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Re: Notes on the State of Virginia, by Thomas Jefferson

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No. IV.



Philadelphia, Dec. 31st, 1797.

Dear Sir, — Mr. Tazewell has communicated to me the enquiries you have been so kind as to make relative to a passage in the Notes on Virginia, which has lately excited some newspaper publications. I feel, with great sensibility, the interest you take in this business, and with pleasure, go into explanations with one whose objects I know to be truth and justice alone. Had Mr. Martin thought proper to suggest to me that doubts might be entertained of the transaction respecting Logan, as stated in the Notes on Virginia, and to enquire on what grounds the statement was founded, I should have felt myself obliged by the enquiry to have informed him candidly of the grounds, and cordially have co-operated in every means of investigating the fact, and correcting whatsoever in it should be found to have been erroneous. But he chose to step at once into the newspapers, and in his publications there, and the letters he wrote to me, adopted a style which forbade the respect of an answer. Sensible, however, that no act of his could absolve me from the justice due to others, as soon as I found that the story of Logan could be doubted, I determined to enquire into it as accurately as the testimony remaining, after a lapse of twenty odd years, would permit; and that the result should be made known, either in the first new edition which should be printed of the Notes on Virginia, or by publishing an Appendix. I thought that so far as that work had contributed to impeach the memory of Cresap, by handing on an erroneous charge, it was proper it should be made the vehicle of retribution. Not that I was at all the author of the injury. I had only concurred with thousands and thousands of others in believing a transaction on authority which merited respect. For the story of Logan is only repeated in the Notes on Virginia, precisely as it had been current for more than a dozen years before they were published. When Lord Dunmore returned from the expedition against the Indians, in 1774, he and his officers brought the speech of Logan, and related the circumstances connected with it. These were so affecting, and the speech itself so fine a morsel of eloquence, that it became the theme of every conversation, in Williamsburg particularly, and generally, indeed, wheresoever any of the officers resided or resorted. I learned it in Williamsburg; I believe at Lord Dunmore's; and I find in my pocketbook of that year (1774) an entry of the narrative, as taken from the mouth of some person, whose name, however, is not noted nor recollected, precisely in the words stated in the Notes on Virginia. The speech was published in the Virginia Gazette of that time (I have it myself in the volume of Gazettes of that year) and though in a style by no means elegant, yet it was so admired, that it flew through all the public papers of the continent, and through the magazines and other periodical publications of Great Britain; and those who were boys at that day will now attest, that the speech of Logan used to be given them as a school exercise for repetition. It was not till about thirteen or fourteen years after the newspaper publications, that the Notes on Virginia were published in America. Combatting in these the contumelious theory of certain European writers, whose celebrity gave currency and weight to their opinions, that our country, from the combined effects of soil and climate, degenerated animal nature, in the general, and particularly the moral faculties of man, I considered the speech of Logan as an apt proof of the contrary, and used it as such; and I copied, verbatim, the narrative I had taken down in 1774, and the speech as it had been given us in a better translation by Lord Dunmore. I knew nothing of the Cresaps, and could not possibly have a motive to do them an injury with design. I repeated what thousands had done before, on as good authority as we have for most of the facts we learn through life, and such as, to this moment, I have seen no reason to doubt. That any body questioned it, was never suspected by me, till I saw the letter of Mr. Martin in the Baltimore paper.

I endeavored then to recollect who among my cotemporaries, of the same circle of society, and consequently of the same recollections might still be alive. Three and twenty years of death and dispersion had left very few. I remembered, however, that Gen. Gibson was still living, and knew that he had been the translator of the speech. I wrote to him immediately. He, in answer, declares to me, that he was the very person sent by Lord Dunmore to the Indian town; that, after he had delivered his message there, Logan took him out to a neighboring wood; sat down with him, and rehearsing, with tears, the catastrophe of his family, gave him that speech for Lord Dunmore; that he carried it to Lord Dunmore; translated it for him; has turned to it in the Encyclopedia, as taken from the Notes on Virginia, and finds that it was his translation I had used, with only two or three verbal variations of no importance. These, I suppose, had arisen in the course of successive copies. I cite Gen. Gibson's letter by memory, not having it with me; but I am sure I cite it substantially right. It establishes unquestionably, that the speech of Logan is genuine; and that being established, it is Logan himself who is author of all the important facts. "Col. Cresap," says he, " in cold blood and unprovoked, murdered all the relations of Logan, not sparing even my women and children. There runs not a drop of my blood in the veins of any living creature." The person and the fact, in all its material circumstances, are here given by Logan himself. General Gibson, indeed, says, that the title was mistaken; that Cresap was a captain, and not a colonel. This was Logan's mistake. He also observes, that it was on the Ohio, and not on the Kanhaway itself, that his family was killed. This is an error which has crept into the traditionary account; but surely of little moment in the moral view of the subject. The material question is : was Logan's family murdered, and by whom? That it was murdered has not, I believe, been denied; that it was by one of the Cresaps, Logan affirms. This is a question which concerns the memories of Logan and Cresap; to the issue of which I am as indifferent as if I had never heard the name of either. I have begun and shall continue to enquire into the evidence additional to Logan's, on which the fact was founded. Little, indeed, pan now be heard of, and that little dispersed and distant. If it shall appear on enquiry, that Logan has been wrong in charging Cresap with the murder of his family, I will do justice to the memory of Cresap, as far as I have contributed to the injury, by believing and repeating what others had believed and repeated before me. If, on the other hand, I find that Logan was right, in his charge, I will vindicate, as far as my suffrage may go, the truth of a Chief, whose talents and misfortunes have attached to him the respect and commiseration of the world.

I have gone, my dear Sir, into this lengthy detail to satisfy a mind, in the candor and rectitude of which I have the highest confidence. So far as you may incline to use the communication for rectifying the judgments of those who are willing to see things truly as they are, you are free to use it. But I pray that no confidence which you may repose in any one, may induce you to let it go out of your hands, so as to get into a newspaper. Against a contest in that field I am entirely decided. I feel extraordinary gratification, indeed, in addressing this letter to you, with whom shades of difference in political sentiment have not prevented the interchange of good opinion, nor cut off the friendly offices of society and good correspondence. This political tolerance is the more valued by me, who considers social harmony as the first of human felicities, and the happiest moments, those which are given to the effusions of the heart. Accept them sincerely, I pray you, from one who has the honor to be, with sentiments of high respect and attachment,

Dear Sir, Your most obedient And most humble servant, THOMAS JEFFERSON.


The Notes on Virginia were written in Virginia, in the years 1781 and 1782, in answer to certain queries proposed to me by Mous. De Marbois, then Secretary of the French Legation in the United States; and a manuscript copy was delivered to him. A few copies, with some additions, were afterwards, in 1784, printed in Paris, and given to particular friends. In speaking of the animals of America, the theory of M, de Buffon, the Abbe Raynal, and others presented itself to consideration. They have supposed there is something in the soil, climate, and other circumstances of America, which occasions animal nature to degenerate, not excepting even the man, native or adoptive, physical or moral. This theory, so unfounded and degrading to one third of the globe, was called to the bar of fact and reason. Among other proofs adduced in contradiction of this hypothesis, the speech of Logan, an Indian chief, delivered to Lord Dunmore in 1774, was produced as a specimen of the talents of the aboriginals of this country, and particularly of their eloquence; and it was believed that Europe had never produced any thing superior to this morsel of eloquence- In order to make it intelligible to the reader, the transaction, on which it is founded, was stated, as it had been generally related in America at the time, and as I had heard it myself, in the circle of Lord Dunmore, and the officers who accompanied him: and the speech itself was given as it had, ten years before the printing of that book, circulated in the newspapers through all the then colonies, through the magazines of Great Britain, and the periodical publications of Europe. For three and twenty years it passed uncontradicted; nor was it ever suspected that it even admitted contradiction. In 1797, however, for the first time, not only the whole transaction respecting Logan was affirmed in the public papers to be false, but the speech itself suggested to be a forgery, and even a forgery of mine, to aid me in proving that the man of America was equal in body and in mind, to the man in Europe. But wherefore the forgery; whether Logan's or mine, it would still have been American. I should indeed consult my own fame if the suggestion, that this speech is mine, were suffered to be believed. He would have a just right to be proud who could with truth claim that composition. But it is none of mine; and I yield it to whom it is due.

