RailsandTrails.com - Texts - 1854 Ohio Railroad Guide

  London to Franklinton  

LONDON, 94 miles from Cincinnati, and 24 miles from Columbus, is the county seat of Madison county. On the next page is a view of the depot, and station house. Before we reach here, we cross a little stream, which deserves to be mentioned, because it is one of the sources of Deer Creek, a tributary of the Scioto, which it joins about seven miles above Chillicothe. The valley of Deer Creek is very fertile, and its bottoms produce an immense quantity of corn.

London, Madison Co.

London is a small town of, perhaps, 500 inhabitants. The country here has the same general charteristics we have described. Madison county, of which it is the seat of justice, is not very populous; nor can it be, till the lands are subdivided. Being a grazing country, the farms are of great size; many of them being a thousand acres, and upwards. Cattle are here the leading product. Of these upwards of 20,000 are owned in the county; and in the grazing season, many more are pastured. The young cattle are bought by the Braziers in Illinois, Missouri, and the far west; and they are pastured and fed on the stock farms of the Scioto, and its tributaries. These broad champaign lands afford the pasture, and the corn crops of the Scioto, Paint, Darby and Deer Creek, the corn for fattening. Feeding cattle in Ohio is a lucrative branch of farming.

SPRINGFIELD AND LONDON RAILROAD, 19 miles to Springfield. At this point, the Springfield Railroad intersects the Xenia and Columbus R. R. This link unites several important lines. It makes a connection between Springfield and Columbus 43 miles, and at Springfield it connects with the Mad River and Lake Erie R. R., which northwardly proceeds to Sandusky, and southwardly to Dayton. At Dayton the connection is made via the Greenville and Indianapolis line, with Central Indiana, via the Western R. R., and the Central Indiana R. R., with Richmond and Indianapolis; and via the Cincinnati, Hamilton, and Dayton, with Cincinnati. This short link is, therefore, both convenient and important.

Bridge over Big Darby on C. and X. R.R.

BRIDGE OVER BIG DARBY CREEK, near West Jefferson. A plate of the Bridge and Creek may be seen on the opposite page. It is unfortunate for travelers that they see very little of the scenery represented in the plates, while they are in the cars. One must be below, in the valleys of streams, on the sides of hills, and under the bridges, to see the real scenery of the country, and enjoy it. The general aspect of the country, however green and rich, at certain seasons, is tame and monotonous ; yet along the bank of Darby may be found some beautiful scenery.

DARBY CREEK, we must beg leave to bring more distinctly to your notice, and revive, O! Traveler, some of your historical recollections. Historical recollections, in this new country? you will say. Yes! and old recollections too of by gone times, and memorable men. Let us walk a little together, by the bank of Darby. About thirty miles below this, Darby creek flows into the Scioto, nearly opposite the town of Circleville. Below the mouth of Darby, on the Scioto, the country is called the Darby Plains, broad, fertile, beautiful lands. On the Darby plains, four miles below Darby, where now is the village of West Fall, stood one of the Shawnee towns called "Old Chillicothe." And there stood the cabin of LOGAN. Have I not awakened your curiosity? In America, who has not heard of Logan ? With nothing but his character to sustain him, he has made an immortal name, amidst the renowned of the earth. He was one of nature's noblemen, and has taken a place, which no factitious rank could have conferred. " But who," some stranger may say, " was Logan?" Let us pause awhile to hear the story of Logan. He was a Mingo Chief, and is thus described by John Heckewelder, the Moravian Missionary.

"LOGAN was the second son of SHIKELLAMUS, a celebrated chief of the Cayuga nation. This chief had a strong attachment to the English Government, and having the confidence of the Six Nations, was very useful in settling disputes, &c. His residence was at Shamokin, where he took great delight in acts of hospitality towards the whites. He was visited in 1742, at his residence, by Count Zinzendorf, to whom his name and fame were made known.

In 1772, says Heckewelder, "Logan was introduced to me by an Indian friend, as a son of the late chief Shikellamus. In the course of conversation, I thought him a man of superior talents to the Indians generally. The subject turning on vice and immorality, he confessed his too great share of it, especially a fondness for liquor. He censured the whites for imposing liquor on the Indians, but admired their ingenuity; spoke of gentlemen, but observed, the Indians unfortunately had too few of them for neighbors; spoke of his friendship for the whites, and intention to settle on the Ohio, below Big Beaver; and invited me to visit him. I was then living at the Moravian Towns. In April, 1773, while on my passage down the Ohio, from the Muskingum, I called at Logan's settlement, where I received every civility I could expect from such of the family as were at home."

At this time, Logan was living at or near Yellow Creek, Ohio. In the following year, (spring of 1774) according to the testimony of Ebenezer Zane, a Captain Michael Cresap attacked and killed two Indians. The next day, Cresap and Greathouse, with a party of men, fell upon and killed another party of Indians, at Grave Creek, below Wheeling. Within a few days after, Greathouse's party killed other Indians at Yellow Creek. In these several unprovoked murders, the brother, sister, and all the family of Logan were killed; so that this friend of the whites was left alone in the world, with all kindred cut off, by those who should have been his protectors.

