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JOHN LOGAN (c. 1725-1780)

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Originally appearing in Volume V16, Page 866 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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JOHN LOGAN (c. 1725-1780), also known as TAHGAHJUTE, American Indian chief, a Cayuga by birth, was the son of Shikellamy, a white man who had been captured when a child by the Indians, had been reared among them, and had become chief of the Indians living on the Shamokin Creek in what is now Northumberland county, Pennsylvania. The name Logan was given to the son in honour of James Logan (1674—1751), secretary of William Penn and a steadfast friend of the Indians. John Logan lived for some time near Reedsville, Penn., and removed to the banks of the Ohio river about 1770. He was not technically a chief, but acquired great influence among the Shawnees, into which tribe he married. He was on good terms with the whites until April 1774, when, friction having arisen between the Indians and the whites, a band of marauders, led by one Great-house, attacked and murdered several Indians, including, it appears, Logan's sister and possibly one or more other relatives. Believing that Captain Michael Cresap was responsible for this murder, Logan sent him a declaration of hostilities, the result of which was the bloody conflict known as Lord Dunmore's War. Logan refused to join the Shawnee chief, Cornstalk, in meeting Governor Dunmore in a peace council after the battle of Point Pleasant, but sent him a message which has become famous as an example of Indian eloquence. The message seems to have been given by Logan to Colonel John Gibson, by whom it was delivered to Lord Dunmore. Thomas Jefferson first called general attention to it in his Notes on Virginia (1787), where he quoted it and added: " I may challenge the whole orations of Demosthenes and Cicero, and of any more eminent orator, if Europe has furnished more eminent, to produce a single passage superior to it." Logan became a victim of drink, and in 178o was killed near Lake Erie by his nephew whom he had attacked. There is a monument to him in Fair Hill Cemetery, near Auburn, New York. Brantz Mayer's Tahgahjute, or Logan the Indian and Captain Michael Cresap (Baltimore, 1851, and ed., Albany, 1867) defends Captain Cresap against Jefferson's charges, and also questions the authenticity of Logan's message, about which there has been considerable controversy, though its actual wording seems to be that of Gibson rather than of Logan.
End of Article: JOHN LOGAN (c. 1725-1780)
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