Part 6 out of 6
should be excused on account of their ignorance; but surely it is the
only excuse that can give a shadow of justification for aiding and
abetting such horrid crimes."
APPENDIX B--TO CHAPTER V.
In Mr. Shaler's entertaining "History of Kentucky," there is an
account of the population of the western frontiers, and Kentucky,
interesting because it illustrates some of the popular delusions on
the subject. He speaks (pp. 9, 11, 23) of Kentucky as containing
"nearly pure English blood, mainly derived through the old Dominion,
and altogether from districts that shared the Virginian conditions."
As much of the blood was Pennsylvanian or North Carolinian, his last
sentence means nothing, unless all the "districts" outside of New
England are held to have shared the Virginian conditions. Turning to
Marshall (I., 441) we see that in 1780 about half the people were from
Virginia, Pennsylvania furnishing the next greatest number; and of the
Virginians most were from a population much more like that of
Pennsylvania than like that of tide-water Virginia; as we learn from
twenty sources, such as Waddell's "Annals of Augusta County." Mr.
Shaler speaks of the Huguenots and of the Scotch immigrants, who came
over after 1745, but actually makes no mention of the Presbyterian
Irish or Scotch Irish, much the most important element in all the
west; in fact, on p. 10, he impliedly excludes any such immigration at
all. He greatly underestimates the German element, which was important
in West Virginia. He sums up by stating that the Kentuckians come from
the "truly British people," quite a different thing from his statement
that they are "English."
The "truly British people" consists of a conglomerate of as distinct
races as exist anywhere in Aryan Europe. The Erse, Welsh, and Gaelic
immigrants to America are just as distinct from the English, just as
"foreign" to them, as are the Scandinavians, Germans, Hollanders, and
Huguenots--often more so. Such early families as the Welsh Shelbys,
and Gaelic McAfees are no more English than are the Huguenot Seviers
or the German Stoners. Even including merely the immigrants from the
British Isles, the very fact that the Welsh, Irish, and Scotch, in a
few generations, fuse with the English instead of each element
remaining separate, makes the American population widely different
from that of Britain; exactly as a flask of water is different from
two cans of hydrogen and oxygen gas. Mr. Shaler also seems inclined to
look down a little on the Tennesseeans, and to consider their
population as composed in part of inferior elements; but in reality,
though there are very marked differences between the two commonwealths
of Kentucky and Tennessee, yet they resemble one another more closely,
in blood and manners, than either does any other American State; and
both have too just cause for pride to make it necessary for either to
sneer at the other, or indeed at any State of our mighty Federal
Union. In their origin they were precisely alike; but whereas the
original pioneers, the hunters and Indian fighters, kept possession of
Tennessee as long as they lived,--Jackson, at Sevier's death, taking
the latter's place with even more than his power,--in Kentucky, on the
other hand, after twenty years' rule, the first settlers were swamped
by the great inrush of immigration, and with the defeat of Logan for
governor the control passed into the hands of the same class of men
that then ruled Virginia. After that date the "tide-water" stock
assumed an importance in Kentucky it never had in Tennessee; and of
course the influence of the Scotch-Irish blood was greatly diminished.
Mr. Shaler's error is trivial compared to that made by another and
even more brilliant writer. In the "History of the People of the
United States," by Professor McMaster (New York, 1887), p. 70, there
is a mistake so glaring that it would not need notice, were it not for
the many excellencies and wide repute of Professor McMaster's book. He
says that of the immigrants to Kentucky, most had come "from the
neighboring States of Carolina and Georgia," and shows that this is
not a mere slip of the pen, by elaborating the statement in the
following paragraphs, again speaking of North and South Carolina and
Georgia as furnishing the colonists to Kentucky. This shows a complete
misapprehension not only of the feeding-grounds of the western
emigration, but of the routes it followed, and of the conditions of
the southern States. South Carolina furnished very few emigrants to
Kentucky, and Georgia practically none; combined they probably did not
furnish as many as New Jersey or Maryland. Georgia was herself a
frontier community; she received instead of sending out immigrants.
The bulk of the South Carolina emigration went to Georgia.
APPENDIX C--TO CHAPTER VI.
OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY OF STATE,
NASHVILLE, TENN., June 12, 1888.
Hon. THEODORE ROOSEVELT,
LONG ISLAND, N. Y.
I was born, "raised," and have always lived in Washington County, E.
