Ohio History Journal

286 Ohio Arch

286      Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.

The program began at 2 o'clock. Hon. E. O. Randall pre-

sided, and after a very brief preliminary address introduced

Mrs. Jones, who read the following paper:


One hundred and thirty-eight years ago this October, mo-

mentous events were happening in this beautiful valley of the

Scioto and history was being made in this fertile Pickaway


East of us about seven miles, at Camp Charlotte, were about

fifteen hundred men under the command of Lord Dunmore, the

English governor of Virginia; while near where we stand was

the victorious but angered army, of about equal number, of Gen-

eral Andrew Lewis.

General Lewis' army represented the southern division of

Lord Dunmore's recruits, which he had organized to exterminate

Dedication of the Logan Elm

Dedication of the Logan Elm.            287


the Indian tribes in the Ohio country. It was flushed with the

victory over the great Chief Cornstalk which was dearly earned

at Point Pleasant. Lord Dunmore had promised to meet General

Lewis at Point Pleasant, but, changing his mind, he had taken a

short cut across the country for the Scioto river. Before he

had reached the Pickaway plains, however, he was halted by

overtures of peace from the Indians. Probably ignorant of the

defeat of Cornstalk, he encamped on the high ground at the

present site of Leistville and named the camp Charlotte. Here

he began arrangements for a treaty of peace with the Red-men.

General Lewis, after his victory at Point Pleasant, did not

wait long for his superior, Lord Dunmore, but, crossing the

Ohio river, he made for the Indian settlements in the Pickaway

Plains. Upon learning of the advance of General Lewis, Lord

Dunmore sent a messenger with orders for him to return with

his army to the mouth of the Kanawha river. This Lewis re-

fused to do, and continued his advance up the valley, to about

where we are now standing, and went into camp.

Lord Dunmore was sorely tried. He was negotiating peace

with the very Indians General Lewis had just whipped with

great sacrifice, and this much desired peace could not be obtained

unless General Lewis obeyed his order and the influential Chief

Logan, who was sullen and non-committal at his home at Old

Chillicothe, now Westfall, about five miles to the north-west of

here, would lend his presence at the council. Accordingly Lord

Dunmore himself came here, to General Lewis' camp, to compel

him to return to the Kanawha river and there await his coming.

While this act was being played by Lord Dunmore and Gen-

eral Lewis, John Gibson, who had either been sent by Lord Dun-

more for Logan, or who had volunteered to go after Simon Girty

had failed to have Logan attend the council, was returning from

Old Chillicothe with Logan's message to the white-men, and,

here under this great elm, tradition says, it was read by Gibson

to Lord Dunmore. John Gibson later, in a sworn statement,

said that he took down the speech as it was made to him by

Logan, while sitting in a thicket near by where he had just been

talking with Cornstalk and other noted chiefs of the Shawnees.

Thus was born the epic which fascinated the scholarly Jef-

288 Ohio Arch

288       Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.

ferson to the degree that he declared it compared favorably with

any speech of Demosthenes or Cicero. It matters little if this is

not the exact spot where Lord Dunmore received the oration.

It could not have been far from here. But, tradition, coming

down through several reliable families whose representatives still

live near here, says this magnificent old elm, the largest in all the

land, which then and for many years after had a fine spring flow-

ing from its roots, is the very same elm under whose branches,

spreading then as now, the message was delivered. It was then,

is now        and ever will be, a great message. It has been

translated   into many languages, and is known by every

school-boy and school-girl throughout the land. It is a message

filled with fervor, kindness and love, yet, it bristles with right-

eous anger and fearless revenge.  It is filled with pathos and

philosophy, and ends in a sentence which is masterful in depict-

ing the extreme sorrow of a great mind.

It is then fitting that these acres of land and this old elm

which were silent observers of the epoch making event which

brought peace to the Indians and opened this fruitful country to

the new civilization, should be preserved to posterity. Such land-

marks are lost all too soon and are too little treasured.

Mr. Chairman, Pickaway County, Ohio, is proud of being in-

strumental in preserving this historic place, and with confidence

that the State of Ohio, through her Archaeological Society will

preserve it, I hand you the deed on behalf of our County Society.

In another few hundred years this tree may be forever lost, but

the site shall remain, and, let us hope that posterity may suitably

commemorate with a monument of bronze the world famed

speech of the great Mingo Chief, Logan.

Dr. G. Frederick Wright, President of the Ohio Archaeo-

logical and Historical Society, received the deed from the hands

of Mrs. Jones, and made a brief but fitting speech of acceptance.

One of the distinguished Indians present, Mr. Charles E.

Dagenett, of the Peoria tribe, was then introduced and spoke

as follows:


In the early days of Pennsylvania, the country around the

falls of the Susquehannah was assigned by the Six Nations as