On seeing then, that this transaction was brought into question, I thought it my duty to make particular enquiry into its foundation. It was the more my duty, as it was alleged that, by ascribing to an individual therein named, a participation in the murder of Logan's family, I had done an injury to his character, which it had not deserved. I had no knowledge personally of that individual. I had no reason to aim an injury at him. I only repeated what I had heard from others, and what thousands had heard and believed as well as myself; and which no one indeed, till then, had been known to question. Twenty-three years had now elapsed, since the transaction took place. Many of those acquainted with it were dead, and the living dispersed to very distant parts of the earth. Few of them were even known to me. To those however of whom I knew, I made application by letter; and some others, moved by a regard for truth and justice, were kind enough to come forward, of themselves, with their testimony. These fragments of evidence, the small remains of a mighty mass which time has consumed, are here presented to the public, in the form of letters, certificates, or affidavits, as they came to me. I have rejected none of these forms, nor required other solemnities from those whose motives and characters were pledges of their truth. Historical transactions are deemed to be well vouched by the simple declarations of those who have borne a part in them; and especially of persons having no interest to falsify or disfigure them. The world will now see whether they, or I, have injured Cresap, by believing Logan's charge against him: and they will decide between Logan and Cresap, whether Cresap was innocent, and Logan a calumniator?

In order that the reader may have a clear conception of the transactions, to which the different parts of the following declarations refer, he must take notice that they establish four different murders. 1. Of two Indians, a little above Wheeling. 2. Of others at Grave Creek, among whom were some of Logan's relations. 3. The massacre at Baker's Bottom, on the Ohio, opposite the mouth of Yellow Creek, where were other relations of Logan. 4. Of those killed at the same place, coming in canoes to the relief of their friends. I place the numbers, 1, 2, 3, 4, against certain paragraphs of the evidence, to indicate the particular murder to which the paragraph relates, and present also a small sketch or map of the principal scenes of these butcheries, for their more ready comprehension.


Extract of a Letter from the Honorable Judge Innes, of Frankfort in Kentucky, to Thomas Jefferson, dated Kentucky, near Frankfort, March 2d, 1799.

I recollect to have seen Logan's speech in 1775, in one of the public prints. That Logan conceived Cresap to be the author of the murder at Yellow Creek, it is in my power to give, perhaps, a more particular information, than any other person you can apply to.

In 1774, I lived in Fincastle county, now divided into Washington, Montgomery, and part of Wythe. Being intimate in Colonel Preston's family, I happened in July to be at his house, when an express was sent to him as the County Lieutenant, requesting a guard of the militia to be ordered out for the protection of the inhabitants residing low down on the north fork of Holston River. The express brought with him a war club, and a note which was left tied to it at the house of one Robertson, whose family were cut off by the Indians, and gave rise for the application to Colonel Preston, of which the following is a copy, then taken by me in my memorandum book.

Captain Cresap,

What did you kill my people on Yellow Creek for? The white people killed my kin, at Conestoga, a great while ago; and I thought nothing of that. But you killed my kin again, on Yellow Creek, and took my cousin prisoner. Then I thought I must kill too; and I have been three times to war since; but the Indians are not angry: only myself.

Captain John Logan.

July 21st, 1774.

With great respect, I am. Dear Sir, Your most obedient servant, HARRY INNES.


Alleghany County, ss. ) State of Pennsylvania. )

Before me the subscriber, a justice of the peace in and for said county, personally appeared John Gibson, Esquire, an associate Judge of same county, who being duly sworn, deposeth and saith that he traded with the Shawnese and other tribes of Indians then settled on the Siota in the year 1773, and in the beginning of the year 1774, and that in the month of April of the same year, he left the same Indian town's, and came to this place, in order to procure some goods and provisions, that he remained here only a few days, and then set out in company with a certain Alexander Blaine and M. Elliott by water to return to the towns on Siota, and that one evening as they were drifting in their canoes near the Long Reach on the Ohio, they were hailed by a number of white men on the South West shore, who requested them to put ashore, as they had disagreeable news to inform them of; that we then landed on shore, and found amongst the party a Major Angus M' Donald from West Chester, a Doctor Woods from same place, and a party as they said of 150 men. We then asked the news. They informed us that some of the party who had been taking up, and improving lands near the Big Kanhaway river, had seen another party of white men, who informed them that they and some others had fell in with a party of Shawnese, who had been hunting on the South West side of the Ohio, that they had killed the whole of the Indian party, and that the others had gone across the country to Cheat River with the horses and plunder, the consequence of which they apprehended would be an Indian war, and that they were flying away. On making enquiry of them when this murder should have happened, we found that it must have been some considerable time before we left the Indian towns, and that there was not the smallest foundation for the report, as there was not a single man of the Shawnese, but what returned from hunting long before this should have happened.

We then informed them that if they would agree to remain at the place we then were, one of us would go to Hock Hocking river with some of their party, where we should find some of our people making canoes, and that if we did not find them there, we might conclude that every thing was not right. Doctor Wood and another person then proposed going* with me; the rest of the party seemed to agree, but said they would send and consult Captain Cresap, who was about two miles from that place. They sent off for him, and during the greatest part of the night they behaved in the most disorderly manner, threatening to kill us, and saying the damned traders were worse than the Indians and ought to be killed. In the morning Captain Michael Cresap came to the camp. I then gave him the information as above related. They then met in Council, and after an hour or more Captain Cresap returned to me, and informed that he could not prevail on them to adopt the proposal I had made to them, that as he had a great regard for Captain R. Callender, a brother-in-law of mine with whom I was connected in trade, he advised me by no means to think of proceeding any further, as he was convinced the present party would fall on and kill every Indian they met on the river, that for his part he should not continue with them, but go right across the country to Red Stone to avoid the consequences. That we then proceeded to Hocking and went up the same to the canoe place where we found our people at work, and after some days we proceeded to the towns on Siota by land. On our arrival there, we heard of the different murders committed by the party on their way up the Ohio.

This deponent further saith that in the year 1774, he accompanied Lord Dunmore on the expedition against the Shawnese and other Indians on the Siota, that on their arrival within fifteen miles of the towns, they were met by a flag, and a white man by the name of Elliott, who informed Lord Dunmore that the Chiefs of the Shawnese had sent to request his Lordship to halt his army and send in some person, who understood their language; that this deponent, at the request of Lord Dunmore and the whole of the officers with him, went in; that on his arrival at the towns, Logan, the Indian, came to where this deponent was sitting with the Corn-Stalk, and the other chiefs of the Shawnese, and asked him to walk out with him; that they went into a copse of wood, where they sat down, when Logan, after shedding abundance of tears, delivered to him the speech, nearly as related by Mr. Jefferson in his Notes on the State of Virginia; that he the deponent told him then that it was not Col. Cresap who had murdered his relations, and that although his son Captain Michael Cresap was with the party who killed a Shawnese chief and other Indians, yet he was not present when his relations were killed at Baker's near the mouth of Yellow Creek on the Ohio; that this deponent on his return to camp delivered the speech to Lord Dan- more; and that the murders perpetrated as above' were considered as ultimately the cause of the war of 1774, commonly called Cresap's war.


Sworn and subscribed the 4th April, ) 1800, at Pittsburg, before me, )

Jer. Barker.


Extract of a letter from Colonel Ebenezer Zane, to the Honorable John Brown, one of the Senators in Congress from Kentucky; dated Wheeling, Feb. 4th, 1800.

