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Dunmore's (or Cresap's) War

Dunmore's (or Cresap's) War

DUNMORE'S (OR CRESAP'S) WAR. 1774. The spread of white settlement into the Ohio Valley after the end of the final French and Indian War led in 1774 to the outbreak of a full-scale war. Chronic tensions were inflamed by a series of atrocities committed by white settlers. On 27 April, Captain Michael Cresap's party killed one Indian and captured another at Logan's Camp, also known as Baker's Cabin, thirty-five miles west of Pittsburgh near the junction of Yellow Creek and the Ohio River. Three days later, Daniel Greathouse lured a group of Indians into an "entertainment" and then murdered six of them. The Mingo chief Logan, heretofore a friend of the whites, lost a brother and a sister in what came to be known as the Baker's Cabin Massacre. He and two dozen warriors raided western Pennsylvania and took thirteen white scalps in retaliation. Although this revenge satisfied him, the Shawnees went to war. Captain John Connolly, commander of Fort Pitt (as well as the agent of Virginia's royal governor, John Murray, the earl of Dunmore), began retaliating against Indians in the vicinity in response to their recent attacks against settlers.

On 10 June Dunmore called out the militia of southwest Virginia. He seemed to welcome hostilities between whites and Indians as a diversion from the long-standing conflict between Pennsylvania and Virginia interests in this disputed territory. Early in August, Major Angus McDonald raided Shawnee villages on the Muskingum River (100 miles from Pittsburgh). The next month Dunmore started down the Ohio River with almost two thousand militia and ordered Colonel Andrew Lewis to lead another column of over a thousand militia down the Kanawha River to join forces with him deep in Indian territory. The Shawnee chief Cornstalk mobilized a thousand Shawnee, Miami, Wyandot (Huron), and Ottawa to attack Lewis before Dunmore was within supporting distance. The Indians were defeated after several hours of intense fighting in a major engagement on 10 October at the mouth of the Kanawha near Point Pleasant. Indian resistance collapsed, and the two columns linked up near the site of modern Chillicothe, Ohio. Despite Logan's refusal to join in the peace talks, Cornstalk met with Dunmore and hostilities ended. The tribes agreed to give up all lands east and south of the Ohio, the first time Indians in the Ohio Valley relinquished some of their land.

SEE ALSO Chillicothe, Ohio; Cornstalk; Cresap, Michael; Logan; Murray, John.


Brand, Irene B. "Dunmore's War." West Virginia History 40, no. 4 (fall 1978): 28-46.

Hoyt, William D., Jr. "Colonel William Fleming in Dunmore's War, 1774." West Virginia History 3, no. 2 (January 1942): 99-119.

Kerby, Robert L. "The Other War in 1774: Dunmore's War." West Virginia History 36, no. 4 (October 1974): 1-16.

Thwaites, Reuben G., and Louise P. Kellogg, eds. Documentary History of Dunmore's War, 1774. Madison: State Historical Society of Wisconsin, 1905.

                          revised by Harold E. Selesky

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