David Redick to John Fenno
Philadelphia 29th March 1798.
In Porcupines Gazatte of yesterday a letter Addressed to Mr Luther Martin by Frances Corbin, declares that on the Subject of Mr Martins charge against Mr Jefferson, he and the public are Satisfied; and that Mr Jefferson will be bound to render Satisfaction &c. I am of opinion that Mr Corbin has too hastily found himself Satisfied. I am a resident of the Ohio Country and have been Conversant in its affairs for more than 25 years, I was well Acquainted with “Logan” the Indian Chief whose family Mr Cresop was charged with Murdering I know that at the time of the horrid Act No one in that Country ever called in question, to my knowledge, Mr Cresops haveing been the perpetrater. I have heard him boasted of as the brave Warrior who in his Countrys cause had killed these Indians, by the ignorant and Savage part of our early frontier inhabitants—The Indian tribes in that Neighbourhood uniformly & universally charged him and Greathouse with it †Clesop & Gleathouse was Continually on their lips as the Subjects of their executions. of this fact any one may be Certified by appealing to the Moravian Missionaries who at the time resided in the Indian Towns on the Moskindum of whom the Reverend Mr Hekewelder is Still liveing, and residing at Bethlehem in Pennsylvania, Genl Gibson of Pittsburgh, Colo. John Campbel at the Rapids of Ohio and divers others all must know that Cresop was believed to be the1 person who killed Logans family—Logan was a man of probity2 Men of probity are to be found amongst the Indians. he would not take up sole reports on Slight Grounds in my opinion—I am unknown to Mr Jefferson except perhaps by name only. I am unconnected in all respects with him but as a Citizen of America. As a lover of truth and honest fame, alone have I written this paper. I enclose my name that if it Should prove Necessary you may use it—
MS (DLC); in Redick’s hand; torn; author’s note written in margin; in TJ’s hand at foot of text: “David Riddick Prothonotary of Washington county Pensylva”; endorsed by TJ.
Moskindum: the Muskingum River. At some point TJ received the following statement by Thomas Meriwether, dated Richmond, 4 Apr. 1798, concerning John Gibson: “Colo. John Gibson who commanded the 6th. Virginia Regimt. in the late revolutionary war, was for several years previous to that war a trader in the Delawar-nation; He has informed the writer hereof in the course of their acquaintance that he had had a wife of that nation, who with a child, were both kill’d by the White people about the mouth of Wheeling—the Writer thinks he mentioned the white people as being under the influence of the late Colo. Cresap—The Writer thinks Colo. Gibson understood the Indian language (perhaps the Delawarre) well, as he has heard him sing it and speak it fluently—Colo. Gibson was living a few months past, and resided at or near Pittsburg—” (MS in DLC; in Meriwether’s hand, signed by initials; signed note added by Thomas Lomax: “This was written by Colo. Thos. Merriwether at the request of Thos. Lomax, who was in conversation with him in Richmd. on Luther Martin’s attack up on Mr. Jefferson. given under my Hand this 6th. of Apl. 1798”; at foot of text in Mann Page’s hand: “Test. Mann Page jr.”). During the American Revolution Meriwether had served as an officer of the First State Regiment under Colonel George Gibson, the brother of John Gibson. He entered military service from Caroline County, of which Lomax was a prominent resident. For several years after the war Meriwether was clerk to the Council of Virginia (VMHB description begins Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, 1893- description ends , 21 , 339; CVSP description begins William P. Palmer and others, eds., Calendar of Virginia State Papers … Preserved in the Capitol at Richmond, Richmond, 1875–93, 11 vols. description ends , 4:282–3; 5:647; Thomas Elliott Campbell, Colonial Caroline: A History of Caroline County, Virginia [Richmond, 1954], 343, 344–5, 348; DAB description begins Allen Johnson and Dumas Malone, eds., Dictionary of American Biography, New York, 1928–36, 20 vols. description ends , 7:252–3; Vol. 4:539).
1. Redick here canceled “Murderer” and “killer.”
2. Redick first wrote, “man of as much probity and honour in my opinion as any one who has […],” before altering the passage to read as above.