I was myself, with many others, in the practice of making improvements on lands upon the Ohio, for the purpose of acquiring rights to the same. Being on the Ohio, at the mouth of Sandy Creek, in company with many others, news circulated that the Indians had robbed some of the land jobbers. This news induced the people generally to ascend the Ohio. I was among the number. [1] On our arrival at the Wheeling, being informed that there were two Indians with some traders near and above Wheeling, a proposition was made by the then Captain Michael Cresap to waylay and kill the Indians upon the river. This measure I opposed with much violence, alleging that the killing of those Indians might involve the country in a war. But the opposite party prevailed, and proceeded up the Ohio with Captain Cresap at their head.

In a short time the party returned, and also the traders, in a canoe; but there were no Indians in the company. I enquired what had become of the Indians, and was informed by the traders and Cresap's party that they had fallen overboard. I examined the canoe and saw much fresh blood and some bullet holes in the canoe. This fully convinced me that the party had killed the two Indians, and thrown them into the river.

[2] On the afternoon of the day this action happened, a report prevailed that there was a camp, or party of Indians on the Ohio below and near the Wheeling. In consequence of this information. Captain Cresap with his party, joined by a number of recruits, proceeded immediately down the Ohio for the purpose, as was then generally understood, of destroying the Indians above mentioned. On the succeeding day, Captain Cresap and his party returned to Wheeling, and it was generally reported by the party that they had killed a number of Indians. Of the truth of this report I had no doubt, as one of Cresap's party was badly wounded, and the party had a fresh scalp, and a quantity of property, which they called Indian plunder. At the time of the last mentioned transaction, it was generally reported that the party of Indians down the Ohio were Logan and his family; but I have reason to believe that this report was unfounded.

[3] Within a few days after the transaction above mentioned, a party of Indians were killed at Yellow Creek. But I must do the memory of Captain Cresap the justice to say that I do not believe that he was present at the killing of the Indians at Yellow Creek. But there is not the least doubt in my mind, that the massacre at Yellow Creek was brought on by the two transactions first stated.

All the transactions which I have related happened in the latter end of April, 1774: and there can scarcely be a doubt that they were the cause of the war which immediately followed, commonly called Dunmore's War.

I am with much esteem, Yours, &c. EBENEZER ZANE.


The certificate of William Huston, of Washington county, in the State of Pennsylvania, communicated by David Reddick, Esq. Prothonotary of Washington County, Pennsylvania; who in the letter inclosing it says "Mr. William Huston is a man of established reputation in point of integrity."

I, William Huston, of Washington county, in the State of Pennsylvania, do hereby certify to whom it may concern, that in the year 1774, I resided at Catfish's camp, on the main path from Wheeling to Redstone: that Michael Cresap, who resided on or near the Patowmac river, on his way up from the river Ohio, at the head of a party of armed men, lay some time at my cabin.

[2] I had previously heard the report of Mr. Cresap having killed some Indians, said to be the relations of "Logan" an Indian Chief. In a variety of conversations with several of Cresap' s party, they boasted of the deed; and that in the presence of their chief. They acknowledged they had fired first on the Indians. They had with them one man on a litter, who was in the skirmish.

I do further certify that, from what I learned from the party themselves, I then formed the opinion, and have not had any reason to [3] change the opinion since, that the killing, on the part of the whites, was what I deem the grossest murder. I further certify that some of the party, who afterwards killed some women and other Indians at Baker's Bottom, also lay at my cabin, on their march to the interior part of the county; they had with them a little girl, whose life had been spared by the interference of some more humane than the rest. If necessary I will make affidavit to the above to be true. Certified at Washington, this 18th day of April, Anno Domini 1798.



The certificate of Jacob Newland, of Shelby county, Kentucky, communicated by the Hon. Judge Innes, of Kentucky.

In the year 1774, I lived on the waters of Short Creek, a branch of the Ohio, twelve miles above Wheeling. Sometime in June or in July of that year, Captain Michael Cresap raised a party of men, and came out under control Colonel M' Daniel, of Hampshire county, Virginia, who commanded a detachment against the Wappotommaka towns on the Muskinghum. I met with Captain Cresap, at Redstone fort, and entered his company. Being very well acquainted with him, we conversed freely; and he, among other conversations, informed me several times of falling in with some Indians on the Ohio some distance below the mouth of Yellow Creek, and killed two or three of them; and that this murder was before that of the Indians by Greathouse and others, at Yellow Creek. I do not recollect the reason which Captain Cresap assigned for committing the act, but never understood that the Indians gave any offence. Certified under my hand this 15th day of November, 1799, being an inhabitant of Shelby county, and State of Kentucky.


The certificate of John Anderson, a merchant in Fredericksburg, Virginia; communicated by Mann Page, Esq. of Mansfield, near Fredericksburg, who, in the letter accompanying it, says, "Mr. John Anderson has for many years past been settled in Fredericksburg, in the mercantile line. I have known him in prosperous and adverse situations. He has always shown the greatest degree of equanimity, his honesty and veracity are unimpeachable. These things can be attested by all the respectable part of the town and neighborhood of Fredericksburg."

Mr. John Anderson, a merchant in Fredericksburg, says, that in the year 1774, being a trader in the Indian country, he was at Pittsburg, to which place he had a cargo brought up the river in a boat, navigated by a Delaware Indian and a white man. That on their return down the river, with a cargo, belonging to Messrs. Butler, Michael [1] Cresap fired on the boat, and killed the Indian, after which two men of the name of Gatewood, and others of the name of [i] Tumblestone, who lived on the opposite side of the river from the Indians, with whom they were on the most friendly terms, invited a party of them to come over and drink with them j and that, when the Indians were [3] drunk, they murdered them to the number of six; among them was Logan's mother. That five other Indians uneasy at the absence of their friends, came over the river to enquire after them; when they [4] were fired upon, and two were killed, and the others wounded. This was the origin of the war.

I certify the above to be true to the best of my recollection.


Attest: — David Blair, 30th June, 1798.


The Deposition of James Chambers, communicated by David Reddick, Esq. Prothonotary of Washington county, Pennsylvania, who in the letter inclosing it shews that he entertains the most perfect confidence in the truth of Mr. Chambers.

Washington County, SC.

Personally came before me Samuel Shannon, Esq., one of the Commonwealth Justices for the county of Washington in the State of Pennsylvania, James Chambers, who being sworn according to law, deposeth and saith that in the Spring of the year 1774, he resided on the frontier near Baker's Bottom on the Ohio; that he had an intimate companion, with whom he sometimes lived, named "Edward King." [2] That a report reached him that Michael Cresap had killed some Indians near Grave Creek, friends to an Indian, known by the name of "Logan." [3] That other of his friends, following down the river, having received intelligence, and fearing to proceed, lest Cresap might fall in with them, encamped near the mouth of Yellow Creek, opposite Baker's Bottom; that Daniel Greathouse had determined to kill them; had made the secret known to the deponent's companion. King; that the deponent was earnestly solicited to be of the party, and, as an inducement, was told that they would get a great deal of plunder; and further, that the Indians would be made drunk by Baker, and that little danger would follow the expedition. The deponent refused having any hand in killing unoffending people. His companion. King, went with Greathouse, with divers others, some of whom had been collected at a considerable distance under an idea that Joshua Baker's family was in danger from the Indians, as war had been commenced between Cresap and them already; that Edward King, as well as others of the party, did not conceal from the deponent the most minute circumstances of this affair; they informed him that Greathouse, concealing his people, went over to the Indian encampments and counted their number, and found that they were too large a party to attack with his strength; that he had requested Joshua Baker, when any of them came to his house, (which they had been in the habit of,) to give them what rum they could drink, and to let him know when they were in a proper train, and that he would then fall on them; that accordingly they found several men and women at Baker's house; that one of these women had cautioned Greathouse, when over in the Indian camp, that he had better return home, as the Indian men were drinking, and that having heard of Cresap's attack on their relations down the river, they were angry, and, in a friendly manner, told him to go home. Greathouse, with his party, fell on them, and killed all except a little girl, which the deponent saw with the party after the slaughter: [4] that the Indians in the camp hearing the firing, manned two canoes, supposing their friends at Baker's to be attacked, as was supposed; the party under Greathouse prevented their landing by a well directed fire, which did execution in the canoes: that Edward King shewed the deponent one of the scalps. The deponent further saith, that the settlements near the river broke up, and he the deponent immediately repaired to Catfish's camp, and lived some time with Mr. William Huston: that not long after his arrival, Cresap, with his party, returning from the Ohio, came to Mr. Huston's and tarried some time: that in various conversations with the party, and in particular with a Mr. Smith, who had one arm only, he was told that the Indians were acknowledged and known to be Logan's friends which they had killed, and [2] that he heard the party say, that Logan would probably avenge their deaths.

