Logan's Lament

From Ohio History Central
Revision as of 18:11, 27 April 2013 by (Talk)

Chief Logan.jpg
Photographic reproduction of a print depicting James Logan (1725-1780), a chief of the Mingo tribe. Logan initially encouraged his people not to attack whites who settled in the Ohio country. After family members were killed by settlers in 1774, he wanted to avenge their deaths and began raiding villages in what is now western Pennsylvania. While his allies the Shawnee attempted to make peace with the settlers, Logan continued to fight until his death around 1780.

Logan was a leader of the Mingo Indians. He was a war leader but often urged his fellow natives not to attack whites settling in the Ohio Country. His attitude changed on May 3, 1774, when a group of Virginia settlers murdered approximately one dozen Mingos. Among them were Logan's mother and sister. Logan demanded that the Mingos and their allies, principally the Shawnee Indians, take revenge for the deaths of his loved ones. Cornstalk, one of the important leaders of the Shawnees, still called for peace, but Logan ignored him. He conducted raids in western Pennsylvania, killing thirteen whites in retaliation for the Mingos' deaths. His attacks resulted in Lord Dunmore's War.

The English eventually defeated the natives, and the two sides met near Chillicothe to determine peace terms. Logan refused to attend but did send a speech known as "Logan's Lament." Simon Girty, an Englishman kidnapped by the natives and then raised as one of their own, may have read it at the conference. It became one of the most famous speeches by a Native American in American history.

Logan spent the remainder of his life trying to prevent white settlers from moving into the Ohio Country. During the American Revolution, he continued to raid white settlements in Pennsylvania. Most accounts describe Logan as becoming despondent and turning to alcohol after his family's murder. He probably died around 1780.

Logan's Indian name continues to be the subject of some dispute. He has been identified over the past two centuries as Tah-ga-jute, Tachnechdorus, Soyechtowa, Tocaniodoragon and Talgayeeta.