Tenn. Was born on the "head-waters" of "Boone's Creek," in said
county. I resided for several years in the "Boone's Creek Civil
District," in Washington County (this some "twenty years ago"), within
two miles of the historic tree in question, on which is carved, "D.
Boon cilled bar &c."; have visited and examined the tree more than
once. The tree is a beech, still standing, though fast decaying. It is
located some eight miles northeast of Jonesboro, the county seat of
Washington, on the "waters of Boone's Creek," which creek was named
after Daniel Boone, and on which (creek) it is certain Daniel Boone
"camped" during a winter or two. The tree stands about two miles from
the spring, where it has always been understood Boone's camp was. More
than twenty years ago, I have heard old gentlemen (living in the
neighborhood of the tree), who were then from fifty to seventy years
old, assert that the carving was on the tree when they were boys, and
that the tradition in the community was that the inscription was on
the tree when discovered by the first permanent settlers. The posture
of the tree is "leaning," so that a "bar," or other animal could
ascend it without difficulty.
While the letters could be clearly traced when I last looked at them,
still because of the expansion of the bark, it was difficult, and I
heard old gentlemen years ago remark upon the changed appearance of
the inscription from what it was when they _first_ knew it.
Boone certainly camped for a time under the tree; the creek is named
after him (has always been known as Boone's Creek); the Civil District
is named after him, and the post-office also. True, the story as to
the carving is traditionary, but a man had as well question in that
community the authenticity of "Holy Writ," as the fact that Boone
carved the inscription on that tree.
I am very respectfully
APPENDIX D--TO CHAPTER VI.
The following copy of an original note of Boon's was sent me by Judge
John N. Lea:
July the 20th 1786. Sir, The Land has Been Long Survayd and Not
Knowing When the Money would be Rady Was the Reason of my not
Returning the Works however the may be Returned when you pleas. But I
must have Nother Copy of the Entry as I have lost that I had when I
lost my plating instruments and only have the Short Field Notes. Just
the Corse Distance and Corner trees pray send me Nother Copy that I
may know how to give it the proper bounderry agreeable to the Location
and I Will send the plat to the offis medetly if you chose it, the
expense is as follows
Survayer's fees L9 3 8
Ragesters fees 7 14 0
Chanman 8 0 0
purvisions of the tower 2 0 0
L26 17 8
You will also Send a Copy of the agreement betwixt Mr. [illegible]
overton and myself Where I Red the warrants. I am, sir, your omble
APPENDIX E--TO CHAPTER VII.
Recently one or two histories of the times and careers of Robertson
and Sevier have been published by "Edmund Kirke," Mr. James R.
Gilmore. They are charmingly written, and are of real service as
calling attention to a neglected portion of our history and making it
interesting. But they entirely fail to discriminate between the
provinces of history and fiction. It is greatly to be regretted that
Mr. Gilmore did not employ his powers in writing an avowed historical
novel treating of the events he discusses; such a work from him would
have a permanent value, like Robert L. Kennedy's "Horseshoe Robinson."
In their present form his works cannot be accepted even as offering
material on which to form a judgment, except in so far as they contain
repetitions of statements given by Ramsey or Putnam. I say this with
real reluctance, for my relations with Mr. Gilmore personally have
been pleasant. I was at the outset prepossessed in favor of his books;
but as soon as I came to study them I found that (except for what was
drawn from the printed Tennessee State histories) they were extremely
untrustworthy. Oral tradition has a certain value of its own, if used
with great discretion and intelligence; but it is rather startling to
find any one blandly accepting as gospel alleged oral traditions
gathered one hundred and twenty-five years after the event, especially
when they relate to such subjects as the losses and numbers of Indian
war parties. No man with the slightest knowledge of frontiersmen or
frontier life could commit such a mistake. If any one wishes to get at
the value of oral tradition of an Indian fight a century old, let him
go out west and collect the stories of Custer's battle, which took
place only a dozen years ago. I think I have met or heard of fifty
"solitary survivors" of Custer's defeat; and I could collect certainly
a dozen complete accounts of both it and Reno's fight, each believed
by a goodly number of men, and no two relating the story in an even
approximately similar fashion. Mr. Gilmore apparently accepts all such
accounts indiscriminately, and embodies them in his narrative without
even a reference to his authorities. I particularize one or two out of
very many instances in the chapters dealing with the Cherokee wars.