They acknowledged that the Indians passed Cresap's encampment on the bank of the river in a peaceable manner, and encamped below him; that they went down and fired on the Indians, and killed several; that the survivors flew to their arms and fired on Cresap, and wounded one man, whom the deponent saw carried on a litter by [2] the party; that the Indians killed by Cresap were not only Logan's relations, but of the women killed at Baker's one was said and generally [3] believed to be Logan's sister. The deponent further saith, that on the relation of the attack by Cresap on the unoffending Indians, he exclaimed in their hearing, that it was an atrocious murder: on which Mr. Smith threatened the deponent with the tomahawk; so that he was obliged to be cautious, fearing an injury, as the party appeared to have lost, in a great degree, sentiments of humanity as well as the effects of civilization. Sworn and subscribed at Washington, the 20th day of April, Anno Domini 1798.


Before Samuel Shannon.


Washington County, SC.

I, David Reddick, prothonotary of the court of common pleas, for the county of Washington, in the State of Pennsylvania, do certify that Samuel Shannon, Esq. before whom the within affidavit was made, was, at the time thereof, and still is, a justice of the peace in and for the county of Washington aforesaid; and that full credit is due to all his judicial acts as such as well in courts of justice as thereout.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and affixed the seal of my office at Washington, the 26th day of April, Anno Domini 1798.




The certificate of Charles Polke, of Shelby county in Kentucky, communicated by the Hon. Judge Innes, of Kentucky, who in the letter inclosing it, together with Newland's certificate, and his own declaration of the information given him by Baker, says, "I am well acquainted both Jacob Newland, he is a man of integrity. Charles Polke and Joshua Baker both support respectable characters."

About the latter end of April or beginning of May, 1774, I lived on the waters of Cross Creek, about sixteen miles from Joshua Baker, who lived on the Ohio, opposite the mouth of Yellow Creek. [3] A number of persons collected at my house, and proceeded to the said Baker's and murdered several Indians, among whom was a woman said to be the sister of the Indian chief, Logan. The principal leader of the party was Daniel Greathouse. To the best of my recollection the cause which gave rise to the murders was, a general idea that the Indians were meditating an attack on the frontiers. Captain Michael Cresap was not of the party; but I recollect that some time before the perpetration of the above fact it was currently [2] reported that Captain Cresap had murdered some Indians on the Ohio, one or two, some distance below Wheeling.

Certified by me, an inhabitant of Shelby county and State of Kentucky, this 15th day of November, 1799.



Re: Notes on the State of Virginia, by Thomas Jefferson

PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2015 4:04 am
by admin

The Declaration of the Hon. Judge Innes, of Frankfort, in Kentucky.

On the 14th of November, 1799, I accidentally met upon the road Joshua Baker, the person referred to in the certificate signed by [3] Polke, who informed me that the murder of the Indians in 1774, opposite the mouth of Yellow Creek, was perpetrated at his house by 32 men, led on by Daniel Greathouse; that 12 were killed, and 6 or 8 wounded; among the slain was a sister, and other relations of the Indian Chief, Logan. Baker says Captain Michael Cresap was not of the party; that some days preceding the murder at his house two Indians left him, and were on their way home; that they fell in with Captain Cresap and a party of land improvers on the Ohio, and were [1] murdered, if not by Cresap himself, with his approbation; he being the leader of the party, and that he had this information from Cresap.



The Declaration of William Robinson.

William Robinson, of Clarksburg, in the county of Harrison, and State of Virginia, subscriber to these presents, declares that he was, in the year 1774, a resident on the West fork of Monongahela River, in the county then called West Augusta, and being in his field on the 12th of July, with two other men, they were surprised by a party of eight Indians, who shot down one of the others, and made himself and the remaining one prisoners; this subscriber's wife and four children having been previously conveyed by him for safety to a fort about 24 miles off; that the principal Indian of the party which took them was Captain Logan; that Logan spoke English well, and very soon manifested a friendly disposition to this subscriber, and told him to be of good heart, that he would not be killed, but must go with him to his town, where he would probably be adopted in some of their families; but, above all things, that he must not attempt to run away; that in the course of the journey to the Indian town he generally endeavored to keep close to Logan, who had a great deal of conversation with him, always encouraging him to be cheerful and without fear, for that he would not be killed, but should become one of them, and constantly impressing on him not to attempt to run away; that in these conversations he always charged Captain Michael Cresap with the murder of his family; that on his arrival in the town, which was on the 18th of July, he was tied to a stake, and a great debate arose whether he should not be burnt; Logan insisted on having him adopted, while others contended to burn him; that at length Logan prevailed, tied a belt of wampum round him as the mark of adoption, loosed him from the post, and carried him to the cabin of an old squaw, where Logan pointed out a person who he said was this subscriber's cousin, and he afterwards understood that the old woman was his aunt, and two others his brothers, and that he now stood in the place of a warrior of the family who had been killed at Yellow Creek; that about three days after this Logan brought him a piece of paper, and told him he must write a letter for him, which he meant to carry and leave in some house where he should kill somebody; that he made ink with gunpowder, and the subscriber proceeded to write the letter by his direction, addressing Captain Michael Cresap in it, and that the purport of it was, to ask "why he had killed his people? That some time before they had killed his people at some place (the name of which the subscriber forgets) which he had forgiven; but since that he had killed his people again at Yellow Creek, and taken his cousin, a little girl, prisoner; that therefore he must war against the whites, but that he would exchange the subscriber for his cousin." And signed it with Logan's name, which letter Logan took and set out again to war; and the contents of this letter, as recited by the subscriber, calling to mind, that stated by Judge Innes to have been left, tied to a war club, in a house, where a family was murdered, and that being read to the subscriber, he recognises it, and declares he verily believes it to have been the identical letter which he wrote, and supposes he was mistaken in stating, as he has done before from memory, that the offer of the exchange was proposed in the letter; that it is probable it was only promised him by Logan, but not put in the letter; while he was with the old woman, she repeatedly endeavored to make him sensible that she had been of the party at Yellow Creek, and by signs shewed how they decoyed her friends over the river to drink, and when they were reeling and tumbling about, tomahawked them (3) all, and that whenever she entered on this subject she was thrown into the most violent agitations, and that he afterwards understood that, amongst the Indians killed at Yellow Creek was a sister of Logan, very big with child, whom they ripped open, and stuck on a pole; that he continued with the Indians till the month of November, when he was released in consequence of the peace made by them with Lord Dunmore; that, while he remained with them, the Indians in general were very kind to him, and especially those who were his adopted relations; but, above all, the old woman and family in which he lived, who served him with every thing in their power, and never asked, or even suffered him to do any labor, seeming in truth to consider and respect him as the friend they had lost. All which several matters and things, so far as they are stated to be of his own knowledge, this subscriber solemnly declares to be true, and so far as they are stated on information from others, he believes them to be true. Given and declared under his hand at Philadelphia this 28th day of February, 1800.



The deposition of Col. William M'Kee, of Lincoln county, Kentucky, communicated by the Hon. John Brown, one of the Senators in Congress from Kentucky.

Colonel William M'Kee, of Lincoln county, declareth that in Autumn, 1774, he commanded as a Captain in the Botetourt regiment under Col. Andrew Lewis, afterwards General Lewis; and fought in the battle at the mouth of Kanhaway, on the 10th of October in that year. That after the battle, Colonel Lewis marched the militia across the Ohio, and proceeded towards the Shawnee towns on Scioto; but before they reached the towns. Lord Dunmore, who was commander in chief of the army, and had, with a large part thereof been up the Ohio about Hockhockin, when the battle was fought, overtook the militia, and informed them of his having since the battle concluded a treaty with the Indians, upon which the whole army returned.

