Drayton's Gazette discusses social and political issues happening around the globe through the eyes of the African American, minority and disaffected communities.

Chief Logan’s Lament

 

                                         

Chief Logan is one of the most famous Mingo, Native American, leaders.  While he was by some accounts a War Chief it is undisputed that he was a village leader of great regard.  He encouraged and maintained a good relations with the neighoring white settlers. However in 1774 white settlers murdered Chief Logan’s family. Local chiefs counseled restraint, but acknowledged Logan’s right to revenge. Logan exacted his vengeance in a series of raids with a dozen followers, not all of whom were Mingos. His however did not  in the resulting Lord Dunsmore War which was fought between the Virginia Militia and the Shawnee and Mingotribes along the Ohio River near Point Pleasant. Most believe that Chief Logan was not at the Battle of Kanawha, which was  later to be called the Battle of Point Pleasant.  The tribes were attempting to halt the advancement of settlers into their Ohio lands. They were not successful. The Govenor of Virgina, Lord Dunsmore,  and a second force marched into Ohio and forced Shawnee Chief Cornstalk who was the leader of the warring tribes to accept a peace treaty. Rather than participate in the peace conference, he expressed his thoughts in “Logan’s Lament.”

By 1830, the Mingo were flourishing in western Ohio, where they had improved their farms and established schools and other civic institutions. After the US passed the Indian Removal Act in that same year, the government pressured the Mingo to sell their lands and migrate to Kansas in 1832. In Kansas, the Mingo joined other Seneca and Cayuga bands, and the tribes shared the Neosho Reservation.

In 1869, after the American Civil War, the US government pressed for Indian removal to Indian Territory (present-day Oklahoma). The three tribes moved to present-day Ottawa County, Oklahoma. In 1881, a band of Cayuga from Canada joined the Seneca Tribe in Indian Territory. In 1902, shortly before Oklahoma became a state, 372 members of the joint tribe received individual land allotments under a federal program to decrease common tribal land holdings and encourage assimilation to the European-American model.

In 1937 after the Oklahoma Indian Welfare Act, the tribes reorganized. They identified as the Seneca-Cayuga Tribe of Oklahoma and became federally recognized. Today, the tribe numbers over 5,000 members. They continued to maintain cultural and religious ties to the Six Nations of the Iroquois.

 

                                                                             Chief Logan’s lament

I appeal to any white man to say if he ever entered Logan’s cabin hungry, and he gave him not meat; if he ever came cold and naked and he clothed him not. During the course of the last long and bloody war, Logan remained idle in his cabin, an advocate for peace.

Such was my love for the whites, that my countrymen pointed as I passed, and said, “Logan is a friend of the white man.” I have even thought to live with you but for the injuries of one man, Colonel Cresap, who last spring in cold blood and unprovoked murdered the relatives of Logan, not even sparing his wife and children.

There runs not a drop of my blood in the veins of any living creature. This has called on me for revenge. I have sought it; I have killed many; I have fully glutted my vengeance. For my country, I rejoice in the beams of peace.

But do not harbor a thought that mine is the joy of fear. Logan never felt fear. He will not turn on his heel to save his life. Who is there to mourn for Logan? Not one.

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