Books founded upon an indiscriminate acceptance of any and all such
traditions or alleged traditions are a little absurd, unless, as
already said, they are avowedly merely historic novels, when they may
be both useful and interesting. I am obliged to say with genuine
regret, after careful examination of Mr. Gilmore's books, that I
cannot accept any single unsupported statement they contain as even
requiring an examination into its probability. I would willingly pass
them by without comment, did I not fear that my silence might be
construed into an acceptance of their truth. Moreover, I notice that
some writers, like the editors of the "Cyclopedia of American
Biography," seem inclined to take the volumes seriously.
APPENDIX F--TO CHAPTER IX.
(_Campbell MSS.;_ this letter and the one following are from
copies, and the spelling etc., may not be quite as in the originals).
CAMP OPPOSITE THE MOUTH OF THE GREAT KENAWAY.
I gladly embrace this opportunity to acquaint you that we are all here
yet alive through Gods mercies, & I sincerely wish that this may find
you and your family in the station of health that we left you. I never
had anything worth notice to acquaint you with since I left you till
now--the express seems to be hurrying, that I cannot write you with
the same coolness and deliberation as I would. We arrived at the mouth
of the Canaway, thursday 6th. Octo. and encamped on a fine piece of
ground, with an intent to wait for the Governor and his party but
hearing that he was going another way we contented ourselves to stay
there a few days to rest the troops, &c. where we looked upon
ourselves to be in safety till Monday morning the 10th. instant when
two of our company went out before day to hunt--to wit Val. Sevier and
James Robinson and discovered a party of Indians. As I expect you will
hear something of our battle before you get this, I have here stated
the affair nearly to you:
For the satisfaction of the people in your parts in this they have a
true state of the memorable battle fought at the mouth of the Great
Canaway on the 10th. instant. Monday morning about half an hour before
sunrise, two of Capt. Russells company discovered a large party of
Indians about a mile from camp, one of which men was killed, the other
made his escape & brought in his intelligence. In two or three minutes
after, two of Capt. Shelby's Company came in & confirmed the account,
Col. Andrew Lewis being informed thereof immediately ordered Col.
Charles Lewis to take the command of 150 men from Augusta and with him
went Capt. Dickison, Capt. Harrison, Capt. Wilson, Capt. John Lewis,
from Augusta and Capt. Sockridge which made the first division. Col.
Fleming was also ordered to take the command of one hundred and fifty
more, consisting of Battertout, Fincastle & Bedford troops,--viz.,
Capt. Buford of Bedford, Capt. Lewis of Battertout, Capt. Shelby &
Capt. Russell of Fincastle which made the second division. Col. Lewis
marched with his division to the right some distance from the Ohio.
Col. Fleming with his division up the bank of the Ohio to the left.
Col. Lewis' division had not marched little more than a quarter of a
mile from camp when about sunrise, an attack was made on the front of
his division in a most vigorous manner by the united tribes
Indians,--Shawnees, Delawares, Mingoes, Taways, and of several other
nations, in number not less than eight hundred, and by many thought to
be a thousand. In this heavy attack Col. Charles Lewis received a
wound which soon after caused his death, and several of his men fell
on the spot,--in fact the Augusta division was forced to give way to
the heavy fire of the enemy. In about the second of a minute after the
attack on Col. Lewis' division, the enemy engaged of Col. Fleming's
division on the ohio and in a short time Col. Fleming received two
balls thro' his left arm and one thro' his breast; and after animating
the Captains & soldiers in a calm manner to the pursuit of victory
returned to the camp. The loss of the brave Col's was severely felt by
the officers in particular. But the Augusta troops being shortly
reinforced from camp by Col. Field with his company, together with
Capt. M'Dowers, Capt. Matthew's and Capt. Stewart's from Augusta;
Capt. John Lewis, Capt. Paulins, Capt. Arbuckle's, and Capt.
M'Clannahan's from Battertout. The enemy no longer able to maintain
their ground was forced to give way till they were in a line with the
troops left in action on branches of ohio by Col. Fleming. In this
precipitate retreat Col. Field was killed; after which Capt. Shelby
was ordered to take the command. During this time which was till after
twelve of the clock, the action continued extremely hot, the close
underwood, many steep banks and logs greatly favored their retreat,
and the bravest of their men made the _best_ use of themselves,
while others were throwing their dead into the ohio, and carrying off
the wounded. After twelve the action in a small degree abated, but
continued sharp enough till after one o'clock. Their long retreat gave
them a most advantageous spot of ground; from which it appeared to the
officers so difficult to dislodge them, that it was thought most
advisable, to stand as the line was then formed, which was about a
mile and a quarter in length, and had till then sustained a constant
and equal weight of fire from wing to wing. It was till half an hour
of sunset they continued firing on us, which we returned to their
disadvantage, at length night coming on they found a safe retreat.