And the said William declareth that, on the evening of that day on which the junction of the troops took place, he was in company with Lord Dunmore and several of his officers, and also conversed with several who had been with Lord Dunmore at the treaty; said William on that evening heard repeated conversations concerning an extraordinary speech made at the treaty, or sent there by a chieftain of the Indians named Logan, and heard several attempts at a rehearsal of it. The speech as rehearsed excited the particular attention of said William, and the most striking members of it were impressed on his memory.

And he declares that when Thomas Jefferson's Notes on Virginia were published, and he came to peruse the same, he was struck with the speech of Logan as there set forth, as being substantially the same, and accordant with the speech he heard rehearsed in the camp as aforesaid.




Danville, December 18th, 1799.

We certify that Colonel William M'Kee this day signed the original certificate, of which the foregoing is a true copy, in our presence.



The certificate of the Hon. Stevens Thompson Mason, one of the Senators in Congress from the State of Virginia.

"Logan's speech, delivered at the treaty, after the battle in which Col. Lewis was killed in 1774."

[Here follows a copy of the speech, agreeing verbatim with that printed in Dixon and Hunter's Virginia Gazette of February 4, 1775, under the Williamsburg head. At the foot is this certificate.]

"The foregoing is a copy taken by me when a boy at school, in the year 1775, or at the farthest in 1776, and lately found in an old pocket book, containing papers and manuscripts of that period.


January 20th, 1798."


A copy of Logan's speech given by the late General Mercer, who fell in the battle of Trenton, January, 1776, to Lewis Willis, Esquire, of Fredericksburg, in Virginia, upwards of 20 years ago, (from the date of February, 1798,) communicated through Mann Page, Esquire.

"The speech of Logan, a Shawanese chief, to Lord Dunmore."

[Here follows a copy of the speech, agreeing verbatim with that in the Notes on Virginia.]

A copy of Logan's speech from the Notes on Virginia having been sent to Captain Andrew Rodgers of Kentucky, he subjoined the following certificate: —

In the year 1774 I was out with the Virginia volunteers, and was in the battle at the mouth of Canhawee, and afterwards proceeded over the Ohio to the Indian towns. I did not hear Logan make the above speech; but, from the unanimous accounts of those in camp, I have reason to think that said speech was delivered to Dunmore. I remember to have heard the very things contained in the above speech, related by some of our people in camp at that time.



The declaration of Mr. John Heckewelder, for several years a Missionary from the society of Moravians, among the Western Indians.

In the Spring of the year 1774, at a time when the interior part of the Indian country all seemed peace and tranquil, the villagers on the Muskinghum were suddenly alarmed by two Runners, (Indians,) who reported " that the Big Knife, (Virginians,) had attacked the Mingo settlement on the Ohio, and butchered even the women with their children in their arms, and that Logan's family were among the slain." A day or two after this, several Mingoes made their appearance; among whom were one or two wounded, who had in this manner effected their escape. Exasperated to a high degree, after relating the particulars of this transaction, (which for humanity's sake I forbear to mention,) after resting some time on the treachery of the Big Knives, of their barbarity to those who are their friends, they gave a figurative description of the perpetrators; named Cresap as having been at the head of this murderous act. They made mention of nine being killed and two wounded, and were prone to take revenge on any person of white color, for which reason the missionaries had to shut themselves up during their stay. From this time terror daily increased. The exasperated friends and relations of these murdered women and children, with the nations to whom they belonged, passed and re-passed through the villages of the quiet Delaware towns, in search of white people, making use of the most abusive language to these, (the Delawares,) since they would not join in taking revenge. Traders had either to hide themselves, or try to get out of the country the best way they could. And even at this time they yet found such true friends among the Indians, who, at the risk of their own lives, conducted them, with the best part of their property, to Pittsburg; although (shameful to relate!) these benefactors were, on their return from this mission, waylaid, and fired upon by whites, while crossing Big Beaver in a canoe, and had one man, a Shawanese, named Silverheels, (a man of note in his nation) wounded in his body. This exasperated the Shawanese so much, that they, or at least a great part of them, immediately took an active part in the cause; and the Mingoes, (nearest connected with the former,) became unbounded in their rage. A Mr. Jones, son to a respectable family of this neighborhood, (Bethlehem,) who was then on his passage up Muskinghum, with two other men, was fortunately espied by a friendly Indian woman at the falls of Muskinghum, who, through motives of humanity alone, informed Jones of the nature of the times, and that he was running right in the hands of the enraged, and put him on the way where he might perhaps escape the vengeance of the strolling parties. One of Jones' men, fatigued by traveling in the woods, declared he would rather die than remain longer in this situation; and hitting accidentally on a path, he determined to follow the same. A few hundred yards decided his fate. He was met by a party of about fifteen Mingoes, (and as it happened, almost within sight of White Eyes' town,) murdered, and cut to pieces; and his limbs and flesh stuck up on the bushes. White Eyes, on hearing the scalp halloo, ran immediately out with his men to see what the matter was, and finding the mangled body in this condition, gathered the whole and buried it. But next day, when some of the above party found on their return the body interred, they instantly tore up the ground, and endeavored to destroy or scatter about the parts at a greater distance. White Eyes, with the Delawares, watching their motions, gathered and interred the same a second time. The war party finding this out, ran furiously into the Delaware village, exclaiming against the conduct of these people, setting forth the cruelty of Cresap towards women and children, and declaring at the same time that they would, in consequence of this cruelty, serve every white man they should meet with in the same manner. Times grew worse and worse, war parties went out and took scalps and prisoners, and the latter, in hopes it might be of service in saving their lives, exclaimed against the barbarous act which gave rise to these troubles and against the perpetrators. The name of Greathouse was mentioned as having been accomplice to Cresap. So detestable became the latter name among the Indians, that I have frequently heard them apply it to the worst of things; also, in quieting or stilling their children, I have heard them say, "Hush! Cresap will fetch you; whereas otherwise, they name the owl." The warriors having afterwards bent their course more toward the Ohio, and down the same, peace seemed with us already on the return; and this became the case soon after the decided battle fought on the Kanhaway. Traders, returning now into the Indian country again, related the story of the above mentioned massacre, after the same manner, and with the same words, we have heard it related hitherto. So the report remained, and was believed by all who resided in the Indian country. So it was represented numbers of times, in the peaceable Delaware towns, by the enemy. So the Christian Indians were continually told they would one day be served. With this impression, a petty chief hurried all the way from Wabash in 1779 to take his relations (who were living with the peaceable Delawares near Coshachking,) out of the reach of the Big Knives, in whose friendship he never more would place any confidence. And when this man found that his numerous relations would not break friendship with the Americans, nor be removed, he took two of his relations (women) off by force, saying, "The whole crop should not be destroyed; I will have seed out of it for a new crop," alluding to, and repeatingly reminding these of the family of Logan, who he said had been real friends to the whites, and yet were cruelly murdered by them.

In Detroit, where I arrived the same Spring, the report respecting the murder of the Indians on Ohio (amongst whom was Logan's family) was the same as related above; and on my return to the United States in the Fall of 1786, and from that time, whenever and where- ever in my presence this subject was the topic of conversation, I found the report still the same, viz: that a person, bearing the name of Cresap, was the author or perpetrator of this deed.

