The Logan Elm, about six miles from Circleville, with five acres of park surrounding it, is now the property of the Ohio Historical and Archaeological Society, having been transferred to that organization by the Pickaway Historical Association on October 2, 1912. It is altogether proper that this historic tree and ground should become the property of Ohio so that every person in our commonwealth may feel a proprietary interest in this spot and all that it means.
We have traveled far on the pathway of civilization since the day when the Chief of the Mingoes made this spot memorable by his native eloquence, but we do well to look back, now and again, to these landmarks so as to catch a view of the road over which we have come. Such a view gives us courage and spirit for the journey that lies before us for we are made to feel that since we have done this much we shall be able to do even more and better.
In his historical collections Howe says of the speech of Logan: "It was repeated throughout the North American Colonies as a lesson of eloquence in the schools, and copied upon the pages of literary journals in Great Britain and the Continent. This brief effusion of mingled pride, courage and sorrow, elevated the character of the native American throughout the intelligent world; and the place where it was delivered can never be forgotten so long as touching eloquence is admired by men."
This being true, it is quite fitting that the schools shall place this speech in the category of eloquence and give the children to know that real eloquence is the expression of deep and sincere emotion. The Logan Elm remains to us the visible symbol of an example of this sort of eloquence and our celebration of Arbor Day will be all the more inspiring if all the children come to know the meaning of this tree and feel the real eloquence of the speech.
The version of the speech here given is found in Jefferson's Notes and is as follows:
"I appeal to any white man to say, if ever he entered Logan's cabin hungry and I gave him not meats; if ever he came cold or naked and I gave him not clothing. During the course of the last long and bloody war, Logan remained in his tent an advocate for peace. Nay, such was my love for the whites, that those of my own country pointed at me as they passed by and said, 'Logan is the friend of white men.' I had even thought to live with you, but for the injuries of one man. Colonel Cresap, the last spring, in cold blood, and unprovoked, cut off all the relatives of Logan; not sparing even any women and children. There runs not a drop of my blood in the veins of any human creature. This called on me for revenge. I have sought it. I have killed many. I have fully glutted my vengeance. For my country, I rejoice at the beams of peace. Yet, do not harbor the 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."
—F. B. Pearson.
Copyright © D. J. McAdam· All Rights Reserved