The following is an excerpt from my new book Wild & Wonderful (and Paranormal) West Virginia:
West Virginia has a bloody history that dates back to a time well before the United States became a nation. In colonial times, the Ohio Valley was a violent frontier. Bloody skirmishes between European settlers and Native Americans seeking to halt their western expansion were commonplace.
The hostilities between the natives and the settlers reached their crescendo in the 1770s. Determined to put an end to the native resistance, Virginia Governor Lord Dunmore sent the Virginia Militia to wage war against the Mingo and Shawnee people. Thus began Dunmore’s War.
Enter Chief Cornstalk.
Cornstalk was a Shawnee leader who lived in present-day southeastern Ohio. He was thought to have been born around 1720 in modern-day Pennsylvania. Cornstalk was hostile toward British expansionism. He was a participant in the French and Indian War and led raids into Virginia during Pontiac’s War.21
Cornstalk fought against the Crown’s interests again during Dunmore’s War. However, Cornstalk, his tribesmen, and their allies were defeated by the Virginia Militia at the Battle of Point Pleasant—one of the bloodiest encounters between colonists and the natives.22 Cornstalk played a pivotal role in the negotiation of the Treaty of Camp Charlotte.23 However, with the onset of the American Revolution, peace would be short-lived.
As the Revolutionary War ramped up, many tribes began to ally themselves with the Crown. Fearing that the Shawnee may follow suit, American forces summoned Cornstalk to Fort Randolph in Point Pleasant.
Upon Cornstalk’s arrival at the fort, he and his companion Red Hawk were taken into custody. When Cornstalk did not return to his village, his son Elinipsico went to the fort looking for him. Unfortunately, Elinipsico’s arrival at the fort occurred only a day before two soldiers were attacked by natives while deer hunting. One of the men died during the attack. Soldiers at the fort were enraged and believed Elinipsico led the attackers to the fort.24 Vengeance was demanded.
Cornstalk, Elinipsico, and Red Hawk were killed on November 10, 1777…
Read the rest in my new book! Find out about the “Curse of Chief Cornstalk” and the role it might play in paranormal events in the Ohio Valley. A Kindle edition of the book is available for pre-order on Amazon for $0.99. The release date is set for April 3, at which point a paperback edition will also become available.
- Richard P. Lizza, “Cornstalk,” e-WV, October 8, 2012, accessed November 13, 2016, http://www.wvencyclopedia.org/print/Article/1602.
- Becky Clutter, “The Curse of Chief Cornstalk.” News-Register (Wheeling, WV), October 21, 1981.
- Lizza, “Cornstalk.”
- Clutter, “The Curse of Chief Cornstalk.”