Logan was the second son of Shikellemus, a celebrated chief of the Cayuga nation. This chief, on account of his attachment to the English Government, was of great service to the country, having the confidence of all the Six Nations, as well as that of the English; he was very useful in settling disputes, &c., &c. He was highly esteemed by Conrad Weisser, Esq., (an officer for government in the Indian department,) with whom he acted conjunctly, and was faithful unto his death. His residence was at Shamokin, where he took great delight in acts of hospitality to such of the white people whose business led them that way. [ii] His name and fame were so high on record, that Count Zinzendorf, when in this country in 1742, became desirous of seeing him, and actually visited him at his house in Shamokin. [iii] About the year 1772 Logan was introduced to me, by an Indian friend, as son to the late reputable chief Shikellemus, and as a friend to the white people. In the course of conversation I thought him a man of superior talents than Indians generally were. The subject turning on vice and immorality, he confessed his too great share of this, especially his fondness for liquor. He exclaimed against the white people for imposing liquors upon the Indians; he otherwise admired their ingenuity; spoke of gentlemen, but observed the Indians unfortunately had but few of these as their neighbors, &c. He spoke of his friendship to the white people, wished always to be a neighbor to them, intended to settle on the Ohio, below Big Beaver; was (to the best of my recollection) then encamped at the mouth of this river, (Beaver;) urged me to pay him a visit, &c. [Note. — I was then living at the Moravian town en this river, in the neighborhood of Cuskuskee. In April 1773, while on my passage down the Ohio for Muskinghum, I called at Logan's settlement, where I received every civility I could expect from such of the family as were at home.]

Indian reports concerning Logan, after the death of his family, ran to this: that he exerted himself during the Shawanee war, (then so called) to take all the revenge he could, declaring he had lost all confidence in the white people. At the time of negotiation he declared his reluctance in laying down the hatchet, not having (in his opinion) yet taken ample satisfaction, yet, for the sake of the nation, he would do it. His expressions, from time to time, denoted a deep melancholy. Life (said he) had become a torment to him: he knew no more what pleasure was : he thought it had been better if he had never existed, &c., &c. Report further states, that he became in some measure delirious, declared he would kill himself, went to Detroit, drank very freely, and did not seem to care what he did, and what became of himself. In this condition he left Detroit, and on his way between that place and Miami was murdered. In October 1781, (while as prisoner on my way to Detroit,) I was shown the spot where this should have happened. Having had an opportunity since last June of seeing the Rev. David Zeisberger, Sr., missionary to the Delaware nation of Indians, who had resided among the same on Muskinghum, at the time when the murder was committed on the family of Logan, I put the following questions to him: 1st. Who he had understood it was that had committed the murder on Logan's family? And, 2dly, whether he had any knowledge of a speech sent to Lord Dunmore by Logan, in consequence of this affair, &c. To which Mr. Zeisberger's answer was : That he had, from that time when this murder was committed to the present day, firmly believed the common report, (which he had never heard contradicted,) viz: that one Cresap was the author of the massacre; or that it was committed by his orders, and that he had known Logan as a boy, had frequently seen him from that time, and doubted not in the least that Logan had sent such a speech to Lord Dunmore on this occasion, as he understood from me had been published; that expressions of that kind from Indians were familiar to him; that Logan in particular was a man of quick comprehension, good judgment and talents. Mr. Zeisberger has been a missionary upwards of fifty years; his age is about eighty; speaks both the language of the Onondagoes and the Delawares; resides at present on the Muskinghum, with his Indian congregation, and is beloved and respected by all who are acquainted with him.



From this testimony the following historical statement results:

In April or May 1774, a number of people being engaged in looking out for settlements on the Ohio, information was spread among them that the Indians had robbed some of the land-jobbers, as those adventurers were called. Alarmed for their safety, they collected together at Wheeling Creek. [iv] Hearing there that there were two Indians and some traders a little above Wheeling, Captain Michael Cresap, one of the party, proposed to waylay and kill them. The proposition, though opposed, was adopted. A party went up the river with Cresap at their head, and killed the two Indians.

[v] The same afternoon it was reported that there was a party of Indians on the Ohio, a little below Wheeling. Cresap and his party immediately proceeded down the river, and encamped on the bank. The Indians passed him peaceably, and encamped at the mouth of Grave Creek, a little below. Cresap and his party attacked them, and killed several. The Indians returned the fire, and wounded one of Cresap's party. Among the slain of the Indians were some of Logan's family. Colonel Zane, indeed, expresses a doubt of it; but it is affirmed by Huston and Chambers. Smith, one of the murderers, said they were known and acknowledged to be Logan's friends, and the party themselves generally said so; boasted of it in presence of Cresap; pretended no provocation, and expressed their expectations that Logan would probably avenge their deaths.

Pursuing these examples, [vi] Daniel Greathouse and one Tomlinson, who lived on the opposite side of the river from the Indians, and were in habits of friendship with them, collected at the house of Polke on Cross Creek, about 16 miles from Baker's Bottom, a party of 32 men. Their object was to attack a hunting encampment of Indians, consisting of men, women and children, at the mouth of Yellow Creek, some distance above Wheeling. They proceeded, and when arrived near Baker's Bottom, they concealed themselves, and Greathouse crossed the river to the Indian camp. Being among them as a friend he counted them, and found them too strong for an open attack with his force. While here, he was cautioned by one of the women not to stay, for that the Indian men were drinking, and having heard of Cresap's murder of their relations at Grave Creek, were angry, and she pressed him in a friendly manner to go home; whereupon, after inviting them to come over and drink, he returned to Baker's, which was a tavern, and desired that when any of them should come to his house he would give them as much rum as they would drink. When his plot was ripe, and a sufficient number of them were collected at Baker's and intoxicated, he and his party fell on them and massacred the whole, except a little girl, whom they preserved as a prisoner. Among these was the very woman who had saved his life, by pressing him to retire from the drunken wrath of her friends, when he was spying their camp at Yellow Creek. Either she herself, or some other of the murdered women, was the sister of Logan, very big with child, and inhumanly and indecently butchered; and there were others of his relations who fell here.

The party on the other side of the river, [vii] alarmed for their friends at Baker's, on hearing the report of the guns, manned two canoes and sent them over. They were received, as they approached the shore, by a well directed fire from Greathouse's party, which killed some, wounded others, and obliged the rest to put back. Baker tells us there were twelve killed, and six or eight wounded.

This commenced the war, of which Logan's war club and note left in the house of a murdered family was the notification. In the course of it, during the ensuing Summer, great numbers of innocent men, women and children, fell victims to the tomahawk and scalping knife of the Indians, till it was arrested in the Autumn following by the battle at Point Pleasant, and the pacification with Lord Dunmore, at which the speech of Logan was delivered.

Of the genuineness of that speech nothing need be said. It was known to the camp where it was delivered; it was given out by Lord Dunmore and his officers; it ran through the public papers of these States; was rehearsed as an exercise at schools; published in the papers and periodical works of Europe; and all this a dozen years before it was copied into the Notes on Virginia. In fine, General Gibson concludes the question forever, by declaring that he received it from Logan's hand, delivered it to Lord Dunmore, translated it for him, and that the copy in the Notes on Virginia is a faithful copy.

The popular account of these transactions, as stated in the Notes on Virginia, appears, on collecting exact information, imperfect and erroneous in its details. It was the belief of the day; but how far its errors were to the prejudice of Cresap, the reader will now judge. That he, and those under him, murdered two Indians above Wheeling; that they murdered a larger number at Grave Creek, among whom were a part of the family and relations of Logan, cannot be questioned; and as little that this led to the massacre of the rest of the family at Yellow Creek. Logan imputed the whole to Cresap in his war note and peace speech; the Indians generally imputed it to Cresap; Lord Dunmore and his officers imputed it to Cresap; the country with one accord imputed it to him; and whether he were innocent, let the universal verdict now declare.


The declaration of John Sappington, received after the publication of the preceding Appendix.

