The Battle of Point Pleasant

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The Treaty of Fort Pitt and the Proclamation of 1763 both required that the Allegany Mountains be the dividing line between the colonists and the Indians. There were numerous cases where the treaty was violated.

George Washington was one of many land speculators who surveyed the Indian side of the Allegany Mountains. In 1767 he surveyed 10,000 acres of Ohio territory.

Pierre Louise Lorimer de la Riviere (Peter Loramie) built a trading post in 1769 at the mouth of the Loramie River. Loramie was French Canadian and an ally to the Indians, did not like either British of Americans. He aided the Indians in the raids against white settlers in the Ohio area. He supposedly spoke 22 different Indian languages.

In 1772 David Leisburger established a town and mission near the present location of Schoenbrunn, Ohio. A second mission was formed in the same year near present day Gnadenhutten.

In 1774 a group of whites met with Chief Logan of the Mingo to trade whiskey. Logan and his Mingos were known to be peaceful toward Europeans. After some serious drinking, a fight broke out and the whites killed several Indians including members of Chief Logan's family.

Logan and his warriors went on a rampage against any whites they encountered. He supposedly killed in excess of 50 whites himself. Wyandotte and Shawnee who were friendly to him and sympathetic to his cause joined him in his efforts.

Virginia Governor John Murray (known as Lord Dunmore) called up the militia to put down the Indian uprising. Dunmore led 1,400 troops into the Ohio territory. 1,000 Indian warriors led by the Shawnee Chief Cornstalk prepared to drive him out.

The two armies met in the Battle of Point Pleasant, sometimes called Lord Dunmore's War. Cornstalk's army surprised Dunmore in the early morning hours of October 10, 1774. The Indian plan was a good one; they had cornered the British army at the junction of the Ohio River and a tributary, the Great Kanawha River. The Indians advanced while the whites had their backs to the water and were rapidly losing ground. The Indian army undoubtedly would have been victorious, but Cornstalk's scouts got word to him that Andrew Lewis was leading an army of 1,000 to rescue Dunmore.

Cornstalk ordered a planned retreat and the Indians escaped into the Ohio wilderness. Many historians count the battle as a victory for the British, but the white casualties out numbered those of the Indians nearly five to one. There were 75 whites killed, including half their officers, and 140 others were wounded. The combined Indian force lost 22 warriors with 18 injuries. Unfortunately the Shawnee leader Pucksinwah was among the dead.

After the battle, a meeting was called near the present site of Circleville, Ohio to talk peace. Logan refused to attend and instead delivered a speech referred to as "Logan's Lament."

"I appeal to any white man to say, if ever he entered Logan's cabin hungry, and he gave him not meat; if ever he came cold and naked, and he clothed him not. During the course of the last long and bloody war [the French and Indian War, 1755-1763], Logan remained idle in his cabin, an advocate for peace. Such was my love for the whites, that my countrymen pointed as they passed, and said, "Logan is the friend of white men." I had even thought to have lived with you, but for the injuries of one man. Col. Cresap, the last spring, 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. This called on me for revenge. I have sought it: I have killed many: I have fully glutted my vengeance. For my country, I rejoice at the beams of peace. But do not harbour 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."

The essence of this speech was delivered to Dunmore at the treaty talks.

As a result of the Camp Charlotte agreement, the British and Indians agreed to maintain the east-west border set forth by the Proclamation of 1763 and the Indians promised to stop harassing settlers on the frontier and travelers on the Ohio River.

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