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Joshua and James Renick and Tecumseh
Posted by: Ralph Jenkins Date: April 04, 2001 at 08:57:21
  of 238

Thanks to the generosity of Robert Renick, whose posts may be seen on this surname forum, I have now a copy of B. F. Harlow's typescript book, THE RENICKS OF GREENBRIER, 1951, the source for some information on the story of the Indian captivity of the family of Robert Renick of Augusta Co., VA. That information, together with material from other sources, allows us to determine the truth of the story that the descendants of Robert Renick were associated with Tecumseh. For the convenience of other Renick researchers, I have assembled the evidence relevant to that story.

The story of the capture can be found in Jos. A. Waddell, Annals of Augusta County, Virginia, from 1726 to 1871, 2nd ed. 1902, rpt. C. J. Carrier Co., Bridgewater, VA, 1958.
p. 164
Our chief authority for some two years is Withers' "Border Warfare". . .
Withers states that in the summer of 1761 about sixty Shawnee warriors penetrated the settlements on the headwaters of James river. They avoided the fort at the mouth of Looney's creek, and passed through Bowen's gap in Purgatory mountain (near Buchanan, in Botetourt county). Coming to the settlements, they killed Thomas Perry, Joseph Dennis and his child, and made prisoner his wife, Hannah Dennis. Proceeding to the house of Robert Renix [footnote: "properly Renick"] , who was not at home, they captured Mrs. Renix and her five children--William, Robert, Thomas, Joshua and Betsy. At the house of Thomas Smith, they shot and scalped Smith and Renix, and captured Mrs. Smith and a servant girl named Sally Jew. [footnote: "The 'Preston Register' gives the date of the killing of Robert Renick and capture of his wife and children as July 25, 1757. It mentioned the capture of Mrs. Dennis at the same time, but says nothing about the killing of Joseph Dennis and child and of Thomas Smith. The probability is that Withers confused a raid which occurred in 1757, with the one in 1761, in which George Mathews appeared as an actor. Mathews was only 18 years old in 1757."]
George Mathews, of Staunton, and William and Audley Maxwell were on their way to Smith's house at the time of the assault. Hearing the report of the guns as they approached, they supposed there was a shoooting match at the place; but on riding up to the house, they discovered the dead bodies of Smith and Renix lying in the yard. The Indians had concealed themselves in and behind the house when they saw Mathews and his companions approaching, and fired upon them as they wheeled to ride back. The club of Mathews' cue was cut off, and Audley Maxwell was slightly wounded in the arm.
The Indians then divided their party, twenty of them with their prisoners and plunder returning to Ohio, while the remainder started towards Cedar creek to commit further depradations. But Mathews and the Maxwells had aroused the settlement, and all the people soon collected at Paul's Fort, at the Big Spring, near Springfield. Here
p. 165
the women and children were left to be defended by Audley Maxwell and five other men; twenty-one men led by Mathews, going in search of the enemy. The Indians were soon encountered, and, after a severe engagement, took to flight. They were pursued as far as Purgatory creek, but escaped in the night, and overtaking their comrades at the mouth of the Cowpasture river, proceeded to Ohio without further molestation. Three whites (Benjamin Smith, Thomas Maury and the father of Sally Jew) and nine Indians were killed in the engagement. Returning to the battlefield the next morning, Mathews and his men buried the dead Indians on the spot. The whites slain there, and those murdered on the preceding day, were buried near the fork of a branch in what was (in 1831) the Meadow of Thomas Cross, Sen.
Mrs. Dennis was detained by the Indians at Chillicothe towns till 1763, when she made her escape, as will be related. Mrs. Renix remained with the Indians till 1767.
The late Dr. Draper of Wisconsin, in unpublished notes to Witheres' Border Warfare, gives some further account of the Renix, or Renick, family. Upon authority of the 'Preston Register,' he states that the date of the captivity was July 25, 1757. He obtained his information from various descendants of Robert Renick, who ws killed, as we have seen. The son Robert, was about eighteen months old, and was carried by his mother the greater part of the way to Chillicothe. His crying, however, irritated the Indians, and they dashed out his brains against a tree. On arriving at the Indian towns on the Sciota, the prisoners were divided among their captors and scattered. Joshua, who was about five years old [footnote: "Joshua was baptized by the Rev. Mr. Craig in 1746, and was therefore at least eleven years old in 1757."], was taken to Piqua, reared in the family of Tecumseh's parents, and after the birth of Tecumseh was the companion of that celebrated Indian and his brother, the Prophet.
Soon after reaching the Indian towns, Mrs. Renick gave birth to a male infant and called his name Robert, after his murdered father and little brother; and in 1867, William Renick of Greenbrier, then seventy-five years of age, son of the child born in captivity, related the family traditions to Dr. Draper.
p. 201
Mrs. Renix [footnote: "So written by Withers and others, but properly Renick"], who was captured on Jackson's river, in 1761 (or 1757,) was not restored to her home till the year 1767. In pursuance of the terms of Boquet's treaty, she was brought to Staunton in the year last mentioned. Her daughter died on the Miami; two of her sons, William and Robert, returned with her; her son, Joshua, remained with the Indians and became a chief of the Miamis. He took an Indian wife, amassed a considerable fortune, and died near Detroit in 1810, according to one account.]

