loftier and more enduring fame. In

the sterling virtues and simplicity of life, the Scotch Cotter as pictured

in Burns' "Cotter's Saturday Night," must have borne a strong resem-

blance to our forefathers of the log cabin days. The same integrity of

character, the same reverence, the same self-denial, the same sacrifice and

the same faith.

If you will permit some slight substitutions we shall have:

From scenes like these Ohio's Grandeur springs

That makes her loved at home, revered abroad;

Princess and lords are but the breath of kings,

And honest man's the noblest work of God.

And certes in fair virtue's heavenly road

The cabin leaves the palace far behind.

To the memory of our forefathers and foremothers who wrought so

valiantly and lived such worthy lives, we their grateful descendants now

dedicate this log cabin to their lasting remembrance.

From the cabin the participants

proceeded to the Cresap monument,

located almost under the lengthy

branches of the Logan Elm. Mr. E.

O. Randall, Secretary of the Ohio

State Archaeological and Historical

Society presided. Rev. C. B. Beckes

pronounced  the   invocation  after

which Master Willis Cresap, aged

eight, assisted by Master Ben O. Cre-

sap, both lineal descendants from Cap-

tain Michael Cresap, removed the flag

that covered the Cresap tablet, while

Willis recited the following lines:

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Hurrah for our Country! May she ever be free.

Hurrah for our Patriots! On land or on sea,

Who gave this Liberty, to you and to me.

We will hold their deeds, and memory bright,

While the Sun and the Moon give us this light;

To their principles, we boys will be true,

And we will live and die, for the Red, White and Blue.

The speaker of the day was Hon. Henry J. Booth, who de-

livered the following address:



In the midst of the greatest war that has ever exposed the vices

and weaknesses of what we call civilization, we have met to commem-

orate events which were a prelude to another war, that ended at York-

town four generations ago. As to the results of the present world-wide

conflict let us not attempt to speculate, lest our opinions be colored by

our sympathies. But the heritage of the American Revolution is known

of all men. The supreme outstanding fact is that in the great family of

nations, for more than a hundred years our people have enjoyed the

best fruits of civilization to a greater extent than any other nation. And

now, in the great cataclysm of destruction and passion in Europe, our

country is the one great neutral, when enemies arrayed against each other

in the grapple of death are so many, and neutrals are so few. Hence

when the present war is ended, whether in victory or through exhaustion,

whether celebrated by triumphal entries into conquered capitals, or termi-

nated by the mutual withdrawal of shattered ranks from the blood-

soaked fields of conflict to their homes, where nearly every house will be

a house of mourning, the influence of America will be exerted to estab-

lish and maintain a world peace; and America, more than ever before,

will be an asylum for the oppressed of all nations.

A state as well as an individual is endowed with a personality. Its

history may long antedate its birth as a commonwealth. So it was with

the six states which were carved out of the Northwest Territory. But,

in one respect at least, more than any of the others, the history of Ohio

is unique. As a member of the sisterhood of states its history commenced

in 1803. But much of its most important history was written before that

time in events which fixed its status and molded its character.

Among the most important events which affected the early history

of the territory which we now call Ohio were the organization of the

First Ohio Company in 1748, although the grant to that company for six

hundred thousand acres was located on the northern and southern banks

of the Ohio river, the treaty between Lord Dunmore and the Indians in

1774, the adoption of the Ordinance of 1787, and the settlements during

colonial times of which the most conspicuous was the one at Marietta.

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Unveiling of the Cresap Tablet.                129


The First Ohio Company was composed principally of influential men in

Maryland and Virginia, including General Washington, Colonel Thomas

Cresap and Colonel George Mason. It was the name of George Mason

which was given to Mason and Dixon's Line, that for nearly two genera-

tions was the invisible line which served as the northern boundary of the

slave states. Lord Dunmore's treaty, concluded twenty-five years later, in

the shade of the giant elm under which we now stand, on the eve of the

revolution, broke the power of the Indians in what was then known as the

"Dark and Bloody Ground" north of the Ohio River. The peace so se-

cured effectually protected Virginia and the neighboring colonies for a

time at least from attacks in the rear while they were forming a con-

federacy of the colonies and launching the war of independence against

their white brethren across the sea.

In 1787 was secured the Magna Charta which defined the rights of

the few who had already settled, and the millions yet to come, in the great

Northwest Territory, from which slavery was permanently excluded. So

fundamental were the rights thus granted in perpetuity that even yet the

courts of Ohio recognize all provisions of that great compact, which are

not repugnant to the constitution of the state, as being still in force,

although granted fifteen years before Ohio became a state. Prior to the

adoption of that ordinance, which was in effect a constitution for six

central northern states, a few thousand adventurous spirits had found

their way as traders and settlers among the hills bordering the Ohio

River and into the fertile valleys of the larger streams which flowed into

the Ohio River from both the north and the south.

Within a few years after the civil rights of the inhabitants north

of the river were fixed by law, colonies composed of the best blood of

the states along the seaboard were organized for the settlement of the

New West. The first and most conspicuous of these was composed prin-

cipally of men and women of New England, who settled at Marietta,

which marks the confluence of the Muskingum and the Ohio. They were

soon followed by others who settled in eastern, southeastern and southern

Ohio and later by colonists located farther north and west.

