Ohio History Journal

Unveiling of the Cresap Tablet

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

Unveiling of the Cresap Tablet

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,