From B. F. Harlow, Jr. THE RENICKS OF GREENBRIER, 1951, p. 6- 7, we learn on the authority of the Draper papers that Joshua was raised by the Shawnee couple who became the parents of Tecumseh, and that Joshua had a son James.
"Joshua Renick. . . did not come back from captivity except for a short visit to relatives in Greenbrier. Waddell, quoting Dr. Draper in some unpublished notes, states on p. 165 that on arriving at the Indian towns on the Sciota the prisoners were divied among their captives and scattered. Joshua was taken to Piqua, reared in the family of Tecumseh's parents, and after the birth of Tecumseh he was the companion of that celebrated Indian and his brother the Prophet. Draper states that the family traditions were related to him by William Renick of Greenbrier, son of Robert Renick who was born in captivity. Joshua Renick took an Indian wife and became a chieftain among the Miamis. E. I. Renick says he died in 1783, but Draper says he died in Detroit in 1784, after amassing a fortune there. Two sons:

III.1B. John Renick, of whom we have no record--age 12 at the death of his father.
III.2B. James (Logan) Renick, who changed his name to Logan for his benefactor, Gen. Benjamin Logan, who took him to Kentucky and taught him to read and write. He carved his initials, J.L., on many trees in Ohio after his return there. He lost his life in a fight with a party of British Indians on the banks of the Maumee in November 1812. Claude Feamster tells me (B.F.H.) that a relative of his met Logan Renick in Canada in Nov. 1812, and that Logan sent messages to his relatives in Greenbrier. Dr. Draper says that before his death he had maintained familiar relations with the Renick of the Sciota Valley, who were relatives of his, tho not descended from any ot the captives. Excerpt of a letter dated at Camp Delaware, O. Nov. 9, 1812, from Maj. Jas. William Mathews to Dr. John Mathews, Atty-at-law, Greenbrier County, Va. (now W. Va.): 'I this morning got acquainted with Capt. Logan Renick. He is a very genteel man and speaks the English very well. I am told he is very rich. He lives in the Shawnee Nation, and is very much respected by the white people of this State. It is said he is a man of honor and may be depended upon. He asked very friendly for his relations in Greenbrier. He is very polite. He is very fond of horses and cattle. It is said he carries on a large farm. He desires to be remembered to his uncles in the county.' "

From the website of the Shelby Co., OH Historical Society, we have an article by David Lodge, 1997, that gives us the Indian name taken by Joshua Renick, and the name of his wife, the parents of James Renick who was captured by General Logan. Lodge apparently does not know that Logan was James Renick. Lodge's article also cites a land transaction that provides the names of three children of James Logan: two sons, James Logan and Aqueshka, and a daughter Cageshe.
Logan Township, located near Wapakoneta, takes name from Captain Logan. Captain Logan, born Spenica Lawbe, in 1774, to the Indian Chief Moluntha and Grenadier Squaw (his wife) was taken captive by General Benjamin Logan during his attacks, in 1786, on the Macochee Towns in Logan County. General Logan became attached to the boy and took him into his home; raising and educating him, and giving him the name, Logan, to which the title of captain was later added.

