American Revolution, Appalachia, Aracoma, Aracoma Hotel, Bluestone River, Boling Baker, C.A. Davis, Cornstalk, Daughters of the American Revolution, Edwin Goodwin, Elmer McDonald, Harris Funeral Home, history, Jimmy Browning, Logan, Logan Banner, Logan County, Lyle Burdette, M.R. Atkinson, Montgomery County, Native American History, Native Americans, photos, sheriff, Virginia, W.C. Turley, West Virginia
Princess Aracoma Memorial Given to the Public by D.A.R. Chapter is Formally Unveiled and Dedicated
The monument to Princess Aracoma was dedicated yesterday afternoon by the local chapter of the D.A.R. which bears her name, with a brief ceremony in which the romantic history of the chief of the first tribe known to have settled in this vicinity was reviewed.
The dedication service took place at 4:30 o’clock at the northeast corner of the courthouse, and was opened with an assembly bugle call by Boy Scout Edwin Goodwin. Rev. M.R. Atkinson led in prayer and Jimmy Browning gave the salute to the flag.
Mrs. S. Elmer McDonald, regent of Aracoma chapter, presided, saying, “We have gathered here to honor Princess Aracoma, an Indian princess who with her tribe first settled in this valley.”
W.C. Turley, whom Mrs. McDonald introduced as the descendant of one of the oldest families of the county gave a talk reviewing the traditional settling of the Indians in this vicinity.
“I think it striking evidence of patriotism for your Princess Aracoma chapter to place this monument in memory of Princess Aracoma,” he said.
Mr. Turley said that Princess Aracoma was born somewhere between 1740 and 1745, the daughter of Cornstalk, chief of the Shawnee Indians, who was killed in the first land battle of the Revolution.
“When the princess was a young girl she interceded in behalf of Boling Baker, a white soldier who had deserted from the British army and had been captured by her tribe. Through her plea his life was spared and he was initiated into the tribe.
“According to the Indian custom, when Princess Aracoma became of age she was given a portion of the tribe to settle under her leadership in new hunting grounds, and chose the island first settled in this territory. Shortly after settling in their new home, the Princess and Boling Baker were married at a large ceremony attended by Cornstalk and other chiefs.
“The tribe lived happily and prospered until, in 1776, a plague struck them taking many of their members including all of the children of the princess and her white husband.
“Baker, seeking to replenish the goods of the tribe went with some scouts to a settlement on the Bluestone river, where, posing as an escaped captive, he gained the confidence of the settlers. Then one night he led his scouts in a raid on the camp, stealing their horses and provisions.
“The sheriff of Montgomery county, of which Logan was then a part, designated Col. Breckenridge and Gen. Madison to lead a force of 90 men to seek revenge on the Indians. In the ensuing battle, which took place near where the power plant now stands, Princess Aracoma was killed.
“According to tradition, she was buried somewhere in the vicinity where the Aracoma Hotel and Harris Funeral Home now stand. Skeletons and Indian burial pieces were unearthed when the excavation for these buildings was made.”
At the close of Mr. Turley’s address, the monument was unveiled by Mrs. Lyle Burdette and Mrs. C.A. Davis.
Source: Logan (WV) Banner, 28 October 1936.
NOTE: This article incorrectly references the Battle of Point Pleasant as part of the American Revolutionary War.