Logan was born in 1725, to a Cayuga Indian maiden. His Father was a French Canadian trapper who later became Chief of the Oneidas. He assumed the name
of the Secretary of the Colony of Pennsylvania, a good friend of his Father who represented the Indians to the Governor of Penn. Later Logan married a Shawnee maiden. He is described as a Mingo which was not a tribe but a loose confederation of the fragments of several tribes from the North East.
Initially Logan and his Father were good friends of the white people in their area and provided them with important advice and assistance. At the end of the French & Indian War, the Shawnees refused to accept the treaty by which the Iroquois surrendered the Ohio Territory, on which they lived, to the British. The Shawnee began to raid the settlements all along the frontier and the settlers retaliated. On April 20, 1774, several Indians, including Logan's family, crossed Yellow Creek near Pittsburg to visit a trading post run by Simon Greathouse. While there he got them drunk on rum and murdered them all. Logan mistakenly held Capt. Cressap responsible and began a murderous, vengeful assault on the Clinch and Holston Settlements.
After ravaging the territory, he withdrew by way of a tributary of the Big Sandy River (in Dickenson County). He was pursued by settlers led by a man named McClure. Logan ambushed and defeated his pursuers on what is now McClure's Creek, and withdrew through The Breaks.
In July of 1774, Logan captured William Robinson on the Monongahela River. When his braves wanted to burn him at the stake, he made a passionate speech on his behalf and defiantly cut him free. Three days later, he came to Robinson and asked him to record a
message to Capt. Cressap explaining his actions and inquiring why he had killed his family. " What did you kill my people on Yellow Creek for? The white people killed my kin at Conestoga a great while ago, and I thought nothing of that. But you killed my kin again on Yellow Creek and took my cousin prisoner. Then I thought I must kill too, and I have been 3 times to war since; but the Indians are not angry, only myself." (July 21, 1774 Capt. John Logan) He left the message attached to a war club at the murder scene of John Roberts at King's Mill.
After the Shawnees were defeated at Pt. Pleasant, Logan indicated his vengence was spent, but that he would never sign another treaty with the white man. Afterwards, he approached Patrick Porter about taking a young Indian boy (Dale) as his son. Although
Initially fearful, Porter eventually gave in to the persistent Logan. Dale, who he renamed
Arter Dale, was raised as his child, learned to read, and became a frontier Preacher for many years in the Scott and Wise County area.
Logan was described by one of the settlers as, "the finest human specimen, red or white, that I have ever met." He made a great friend - and a terrible enemy.