Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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CRESAP, Michael, trader and Indian fighter, born in Allegheny County, Maryland, 29 June 1742; died in New York City, 18 October 1775. His father, Thomas, emigrated from Yorkshire, England, settled in western Maryland, and was a member of the Ohio Company in 1752. His son married a Miss Whitehead, of Philadelphia, while yet a minor, became a merchant, removed to the Ohio in the spring of 1774, and established a settlement below Wheeling. He took command of the pioneers, who prepared for an Indian war, and, after Dr. Connolly had warned him of a general Indian war, made a declaration of hostilities on 26 April and defeated a party of Indians in a skirmish on the river. Another party of whites treacherously massacred the family of the chief Logan on Yellow creek. Logan, who had been friendly to the English, accused Cresap, as the leader of the white men in that region, of committing the crime, and through a pathetic speech, attributed to Logan and preserved in Jefferson's " Notes," the deed attached to his memory, until his son-in-law, J. J. Jacob, and later Brantz Mayer, proved that he was in Maryland at the time of the occurrence. Governor Dunmore gave him the commission of captain of the Hampshire County militia in Virginia.
After the conclusion of the Dunmore expedition he returned to Maryland, but again went to Ohio the following spring, and penetrated almost to the Kentucky wilderness. On his return he learned that he had been commissioned by the Continental congress as captain of a company of Maryland riflemen. He went with his company to Boston and joined the army of Washington; but, having been afflicted with his final illness before he took the command, and finding himself growing worse, he left for home, and died on the way, in New York, where he was buried with military honors in Trinity Churchyard. See "Biographical Sketch of the Late Captain Michael Cresap," by J. J. Jacob (1826; new ed., with notes, by Brantz Mayer, Cincinnati, 1866). See, also, Mayer's discourse in vindication of Cre-sap, delivered before the Maryland historical society in May 1851, published under the title " Tagah-jute, or Logan the Indian, and Captain Michael Cresap " (New York, 1867).
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