They had not the satisfaction of scalping any of our men save one or
two straglers, whom they killed before the engagement. Many of their
dead they scalped rather than we should have them, but our troops
scalped upwards of twenty of those who were first killed. Its beyond a
doubt, their loss in numbers far exceeds ours which is considerable.
Field officers killed--Col. Charles Lewis, & Col. John Fields. Field
officers wounded--Col. William Fleming;--Capts. killed, John Murray,
Capt. Samuel Wilson, Capt. Robert M'Clannahan, Capt. James Ward.
Capts. wounded--Thomas Buford, John Dickison & John Scidmore.
Subalterns killed, Lieutenant Hugh Allen, Ensign Matthew Brackin &
Ensign Cundiff; Subalterns wounded, Lieut. Lane, Lieut. Vance, Lieut.
Goldman, Lieut. James Robertson; and about 46 killed and 60 wounded.
From this sir you may judge that we had a very hard day; its really
impossible for me to express or you to conceive the acclamations that
we were under,--sometimes the hideous cries of the enemy, and the
groans of our wounded men lying around, was enough to shudder the
stoutest heart. Its the general opinion of the officers that we shall
soon have another engagement, as we have now got over into the enemy's
country. We expect to meet the Governor about forty or fifty miles
from here. Nothing will save us from another battle, unless they
attack the Governors party. Five men that came in dadys (daddy's)
company were killed, I don't know that you were acquainted with any of
them, except Mark Williams who lived with Roger Top. Acquaint Mr.
Carmack that his son was slightly wounded through the shoulder and arm
and that he is in a likely way of recovery. We leave him at the mouth
of the Canaway and one very careful hand to take care of him. There is
a garrison and three hundred men left at that place, with a surgeon to
heal the wounded. We expect to return to the garrison in about 16 days
from the Shawny towns.
I have nothing more particular to acquaint you with concerning the
battle. As to the country I cannot say much in praise of any that I
have yet seen. Dady intended writing you, but did not know of the
express until the time was too short. I have wrote to mammy tho' not
so fully to you, as I then expected the express was just going. We
seem to be all in a moving posture, just going from this place, so
that I must conclude, wishing you health and prosperity until I see
you and your family. In the meantime I am your truly affectionate
friend and humble servant,
To MR. JOHN SHELBY,
Favd. by Mr. Benj. Gray.
October ye 31st. 1774.
Being on my way home to Fincastle court, was overtaken this evening by
letters from Colo. Christian and other gentlemen on the expedition,
giving an account of a battle which was fought between our troops &
the enemy Indians, on the 10th instant, in the Fork of the Ohio & the
The particulars of the action, drawn up by Colo. Andr. Lewis I have
sent you enclosed, also a return of the killed and wounded, by which
you will see that we have lost many brave and valiant officers &
soldiers, whose loss to their families, as well as to the community,
is very great.
Colo. Christian with the Fincastle troops, (except the companies
commanded by Capts. Russell & Shelby, who were in the action) were on
their march; and on the evening of that day, about 15 miles from field
of battle, heard that the action began in the morning. They marched
hard, and got to the camp about midnight. The cries of the wounded,
without any persons of skill or any thing to nourish people in their
unhappy situation, was striking. The Indians had crossed the river on
rafts, 6 or 8 miles above the Forks, in the night, and it is believed,
intended to attack the camp, had they not been prevented by our men
marching to meet them at the distance of half a mile. It is said the
enemy behaved with bravery and great caution, that they frequently
damned our men for white sons of bitches. Why did they not whistle
now? (alluding to the fifes) & that they would learn them to shoot.
The Governor was then at Hockhocking, about 12 or 15 miles below the
mouth of the Little Kanhawa, from whence he intended to march his
party to a place called Chillicoffee, about 20 miles farther than the
towns where it was said the Shawneese had assembled with their
families and allies, to make a stand, as they had good houses and
plenty of ammunition & provisions & had cleared the woods to a great
distance from the place. His party who were to march from the camp was
about 1200, and to join Colo. Lewis' party about 28 miles from
Chillicoffee. But whether the action above mentioned would disconcert
this plan or not, I think appears a little uncertain, as there is a
probability that his excellency on hearing the news might, with his
party, fall down the river and join Colo. Lewis' party and march
together against the enemy.
