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Indian Heroes And Sages
by [?]

The Ohio Indians were of almost as mixed origin as the white people of Ohio, and if they had qualities beyond those of any other group of American savages, it was from much the same causes which have given the Ohioans of our day distinction as citizens. They made the Ohio country their home by a series of chances, and they defended it against the French, the English, and Americans in turn, because it had bounds which seemed to form the natural frontier between them and the Europeans.

It is now believed that before the coming of our race there was a balance of power between those two great North American nations, the Iroquois and the Algonquins, and that our wars and intrigues destroyed this balance, which was never restored, and put an end to all hope of advance in the native race. Whether this is true or not, it is certain that the hostilities between the tribes raged down to our day, and that these seem to have continued if not begun through one family, the Algonquins, siding with the French, and the other family, the Iroquois, siding with the English. The Algonquins were most powerful in New England and Canada, and the Iroquois in New York. Their struggle ended in the overthrow of the Algonquins in the regions bordering on the English colonies, where, as has been told, a great branch of that people who called themselves the Lenni-lenape, and whom we called the Delawares, dwelt in a sort of vassalage to the Iroquois.

In Ohio, however, these families, so long broken elsewhere by their feuds, united in a common fear and hate of the white men. Many of the Ohio Indians were Delawares, but the Miamis were Iroquois, while the Wyandots again were Hurons, one of the finest and ablest of the Iroquois nation. They ceased to make war upon each other, and in their union the strongest traits of both were blended. Their character appears at its’ best, I think, in Tecaughretanego, the adoptive brother of James Smith, and in the great Mingo chief, Logan.

Of Tecaughretanego, his unselfishness, his piety, his common sense, his wisdom, we already know something from Smith’s narrative, which I wish every boy and girl might read; and of Logan’s noble spirit we have had a glimpse in the story of Kenton’s captivity. He was the son of Shikellimy, a Cayuga chief who lived at Shamokin, Pennsylvania, and who named him after James Logan, the Secretary of the Province. Shikellimy was a convert of the Moravian preachers, and it is thought that Logan himself was baptized in the Christian faith. He spent the greater portion of his early life in Pennsylvania, and he took no part in the war between the French and English, except to do what he could for peace. When he came to Ohio, he dwelt for a time at Mingo Bottom in Jefferson County, the rendezvous of the assassins who marched against Gnadenhiitten under Williamson, and of the assassins who were beaten back from Sandusky under Crawford. Here, as before, Logan was the friend of the white man, and it was not till the murder of his father, brother, and sister, cried to him for vengeance, that he made war upon them.

His kindred were of a small party of Indians whom some Virginians lured across the Ohio near the mouth of Yellow Creek in 1774. On the Virginia side the murderers made three of the Indians drunk and tomahawked them, and when they had tricked the others into discharging their guns at a mark, and so had them defenseless, they ruthlessly shot them down. Logan’s sister, who was the only woman in the party, tried to escape, but a bullet cut short her flight, and she died praying her murderers to have mercy on the babe she held in her arms. They spared it, and he who tells the cruel tale saw it the next day in his own mother’s arms smiling up into her face, while she fed and fondled it.