It was thus that the heart of our country was established in the

Central West comprising the states which were carved out of the great

Northwest Territory. It is not in any spirit of egotism that the men of

today pay tribute to their forbears who commenced to write history for

us, on the soil of what is now Ohio, more than a hundred and fifty years


The organization, development, growth and prosperity of colonies,

far more than the history of states, depend upon their natural leaders.

Those who are resolute, brave and strong become by common consent

leaders in every great emergency, whether in repelling force with force in

the acquisition or defense of new territory, or in the settlement and devel-

opment of large areas of fertile soil so acquired. Land is the ultimate

Vol. XXVI-9

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source of all wealth. Therefore, whether on the rocky shores of Massa-

chusetts, in the fertile valleys of Virginia, in the more fertile valleys of

Ohio and in the prairie states farther west, and on every other continent

as well as on this, the acquisition of land, by those we call civilized from

those we call savage, has been the potent cause of that ceaseless aggres-

sion to which neither precept nor practice has yet placed a limit.

On land so acquired stands the little cabin in which Lincoln was

born. now enclosed by a grateful people in a magnificent granite memo-

rial building near Hodgenville, Kentuckyy. So Washington's forbears

obtained their plantations east of the Alleghenies. So Washington himself

acquired extensive tracts of land in Western Pennsylvania. To this policy

the early settlers were indebted for the site of every cabin, every church

and every school. As the result of the inevitable race conflict between

the indigenous race which held the land and those who wished to im-

prove it, one hundred million American people are now enjoying peace

and plenty. The passing of the Indians east of the Mississippi is pathetic

beyond words; but the problem of their benevolent assimilation has never

yet been satisfactorily solved.

Sometimes it is quite as interesting and instructive to read history

backward as to attempt to trace it chronologically from cause to effect.

That method may furnish the better perspective. A picture so drawn

may be more true to life. That is also the quicker way when the facts

are not disputed. But what romantic incident has ever been embodied

in history without challenge?  What important event has been accepted

from first to last as first told? What chapter of history has run the

gauntlet for the last time? Who knows?

The details of history are frequently obscured by the inherent de-

fects of human testimony. At best history is largely hearsay. As to

such testimony it is a rule of court, that its probative force is subject to

the criticism, that statements are often thoughtlessly made, imperfectly

heard, inaccurately remembered, and carelessly detailed. If the historian

is too near to the events described he fails to see their proportions and

their relationship to each other. If he be too far away he finds that the

details have faded into the uncertainties of mere tradition. Indeed, the

personal observations of honest and intelligent men are not always re-

liable. This is illustrated by a story told of Sir Walter Raleigh. It

relates to an incident which occurred when, after losing the favor of

Queen Elizabeth, he was confined as a prisoner in the Tower of London.

Quess Bess did not like her distinguished courtier so well then as she

did when he threw his cloak on a muddy pathway so that the Queen

could pass over it dryshod. If you have ever visited the Tower you

must have observed that its thick stone walls are pierced by high win-

dows, so narrow, however, that while a prisoner could readily see what

occurred in the courtyard below, he could not escape. While held a

prisoner there, so the story goes, Sir Walter occupied his time writing a

history of England and her colonies. One day, while looking down from

Unveiling of the Cresap Tablet

Unveiling of the Cresap Tablet.                131


his window, he saw something unusual which especially attracted his

attention. Shortly afterwards a friend called to see him and narrated

the incident as he observed it while passing through the courtyard. Soon

another friend called and detailed the incident as he saw it. Each of the

three had an entirely different version of the affair from that narrated

by both of the others. Thereupon Raleigh exclaimed, "If I cannot be-

lieve what my own eyes have seen, how can I expect my countrymen to

believe events as narrated by me, many of which I did not see?" So he

threw his manuscript into the fire.

Various causes conspired to distort the history of our colonial he-

roes, whose activities were devoted to subduing the forest and in com-

bating enemies at home, as well as in repelling enemies from abroad,

and not in writing diaries.

Captain Michael Cresap made history but did not write it. There-

fore, much that pertained to important events in which he played a lead-

ing role were for a time lost in the mists of the almost forgotten past

until they were rescued from oblivion by the patient and persistent re-

search of members of the Cresap family and by them restored to their

proper place in well authenticated history.

Colonel Thomas Cresap, the founder of the American family of that

name, was born in Yorkshire, England, in 1702; emigrated to the new

world at the age of fifteen; first settled in Maryland on the Susque-

hanna, near what is now Havre de Grace; became a surveyor; espoused

the cause of Lord Baltimore; surveyed the line between Maryland and

Pennsylvania; shortly afterwards moved to what is now called Old Town

in Western Maryland; acquired fourteen hundred acres of land, and be-

came an Indian trader; was one of the members of the First Ohio Com-

pany, which made the first English settlement at Pittsburg; surveyed the

road from Cumberland to Pittsburg, over which General Braddock's

army marched to its defeat; was colonel of the Provincials from 1730

to 1770; in October, 1765, when the Provincial Assembly adopted resolu-

tions against the Stamp Act, organized the Sons of Liberty; was the

host of General Washington while on a trip to visit the Ohio country;

took an active part in the border wars with the Indians; was active in

making the most effective preparations for the war of independence; was

a delegate to the first convention of the Province of Maryland, which

met at Annapolis, June 22, 1774, and proposed the first Continental Con-

gress; in the year 1775 served as a member of the Committee of Obser-

vation of his county, to assist in carrying out the plans of the new Con-

gress, and in raising money to buy arms and ammunition; at the ad-

vanced age of 90 years made a business trip to Nova Scotia; and died

in 1808 full of years and honors, at the great age of 106 years.

