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Entered according to Act of Congress in the year 1867,
BY BRANTZ MAYER,
for the District of Maryland.
I was invited in the spring of 1851 to deliver the Annual Address before the Maryland Historical Society, and took the story of Logan the Indian and Cresap the Pioneer, as a subject worthy of elucidation. I adopted this subject, not only because the history of Logan's speech, which has given celebrity to both these persons, was likely to secure the attention of an audience, but because, while it afforded an opportunity to vindicate the reputation of a patriotic Marylander, it enabled me also to expose the danger of considering as always unquestionable what are called the facts of history, and to inculcate the caution with which we should receive or record the condemnation of individuals. The fact that this essay was originally intended for delivery and not for the closet, will account for the oratorical style of parts of the present publication.
For ninety years “ Logan's speech" has been repeated by every schoolboy and admired by every cultivated person as a gem of masculine eloquence. Unluckily, it did not rehearse the Indian's wrongs and revenge alone. It gave point to its artless rhetoric by charging those wrongs, and imputing the frightful results of that revenge, to Michael Cresap; and, in proportion as both were dreadful in character
and poignant in statement, the hatred of mankind for the alleged perpetrator became intense and lasting. The speech, it is well known, was first published in the newspapers of America in 1774, after Lord Dunmore's treaty at Camp Charlotte; but its remarkable popularity was secured by the importance given to it by Mr. Jefferson, as illustrating Indian character and genius, by its publication, with comments, in his Notes on Virginia. Accordingly, every American, and multitudes of educated Europeans, learned to pity Logan and to hate the name of Cresap; yet Cresap certainly never deserved their opprobrium, and it is quite possible their sympathetic compassion for Logan might have been considerably mitigated.
When I began my narrative I possessed sufficient proof to exculpate the Maryland Pioneer completely; but the subject grew as I studied it; one authority pointed to another, and one topic led me insensibly to kindred studies. Printed works were soon exhausted, and manuscripts became necessary and were obtained. I found it impossible to tell the whole story with proper precision and breadth, without the introduction of illustrative characters and events, so that what was at first intended for a brief discourse, expanded into a paper on the Pioneer life and Indian history of the period.
The discourse, produced with all the care I could bestow on it in the two months allowed for its preparation, was read to the society on the 15th of May, 1851, and was printed in a small edition for private circulation among our members and their friends. From the nature of the facts newly disclosed, its publication in this manner excited more atten