Michael Cresap

From Ohio History Central

Michael Cresap was a frontiersman born in Maryland on April 17, 1742. He spent part of his adult years in the Ohio Country as a trader and land developer. He led several raids against American Indians, whom he believed were hostile to white settlement and increasingly violent encroachment onto and forcible seizure of American Indian lands. Logan, a prominent Seneca-Cayuga leader, accused Cresap of murdering his family. Cresap did not happen to be involved in this particular instance of brutality; but he was immortalized in Logan's speech (known as "Logan's Lament" and quoted in Thomas Jefferson's Notes on the State of Virginia) as the murderer of Logan's family.

As a result of the murders, Logan waged war on the settlements along the Ohio River and in western Pennsylvania, killing more than a dozen men women and children. John Murray, Lord Dunmore, raised an army, and appointed Cresap to the rank of captain. The decisive battle of Lord Dunmore's War was the Battle of Point Pleasant. Here Dunmore's forces defeated a group of Shawnee lead by Hokolesqua, or "Cornstalk."

After Lord Dunmore's War, Cresap returned to Maryland and subsequently raised a company of riflemen for the Continental Army during the American Revolution. George Washington commissioned him a colonel. He died in the service of the army on October 18, 1775.

See Also


  1. Hurt, R. Douglas. The Ohio Frontier: Crucible of the Old Northwest, 1720-1830. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1996.
  2. Jacob, John J. A Biographical Sketch of the Life of the Late Captain Michael Cresap. Cumberland, MD: J.M. Buchanan, 1826.
  3. Jefferson, Thomas. Notes on the State of Virginia. Boston, MA: Printed by H. Sprague, 1802.
  4. Mayer, Brantz. Tah-gah-jute, or, Logan and Cresap: An Historical Essay. Albany, NY: J. Munsell, 1867.
  5. Sawvel, Franklin B. Logan the Mingo. Boston, MA: R. G. Badger, 1921.
  6. Thwaites, Reuben Gold, and Luise Phelps Kellogg. Documentary History of Dunmore's War, 1774. Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Pub. Co., Inc., 2002.