The attack at Macochee also included General Simon Kenton, and Colonel Daniel Boone.

Logan became a famous scout with General Harrison in the promotion of the American cause. His Indian home village was at current day Wapakoneta. With a towering height, for the day, of six feet tall and 250 pounds, he became a true friend to the whites. His close companions were the Indians, Captain Johnny and Bright Horn. After the fall of Fort Detroit to the British, Fort Wayne was in danger, and it was Logan and his friends, who traveled to the fort to bring the women and children to safety. Later, Colonel John Johnston at Upper Piqua secured Loganís help in returning the body of his brother Stephen from the besieged fort for burial in the cemetery at the Johnston Indian Agency.

During the War of 1812, he was asked, in November, 1812, to lead a small party of scouts to reconnoiter the Maumee River rapids in their battle with the British. In a confrontation with a superior British force they were obliged to retreat to the American lines. Stung by accusations of infidelity and sympathy toward the enemy by a junior officer, he, and his friends, Captain Johnny and Bright Horn, set out on November 22, 1812, for the same area. Around noon, they were resting along the river when they were captured by seven Indians, including the infamous Pottawatomie Indian Chief Winnemac and one with a British commission. Logan, in an attempt to stall for time convinced Winnemac that they were tired of the American cause and were in the process of deserting. Winnemac was suspicious and the three men were disarmed.

As they followed the trail back to the English lines, they plotted their escape, and, at the same time convinced Winnemac of their sincerity in deserting, causing him to return their weapons to them. With bullets in their mouths, for quick loading, the three attacked their captors, killing two and seriously wounding another. The remaining four suffered wounds and retreated, but not before firing a bullet into Captain Logan. Captain Johnny lashed the mortally wounded Logan, and injured Bright Horn to the enemyís horses and directed them back to the American lines; arriving around midnight. Captain Johnny scalped Winnemac and headed back on foot, entering the camp at daybreak.

The entire camp was saddened at the news of Loganís injuries, and the foolish accusation that caused him to return to an area, known to be dangerous, in defense of his honor.

Captain Logan, before dying two to three days later, asked that his children be given into the care of Major Hardin to be raised and educated in Kentucky. Although every effort was made to honor this request, the mother of the children took custody of them, and, as reported by Sutton, "The children accompanied their mother to the west and became as wild as any of the race." Captain Loganís body was returned to his home village of Wapaghkonetta, at Wapakoneta, for burial.

The text of the following appeared in an article by Mary McClintock in the "Wapakoneta Daily News," February 15, 1966. - Leonard U. Hill, historian, discovered in 1966, "While browsing through the earliest deed book in the Shelby County, Ohio, courthouse some Indian names were observed." A synopsis of the record reads, "This indenture, entered into on February 23,1822, between James Logan and Cageshe the daughter, children Aque - sh - ka the sons, and of the late Shawanoese Chief Captain Logan or Sopamamelake of Wapaghkonetta in the county of Allen, State of Ohio of one part and Marcus Haylin, and E.B. Cavelier of Champaign County, and State aforesaid of the other part. Witnesseth that the said James Logan, Aqueshka and Cageshe children of Captain Logan and for the consideration of Eight hundred dollars to them in hand, two thirds to Marcus Haylin and one to E.B. Cavelier, all that tract of land lying and being in the county of Allen, containing 6740 acres, situated on the East side of the Grand Glaize River (Auglaize River)...a fractional section of section 35 and section 36. This land was granted to aforementioned children of Captain Logan by the eighth article of the Treaty made 29th September 1817 at the foot of the Rapids of the Miami of the Lake (Maumee River)."