1, John Sappington, declare myself to be intimately acquainted with all the circumstances respecting the destruction of Logan's family, and do give in the following narrative a true statement of that affair:

Logan's family (if it was his family) was not killed by Cresap, nor with his knowledge, nor by his consent, but by the Greathouses and their associates. They were killed 30 miles above Wheeling, near the mouth of Yellow Creek. Logan's camp was on one side of the river Ohio, and the house, where the murder was committed, opposite to it on the other side. They had encamped there only four or five days, and during that time had lived peaceably and neighborly with the whites on the opposite side, until the very day the affair happened. A little before the period alluded to, letters had been received by the inhabitants from a man of great influence in that country, and who was then I believe at Capteener, informing them that war was at hand, and desiring them to be on their guard. In consequence of those letters, and other rumors of the same import, almost all the in- habitants fled for safety into the settlements. It was at the house of one Baker the murder was committed. Baker was a man who sold rum, and the Indians had made frequent visits at his house, induced probably by their fondness for that liquor. He had been particularly desired by Cresap to remove and take away his rum, and he was actually preparing to move at the time of the murder. The evening before a squaw came over to Baker's house, and by her crying seemed to be in great distress. The cause of her uneasiness being asked, she refused to tell; but getting Baker's wife alone, she told her that the Indians were going to kill her and all her family the next day, that she loved her, did not wish her to be killed, and therefore told her what was intended, that she might save herself. In consequence of this information, Baker got a number of men, to the amount of twenty-one, to come to his house, and they were all there before morning. A council was held, and it was determined that the men should lie concealed in the back apartment; that if the Indians did come and behaved themselves peaceably, they should not be molested; but if not, the men were to shew themselves, and act accordingly. Early in the morning seven Indians, four men and three squaws, came over. Logan's brother was one of them. They immediately got rum, and all, except Logan's brother, became very much intoxicated. At this time all the men were concealed, except the man of the house. Baker, and two others who staid out with him. Those Indians came unarmed. After some time Logan's brother took down a coat and hat belonging to Baker's brother-in-law, who lived with him, and put them on, and setting his arms akimbo, began to strut about, till at length coming up to one of the men, he attempted to strike him, saying, "white man son of a bitch." The white man, whom he treated thus, kept out of his way for some time, but growing irritated he jumped to his gun, and shot the Indian as he was making to the door with the coat and hat on him. The men who lay concealed then rushed out and killed the whole of them, excepting one child, which I believe is alive yet. But before this happened, one with two, the other with five Indians, all naked, painted, and armed completely for war, were discovered to start from the shore on which Logan's camp was. Had it not been for this circumstance, the white men would not have acted as they did; but this confirmed what the squaw had told before. The white men having killed as aforesaid the Indians in the house, ranged themselves along the bank of the river to receive the canoes. The canoe with the two Indians came near, being the foremost. Our men fired upon them and killed them both. The other canoe then went back. After this two other canoes started, the one containing eleven, the other seven Indians, painted and armed as the first. They attempted to land below our men, but were fired upon, had one killed, and retreated, at the same time firing back. To the best of my recollection there were three of the Greathouses engaged in this business. This is a true representation of the affair from beginning to end. I was intimately acquainted with Cresap, and know he had no hand in that transaction. He told me himself afterwards, at Redstone Old Fort, that the day before Logan's people were killed, he, with a small party, had an engagement with a party of Indians on Capteener, about forty-four miles lower down. Logan's people were killed at the mouth of Yellow Creek, on the 24th of May, 1774; and the 23d, the day before, Cresap was engaged, as already stated. I know likewise that he was generally blamed for it, and believed by all, who were not acquainted with the circumstances, to have been the perpetrator of it. I know that he despised and hated the Greathouses ever afterwards on account of it. I was intimately acquainted with General Gibson, and served under him during the late war, and I have a discharge from him now lying in the land office at Richmond, to which I refer any person for my character, who might be disposed to scruple my veracity. I was likewise at the treaty held by Lord Dunmore with the Indians at Chelicothe. As for the speech said to have been delivered by Logan on that occasion, it might have been, or might not, for any thing I know, as I never heard of it till long afterwards. I do not believe that Logan had any relations killed, except his brother. Neither of the squaws who were killed was his wife. Two of them were old women, and the third with her child, which was saved, I have the best reason in the world to believe was the wife and child of General Gibson. I know he educated the child, and took care of it, as if it had been his own. Whether Logan had a wife or not I cannot say; but it is probable that as he was a chief, he considered them all as his people. All this I am ready to be qualified to at any time.


Attest — Samuel M'Kee, Jr.


Madison County, Feb. 13th, 1800.

I do certify further that the above named John Sappington told me, at the same time and place at which he gave me the above narrative, that he himself was the man who shot the brother of Logan in the house as above related, and that he likewise killed cue of the Indians in one of the canoes, which came over from the opposite shore.

He likewise told me that Cresap never said an angry word to him about the matter, although he was frequently in company with Cresap, and indeed had been, and continued to be, in habits of intimacy with that gentleman, and was always befriended by him on every occasion. He further told me that after they had perpetrated the murder, and were flying into the settlements, he met with Cresap, (if I recollect right at Redstone Old Fort,) and gave him a scalp, a very large fine one, as he expressed it, and adorned with silver. This scalp, I think he told me, was the scalp of Logan's brother, though as to this I am not absolutely certain.

Certified by



Extract from a letter of Judge John Bannister Gibson to Edward D. Ingraham, Esq., dated Philadelphia, Nov. 26, 1846.

"Though bred and born in the confines of civilization, Logan was in every respect, a savage. In the days of my boyhood I heard old men speak of him, who knew him when he lived on the Kishacoquillas, near its junction with the Juniata, as sober, honest and humane; but afterwards he sought forgetfulness in indulgence: it unchained the tiger in him. Though he professed to be done with resentments in his speech, he became ferocious towards every one and so dangerous, that one of his own relations was compelled to dispatch him."



i. The popular pronunciation of Tomlinson, which was the real name.

ii. The preceding account of Shikellemus, [Logan's father] is copied from manuscripts of the Rev. C. Pyrlaeuis, written between the years 1741 and 1748.

iii. See G. H. Hoskiel's History of the Mission of the United Brethren, &c., part ii., chap, ii., page 31.

iv. First murder of the two Indians by Cresap.

v. Second murder on Grave Creek.

vi. Massacre at Baker's Bottom, opposite Yellow Creek, by Greathouse.

vii. Fourth murder of Greathouse.

Re: Notes on the State of Virginia, by Thomas Jefferson

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P. 24. (Note.)

Another is mentioned by Clavigero: "The Bridge of God; thus they call a vast mass of earth above the deep river Atoyaque, near the village of Moleaxac, about a hundred miles from Mexico, in the direction of Scirocco, over which carts and carriages pass without difficulty. It might be taken for a fragment of the adjacent mountain, torn from it, in times of old, by an earthquake." — History of Mexico, L. 1, § 3.

P. 24. (Note.)

This cave, or passage, is cut out of the live rock with such precision that the inequalities on one side correspond with the projections on the other side, as if that mountain had parted on purpose, with its turns and windings, to make a passage for the waters between the two lofty walls on both sides; they being so like each other, that if they were joined together they would cover each other without leaving any cavity between them.

P. 29. (Text,) 25th line.

"Marble is very frequently found on the banks of most of these rivers: slate rocks also are seen there, and I have often had occasion to observe the close affinity between these two kinds of rock. I had made the same remark in the Cordilleras. There slate and marble often touch one another, and I have seen some rocks which were slate at one end and marble at the other. Every new liquefaction of rock, analogous to slate, and cementing its layers, makes the whole rock harder and more compact; the rock is no longer slate, but becomes marble. Another rock, called schist, is also subject to this transformation. Sometimes the layers not only are cemented together, but one piece of rock joins, as if by chance, another; and if the whole is then exposed to the action of gravel and of flint stones, rolled by flowing water, it is, as it were, rounded off, becomes nearly cylindric, and assumes the appearance of the trunk of a tree; so that it is often with difficulty distinguished from a real tree. I regretted much not to be able to take with me one of these apparent trees which I had found in a ravine between Guanaca and La Plata, at the foot of a hill, called La Subida del Frayle. This was a piece of marble, 20 inches long, by 17 or 18 diameter; the surface presented a kind of knots of various forms, and something like wood fibres was visible; even the outline of the trunk was calculated to deceive me. There was an indentation on one side, and a projection on the opposite side, which remained equally inexplicable to myself, and to those who accompanied me. I was only decided by noticing other pieces of schist, lying near, which began to assume the same appearance, but were not yet sufficiently changed to deceive one, and which, on the contrary, enlightened me as to the nature of the piece of marble. It is said that among various kinds of wood the gayac is the one which is most readily petrified, and I was assured that I would see below Mompox a cross, the upper part of which was still of this wood, whilst the lower part was actually flint. Several persons assured me they had drawn sparks from it. When I came to the spot several persons confirmed the report, but added that, six or seven years ago. an unusually high flood had caused the cross to fall into the river." — Page 93.

