Joshua Baker


JOSHUA BAKER, Logan's camp, at the mouth of Yellow Creek, was about seventeen miles above the site of Steubenville. The account of the atrocious massacre of Logan's people, as given in Caldwell's History, is as follows: "Directly opposite Logan's camp was the cabin of Joshua Baker, who sold rum to the Indians, and who consequently had frequent visits from them. Although this encampment had existed here for a considerable time, the neighboring whites did not seem to apprehend any danger from their close proximity. On the contrary, they were known to have their squaws and families with them, and to be simply a hunting camp. The report of Cresap's attack on the two parties of Indians in the neighborhood of Wheeling, having reached Baker's, may have induced the belief, as was subsequently claimed, that the Indians at Yellow Creek would immediately begin hostilities in reprisal. Under this pretext, Daniel Greathouse and his brothers gathered a party of about twenty men to attack the Indian encampment and capture the plunder. Unwilling to take the risk of an open attack upon them, he determined to accomplish by a stratagem what might otherwise be prove a disastrous enterprise. Accordingly, the evening before the meditated attack, he visited their camp in the guise of friendship, and while ascertaining their numbers and defenses, invited them with apparent hospitality to visit him at Baker's, across the river. On his return he reported the camp as too strong for an open attack, and directed Baker, when the Indians whom he had decoyed should come over, to supply them with all the rum they wanted, and get as many of them drunk as he could. Early in the morning of April 30, a canoe loaded with Indians, consisting of eight persons, came over--three squaws, a child, and four unarmed men, one of whom was a brother of Logan, the Mingo chief. Going into Baker's cabin he offered them rum, which they drank, and became excessively drunk--except two men, one of whom was Logan's brother, and one woman his sister. These refused taking liquor. No whites, except Baker and two companions, remained in the cabin. During the visit, it is said by John Sappington, Logan's brother took down a hat and coat belonging to Baker's brother-in-law, put them on, and strutted about, using offensive language to the white man--Sappington. Whereupon, becoming irritated, he seized his gun and shot the Indian as he went out the door. The balance of the men, who up to this time remained hidden, now sailed forth, and poured in a destructive fire, slaughtering most of the party of drunken and unresisting savages. According to the statement of Judge Jolly, the woman attempted to escape by flight, but was also shot down; she lived long enough, however, to beg mercy for her babe, telling them it was akin to themselves. Immediately on the firing, two canoes of Indians hurried across the river. They were received by the infuriated whites, who were arranged along the river bank, and concealed by the undergrowth, with a deadly fire, which killed two Indians in the first canoe. The other canoes, containing eighteen warriors, armed for the conflict, came over to avenge their fellows. Cautiously approaching the shore they attempted to land below Baker's cabin. The movements of the rangers, however, were too quick for them and they were driven off with the loss of one man. They returned the fire of the whites but without effect. The Indian loss was ten killed and scalped, including the mother, sister and brother of Logan."

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