The recent well-reviewed biography of Tecumseh (John Sugden, Tecumseh: A Life. New York: Henry Holt, 1998) provides information on the close relationship between Tecumseh and Johua's son James Renick/Logan. I have cited not only Sugden's summary of the evidence, but also the footnotes in which he provides the sources of his information:
p. 100.
The Galloway family moved from Kentucky to the Little Miami in 1798, building a home five miles northwest of what is now Xenia. James Galloway junior remembered mixing with a good-natured party of Shawnees who camped near the house that same year. Three of the Indians had a smattering of English, the results of having been taken prisoner in 1786 by Logan's Kentuckians: James Logan, whose Indian name was Spemica Lawba (High Horn), and Peter Cornstalk (Wynepuechsika) and his wife. They were a few years younger than Tecumseh, who was one of their companions. There was a drunken spree. Tecumseh generally neither ate nor drank to excess, but on those occasions when he was inebriated he remained good-humored, and he disapproved of the violence that accompanied so many Indian drinking bouts. And that is how Galloway seems to have remembered it. (8)

Peter Cornstalk, Logan, and Tecumseh would all enjoy celebrity among their people. Peter became a fluent orator, and Logan died an American hero of the War of 1812. A tall, strong, honorable man, Logan excelled in wrestling, and he probably tried his strength with Tecumseh. Simon Kenton, who renewed his acquaintanceship with Tecumseh about this time, recalled the chief's happy and playful disposition. He remembered how Tecumseh "used to wrestle and exercise in the snow at Jarboe's." Stephen and Elizabeth Jarboe were Kenton's parents-in-law, and from 1799 they lived four miles north of present-day Springfield, Ohio. (9)

(8) James Galloway junior to Benjamin Drake, 12 to 13 January 1839, George Rogers Clark Papers, 8J245; narrative of James Galloway senior, October 1832, ibid., 8J268.
(9) Simon Kenton interviewed by John H. James, 1832, Simon Kenton papers, 5BB100. There is a sketch of Logan in ANB.

p. 136.
It was time [1806] for the Stony Creek Shawnees to fulfill their promise to talk to Governor Tiffin. Three chiefs made this first journey to Chillicothe--Bluee Jacket, the principal speaker, Tecumseh, and Lewis--along with two interpreters--one of them Blue Jacket's twenty-five-year-old son, George, who had been schooled in Detroit, the other James Logan. . .(6)

(6) The Virginia Argus (Richmond), 6 September 1806.

P. 180
Returning to Wapakoneta. . . Tecumseh saw much that worried him. The Shawnees had not been adopting white culture wholesale. . .but most of what had been achieved under the supervision of William Kirk was nothing short of blasphemous. It rejected the Indian heritage which had been the gift of Waashaa Monetoo, Kirk himself was no longer at Wapakoneta. . . but one of his hired laborers was still at work, and a stock of tools supplied by the Americans had been left in the care of James Logan.

pp. 283-284
Tecumseh and James Logan were friends, both destined to end their lives in this war, fighting for different "Fathers" in whose causes they took no intrinsic interest. The two men spoke long into the night, arguing about where the best course for the Indians lay, but they could not agree. Logan felt that Tecumseh would be crushed with the British; Tecumseh that the confederacy and British alliance were the red men's only hope of saving their lands, culture, and independence. He told Logan that the Creeks were pledged to join him, and spoke of many other Indians who stood ready to [283/284] fight. Still, sadly, they parted for the last time, committed to different but unsuccessful paths. (10)

(10) Martin Hardin to Henry Clay, 2 December 1812, Frontier Wars Papers, 7U6; Shane interview (see Ch. 21, n.1): The main sources for Tecumseh's earlier career are the accounts of Stephen Ruddell and Anthony Shane, both collected by Benjamin Drake. Ruddell was a close associate of Tecumshe's from 1780. . . The interviews given by Shane and his Shawnee wife, Lameteshe (herself a relative of Tecumseh) in November 1821 are fuller. . . Shane was a mixed-blood of French and Ottawa Indian parentage, and spoke five Indian languages in addition to French and English. He was most closely associated with the Shawnees, and in 1795 he was hired as an interpreter at Fort Defiance and set about compiling a Shawnees vocabulary. . . Shane was an older man than Tecumseh. . . and not as close to the chief as Ruddell, but his account, which consistently cross-checks with other records, has been much undervalued.