Condensing a statement of Mrs. Mary Louise Stevenson, one of his

descendants, and now the official historian of the Cresap family:

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"Colonel Cresap's voice has echoed in the halls of Congress

through his descendants. On the Judge's Bench, from legal forums,

and in Legislative Assemblies in most of our states, including Ohio,

his descendants have served with the hereditary wisdom for which

he was so esteemed in the Assemblies of the Province and State of

Maryland. From that time to this on land and sea they have proved

worthy of the example of the American founder of the Cresap fam-

ily, in the war of 1812, in Sherman's march to the sea, with Grant at

Vicksburg, Shiloh and Appomattox, at San Juan Hill in Cuba and at

Manila, -where his children's children to the seventh generation

have fought for "Old Glory," and supported the cause which he

loved and for which he suffered, the cause of liberty, loyalty and



Colonel Thomas Cresap had five children, three sons, Daniel,

Thomas and Michael, and two daughters, Sarah and Elizabeth, whose

descendants have been; and are, as prominent and influential as they are

numerous. Michael Cresap, in whose honor an appropriate historic me-

morial has been unveiled here today, was the youngest and most dis-

tinguished son of Colonel Thomas Cresap. He was born June 29, 1742,

in Allegheny County, Maryland. He was sent to school in Baltimore,

but, finding his work uncongenial, he left school without leave or license

and walked home, a distance of 140 miles. But the Colonel promptly gave

the truant Michael a severe flogging and compelled him to walk back to

school, where he remained until his studies were finished.

Soon after leaving school he married a Miss Whitehead, of Phil-

adelphia, and the young pair, described as being a little more than chil-

dren, established a modest home in the mountains on or near the Colonel's


All three of the sons were actively engaged in Indian warfare, mak-

ing common cause with their father, whose home, protected by a stockade,

was always a rallying point for all the settlers in his neighborhood.

Daniel, a farmer, was twice married, and the father of eleven chil-

dren. Thomas, the second son, while yet a young man, was killed in a

battle with the Indians at the west foot of Savage Mountain. He and

the Indian who shot him fired at each other at the same instant, and both

fell dead. He was survived by a widow and one child, Charity, of whom

the Cresaps of this state, in Fairfield, Licking and Franklin Counties, are

lineal descendants.

Young Michael, son of Colonel Thomas, soon after his marriage,

was established in business by his father as a trader. Of his life for

the first few years after his marriage we know but little. Abandoning

his business as a trader near the old home, like Washington and many

others at that time, he became interested in the rich bottom lands of the

Ohio Valley in Western Pennsylvania, and later much farther down that

stream. About 1770 he took measures to secure title to several hundred

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Unveiling of the Cresap Tablet.                133


acres of land above Pittsburg by the customary method then known as

"a tomahawk improvement."   That was accomplished by girdling a few

trees and blazing others as evidence of possession and ownership. It is

said that "in order that his act and intention might not be misconstrued,"

he built a house of hewed logs with a shingle roof nailed on, which is

believed to have been the first building of that kind in that part of our

great domain west of the mountains.

During this period he was carrying on his business as a frontier

trader and at the same time locating and improving land for himself and

for others farther down the Ohio, below Wheeling and finally as far west

as the mouth of the Scioto. For his last expedition of this kind he left

Maryland early in the spring of 1774 with laborers employed to improve

the farms he located.

Of Captain Cresap's plans and purposes we may adopt the estimate

of an author who made a careful study of conditions during that critical

period, and expressed his views as follows:


"He was there neither as a speculator nor a land jobber, as

many of the emigrants of those days were unjustly stigmatized.

His purpose was peaceful settlement, and he is no more to be blamed

for his manly progress into the wilderness in the quest of land,

than were Washington and many other distinguished Americans of

those days who possessed themselves of property in the prolific val-

leys of the west."


Hostile demonstrations and actual conflicts between the pioneers and

the Indians, fomented by influences which were not fully appreciated at

the time, and for which neither side was responsible, became so frequent

and so alarming that the work of peaceful settlement along both sides

of the Ohio River was perforce soon practically abandoned, and the axe

and the surveyor's compass were exchanged for the rifle.

In 1774 a state of actual warfare existed. It was not a mere war

of races, but a prelude to a greater war, the seven years' conflict between

men of the same race, the colonist and the Briton. That phase of the

conflict which developed along the Ohio and its tributaries in the spring

and early summer of 1774, and terminated by a treaty on this spot a few

months later, has sometimes been called "Cresap's War." If by that it

is meant that Captain Cresap instigated the conflict, the phase is obviously

a misnomer. If it is used to imply that Cresap led or directed certain

attacks which were exploited as excuses for bloody reprisals, it is no less

a distortion of the verities of history. But the history which some men

make is not always the history which other men write.

Did Cresap's self interest lie on the side of peace or of war? Did

he enlist an army for the invasion of the Ohio country, or employ and

equip men to locate, survey and settle plantations in its fertile valleys?