They were about building a breastwork at the Forks, & after leaving a
proper party to take care of the wounded & the provisions there, that
Colo. Lewis could march upwards of a thousand men to join his
Lordship, so that the whole when they meet will be about 2200 choice
men. What may be their success God only knows, but it is highly
probable the matter is decided before this time.
Colo. Christian says, from the accounts he had the enemy behaved with
inconceivable bravery. The head men walked about in the time of
action, exhorting their men "to be close, shoot well, be strong of
fight." They had parties planted on the opposite side of both rivers
to shoot our men as they swam over, not doubting, as is supposed, but
they would gain a complete victory. In the evening late they called to
our men "that they had 2000 men for them to-morrow, and that they had
1100 men now as well as they." They also made very merry about a
Poor Colo. Charles Lewis was shot on a clear piece of ground, as he
had not taken a tree, encouraging his men to advance. On being wounded
he handed his gun to a person nigh him and retired to the camp,
telling his men as he passed "I am wounded but go on and be brave." If
the loss of a good man a sincere friend, and a brave officer, claims a
tear, he certainly is entitled to it.
Colo. Fields was shot at a great tree by two Indians on his right,
while one on his left was amusing him with talk and the Colo.
Endeavoring to get a shot at him.
Besides the loss the troops met with in action by Colo. Fleming who
was obliged to retire from the field, which was very great, the
wounded met with the most irreparable loss in an able and skillful
surgeon. Colo. Christian says that his (Flemings) lungs or part of
them came out of the wound in his breast but were pushed back; and by
the last part of his letter, which was dated the 16th. instant, he has
some hopes of his recovery.
Thus, sir, I have given you an account of the action from the several
letters I recd., and have only to add, that Colo. Christian desires me
to inform Mrs. Christian of his welfare, which with great pleasure I
do through this channel, and should any further news come, which I
much expect soon, I shall take the earliest oppy. of communicating the
same to you. It is believed the troops will surely return in Nov.
I write in a hurry and amidst a crowd of inquisitive people, therefore
hope you will excuse the inaccuracy of, D'r. Sir,
Your sincere well wisher & most obedt. Servt.,
P. S. If you please you may give Mr. Purdie a copy of the enclosed
papers, & anything else you may think worthy the notice of the Public.
There has been much controversy over the genuineness of Logan's
speech; but those who have questioned it have done so with singularly
little reason. In fact its authenticity would never have been impugned
at all had it not (wrongly) blamed Cresap with killing Logan's family.
Cresap's defenders, with curious folly, have in consequence thought it
necessary to show, not that Logan was mistaken, but that he never
delivered the speech at all.
The truth seems to be that Cresap, without provocation, but after
being incited to war by Conolly's letter, murdered some peaceful
Indians, among whom there were certainly some friends and possibly
some relations of Logan (see testimony of Col. Ebenezer Zane, in
Jefferson's Notes, and "American Pioneer," I., 12; also Clark's letter
in the Jefferson Papers); but that he had no share in the massacre of
Logan's family at Yellow Creek by Greathouse and his crew two or three
days afterwards. The two massacres occurring so near together,
however, produced the impression not only among the Indians but among
many whites (as shown in the body of this work), that Cresap had been
guilty of both; and this Logan undoubtedly believed, as can be seen by
the letter he wrote and left tied to a war club in a murdered
settler's house. This was an injustice to Cresap; but it was a very
natural mistake on Logan's part.
After the speech was recited it attracted much attention; was
published in newspapers, periodicals, etc., and was extensively
quoted. Jefferson, as we learn from his Papers at Washington, took it
down in 1775, getting it from Lord Dunmore's officers, and published
it in his "Notes," in 1784; unfortunately he took for granted that its
allegations as regards Cresap were true, and accordingly prefaced it
by a very unjust attack on the reputed murderer. Until thirteen years
after this publication, and until twenty-three years after the speech
had been published for the first time, no one thought of questioning
it. Then Luther Martin, of Maryland, attacked its authenticity, partly
because he was Cresap's son-in-law, and partly because he was a
Federalist and a bitter opponent of Jefferson. Like all of his
successors in the same line, he confused two entirely distinct things,
viz., the justice of the charge against Cresap, and the authenticity
of Logan's speech. His controversy with Jefferson grew very bitter. He
succeeded in showing clearly that Cresap was wrongly accused by Logan;
he utterly failed to impugn the authenticity of the latter's speech.
