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LOGAN ELM, PICKAWAY COUNTY, OHIO
Circumference 3 feet from ground 21 ft., 6 in.
Length of west limb 62 ft., 6 in.
LOGAN AND THE LOGAN LEM *
BY DR. HOWARD JONES
I have been asked to tell you something about this piece of land upon which we have assembled today and what this meeting commemorates. This is easy and yet difficult; easy because the subject is replete with interesting history; difficult because the time allotted is too short to treat the subject in a very comprehensive or even an understandable manner.
It was in 1911 that I made the proposal to Mrs. Wallace to purchase this site and give it to the State of Ohio as a public park to memorialize the name and fame of a great Indian and to protect the giant elm which bears his name as long as it may live. For nearly one hundred years this land was owned by some member of the Boggs family. Major John Boggs obtained a title for it in the year 1798, this being the date he came here with his father, Captain John Boggs from Wheeling, Virginia. John Boggs, Sr., moved to Wheeling from Pennsylvania in 1771 and he was familiar with the events of the Dunmore war. He knew personally many of the men who were here and at Camp Charlotte at the time of the treaty and John Boggs, Jr., received from his father the historical facts which cling to this day about this land and elm. Major John Boggs was the father of James Boggs and he built the brick house, which you can see across the field, in the year 1816 and he died there in 1862. He told his son James of the events connected with his land, and James, who died in 1888, left to this generation the words of his grandfather. Since 1798 the tree has been protected by some member of the Boggs family. A fence was built around it many years ago, and the pioneers as well as succeeding generations called the tree “The Logan Elm.”
* An address delivered under the branches of the Logan Elm, October 2, 1922.
After the death of James Boggs the land passed by sale to Mrs. Wallace of Chillicothe, and later she sold four and six-tenths acres now known as Logan Elm Park, to Mrs. Howard Jones and myself, with the understanding that the traditions of the spot be preserved by the final presentation of the land to the State of Ohio. Miss Elizabeth Ruggles of Circleville furnished the money for the purchase. It was mutually understood that the land, the tree and the Boggs monument were to be held in perpetuity by the State as a memorial to Logan, the Mingo Chief, and his famous speech, while at the same time preserving the elm as long as it
Mrs. Howard Jones and myself deeded the land obtained from Mrs. Wallace and paid for by Miss Ruggles, to the Ohio State Archæological Society according to arrangement. The deed transferring the land to the State says in part: “It is understood between the parties hereto that the said conveyance is for the purpose of preserving the said real estate herein conveyed to the State of Ohio and the citizens thereof as an historical site, and it is mutually agreed between the parties hereto, * * * if at any time hereafter the land should not be so preserved or used for any other purpose than the aforesaid, then the grantors shall have the right” *** to purchase it back at the sale price of $1.00 paid by the State.
As one of the parties to the conveyance, and having personally talked freely with the representatives of the Archæological Society at the time of the acceptance of the land by said Society, I know there was no misunderstanding or doubt for what historical purpose the land was being preserved. Unfortunately the deed is not as specific as it might have been, and yet it is specific enough, because it is evident that the land was not given to memorialize some person or some event never alluded to by any of the parties to the transaction. Since accepting the land the State has done somewhat to improve and beautify the place and also somewhat to mar and divert the use to which it was dedicated.
Undoubtedly there should be a monument to Cornstalk, the intelligent chief of the Shawnees, who lived on Scippo creek a few hundred yards east of the Circleville and Columbus pike. Also one to his sister, the Grenadier Squaw, who controlled her tribe with ability in the village on the opposite side of the creek. At Camp Charlotte, where Lord Dunmore and his army camped, there should also be a marker, for the treaty of peace signed by him and the Indians is an historical event of the first magnitude.
But this particular site upon which we stand should memorialize none of these men or events. It was set aside solely to the memory of Logan and his speech. The efforts of interested citizens of Pickaway and Ross counties have provided a suitable monument for this park. A monument in granite and bronze, where the cameo of the Logan Elm and a profile of Logan, together with his speech to Lord Dunmore will endure for centuries to come.
History, like science, should consist of a record of events and facts. Unfortunately, history is more human than science and hence less dependable. The history of the early days of this Ohio country we all know, as it has been compiled by the white man. From these histories we read that the white man had many virtues and few vices. How different would be a history of those early times if written by the Indian! The vocabulary of the Indian was very limited. He never had a written language. He was a speaker of power, using gestures to emphasize his few but well chosen words. All authorities agree he was a convincing and logical speaker. I wish I had the time to repeat to you some of the numerous speeches made by Indian Chiefs at the treaty councils. I wish I were able to write the history of the winning of this country from the viewpoint of an Indian. I believe it might do the white man good to read such an history. We have been educated since childhood to believe that the Indian was a treacherous SAVAGE spelled in red capitals. But let me tell you and insist upon it, that the Indian of this Ohio country, the Indian of the Pickaway Plains, was a very intelligent human being. His virtues were those of his environment and his necessities. His crimes and vices were those of the human race since history began to record them to the present day at Herrin, Illinois. He knew how to torture and finally sell the scalps to the gentlemanly Englishman Hamilton, at Detroit. He knew how to ambush his antagonists and he knew so well the mind of the white men that he often cheated the wily Englishman, Frenchman and Virginian, some of whom were undoubtedly familiar with all the tricks and sharp practices which sent them to Newgate. But granting all the charges made against him by the white man, he has