If they were enlisted to fight for the Province, why were they not paid

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by the Province? When nearly a hundred white men, hunters and emi-

grants, believing that the Indians were determined to make war, knowing

Cresap's experience in Indian warefare farther east, as well as his in-

trepidity, his intelligence and his skill in organization and leadership, in

the early spring of 1774 decided to attack an Indian town called Horse-

Head Bottom on the Scioto River not far from its junction with the

Ohio, and besought him to act as their leader, who was it that counseled

peace, dissuaded them from their purpose, and induced them to retire to

Wheeling? Captain Cresap. Who was it a few days later that refused to

attend a conference with the Indian Chief Kilbuck, lest he might be

tempted to kill that notorious scalp-lifter who had lain in wait to kill his

father, Colonel Cresap? Michael Cresap, the son. Who was it late in

April of that year that refused to attack the Camp of Logan composed of

two or three men and a few women and children? Captain Cresap.

Throughout his strenuous career Captain Cresap displayed the essen-

tial qualities of the successful soldier, not only in actual battle and in his

memorable march to Boston, but also in recruiting only the best men,

and in personally looking after their equipment, health and training. Like

all soldiers born to command, no details were too small to receive his

constant personal attention. For instance, it is recorded of him by one

of his soldiers, Abraham Thomas, that, in what is known as "The Wo-

kotamica Campaign," in the early summer of 1774, when four hundred

frontiersmen left Wheeling to attack the Indians in their villages at

Wokotamica, "on the waters of the Muskingum," on the night before the


"Captain Cresap was up the whole night among his men, going

the rounds and cautioning them to keep their arms in condition for

a morning attack which he confidently expected."


Young Thomas describes his own enlistment and his determination

to enter the service as follows:


"The collected force consisted of four hundred men. I was

often at their encampment; and against the positive injunctions of

my parents could not resist my inclination to join them. At this

time I was 18 years of age, owned my own rifle and accoutrements

and had long been familiar with the use of them. Escaping, I made

the best possible provision I could from my own resources and has-

tened to enter as a volunteer under old Mike, then Captain Cresap."


The naivete with which this youngster refers to the difference be-

tween his own age and that of the gallant young captain under whom

he served becomes all the more impressive when we are reminded that

the man he describs as "old Mike, then Captain Cresap," was only 32

years of age. Possibly he meant that Captain Cresap was a veteran in

the service compared with less efficient officers, of greater age, including

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Unveiling of the Cresap Tablet.               135


Colonel Angus MacDonald, the ranking officer in that little army. But

it seems more probable that his artless description but illustrates the

fact that in 1774, as well as in 1916, to a boy of 18 a man of 32 was as

he is today an old, old man, notwithstanding the fact that nearly all of

the officers now in general command in Europe are considerably more

than 60 years of age.

Always and everywhere Captain Cresap's men loved him and re-

spected him. He seems to have been the most popular young officer in

the service, whether in recruiting men to fight the Indians or to fight the

British. Therefore, when he called for volunteers there was always a

surplus of those who wished to join his command, to be assigned against

their wish to other officers less popular than himself. He was a strict

disciplinarian, but not a martinet. His sense of discipline was inherited

from his father and confirmed by his own experience.

The Captain mentioned in the memorial unveiled today is some-

times referred to as Captain Michael Cresap, Sr., because there were

other Cresaps in Dunmore's army. The Captain Michael Cresap whose

life we now commemorate, commanded a company in the famous in-

vasion of Ohio, known as Lord Dunmore's War, which terminated in

the historic treaty between the white men and the Indians on this spot

on the 19th day of October, 1774, almost exactly 142 years ago today.

With Captain Cresap, and serving in his command, were his three

nephews, sons of his brother Daniel, viz.: Daniel Cresap, Jr., who be-

came a Colonel in the Revolutionary War, and Michael Cresap, Jr., and

Joseph Cresap, both of whom became lieutenants. The army of invasion

was composed of two divisions, one under the command of Lord Dun-

more, which reached here shortly before the treaty was signed, and the

other commanded by Colonel Andrew Lewis, who fought a bloody but

decisive battle with the Indians at Point Pleasant, West Virginia, on the

10th of October, but did not join Dunmore's division until the 24th of

that month, too late to attend the conference at which the terms of the

treaty were agreed upon. Having already expressed my own views con-

cerning the results of the treaty and the battle at Point Pleasant, I take

the liberty of quoting the following lines concerning that great battle

from Theodore Roosevelt's "Winning of the West":


"The battle of Point Pleasant was the most extensive, the most

bitterly contested, and fought with the most potent results of any

Indian battle in American history."


After the close of the Dunmore War Captain Cresap returned to

Maryland and spent the latter part of the fall and following winter with

his family; but early in the following spring he hired another band of

young men and repaired again to the Ohio country to finish the work

which had been interrupted the year before. On this trip he stopped on

the Kentucky side of the river, where he made some improvements. Be-

136 Ohio Arch

136        Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.


ing ill, however, he soon left his workmen and departed for his home

on the other side of the mountains in order to rest and recover his

health. But before he had crossed the Alleghenies he was met by a

friend bearing a message that the Committee of Safety at Frederick,

Maryland, had appointed him as the first of two captains selected and

commissioned to recruit and command the two Rifle Companies required

of Maryland by a resolution of the Continental Congress. The Com-

mittee of Safety demanded the most experienced officers and the very

best men who could be secured, "as well from affection to the service

as for the honor of the Province."

