Finding common ground for Native Americans


GREENVILLE — Winston Churchill stated, “History is written by the victors”. That statement might be applied to the last 500 years of history in the “New World”. We were taught as children that Europeans discovered America in 1492. Obviously, that infers the “Indigenous people” of America did not exist.

Someone else stated it better, “History is written by those skilled at documentation. Both these statements are relevant and illustrate why Native Americans have been underestimated and disrespected by the white invaders of North America.

Fort Jefferson was named after Thomas Jefferson because of the admiration General St. Clair had for the then distinguished secretary of state who would later be elected president of the United States.

Thomas Jefferson recognized the intelligence of Native Americans and praised the following speech of Chief Logan as an example of one of the most eloquent speeches ever made. We are lucky that John Gibson was available to record the speech.

Logans Lament

“I appeal to any white man to say, if ever he entered Logan’s cabin hungry, and he gave them not meat; if ever he came cold and naked, and he clothed him not. During the course of the long last bloody war, Logan remained idle in his cabin, an advocate for peace. Such was my love for the whites that my countryman pointed as they passed, and said, ‘Logan is the friend of the white man.’ I had even thought to have lived with you, but for the injuries of one man, Colonel Cressap, who last spring, in cold blood and unprovoked, murdered all 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 fully glutted my vengeance. For my countrymen I rejoice at 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.”

Unfortunately, thoughts and speeches made by Native Americans were not generally recorded. Friends of Fort Jefferson (FOFJ) has researched and found several written accounts of Native Americans that tell the red man’s side of the conflict in the New World (as white men call it). We will be sharing these stories in future articles. If the Darke County Parks could find the money to purchase the 17-acre farm which is part of the Fort Jefferson area south of the present six-acre park, maybe someday we could have an interpretation center that could tell the correct history of the Ohio Wars. It is the contention of FOFJ that the Revolutionary War was not over until the War of 1812. During a seven-year period, Fort Jefferson ultimately saw the impact of four completely different United States Armies formed to add great importance to the credibility of the then infant United States government. Our motto is “Remember Fort Jefferson”.

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