These passages, I think, should remove any doubt that Logan was a close acquaintance of Tecumseh.

Sugden, a British scholar, is obviously trustworthy in his handling of sources, which he describes as thoroughly grounded in research into the history and historical culture of the Shawnee. It is interesting that, although he knows James Logan's Indian name and career, he does not know his origins. To know that, he would have had to look into frontier genealogy, the kind of material provided on these surname forums.

Sugden puts Tecumseh's birth year at 1768, and gives approximate years for his siblings. Counting Joshua as an adopted son, we have this outline for Joshua's adoptive family:

Descendants of Pukeshinwau

1 Pukeshinwau b: Abt. 1730
.. +Methoataaskee b: Abt. 1730
.... 2 Joshua Renick b: Abt. 1746 d: 1784 at Detroit
........ +Grenadier Squaw
.......... 3 John Renick
.......... 3 James Renick b: 1774 in Wapakoneta, OH d: Abt. November 25, 1812 in Maumee River camp, OH
................ 4 James Logan b: Abt. 1805 d: Aft. February 23, 1822 of Allen Co, OH
................ 4 Aqueshka b: Abt. 1810 in of Allen Co, OH d: Aft. February 23, 1823
................ 4 Cageshe b: Abt. 1810 in of Allen Co, OH d: Aft. February 23, 1822
.... 2 Cheeseekau b: Abt. 1761
.... 2 Tecumapease b: Abt. 1762
.... 2 Sauawaseekau b: Abt. 1763
.... 2 Tecumseh b: 1768 in Chillicothe
.... 2 Kumskaukau b: 1774
.... 2 Tenskwatawa b: 1774

I have estimated the birth years of James Logan's children, assuming that James Logan is the older of the three. The names and birth years of Tecumseh's siblings are taken from Sugden.

Waddell says that Betsy Renick remained a captive until 1767, which puts her departure at about the time Tecumseh was born.

One further speculation, taken also from information in Waddell. Why did Gen. Logan choose, out of all the Shawnee captives, to take Joshua's son James Renick back to Kentucky to be raised?

Waddell provides a possible hint.

Joshua Renick was baptized in Augusta Co, VA in 1746 by the Rev. John Craig. On p. 318, Waddell also notes, "The Rev. John Craig's record shows that Benjamin, son of David Logan, was baptized May 3, 1743."

Logan, three years older than Joshua, was baptized by the same minister. It seems certain that they would have at least known of each other, if not have actually been acquainted, and very likely that they would have been acquainted through some sort of church attendance during the first 11 years of Joshua's life. Given the relatively small number of families, and the importance of Indian affairs in that community, it seems very likely that Logan would have known of Joshua's continued captivity, and the circumstances, from the tales of those who returned. It is easy to imagine that he recognized the child James Renick among the captives of his raid, and for that reason chose him to take back to Kentucky for education. The Waddell note to the effect that Joshua Renick did not die until 1810 at first made me doubt that speculation; would he raise the child as his own while the father was still alive? But the note from Draper that Joshua died in 1784 removes that reason; by the time Gen. Logan captured James Renick/Spemica Lawbe in 1786, James's father was dead, and possibly his mother also as a result of the raid. James may have been an orphan, which might explain his apparent gratitude to his captor.

I should add that I am not a Renick descendant. My connection is distant; my 6ggm was Ann Archer Mathews, sister of Robert Renick's wife Betsy Archer. One Ann's sons was George Mathews, mentioned in Waddell's description of the raid of 1757. My descent is through an older son, Richard Mathews.


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