It is said that when he received the message, instead of being elated,

Captain Cresap seemed to be depressed, as if he had a presentiment that

the service required of him was his death warrant. He told the mes-

senger that he was in bad health and that his affairs were in a deranged

condition, but that, nevertheless, as the Committee had selected him, and

as he understood from the messenger that his father had pledged himself

that his son would accept the employment, he would go, let the conse-

quences be what they might. His friend was directed to proceed to the

west side of the mountains and call upon his old friends for recruits.

This was done and in a short time young frontiersmen appeared at his

residence in Old Town, who are described as "about 22 as fine fellows

as ever handled a rifle, and most, if not all of them, completely equipped."

These young men had already marched nearly one hundred miles, after

receiving the message to join the standard of their former captain. This

was in June, 1775.

The result of his efforts to recruit his Company of Riflemen and

report to Washington with his company as soon as possible was that

within about sixty days from the date of his commission he was march-

ing at the head of a company of more than 130 men from the mountains

and the backwoods, the pick of their class.

I take the liberty in quoting, from a letter written about that time,

apparently by some one in Frederick, Maryland, a description of Cresap's

Riflemen and of a test of their skill in marksmanship:


"Yesterday the company were supplied with a small quantity

of powder from the magazine, which wanted airing and was not in

good order for rifles; in the evening, however, they were drawn

out to show the gentlemen of the town their dexterity at shooting.

A clapboard with a mark the size of a dollar was put up; they began

to fire off-hand, and the bystanders were surprised, few shots being

made that were not close to or in the paper. When they had shot

for a short time this way, some lay on their backs, some on their

breast or side, others ran twenty or thirty steps, and firing, appeared

to be equally certain of the mark. With this performance the com-

pany were more than satisfied when a young man took up the board

in his hand, not by the end but by the side, and holding it up, his

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Unveiling of the Cresap Tablet.                137


brother walked to the distance and very coolly shot into the white;

laying down his rifle, he took the board and holding it as it was

held before, the second brother shot as the first had done. By this

exercise I was more astonished than pleased. But will you believe

me when I tell you that one of the men took the board, placing it

between his legs, stood with his back to a tree, while another drove

the center ?"


This remarkable body of men, not surpassed if equalled in its per-

sonnel by any other body of troops during the Revolution, furnished their

own accoutrements.   Starting promptly on their long journey they

marched from Frederick, Maryland, to Boston, Massachusetts, through

a country, for the most part sparsely settled and much of it as wild as

when the first white man trod the soil of the new world, subsisting on

parched corn and such game as they could procure on the way, 550 miles

in 22 days, an average of 25 miles per day, and, as the report comes to

us, without the loss of a single man, a feat rarely if ever surpassed in

ancient or modern warfare.

The difference between Cresap's volunteer riflemen in 1775 and

some of the New York troops recently sent to the Mexican border is well

illustrated by the public complaints of the latter, that the government did

not promptly furnish them the latest thing in modern arms, or transpor-

tation in Pullman parlor cars from their homes to their destination, that

they were not provided with the luxuries of the table, that some of their

uniforms did not fit, and that they were compelled, on their arrival, to

remove the sage brush and cactus from their camp sites. The contrast

is further emphasized by the following description by an eye witness of

the Maryland troops under the command of Captain Cresap:


"I have had the happiness of seeing Captain Michael Cresap

marching at the head of a formidable company of upwards of 130

men from the mountains and backwoods, painted like Indians, armed

with tomahawks and rifles, dressed in hunting shirts and moccasins,

and though some of them had traveled near eight hundred miles

from the banks of the Ohio, they seemed to walk light and easy,

and not with less spirit than the first hour of their march. Health

and vigor, after what they had undergone, declared them to be inti-

mate with hardship and familiar with danger. Joy and satisfaction

were visible in the crowd that met them. Had Lord North been

present, and been assured that the brave leader could raise thousands

of such like to defend his country, what think you, would not the

hatchet and the block have intruded on his mind?"


Ridpath, the historian, after referring to the arrival during the sum-

mer of 1775 of the troops which were hurried to Washington's assistance

in the east, as being "the first gleam of better hopes," and as "a begin-

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ning towards making the army really continental," pays them the follow-

ing well merited compliment:


"These were ten companies of riflemen from the mountain

regions of Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia, so dreaded by the

British that the latter outlawed them, by a proclamation that no one

of them  captured should be treated as a prisoner of war. The

Riflemen soon gained prisoners enough so that the British never

dared to carry out the threat."


Soon after he reported for duty at the head of his famous Sons of

liberty, Captain Cresap was commissioned by General Washington

as a colonel and detailed on some mission to New York City, where

within a few days he died, a martyr to his country, leaving a widow and

five children. As said by Mr. Frank Tallmadge, a loyal and enthusiastic

Cresap, in an address delivered on this spot four years ago:


"He was buried with military honors in Trinity Churchyard.

When you are walking down Broadway, go in the open gate and

turn to your right. Just opposite the north transept door you will

find this hero's grave next to the walk, and if your experience should

be like all of mine, you will find fresh flowers upon the monument."


Captain Cresap's career may not have been so picturesque as that

of General Custer, but Cresap's men were never led into an ambuscade.

