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Re: James Renick/Capt. Logan; Joshua=Moluntha? d.1786
Posted by: Ralph Jenkins Date: November 15, 2001 at 08:26:00
In Reply to: James Renick/Capt. Logan; Joshua=Moluntha? d.1786 by Ralph Jenkins of 285

While it may seem peculiar to post a followup to my own message, here is some additional evidence. On another part of this website ( is an electronic transcription of Thomas Marshall Green, Historic Families of Kentucky ( Robert Clarke & Co. Cincinnati. 1889), which confirms the supposition that James Renick/Logan was the boy saved from death by Lytle's intervention, offers support for the identification of Moluntha with Joshua Renick, and gives a clue to the origin of the adjective "elderly" that argues against identifying Moluntha as Joshua. Green cites Lytle himself, writing many years later, as the source:

[Electronic Page 69]
. . . The pen of General Wm. H. Lytle describes the scene in which he was an actor. . . Among the captives was the aged Moluntha, the great sachem of the Shawanese, with his three wives, one of whom was the celebrated "Grenadier Squaw," the sister of Cornstalk and Tecumseh; and the young Indian prince, Lawba, son of Moluntha and the "Grenadier Squaw," so-called from her immense height, strength, and courage. The boy, who was of the same age as Lytle, clung to him for protection. Unfortunately, among the officers under Logan was Colonel Hugh McGary, still smarting under the censure which attributed to him the precipitation of the tragedy at Blue Licks, and burning with desire for revenge for his comrades. Disregarding the peremptory orders of General Logan to do no harm to the prisoners, McGary, foreing his way through the crowd which surrounded the old chief, his wives and son, demanded of Moluntha if he had been at the "defeat of the Blue Licks," to which an affirmative answer was given. Instantly seizing an ax from the "Grenadier Squaw," in spite of the effort of Lytle to prevent it, and before any one else could intervene, McGary laid Moluntha dead at
[Electronic Page 70]
his feet. The swift seizure of Lytle's arm by others, alone averted the thrust with which he sought to dispatch the murderer, who escaped from the crowd. . . . Pity for their condition induced General Logan to take the wives and son of Moluntha to his own home in Lincoln county. Won by the handsome appearance and noble bearing of Lawba, the generous victor adopted the lad, gave him his own name, and educated him with his own children. The speech made by General Logan to the important council of Shawanese braves, subsequently held in the beautiful valley opposite Maysville, of which the captivity of Lawba was in part the subject, has been by Mr. Hixson, the careful historian, most thoughtfully preserved.

Lytle's account is supplemented in the same work by references to the private letters of John Allen (son-in-law of General Benjamin Logan) to his wife during the War of 1812:
[Electronic Page 124]
"One of the letters informs Mrs. Allen of the death of Lawba, son of the Chief Moluntha, whose life had been saved by Lytle, who had been adopted and reared by Mrs. Allen's father, General Logan, and who ever afterward called himself 'Captain Logan.' "

Remember that, according to the work of B.F. Harlow, we have the authority of the Draper papers for identifying James Logan as a Renick, and the accounts of the participants quoted above for identifying him as also the son of Moluntha and Grenadier Squaw. It seems inescapable that Moluntha is therefore Joshua Renick.

So if Joshua Renick/Moluntha was, as we know, in his early to mid-forties in November 1786, why was he described as "aged" or "elderly"?

That description may originate in the account of Lytle, writing as General Lytle, years later. Lytle, we know, was sixteen when he intervened to save James Renick Logan (Spemica Lawbe). Possibly a man 30 years his senior, who had survived captivity and lived his life in hard physical circumstances, would seem to a lad of sixteen an aged person.


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