P. 30. (Note.)

"Here one observes no trace of those vast inundations which have left so many marks in all other countries. I made every effort to find some shell, but always in vain. It seems as if the mountains of Peru had been too high." — Bouguer, (&c.)

P. 41. (Note,) 8th line.

"In our times it has been seen in Italy for the first time."

"It has its origin in the hot countries of America." — Zoologie, Greographique. — Page 74.

P. 41. (Note.)

"Potatoes are indigenous in Guyana." — Zimmerman Zool. Geogr. 26. "The Papa was brought to Mexico from South America, its native country." — 1. Clavigero, 58.

P. 41. (Note.)

"The maize came from America to Spain, and thence to other European countries." "The Spaniards in Europe and in America call the maize maiz, a word derived from the language of Hayti, which was spoken in the island now called Hispaniola, or St. Domingo." — 1. Clavigero, 56. "Maize, a grain granted by Providence to that portion of the globe, instead of the wheat of Europe, the rice of Asia, and the millet of Africa." — 2. Clavig., 218. Acosta classes Indian corn with the plants peculiar to America, observing that it is called "Trigo de las Indias" (Indian wheat) in Spain, and "Grano de Turquia" (Turkey grain) in Italy. He says, " From hence came Indian corn, and why they call this most productive grain in Italian, Turkey grain, is more easily asked than answered. Because, in fact, there is no trace of such a plant in the old world, although the millet, which Pliny says came ten years before he wrote from India to Italy, has some resemblance to maize, inasmuch as he calls it a grain, which grows in stalks, and is covered with leaves, which has at the top a kind of hair, and is remarkably productive — all of which does not apply to mijo, by which they commonly mean millet. After all, the Creator rules all parts of the globe: to one he gave wheat, the principal food of man; to the Indias he gave maize, which holds the second place, next to wheat, as a food for man and beast." — Acosta, iv., 16.

P. 43. (Note.)

Clavigero says: "I do not remember that any American nation has any tradition of elephants, or hippopotami, or other quadrupeds of equal size. I do not know that any of the numerous excavations made in New Spain has brought to light the carcass of a hippopotamus, or even the tooth of an elephant." — 125.

P. 44. (Note.)

2. Epoques, 232. Buffon pronounces it is not the grinder either of the elephant or hippopotamus, but of a species, "the first and the greatest of all land animals now lost."

P. 48. (Note.)

"The earth has (since) remained cold, unable to produce the principles necessary for the development of the germs of the largest quadrupeds, which require for their growth and propagation all the heat and activity which the sun can give to the loving earth." — Xviii. 156. " The temper of men and the size of animals depend upon the salubrity and the heat of the air." — Ib. 160.

P. 49. (Note.)

"All that is colossal and grand in Nature has been formed at the North." — 1. Epoq., 2.55. "It is in our Northern regions that living nature has risen to the largest dimensions." — Ib. 263.

P. 61. (Note.)

"Dogs have in Hispaniola grown so much in number and in size as to become the plague of that island. — Acosta iv., 33.

P. 62. (Text.)

"Although the savage of the new world is nearly of the same height as man in our world, this does not suffice to constitute an exception to the general fact, that all living nature is smaller on that continent. The savage is feeble, and small in some of his parts, and has little hair or beard; although swifter than the European, because better accustomed to run; he is, on the other hand, less strong; he is also less sensitive, and yet more timid and cowardly; he has no vivacity, no activity of mind; the activity of his body is less an exercise, a voluntary motion, than a necessary action caused by want; relieve him of hunger and thirst, and you deprive him of the active principle of all his movements; he will rest stupidly upon his legs, or lying down entire days. There is no need for seeking farther the cause of the isolated mode of life of these savages and their repugnance for society: the most precious spark of the fire of Nature has been refused to them: they have no love for their wives, and consequently no love for their neighbors: as they know not this strongest and tenderest of all affections, their other feelings also are cold and languid; they love their parents and children but little; the closest of all ties, the family connexion, binds them, therefore, but loosely together; between family and family there is no tie at all; hence they have no communion, no Commonwealth, no state of society. Physical love is their only morality; their heart is icy, their society cold, and their rule despotic. They look upon their wives as servants for all work, or as beasts of burden, which they load without consideration with the produce of their hunting, and which they compel without mercy, without gratitude, to perform work which is often beyond their strength. They have only few children, and take little care of them. Everywhere the original defect appears: they are indifferent because they are impotent, and this indifference for the other sex is the fundamental defect, which tarnishes their nature, prevents its development, and destroying the very germs of life, uproots at the same time society. Man is here also no exception to the general rule. Nature, by refusing him the power of love, has treated him worse, and lowered him deeper, than any animal."

P. 63. (Note.)

Amer. Vesp., 13. "Beyond measure sensual." — 108.

P. 63. (Note.)

Amer. Vesp., 30, 31, 39, 75. "Of great strength and lofty mind." — Ib. 78.

P. 64. (Note,) 3d line.

"The conquered Indians are the most cowardly and pusillanimous that can be seen: they excuse themselves, humble themselves to contempt, apologise for their inconsiderate temerity, and by supplication and prayer give the best proof of their want of courage. Either the accounts given in the History of the Conquest, of their great exploits, are a mere figure of speech, or the character of these people is not the same now as it was then; but this is beyond doubt, that the nations of the North enjoy the same liberty they have always had, without ever having been subject to foreign princes, and they live all their life according to their rules and usages, without any reason why they should change their character; and herein they appear the same as those of Peru and of South America, now enslaved or never subjugated."

[And the last line of same note:] "Hard labor destroys them, on account of the inhumanity with which they are treated."

P. 65. (Note.)

"They live a hundred and fifty years." — Amer. Vesp., 111.

P. 60. (Note.)

Amer. Vesp., 13. "Their women are very fertile," &c.

P. 70. (Note.)

"The earth is cold, unable to produce the principles necessary for the development of the germs of the largest quadrupeds, which require, for their growth and propagation, all the heat and activity which the sun can give to the loving earth." — P. 156. "The temper of man and the size of animals depend upon the salubrity and the heat of the air."

[Further on.] "All that is colossal and grand in Nature has been formed in Northern countries." — 1. Epoq., 255. " It is in our Northern regions that living nature has risen to the largest dimensions."— Ib. 263.

P. 72. (Note.)

Amer. Vesp., 115. "Here the sky and the air are seldom darkened by clouds; the days are almost always clear."

P. 79. (Notes.)

See Herrera, Dec. 1, L. 10, chap. 8. "When Yucatan was discovered, an abundance of wax and honey was found." — And ib. ch. 9. " There are found hornets and bees, although the latter are smaller, and sting with more fury." — Dec. 2, L. 3, ch. 1.

See Clavigero, 107. On the frontier of Gruayaquil there are found bees, which accumulate and make honey in the hollows of trees; they are larger than flies; the wax and the honey they make are red, and although it tastes well, it is not the same as in Castille." Herr. 5, 10, 10.

P. 80. (Note.)

"Several Indians have told us that they have seen on the banks of the river Coari, in the up-land, an open plain, flies, and a number of horned animals, objects which they had not seen before, and which prove that the sources of these rivers water a country adjoining the Spanish colonies of Upper Peru."

P. 96. (Note.)

"That there should be devised a way to bring many negroes from Guinea, as the labor of one negro was worth more than that of four Indians." — Herrera, (&c.)


N. B. — In the note to page 62, the Translator allowed himself some slight liberty to avoid indelicate language.

Re: Notes on the State of Virginia, by Thomas Jefferson

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Plates and Topographical Analysis