Jefferson, thanks to a letter he received from Clark, must have known
that Cresap had been accused wrongly; but he was irritated by the
controversy, and characteristically refrained in any of his
publications from doing justice to the slandered man's memory.
A Mr. Jacobs soon afterwards wrote a life of Cresap, in which he
attempted both of the feats aimed at by Martin; it is quite an
interesting production, but exceedingly weak in its arguments. Neville
B. Craig, in the February, 1847, number of _The Olden Time_, a
historical magazine, followed on the same lines. Finally, Brantz
Mayer, in his very interesting little book, "Logan and Cresap," went
over the whole matter in a much fairer manner than his predecessors,
but still distinctly as an advocate; for though he collected with
great industry and gave impartially all the original facts (so that
from what he gives alone it is quite possible to prove that the speech
is certainly genuine), yet his own conclusions show great bias. Thus
he severely rules out any testimony against Cresap that is not
absolutely unquestioned; but admits without hesitation any and every
sort of evidence leaning against poor Logan's character or the
authenticity of his speech. He even goes so far (pp. 122, 123) as to
say it is not a "speech" at all,--although it would puzzle a man to
know what else to call it, as he also declares it is not a
message,--and shows the animus of his work by making the gratuitous
suggestion that if Logan made it at all he was probably at the time
excited "as well by the cruelties he had committed as by liquor."
It is necessary, therefore, to give a brief summary of a portion of
the evidence in its favor, as well as of all the evidence against it.
Jefferson's Notes and Mr. Mayer's book go fully into the matter.
The evidence in its favor is as follows:
(1.) Gibson's statement. This is the keystone of the arch. John Gibson
was a man of note and of unblemished character; he was made a general
by Washington, and held high appointive positions under Madison and
Jefferson; he was also an Associate Judge of the Court of Common Pleas
in Pennsylvania. Throughout his life he bore a reputation for absolute
truthfulness. He was the messenger who went to Logan, heard the
speech, took it down, and gave it to Lord Dunmore. We have his
deposition, delivered under oath, that "Logan delivered to him the
speech nearly as related by Mr. Jefferson in his Notes," when the two
were alone together, and that he "on his return to camp delivered the
speech to Lord Dunmore," and that he also at the time told Logan he
was mistaken about Cresap. Brantz Mayer, who accepts his statement as
substantially true, thinks that he probably only reported the
_substance_ of Logan's speech, or so much of it as he could
recollect; but in the State Department at Washington, among the
Jefferson Papers (5-1-4), is a statement by John Anderson, a merchant
in Fredericksburg, who was an Indian trader at Pittsburg in 1774; he
says that he questioned Gibson as to whether he had not himself added
something to the speech, to which Gibson replied that he had not
changed it in any way, but had translated it literally, as well as he
could, though he was unable to come up to the force of the expressions
in the original.
This evidence itself is absolutely conclusive, except on the
supposition that Gibson was a malicious and infamous liar. The men who
argue that the speech was fictitious are also obliged to explain what
motive there could possibly have been for the deception; they
accordingly advance the theory that it was part of Dunmore's
(imaginary) treacherous conduct, as he wished to discredit Cresap,
because he knew--apparently by divination--that the latter was going
to be a whig. Even granting the Earl corrupt motives and a prophetic
soul, it remains to be explained why he should wish to injure an
obscure borderer, whom nobody has ever heard of except in connection
with Logan; it would have served the purpose quite as well to have
used the equally unknown name of the real offender, Greathouse. The
fabrication of the speech would have been an absolutely motiveless and
foolish transaction; to which Gibson, a pronounced whig, must needs
have been a party. This last fact shows that there could have been no
intention of using the speech in the British interest.
(2) The statement of General George Rogers Clark. (Like the preceding,
this can be seen in the Jefferson Papers.) Clark was present in
Dunmore's camp at the time. He says: "Logan's speech to Dunmore now
came forward as related by Mr. Jefferson and was generally believed
and indeed not doubted to have been genuine and dictated by Logan. The
Army knew it was wrong so far as it respected Cresap, and afforded an
opportunity of rallying that Gentleman on the subject--I discovered
that Cresap was displeased and told him that he must be a very great
Man, that the Indians shouldered him with every thing that had
happened.... Logan is the author of the speech as related by Mr.
