April 30, 1774: Family of Chief Logan Slaughtered in Hancock County

Chief Logan Statue at Chief Logan State Park.

On April 30, 1774, one of the worst atrocities of the frontier era occurred in present-day Hancock County. A band of frontiersmen led by Daniel Greathouse slaughtered a group of Indians, including the family of Logan. Logan was chief of the Mingo Indians, a multi-tribal confederation allied to the Six Nations. During the four years he’d lived in the area, he had consistently tried to maintain peace.

After the murder of his family, though, Logan went on the warpath. He led raids throughout the upper Ohio Valley and into the Monongahela Valley. Shawnee and Delaware tribes then attacked settlements along the Ohio River. The summer of 1774 was one of the bloodiest on record in western Virginia.

In response to the violence, Virginia Governor Lord Dunmore launched a two-pronged assault. Dunmore’s War came to a head at the Battle of Point Pleasant, where, that October, Virginia militia defeated Shawnee warriors.

Logan skipped the subsequent peace negotiations but delivered to John Gibson a famous speech that was later quoted by Thomas Jefferson. In it, Logan grieved for his family and asked poignant, lingering questions about the treatment of Indians.