His death was not tragic like that of Major Andre, who fell a victim

to Benedict Arnold's perfidy, but Cresap never betrayed his country. He

did not leave to his descendants the lustre of battles won during the Rev-

olutionary War, like Captain, afterwards General, Henry Lee, "Light

Foot Harry," or Captain, afterwards General, Daniel Morgan, who was

recruiting his Company of Riflemen in Virginia while Captain Cresap

was performing a similar service in Maryland, and many others who

entered the service with less prospect of great achievement than the first

Captain of the Maryland Rifles. Nor could he acquire post-bellum fame

in civil life like General Rufus Putnam and others of the fifty-two officers

of the Revolutionary armies who won fame as founders of the Marietta

Colonoy in 1788. If the arbiter of human destinies had prolonged Cap-

tain Cresap's life and smiled on his ambition, he might well have organ-

ized a colony from the best blood of Virginia and Maryland for settle-

ment beyond the Beautiful River, for his heart was in Ohio. But with

Captain Cresap, like many other young heroes who so promptly answered

their country's call with the laconic phrase, ad sum, I am here, the path

of glory led to an early grave. How appropriate it is, then, that repre-

sentatives of his family, under the auspices of the Archaeological and

Historical Society on Ohio soil in the shadow of the historic Logan Elm,

now dedicate to the memory of Captain Michael Cresap a monument as

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Unveiling of the Cresap Tablet.                 139


simple as his life and as rugged as his character. And it is equally

appropriate that we dedicate at the same time a fitting memorial to those

historic characters, among whom Captain Cresap was so conspicuous,

whose sacrifices secured to the people of six great states those funda-

mental rights which did not come to our country as a whole until gen-

erations afterwards by the gage of civil war.

On this spot and under the shadow of this historic and time honored

tree it might be expected that I say something of the famous Indian

Chief, Logan, whose simple burst of native eloquence, traditionally

uttered near where we now stand, has placed his name in the fore rank

of aboriginal orators, but time does not permit and I assume you are

all familiar with that story as your chairman has at length related it in

Randall and Ryan's "History of Ohio."

But in closing, permit me to say a few words, speaking not by the

book, but as I feel at the moment, concerning another great represent-

tive of his race, Chief Cornstalk, who for many years and until his

death, was the master spirit of the great Indian Confederacy of the Ohio

country. Of the three Indian Confederacies whose domains extended

from New York to the Gulf the Ohio Confederacy was the strongest.

The seat of its power was in what was then known, and is still known,

as the Pickaway Plains. That region included the fertile low grounds

and surrounding hills a few miles northwest of this beautiful park. In

that neighborhood were located a number of Indian villages. In a sense

that was the capital of the Ohio Confederacy. It was the home of Chief

Cornstalk and his noted sister, known as the Grenadier Squaw. It was

the rendezvous for representatives of a large region extending both east

and west, and perhaps also south, of what is now embraced within Ohio,

for the purpose of discussing tribal relations, and the momentous ques-

tions of peace or war with the whites.

Of the chiefs who met there Cornstalk was the greatest warrior.

As an Indian diplomat he had no equal. He was the most conspicuous

representative of the race during his generation. No Indian chieftain

at any time has had a greater or more loyal following. None has ever

commanded such universal admiration from his contemporaries among

the white race. He was a man who knew not fear, was just to all ac-

cording to his lights, generous to his friends, indomitable in war, but

faithful to every compact whether of war or of peace.

Consonant with the spirit of this occasion there is another man who

deserves mention at the same time and in the same connection. Captain

Michael Cresap also was courageous, intrepid, resourceful, a natural

leader of men, just, generous, not implacable towards his enemies. They

were worthy counterparts of each other and splendid representatives of

the races from which they sprung.

This Society, numbering many representatives of the Cresap family,

will doubtless meet in this beautiful grove many times in the future,

under the spreading branches of this surviving monarch of the forest,

140 Ohio Arch

140        Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.


to commemorate the historic events which culminated in the most im-

portant treaty ever made between the red man and the white man. On

the monument which you dedicate today there is one space that is not

yet occupied by any memorial. Permit me to suggest that on some future

occasion when the Society meets here an appropriate tablet be placed

on this granite monument to commemorate the respect and admiration

to which Chief Cornstalk is entitled from the members of the present

race who have succeeded to the domains of the race which has departed.

The name Chief Cornstalk deserves a place on the same monument

which now bears a memorial to Captain Cresap. The life of each was

sacrificed for the race from which he sprung. They were friends. On

the memorable return trip of Dunmore's army, from Camp Charlotte to

Point Pleasant, Captain Cresap and Chief Cornstalk and his son, Ellin-

ispsico, it is said, occupied the same tent. Having gone to another

sphere let us hope that their spirits have met in a compact of mutual

confidence, admiration and friendship which shall bless them as they

dwell together in peace and amity forevermore.

*     *     *    *

At the close of Mr. Booth's address, Mrs. Anna Cresap

Bibb, of Kansas City, Mo., who was the donor of the tablet to

the memory of Captain Michael Cresap, Sr., in behalf of the

Cresap descendants who were present, read the following tribute:


To the Trustees of the Ohio State Historical and Archaeological Society.

GENTLEMEN-You are the directors of an organization of which every

Patriot of the Great State of Ohio is justly proud, for the noble work

which you have done for twenty-five years, and will continue to do in the


We, the Cresap descendants, of Maryland, Virginia, Ohio, the Great

West, and the representatives of other States, greet you:

We come to you with thankful and appreciative hearts, for the

privilege you have accorded us, of placing this Tablet, in this beautiful

and historic Park, to the memory of Captain Michael Cresap, Sr., a Co-

lonial and Revolutionary hero of Ohio, Maryland, and Virginia, who was

first, last, and always, a friend of humanity.