Jefferson." Clark's remembrance of his rallying Cresap shows that the
speech contained Cresap's name and that it was read before the army;
several other witnesses, whose names are not necessary to mention,
simply corroborate Clark's statements, and a large amount of indirect
evidence to the same effect could be produced, were there the least
necessity. (See Jefferson's Notes, "The American Pioneer," etc., etc.)
The evidence against the authenticity of the speech, outside of mere
conjectures and inuendoes, is as follows:
(1) Logan called Cresap a colonel when he was really a captain. This
inability of an Indian to discriminate accurately between these two
titles of frontier militia officers is actually solemnly brought
forward as telling against the speech.
(2) Logan accused Cresap of committing a murder which he had not
committed. But, as we have already seen, Logan had made the same
accusation in his unquestionably authentic letter, written previously;
and many whites, as well as Indians, thought as Logan did.
(3) A Col. Benj. Wilson, who was with Dunmore's army, says that "he
did not hear the charge preferred in Logan's speech against Captain
Cresap." This is mere negative evidence, valueless in any event, and
doubly so in view of Clark's statement.
(4) Mr. Neville B. Craig, in _Olden Time_, says in 1847 that
"many years before a Mr. James McKee, the brother of Mr. William
Johnson's deputy, had told him that he had seen the speech in the
handwriting of one of the Johnsons ... before it was seen by Logan."
This is a hearsay statement delivered just seventy-three years after
the event, and it is on its face so wildly improbable as not to need
further comment, at least until there is some explanation as to why
the Johnsons should have written the speech, how they could possibly
have gotten it to Logan, and why Gibson should have entered into the
(5) A Benjamin Tomlinson testifies that he believes that the speech
was fabricated by Gibson; he hints, but does not frankly assert, that
Gibson was not sent after Logan, but that Girty was; and swears that
he heard the speech read three times and that the name of Cresap was
not mentioned in it.
He was said in later life to bear a good reputation; but in his
deposition he admits under oath that he was present at the Yellow
Creek murder (_Olden Time_, II., 61; the editor, by the way,
seems to call him alternately Joseph and Benjamin); and he was
therefore an unconvicted criminal, who connived at or participated in
one of the most brutal and cowardly deeds ever done on the frontier.
His statement as against Gibson's would be worthless anyhow;
fortunately his testimony as to the omission of Cresap's name from the
speech is also flatly contradicted by Clark. With the words of two
such men against his, and bearing in mind that all that he says
against the authenticity of the speech itself is confessedly mere
supposition on his part, his statement must be promptly set aside as
worthless. If true, by the way, it would conflict with (4) Craig's
This is literally all the "evidence" against the speech. It scarcely
needs serious discussion; it may be divided into two parts--one
containing allegations that are silly, and the other those that are
There is probably very little additional evidence to be obtained, on
one side or the other; it is all in, and Logan's speech can be
unhesitatingly pronounced authentic. Doubtless there have been verbal
alterations in it; there is not extant a report of any famous speech
which does not probably differ in some way from the words as they were
actually spoken. There is also a good deal of confusion as to whether
the council took place in the Indian town, or in Dunmore's camp;
whether Logan was sought out alone in his hut by Gibson, or came up
and drew the latter aside while he was at the council, etc. In the
same way, we have excellent authority for stating that, prior to the
battle of the Great Kanawha, Lewis reached the mouth of that river on
October 1st, and that he reached it on October 6th; that on the day
of the attack the troops marched from camp a quarter of a mile, and
that they marched three quarters; that the Indians lost more men than
the whites, and that they lost fewer; that Lewis behaved well, and
that he behaved badly; that the whites lost 140 men, and that they
lost 215, etc., etc. The conflict of evidence as to the dates and
accessory details of Logan's speech is no greater than it is as to the
dates and accessory details of the murder by Greathouse, or as to all
the preliminaries of the main battle of the campaign. Coming from
backwoods sources, it is inevitable that we should have confusion on
points of detail; but as to the main question there seems almost as
little reason for doubting the authenticity of Logan's speech, as for
doubting the reality of the battle of the Great Kanawha.
END OF VOL. I.