With such provocations and such barbarous cruelty on the part of his dearest friends, was it strange the red warrior felt the spirit of vengeance ? The last affair had taken place on the 24th of May, 1774 ; and on the 12th of July, Logan, with a few warriors, had reached the settlement of the Monongahela; where his first attack was on three men pulling flax in a field. One was shot, and the two others taken. These two-one of whom was a Mr. Robinson were taken to the Indian Town, where, according to the usages of the Indians, they would have to run the gauntlet, and then be burned, if not adopted into some Indian family. But Logan delighted not in torture. In the most friendly spirit he told Robinson how to escape the severities of the gauntlet. At last, however, he was tied to a stake, and would have been burned; but Logan insisted on his being adopted, cut the cords with his own hands, put a belt of wampum upon him, and pointed out an old woman, who was henceforth to be his aunt. Re was adopted instead of a warrior, killed at Yellow Creek. These events gave rise to a most terrible Indian war, which was finally terminated, by a decisive battle at Point Pleasant, mouth of the Kenhawa. There, the Shawanese, Mingoes and Delawares, were defeated by the Virginia militia. The Indians sued for peace. But LGGAN disdained to be among the suppliants. But-lest the sincerity of the treaty should be doubted-when so distinguished a chief was absent, he sent to Lord Dunmore his celebrated speech. The genuineness of this speech has been fully established by the most abundant testimony. It was delivered (according to Judge Gibson of Pittsburgh), in the fall of 1774, when Dunmore's army had reached within fifteen miles of " Old Chillicothe," (now Westfall) where Logan then lived. A flag came out to request an interview with some one, sent in by Dunmore. Gibson, who could speak three languages, went in, and to him Logan delivered his speech for Lord Dunmore. It was delivered, after shedding many tears -a proof of the depth of feeling with which it was attended. It was so remarkable, as to strike everybody; and was immediately published in the American Colonies, and throughout Europe. It became the theme of wonder, and the exercise of schools in eloquence ; and has ever since been perpetuated as an example of oratory for youth. The correct edition of his speech is the following:

"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, 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 in juries of one man. Colonel Cresap, the last spring, in cold blood, and unprovoked, murdered all the relations of Logan, not even sparing 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 glutted my vengeance. For my country, I rejoice in the beams of peace. But do not harbor 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 authenticity of this speech is proved, as I have said, by the testimony of Gibson to the delivery of it, and by abundance of other testimony to all the material facts.

The close of Logan's life does not seem to be known with certainty. The Indians reported, says Heckewelder, that after the peace, he fell into a deep melancholy. "Life," he said, "had become a torment to him, and he knew no more what pleasure was; and he thought he had better never have existed." The single expression, "Who is there to mourn for Logan ?" carries with it the very depth of melancholy. Nor is it strange. The heart of the poor Indian was as tender as other hearts -- and by fell murder, wife, children, and friends were taken from him forever. Who was there to mourn for Logan? The Indians said he became delirious, and went to Detroit, drank freely, and was murdered between that place and Miami. This story, however, is doubtful. In the "American Pioneer," it is said that he died of disease, in " Old Chillicothe,"-on the very spot where he delivered his renowned speech.

And now we must return up the Darby. The cars are flying fast. These broad plains will soon be gone, and Logan and his memory be effaced from our minds. Very near where we are now, lived JONATHAN ALDER, who was brought up entirely among the Indians. He was captured in 1782, near Greenbriar, Va., and was saved only by the circumstance of his having black hair, which induced his Indian captor to think he would make a very good Indian. He was adopted into the family of an Indian chief of the Mingo tribe, who had lost a son in battle.

Jonathan lived with Mary-a daughter of the chief-who had become the wife of Col. Lewis, another chief. He says they treated him with the utmost kindness, and exclaims, "Oh! never have I, nor can I express the affection I had for these two persons." Of their mode of living, he says, " I would have lived very happy, if I could have had my health; but for three or four years, I was subject to very severe attacks of fever and ague. Their diet went very hard with me for a long time. Their chief living was meat and hominy; but we rarely had bread, and very little salt, which was extremely scarce and dear, as well as milk and butter. Honey and sugar were plenty, and used a great deal in their cooking, as well as on their food.

Alder was with the Indians at the time of Crawford's defeat, and at the Mackachack towns, when destroyed by Logan ; and remained with the Indians till after Wayne's victory in 1795. When he grew up, he took a squaw for wife, and lived on Darby creek. When the settlers began to come there, he learned to speak English, and soon began to farm like the whites. He kept hogs, cows, and horses, sold milk and butter to the Indians, and accumulated property. Finally, Alder found, from some of the settlers, where his mother and brothers lived; returned to them, and like Joseph, made himself known. At last, he separated from his Indian wife, and henceforth lived like the whites.

In Alder, we see a strong illustration of the differences in races, as to habits and modes of life. The moment Alder -- who was nothing but an Indian in his education -- saw the white settlers farming and cultivating the soil, he did the same, and accumulated property by industry. The Indians might have done the same. Why did they not ? This is the precise difference. If the Indians had even been able or willing to cultivate the soil, they would have been civilized. But they did not. We cannot account for these things, -unless there is some secret instinct, which, by impelling them to different families and tribes, impels them also to different destinies.

FRANKLINTON, 118 miles from Cincinnati, and opposite Columbus. This now old village, was laid out many years before Columbus; but, as you see, is on low ground, and by no means so well adapted for a town. It was laid out in August, 1797, by Lucas Sullivant, and was the first settlement in the county. For several years, there was no mill or post office nearer than Chillicothe, about 45 miles. In the first years of its settlement, it was like all other new places-especially on very rich soil extremely sickly, with the fever and ague. But with the cultivation of the land, and the better mode of living, the disease gradually disappeared; and the site of Columbus and the adjacent country is now quite healthy.