Who stood for just what your noble Society stands for, American

valor, patriotism, and loyalty to American ideals, principles and heroes.

We thank you that you inaugurated the ceremonies as the old patriot

would have wished, by prayer and the raising of the Flag of many stars,

whose hues were all born in heaven.

We, the Cresaps, are proud of this your splendid organization, and

its history. We are proud of its preservation of the records of the Red

Men as well as of our pioneers. We are proud of your careful conser-

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Unveiling of the Cresap Tablet.              141


vation of their historic sites, mounds, circles, squares, and the tokens

of a bygone civilization found therein.

To you, and to your keeping, we present this Tablet, and are happy

in so doing.

We realize that you, and the great State of Ohio, are leading in the

procession of progress. To you, the custodian of the glories of the past,

peoples, records, and their trophies of valor, we consign this Tablet, and

leave it under your protection, and that of "Old Glory." Once again in

behalf of the Cresap Clan, we thank you.


With like purpose words of appreciation in behalf of the

descendants of Captain Michael Cresap were tendered to the

State Society by Mr. Charles H. Lewis, who is a descendant of

the one in whose honor the tablet was erected. His closing words


"In this beautiful setting, now filled with peace and plenty,

unafraid we breathe the spirit of pioneer heroism. Here met civil-

ization and savage. Short the story-

Buried, -lost forever is the tomahawk;

Broken, and useless is the flintlock;

The voice of Logan is silenced."


In connection with this occasion Mr. Frank Tallmadge had

offered a money prize to the school pupils of Circleville for

the most meritorious essay on the historical plains of Pickaway

Township. The prize was awarded to Miss Arista Arledge.

The essay is here given in full:



Pickaway County is one of our most historical counties in Ohio.

It was formed January 12, 1810. The name is a misspelling of Piqua,

the name of a tribe of Shawnee Indians. We learn that most of our

formal Indian settlements were near the Scioto river in the Pickaway


The remarkable Pickaway Plains may be designated as the section

lying between the Scioto on the west, Salt Creek on the east, and extend-

ing north and south between lines which would run respectively east

and west through Circleville and Chillicothe. This rich bottom land, the

most fertile in Ohio, was the most favorite location of the prehistoric

Mound Builders, as well as the most historic field of the Ohio Indians.

Of the earliest inhabitants of the Ohio Valley, the Indians had

neither knowledge nor tradition. They belong to the prehistoric ages

and, -"These ages have no memory, but they left a record."

142 Ohio Arch

142        Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.


Ohio is rich in its records of a prehistoric people. The records are

the mounds raised, in some far off time by their hands. They are found

in various forms. Some of them represent animals. The most noted of

them is the famous Serpent Mound of Adams county. Some were for

purposes of defense and some for religious rites and burial. Whence the

builders came and whither they departed is an unsolved mystery. Some

conclude that they were a distinct race; others say they were the an-

cestors of the Indian race.

In the Pickaway Plains on Scippo Creek just north of where Congo

Creek empties into it, was Grenadier Squaw's town, a wigwam center

which was named from a Shawnee woman of great muscular strength,

who was the sister of one, who at that time was the ablest and most influ-

ential chief of his nation. This man was Keightughqua, signifying a

blade or stalk of the maize, hence the cornstalk, or chief support of the

people, was therefore known as Cornstalk to the people.

Cornstalk was born about 1720, in one of the Scioto towns of the

Shawnees and first appears in history as a leader in a Shawnee band

into the settlements of Virginia during and after the French and Indian

war and Pontiac's war. During his raids inhabitants were being mur-

dered and many were taken to the Shawnee towns on the banks of the

Scioto River. His capital, called Cornstalk's Town, was located on the

north bank of the Scippo Creek, a short distance from his sister's village,

Grenadier Squaw Town.

The Indians had five villages, named Chillicothe. 1-The Chillicothe

on the Great Miami, on the present site of Piqua; 2-Chillicothe, often

called "Old Chillicothe," located about three miles north of Xenia; 3-

Chillicothe also called "Old Chillicothe," on the west bank of the Scioto

River, at present ocation of the village of Westfall; 4-Chillicothe, now

called Hopetown, often designated as "Old Town," three miles north of

present Chillicothe; 5-Chillicothe now Frankfort, Ross county. These five

historic Chillicothes were Shawnee villages.  The word Chillicothe, meaning

"the place where the people live" or "a village."

Black Mountain is a ridge located on the farm where D. E. Phillips

now resides. It is somewhat in the shape of an inverted boat, elevated

from one hundred and thirty to one hundred and fifty feet above the

bottom of the prairie immediately in its vicinity, and commands from its

summit a full view of the high plains and the country around it to a

great extent. This elevated ridge answered the Indians some valuable


No enemy could approach in daytime, who could not from its sum-

mit be descried at a great distance and by repairing there the Red Man

could often have a choice of the game in view, and his sagacity seldom

failed him in the endeavors to approach it with success.

The burning ground in the suburbs of Grenadier Squaw's Town

was also situated on an elevated spot, which commands a full view of all

the other towns for a distance around, so that when a victim was at the

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Unveiling of the Cresap Tablet.              143


stake and the flames ascending, all the inhabitants of the other towns

who could not be present, might, in a great measure, enjoy the scene by

sight and imagination. The burning ground at Old Chillicothe was some-

what similar, being in full view of the burning ground at Squaw's Town

and Black Mountain, and two or three other small towns in other places

of the plains.

In 1770, the first congress of the various tribes met at the Shawnee


In July, 1772, another congress was held at the Pickaway Plains at

which the confederacy was consummated, if indeed, it had not been fully

organized a year before. Thus on the banks of the Scioto were united

Shawnees, Delawares, Miamis, Ottawas, Wyandottes, Illinois and western

tribes. The Shawnees were the chief constituency of this union and

Cornstalk, their leader, was recognized as the head of the tribal alliances,

About six miles south of Circleville, the county seat of Pickaway

county, in an open field by the roadside, stands an ancient elm tree, whose

broad branches stretch over a wide space and whose sturdy trunk has

withstood the storms of two centuries. With each passing year it be-

comes more and more an object of interest and veneration. Under its

falling autumn leaves, almost one hundred and forty years ago, Logan,

"the friend of the white man," delivered the famous speech that has since

become familiar in almost every home in the middle west. Who has not

read the following eloquent and pathetic words?:


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

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

I gave him not clothing. During the course of the last long and

bloody war, Logan remained in his tent, an advocate of peace. Nay,

such was my love for the whites that those of my own country

pointed at me as they passed, and said, 'Logan is a friend of the

white man!' I had ever thought to live with you, but for the in-

juries of one man, Colonel Creasap, last spring, in cold blood and

unprovoked, cut off all the relatives 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 ven-

geance. 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."


In this burst of Indian eloquence Logan told the truth in regard to

his friendship for the white man and the murder of his family. He was

mistaken, however, in placing the blame on Colonel Cresap. The deeds

of unprovoked violence of which he complained were perpetrated near the

144 Ohio Arch

144        Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.


mouth of Yellow Creek, a short distance below the sight of Wellsville,

in the spring of 1774.

A man by the name of Daniel Gratehouse enticed some Indians

across the Ohio near this point, gave them liquor until they were help-

lessly drunk, and then slew them. He and his followers afterward sur-

prised and killed other Indians on Yellow Creek. Among those slain

were the mother, brother and sister of Logan.

This outrage aroused his fury against the whites. After the battle

at Point Pleasant, in which the Indians led by Cornstalk, Logan and other

chiefs were overwhelmingly defeated, October, 1774, a peace was con-

cluded on the Pickaway Plains, not far from the site of Circleville.

Here Lord Dunmore at the head of the victorious army met the van-

quished chiefs in council. Logan refused to be present but sent by Col-

onel John Gibson the famous speech already given. Of the later years

of Logan, little is definitely known. While he did not renounce the nobil-

ity of his nature and on different occasions still manifested humane sym-

pathy for the whites he withdrew from the borders of civilization, be-

came sullen and moody, often sitting for hours, "buried in thought."

As he sat thus, so runs the story, one of his own race, to satisfy

some personal grudge, slipped up behind him and slew him with a toma-

hawk. But the great tree still stands and flourishes greenly where he

told the immortal story of the wrongs he had suffered at the hands of

the white man.


At the ceremonies of the unveiling of the Cresap Tablet,

at Logan Elm Park there were present the following descend-

ants of Colonel Thomas Cresap: Friend Cox, Brent Cresap Cox,

and J. Frank Cox, Wheeling, W. Va.; B. O. Cresap and B. O.

Cresap, Jr., Wellsburg, W. Va.; B. Worth Ricketts, Willis H.

Cresap, and Ernest Wilfred Cresap, Coshocton, Ohio; Anna

Sanford Cresap Bibb, Kansas City, Mo.; Charles Henrickson

Lewis, Harpster, Ohio; Ellen Brasee Towt, Lancaster, Ohio;

Ella Ogle Shoemaker, Massillon, Ohio; Mrs. M. L. C. Stevenson

and Anna Thistle Cresap Dorsey, Dresden, Ohio; Blanche

Cresap Longstreth, Union Furnace, Ohio; Frank Tallmadge,

Howard Cresap Lemert, Madge Hibbard Potter and Hibbard

Bethlo Potter, Columbus, Ohio.

These Cresap descendants, on the evening following the ex-

ercises at the Logan Elm, assembled at the Chittenden Hotel,

Columbus, and organized "The Cresap Society," with the fol-

lowing officers: Honorary President and Official Historian,

Mrs. Mary Louise Cresap Stevenson, Dresden, Ohio; President,

Unveiling of the Cresap Tablet

Unveiling of the Cresap Tablet.         145

Friend Cresap Cox, Wheeling, W. Va.; Vice-President, Rev.

Sanford Cresap, Nebraska City, Neb.; Secretary, Mrs. Anna

Sanford Cresap Bibb, Kansas City, Mo.; Treasurer, Frank Tall-

madge, Columbus, Ohio.

Advisory Board: B. Worth Ricketts, Chairman, Coshocton,

O.; Ellen B. Towt, Secretary, Lancaster, O., E. W. Cresap,

Coshocton, O.; Richard K. Cresap, Wheeling, W. Va.; Charles

H. Lewis, Harpster, O.; Logan Cresap, Sr., Lieut. Commander,

U. S. S. Delaware, address Annapolis, Md.

Vol. XXVI-10